This paper originally comes from:
Michael Rudolph, Heidelberg University, Institute of Chinese Studies; Email:
The Quest for Difference vs the Wish to Assimilate: Taiwan's Aborigines and their Struggle for Cultural Survival in Times of Multiculturalism
1. Tian Guishi's homepage 'The Facial Tattoo of Tayal'
2. Acceptance of the cultural perspectives of elites within Aboriginal society
3. A methodological excursus
4. Multicultural Taiwan
6. The Background and Functions of the Multiculturalism of the 90s and the Role of Aborigines
7. The Strive for Authenticity
8. The Quest for 'Yuanzhumin-Subjectivity': the 'Re-emmergence' of Headhunting
9. The Reasons for the Change of Attitude towards Headhunting
10. Taiwanese subjectivity and Aborigines subjectivity: the search for new paths for the deconstruction and subversion of Han-hegemony and Han-centrism
The claim for multiculturalism in Taiwan's political and cultural sphere since the early 1990s affects Taiwan's Austronesian population and the cultures of these peoples in various ways. It can be observed that particular segments of Aboriginal society, which may differ in social strata as well as in ethnic backgrounds, often have completely different and even mutually excluding views on the question of which parts of a particular culture ought to be preserved, revitalized, renewed or omitted - a divergence which has become even more evident in the course of a growing sense of 'culturalism' in ethnic elites during the last couple of years: the need to demonstrate cultural and ethnic particularity felt by the latter - a requirement which evolves from the 'discourse of difference' - often forms a sharp contrast to the desire of ordinary people to assimilate to social norms. Especially those strategies which aim at a deconstruction and subversion of authoritarian structures of dominance and Han-centred thinking are mostly met with ignorance and refusal. Hence, despite of all its positive implications for Taiwanese society, multiculturism also fosters new contradictions and tensions which challenge the process of further democratization.
1. Tian Guishi's homepage 'The Facial Tattoo of Tayal'
Looking at Tian Guishi' internet homepage 'The Facial Tattoo of Tayal', users worldwide are confronted with impressive and exotic pictures: photographs of old men and woman with greenish-blue tattoos on chin and forehead, in the case of the men rather decently done, but somewhat more shocking in the case of the women, whose lower part of the face is sometimes totally covered by the tattoos. In one of the attached Chinese language articles Tian - who himself is a member of the Taroko, one of the subgroups of the Atayal - explains the myth of the origin of the custom, in another article the qualifications men and women needed to demonstrate in order to receive the tattoo and acquire the right to marry: men had to prove their skills in hunting and in battle, while woman were expected to have high skills in weaving. Males who were successfull several times in headhunting were authorized to add special tattoos to their breast, feet and forehead. Among the stories reported, is also that of 90-years old Biyang Lahang, who had observed the bloody scenes of headhunting with her own eyes and who could account for the way the heads were treated after headhunting.
The reasons for his decision to engage in cultural preservation work Tian explains as follows: he wanted to protect the dying culture of his people from further misunderstandings and humiliations. Many Aborigines and Han of Taiwan didn't have any knowledge of their own history: though they had learnt how Sun Zhongshan overthrew the Qing dynasty, they had never heard of the anti-Japanese martyr Mona Ludao. Tian then tells the story of his son who had been ridiculed because of the tattoos of his relatives, who looked like members of the Yakusa to his schoolmates. However, during the harvest festival in 1993 Tian was surprised to observe the Han carrying the knives of savages, dressed like Atayal and sitting on the seats of the Atayal elders, and thought to himself that these seats actually belonged to the elders. Another motivation for his work was the rapid disappearance of tattooed people: in 1993, when he was the people's-representative in Xiulin township, there were still 82 of the tattooed people living, but in 1996 he found only 34 of them left.
In all, the biggest problem Tian faces is not the contest with time, but the reluctance of his own people to cooperate with him in his work of cultural preservation. For instance, he has even experienced being hounded by the dogs of the tribe while pursuing his documentation work. Nevertheless, by 1997 he had succeeded in filming the faces of more than 100 of the tattooed and recording their life histories. One of the few moments of encouragement during his often frustrating and fatiguing work were the exhortations of one of the accompanying Han journalists, who expressed the hope that 'the lost tattooing-culture of the Atayal would some day return to its tribes, so that following generations would come to know the glory of the past of their people'.
