"Drinking, Singing, and Dancing But No Nukes Please"- Propaganda, Colonization, and  Taiwan 's First Nations
By Mark Munsterhjelm email: markchen@uvic.ca

This analysis is limited to mostly English print and Internet renderings of the Taiwan's First Nations and conversations with government officials, activists and researchers though I will refer to tourism and TV renderings which are within my still somewhat limited Chinese abilities. I have included several photos. I hope that the reader will take a moment or two to consider each since visual images are these often very telling. It is in the spirit of discourse and discussion that I submit this. This project is ongoing and I welcome readers' suggestions criticisms, alternate interpretations, and comments. From time to time I will make updates and changes. 

Taiwan 's First Nations
I will also use the term Taiwan First Nations (TFN), it is a rough translation of the Mandarin term "Taiwan Yuanzhu Mingzhu". This is in part to emphasise their position particularly given the context of the conflicting international claims of the ROC and PRC over the island's sovereignty. TFN consist of many different peoples including: Pangcah(Ami), Atayal, Bunun, Paiwan, Puyuma, Saisiat, Sediq, Shao, Siraya, Tao (Yami), Taroko, Tsou. They number some 400,000 or about 1.8% of Taiwan's 22 million people, a proportion similar to Australia, and Canada  The Chinese majority consists of about 13% Hakkanese, 70% Minnan speaking "Taiwanese" (sometimes called Hoklos)  and 15 % "Mainlanders", those who came after World War Two.[1] In addition there are some 300,000 foreign workers mostly from Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. 

Taiwan Map: This pervasiveness of the colour White in this map makes clear the extent of TFN control of the island up to the Japanese invasion. It is quite obvious that Taiwan was still mostly under Aboriginal control. [Knapp, pg 37, 1980]

Imperial Propaganda
"When a white army battles Indians and wins it is called a great victory, but if they lose it is called a massacre and bigger armies are raised. If the Indian flees before the advance of such armies, when he tries to return he finds that  white men are living where he lived. If he tries to fight off such armies, he is killed and the land is taken away." Chiksika, Elder brother of Tecumseh, 1779 [Arthur J. Ray, I Have Lived Here since the World Began, pg. 122, 1996] Similarly, Aboriginal resistance today is framed as backward, extremism, terrorism, impediments to Development etc. in modern Western discourse.  Commenting on recent media coverage of the conflict between white fishermen and Mik'maq First Nations at Burnt Church New Brunswick Canada, over the Mik'maq reassertion of their treaty rights, Taiaiake Alfred of the Mohawk First Nations, and a professor at the University of Victoria wrote "The media portrayals of the white fishermen as (excuse my paraphrase) 'hard-working family men just trying to earn a buck and who play by the rules and who won't put up with any unfair special treatment for Indians', their deference to the federal messenger, mediator or whatever, Bob Rae [a white politician], as thoughtful, reasonable and tolerant both contrast sharply with the image of the Mik'maq as angry, irrational and confrontational." [Alfred, 2000 ]  Dichotomies of this sort in the treatment of Aboriginal peoples thus have a long history. Underlying ideological constructs such as "Manifest Destiny", "Whiteman
s Burden" and "Development" have been what Noam Chomsky scathingly terms the "Fifth Freedom" which is roughly the " freedom to rob, to exploit and to dominate, to undertake any course of action to ensure that existing privilege is protected and advanced"[Chomsky , The Culture of Terrorism, pg. 1, 1988] This is a play on the Four Freedoms that Franklin Delano Roosevelt said were being defended in WWII: "freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear " [Ibid., pg. 1]

"the Ascent of Man"
The conquest of Indigenous peoples is veiled in various ideological constructs. An essential form of this is what Immanuel Wallerstein considers "The basic collective image we have of this scientific culture of historical capitalism is that it was propounded by noble knights against the staunch resistance of the forces of traditional, non-scientific culture...At all points it is about rationality
versus superstition, and freedom versus intellectual oppression. " [Wallerstein, pg. 75, 1996] Scientific ideology permeates government, business, and academic institutions. Even today a mainstream sociologist such as Piotr Sztompka indulges in the use of "Otherness" as signposts for his theories of social change positing an "...eternal path from fully objectified, blind existence of primitive people, through the naïve megalomania of human power and reason, to the fully creative, wide awake existence of the expected future society, living in harmony with nature and reconciled with the limits of thought. This is the path of historical emancipation of human agency. " [Sztompka, pg. 231, 1993] The arrogance or perhaps cultural blindness of Sztompka's statement often goes unchallenged in mainstream academia and elsewhere since it is consistent with the underlying teleological mythology. A myth as a "story about superhuman beings of an earlier age, usually of how natural phenomena, social customs, etc., came into being." [Collins Concise English Dictionary, 1992] A myth often utilizes suitable historical facts while ignoring others. For example Einstein's imagined ride on a beam of light is eulogized but his socialist political beliefs are quietly ignored, similarly Henry Ford's mass production methods are trumpeted  but his fascist tendencies are similarly ignored. Myths are therefore of  great importance for as Szompka points out, the Thomas Theorem posits that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences ". [ibid. pg. 58-59]. Europeans believed themselves as "chosen people" guided by Providence which when combined with their superiority in weapons would eventually allow them to prove themselves "right".

Social change is guided by myths encompassing social and moral values which are acted out and upon by agents. Max Weber analysed what he termed the "Protestant Work Ethic" in which work became a divine calling. Canadian academic David F. Noble through analysing the consistency and character of  mythological and theological themes in  Western Science argues for a "Religion of Technology".  " Technology had come to be identified with the transcendence, implicated as never before in the Christian idea of redemption. The worldly means of survival were now redirected toward the other-worldly end of salvation. Thus the emergence of Western technology as a historic force and the emergence of the religion of technology were two sides of the same phenomenon." [Nobel, pg. 9, 1999] Are then Scientists actually theologians in secularly styled lab coats? Do they not speak in tongues full of concepts and terminology beyond the grasp of most? Just try reading genetic research papers or comprehending astrophysics full of worm holes and Big Bangs. 

The June 26, 2000 Clinton/Blair press conference announcing the completion of the Human Genome Project (HGP) was full of theological imagery. 

Clinton drew on American Mythology as he talked of Thomas Jefferson once being in the same room, nearly two centuries earlier, looking a map made by the reconnaissance missions of Lewis and Clark something  Jefferson had "prayed he'd live to see". These missions by Lewis and Clark provided vital information for the invasion called in American mythology the "Winning of the West".  Clinton later said we now live in "This the Greatest Age of Discovery". He stated that through the HGP "Today we are learning the language in which God created life". The Ascent of Man to divine status is implicit in this language. The quest for the divine in which a Man is tested by God, and in which Man must be ethical and moral, through out the quest Man receives new powers, wisdom and knowledge etc. The power of healing was attributed to Jesus and many Saints who had shown
their worth to God. Both Clinton and Blair repeatedly refer to the new treatments for diseases, for example cancer may become a memory for our grandchildren said Clinton. The accompanying ethical issues they raised were often about the fundamental good of man, and they responded that Man was up to the task. So we have all the elements of a myth. Clinton's used of the idea of this discovery reshaping the "contours" of our "imagination". Edward S Said commented in his book "Culture and Imperialism" that "imaginings" were as much a part of Imperialism as military might [Said, pg. 7, 1994] for these sustain the theological and ideological basis for conquest and colonization.

Aboriginal peoples have long been part of Western mythology. Transformed into enemy demons such as the " Injun Joe" character of Mark Twain . . Aboriginal peoples are alternately the temptress who test the hero's virtue or they are they lost tribe and the hero helps them. The Aborigine can also be the source of secrets.
Aboriginal peoples have thus played an essential part in the mythologies of Imperialism. 

Diagram: Myth making is an ongoing social process of each culture affected through interaction with other cultures. Myths are acted upon by agencies in turn affecting other agencies and myth making processes. Agencies are considered the agents of cultures such as individuals acting within institutions, and the collective actions of the institutions themselves. 

Image: As Western capitalism has expanded in East Asia over the last 500 years it has enveloped all of these cultures in different respects. The relationships between these groups have changed accordingly.

Myths have been of central importance in imperialism. Myths encompass values and are social constructs which are acted upon by agency as the Thomas theorem states Man's belief lived out be real in their consequences and vice versa as agency affects Myths as it reinforces and changes these. Capitalism expansion been based on the conquest of others' lands and peoples. Its colonization processes have wiped and/or affected First Nation cultures as it has expanded. First Nations have been incorporated both as parts of the political economies of production and capital accumulation but also as parts of the mythologies of Capital. The transmission of cultural myths is part and parcel of ideological systems. Myths confer legitimacy to rulers and explain the place of the ruled, and consequently what is considered as Knowledge. [Bocock, pg. 8, 1993] European conquerors once took solace in their Knowledge of the "Great Chain of Being" which defined the "way things are". Today secularized hierarchies of Knowledge are key in the Information Revolution and globalisation. Western capitalism's quest for Knowledge is for the good of humanity so the disproportionate distribution of costs and benefits is justified by "advances" such as the HGP. So Capital/Government effort produced this "map" or "Book of God" so each is divinely legitimized in a way for bringing powers of healing to humanity. Universalistic pretensions were shot through so much of imagery of this conference. 

Essential to understanding social change and Indigenous peoples is to primary focus on them as people. Ward Churchill, a noted American Indian scholar and professor at the  University of  Colorado said in an interview "The whole thrust of my instruction goes toward re-humanizing those who have been de-humanized. Indians are either romanticized or demonized, but they're never dealt with as human beings with actual human dimensions, human frailties, human achievements." [From an interview in Z-Mag, December 1995 .] Prior to colonization outside renderings of  Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples primarily affected external relations such as war, trade, and diplomacy. It was not of great bearing on the day to day lives of the still independent First Nations since they lived under their own indigenous social organizations and concepts of self. However colonization made these colonizers perceptions of TFN of central importance to colonized TFN. 

The 16th century Franciscan missionary to the  Americas, Geronimo de Mendieta wrote "This vocation of God shall not cease until the number of the predestined is reached, which according to the vision of Saint John must include all nations, all languages, and all people s." [pg. 29, Noble] God's work was to be a global undertaking. In  Central America, Spanish views of the peoples of the Americas as "savages", "barbarians" needing the yolk of God was grounds for genocide and slavery. Essentially a militant Christian concept of "love they neighbour" whether they want it or not is a constant feature of Western European expansionism against the "pagan" Slavs, [Slav is tellingly a root of Slave], the anti-Cathar crusades of the 12th and 13th centuries, and the anti-Muslim crusades. Santiago Matamoros, St. James the Moor Killer was transformed into Santiago Mata-indios, Saint James the Indian Killer.  [Wright, pg. 36, 1992]. Throughout the European expansion conquest has been rationalized under a variety of names but all maintaining elements of this "helping ethic", a responsibility to "our fellow man", the Whitemans burden", "Manifest Destiny", "Social Darwinism" or "Development" have all supported and glorified the rather common and grim task of conquest and colonization by framing it as a moral duty, divinely sanctioned destiny and in its more recent secular versions as "Development" in which the rich have a moral obligation to assist the poor out of their "underdevelopment "[George, Sabelli, pg 97, 1994 ]. The legacy of conquest and colonial inequality thus become a sticky point in the assertion of legitimacy on the part of the state/capital nexus and it’s associated agencies in the post WWII decolonization period. This maintenance of the perception of legitimacy creates challenges since the state/capital nexus was and is intimately involved in the imposition and maintenance of this inequality. [Miller, pg. 74-76, 1993] 

A Regional Background
East Asia had a long running and complicated hierarchy of tribute and trade networks that tied together on a vast scale stretching from 
Japan east to Tibet

and south to Laos, Cambodia, and Java. For example Malaccan traders carried seaslugs caught by Aborigines in the North of what is now Australia for trade onto China while diplomatic representatives of the Ryukus Island (including  Okinawa) paid tribute both to China and Kusushu principality in Japan. The Chinese empire was the centre of this system but not the regent of it all. While occasionally dispatching troops to neighbouring areas and pursuing it's own territorial expansion the Chinese Empire was the regional hegemon but not  in the sense of 20th Century USA. [This section draws heavily on the " The Rise of East Asia in World Historical Perspective " by Giovanni Arrighi, Takeshi Hamashita & Mark Seldon, 1997] 

For over 300 years Western powers were initially forced to deal with this established system.  They were able to impose themselves only in areas such as Java and the  Philippines China and  Japan selectively drew from the West. For example under the Ching Dynasty' s Emperor Kiang'su the Jesuits' knowledge of mathematics and astronomy resulted in them being appointed to various court positions. Militarily Father Ferdinand Verbiest's knowledge of cannon making gave Ching Armies crucial military advantages in their conquests and consolidation of this new dynasty's control over Ming Loyalists. [Kessler, 1976, pg. 147] However the superiority of the " Celestial Empire" was unquestioned with the Europeans still be considered "barbarians". European expansion in Asia eventually led to the formal dissolution of the East Asian tribute-trade system through the subordinate incorporation of its members into the Eurocentric interstate system
as colonies, semi-sovereign and peripheral or semiperipheral
sovereign states. But from at least the sixteenth to the early
nineteenth centuries, European powers participated in the
historically constituted, Sinocentric regional order without
reorganizing, let alone destroying it. That is, for Europeans to
secure trade in lucrative Asian markets, they had to tap into
tributary networks both private and official.".[Arrighi, Hamashita, Seldon, 1997] 

Similarly the Japanese allowed limited Western presence by the Dutch following their expulsion of foreigners in the mid 1600s [1641-1859]. The so-called "Dutch Learning" was allowed to remain with it's adherents becoming instrumental in the Meiji Restoration. Yataro Iwasaki the founder of Mitsubishi in 1870 was a graduate of the Western style learning. The son of a low Samurai he nonetheless parlayed his Tosa Clan's initial 3 ships into a major industrial empire through his assistance to the fledgling Japanese Nation State government in it's consolidation of national control. This included providing troop transport for the suppression of the Satsuma Rebellion and the 1874-75 military expeditions to South-eastern  Taiwan discussed later. 

Japan 's industrialization was thus also a function of its historical rivalry with  China as well as the incursion of the Western powers that began with Admiral Perry's uninvited visit into  Tokyo Harbour in 1854. [Arrighi, Hamashita & Seldon, 1996].  Japan's victory over China in the 1894 Sino-Japanese War and the 1905 Japan-Russian War made it the leading power in East Asia thus usurping the then rapidly declining Ching Dynasty's old  position. The occupation of  Taiwan in 1895,  Korea in 1910, and the invasion of  China in 1931 saw Japan reach the peak of it's military power. This rise however ended with the total defeat of  Japan in World War II. It's post-war recuperation as "workshop" within a system of American military hegemony has resulted in it's status as an economic superpower and a military midget as it stands still sheltered under the  USA's military nuclear umbrella. 

