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This paper originally comes from:

Michael Rudolph, Heidelberg University, Institute of Chinese Studies; Email:

The Emergence of the Concept of `Ethnic Group` in Taiwan and the Role of Taiwan`s Austronesians in the Construction of Taiwanese Identity“[1]


1. Introduction 

2. Endeavours to reorganize collective memory in Taiwan after the lifting of martial law in 1987

3. Adoption of the concept of `ethnic group` in Taiwan

4. From the `question ofprovincial origins' to `Taiwan- versus China-consciousness`

5. The discourse of `Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` and Taiwan`s Aborigines

a) Gain of trust in front of Taiwan`s non-Hoklo electorate

b) Demarcation against Taiwan`s Mainlander-Han

c) Challenge of China`s nationalistdiscourse

6. Re-amalgation of`Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` into `Taiwan`s fate- and life community`

7. Taiwan as the centre of the pacific world 

8. Reaction of the PRCh

9. Conclusion

1. Introduction

When Li Denghui was officially elected president in 1990 and hence was reconfirmed in his role as the first Taiwan-born president in Taiwan`s history, a profound cultural transformation took place on the island. After four centuries of domination by foreign powers (the Spain, the Dutch, the Chinese, the Japanese and the Mainlanders (lit.: `people from the external provinces`)) who had come as refugees from the mainland with Chiang Kai-shek after 1945), the issue of identity search of the Taiwanese now became a theme of growing significance in the political arena, tolerated now as it didn`t collide with Li`s endeavour to consolidate his power vis a vis the Mainlanders who were still represented in the government and in the military. At the same time, there also occurred a re-evaluation of Taiwan`s relationship to the communist mainland, that tried to hinder this development by more and more aggressive contests of its sovereignty and that once again emphasized it’s conviction of cultural and genetic homogeneity of Taiwan`s and China`s population.

The re-negotiation of cultural identities in Taiwan and the construction of a particular history and culture that differentiated Taiwan from China also had its impacts on Taiwan`s indigenous population, that – though consisting of at least 12 Malayo-Polynesian groups – makes up no more than 1,6% of the population in Taiwan. For the first time in the history of interaction of Han and Non-Han, the languages, cultural traditions and value- and moral systems of ethnic minorities now received attention – an attention that in its last consequence not only involved the official recognition of Taiwan`s Aborigines as indigenous people, but that was also accompanied by the implementation of specified cultural institutions. Partly responsible for these political successes were the endeavours of the social movement of Taiwan`s Aborigines (Taiwan Yuanzhumin shehui yundong),[2] a movement that in the years succeeding to its foundation in 1984 had developed rather slowly in its struggle against discrimination and social marginalization, but that after 1990 suddenly received growing respect.

This paper explores those reasons that were responsible for the re-evaluation of the status of Aborigines in Taiwan. As I indicated above, among the factors involved, there were endogenous as well as exogenous factors: While the integration of this group into the political and cultural discourse of Taiwan originally happened rather occasionally in the course of `ethnizaton` that took place during the power struggle between Taiwan`s Han und Taiwan`s Mainlander-Han, it became soon clear thatAborigines – once defined and marked as a distinct ethnic group – could play a decisive role in the process of identity formation of Taiwan`s population, due to the characteristics of `indignity` that sticked to them. My hypothesis here is that Aborigines were given a key position in the process of construction of an over-arching Taiwanese identity and the construction of an alternative cultural memory in Taiwan after 1990.

2. Endeavours to reorganize collective memory in Taiwan after the lifting of martial law in 1987

In his reflections on the structures of collective memory, Jan Assmann (1997) contends that after a period of 40 years, the memory of a generation of people with shared experiences comes to a critical stage. After this period, those who were witnesses of significant events as adults gradually step out of professional life. When they die, their memory - or better: the `social frame` in which their memory was organized - vanishes, and certain aspects that have not been transformed into cultural memory yet may fall into – or may be left to - oblivion.[3]

If we look at Taiwan, Taiwanese Han elites[4] showed tremendous efforts to prevent that the memory of the Mainlanders, who had ruled Taiwan for over 40 years after the withdrawal of the Japanese, could transform into collective memory, and tried to influence the formation of the latter according to their own convictions. This process began exactly in those years when Mainlander elites memory had begun to wither away and other memories in Taiwan that had been kept quiet for more than 90 years, finally had the chance to express and to organize themselves again.

Among the most engaged `cultural architects` at that time were the members of the opposition party DPP, that had been founded in 1986, but that was not fully legalized until 1989. Most of them being of Hoklo-origin – i.e., the biggest Han-Chinese group on the island comprising approx. 77% of the total population -, they contended that the Taiwanese had a four hundred year old history on Taiwan.[5] This history included the common experiences of a creative pioneer settler people from South China that developed a particular language and culture after their exodus from China in the 17th century and that had endured domination by several foreign powers, everyone of these taking to force in the process of subjugation of Taiwan`s population. Incidents that were still remembered by the people were the incident of February 28, 1947, as well as the Formosa incident in 1979. It were these things that constituted the culture of the Taiwanese, and it were these things that should be mediated in Taiwan`s schools, instead of Mandarin, Yangzekiang, Peking opera, Long Wall and Anti-Japanese war.

Critics, however, pointed out that the differences articulated in contrast to the mainland culture were in reality minute and surmountable. In addition, there suddenly appeared further groups within Taiwan`s society that tried to make their own claims on Taiwan`s history. A group that showed some discontent with the unilateral request formulated by the Hoklo were Taiwan`s Hakka, another Han-Chinese group in Taiwan whose members counted about 9% of Taiwan`s total population and who had always had difficulties to assert themselves against the Hoklo. In a well-organized `Return our mother-language` (huan wo muyu) movement in 1988, representatives of this group argued that they spoke an own Chinese language and that their ancestors had been living on Taiwan at least as early Taiwan`s Hoklo. Actually, their culture was even closer to the center of 5000 years old Chinese culture (zhongyuan) than the culture of most other Han, a fact that should cause Hakka culture to be revered and respected as much as Hoklo culture. What the members of the Hakka-movement failed to realize was that just this `closeness to the `zhongyuan`` they appealed to had lost much of its former attractivity by the end of the 1980s; accordingly, their movement did not get much support from the side of the Hoklo.