The homepage cited above is a pretty good example for the way Aboriginal culture today is represented by members of the Aboriginal movement and the Taiwanization movement. We find references to the high value and the particularity of the dying Atayal culture, to the cultural practice of headhunting and its connected customs, to the devaluation of these customs by the Han and to the 'rehabilitation'. This has only taken place recently and is on the one hand due to the awakening of the Aborigines who have realized the value of their cultures through the fetishisms of the Han. But it is - on the other hand - also due to the attention Aborigines receive from Han intellectuals and Taiwan's media, who are increasingly inclined to recognize and acknowledge the Aborigines value in providing testimonies of a non-Chinese past and as themselves being representatives of alternative value systems. But there is still something else to be learnt from the homepage: while the protection of Aboriginal culture pursued by Aboriginal elites is obviously very much supported and encouraged by the Han, ordinary people in Aboriginal society seem to have problems in identifying with the cultural perspectives and value orientations of their elites.
2. Acceptance of the cultural perspectives of elites within Aboriginal society
The results of field research conducted in villages of the Taroko and the Paiwan from 1994 to 1996 with the aim of evaluating the acceptance of the Aboriginal movement serve as a confirmation for this picture. In the case of the Taroko, few people regarded the tattoes as an expression of 'culture'; in most cases these signs of 'savageness', and those who still wore them, were hidden as far as possible. Even less did people wish to talk about headhunting. Instead, I was often told the story of Ji Oang, the Taroko woman who brought christianity to the Taroko under the Japanese, and the plight and the suffering of missonaries like Wilang Takao, who was said to have endured severe punishment for evangelizing Aborigines in Japanese times. Despite all the cruelty of the Japanese, most people said that they wouldn't blame them for it, because after all the Japanese liberated the Taroko from headhunting even before the arrival of christianity. The name of Mona Ludao was really largely unknown, only a few older people knowing that he must have been a Dekedaya or Bleibao (another subgroup of the Atayal) and not a Taroko. Some of the younger people knew the name of Mona Ludao by having read a bentu-comic with the title "The Wushe incident".
As with the attidudes concerning the headhunting past of the Taroko, the conceptions of origin often formed a contrast to the convictions of the elites: only a few villagers were inclined to regard on themselves as 'Austronesians', that is as members of peoples who were totally different from the Han. They had already very much got used to the belief that they were of common origin and descent with the Han people (including the affiliation to a 5000 year-old mainland-culture), just as KMT-education had assured them for decades, in spite of the daily allusions to their civilizatory backwardness, testified through their 'dialect speaking' and their differing life and housing styles. They had also internalized the view of history proclaimed by the KMT until the early 90s, according to which some day in the future the mainland would be recovered and ruled again. In some cases, I was told how 'one' (i.e., the Chinese) had been mistreated by the Japanese during the 'eight-year anti-Japanese war', and that it was 45 years since 'one' (i.e., the ROC) had come to Taiwan. In contrast, the political situation of the Aborigines in Taiwan was not very well known: very few people knew that the only central government institution for minorities was dedicated to Tibetans and Mongolians and that there was no similar institution for Taiwan's Aborigines: one of the improprieties the elites where fighting against.
From this perspective, it seemed totally useless and even against one's own interest to rehabilitate traditional front and family names, as had been allowed by the government in Janary 1995 after many years of engagement by the elites. Many said that there were too many different names in their families already, others believed that a traditional name would make them indistinguishable from other Tarokos with the same name. And, last but not least, a rehabilitation of traditional names would only make sense to most of them if everybody in the family joined, which seemed very unlikely under the conditions mentioned above.