In contrast  China was defeated earlier and went through a period of semi-colonial rule. Following the Boxer Rebellion which was crushed with Western intervention  the massive indemnities made the Chinese government became little more than a tax collector for the foreign powers.[Arrighi, Hamashita, Seldon, 1997  citing Joseph Esherick, 1972] Chinese Nationalism emerged in the form of the Kuomingtang (KMT) which overthrew the Ching Dynasty government in the 1911 Chinese Revolution. Meanwhile the collapse of the Ching Dynasty led to a period of fragmentation under various local rulers, so-called "warlords". Following the death of Sun Yat Sen, Chiang Kai Shek attempted to consolidate his control by purging the various communist and populist elements with in the KMT. This drove the Communists underground eventually giving rise to the Chinese Communist Party and leading to the first phase of the Chinese Civil War. 

The beginning of the Japanese invasions in 1931 escalated into all out war by 1937. Chiang Kai-Shek was eventually kidnapped by some of his own officers and forced to make an agreement with the Communists for a united front against the Japanese. Following WWII the Chinese Civil War began anew with the eventual victory of the Chinese Communists in 1949 leading to the KMT's move to  Taiwan where it has remained protected by the  US military umbrella. The territories that had formed the old Ching Empire were once again brought under centralized control. Frontier areas that had enjoyed de facto independence during the turmoil of the late Ching, KMT, and WWII periods such as  Tibet, and the Moslem areas of Sinjiang were brought under strict central control and subject to colonization policies and serious cultural repression. 

On  Taiwan the KMT set about consolidating their control following their take-over from the Japanese. From the beginning their was friction which finally escalated into 1947's 2/28 Uprising which was summarily and ruthlessly crushed by the KMT armies. Some 10,000 to 30,000 Taiwanese were killed in the suppression while many more perished during the "White Terror" period of the 1950s and 60s.
Political descent escalated once again in the 1970s with the attempted assassination of Chiang Ching-kuo in 
New York by a Taiwanese Student. The Kaohsiang Incident of 1979 included street demonstrations were violently repressed and their leaders imprisoned. These events marked a turning point and in 1987 Martial Law ended. 

Chinese business networks have played a central role in the rise of capitalism in East Asia. They were pivotal in the opium trade and also in the "coolie" trade that supplied workers to plantations in British Malaysia for example. Later during the post revolutionary period for example the Shanghai based Soong family provided critical support to the KMT with strategic marriages of one of it's daughters to Chiang Kai Shek and another to Sun Yat Sen.  In more recent years Overseas Chinese, Taiwanese, and  Hong Kong investors have become some of the main investors in the PRC. In the period 2000-2001,  the PRC holds some US$165 billion , Taiwan some US$113 billion and Hong Kong some US$104 billion in foreign reserves totalling well over US$400 billion when overseas Chinese are included. The upshot of this is that Chinese business now plays a major role in the Capitalist world economy. 

Prior to the 1600s Taiwan was not part this system of trade and tribute. It's peoples were self-sufficient and engaged only in a minimal amount of external trade along the coastal areas. However first the  Dutch then Chinese colonizers began to incorporate Taiwan into the regional systems. Taiwan has gone from an agricultural and primary resource periphery area providing tea, sugar, camphor, rice, and other primary products to producing high value added high technology products such as computers,  scanners, fax machines, microchips etc. today. An example of Taiwan's relative importance was the jump in the world price of certain microchips following the September 21, 1999 Taiwan earthquake that slowed production from Taiwan's Hsinchu Industrial Park.  However these zones are primarily in the Western Taiwan lowland areas. The development of the mountainous areas where TFN form either substantial minorities or the majority of the population has typically been oriented toward providing primary resources such as agriculture, water, hydropower, marble, limestone for cement production etc.,  as tourist destinations for Western Taiwan's industrial and urban areas.

"Modern" Han versus "Traditional" Aborigines
Taiwan 's Aboriginal people were classed by the Ching Dynasty as Shan Fan (uncivilized) and She-fan (subjugated). An early Ching Dynasty Chinese government report describing Europeans:
"The barbarians have a grim look. They have no rituals worthy of the name. They are liars and rather arrogant. They conquer countries by fraud and force ingratiating themselves in a friendly way before they oppress the natives. At the heart of their conduct is violence." ["China" from the BBC’s Legacy Series with the historian Michael Wood] Both remaining independent Taiwan Aboriginal peoples and Europeans constituted "barbarians" i.e.. those outside the influence of the "Celestial Empire".
: Chen
Image: Then Taipei Mayor Chen Shui-bian (now President) in
a Western suit raises a street sign along with TFN in traditional dress. Note the Presidential building built during the Japanese period in the right background. [Kagan, pg. P-7, 1998] Renaming the street in front of the Presidential building, long a symbol of KMT power, after the now nearly extinct Ketagalan First Nation is an example of manipulating TFN as symbols in support of Taiwanese Nationalism. As well the ceremony illustrates Chinese as "modern" since no Chinese appear in traditional Chinese dress.

Benedict Anderson commented in an April 2000 article on how the Han majority always appear in modern Western suits in televised PRC New Year Celebrations while minorities appear in traditional costumes. He comments, "The Han thus manifest themselves as the Future, and the minorities as the Past,  in a tableau which is utterly political, even if not entirely consciously so.   This Past, of which the minorities are the visible sign, is also part of a Past, through which the Chinese state territorial stretch is legitimized. It is, of course, therefore a "Chinese" past." [ Taipei Times April 25, 2000 ]
Similarly in Taiwan this modernity/past dichotomy is common at many public ceremonies such as Double Ten National Day 2000 celebration in which TFN  gave a dance performance in traditional dress while President Chen wore a Western suit.  The ceremonies which began the 1999 Taiwan Canada Aboriginal Cultural Festival. were similar. Suit clad Canadian and Taiwanese government officials put on TFN vests and danced in a stereotyped line dance with traditionally clothed TFN women. Photos of this were printed in the local media. In these renderings TFN are supported by the ROC which is itself in a direct line of 5000 years of Chinese civilization. The TFN are therefore under Chinese sovereignty much as the peoples of Yunnan are.
"Taiwan has remained a hotspot, its status in limbo, claimed both by the People's Republic of China and by those who want full independence. But no one questions that this is a culturally Chinese land, and its National Palace Museum holds treasures from 8,000 years of Chinese culture. "
[ http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/millennium/text/countries/taiwan.html]
Chinese constructions perceive themselves as the inheritors of this 5000 or whatever thousand year legacy. An example of this is the National Palace Museum's ground floor features a large room dedicated to comparing the development of Chinese and other "world civilizations" such as Greek, Indian, Pharaohic Egypt, Central American, and European. This display begins in Neolithic times and runs up to the "Republic of China". Something that seems to me implicit in such Taiwanese discourse is that TFN construction as "Other" transforms TFNs into references points for "how far" the Chinese "have come". As well by sponsoring "traditional cultures" the Taiwanese state becomes their "protector" of Aboriginal cultures something with clearly patriarchal and parochial overtones. 

In recent years the emergence of the Minnan dialect (Taiwanese) speaking majority as a political force has led to the development of another set of politically motivated historical myths. Myths retain a degree of truth but one that is fashioned in such a way to support this or that agenda[Sztompka, pg. 58, 1993 ]. Richard Kagan's highly sympathetic (to put it mildly) biography of Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian’s "Building a Nation and Community"  states " Japan ruled Taiwan with an iron fist.Yet there were beneficial, though perhaps unintended consequences” such as a " relatively non-corrupt legal system" and "self-conscious middle class" . [Kagan, 22-23, 1998] So the Japanese were not all bad, progress was made though at a high price paid in repression.[3] This is in part to differentiate “Taiwanese” from the KMT’s One China mythologies. The KMT One China myths portray the Taiwan’s peoples uniting to fight the Japanese "dwarves" such as articulated in W.G Goddard’s questionable assertion that in the period following the 1895 Japanese invasion of Taiwan, "The entire population of the island, Hoklos [Minnan speakers] and Hakkas, the tribesmen of the mountains, men and women alike, were united in one effort to drive back the Japanese invader.” [Goddard, 1966, pg. 147] Goddard it should be noted based on his personal relationship with Chiang Kai Shek considered him to be  "grossly misrepresented" and actually a " remarkable man"[ibid., pg. 180]. Not surprisingly Goddard also terms the massacres of 10,000 to 30,000 Taiwanese during the 1947 2/28 Uprising as a "disturbance" which is greatly at odds with Minnan perceptions. 

This biography of  Chen Shui-bian  provides another good example of Taiwanese Nationalism's use of TFN as symbols of difference..
"This chapter [one] on Chen Shui-bian’s native place [Tainan County] begins with the year 1600 A.D. That century marks the last generation that the aborigines of Taiwan, related to the Austronesian peoples of the Pacific, alone occupied the Islands pristine wilderness."{Kagan, pg. 9, 1998] Here Kagan (An American history professor) uses the Aborigines to frame Taiwan as separate from the Chinese Mainland suing Western anthropological classifications and Eden imagery implied by "pristine". This tendency of  the independence movement has been ridiculed by prominent activist Linda Arrigo and others as using Aborigines as "poster children". "The aborigines have played a major role in the consciousness of the Taiwanese. They have occupied many historical stages of consciousness in the Taiwanese mentality. They have been partners, spouses, enemies and honoured representatives of lost civilizations". [ibid., pg. 9] In this passage the use of Aborigines as sources of authenticity to support the  legitimacy to the myths of Taiwanese nationalism is  apparent. "In some areas, particularly in the mountains, they were eliminated through policies of "ethnic cleansing". In the plains they were surrounded and absorbed. In the wide alluvial plains of south-western Taiwan, many of them lived and worshipped in the neighbourhood where Chen’s parents and grandparents lived. It is probably not incidental that Chen established the first major commission on aborigine affairs. His concern for their welfare and cultural survival is more than just a political ploy." [ibid., pg. 9] So Chen too is a patriarch of sorts, a benefactor for the TFN who were the "first Taiwanese". This rhetoric has however not translated in any meaningful shift in TFN support to the Minnan Taiwanese dominated Democratic Progressive Party since TFN overwhelmingly voted for the former Provincial governor James Soong in the 2000 Presidential election.[ Taipei Times Jan. 13, 2000,  Martin Williams]

In effect there is a consensus among the KMT and the ascendant Minnan Taiwanese DPP counterparts of their patriarchal roles regarding their responsibility to "help" the TFN. While all major political parties made wonderful election promises to the TFN, these were dismissed by Isak Afu, an Aboriginal Rights activist, as an entries in a fiction "composition contest" without substance or details. Alice Takewa-tan of the Bunun Nation said "I am sure none of the officials really know what the Ami tribe is really about ... They should make some effort to understand Aboriginal peoples instead
 of showing their faces  during some Aboriginal annual festivals wearing our Aboriginal vests" [ March 7, 2000, Taipei Times ]

Aborigines and Social Change

Social change is a complex multi-faceted temporal process in which past histories, and experiences form an array of various economic, environmental, and cultural tangents and inertias interact to form the present and set future trajectories. Perspective is by definition subjective coloured by experience and cultural - there is no such thing as a disinterested neutral objective observer. The Heisenberg principle in subatomic physics notes states that observer cannot be separated from observed and the very act of observation will affect observed processes. "Any conception of how we can find and gain knowledge about the social, political, economic, cultural and psychological aspects of life is logically, grounded in some philosophical conception or other." [Bobcock, pg.8,. 1993] Good examples of this are histories of various groups and peoples such as Canada's First Nations. These renderings of events often diverge sharply from those written by the "victors". Such alternate histories have for example have shaken coveted Western Victors' myths such as those propagated and manifested in celebrations of Columbus's voyage. The atrocities committed by the Columbus regime are set with in the context of European invasion and the genocide of Indigenous peoples. This is a key part of a general challenge to the myths of Western progress that render this global expansion in clearly Imperialist terms. Aboriginal critiques of Western Imperialism have a long history. Through to Tecumseh, Red Jacket, the Ojibway during the 1844 Walpole Islands debates and today in the work of Ward Churchill, Rigoberta Menchu, and others. It is however only in the last 3 decades that Aboriginal peoples have been able to force these into national agendas in places such as Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

The implications of this cannot be underestimated. Challenges to these underlying myths of the paradigms of Progress have very real implications in how for example genetic research is conducted and the issues of patentibility of Indigenous peoples genetic materials. Durkheim considered that " law is essentially religious in its origin " and for example provided the basis for the divine right of kings.[Grabb, pg. 71, 1997] Theology is very much the stuff of myths that shape cultural values. In Canada it took the 1990 Oka uprising and siege involving several thousand members of government security forces to wake up parts of the white majority to Aboriginal issues. The siege of Aboriginal peoples at Gustafsen Lake, and murder of Dudley George at Stoney Point in 1995 by security forces were examples of the use of physical violence by the state to enforce its claims sovereignty and control. The police officer who murdered Dudley George in 1995 received 2 years of community service as a sentence [ Amnesty International Canada, September 5, 2000 ] In sharp contrast, Wolverine [English name: Jones Williams Ignace],  a Shuswap Nation Elder, was imprisoned for several months for his participation in the Gustafsen Lake siege. The contrast is clear the state maintains the right to kill if necessary to enforce it's dominance while First Nations are imprisoned or murdered if they resist. Myths of national sovereignty underlie Nation State assertions of it's monopoly on violence as a right. For example it is considered a violation of a state's national sovereignty if other nation states arm rebellious groups with its boundaries. This right itself is rooted in divine rights of kings, Papal bulls and the like that gave Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors the "right" to claim "non-Christian" or "pagan" lands as theirs based on the Pope's divine authority. And not to be left out the Protestant Northern European invented similarly rooted instruments. These "rights" would eventually become codified and rationalized into what has become known as "international law". 

The processes by which myths are propagated, transmitted, and transformed are thus of paramount importance. In modern industrialized societies the mechanisms for the transmission of myths and cultural values is increasingly dictated by institutional frameworks as increasing amounts of human interaction are mediated by and/or controlled by institutions. Consider the following hypothetical example. A TFN 10 year old wakes up goes to a government school where he likely speaks Mandarin Chinese, returns at home to watch a few hours of Chinese language TV in which he sees several programs Japanese made Pikachu (Pokemon) cartoons or Hollywood movies, ads for McDonald's and other champions of mass consumption. This stands in sharp contrast to many children in still independent TFN of even a century ago who might live largely immersed in their own cultures from morning to night with contact with other cultures largely limited to trading or warfare. The effect of colonization on transmission of culture is tragically clear with less than 10 percent of TFN children now being fluent in their respective peoples' languages.[ December 13, 1999,United Daily News].