As for Taiwan`s Aborigines, a fourth group of people on the island, their social movement had reached a first climax at the end of the 1980s due to the new political freedom people suddenly enjoyed in Taiwan. Nevertheless, the focus of their movement at that time was not yet directed at the attainment of cultural rights, but against cultural discrimination and social marginalization. In protests against the `myth of Wu Feng`[6] in Taiwan`s schoolbooks and in demonstrations for the `return of land` seized by Han-Chinese in the course of the last centuries, KMT-government as well as the Han in general were asked to conform to a more fair treatment of the Yuanzhumin in accordance with internationally recognized indigenous peoples rights. Only when plans for a constitutional reform came into close touch after the official vote of Li Denghui as president in 1990, intellectuals und political representatives of this group also began to concentrate on the question of the status of Aborigines in Taiwan`s society. With much emphasis, they pointed to the value of indigenous languages and cultures and to the necessity to assure Aborigines` physical and cultural survival as a people by implementation of special administrative and educational organs on the central government level and by giving them a parliamentary status. Contrary to the movement of the Hoklo, the supporters of a souvereign Taiwan - especially the Hoklo-Elites - welcomed the Aboriginal movement very much, as the demands did not obstruct their nationalist aims.

3. Adoption of the concept of `ethnic group` in Taiwan

The willingness to accept the demands of the Aborigines - a people that before had never been much valued in Taiwan - was closely related to the perception of these people as a special `ethnic group` in Taiwan.

If we look at the Western understanding of `ethnic group`, we realize that it is a very vague and ambiguous term. In academic texts, 'ethnic group' is most commonly defined as a group whose members have a common group-name, a common language, a common myth of decent, common characteristics in territory, history, culture, religion as well as a certain feeling of solidarity that distinguishes them from other groups with whom they interact and co-exist. It is emphasized that these criteria are subject to continuous change and may also be absent. This means that common genealogical characteristics can in one case play an important role, where in the other case they may be totally missing or only of minor significance. Nevertheless, 'ethnic group' today is often used as an euphemism for `race', there exists a diffuse understanding that 'ethnic group' also includes 'racial' similarities. Because of the flood of different definitions, the use of the term `ethnic group' has become more and more complicated in recent years, hence today sometimes even anthropologists refuse to use it.

However, things were quite different in Taiwan: Here, the term 'ethnic group` was introduced no earlier than in the 1980s. Though one had made use of the Japanese term 'minzoku' (`minzu` in Chinese) to refer to the 'Chinese people / nation' (zhonghua minzu) as well as to `ethnic Chinese' (hanren minzu), people in Taiwan avoided to use the term 'minzu' for differentiation within Taiwan`s society itself. The only exception were Taiwan`s Aborigines: For their classification, Taiwan`s anthropologists had adopted the category of the 'Clan' or 'tribe` (zu) from the Japanese after the second world war. Nevertheless, they had never tried to define or to explain the meaning of `zu' in the case of the Taiwan`s Aborigines, nor had there been any attempt to take over the Western concept 'ethnic group' to classify Taiwan` Aborigines. After 1980, however, the term 'zuqun' was more and more often used to replace 'zu' in anthropological literature.

The first definition for 'zuqun' – a term that was unknown in the PRCh until the early 1990s - was made by Xie Shizhong, a representative of Taiwan`s younger generation of anthropologists. After a stay with the Dai-Le in Yunnan, Xie contends in an article on China`s ethnic politics published in 1989, that the main difference between 'people/nation' (minzu) und 'ethnic group' (zuqun) in the Chinese context is that a 'minzu' in most cases is an etically determined group, that is a group that has been – in most cases artificially - determined by the state. On the contrary, 'zuqun' is a group that reflects the actual living conditions and the point of view of the analysed. Hence, it is an emically determined group that is authentic and still full of natural power. On the basis of this understanding, Xie suggests that 'minzu' should only be used when one talks about a state-determined, juristically defined group of people, in all other cases one should better use 'zuqun'.[7]

Definitions of `zuqun` (ethnic group) und `minzu` (people/nation) according to Xie Shizhong (1989)

Ethnic group(zuyi qunti)Initial nation(chuqi minzu)
1. A group of individuals living together in natural cohesion; 
1. An artificially composed group of individuals;
2. characterized by a primordial and innate feeling of solidarity;
2. lacks a primordial and innate feeling of solidarity;
3. a group of individuals that defines itself on the basis of a subjective feeling to the outside;
3. a group of individuals that has been defined by others(i.e., scholars engaged by the state) on the basis of objective characteristics (language, territory, economic life, mentality);
4. emotional joining together;
4. a group that has been composed in the course of scientific classification;
5. a group that also exists in the inner world of its members;
5. a group that exists in the hearts and minds of its creators (i.e., the Chinese scholars that were in charge of the classification in 1955);
6. an actually existing group;
6. an officially registered group;

7. a group with common interests;
7. a group whose members don’t have common social interests;
8. a group with the potential to develop a contemporary ethno-political movement.
8. a group with no latent potential to develop a contemporary ethno-political movement.

A less general, more Taiwan related explanation for the reasons of the increasing preference of the term 'zuqun' instead of 'minzu' is given by anthropologists of the Academia Sinica: They argue that the use of the term 'minzu' doubtlessly is very suitable to distinguish Han und ethnic minorities because of the strong differences of geographical origin and cultural characteristics; the use of 'minzu', however, would make a distinction of different socio-cultural variants and ethnicities of the Han-Chinese of Taiwan difficult. For this reason, the term 'zuqun' instead of 'minzu' finally seemed more adequate.

4. From the `question ofprovincial origins` to `Taiwan- versus China-consciousness`

These accounts make us wonder why people in Taiwan might have felt such an intense need for distinction or demarcation from other Han-Chinese groups. The analysis of Zhang Maogui – a sociologist from Academia Sinica - provides us an insight how the `ethnic question` in Taiwan developed.[8] As Zhang makes clear, there also existed distinctions between different groups of Taiwan`s population before the lifting of martial law in 1987. But these distinctions were perceived within the category of 'province origins' (shengji). The most important distinction was made between 'people from the external provinces' (waishengren) and the 'people from Taiwan Province' (benshengren). The former group, whose members comprised approx. 12% of the island`s population, consisted of Han-Chinese from at least 35 provinces on the mainland; the latter group consisted mainly of Hoklo-speakers und Hakka-speakers in Taiwan, who were Han as well and hence were also members of the Sino-Tibetan language family. A further often neglected part of the last mentioned group were the Aborigines who were called 'mountain compatriots' (shandi tongbao) who split up into at least 12 different groups with distinct languages, all of them belonging to the Austronesian language family. These different kinds of origin were inscribed in the people’s identity cards (the origin from one of 35 mainland-provinces existing prior to 1945, or the 'origin from Taiwan-province', or the `origin from the Mountain-area of Taiwan-province'). While the KMT strictly denied the existence of any ethnically, culturally or socially unequal treatment, this measure guaranteed members of the second and third Mainlander-generation in the agnate line to have privileged access to professions in the military as well as in the state- and the educational sector (jun gong jiao) until far into the 1980s.