Likewise, the people could not see a crisis of their mother language in the same sense as this was perceived by the elites: the Taroko language was widely used, but many people also believed that theycould live without it (English was believed to be more important). The same was thought of the durable or eternal possession of mountain reservation land: it was believed to be of equal importance to be able to make investments with the earnings from it (in many occasions after selling it illegally to the Han), so that one could afford an estate or a home in the cities. Autonomous zones did not seem very attractive from this point of view; it was even suspected that this was only a means to get Aborigines 'locked up in a cage so that you could look at them like monkeys in the zoo'.
But it were not only the Taroko villagers who regarded the activities of the elites to revitalize and protect culture with suspicion. In the Paiwan village where I stayed, I realized that the scepticism against official rehabilitation of traditional front and family-names was especially strong. Due to the rudimentary subsistence of certain structures of the former nobility- and class-society (which was partially a consequence of the government instrumentalization of people with former nobility status), non-noble members of this society naturally regarded the possibility of name rehabilitation with very mixed and ambivalent feelings: an official rehabilitation of one's status-revealing front and family-name would inevitably cause a fall back into one's former subordinate, inferior status. Thus, they often even even refused to tell me their 'bad-sounding' Paiwan names. In contrast, the former 'nobles' with their 'nice-sounding' names tried to make use of the favourableness of the situation and emphasized the superiority of their class in bentu publications, schoolbook-materials and in newly established 'culture protection committees'.
3. A methodological excursus
In a discussion on the construction of the past in the South Pacific Roger M. Keesing (1989) describes the origins and functions of modern myths. According to his findings, many discourses of cultural identity in postcolonial Melanesia and Polynesia have developed in constant interaction with western ideologies. As he shows, the categories of the dominators were extensively internalized, not only because the discourse of domination created the objective conditions in which struggles must be fought, but also because it defined the semiology in which claims to power must be expressed. Nevertheless, western idelogy often was not directly taken over; instead, parts of indigenous culture that were believed to differ most strikingly from the dominant culture were selected and confronted with the former in a dialectical way. Common examples are idealizations of 'sharing', 'communal life' and 'unity with land and nature'. However, many of these idealizations of the precolonial past, which were formulated by educated, careerist elites, were very similar to those idealizations of primitivity, wisdom and reverence for ecology put forward by critiques of modern technology and progress. As a further characteristic Keesing mentions that the identity-endowing idealizations of the past were often based on anthropological concepts (it thus seems ironic that it is precisely anthropologists who are frequently accused of 'exploiting' indigenous cultures). But, as even these 'real' pasts can only reflect partial realities - because they include and transport the essentialisms, romanticizations, mystifications and fetishisms of the anthropologists, or because they rely on interpretations of former ruling elites - it's not so important to raise the question of the relationship between 'authentic' and 'inauthentic' culture. What matters more is the question of how the legacy of those 'real' pasts influences the present, for instance by way of certain power structures. For this reason, Keesing demands:
"A critical scepticism with regard to pasts and power, and a critical deconstruction of conceptualizations of 'a culture' that hide and neutralize subaltern voices and perspectives should, I think, dialectically confront idealizations of the past".
In the section that follows I will show that such a scepticism is also necessary in respect to the reconstructions of the past undertaken by Aboriginal elites in Taiwan: the contradictions between elites and people I mentioned earlier often have their origins here. However, in Taiwan the mutually mirrowing levels of dominators and dominated seem to be even more complex. In their discourses, which often heavily draw on western theories, Aboriginal elites not only relate to their Taiwanese dominators, but to mainlanders and Taiwanese simultanously, who themselves face each other in a postcolonial relationship; moreover, people in Taiwan are also forced to cope and to deal with threats of incorporation from mainland China. But these three counter-hegemonic discourses today are not clearly separated anymore: they mutually fertilize and give wings to each other, often by utilizing western theories and concepts, but also by excluding the less educated, who are not able to follow the rapid changing meta-discussions or who just don't see any advantages in certain ways of representation. While some of the members of the Aboriginal movement had visualized this incongruity already by the end of the 80s - this caused them to proclaim the 'Return to the tribes movement' - multiculturalism had even enhanced these contradictions. For a better understanding of the interrelationship between multiculturalism, the role of Aborigines and the commitment of Aboriginal elites I shall say some words now about the background and the development of multiculturalism in Taiwan.
