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The Origins of Siraya The Origins of Siraya

The Siraya tribe of Pingpu Aboriginals comprises four subtribes. The word "Pingpu" comes from the Chinese word pingpu, an abbreviation of pingdi caopu, or "flatlands and prairies." During the Japanese occupation of Taiwan, Japanese scholars categorized the Aborigines of Taiwan into two groups, the "mountain peoples" and the "flatlands peoples." Despite being grouped into just two categories, the Aborigines of Taiwan are in fact a diverse range of tribes, each with their own distinctive language, culture, and customs. The Pingpu tribes have, over the centuries, largely been assimilated into the ethnic Chinese community of Taiwan through intermarriage, but they remain just as important an element of the Austronesian peoples as the so-called Gaoshan—"mountain"—Aboriginal tribes. The early Pingpu tribes lived simply, with their society a matriarchal, agricultural one. The Siraya tribe was one of the most broadly distributed and influential tribes, with early scholars defining the Siraya tribal area as stretching from the modern-day Tainan Plains down to the Hengchun Peninsula, with their roots in Tainan. When the Dutch first arrived in Taiwan, they called the local Aboriginals in Tainan the Sideia, the Dutch approximation of the Taiwanese term for the four subtribes as a group. Later, this evolved into the current spelling, Siraya. Some, however, maintain that the word siraya in fact means "person."

The Pingpu tribes have, over the centuries, largely been assimilated into the ethnic Chinese community of Taiwan through intermarriage

Last updated:2019 / 10 / 02
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