The first public articulation of essential cultural differences between the group of the Taiwanese and the group of Mainlanders occurred in 1983/84 in the course if the dispute on 'Taiwan-consciousness' and 'China-consciousness'. Those who organized themselves under the symbol of 'Taiwan-consciousness' now were increasingly concerned about the question how they could abandon their inferior status as a person from `Taiwan-Province'. For them, the label of descent from different `provinces' was not a satisfying criterion anymore – the idea of a 'Taiwan nation` or `Taiwanese people' (Taiwan minzu) at this time began to take shape, though the open articulation of this idea was still avoided and another concept still took its place for the time being. 

5. The discourse of `Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` and Taiwan`s Aborigines

a) Gain of trust in front of Taiwan`s non-Hoklo electorate 

After its legalizing in 1989, the opposition party DPP had to find a way to please and to convince those groups in Taiwan who were different in language, culture, social needs and problems and for whom a direct identification with the Hoklo and their understanding of national identity was difficult. Not only the members of the Hakka, but also members of the Aboriginal groups were afraid that a sudden seize of power of those people who used to call themselves 'Taiwanese' would only bring about another period of suppression and domination. In order to convince these groups of the common nationalist project and to win them as an electorate, the DPP introduced the concept of `Taiwan`s four ethnic groups` (Taiwan si da zuqun) in 1989. This concept not only emphasized cultural differences, differences in experience and the particularities of the different cultural groups in Taiwan, but also pointed to the multitude of common grounds especially in terms of historical experience.[9]

b) Demarcation against Taiwan`s Mainlander-Han

This attestation of recognition of their existence and the expectation for more attention to their specific needs in the near future was really suitable to increase the willingness of members of non-Hoklo-groups to side with the propagators of the new societal order. But the new concept still had further political functions that went beyond the gain of trust. The concept had also the potential to overcome the dichotomy of provinces in Taiwan (a dichotomy that had been crystallized in the categories `descent of external provinces' and 'Taiwan-province') in a terminological way. Quite differently from the earlier terms people `from the external provinces` and people `from Taiwan-province`, the new term `Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` did not suggest anymore that the people on the island just differed with regard to their regional origins in a common nation `China`.[10] On the contrary, it suggested that each of the groups differed from each other in terms of language and culture. From now on, it proved to be much more difficult than before to contend that an the `cultural entity was congruent with the political entity`. 

c) Challenge of China`s nationalistdiscourse 

Additionally, the concept of `Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` also had an important function from a foreign politics –point of view: The idea of the `Chinese Nation / People' (zhonghua minzu), that suggested the genealogical and cultural relationship ofall people in Taiwan and mainland China, could be challenged most successfully by redefining the elements that constituted the 'Chinese Nation / People' on Taiwan, using a terminology that differed from the PRCh-terminology. Former `people from the external provinces' as well as `dialect-groups` (fangyanqun) as `people from Taiwan-province' or 'mountain-compatriots' (etymological meaning: 'mountain dwellers originating from the same uterus') – terms that had suggested the close interrelationship of these groups before – now all became members of distinct `ethnic groups` (i.e., waisheng zuqun, minnan zuqun, kejia zuqun, Yuanzhumin zuqun), that not only spoke different `dialects`, but different `languages` and that obviously were of different descent. This impression was still enforced by adding the English translation 'ethnic group' to the Chinese term `zuqun` – as I already mentioned an extremely ambiguous term in which `descent` and `origin` seemed to play an important role, but which – due to the multitude of different definitions - left it open to what degree 'racial` criteria were involved. By adding the label `ethnic group` to the groups of Malayo-Polynesians, whose 'genealogical' difference from the Han had been proved already by phenotype analysis and other methods of physical anthropology, as well as to those groups whose members originally had come as Han from mainland China to Taiwan, one succeeded to blur the opaque and ambiguous boundaries between 'genealogical` and 'non-genealogical' relationship completely: Even in the case of Taiwan`s Han-dialect-groups there were now called up associations – by putting the label 'ethnic group' – of some kind of genealogical difference between Hoklo, Hakka, Mainlanders ... and people from the PRCh. 

At the same time, it was emphasized that members of 'Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups' lived together in cultural and genealogical intermixture. Under these conditions, the possibility of their reconstitution in a common 'Taiwanese Nation / People' seemed more possible than ever before.[11] The following explanations of the Hakka Luo Rongguang – a church minister speaking up for Taiwan`s independence – at a DPP-conference on the problem of `name-correction in Taiwan` in 1994 can serve as a representative example for the discourse described above:

"I admit that I’m a Han, my ancestors come from Canton. Hence, I can say that I’m a Han and that I belong to the Han nation / people. However, my ancestors here in Taiwan may very well have a blood relationship with the Pingpu-Aborigines. Perhaps I am not a pure Han anymore, I might very well be a new Han who has melted together with the Aborigines … just a new Han. If we are eager to make ourselves distinguishable from China and from the Chinese, it would be from this perspective of some help for our internationally recognized scope of existence as well as for a better recognition of our status from the outside to call ourselves `new Taiwanese`. I often explain that the Taiwanese and the Chinese are brothers: They may have the same ancestors... on the other hand side, I recently heard that in Taidong they once again found another one of Taiwan`s original inhabitants who is supposed to have lived here more than 10 thousand years ago. If this is true, this would be much longer ago than the 5000 years of the Yellow Emperor. Thus, it must be evaluated again whether we are really Sons and Grandsons of the Yellow Emperor (yanhuang zisun)."[12]

Luo`s point of view was supported by the findings of a couple of well known Taiwanese anthropologists: They contended that there were no genocides known in the history of the interaction of Han and Aborigines, what made it very likely that the people in Taiwan really still had the blood of these peoples flowing in their veins.[13]

Nevertheless, the discourse about the significance of Taiwan`s Aborigines for the construction of an autonomous Taiwanese identity was not limited to arguments about genealogy and descent. Aborigines were also believed to be important for the reorientation of Taiwan`s cultural and historical status. As Wu Micha (1994), a member of the oppositional organization Taiwan Association of University Professors (TAUP), contends in an anthology of the TAUP with the title `Taiwan nationalism`, the Taiwanese were not well advised just to take over the recipe of earlier colonies in order to overcome the internal and an external colonialism affecting their island: However hard they tried, they would not be able to put themselves into antithesis to their colonial suppressors China und Japan by means of reconstruction of an own national culture as it had been done by former colonies like India. Notwithstanding whether one talked about such Taiwanese particularities as the Taiwanese puppet show or the Taiwanese Opera: Once onecame to the Mainland-province Fujian, one would discover that all these things existed here in a very similar manner. Only by profound inclusion of the `nutrient YZM' (YZM de yangfen) – i.e., the inclusion of the different Aboriginal cultures – it could be clearly demonstrated in which way Taiwan was different from China.[14]