4. Multicultural Taiwan
Simultanous with the democratization process which has been going on since the lifting of martial law in 1987, we also observe a steady revival of ethnic and cultural identities in Taiwan. The homogenization and amalgamation of Taiwanese society as it had been pursued by the KMT previously - embodied in slogans like 'Children of the Yellow Emperor' - seems to belong to the past. With rising efforts of the Taiwanese to point out their differences from the mainlanders as well as from mainland China in respect to culture, history and consciousness, the former 'question of provincial descent' has developed into an 'ethnic question'. It was at this time that claims for recognition of the multiculturality of Taiwanese society and the implementation of multicultural politics became louder every day. By the beginning of the 90s, not only governmental institutions like the Council of Cultural Planning, but also politicians from the opposition party refered more and more often to Taiwan's society as a 'multicultural society'. This pointed to a re-introduction of cultural-ethnic differentiation into a society which had earlier to a large extent already been functionally differentiated. Almost imperceptibly, the postulate of the monocultural, homogeneous society had been replaced by the 'discourse of difference'.
This new self-description 'multicultural' not only added a new dimension to Taiwan's democratization discourse, but also caused an inherent dilemma of democratic systems - i.e., the precarious dialectic of 'universalism' and 'particularism' - to become even more salient. It now had to be asked to what extent the claim of equal rights, equal respect and non-discrimination could be satisfied by a politics of 'recognition of universal human dignity', or whether cultural difference should be recognized to a much larger degree than before in order to give non-mainstream members of the 'life-(or fate)-community' Taiwan the feeling of a more respected existence. Under such circumstances, their 'cultural difference' would be taken as the basis for a differential practice. They would be guaranteed certain rights and authorities which did not apply to other Taiwanese, and - as multiculturalism in its deepest sense also suggested - attention would be paid to those interests which aimed at the cultural survival of a group and the generating of further members.
5. Taiwanese Multiculturalism
By looking at Aboriginal politics, we can see very clearly that some steps in this last mentioned direction really have been made. Such a development seems particulary astonishing, as in the past all administration measures regarding Aborigines were handled as 'temporary regulations' which would soon become unnecessary. Some initial self-criticism of previous Aboriginal policy and its results was put forward in the 'Program for Mountain Society Development' set up by the provincial government in 1988. In the same year the government announced the setting up of a five-year-plan to improve Aboriginal education. The plan was supposed to contain the following aims: the promotion of contact and communication of mountain-society with the main society; the promotion of marketableness; the preservation and promotion of Aboriginal languages and cultures to build up self-dignity and self-respect; the promotion of talented people to develop the capability for autonomy. The five-year-plan was finished in 1992 and put into force in 1993, the International 'Year of Indigenous People'. In that very year Guo Weifan, minister of education, and Wu Boxiong, minister of the intererior, openly admitted mistakes in former education policies and promised the implementation of classes in vernacular languages and local knowledge by 1996. In 1994 the government proclaimed a plan for the implementation of elementary- and junior-school education in preferential zones, which was supposed to meet education disparities between countryside and cities by means of 'active reverse discrimination'.
But the 'recognition of difference' was not limited to the field of education: Important concessions have also been made in general policy, for instance, concerning the recognition of the self-chosen name of the Aborigines, 'Yuanzhumin', in 1994, the right for rehabilitation of traditional front and family-names in 1995, and the establishment of 'Aboriginal Affairs committees' not only in the two metropoles Taibei and Gaoxiong, but by late 1996 also on the central level, with representatives of all ten different ethnic groups, including the Peipohuan (pingpuzu), which had re-appeared in 1990. After 1991 the government also gave increasing attention to Aboriginal communities in the course of its efforts towards 'community reconstruction'. Every ethnic group was now encouraged to search for its own cultural particularities.