TFN as colonized peoples do not directly define themselves for the outside world most of the time. This is done mostly by a set of institutions, agents, and agencies. Renderings created through these institutions and interactions between them generally are based on the utility of these renderings toward institutional goals 

Image: Most renderings of TFN are created through the interaction of these institutions. The resulting renderings are both fed back into the institutional realm and back onto the TFN. Public perceptions are affected by the renderings which feedback into the Institutional realm and onto the TFN in personal contact. Also TFN person to person contact may affect the Public. TFN have only limited roles and influence within the Institutions so their abilities to affect resulting renderings is not very significant. [Note: I still haven't figured out the arrow function on my graphics program.]

1)  Academia - Scientists and other state sanctioned "experts" such as anthropologists, sociologists, historians etc.  This includes a limited number of dissenting academics also. Academia often has close financial and ideological connections with the government and business. In Taiwan the top national research institute is the Academia Sinica. Their Mutsu Hsu’s 1992 "A community study of mental disorders among four aboriginal groups in Taiwan" [Psychological Medicine, 1992, 22, 255-263] was funded for four years by Taiwan Government’s National Science Council. Hsu is also quoted sometimes in the Government Information Office’s (GIO) Sinorama Magazine. 

2) Government institutions- Military and Civilian bureaucracies that control and administer colonized peoples. This includes government funded Aboriginal organizations such as  Taiwan’s rather passive Council of Aboriginal Affairs which often serves as a social committee for backdoor ROC diplomatic relations and the somewhat more independently minded Assembly of First Nations, in  Canada. Government to government international relations can also be included here. These include Aboriginal cultural exchange agreements between Taiwan and Canada and Taiwan and Australia . This is part of the Taiwan government's policies of "cultural diplomacy" which seek to get arround lack of official diplomatic relations through all available means.[Foreign Minister Hsu, Current State of ROC Diplomacy , March 31, 1999] [http://www.taipei.org/info/98html/c-diplom.htm]

As of September 2000 the ROC government has some 59 GIO offices in 48 countries. According to their web page: "The GIO disseminates information internationally about the goals and accomplishments of the Republic of  China , emphasizing the ROC's progress toward democracy, economic liberalization, and social openness." To achieve this " The GIO maintains and furthers friendly relations with the international mass media, providing a variety of materials as needed, to facilitate rapid and full understanding of ROC government policies and achievements by the international community." [ http://www.gio.gov.tw/taiwan-website/1-about_us/4-gol/4-1.htm ]

Of particular relevance to Taiwan Aboriginal cultures is that:
  "The GIO promotes Chinese culture through publications, audio-visual materials, and the Internet, providing complete and systematic information about the Republic of 
China 's efforts to develop and preserve it. The GIO also sponsors renowned art groups to perform in foreign countries, with GIO offices abroad responsible for the publicity work." This includes sponsoring Taiwan Aboriginal song and dance performance groups.

The description accompanying this collection of stamps issued by the Republic of China's Postal Service is a good summary of some of the  popular stereotypes for each of the 9 officially recognized tribes:
"Mysterious legends, beautiful songs and dances, and unique
    rites are part of the dignified and sacred traditional
    festivals of 
Taiwan 's aboriginal peoples. Apart from passing
    down tribal cultural legacies and providing a sense of tribal
    community, these festivals also encourage the young people of
    the tribes, helping to bolster their confidence and giving
    them new understanding about their own culture. The themes of
    the stamps are described below
    (I) Atayal--Ancestor Festival:
    After the millet harvest in the summer, the Atayal people
    gather to dance and sing with bamboo sticks in their hands in
    order to worship their  ancestors and to pray for a good
    weather and a bountiful millet harvest.
    (II) Saisiat--Festival of the Dwarfs:
    This festival commemorates the legendary dwarfs who taught
    the Saisiat how to farm. It acknowledges Saisiat gratitude
    to these dwarfs, as well as  the resentment the dwarfs must
    feel toward the Saisiat. (According to legend, after learning
    the dwarfs' farming skills, the Saisiat pushed the dwarfs off
    a bridge, fearing that the little men desired their women.)
    The ceremony  starts at night with songs and dances and ends
    the next morning. This stamp shows an array of "hip bells"
    used by dancers in the ceremony.
    (III) Bunun--Eight-part contrapuntal vocals:
    After the sowing ceremony, the Bunun people sing a "millet
    harvest song," using eight-part contrapuntal vocals, a unique
    feature of Bunun music  that is famous the world over.
    (IV) Tsou--Victory Festival:
    During the rule of emperor Kangxi in the Ching Dynasty, the
    Tsou people were given court robes and silver plates for
    their assistance in suppressing a revolt. The festival is
    held once every two years, either in February or August. An
    occasion to worship the god of heaven and the war god, it
    serves to instill tribal solidarity.
    (V) Rukai-Harvest Festival:
    Bakig millet biscuits is an important part of the festival.
    The Rukai people predict the weather and the amount of
    rainfall based on the relative moistness or dryness of the
    baked biscuits. It is held in August every year to welcome
    the beginning of the next year's agricultural cycle.
    (VI) Paiwan--Maleveq (five-year rite):
    This "Bamboo Festival" is held once every five years. In it
    they observe a unique custom of using bamboo rods to stab at
    rattan balls in the hope of attaining good fortune. The long
    bamboo poles represent the prayers of the people wishing for
    safe farming and hunting and good weather. This ceremony also
    serves to assuage the spirits of the members of the tribe who
    have drowned.
    (VII) Puyunia--Harvest Ceremony:
    Millet is the Puyuma's main crop. The tribal shaman conducts
    the ceremony as they put the harvested millet into
    (VIII) Ami--Harvest Ceremony
    It is held every year in July or August. Apart from its
    agricultural meaning, it is also the most important social
    event of a year, and it is  full of the cheerful songs and
    graceful dances that are characteristic of the Ami.
    (IX) Yami--Boat Ceremony:
    The Yami people traditionally made their living from the sea,
    and a fishing boat is considered a man's most important
    possession. This ceremony celebrates the first launching of a
    newly carved boat. These are always important events for all
Orchid Island ." [From http://www.post.gov.tw/esp400.htm "}
 Such stereotypes conform very strongly to and tend to reinforce perceptions held by the Chinese majority. This is something symptomatic of the marginalisation of TFN in affecting majority perceptions. Such depictions of Aboriginal peoples stand once again in sharp contrast to the TFN social realities of poverty, unemployment, land and cultural loss etc. 

2)  Business - Documentaries, advertising, movies, books, tourism, music, public relations etc. produce diverse representations of Indigenous peoples. The Taiwan-Canada Aboriginal Cultural Festival was sponsored in part by Bombardier, Nortel, and Canadian Airlines International. They are involved transportation, telecommunications, and tourism industries respectively. All of these have close relationships with the Canadian Trade Office in  Taiwan Canada 's defacto embassy in Taiwan.[2] 

3)  Churches- Colonized peoples are a focus of medical, education, and conversion efforts. Once a destroyer of TFN cultures, the Presbyterian Church have become important organization for advancing TFN rights. However the Presbyterian Church ironically has assisted in the collection of TFN blood samples for genetic  study. [More later]
4)  Non-Governmental Organisations- Including independent Aboriginal rights organizations, environmental organizations, corporate fronts, Anti-aboriginal rights groups such as Pingquanhui , which is similar to the American Wise Use movements etc. 

Interaction between these different spheres is an important source of renderings of TFN. While many Taiwanese have had some direct contact with TFN I know from my own experiences of literally be told by hundreds of different Chinese Taiwanese that TFN were "good singers and dancers", they sell their daughters into prostitution, or that they liked to drink.[See Sinorama, Hsu etc.] The prevalence of these stereotypes is massive and perpetuated by the mass media, government, and tourism. The overwhelming sources of TFN renderings are created through these institutional agencies. These renderings also feedback onto Aboriginal peoples as Hsu notes that the Wufeng myth taught in government schools until the 1980s caused psychological damage to TFN children. Wufeng was a deified Chinese who according to the story caused the TFN to stop headhunting by sacrificing his life. Such portrayals of TFN as "savage" or backward thus negatively affect TFN themselves.  Furthermore previous renderings affect later ones feeding back into the system of renderings production. An example of this are the still frequent singing and dancing stereotypes perpetuated by the expansion of the tourism industry through places such as  Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village and internationally by government subsidized  Formosa Aboriginal Song & Dance Troupe. 

Chomsky and Herman's Propaganda model is based on the premises; "The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behaviour that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interests, to fulfil this role requires systematic propaganda ."
In this model they describe a system of 5 information filters [Chomsky, Herman, pg. 2, 1988]
Here these are adapted to provide a general description framed with regards to TFN.
"1) the size, concentrated ownership, owner wealth and profit orientation of dominant mass media;" A sampling of Taiwan
s mass media reveals these patterns. CTV, TTV, and CTS television channels are controlled by government agencies, TVBS is controlled by TVB of Hong Kong, MSNBC is owned by General Electric, CNN by Time-Warner etc. Even the Public Television Service with its government support receives corporate funding from the likes of China Motor Company, a local Mitsubishi affiliate. So it is probably safe to say that the Taiwan Aborigine News Magazine has not done any critical stories on Mitsubishi conflicts with Aboriginal peoples in various parts of the World. None of the major domestic or international TV or newspaper outlets are controlled by Aborigines.  The costs of setting up a major outlet run into the millions even billions of dollars so FN simply don’t have these sorts of resources. This effectively limits their abilities to independently project their own renderings to small low circulation periodicals or webpages. In economic terms it is a market entry barrier which denies TFN the ability to express their opinions independently thus requiring them to go through existing channels.
2)   "Advertising as the primary revenue source of the mass media." Advertising acts in effect as a subsidy. This greatly limits the range of opinions to those that won’t upset the business community. Simply put "don’t bite the hand that feeds you". So don’t do anything that will make the station appear to be "anti-business". So an extensive report on illegal land occupation by the well connected powerful likes of Asia Cement and others will cause trouble and generally speaking, trouble isn’t good for business. Internationally government subsidies for backdoor diplomatic cultural exchanges abroad are another example. These limit overseas renderings to what serves the interests of the ROC government. For example the Formosa Song & Dance Troupe is able to use the resources of the overseas Taiwanese trade offices and receives subsidies from the government etc.  For example in 1992 the National Endowment for culture and Arts allocated NT$2.81 million (about Cda$140,000 at the time) for the this group [Sinorama, Vol. I, pg. 141]According to Mark McDowell, a Canadian Trade Office in 
Taipei official I interviewed he said it was hard to dispute the idea that the ROC government used TFN as a backdoor diplomatic tool. (This was his personal opinion) For example the  USA 's Public Broadcasting Service carried this: 

"Aboriginal sunrise ceremony
Hour 14, 
7:33am your time

In  Taiwan , the sun rises first on Taimali; in fact, during the Japanese colonial period the village was simply called "Ashahi," or "sunrise." Here the  Formosa Aboriginal Song and Dance Troupe performs a traditional new year dance as the sun rises on January 1, 2000. The words they sing mean, "What a wonderful day! Let us sing and dance for the first of the
New Year!" Members of the Ami, Beinan, and Zhou tribes participate."

As well TFN cultures make useful advertising ingredients for government and business advertising. These range from dancing TFN for the Mitsubishi Freeca Sports Utility Vehicle, an energy drink ad featuring an actor in a Rukai Aboriginal costume[carried on the China Television System in  Dec, 2000], or a tattooed elderly Atayal woman on a large credit card ad in the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit system. [seen by writer November 2000] 

The small number of 1.7% of the population and income of half those of Chinese on average gives the TFN little market clout as a target group. With limited disposable incomes give them few votes in the dollar denominated ways of the mass media and  Taiwan's larger political economy. Such market constraints thus will deter allocation of resources since capital is generally pursues maximum returns, investing in hardhitting TFN programs is bad business in the sense of profit returns. A bit of math shows that if TFN constitute 1.7% of the population and receive less than half the average per capita  income 1.7 x 0.5 = 0.85 percent. 0.85 percent of the national income ensures their marginalisation by market forces. Thus market forces tend to support TFN renderings that appeal to the larger Chinese audience and generally respect the hierarchies of power economy. This lack of income also limits their influence in  Taiwan's capital intensive electoral processes so they are not able to affect campaign agendas through making substantial campaign contributions. This inability to affect the levers of powers has contributed to their continued marginalisation.

3)  "the reliance on information provided by government, business, and "experts" funded and approved by these primary sources and agents of power;"  Gathering raw information used to create news is a production cost. Therefore sources that provide a reliable stream of information are favoured. This is part due to the costs involved in doing detailed investigative reporting as well as potential legal costs and difficulties in the form of libel suits etc. This has resulted in a situation in which PR managed events and news releases now account for a significant proportion of all news reports in the USA . [Stauber,1999 . ] So Government and corporate sources provide acceptable and cheap information.

For  Taiwan’s First Nations, the Government’s Council of Aboriginal Affairs(CAA) is a good example, it is able to provide "acceptable" opinions for the media. A visit by Canadian First Nations delegation in January 2000 received extensive coverage and provided some good photo ops. The CAA has the resources and connections to the mass media that allow it to affect much of the limited coverage given to Aborigines. This crowds out dissenting voices further limiting their access to the media.  "As James Richardson puts it, both Taiwanese and Canadian Aborigines are "becoming a part of a rich diverse economy, rather than a drain on the economy."" read a January 27, 2000 Taipei Times article on a Canadian and ROC government sponsored visit by a Canadian Aboriginal business delegation. Aboriginal rights issues serve as mere background materials in this story with a government message of Aboriginal people must be helped to succeed within "the system" by being entrepreneurs etc. and not be a "drain" reads this message. It is perhaps telling that though this delegation included Elijah Harper,  his crucial role in blocking the Meech Lake Constitutional accords in 1990 on the grounds that it failed to recognize Aboriginal peoples was unmentioned in this article. 