To what degree Taiwan`s Aborigines were also assigned an important role regarding the construction of a new historical identity of Taiwan, became obvious in the fierce struggle against the destruction of archaeological relics sites of the Ketagalan.[15] First protests of Taiwan-researchers against the destruction of supposed testimonies of Taiwan`s Malayo-Polynesian past occurred in 1990/91, when the relics site Shisanhang in the northeast of the island were to be sacrificed in favour of the construction of a new sewage plant. Though the relics had been discovered as early as in the 1950s, they had not been given any attention to for 30 years. Hence, the excavation that started in 1988 had not come to an end until 1990 and waited for a final evaluation. Though most of the excavated specimens pointed to an earlier settlement of Malayo-Polynesian peoples, there were also found some coins that dated back to the Tang dynasty (618-905 AD). The coins provoked a fierce dispute among the scholars: While those dedicated to Taiwan-consciousness were convinced that the coins must have come to Taiwan through trade with mainland China, another group of scholars argued that the pieces must have been brought along by Taiwan`s Aborigines themselves, who (or whose relatives) perhaps still lived on the mainland at that time. Chen Fangming, one of the most important cultural politicians of the DPP, commented the significance of the excavations of Shisanhang for the history of Taiwan in 1991 with the following words:

"The 'relics of Shisanhang' are cultural relics of the ancestors of the Pingpu groups in Taiwan. If one would make research on these relics, one would discover the cultural truth of the island before the immigration of Han to Taiwan. Such a research would not only lead to a correction of the 400 year old history of Taiwan that took the Han as its centre, it would also lead to the resurrection of the culture of the Pingpu, what might result in a prolongation of Taiwan`s history for some thousand years."[16]

The site Shisanhang was destroyed in 1991 as a result of the construction of the sewage plant. But the controversy arose again in 1994 when on the planned site of the fourth atomic power plant (Hesi), that was also situated in the north of the island, there were found further relics of the Ketagalan. Among those groups that participated in the struggle against the further destruction of the site this time, there were not only DPP-politicians and Taiwan-research- scholars, but also different groups of the Aboriginal movement as well as groups of the environmental movement. When it became clear that the sites with Ketagalan relics were further endangered by the greed of the big companies as well as by the KMT-government where Mainlanders were still influential, the DPP finally resorted to another method to engrave Taiwan`s Malayo-Polynesian past into the memory of Taiwan`s people: The advocates of Taiwan-consciousness and independence of the island celebrated their greatest triumph on march 12, 1996, when the newly elected Taibei city mayor Chen Shuibian renamed the 'Long live Chiang Kai-shek-Street' in front of the president`s palace in Taibei into 'Ketagalan-Alley'. In an article with the title "Is the reason for the 'Promotion' of the hardly pronounceable street name not clear yet?", the China Times comments on the event the following day:

"The renaming of the 'Long live Chiang Kai-shek-Street' into 'Ketagalan-Alley' by the Taibei city government in a manner that must have annoyed quite a few people, as well as Chen Shuibian`s severe criticism of the opponents as 'supporters of the egoistical cultural superiority thinking of the Han-people / nation', made it clear that the legacy of the KMT was to be abolished. By changing the street name one could in one go break the authority of the new and the old KMT and please those socially weak groups like the Yuanzhumin that have been neglected by the government for a long time. It further makes clear: If the Taibei city government - in a time when communist China incessantly emphasizes its unshakeable view of 'China`s sovereignty over Taiwan' – uses a name of the Yuanzhumin- ethnic groups of the Taibei basin as street name in front of the president’s palace, then the meaning is - on a higher level - to demonstrate the political conviction of the DPP that 'Taiwan is Taiwan and China is China' and to make - for the sake of its national status - a demarcation against other political influences. After the renaming, the president’s palace now appears in a light symbolizing the `Taiwanese / Indigenous` (bentu) and symbolizingits affiliation to Taiwan."[17]

The sudden rise of significance of Taiwan`s Aborigines for Taiwan`s own, autonomous history can also explain the development of such strange subgroups of the Aboriginal movement as the China Alliance for Taiwan`s indigenous culture (Zhonghua Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu wenhua lianmeng): Though the story composed by the self-appointed Ketagalan-descendant and head of the association Li Junzhang about the encounter of his ancestors with extraterrestrials 10 thousand years ago can only be called blunt imagination, it received some attention within the discourse of `Taiwanization`. However, the amusing story got a rather embarrassing dimension for the members of the Aboriginal movement when Li publicly read his manuscript at the 1995-meeting of the 'UN-Work Group of Indigenous Peoples' (WGIP).[18]

6. Re-amalgation of `Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups` into `Taiwan`s fate- and life community`

As the discourse of `Taiwan`s great ethnic groups` was suitable to strengthen the position of Taiwan`s Han in general, it soon was not only the logo of the political opposition anymore: Even within the mainstream-wing of the KMT-government around Li Denghui, it received increasing approval since the early 1990s.[19] Nevertheless, leaders in the KMT-government as well as of the DPP were also aware that in a time when the homogenising national frame of the 'Chinese nation / people' imported by the Mainlanders was undermined with all its symbols, there should be also offered another solidarity-endowing, political concept that was able to keep the people of Taiwan together and that could encourage them to form a new 'nation / people`. A concept that seemed suitable to unite the `four ethnic groups` was `Taiwan`s fate-community` (Taiwan mingyun gongtongti). Shortly after its creation by the opposition party in 1990, the term was taken up by president Li Denghui and slightly changed into `Taiwan`s life-community` (Taiwan shengming gongtongti). A couple of further directives and slogans of Li Denghui in 1993 and 1994 aimed at the same direction and intensified the impression that now even the official side appealed to Taiwan’s inhabitants to form an autonomous national community with an autonomous national identity (Notably, the emphasis on the necessity of a `Management of Great Taiwan and the Construction of a New Centre of Chinese Culture` (jingying da Taiwan, jianli xin zhongyuan) or the appeal to form a `New Taiwanese` seemed to leave no doubt about Li`s real endeavours). Simultaneously, there were changes in the official cultural politics that were determined to provide the infra-structural foundation for such a development. Statements made by the minister of the interior and the educational minister in 1993 indicated that the KMT tried to compensate for its faults in the past and that it was now not only willing to recognize Taiwan`s multi-culturality, but that it also wanted to offer opportunities for a further development of the different cultures and languages in Taiwan. Specialists were appointed to work out specific curricula for Hoklo- and Hakka-speakers as well as for Aborigines. Furthermore, there were established long-term-projects like the `Plan for reconstruction of the local communities`. The most important aim of this plan was to `diminish the negative results of industrialisation, cultural homogenisation und over-emphasis of individual development and lead people back to a feeling of responsibility towards their fellow-citizens and their community`. However, the politicians believed that the latter would not be attainable without the individual’s re-identification with its surrounding local culture. Just in this sense, the government offered funds and resources that should encourage all communities in Taiwan – ethnic, rural and urban communities, most of which where either Hoklo, Hakka or Aboriginal – to participate actively in local cultural life, to organize rites and festivals, and to engage in the preservation of local culture and the collection of oral history.[20] As Chen Hua (1998), historian at the National Qinghua-Unversity, explains, these efforts `in a time of national identity crisis in Taiwan had the main purpose to refocus people’s identity on Taiwan and let the people’s original collective memory reorganize and reappear`.[21]

7. Taiwan as the centre of the pacific world

Similarily as the DPP, the KMT-government, that experienced a profound transformation in its interior since the early 1990s, believed that Aborigines could fulfil symbolic functions to two directions: To the inside, the particular acknowledgement of their existence and their cultural achievements were suitable to support the development of a new Taiwanese and the construction of a new cultural centre. This also included the perception of their communities as being vested with a strong feeling of solidarity among its members, a condition that had to be protected and that could serve as a model to Taiwan`s Han society. To the outside, however, the protection and the fostering of this ethnic minority could not only signify the governments democratical and multi-cultural attitude, but also the new cultural and political orientation.

This also included a new orientation in Taiwan`s economical politics envisaged by the reformers within KMT-government and enthusiastically welcomed by the DPP. After travels to the mainland had been allowed by Taiwan`s government in 1988, the Chinese mainland and especially South-China increasingly became a favourable place for investments for Taiwan`s enterprises and private investors: For instance, Taiwanese investors in 1990 already provided 1/3 of the whole foreign investment in Fujian-Province; in Canton-Province, Taiwanese investments were on the second place right behind Japan. Though these new investment opportunities proved to be very advantageous for Taiwan`s industry and commerce, the government pursued a restrictive investment policy after 1988, as it was afraid that Taiwan would become economically too much dependant on the PRCh. Simultaneously, it encouraged investors to become more active in the South pacific, where Taiwanese investors had already begun to make good profits. In Malaysia, for instance, Taiwan with 24,7% of the total amount of foreign investment was just second to Japan, in Thailand 10% of all foreign investments were Taiwanese. After a travel of Li Denghui to several Southeast Asian countries in early 1994 for the sake of the reinforcement of economical contacts, the so-called 'Southbound-Policy' (nanxiang zhengce) began to take shape. At the same time, the ambitious plan of Li Yuanzhe - the new head of the Academia Sinica – to make Taiwan a research centre for the history Southeast Asia became public. As a part of this project, researchers at the Academia Sinica had already begun to make DNA-Analysis with Malayo-Polynesian Peoples in New-Guinea and on Taiwan.[22]

The most important support for the discourse about Taiwan being part of the Pacific world came from Peter Bellwood, a well known Australian linguist. In an article in Scientific American in July 1991, Bellwood confirmed a hypothesis of Isodore Dyen in 1963 that presumed that Taiwan was the origin of all peoples of the Austronesian language family (nandao yuxi minzu): In detail, this hypothesis declared that so-called 'Proto-Austro-Tai' had departed from the extreme South of Mainland China many thousand years ago and settled on Taiwan, where they formed the Austronesian language family about 6000 years ago. Shortly afterwards, first groups of Austronesians began to spread out into the world of the Southeast pacific islands; to the east, they spread as far as to New-Guinea, Hawaii, New Zeeland and to the Easter islands, to the west as far as Madagascar. Attached to the article there was a map that emphasized the autonomous development of the Austronesian Peoples on Taiwan by means of a thick black line that separated Taiwan from China; arrows showed how different waves of Austronesians then had left Taiwan and moved to the Southeast pacific. The revelations of the article as well as the map immediately attained extreme popularity in the circles of the supporters of Taiwan-consciousness: Through the application of Bellwood’s perspective, Taiwan not only had the position as a member, but a central position in the newly conjured pacific sphere.

8. Reaction of the PRCh

Of course, the `Austronezation` that seized Taiwan since the early 1990s did not stay unnoticed in the PRCh. The new kind of nationalist discourse in Taiwan, that referred to the hybridity of Taiwan`s inhabitants and that hence stayed caught in the category of `race`, was now again countered with arguments stressing `racial origins`.[23] For instance, an article with the title "Testification of the genealogical (xueyuan) origin of Taiwan`s Yuanzhumin" in the foreign edition of People’s Daily on 16.2.1996 pointed to new archaeological findings, according to which the so-called gaoshanzu-groups had originally come from the mainland and partly even from North-China to Taiwan and hence must have been Chinese.[24] The author of the article contends enthusiastically, that these findings should also have a direct impact on the important national question of reunification of Taiwan and China. In his introduction to the article, he remarks:

"The question about the genealogical (lit.: blood-relationship) origin of the earlier inhabitants (xianzhumin)[25] of Taiwan has always caught public attention. Doctor Hou Jinfeng - Mongolian and one of the representatives of genealogical anthropology of our country who just recently returned from a research stay in Japan – has confirmed after many years of scientific research: The genetic (yichuan) distance in the blood-relationship between the groups of people in Taiwan and those on the mainland is extremely close, most of them stem from the Miao- und Yao-nationalities from the mainland. Hence, the discourse on the question where Taiwan belongs to has got an even more profound scientific foundation and consolidation now."[26]