Academia is another "credible" source so Ma Tsu Hsu of the government’s Academia Sinica can claim that Aboriginal drinking is a product of TFN being unable to adjust to a rapidly changing world or the GIO carried a story about a researcher’s claims that TFN alcoholism is genetic in origins thus both imply that alcoholism is the TFN’s own fault in some respects not a product of colonization. One TFN writer described this as treating the symptoms as the causes which allows the issues of colonization to be conveniently ignored and Aborigines blamed[Matan, 1999]. As another puts it "the popular perception of Indigenous peoples is invariably in one form or another of social pathology in need of social relief at best, or to be condemned to their own miserable destiny resulting from genetic defects at worst".[Cheng, 1999] 

4) "flak(elite criticism) as a means of disciplining the media;" Aboriginal rights issues are often considered as contrary to  Taiwan’s development.  This is perhaps due to the Western oriented globalization beliefs that dominate political agendas and the beliefs that tend to dominate international political and economic mass media discourse. These are common among much of  Taiwan’s political leaders including the KMT, DDP. An example is a  January 10, 2000 Taipei Times editorial argued against mandatory teaching of mother tongues since it might adversely affect Taiwan 's development. "Placing too much emphasis
on "nativeness" will hinder 
Taiwan 's efforts to increase its
internationalization... Free market principles should guide the provision of the classes, bringing the greatest benefit to both students and
educators, while also promoting the preservation of the languages
of all ethnic groups." This even though the KMT's forced assimilation policies and expropriation of lands constituted genocide according to the definitions developed by Raphael Lemkin in 1944
                    "Generally speaking,
                    genocide does not necessarily mean
                    the immediate destruction of a nation,
                    except when accomplished by mass
                    killings of all members of a nation. It
                    is intended rather to signify a
                    coordinated plan of different actions
                    aiming at the destruction of essential
                    foundations of the life of national
                    groups, with the aim of annihilating
                    the groups themselves. The
                    objectives of such a plan would be
                    disintegration of the political and
                    social institutions, of culture,
                    language, national feelings, religion,
                    and the economic existence of
                    national groups, and the destruction
                    of the personal security, liberty,
                    health, dignity, and even the lives of
                    the individuals belonging to such
                    groups. Genocide is directed against
                    the national group as an entity, and
                    the actions involved are directed
                    against individuals, not in their
                    individual capacity, but as members
                    of the national group." [ Lemkin, 1944]
[Ward Churchill cited Lemkin testimony  in the Friends of the Lubicon vs. Daishowa court 
September 29, 1997 I followed this example in a Letter to the Editor, Jan. 10, 2001 .] 

A good example of flak in  Canada is the escalating criticism of treaty processes by the corporate media according to the Assembly of First Nations. For example in 1998 David Blacks 60 newspapers in British Columbia were told to censor all positive editorials related to the Nisga'a Treaty processes. [From Assembly of First Nations newsrelease Sept 21, 1998]
Aboriginal demands or actions which cause extensive trouble are termed extremist or even "terrorist" as occurred in RCMP propaganda during the 1995 Gustafsen Lake standoff in BC Canada. Historically 
Taiwan’s FN military resistance was described often in terms of  "headhunting", they were termed "savages" etc. Similarly today Aboriginal activists pushing for substantive changes are termed as having "extreme attitudes" [Sinorama Vol II, pg. 13] 

5)"anticommunism as a national religion and control mechanism." The "communist" threat, the PRC, is never far away, 160 to 220 km from the  island of  Taiwan and only 6 km from the island of Kinmen . The GIO justified  "strict controls on entry and exit and tighter scrutiny of all mountain and coastal defences were undertaken. The purpose of these was to block Chinese communist attempts at infiltration and subversion ". [Yeong-Kuang, pg. 7, 1998] In more recent years this has been modified by the ideological corollary of pro-capitalism which is represented in the "Taiwan Miracle" myths. 

Some Predictions
Predictions of this model based on Chomsky and Herman
s [Manufacturing Consent, pg. 34-35] are:
a)  "
anticipate definition of worth based on utility" The various agencies will make renderings based on the utility of these towards institutional goals.
b)   "
worthy versus unworthy victims ". This means that certain victims will receive extensive and sympathetic treatment such as A-Mei when she was banned in the PRC for singing the ROC national anthem at Chen Shui-bian inauguration while the Taroko struggle against  Taiwan corporate giant FEG is marginalized.
c) "Anticipate the uncritical acceptance of certain premises in dealing with self and friends" In the case of TFN:
 i) we are helping Aborigines bringing by them to civilization in it
s various forms. This "assistance" takes many forms such as education, medical care, welfare, cultural preservation etc. General emphasis on resource transfers from state and/or corps to TFN but a suppression or misrepresentation of the far more massive transfer of resources from TFN to state and capital.
ii)  The unquestioned assumption of the legitimacy of government and capital to the exploit the resources of First Nations under the myths of national sovereignty and economic development.
iii)  Aboriginals as "Other" which tends to emphasize differences with the majority cultures dehumanizing them.
 d)"Different criteria for evaluation
What is villainy for enemy states would be presented as incidental background fact in the case of oneself and friends". Aboriginal resistance is framed as  "uncivilized" historically while Western colonial aggression is unquestioned. Occasional "regret" for  past injustices is expressed in symbolic theatrics  as found in "apologies" by nation state leaders which are supposed to be signs of reform in which the state says "I'm sorry I was bad...", and co-opted compliant Canadian Aboriginal  proxies say "it's OK let's be friends" they shake hands. Meanwhile conditions of poverty and economic and political marginalisation continue colonial conditions continue for most Aboriginal people. Canadian Prime Minister Jean Cretian and his "Team  Canada " delegation raise human rights issues in  China while Canadian government security forces ram Mik Maq First Nation boats.
 e) "What is out of bounds in one is acceptable in others ." The framing of discourse varies according to the friend or foe dichotomy.
f) Quality of coverage differs with worthy victims humanized  while unworthy victims are dehumanized

In considering renderings of social change and  Taiwan's Aboriginal peoples the role of modern institutional networks as important agents acting out and reifying underlying mythologies is of fundamental importance in understanding  Taiwan's colonial history. These predictions are born out in example after example. 

Taiwans Internal Colonies
"Although they face no official discrimination, Aborigines have had
  little impact, over the years, on major decisions affecting their
  lands, culture, traditions, and the allocation of their natural
  resources." [ 1999 US State Dept. Human Rights Report for Taiwan]
Very different renderings emerge in TFN constructions of Taiwan
s recent history. It's  colonial character is one that sharply brings into question the holy qualities implied in words "Miracle" and "Dragon" of recent Western economic myth. For the Aboriginal peoples of  Taiwan continued internal colonial status is reflected in the existence of these following general conditions: [Frideres, pg. 3, 1998]
1)  The armed incursion of the colonizing group into a geographical area.
The Ching maintained a containment strategy with regard to the still independent TFN. Prior to 1895 TFN still controlled over half of the
Island ( well over 17000 sq. km) and before 1624 they controlled all of it (36000 sq. km). Today only 200 sq. km of government controlled lands is set aside for them. Their territorial losses have been massive.
2) The destructive effect on the social and cultural structure of the indigenous group. The traditional social structures were largely dismissed and/or ignored as colonization proceeded. TFN
s needs have been considered secondary to Taiwan s "national interests" and "economic necessity" these lands have been transformed into an economic and political periphery for the core areas. Their societies have been forcibly moulded to provide resources and labour for the core areas through colonial processes. Colonization and forced assimilation policies have severely damaged Aboriginal languages. An Ethnologue study lists some 24 Aboriginal languages and dialects 8 are extinct, 7 nearly extinct, and 9 that are still being used in daily life. One should note however remaining 9  several are not spoken well by the younger generations.
3) The interrelated processes of external political and Aboriginal economic dependence. All resources in the development that followed conquest were largely exploited for the benefit of Taiwan
s industrialization. Dams provide water for urban areas, agriculture, industries and hydroelectricity production. Tourism, cement, and mining are largely in the hands of outsiders. Aboriginal income is less than half the national average [ 1994 US State Dept HR report ]
4) The quality of social services such as education and health care are typically substandard particularly in Aboriginal majority areas where TFN make up the majority. One doctor per 2000 to 3000 residents in comparison to one per 800 in urban areas. [)  China News newspaper, 
July 13, 1998] Life expectancies continue to be more than 10 years to 12 years below the national average. [ Taipei Times, Jan 20, 2001 ]
5) Racism and the existence of a colour line. Racism against aborigines is still pervasive. Intermarriage is still frowned on though less than before. A recent survey found that "Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they would agree to a daughter marrying a Hoklo, while 80 percent and 70 percent would
 permit their daughters to marry mainlanders or Hakkas, respectively...However...only 45 percent of respondents saying they would be willing to marry off their daughter to an indigenous person.[ United Daily News, December 18, 2000 ], As well they are stigmatized as "backward", lazy, alcoholics, less intelligent, etc. [Cheng, 1999]. 

The existence of these patterns in  Taiwan and elsewhere is increasingly a major challenge for historical capitalisms ideological systems. Internal colonial status is not acknowledgeable in elite discourse so TFN are instead fit into the construct of the sovereign state in which industrialization has caused "inevitable" imbalances which favour "urban" over "rural" areas, described by Academia Sinicas Hsu Matsu as "asymmetrical development" [Hsu, pg. 92, 1991]. This masks the core/periphery relationship which has involved the massive transfer of resources from the TFN to the core areas. 

The government and elites have shown an increasing willingness to engage in dialogue in recent years but only as long as this doesnt challenge "the fundamental structure of the asymmetric Han-Indigenous relations." [Cheng] This was reflected in the Sinorama Vol. II in which Chen Chi-nan of the Council of Cultural Planning and Development complained that a government sponsored "Conference on Aboriginal Culture" which "was meant to open a channel of communication " by its organizers. However involved Aborigines tried to "focus on substantive issues" as well as include tribal elders and use of Aboriginal languages. This in Chen views  "scared off" some scholars and concerned people because Aborigines "adopted an extreme attitude, there was little actual communication".. [Sinorama Vol. II. Pg. 13] Thus there can be discussion but only within boundaries that do not threaten the seriously skewed status quo. 

Historical forces
It is necessary to consider Taiwan
s history at global, regional and local levels to begin to understand its Aboriginal peoples changing positions. Before colonization  Taiwan was home of many different Aboriginal peoples speaking a large number of mutually unintelligible languages and practising a mixed hunting, gathering, and agricultural economy. The Dutch began the colonization process in 1624 in the southwest near present day near  Tainan . The Dutch had been "ceded"  Taiwan by China in a ruse to redirect Dutch pressures for a  Macau type trade enclave elsewhere.  The Spanish came in 1626 to the northern tip not far from present day  Taipei. This period also marked the beginning of large scale Chinese immigration. The affected TFN gradually assimilated or migrated to still independent areas. The Dutch were kicked out by Ming Dynasty Loyalist Koxinga in 1661 who used the colonized areas for staging military operations on the Mainland. This regime ended in 1683 as Ming Dynasty resistance crumbled and the new Ching Dynasty consolidated it s control over the Chinese Empire. The Ching subsequently expanded bringing  Sinjiang Yunnan Tibet Mongolia under it s suzerainty to encompass what are now largely the PRCs modern boundaries.

Political Events 
Military Events
1858 Four harbours in  Taiwan opened to 

Westerners by Treaty of Tienjin

1860 Prussian attacks on  TFN 

1867 US Rover 's shipwrecked crew was murdered by TFN. 

1860s invention of celluloid the first plastic
1868  Ching Camphor monopoly ends following intervention by British troops. British takeover  Taiwan's Customs 
1874-75 Japanese military expeditions  against Paiwan First Nations. Ching signs treaty with  Japan to end these. 
1887  Taiwan is made a province of China
1870 to 1895    Intensification of 

Ching government       military operations against TFN in support of camphor trade.

1889 Smokeless gunpowder invented demand and prices rise several fold in following years
1884-5  Sino-Franco War. French forces attack  Keelung but are repulsed.
1894 Sino-Japanese War
1895 Japanese gain sovereignty over Taiwan
1897 Guardline Strategy begins. Japanese military expeditions intensify military pressure
1914 most areas of  Taiwan are at least under  some form of at least nominal Japanese control
1930 Wushe Uprising by Sediq First Nation suppressed

In the late 1700s Western industrialization finally surpassed Chinese technologies as well the Ching Dynasty became increasingly unstable due to periodic rebellions. These uprisings frequently developed into major wars involving literally millions of people such as the Nien Rebellions of the 1850s and 60s in which large areas of  Central China were beyond central government control. The 1839 -42 Opium War was a trade war in which the British used their military superiority to force open Chinese markets to  British India grown opium. This eventually transformed Chinas pre-Opium War trade surplus with the British into a massive hemorage as silver flooded into Western coffers just as the British intended.  More uneven treaties followed including the 1858 Treaty of Tianjin which opened up four of Taiwans ports to Western trade.  Eastern Taiwan thus became caught up in the increasingly intertwined histories of the West and Chinese Empire. As a strategically placed "unclaimed" region its control became increasingly contested by several imperial powers. 

The period of 1850 to 1930s therefore represented the systematic incorporation of Taiwan into the capitalist periphery by European then Japanese "merchant-warriors" as Chomsky aptly terms them. The 1858 Treaty of Tientsin ended the Second Opium War and opened four of  Taiwan ports to Western trade. Writing in 1903 Davidson describes how with "the invention of the steamship, distant lands were brought in closer touch, and the Orient with its riches attracted large numbers. In 1842, Hong Kong was taken by the British; in 1854, Commodore Perry forced Japan to unlock her treasures; and in 1859, France obtained entrance to Cochin China." (French  Indochina) [Davidson, 1903, pg. 171] So Taiwans opening was part of the general colonial trend of dismembering the Chinese Empire and usurping its spheres of influence.

1874-75  Japan Attack the Paiwan
There had been a number of Western military incursions against the 
Eastern TFN. Taiwans Eastern coast had gained the reputation of being the among the most feared in  East Asia since shipwrecked sailors would generally killed by local Aboriginal peoples. In 1860 a Prussian gunboat bombarded TFN. In 1867, following the  murder of the crew of the shipwrecked American ship the "Rover" American counsel at Amoy General Le Gendre launched a military expedition to Eastern Taiwan. No fighting occurred and he eventually signed a treaty with local Paiwan leaders assuring safe passage for shipwrecked sailors. 

A Japanese painting depicting their victory in a skirmish against Paiwan First Nations in 1874. [From Davidson, 1903] It is oversized for you to examine the rendering more closely. 

Japans rapid industrialization, known as the Meiji Restoration, was in part a result of the acknowledgement of the Wests military and industrial superiority forced upon  Japan by the visits of Commodore Perry and subsequent uneven treaties with the Great Powers in the years that followed. After consolidating control over the  Japanese Islands the new nation state began to formally claim available overseas territories such as Okinawa and the  Ryukyu Islands. The Japanese military expeditions of 1874-75 were the  first overseas military actions by the Japanese nation state in series that what would ultimately culminate in WWII. 

This was a means of assessing Chinas military strength, showing its sovereignty over the  Ryukyu Islands, and testing Western reaction to further military actions. The Paiwans murder of 54 sailors from the newly annexed  Ryukyu Islands in 1871 served as a pretext for this. The expeditions resulted a treaty in which the Ching Dynasty for the first time acknowledged responsibility for Eastern Taiwan which previously it had realistically described as  beyond its control. This is significant since it implies recognition of TFN independence in a way. 

Some late 1800s early 1900s Western Renderings of  Taiwan
(This paper draws mainly on the selected works of several Western writers. I have chosen these since these books are still used as references on 
Taiwan and are still in print). George Alfred Mackay was a Canadian missionary who is today considered the key founder of the Presbyterian faith in  Taiwan. For example in 1997 there several conferences to mark the 125th anniversary of Mackays arrival in  Taiwan.  These included " George Leslie Mackay and his Legacy in Taiwan and Canada " and held at the  University of  Toronto with participation by Taiwanese, American,  and Canadian theologians and academics. " Mackay founded hospitals and schools, married a Taiwanese woman, and became one of the earliest voices for human rights and democracy in Taiwan." claims a York University article. I have read MacKay's account "From Far Formosa" and found very conspicuous his complete omission of any mention of  Western opium imports at Tamshui where Mackay was based for example. On the contrary MacKay goes on at length that "...most cordial relations have ever existed between the workers in the mission and the resident or transient foreign community." [MacKay, pg. 319, 1896] In 1876 for example some 1831 piculs (247,513 pounds) of  opium were imported at Tamshui [Huang, Lin, Ang, pg. 246, 1997] while some 8,794 piculs (1,169,602 pounds) of camphor were exported from there. [ibid., pg. 247] Alvyn Austin said that Mackay writings were not full of criticism of the English and their opium trade in fact Mackay hardly mentions it  which Austin interprets as it not being a problem in  Taiwan. However a for example 1583 piculs (210,406 pounds) of opium were imported at Tamshui in 1882 accounting for 62% of the value of all net foreign imports. [Lin, Huang, Ang, vol. 2, pg. 588-9, 1997]. The British Maritimes customs official Henry J. Fisher wrote in the 1882 Tamshui Trade Report that: "An excellent authority says 45 percent, men and 3 percent, women-- in the towns 70 percent, men--smoke opium. The best informed Chinese say one-third adult men smoke. This is probably correct..." [Ibid., pg. 582] 

Michael Stainton is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and is a writer on  Taiwan's Aboriginal peoples having supplied two chapters on Aboriginal Rights for the recent book "Taiwan : A New History".  The  York University article continues  "Mackay is unique among all the missionaries of his era, and this conference
[served] as a forum for examining his legacy," says conference organizer
Michael Stainton, a research associate at JCAPS and a 
York PhD student in anthropology. "There is still so much affection and honour attached to Mackay's name in Taiwan that he remains an important resource for Canada in terms of our relations with Taiwan. Every discussion of Canadian-Taiwanese relations seems to start with Mackay, so he is very significant from an international relations point of view."

Proof of that came via the fax machine. "I would like to express our heartfelt appreciation and respect for Dr. Mackay's unparalleled contribution to the well-being of our people and to the early relations between  Taiwan and  Canada in the late 1800s," President Lee Teng-hui of the Republic of  China ( Taiwan ) wrote to Stainton. "His work in  Taiwan has lived on with the continuation and expansion of the hospital, schools and many of the churches he established. " Lee Teng-hui is also a Presbyterian. 

Modern portrayals of Mackay tend to emphasize his "medical evangelism" [Mackay hospital web page] and efforts at introducing Western education while ignoring his virulent contempt for Chinese and Aboriginal cultures. He for example tells "more than once I dried my clothes before fires made of idolatorous paper, idols, and ancestral tablets. Three men were employed to carry other paraphernalia of idol-worship to the museum in Tamsui." [Mackay, pg. 219, 1896] This year (2001) is the hundredth anniversary of Mackay's death and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei (CTOT) in conjection with the  Taiwan government and Presbyterian Church is sponsoring a series of lectures and events to commemorate this. This includes an exhibit of TFN artefacts that escaped Mackay's messianic incendiary compulsions in what a CTOT flyer said is  "hailed as one of the most significant extant pre-Japanese aboriginal collections"  at the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines beginning on June 2, 2001. I attended one these lectures on Febuary 21, 2001 at Academia Sinica and afterward asked a question, citing the above burning and collecting quote from Mackay's book, about whether such events from Mackay's life were being repressed in order to serve the agendas of the involved sponsoring institutions. Alvyn Austin of  York University said it wasn't repression but  rather a matter mythologizing processes emphasising "X and Y" not considering the whole "alphabet " of Mackay's life.  Austin admitted that " more had been burned than saved" but said nonetheless what was saved was very important. He even tried to defend it as a sort of catharsis that watching ancestoral relics go up in flames was both an end and a new beginning. Afterwards  we "retired" to a lounge for coffee. The lounge featured a large painting of a Tao couple roasting a fish over a fire in front of one of their distinctive canoes.  Austin further tried to rationalise the ancestoral relics burning saying that Chinese often burned idols that were ineffective saying this occurred following the September 21, 1999 earthquake. [A letter to Editor I wrote was published in the February 26, 2001 of the Taipei Times

"Pioneering in  Formosa " was written by Pickering, a Scottish trader dealing in camphor, and opium.  He was an imperialist who made repeated calls for  England to annex  Taiwan from the sickly "Celestial Empire ". James Davidsons "the  Island of  Formosa : Past and Present" is still a key reference text. He was the American governments consel in  Taiwan during the early Japanese colonial period. Takekoshi was a Japanese parlimentarian who idolised Western imperialism makes very favourable assessments of the likes of Rhodess colonization of Rhodesia etc. Rutter was a former British colonial official while McGovern was a English teacher in  Japan and Taiwan

Loathing for the " Celestial Empire" is common throughout these works of European colonial period works. There is the frequent charge of Chinese eating executed TFN captives made by MacKay [Mackay, pg. 276, 1896] , Davidson, and Pickering[pg. 68, 1898, he doesn't mention TFN but says a "notorious rebel or hardened malefactor" would be eaten after execution]. This charge is used again by Takekoshi [pg. 228, 1907] and reiterated by in the 1920s by Rutter [pg. 224-5, 1923] quoting Davidson, and McGovern [McGovern, pg. 10, 1922] mentions a Japanese official telling her the same thing. Davidson comments "Impossible as it may seem that such a race with such high pretensions to civilization and religion should be guilty of such barbarity, yet such is the truth." [Davidson, pg. 254] "The savages, bad as they may be, are not cannibals"[Ibid.,pg. 255] The implication was clear the Chinese are even worse than the TFN. "Their [Chinese] treatment of these children of the forest [TFN] was always cruel in the extreme" .[Ibid.,pg. 255] Colonialism was justified since both the Chinese and TFN were uncivilized. There is a conspicuous  absence of these cannibalism accounts in modern renderings of  Taiwan to my knowledge. However head-hunting is still discussed. 

Camphor had been exported from 
Taiwan since the 1600s. This was predominantly for Chinese and Japanese consumption. Ching Governments unsuccessfully tried to regulate camphor extraction since camphor related incursion was a regular source of conflict between Chinese colonists and TFN. Ching government followed containment policies was in large measure to reduce government military costs on this remote and frequently troublesome frontier region. This even took the form of death penalties for unauthorized camphor extraction during some periods. 

The 1858 Treaty of Tienjin opened four of  Taiwan's ports to Western trade. In 1868 the so-called "Camphor War" saw British marines landed in Taiwan which ended the Ching government's camphor monopoly. The British took over Chinese customs in 1868 as a consequence of this also. However  Western traders found  themselves still reliant on local Chinese business networks to obtain the camphor from the TFN controlled lands. 

Chinese comprador roles in Camphor production involved the following stages:
1) The securing of areas containing camphor trees from TFN through gifts, bribery, fraud, hostage taking or military force.
2) The extraction of camphor which required reducing the tree into chips and then distilling these chips to extract a flakey residue at stills close to the extraction areas. These stills were frequently destroyed by in TFN attacks.
3) This flakey residue was then transported to Treaty ports for shipment by Western firms abroad. 

TFN continued resistance and its impact on business is frequently noted and deemed worthy of considerable attention. Indeed Davidsons book has some 25% of its 676 pages deal in some manner with TFN. Chapter 24 begins "The Camphor question is in reality the savage question inasmuch as the success or failure of the industry is dependent upon the position of the savages"[Davidson, pg. 398, 1903] Camphor trees grew in the mountainous areas that were still controlled by TFN. Atayal First Nation and other TFN resistance at its most successful allowed the export of only 399 pounds of camphor in 1886. [Huang, Lin, Kaim, pg. ,  1997], ] The Ching government made extensive military actions to suppress TFN resistance in support of the camphor trade during this period. Writing in 1887 Edm. Farago, Commissioner of Customs considered " The Camphor trade, which was thought to be doomed to a rapid extinction, is again showing signs of revival. Some degree of success having attended the military operations on the hills, densely wooded districts, hitherto dangerous to approach, have been rendered accessible ." [Huang, Lin, Kaim, Vol. 2, pg. 716,  1997] 

Western camphor use in medicine as well as industry with the invention of celluloid in 1860s and later smokeless gunpowder in the late 1880s saw demand and prices for it rise significantly so that Taiwan from exports of generally varying between one million to two million pounds annually between 1865 and 1881. However later during period of 1894 to 1898  annual exports varied between 4,800,000 pounds to 6,900,000 pounds. [Davidson, pg. 442, 1903] Chinese were consistently criticised for how they acquired the camphor through fraud, hostage taking, alcohol trading, and force [Ibid., pg. 417-8]. As well prices rose from $13-14 per picul (133 pounds) in 1886 to $42 per picul in 1898. [Ibid., pg. 442, 1903] Davidson notes that destruction of forests and lack of reforestation that accompanied camphor gathering was a important factor in the colonization process and that "Had it not been for the lucrative profits of the Camphor trade or the planting of new trees had been carried on from the first, the probability is that the Chinese would have shown no desire to risk their lives in the mountainsit may be some consolation to know that" the lack of  reforestation "will at least result in the conquest of the whole island." [ibid., pg. 415] Tea production frequently followed in the wake of camphor further accelerating deforestation [Huang,  Lin, Ang, Vol. 1, pg. 457 ] So the conquest of TFN was market driven and relied on the destruction of their environment. 

Camphor was a vital strategic material something noted in a 1942 US Navy WWII industrial assessment "Thanks to turpentine and a farseeing synthetic chemical industry, we can now get synthetically the camphor we need for smokeless powder, plastics and other requirements..  Unlike World War I, when  Japan was our ally, the supply of natural camphor (from  Formosa ) is now completely shut off, like that of natural rubber." [Knight, 1942] So in contrast to the "Taiwan Miracle" assertions  Taiwan was not an island lacking natural resources. On the contrary Takekoshi wrote " In my opinion, the golden key to the exhaustless wealth of the island will only be obtained by opening up the savage districts"  i.e. the lands of the still independent TFN. [Takekoshi, 1907, pg 212] 

Camphor receives a modern spin in Keating and Lins 2000 book which summarizes this period as "the economy of  Formosa became more and more global. Formosan tea and camphor were exported from Tamsui and Keelung" [Lin, Keating, pg. 27, 2000]. Later on pg. 52 regarding colonization "the Japanese worked at controlling the whole island this included areas that were previously the domain of the aborigines. Naturally this met with resistance. When the Japanese took over  Taiwan , 70 to 80% of the camphor production in the world came from  Taiwan . The source of camphor was almost always high in the mountains where the aborigines lived. If the Japanese colonial authority wished to control the source of the camphor, it was imperative that they secure the mountain regions " There description of Japanese colonization leaves out all mention of the extensive use of military force particularly the heavy fighting between 1895 and 1914 as well as the guardline strategies terming it only as "resistance". [Hsu, Rutter,  Formosa Government, etc.] . 

The treatment given TFN resistance varies considerably over time. Early colonial period authors such as Davidson, McKay, and Takekoshi and Rutter devote considerable time and attention to colonising TFN lands since it had important commercial implications and the very real future profits being made from it. Davidson is clear in his assessment that " the expense of protection is very high, and the manufacturers are much handicapped by it." [Davidson, pg. 430, 1903] TFN resistance was a business cost. Regarding TFN attacks on camphor workers. "That the headhunting propensities of certain of the Formosa savages is a very serious matter is obvious when we note that, during the year 1898, savages attacked the Camphor workers and others 303 times and that 635 persons were killed and wounded. During the single month of September, savages attacked on 45 different occasions, causing injury or death to 85 persons. In other words, this is one attack every 16 hours, and a life or injury to one person every 8 hours. This is death roll is evidence that the Japanese have not yet solved the savage question. " [Ibid.,pg. 428] Notice how TFN resistance was reframed as "headhunting ". Rutters 1923 book has a chapter "Where the Japanese have failed" in which he negatively contrasts Japanese colonial policies with the "successful" British colonization and pacification of  Borneo.

charting conquest table
Image: This accountant like chart chronicles the conquest of 
Taiwan's First Nations from a 1911 Japanese colonial government report entitled "Report on the Control of Aborigines in  Formosa". The guardline was the frontline in the nooselike advance against the Atayal, Bunun, Sediq, and Taroko tribes of Northern and Central mountains.

Image: this chart also from the 1911 report records casualties inflicted by TFN. Most of the casualties were "Formosans" who either Chinese or subjegated TFN. 

Goddards 1966 KMT friendly tract completely ignores the fighting in his treatment of the camphor trade. In a chapter titled " Liu Ming-Chuan the Master Builder " he writes regarding increasing international demand for camphor for production of "celluloid, smokeless explosives, and other compounds" in the 1880s  "Liu saw the opportunity to make Formosa the worlds largest supplier of camphor and before he left the island he was to see the camphor export trade reach its highest figure 6,916,000 lb. This was never exceeded in later history ." [Goddard, pg. 132, 1966] Interestingly Chen Shui-bians biography also treats Liu favourably terming him a great moderniser saying "He increased trade in rice sugar, tea and camphor" [Kagan, pg. 20, 1998] and  similarly TFN resistance to the camphor trade is ignored. 

Takekoshi proposed a corporation be created to colonise the TFN and that
"The law of natural selection will have full sway.  Those savages that who can be trained will be taught, and those who are not capable of being trained and instructed will pass away.  In this way areas evils will be eradicated, and many of the savages be brought into the light of civilisation. "[Takekoshi, 1907, pg. 233] The Japanese tried their best to impress the West with their colonisation of 
Taiwan. Japanese colonialism while generally viewed positively by Western commentators was nonetheless criticized for the "failures" of their TFN suppression policies. This is in sharp contrast to WWII and post-WWII Western renderings in which Japanese militarism is rendered as brutal and the Japanese are criticised for not properly acknowledging this in their history education, making apologies for war atrocities etc. Basically as long as the Japanese were not a major direct challenge to the Western dominance they were tolerated however when they challenged European domination they were completely defeated and subjugated. 