9. Conclusion

Since the early 1990s, Taiwan’s Aborigines suddenly received attention again. On the one hand side, this was due to Taiwan`s attempt to show its democratical endeavours to the inside as well as to the outside. On the other hand side, Taiwanese Han elites in the DPP as well as in the KMT increasingly realized the necessity of ethnic, cultural and historical particularity for the construction of an autonomous, independent Taiwanese identity: By making the `Yuanzhumin` – only 2% of Taiwan`s total population – visible as one of 'Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups', they became a touchstone for the democratical development of Taiwanese politics; the way how they were treated, indicated how social and cultural minorities who were not Hoklo-speakers would be treated in the future. Furthermore, the Aborigines - a group that was defined as genealogically different from the Han and that carried a multitude of cultural traditions that were totally different from the Chinese culture and tradition – testified most impressively the absurdity of the myth of homogeneity of Taiwan`s population that had been hold up by the Mainlander-KMT as well as by the KPCh in the past, and highlighted an independent, over six thousand years old Taiwanese history that was characterized by the interaction and intermixture of a multitude of different ethnic groups and cultures. As the `cultural architects` in Taiwan contended, it were these memories, experiences and cultural condensations that were supposed to flow into the people’s collective memory.[27] For the first time in Taiwan`s history, there seemed to be the possibility to let these different memories communicate and reconcile.[28]

Special historical and external conditions, however, prevented that the memories of all groups of people in Taiwan were treated equally. For instance, president Li Denghui in 1994 appealed to Taiwan`s people to allow certain characteristics of Aborigines` cultures - as parts of their clothing-, gastronomic- and architectural culture - integrate into the main culture.[29] Similar suggestions were rarely heard with regard to the cultures of the Mainlanders or the Hakka. After all, the formation of collective memory in post-martial-law Taiwan was subordinate to Taiwanese nationalism - itself a reaction to the Chinese nationalism of the KMT as well as that of the KPCh -, that tried to underline Taiwan`s right to be recognized as a nation in a world of nations by pointing to the particularities of Taiwan. The inherent dynamics that also had its impacts on smaller segments of the society (e.g., on other ethnic groups) remind us of Immanuel Wallerstein`s (1984) remark, that 

"the nationalisms of the modern world are the ambivalent expression of the desire (...) for assimilation to the universal (...) and the attachment to the particular, the rediscovery of differences. It is a universalism through particularism and a particularism through universalism".[30]

This paper only dealt with Taiwan`s Aborigines in Taiwan`s political and cultural discourses. As for Taiwan`s Aboriginal people themselves, we don’t know yet whether the re-evaluation of their cultures and languages will have positive or negative effects on the people. While ordinary members of Aboriginal society in the mid-1990s usually still took a rather sceptical stance towards the new development, young intellectuals of Aboriginal society and Han society often acted as moderators in the process described. Especially those elements that pointed to the particularity of Taiwan`s Aborigines - including many aspects that were avoided by the ordinary people and that were not openly referred to, for instance the former headhunting- and tattooing-culture or the traditional naming-practices[31] - now got newly staged and – equipped with the label of `authenticity` - presented to the whole Chinese-speaking world by making use of the multi-medial capacities of the internet.[32] As I argued in earlier contributions, democratic ideals could be easily undermined at this point. My fieldwork in Taiwan in the years 1994-96 showed that not everybody in Aboriginal society wanted to be visible to the outside; likewise, not everybody longed for the restoration of certain cultural traditions that would re-establish inequality within their group.[33]



Assmann, Jan, 1997, Das kulturelle Ged_chtnis [Cultural Memory], (C.H.Beck) M_nchen 1997.


Chang Mao-kuei, 1994, "Towards an Understanding of the Sheng-chi Wen-ti in Taiwan - Focusing on Changes after Liberalization", in: Chen Chung-min / Chuang Ying-chang / Huang Shu-min (ed.), Ethnicity in Taiwan - Social, Historical and Cultural Perspectives, (Institute of Ethnology Academia Sinica) Taiwan 1994:93-151.


Chen Guangxing, 1994, "Diguo zhi yan: 'ci' diguo yu guozu-guojia de wenhua xiangxiang" [The Imperialist Eye: The Cultural Imaginary of a Sub-Empire and a Nation State], in: Taiwan shehui yanjiu jikan, Nr.17, Taibei 7/1994:149-222.


Chen Hua, 1998, “Shequ yingzao yu jiti jiyi  [Community Renaissance and Collective Memory], (Paper presented at the Third Annual Conference on the History and Culture of Taiwan at Columbia University, August 20-23, 1998) New York 1998).


DPP (Minzhu jinbudang), 1993, Zhengce baipishu (ganglingpian) [Policy-Whitebook (Political program)], Zhengce yanjiu zhongxin, (Minzhu jinbu dang zhongyang dangbu), Taibei 7/1993.


Li Junzhang, 1995, Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu lishi de xin tantao (engl.: New Investigation Upon Historicism of Taiwan Indigenous People), Paper presented at the WGIP in Geneva 24.-28.7.1995.


Rudolph, Michael, 1996, ‘Was heißt hier Taiwanesisch? - Taiwans Ureinwohner zwischen Diskriminierung und Selbstorganisation’ [Who has the right to call himself 'Taiwanese'? - Taiwan's Aborigines between discrimination and selforganization], in: Schubert, Gunter/ Schneider, Axel, 1996 (ed): Taiwan an der Schwelle zum 21. Jahrhundert - Gesellschaftlicher Wandel, Probleme und Perspektiven eines asiatischen Schwellenlandes, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Asienkunde, Nr. 270, Hamburg 1996:285-308.


Rudolph, Michael, 2000b ‘The Quest for Difference vs. the Wish to Assimilate: Taiwan's Aborigines and their Struggle for Cultural Survival in Times of Multiculturalism’, in: Rubinstein, Murray et al. (ed) , Identity, Culture and Religion in Taiwan, (St. Martins Press) New York 2000 (in press).


Rudolph, Michael, 2000c ‘Assimilation oder kulturelle Revitalisierung? - Ursprünge und Implikationen der Identitäts-Bewegung Taiwanesischer Ureinwohner (Yuanzhumin) 1983-1996’ [Assimilation or cultural revitalization? – Origins and implications of the identity movement of Taiwanese Aborigines (Yuanzhumin) 1983-1996], (Doctorial dissertation at the Faculty for Oriental Studies and Archaeology at the University of Heidelberg).


Shi Ming, 1980, Taiwanren sibainian shi [The four hundred years old history of the Taiwanese], (Paradise Culture Associates) San Jose CA. 1980.


Stainton, Michael, 1999a, "The Politics of Taiwan Aboriginal Origins", in: Murray A. Rubinstein, 1999, Taiwan: A New History, (M.E.Sharpe) New York 1999:27-44.


Wallerstein, Imanuel, 1984, The Politics of the World Economy, Cambridge 1984.


Wang Xiaohui, 1996, "Yanzheng Taiwan Yuanzhumin xueyuan zhi yuan" [Testification of the genealogical origin of Taiwan`s Yuanzhumin], in: Renmin ribao (Haiwaiban) 16.2.1996:5.