Headhunting and Resistance
Head-hunting has been used against the TFN for a long time. The Wufong myth was propagated by both the Japanese and KMT regimes. In this story a virtuous Ching Dynasty official sacrificed his own life to stop the headhunting activities of an Aboriginal people. The cultural reasons for headhunting are beyond the scope of this paper however I want to look at it
s extreme significance in  TFN resistance to colonization. It was a powerful psychological weapon against the Chinese colonists. This in part due to Chinese beliefs that if one died lacking body parts these would be missing in the next life. In modern military terms such psychological warfare advantages are termed "force multipliers " [ US Army Field Manual, FM-106] Mutilation of dead enemies has long been a regular feature of warfare. Nazi human skin lampshades, US soldiers took ears from dead Vietnamese,  President Andrew Jackson even had reins made of Native American  skin. The British government paid bounties for Micmac First Nation scalps in the 1750s and bounties were paid for killing Native Americans at various times by the US government during the "Winning of the West". In another modern comparison is the beheading a dead enemys corpse any more savage than the systematic murder, of a government penal system execution? Electric chair executions frequently cause the subjects body to smoke, while death requires often several minutes of sustained electric shock before a watching audience. Both might be similarly construed as "propaganda of the deed" meant as a deterrent to others. McGovern, Pickering, Davidson, and others all comment on the terror headhunting inspired in the Chinese population even as late as 1947 during the 2/28 Uprising "Rumours of the wildest sort were circulating in Taipei, relaying reports that "thousands of head-hunters" were coming down from the mountains and had already reached the suburbs of the capital city. This was nonsense, but it represented the survival or reactivation of traditional Chinese mainland views of  Formosa , the savage island." [Page 277, George H. Kerr, Formosa Betrayed, 1965]

The aborigines contested every advance into the hills, and the
Chinese newcomers, on their part, considered the savages to be
subhuman, or "non-people" who should be driven back into the
highest mountains if they could not be exterminated in the foothills .[Kerr, pg. 3, 1965] The Chinese population numbered some 3 million by the late 1800s while remaining independent Eastern TFN totalled perhaps 100,000.[Takekoshi, pg. 227, 1907] The independent TFN were  outnumbered 30 to one and therefore they had to maintain high kill to loss ratios to sustain their resistance. So what Mackay and Pickering term "cowardice" were actually good guerrilla tactics. The Canadian Presbyterian missionary George Mackay wrote " The savage is by nature a hunter
When the game is human, not animal, there is added zest in the chase and his vengeful hate suffers not his energies to flag" couching Aboriginal resistance in Primitive vs. civilization terms. Then Rev. Mackay writes "Everything is planned in beforehandthe movements of the fated victims are watched" so as to determine their schedules, routines and defensive strength to plan "where and when the raid could best be made [Mackay pg. 269, 1896] This is basically a description of a well planned guerrilla attack. 

Similarly Pickering [ Pickering, pg. 181-3, 1898]describes a skirmish in which a small party of TFN, (I assume to be Paiwan based on geography) engaged a well armed British unit of 180 men. Through analysing his description it is clear that the involved TFN  fired a volley when advantageous then disengaged allowing rough terrain and heat to wear down the British and then repeating this. The TFN party did this four times after which the British disengaged following the loss of a commanding officer and returned to their ship. Commenting on the officer's death Pickering lamented that he had survived the US Civil War, but "...this gallant officer should be killed by the chance bullet of a wretched savage in Formosa .[Pickering, pg. 183, 1898]  Kipling used similar terms:
"A scrimmage in a Border Station--
  A canter down some dark defile--
Two thousand pounds of education
  Drops to a ten-rupee jezail--
The Crammer's boast, the Squadron's pride,
Shot like a rabbit in a ride!" [from Kipling,Rudyard ARITHMETIC ON THE FRONTIER

Though TFN military resistance was predominantly small raids and ambushes, on several occasions between the 1870s and early 1900s they successfully defeated larger enemy units. These included the  killing 250 men out of 300 in Ching unit in 1875 [Huang, Lin, Ang, Vol. 1,  pg. 203, 1997], and  179 of 180 Ching soldiers in 1887. [Davidson, pg. 406, 1903] So the TFN were quite capable of engaging battles with larger units. 

Today the only TFN resistance regularly mentioned is the November 1930 Wushe Uprising by the Sediq First Nation. This began with the killing of 120 Japanese in the ambush of a sports day. It is significant in part since it is the last major military resistance on the part of TFN against the Japanese. The Uprising and repression lasted some 2 months and was finally crushed by the use of other TFN as auxiliaries and also included the use of cannon, aerial bombardment including use of airplanes to drop poison gas [Linn, Keating] Some 1000 Sediq were killed in punitive massacres which included the taking of rebel heads by TFN auxiliaries for a bounty paid by the Japanese. [ Taipei Times October 27, 2000

"Resistance exploded into violence on  October 27, 1930".  [Lin, Keating, pg. 53, 2000] Lin and Keatings rendering then gives a short description of the Wushe Uprising that makes it appear as the only major conflict of the conquest not the final battle in a 35 year conquest. Further they summarise that, "Overall the Japanese methods were successful; but the Musha (Wushe) affair cast doubts on the governments strategy ." The TFN UN report details just how "successful" the Japanese methods were "It was during this period that the traditional political, economic, cultural, and social systems of the Indigenous Peoples began to collapse. " [Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines, UN report, 1993] 

The varying treatment given to TFN resistance reflects the different views on the legitimacy of the conquest. The right of the conqueror is unquestioned though some doubts in the methods are allowed in mainstream renderings. It is only in the renderings of some TFN writers that the legitimacy of the conquest is challenged. 

Taiwan Miracle
Modern renderings frequently glorify the conquest framing it as part of Taiwan
s development, misleadingly known as the construct of "Taiwan Miracle". Myths are key to any ideological system. The selection and interpretation of past events is guided by their utility to current and future agendas. [Sztompka, Chapter 4, 1993]
Sun Moon Lake power plant stands out as one of the
greatest achievements of the Japanese period in 
Taiwan . In
terms of impact and scope, it can be considered the 
Authority (TVA) of the  Far East. Through this power
project, it was possible for the island to support aluminium,
chemical, and steel alloy plants." This passage from the Taiwan Government Yearbook illustrates the very real idolization of the West, particularly of the 
USA, common among Taiwans Westernized elites. Their rosy assessments of modernity contrast sharply with the fate of dispossessed Shao First Nation whose numbers and culture went into sharp decline after their lands were flooded by this project. Today the Shao number only 250 to 300 and their language and heritage are very threatened. However from reading GIO tourist pages one would never guess it.
"The beauty and peace of 
Sun Moon Lake 's emerald waters set amid jade mountains have made it  Taiwan 's most popular honeymoon resort."

Such images of Japanese colonization are rather common as Western and Taiwanese elites have sought to fuse the divergent and conflicting events of the varied Chinese and TFN pasts into a coherent narrative supportive for the present, commonly termed the "Taiwan Miracle". Hsu Matsu is a prominent Ethnologist at Academia Sinica who has a PhD in anthropology from the  University of  California at  Berkley. Hsu said Thomas Gold , a sociology professor at  Berkeley, described " succinctly Taiwans development " and the Japanese colonization when in Golds words "the Japanese removed bureaucratic, legal, and social impediments to the development of capitalism and demonstrated to the Taiwanese the potential of capitalist industrialization ." [Hsu, pg. 20, 1991]  Hsu continues recounting the familiar "economic miracle" discussions and summing up with "Whatever factors may have helped determine Taiwans recent economic achievement, one thing is sure: its shift in economic structurealong with improvements in other social dimensions such as education, nutrition, and sanitationhas benefited Taiwan society as a whole, with aboriginal tribes in particular. " [ibid.,pg. 21]  Western Progress paradigm based value  judgements inherent in this statement colour much of Hsu's work. For example education under the Japanese and then KMT was geared toward the forced assimilation of the TFN. Traditional food sources were cut off when the 1946 "nationalisation" of Taiwan 's forests and mountains made traditional subsistence gathering and hunting a criminal offence. By the late 1960s  Taiwan's once abundant deer were decimated by over hunting and the destruction of  Taiwan's forests by logging and agriculture. 

Hsu uses dehumanizing imagery in setting the historical context with: "To the aborigines, Taiwan was surely a land of quietude and peace." There is clearly something of  Eden like quality in this imagery. He then misrepresents Japanese conquest saying that the TFN were "still remained relatively undisturbed". "However, paradise cannot always be kept as is. Soon after the island set upon the track of industrialization, traditional societies faced the challenges of acculturation and social change."  [Hsu, 1991, pg. 19]. Though Hsu goes on in the book to describe the devastating social effect of Japanese policies of forced relocation and conquest as well as KMT colonial policies his treatment of this is bound by the Paradigm of the "inevitability" of "Progress". This is not surprising given the extensive government funding and support he has received from the National Science Council and Department of Health for his research projects as well as his position at the government’s Academia Sinica. 

In this other variants of this "Taiwan Miracle", such as those in Encyclopaedia Columbia or Britannia, Taiwan was originally inhabited by "Malayo-Polynesian" Aboriginal peoples then was colonized by the Dutch, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and then "developed" under the KMT into a " Model of Economic Development" [Copper, pg. 139, 1996] Reliant on the Confucian work ethic, good economic planning, export driven growth, education, high savings rates etc. (has more than a passing resemblance to the Protestant Work ethic). There is an arbitrarily line drawn distinguishing the Japanese colonial period from the KMT’s "development" under American hegemony. This appears based on the concept that since  Taiwan was "returned" to China colonialism had somehow ended. Some TFN activists reject this distinction maintaining that "In its Policies toward the Indigenous Peoples, the KMT is the direct heir of its totalitarian and colonial Japanese predecessor, and indeed surpasses the latter in planning and implementing its policies. " [Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines UN report , these opinions are shared by Cheng, 1999] 

Managed Spectacles and Patriarchy
The Western constructs of "masculinity" confer strength, dominance, rationality, reasoning etc. while "femininity" is construed as emotional, permissive, comforting, nurturing, requiring protection, etc. In her critique of the construct of the "
Pacific Rim " Philippine scholar Nererti Xina M. Tadiar describes an important dimension of this imagining; "sexuality- in this fantasy, the economics and political relations of nations are libidinally configured, that they are grasped and effected in terms of sexuality." [Dirlik, pg. 183, 1993] She uses the concept of  Japan as feminine in its power relationships to the  USA (there are 50,000 GIs on Japanese soil and  Japan is sheltered "under" the  US "nuclear umbrella") but masculine in its relations with the  Philippines. Recent comments by an American General termed Japanese officials "wimps" [ BBC , February 6, 2001 ] If such as dichotomies are applied to Taiwan, Taiwan is feminine given it’s dependence on the USA’s markets, militarily, high technology for industry and military etc. It must "attract" and be responsive to the needs of foreign investors etc. something with clearly submissive tones. However in it’s relations to the TFN the ROC becomes masculine "developing"  Eastern Taiwan, helping protect and preserve Aboriginal cultures etc. It could be argued therefore that TFN have undergone a colonial process of "emasculation" and attendant "feminisation". Historical TFN military resistance has been transformed into the "savagery" of "headhunting" with it’s military and social rationale suppressed or misrepresented as irrational or against the "tide of history" since it resisted "Progress". Similarly the representations of TFN dancing and singing carry emotional implications. Both of these are consistent with feminine attributes of "irrationality" and "emotional spontaneity " The 10 fold overrepresentation constituting 20% of sex workers vs 2% of population [US State Dept, 1994] of TFN in the sex industry is a product of colonial relations that began during the Japanese occupation when some TFN were forced to be "comfort women" for the Japanese soldiers. [Wang, Chiang, 1997 ]

An example of the eroticisation of TFN womens dancing by outside observers is not new with Davidson citing a Japanese anthropologists comments about a Atayal celebration: "At events where merriment prevails, the younger women frequently engage in very licentious dance consisting of twisting and squirming and suggestive muscle movements not unlike the Hawaiian dance." [Davidson, 1903,  pg. 567-8] A-Mei of the Puyuma First Nation is today  Taiwan’s top pop music performer. Her eroticisation is clear in her consistently being represented in sexy clothing with her performance full of lots of suggestive dancing as consistent with a colonized eroticised feminine role. The sexual imagery of this excerpt from a Malaysian newspaper’s concert review is quite lucid:
As if the atmosphere in the stadium were not hot enough generated by A-Mei's electrifying performances - her costumes -cut-offs, a halter criss-cross bra top, short skirts and pants that showed off her thighs - helped to raise temperatures.
[ www.galaxy.com.my/galaxy press/991020.htm]

image: An A-Mei card I purchased at a shop near my house in Sanchung. (a suburb of 
Taipei )
Similarly a United Daily News pre-inauguration article about her singing the national anthem contained the following: "However, reporters were more keen to find out if A-mei would wear one of her trademark, sexy outfits to the celebration. She responded that she had yet to decide what she would wear, but that as an aborigine, she might choose to wear a traditional, aboriginal outfit. Nonetheless, she said that the officials who invited her gave her almost complete freedom on this account, only advising her to choose an outfit that covers her belly-button." [ May 17, 2000 from www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw/ 20000517/20000517s3.html] She did sing President Chen Shui-bien
s  inauguration ceremonies she sang the ROC national anthem wearing a evening dress, her navel covered her sexuality restrained to suit civilized Chinese ceremonial sensibilities

A-Mei singing national anthem

Photo: A-Mei sings the ROC national anthem at Chen Sui-bian’s inauguration ceremony. 

Mackay depictions of an Atayal celebration following a successful attack in which heads were taken was quite different. The " welcome home of the heroes. Such shouting, shrieking, and demon-like howls! Round and round the head they circle, dancing a sort of double step...All the while a wild bacchanalian song is chanted, the sound of which is nothing outside the caverns of perdition" [Mackay, pg. 272-3, 1896] This rather contrasts to Sinorama article of January 1992 which reads "Over the past year, major stages in cities around Taiwan have resounded with the stirring music and dance of the island’s indigenous people in being brought from tribal village to urban metropolis, can the elusive sensibilities of the indigenous peoples be presented intact? "[Sinorama, Vol. I, pg. 117] The difference of a century of conquest and colonization results in a sharp contrast in treatment. 

Members of Ami FN were first required to dance for a visit by a Japanese prince in 1924. Today there is a proliferation of TFN "traditional" culture events sponsored by local governments and the increasing role of the private sector. For example a large group of TFN performed at the October 10 National Day Celebration this year. This is part of the sort of enclosure of Indigenous cultural commons as it becomes increasingly appropriated and under the domain of government and business for increasingly renderings of TFN are contrived under what I will term the "managed spectacle". This means an outside planned and directed performances of cultural elements which have survived cultural repression constitutes a filtering process of sorts limiting these to those cultural elements that serve institutional goals of legitimacy. In contrast the following cultural traditions have been repressed:
1)  Military resistance to outsiders.
2)  Head-hunting which was an integral part of 
Taiwan military resistance. [Hsu]
3)  Tattooing which was suppressed due to its connection to headhunting and as part of general forced assimilation.
4)  Hunting for subsistence has been eliminated by legal means and environmental degradation caused by colonization. Today some limited hunting occurs in part because of new attitudes on the part of the government in reaction to Aboriginal pressure.
5)  Indigenous political, religious, and social structures.
6)  Languages- now there is some opening but the damage has been extensive.
7)  Dress in daily use
8)  Traditional land use patterns and economy.
Song and Dance in contrast to these is promoted since it is well suited for use in various forms by external institutions. It is non-threatening and even serves a legitimizing function since the sponsoring institutions can claim they are supporting and helping preserve "Aboriginal culture". Once dispossessed of their lands and means of subsistence the TFN became available as labour either to work as farmers on government controlled reserve lands, in commercial agriculture, industry and recently increasingly in mass tourism. 

Government economic development plans have identified tourism as a major area for national development. An example of this is the recently opened Yamay Resort/Discovery World Amusement Park north of Taichung which is being built for an estimated cost of NT$9.93 billion ($300 million) [ffootnote]. This project was built on two hundred hectares the government owned Taiwan Sugar company with it's main contractor being Taiwans Everfortune Group. Sub-contractors included  South Koreas Samsung Construction, amusement park planning consultants such as Forrec of Toronto and LEDO of the  USA . " It is the first international standard waterpark in  Taiwan . The landscape is lush with heavy theming representing the arts and crafts of the Aboriginal  Taiwan . Mel Cecil, principal with LEDO International, Inc., said, "the landscape is very representative of a 'Disney'
 project. Yamay has enhanced the already great
 architecture with a lush and beautiful array of
 flora."." [From a LEDO company news release at http://www.ledointl.com/mai0n.htm.] Aboriginal cultures are "Disneyified" for mass amusement.  Official policies of  commodification of TFN culture were clear in comments by Sun Ta-chuan, then vice-chairman of the ROC Government
s Council of Aboriginal Affairs as "What we are working on is to transform our Aboriginal cultural heritage into economically valued activities" [Taipei Times, January 27, 2000] (Here is an example of the use of Aboriginal people as conduits, or perhaps more bluntly mouthpieces, for government development policies.) 

Tourism has been targeted for development under the most recent ROC government Six Year Plan. The enclosure of TFN lands for tourist purposes has taken the form of several national parks, most famously Taroko Gorge in 1986. Its 92,000 hectare area being transformed into a major tourist destination since then. A luxury 225 room resort hotel the Grand Formosa Taroko opened in 1997. This is part of the Grand Formosa hotel chain and features Aboriginal song and dance shows as entertainment. Its English web page contains just one paragraph on Aboriginal "culture":
For more than a century, members of the Taroko tribe have harboured feelings of awe and gratitude in their hearts toward each bite of grain and each harvest given by the heaven and earth. They hold rituals to express their gratitude for the bounty Mother earth gives to them. The natural surroundings and the land have become the mother of tribal survival. That's why they treasure and have great respect for the mountains, waters and the land.". Such are the common idealized ahistorical images that dominate most of the tourist renderings of TFN. It carries the femininised version without any mention of Taroko resistance to colonialism etc.

Grand Formosa Taroko advertisement from the Taipei Times, July 24, 1999, pg. 20.  Note the use of historical costumed Aborigines as well as the triangular ad outline which is representative of the pattern on the back of the sacred 100 Step Snake. This highly poisonous snake is considered an Ancestor by several Taiwan Aboriginal peoples. Why not have a vacation ad to the 
Vatican or Jerusulem surrounded by Christian Crosses? 

In the tourism industry the TFN form an ethnicised workforce [Wallerstein, pg.76-77, 1996 ] which has can earn authenticity rents for capital or government. This likely accounts in part for the emphasis placed on the dancers being TFN in the Formosa Song and Dance Troupe or in this description from  Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village.
 "The splendid aboriginal folk dance show at Naruwan Theatre is one of the most popular programs at the 
Formosan Aboriginal Culture Village . All show performers are native aborigines who, in addition to performing traditional dances representative of Taiwans nine tribes, also invite members of the audience to participate in on-stage activities ." [Formosa Aboriginal cultural Village, Live Show webpage ] Involving the audience is common thing at these allowing them to "experience" Aboriginal cultures. 

An Afternoon in Wulai
The commodification of TFN cultures is evident in this tour description from the South East Travel Service in 
his bus tour itinerary and description are good examples of how TFN cultures are objectified and packaged for mass consumption: 

Wulai Aboriginal Village tour

Afternoon Tour
Pick-up: PM13:00-14:00
Duration: 4 hours
At: hotel lobby

Tour Fare: NT$900
Child Fare: NT$700

Tour Stops:
1.Push-car Ride
2.Wulai Waterfall
Folk Dance
4.Swallow Lake
(Pass by)
5.Chieftain Statue

Wulai, about 10 miles south of Pitan, is the most accessible area from  Taipei to view the aboriginal tribesmen who once were the head Hunters of  Taiwan . Descendants of the proud tribe of Taiyals, the present-day Wulai aborigines for the most part dress and perform for the benefit of tourists.  From http://www.settour.com.tw/

My visiting Portuguese brother-in-law and I had  were invited out of the audience to be the "grooms" in "marriage ceremony" to two attractive Atayal women during a song and dance show we attended. We put on vests, hat and plastic tattoos on our chins etc. and got "married", each to an attractive local woman. In symbolic terms the tourist is masculine observing the feminised singing TFN. Often in mass tourism the TFN cultured are simply lumped together under the term Aborigine with TFN song and dance groups performing a variety of ceremonies from various TFN.
A Wulai dance troupe lined up from the guide for a song and dance performance. 

TFN lands are being turned into an extended recreation area for Taiwans Urban masses. Some 90% of Taiwans National Parks are on Eastern First Nation lands. [ Li Shao-hua, Taipei Times, Dec 21, 2000 ].  In February 2000, a  Yushan National Park official referred to a village of Bunun First Nation being like  "mouse excrement" in a bowl of rice porridge. This was because the Bunun villagers were in a dispute over access to water within the park. [Feb. 15, 2001, Taipei Times]  Nonetheless, TFN's roles are spelled out clearly in government tourism industry development plans. WTO accession measures require the opening of  Taiwan protected agricultural sector to foreign imports which has had a devastating affect on local rural economies displacing small TFN farmers. The government solution is further recreational developments of TFN territories and retraining programsfurther enclosure. 

Watchtowers: Photo Essay

Japanese colonial period colourized photo of watchtower in it original, clearly military context [Formosa 1895-1945, pg. 148, Avanguard Publishing Company, Taiwan, 2000]
Author and his Brother in Law are "married" in mock ceremony during a Song and Dance performance in the Atayal First Nation village of Wulai south of Taipei. Note the use of the watchtower as part of the backdrop. [Photo by Chan Rei Ling]

Watchtower transformed into a performance stage at the Ihla Formosa Taiwan Pavillion at the Taipei International Travel Fair 2000.TFN become part of a Taiwan tourist experience. [Photo by author] 

Elder weaves under the watchtower at the Ilha Formosa Taiwan pavillon. [Photo by author]
Here is an example of how the watchtower has been transformed from a military function to a purely tourist function as a song and dance background in Wulai and as a performance stage for the Ihla Formosa Pavilion at the Taipei International Tourist Fair 2000. 

Aboriginal performers dance at the Formosa Cultural Village Pavilion at the Taipei International Travel Fair 2000. 

"Aborigines go better with Coke"- a voucher for Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village. 

Maya Roller Coaster overshadows "Aboriginal village" The Mayan Adventure rollercoaster dwarfs an Aborginal house visible to the right at Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village. [photo by Derek Mearns] 

The Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village has some one million visitors a year [ US Dept of State, 1999 ] who experience the following:
"Tribal Village Highlights-  While exploring in the Aboriginal Village area, visitors will find a number of key attractions, including the Rock of Oponohu, the Observation Tower, Rock Music Theatre, Indian Totems, and the Cherry Blossom Path. Don
t forget your camera, and come to have a good time."
[Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village web page ]
Aboriginal cultures become photo fodder and "a good time" for thousands of visitors everyday. 

"All buildings were reconstructed based on fieldwork
research and blueprints drawn up by anthropologists in the 1930s and 40s. Trails through this area separate each tribal community so that visitors are able to observe clearly the differences and similarities between tribal building styles" [Formosa Aboriginal Cultural Village webpage, Aboriginal Villages] Thus the Japanese anthropologists that studied the TFN become the authorative sources of information of  TFN pasts. This information was used to construct the sites. Then TFN were hired to work there. 

Internal Colonialism and Feminist perspectives provide useful means of analysing the colonial symbolism that is very evident in Institutional renderings of Taiwans Aboriginal peoples. As well femininised the TFN are emotional spontaneous unthreatening entertainers singing and dancing concubines. Their histories of nearly four centuries of resistance to colonialism filtered out and decontextualised in these renderings evident in how the the watchtower's function changes. The patriarchal role of the Chinese is reinforced in manner that supports the majority stereotypes. Regarding the content and sources of mass media reports by Kapi Kalidoay a TFN activist writes that "Taiwan's publicly and privately operated media outlets mostly stress the social problems, "exotic" customs and traditional culture of Aboriginal people. Particularly when dealing with the social problems of the "mountain brethren", such reports frequently tend toward a rigid ignorance ." [Kalidoay, 1999] 

"Corporate Support "
The corporate sector has begun to take an interest in Aboriginal philanthropy. The largest are the associated efforts of the China Motor Company (CMC) and Shung Ye Group both important local Mitsubishi affiliates. Examples of this included CMC sponsoring an aboriginal day camp which featured a trip to the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines (SYMFA)
Banner advertising a TFN kids camp outside a Mitsubishi Car dealership in Shihlin, Taipei, Taiwan. note the use of caricatures of TFN and the triangular motifs that represents the sacred One Hundred Step snake. [Photo by author]

1998 magazine advertisement for Mitsubishi making use of Tao (Yami) canoe from Shung Ye Museum. One of several contrasting uses of the canoe. 

   "The Shung Ye Group and its generous financial
   support is closely bound to the museum's image. Seeing aboriginal culture used as a central theme in advertising Sheng Ye's automobiles, people naturally make a connection with the Sheng Ye Museum and its efforts to conserve aboriginal culture."[ Sinorama, Janary 1999 ] Shung Ye Group made use of TFN cultures in ads for Mitsubishi products. This carries a particular irony when compared with a Mitsubishi Corporation History web page their founder Yataro Iwasaki "
made a public display of patriotism in 1874, providing ships to carry Japanese troops to Taiwan. That earned the gratitude of the government, which rewarded him with 30 vessels ." These expeditions established a link between
"Mitsubishi Shosha and the Japanese military complex that would
gain tremendous strength in subsequent years, and it resulted in a
government decision to provide protection to the company that
virtually ensured its future success." [ Burke-Gaffney ]. Oblivious to history however the Sinorama article continues describing the museum building: "From the outside, the museum resembles a squatting warrior, with a helmet on his head and a long knife in hand. The building also combines elements of aboriginal architecture; the central pillar is magnificently carved with Paiwan tribal totems, the slanting roof on either side represents the slate construction of a Paiwan house."

The SYMFA sponsored a exhibition in 1998 "Unite with a Tribe; a Special Exhibition of the Paiwan." Paiwan artist Pavavalung Sakuliu tried to show the Paiwan perspective on how the Davalan group, when faced with cultural crisis, used "tribal classrooms" to help nurture culture and give the tribe an aboriginal future." At the exhibits opening, "Children of the Davalan Community Elementary School were invited to give a live dance performance at the exhibition's opening ceremony." [Sinorama, 1999 01] Paiwan children singing and dancing for the benevolence of the Lords of Industry. Where once their ancestors fought Japanese soldiers carried on Mitsubishi ships today Paiwan culture is used to celebrate this same corporate legacy. 

Contradictory facts of history are conveniently brushed aside in "A Dream Comes Alive: Safe C.F. Lins Cultural Pursuit " a book which celebrates the 1999 Fifth Anniversary of the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines. The book includes congratulations from 18 officials of various types including:
3 senior government: then ROC President Lee, Council of Aboriginal Affairs director, and Education minister.
2 from Academia Sinica: President Lee Yuan-tseh (who is a Nobel Physics Prize Winner) and one institute Fellow.
3 Taiwan University Presidents:
3 from Foreign universities: Not surprisingly Berkeley, Oxford, and Tokyo which Shung Ye Museum have given money to.
4 Taiwan Museums
3 Foreign Museums
All 12 Taiwanese contributors are pictured. Of them 11 are wearing Western suits while only one the Council of Aboriginal Affairs director is wearing TFN clothing. The most common themes of their congratulations are: how the SYMFA preserves TFN culture (5), it
s research importance (8), SYMFA helps TFN (12), education (8), and collection (7).  The corporate sector, academia, and government are all represented but there are conspicuously no independent TFN individuals or organizations, nor other NGOs or churches. 

The SYMFAs head Safe C.F. Lin is quoted "A business may disappear but its contribution to society will be left behind. " [A Dream Comes Alive, pg. 5, 1999] This appears to a quest also for personal legitimacy as well as that of his corporation. In this book he is pictured twice, once in a painting with his wife and another alone, in what are clearly Western style portraits. His "biographic sketch" makes much of his Mitsubishi success as well as his "honours" including "Outstanding Businessman of the ROC". "The cost of building and furnishing the museum was almost NT$500,000,000 (US$20,000,000)" [Ibid., pg. 54] The "cost" and the huge sums of money made this a capital intensive place to build and expensive to maintain "since operating the museum, annual operating costs have been in order of NT$30,000,000 (US$1,200,000)." [Ibid., pg. 54]In contrast the minimum wage in Taiwan is about US$500 per month. However the benefactor assists and "Although daily attendance has risen from 40 to around 80 self-sufficiency cannot be through ticket sales, and the still requires the support of C.F. Lin's Sheng Ye Group. As museum staff joke, the ticket money isn't even enough to pay the electric bill!" [Sinorama , 1999 01] The self promoting "benevolence" of the SY Group is evident here. And 80 time 360 still equals 30,000 people seeing TFN through this corporate produced and funded medium. It is a managed spectacle par excellence. Ironically TFN have to pay come to see their cultural artefacts.  The high entrance fee was protested by Aborigines in 1995. 

:hoto Essay: Shung Ye Museum and Taipei Aboriginal Park

plaques of ten tribes at Taipei Aboriginal Park. These were made in China to save on costs. Shung Ye Museum is in background to left center.

Shung Ye Museum in background

Shung Ye Museum to the left with a plaque of a Atayal warrior in the foreground. 

The Atayal plaque: This plaque is typical of the stereotyped ahistorical renderings. 

The SYMFA provides an area for local TFN activities and ceremonies adjacent to the Museum. TFN have a place in crowded Taipei to gather due to the benevolence of the Shung Ye group one may note that museum visitors can watch these ceremonies also which gives the SYMFA added authenticity. The SYMFA is an example of the enclosure of TFN culture in capitals attempts to legitimise its position and make use of TFN for public relations. 

The cultural repression of TFN has been one with the selective allowance of cultural forms which have commercial, diplomatic, or legitimization utility. The work of the SYMFA is one variation of the corporate rendering of themselves as benevolent social actors, something with patriarchal overtones. At the same time Taiwanese industrialists are pushing for expansion of foreign labour quotas and even removal of minimum wages, and WTO entry all of which have very real and devastating economic and social effects on Taiwans Aboriginal peoples. 