Wu Micha, 1994, "Pinglun Liao Binghui "Zuqun yu minzu zhuyi" [Commentary to Liao Binghui`s article "Ethnic group and Nationalism"], in: TAUP, 1994, Taiwan minzu zhuyi, (Qianwei) Taibei 12/1994:101-120.


Wu Yaofeng, 1994a, "Yuanzhumin wenhua ziyuan zhi fajue" [Excavation of the cultural ressources of the Yuanzhumin], in: 83 niandu shandi yanxiban jiangyi, Taibei 6/1994.


Xie Shizhong, 1995, "Zuqun guanxi - yi ge zhishi shang de liaojie" [Ethnic relations - an intellectual interpretation], in: Yuanzhumin wenhua gongzuozhe tianye shiyong shouce 2, (Taiwan Yuanzhumin wenhua yuanqu) 1995:107-140.


Zhang Maogui, 1996a, "Taiwan zui cishou de zhengzhi wenti" [Taiwan`s most urgent political problem], in: Cai Xun (Wealth Magazine) Nr. 168, 3/1996:152-163.


Zhang Yanxian (ed.), 1993, Chuangzao Taiwan xin wenhua [Creation of Taiwan`s New Culture], (Qianwei) Taibei 4/1993.


On March 12, 1996, the newly elected Taibei city mayor Chen Shuibian announced that the street in front of the president’s palace in Taibei - `Long live Chiang Kai-shek Road` - had been renamed to 'Ketagalan Allee.` The Ketagalan were one of those Aboriginal groups in Taiwan that had assimilated to Han-society long before.

In his reflections on the structures of collective memory, Jan Assmann (1997) contends that after a period of 40 years the memory of a generation of people with shared experiences comes to a critical stage. After this period those who were witnesses of significant events as adults, gradually step out of professional life. When they die, their memory - or better: the `social frame` in which their memory was organized - vanishes, and certain aspects that have not been transformed into cultural memory yet may fall into – or may be left to - oblivion.[34]

If we look at Taiwan, Taiwanese Han elites showed tremendous efforts to reconstruct collective memory since the end of the 1980s – exactly those years when Mainlander elites memory had begun to wither away and other memories had the chance to take over. The notion of `Taiwan`s fate community` - a concept that has been set up by Taiwan`s opposition party in 1989 - , as well as the notion of `Taiwan`s living community` put forward by the central figure of Taiwanese KMT-elites Li Denghui shortly afterwards, converged into a long-term community renaissance policy after 1992, which `in a time of national identity crisis in Taiwan had the main purpose to refocus people’s identity on Taiwan and let the people’s original collective memory reorganize and reappear` (Chen 1998).[35] In this project, all communities in Taiwan – ethnic, rural and urban communities, most of which where either Hoklo, Hakka or Aboriginal – where asked to participate actively in local cultural life, to organize rites and festivals, and to engage in the preservation of local culture and the collection of oral history.

My paper explores the role of Taiwan`s Aborigines in this process of memory reconstruction in Taiwan since the lifting of martial law. The emergence of the notion of `ethnic group` in Taiwan and the construction of `the four great ethnic groups` were important steps in this endeavour: By shifting the focus away from the `China nation` to distinct `cultural` and `ethnic groups`, the framework in which people had forcibly organized their memory for forty years was broken up and newly arranged; though the new framework was not clearly articulated yet, DPP- as well as KMT-politicians conjured ethnic integration of the people in Taiwan, which would finally either crystallize into a `new arising nation` or into a `new Taiwanese`. In this process, Taiwan`s Austronesians fulfilled an important role in political, historical as well as in cultural terms: Not only could Taiwan`s history now be backdated to a history of 8-10 thousand years, even longer than that of the mainland; Taiwan’s Austronesian heritage also served as a proof that Taiwan - in cultural and genetic terms – had its own particularity and was much more connected to the pacific region than to any region to the west of Taiwan. 