Music and Cement
Music is another area of enclosure. While aboriginal singers are paid etc. they are essentially employees, not even the most successful of them A-Mei of the Puyuma Nation owns her production means. A-Mei is a regional superstar with commercial endorsements for Sprite , Fuji, and Acer. Samingrad also of the Puyuma promotes Virgin Drinks in TV ads and transit systems ads. They are working for outside controlled multinational companies operating within the global capitalist system. This means their products are bound by market considerations as essentially cultural commodities. 

Similarly Eastern TFN lands have been increasingly coveted areas since the Western Taiwan limestone reserves have been largely exhausted. Asia Cement is part of the Far Eastern Group (FEG ). FEG  is controlled by Douglas Hsu and family. Their assets exceeded US$2.6 billion in 1999 [ Forbes Magazine, July 5, 1999 ] .  In 1973 Asia Cement illegally occupied 180 hectares of Taroko TFN lands in collusion with local KMT government officials who according to Taroko Aborigines forged documents and threatened Taroko owners with outright loss of lands. [ Igung Shiban, 1997 ] The Taroko have fought this for many years and have made some progress including recovering some 20 hectares of the disputed 180 hectares in 2000[. Aug. 12, 2000, Taipei Times]

On  April 5, 2000 only a few days after his election then President elect Chen met with Douglas Hsu Chairman of the Far Eastern Group. President Elect Chen spoke that "Chairman Hsu once said entrepreneurial spirit of perseverance and hard-work are the assets of Taiwan" continuing that "Indeed, we've have great entrepreneurs in Taiwan, and it's the government's responsibility to create a healthy investment environment where businesses can plant their roots, grow and blossom. " [Irene Lin, April 6, 2000 Taipei Times ]This only days after his election following a campaign in which had pledged to end "black gold" political corruption in  Taiwan he met with a glaring example of this very thing. However no one in the mass media picked up on Chen Sui-bian apparent hypocrisy or the double standards applicable here. ( I sent a letter pointing this out which was published in the Taipei Times, dated April 10, 2000)

Seven weeks later on at Chen May 20, 2000 inauguration ceremony A-Meis sang the ROC national anthem which resulted in the ban of her Sprite ads and music in PRCs mass media.. She is portrayed as a victim in PRC discrimination by several ROC politicians and in editorials . The PRC ban of A-Mei generated extensive coverage in the Taiwanese and international media.
China 's ban on A-mei has exposed its obsession with political control and its lack of compassion." [ Vincent Lin, May 28, 2000, Taipei Times ] while an editorial the same day said that the ban "...reflects the nature of a dreadful, repellent rogue regime, because only such  a regime can dish out  these crude acts, which will only increase the resentment of the  Taiwanese people against "one  China ."[ May 28, 2000, Taipei Times]
While a recent Jan 15 2001 Newsweek article put a US-PRC twist on this:  "She was once Asia
s hottest singer. A-mei had CD sales exceeding 8 million and adoring young fans throughout the region. Then the sultry Taiwanese pop star made a serious misstep"  whenang the ROC anthem at the President Chen enaugeration and was banned ... A-meis tale, writ large, is also Taiwans. It is a story that may even hold important lessons for the incoming  administration of President-elect George W. Bush, who has suggested he will take a tougher line against  Beijing, at least regarding Taiwans defense ." Only 18 months before Seth Faison, a New York Times News Service reporter, declared that  A-Mei's sell out concerts in Beijing before 50,000+ crowds as "overpowering any consideration of the current battle over " Taiwan's sovereignty in an August 1999 article "China's crazy about A-Mei". Now A-Mei's ban is potentially an "important lesson" for the new Bush regime. 

However the recent Tarokos recent court victory resulted in two English language stories one in the Taipei Times and another from the Central News Agency both mention Asia Cement and the allegations of corruption but neither identifies Asia Cement with the Far Eastern Group. The differing treatment given the Taroko First Nation in their fight with a well connected Far Eastern Group is a sharp contrast to repeated sympathy and emotive imagery that have reports about A-Mei's ban no sharp criticism from the  Taiwan government of Far Eastern Group occurred. The Taroko case quickly disappeared from sight without much critical comment. A-Mei's singing of the Republic of China's Anthem has continued to provoke debate i the mass media due to the popularity of her cultural products and her utility to the Taiwanese and American elites. In contrast the Taroko are a small First Nation against a major conglomerate in a dispute without much utility to Taiwanese or Foreign elites and even considerable disutility. The coverage of these two subjects conforms reasonably well to the predictions of the Propaganda model and Internal Colonialism synthesis. 

Taiwanese official myth makers have conjured up a vision of a " Green Silcon Island " as Chen Shui-bian and others have termed it. In this prophecy 
Taiwan is to become a richer and cleaner place with a information and knowledge based economy. Central to this are the areas of advanced technologies such as computers and biotechnology. Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field in  Taiwan. But  Taiwan is behind the West, so when recent political wrangling threatened the budget of Academia Sinica it's President the Nobel Prize winning physicist Lee Yuan-tseh worried that this risked  Taiwan falling behind at a critical moment following the mapping of the Human Genome { January 6, 2001 Taipei Times ]. Lee motivations are questionable since Academia Sinica is involved in business partnerships such as Taiwan Genome Sciences.
Some at Academia Sinica have suggested a Taiwan Genetic Database be developed Chuang Ming-tze said "with Taiwan's population make-up ranging from its indigenous people and descendants of migrants from all over mainland China, the country is fertile ground for studies in genetics." [ Sinica backs genetic-database plan
July 5, 2000, China Post] 

Mythological tones underlie renderings of genetic research. Of  going "across a frontier" are interesting. The prejudices of imperial renderings of colonization of FN are often also carried into these frontiers of Capitalism's quest.  "Most of  Taiwan 's aboriginal residents are genetically predisposed to alcoholism ", according to Professor Ko Ying-ching of  Kaohsiung Medical College in a  April 23, 1998 Central News Agency report. "To effectively resolve the problem, Ko recommended establishing special hospitals to treat
alcoholism and training medical personnel to help
people stay on the wagon." concludes the report.  Here is an example of how science misstates the causes of alcoholism among TFN. Alcoholism is blamed on the TFN by saying they have a genetic tendency. Not once in the article are social factors mentioned the entire blame is attributed to faulty DNA. This is part of a frequent pattern of decontextualisation of social context and attendant distortion that occurs frequently in scientific studies of TFN. This is due to "the popular perception of Indigenous peoples is invariably in one form or another of social pathology in need of social relief at best, or to be condemned to their own miserable destiny resulting from genetic defects at worst." [Cheng, 1999] The very asking of the question "Are Aborigines genetically prone to alcoholism?" is very loaded. 

According to Chen Shujuo a genetics researcher at Tzu-Chi College of Medicine and Humanities, researcher generally view the blood samples as merely objects of research. This is part of the way in which scientific method decontextualises. Here is a composite example of how blood samples are obtained
1) a notice is placed at church offering free physical checkups.
2)  Researchers arrive at the church on the appointed day and take the samples after signing a waiver.
3)  These are then eventually distributed to various universities in 
Taiwan Japan and elsewhere.
4)  Research is done, analysis made and papers produced.
In total some ten thousand blood samples have so far been taken from Aboriginal peoples. [Lin Mei-Jung, 1999 ] TFN have  become part of these biocolonial myths as areas for seeking unknown treasures unknown secrets, mysterious powers to heal. One recent project proposed by Pingtung Christian Hospital and Kaohsiung Medical College would increase these several fold  "Acting on the hypothesis that Aborigines had some genome variation that counteracted HIV, since no death from AIDS among Aborigines had ever been recorded, the researchers planned to collect blood from 40,000 Aborigines" [ Taipei Times August 29th, 2000 ] This AIDS hypothesis has been effectively challenged by Chen Shujuo of Tzu-Chi Medical College who showed evidence of Aboriginal deaths due to AIDS related illnesses. Some 1900 samples alone were taken with the assistance of the Presbyterian Church
s Mackay Hospital. [ Lin Mei-Jung, 1999 ] The participation of several churches is rather ironic given the sacred nature of blood in Christian religion and also in the beliefs of TFN. However their participation is not surprising given the Western Christian roots of the "Religion of Technology" seeking healing powers to cure disease. 

Nukes, Tourists, and Songs
The Tao (Yami) people of 
Lanyu Island are example of when the interests of TFN and the majority or at least a significant minority, coincide on a clearly defined issue, in this case opposing nuclear power. The coverage of the Tao is noteworthy. Government sources tend to ignore the nuclear waste issue. For example out of 53 articles in the 3 book Sinorama series "Taiwan Renaissance" the Tao are mentioned many times but not once is nuclear waste mentioned. This even though there are two full length articles dealing with the Tao specifically. This is in sharp contrast to the opinions of Reverend Shiyman Feaien, who describes in detail the damage this has caused [Feaien, 1995] . Greenpeace and other environmental groups have publicised the Tao protests which were mentioned in stories regarding the proposed storage of nuclear waste in North Korea

However the Tao are treated differently by tourism with the BBC considering it "one of the world's last surviving hunter-gatherer tribes."[ BBC Worldwide ] While the slightly more worldly Lonely Planet comments "Of course, Lanyu is not untouched by the modern world, and you'll see  Levis about as often as loincloths. There are a few small Chinese business on the island, and fairly easy access to taxis, TV, beer and cigarettes, so don't expect an unspoilt tribal paradise." [ Lonely Planet, 2000 ] Both make no mention of nuclear waste to bugger up your vacation. 

Musically Taiwanese record company Wind Records provided samples of Yami music to the European pop group,  Deep Forest. These were used on their international hit "Martas Song". Samples from the Tao, Ami, Puyuma, and Bunun, provided by Taiwan's Wind Records   were mixed together with a thumping beat in the song " Coral Lounge , Deep Forests contribution to the soundtrack of the movie " Strange Days ".[Strange Days Movie Notes, http://www.hollywood.com/movies/strange/text/28.html] 

Tao Photo Essay

Image: This beach scene of a century ago contains all the familiar imagery of the Tao such as distinctive canoes, hats, vests, and loinclothes. [Davidson, pg 588, 1903]

Image:  "Where to go" by Jilgilan of the Tao Nation portrays their nuclear dilemma well. This poster is an example of TFN co-operating with NGOs and features the name and addresses for 14 different organizations including 6 environmental and 4 TFN groups.
[Photo by author] 

While a 1998 Government Information Office publication features the late dictator Chiang Ching-kuo with a Tao hat and spear. 

Late dictator Chiang Ching Guo wears a Tao hat

Image: This stone relief at  Taipei Aboriginal Park has a hat and spear too. [photo by author]

[photo by author]
Attendant Tao plaque makes no mention of nuclear waste, dealing with common stereotypes much like the 
Taiwan postal stamps.

Image: 1997 
Taipei City Bus Card with Tao canoes as decoration.

Dancing for Uncle Sam Tao children dance to honour Uncle Sam, July 4, 2000 From Taipei Times, July 5th, 2000. No mention of the USA's General Electric supplying the nuclear reactors that produced the nuclear waste that threatens these children's homeland. They dance at this American Institute in Taiwan (the USA's de facto embassy) sponsored event at Taipei's Warner Village entertainment complex (Warner as in Warner Brothers, those fine purveyors of Bugs Bunny and company) 

The Tao (Yami) Nation's culture is used in varied number of ways in these examples. The earlier Mitsubishi ad paired a Tao canoe with one of their cars, while the anti-nuclear poster sharply contrasts this. This is of more than symbolic significance since Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is supplying turbines for the 4th Nuclear Power plant. The use of Yami artefacts for the photo of Chiang Ching-kuo photo is noteworthy due to it's 1998 publication date in a government publication on the history of post-WWII politics. Ching Ching-kuo's regime oversaw the construction of the nuclear waste facility on the Tao's homeland of Lanyu Island. While the 1997 bus card is of note due it's use as an interesting background photo for an everyday item.  The Tao renderings at the Taipei Aboriginal Park were not even made in Taiwan. A Taipei councillor protested that the TFN rendering were not even made in Taiwan. [May 4, 2000, United Daily News ] They had actually been made in the PRC to cut costs at this park built during Chen Shui-bian tenure as Taipei Mayor. Appropriately it is located across from the Shung Ye Museum of Formosan Aborigines. The Tao are alternately symbols for the anti-nuclear movement, as photo props for dictators, fodder for advertising, or quaint decorations for bus cards such are the varied and conflicting uses of their culture in modern Taiwan. 

The changing visual meanings of the watchtower illustrate how Taiwan's Aboriginal peoples place has changed as do the varied modern symbolic implications given to the Tao canoe. Renderings of social change and Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples has long be constructed to serve the purposes of colonial discourse. It is only in the last few years since the lifting of martial law that a dissenting stream has begun to emerge from Taiwan’s Aboriginal peoples. This however is still marginalized due to the Aborigines’ weak position in Taiwan’s political economy. Tam Kung university’s Cheng well sums up Aboriginal perspectives of the changes forced on them considering:
"While exploration, conquest, pacification, and at times
segregation, containment, or relocation had formerly alternated with one another, now subjugation, patronization, and intolerance have been clothed in the forms of political co-optation, economic domination, forced or induced cultural assimilation, social prejudice, and welfare tokenism under the prevailing standards of integrationist orientation" Fragmented through loyalties to external religions, political affiliations, and economies etc. Taiwan’s First Nations are nonetheless beginning to assert their own versions of Taiwan’s history thus lending a more complete picture of Taiwan’s history, present, and future. 

1) this depends on who is counting. These figures come from Ethnic Groups.
Columbia University, East Asian Curriculum Project
Others say the Hakkas are more numerous than the Mainlanders. See
Dr. Shih, Cheng-Feng Ethnic Differentiation in 

2) This is based on information requests and an interview with Mark McDowell of the Canadian Trade Office in  Taipei

3) Yet CSB’s biography contains "The mountain aborigines were fierce hunters and warriors who lived in isolation in the valleys and mountains of northern and eastern  Taiwan . Like their brethren in the  Philippines they were tattooed and some engaged in headhunting. " [Kagan, 1998, pg. 10] First this inaccurate since only the Yami of Lanyu Island can be positively connected to the Philippine and they are not headhunters. Second the use of the word "fierce" which carries various savage type implications. Kagan follows, "the lowland aborigines however were associated with the agricultural communities of southeast Asian communities." Here he draws an a false distinction because all of the TFN practiced  mixed economies of farming and hunting.

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Copyright 2001 by Mark Munsterhjelm. Readers are free to circulate or translate this article provided it is intact. However any commercial use requires the author's permission. All images not taken by the author, Derek Mearns and Chan Rai Leng are used under the
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