[1] Paper for the "Workshop on Modern Chinese Historiography and Historical Thinking", University of Heidelberg, Germany, May 23-27, 2001.
[2] The term Yuanzhumin (hereafter: YZM) - a direct translation from the English term `Ab-originals` - has been chosen in 1984 by members of the Aboriginal movement as a substitution for the official term 'mountain compatriots'. It took ten years until this new ethnonym was officially recognized by the second constitution amendment of June 28, 1994, and two more years until the government yielded to pressure from YZM-legislators to establish a YZM-representing committee on the central level (see Rudolph 1996).
[3] Assmann, who works with the theoretical framework of Maurice Halbwachs, divides collective memory into two dimensions: communicative and cultural memory. Where the former stands for the experiences people share with other members of their generation (this kind of memory begins when a generation grows up and ends when it dies), the latter means the condensation of memory into mythical narrations, liturgically repeated and remembered in festivals, rites etc. (see Assmann 1997:50f).
[4] I here use `Taiwanese Han` synonymous to `Taiwan`s Han`, a term that comprises members of the Hoklo- and Hakka-groups and that forms a contrast to `Taiwan`s Mainlander-Han`.
[5] The concept as well as the slogan of 'The 400-years old history of the Taiwanese' conjured up supporters of Taiwan-consciousness has its origin in the work of Shi Ming (1980). Written 1962 in Japan in Chinese, Shi`s book was first published in the United States 1980, since 1993 there exists a legal edition in Taiwan. Aboriginal intellectuals criticize the work because it does not include the history of Taiwan`s Aborigines.
[6]Wu Feng was the name of a Han-merchant in the 17th century, who is said to have dedicated himself to educate Aborigines and who in exchange was cruelly killed by the former head-hunters.
[7] see Xie Shizhong (1995) in "Ethnic relations – an intellectual interpretation".
[8] see Chang Mao-kuei 1994.
[9] The reasons why the DPP regarded a fair ethnic politics as essential for Taiwan can be read in the `Policy-White Book` of the DPP of 1993. A separated chapter with the title 'Ethnic - and Cultural Politics' first summarizes the negative impacts of the nationalism 'One great China, one Chinese People / Nation', that gave rise to the ruthless sinization and mandarinization of Taiwan`s people by the KMT: Melting together 'Taiwan`s four great ethnic groups' into the abstract concept 'one Chinese People / Nation- the Chinese', not only constantly nurtured the PRCh`s quest for sovereignty over Taiwan; it also was a hindrance to Taiwan`s people’s identification with the state and to ethnic integration of the people on Taiwan, because it caused feelings of superiority and inferiority among the different ethnic groups. Arguing that in a modern and independent state there should not be tolerated superiority and inferiority of different ethnic groups and that not a single ethnic group should be allowed to assure its own pride and dignity by belittlering the value of other groups, the authors then explain the ethnic - and cultural politics planned by the DPP; that aimed at more consideration of the special political, economic and cultural needs of all ethnic groups on Taiwan. Here, a special paragraph is dedicated to Taiwan`s Aborigines.
[10] Within the new concept, only the term `ethnic group from the external provinces` (waisheng zuqun) still caused some offence, as the category of `province` here was still visible. In 1995, there were attempts to replace the term by `new inhabitants` (xinzhumin).
[11] Nevertheless, the term `minzu` was set aside for the time being. When Aboriginal intellectuals attempted to add the label `minzu` to their own group (i.e., Yuanzhu minzu), this endeavour was not much welcomed by Taiwan`s Han-intellectuals.
[12] see „Taiwan zhumin de zhengming wenti“ [The name correction problems of Taiwan`s inhabitants], in: Minzhong shibao, 12.12.1994 (reprint of the record of the conference in the Legislative Yuan on 18.10.1994).
[13] see Xie Shizhong 1995:125; also see Stainton 1999a:41. Stainton cites an announcement in Taiwan`s internet, that points to the alleged genetic fusion of Han and Aborigines. Here it says: "The majority of Taiwanese are descendentsof Austronesians (60%) and only a minor proportion of Taiwanese are descendants of immigrants from mainland China, no matter whether they are speaking Holo, Hakka, Chinese, or English today. This is also supported by recent biological research findings indicating that blood DNA profiles of most Taiwanese are different from those of Chinese.“
[14] see Wu Micha 1994:119.
[15] The Ketagalan were one of the 25 Aboriginal groups that originally lived on Taiwan. For a long time, it was believed that the Ketagalan had assimilated to Han-society, and they were not officially mentioned anymore. But in the early 1990s, their descendants suddenly reappeared: Though they could testify their Aboriginal origins by practicing certain rituals, they were not able anymore to understand the texts they cited (see Rudolph 2000c).
[16] see China Tribune, Nr.12, 9/1991.
[17] see China Times, 3.3.1996:14 ("Tuixiao' aokou xin luming liyou bu ming bu bai?“).
[18] See Li Junzhang 1995. Li bases his arguments on a rock painting of the Ketagalan at the relics site Sandiaoshe. The painting that Li calls `Elohim`, is supposed to be the image of the `ancestor' of the Austronesian peoples whose common language once upon a time was Ketagalan. According to Li, the painting was painted by the Ketagalan as a memorial to the extraterrestrials who came to Sandiaoshe many thousand years ago, where they built caves for the people. Only by the help of the extraterrestrials, the Ketagalan survived the great flood that engulfed Taiwan 6000 years ago and could spread into the Pacific world.
[19] In the course of the formation of the New China Party in 1993, it became evident that even Taiwan`s second- and third generation Mainlander-Han, who had developed an increasing `consciousness of crisis` (waishengren weiji yyishi) in the years succeeding to Li Denghui`s election, had largely accepted the new categorization: In order to be elected, they called themselves `the party that represented the interests of the `Mainlanders ethnic group` (waishengren zuqun)` (see Zhang Maogui 1996a). 
[20] The idea officially propagated was `that only through participation in cultural activities in one`s own community, civil consciousness and responsibility could be developed and finally be adapted to a national level`. However, the activities mentioned surely also served the generating of cultural memory in Assmann`s sense.
[21] vgl. Chen Hua 1998:2;13. In his article , Chen Hua also refers to Halbwachs.
[22] In his article Chen Guangxing (1994) analyzes to what degree cultural discourses supported the governments economic interests in Taiwan in the early 1990s.
[23] Nationalists in China as well as in Taiwan harboured the common conviction, that claims on territory could be better pushed through if it could be proved that the people who lived on the territory in question stemmed from the `same uterus' (tongbao) as the people of that side that formulated the claims. Accordingly, they also concurred in the conviction that claims on territory would be difficult to push through if the `fact of the common genealogical and cultural origin` that had been constantly emphasized was refuted.
[24] `Gaoshanzu` is the term that was used in Taiwan`s academic circles for Taiwan`s Aborigines until the `Name correction movement of Taiwan`s Yuanzhumin` in the early 1990s (at that time, most scholars switched to `Yuanzhumin``). `Gaoshanzu` includes all the different groups of Aborigines with their different languages and often deals with them as one group (similarily as `Yuanzhumin` stands for one of four ethnic groups in Taiwan). In the PRCh, most people still use the term `gaoshanzu` instead of `Yuanzhumin` , because `gaoshanzu` is one of the 56 officially determined `nationalities` (minzu) in China.
[25] `Xianzhumin` was one of the terms used by the opponents of the term `Yuanzhumin` in Taiwan before the constitutional rectification of the ethnomym in 1994. 
[26] vgl. Wang Xiaohui 1996:5. 
[27] In terms of theory, the intellectual architects of this movement were very much aware of the significance of their efforts, as books entitled `Creation of Taiwan`s New Culture` showed at that time (see Zhang Yanxian 1993).
[28] During the Qing-period (on Taiwan 1683-1895), the different groups of Taiwan`s population were still too separated from each other to form a common collective memory. As for the time of Japanese colonial rule (1895-1945), the period was too short to allow communicative memory find its correspondences and condensations in cultural memory; hence, there also was not enough time for the formation of a lasting collective memory.
[29] see Wu Yaofeng 1994. Wu was the head of the personnel department of the provincial government in 1994. Wu`s article with the title "Excavation of the cultural resources of the Yuanzhumin" contains a detailed evaluation of those parts of Aboriginal Culture that might be of some value to the Han.
[30] see Wallerstein 1984:166f (quotation from Stuart Hall, Rassismus und kulturelle Identität, Argument-Verlag 1994:204).
[31] Examples that can be named here are the `Culture Headhunting Raid` of Aboriginal intellectuals at the Yuanzhumin Culture Congress in 1994 (see Rudolph 1996) as well as the demands for the revitalization of Aboriginal languages and traditional individual names. In the latter case, Aboriginal elites requested that the revitalization should be more actively supported by the government, for instance by officially ordaining the rehabilitation of names. Such a practice, however, would not be advantageous for everybody in Aboriginal society. If we look at the situation of the Paiwan or Rukai, for instance, the former class-differences that are petrified in the traditional front and family names would then be visible again, a clear disadvantage for the lower-class members of these groups.
[32] see for instance the website `The Tattooing Culture Atelier` that was published by the Taroko Tian Guishi in 1996. 
[33] see Rudolph 2000b+c.
[34] see Assmann 1997:50f.
[35] see Chen Hua 1998:2;13.