The official change towards multiculturalism also caused a change of the government's attitude towards the oppositional Aboriginal elite. In the course of the cultural reconstruction of Aboriginal society, their members were increasingly integrated and engaged into projects initiated by central government institutions. The Ministry of Education and the Council of Cultural Planning now became frequent dispensers of jobs. Since 1992 the teachers college in Hualian has organized regular classes for Aboriginal teachers as well as for Aboriginal students of teachers' colleges who were to teach in Aboriginal schools, to improve their teaching-ability in themes related to Aboriginal culture. Furthermore, teachers have been encouraged to participate in the work of setting up Aboriginal teaching materials. The central government thereby joined the efforts of the opposition, who had started to engage Aboriginal elites in the education sector as early as 1990 (just about the time when the opposition also started to organize homeland and vernacular education). The development depicted here also led to an increasing amalgamation of the two originally antagonistic and mutually-despising wings of the Aboriginal elites, i.e., the oppositional and the KMT-loyal, political elite.
6. The Background and Functions of the Multiculturalism of the 90s and the Role of Aborigines
If we ask for further reasons for the development towards multiculturalism and the role played by the Aborigines in this process, we find some hints in the writings of Walisi Yougan. In a critical discussion on Aboriginal vernacular education the young Atayal writer argues that the phenomenon of multiculturalism in Taiwan has to be seen in close relationship with the efforts of 'taiwanization', the 'deconstruction of the authoritarian system', the 'discovery of Taiwan', the return to the homeland' and the'search for Taiwanese subjectivity'. As Walisi points out, even the initiative to implement vernacular language classes was not so much due to the latent ethnic consciousness of the Aborigines but to the endeavour of local DFP- and KMT-governments to show their willingness and fervor for taiwanization. The Paiwan and political sciences scholar Gao Deyi points to some additional grounds for the implementation of multicultural politics. In an article on the 'Development of ethnic relations to a pluralistic entity and Aboriginal politics in Taiwan' he names the functions of an adequate Aboriginal policy: according to his argument it can serve the realization of the equality of nationalities as provided in the constitution; it further helps in strengthening Aborigines' loyality towards the government, assures the healthy development of Aboriginal society, strengthens cultural protection and fertilizes national culture, lifts the international image and enhances the peaceful competition with the mainland. And the ethnologist Wu Tiantai, director of the 'Aborigines Education Research Center' at the Teachers College in Hualian until 1996, explains the necessity for the implementation of multicultural education as follows: The lack of respect towards the coexisting ethnic groups that had been expressed through sinicizing cultural policies caused their members to develop that kind of social stigma and feeling ofinferiority that ethnologists like Xie Shizhong and Xu Muzhu described as constituting the main source of adaptation problems and which had a negative impact on ethnic interaction. Wu emphasizes that a multicultural people must not necessarily have a common ancestor to develop the imagination of belonging to the same 'fate community'. In the same article Wu points out that by learning more about Aboriginal culture students can exercise their ability for analytical thinking. In this way they learn how to catch up with the needs of modern sociey. This means that multicultural education not only aims at the improvement of Aboriginal education in the schools, but also helps to improve the education of the whole people.
All this shows that members of the Aboriginal elite are very much aware of their value in Taiwan's society today. They know about the potential Aborigines are believed to have in the area of the construction of Taiwanese identity, directed inwards as well as towards the outside (for instance, towards the UN or investion partners from the South Pacific); they have recognized their usefulness in being instrumentalized against the conservative wing of the KMT or against the incorporation efforts of the People's Republic. And they are also aware of their significance for the fertilization of Taiwan's cultural climate.
7. The Strive for Authenticity
It was this new attention that the Aborigines and their cultures received from growing segments within Taiwanese society (political opposition, taiwanization-orientated circles within the central government, ethnologists, human rights organizations and environmental protection groups) which caused Aboriginal elites to develop a new kind of self-confidence and self-consciousness. More and more people within the elites now realized the importance of the protection and, if necessary, the revitalization of Aboriginal culture and ethnicity. The question of 'authenticity' at this time also became of increasing significance for the elites in the process of forming alliances. This can be seen by the growing support and commitment of the former KMT-loyal Aboriginal elites with regard to legal recognition of the Aborigines' ethnonym and status, for an Aborigines' basic law, for the rehabilitation of traditional names, for the implementation of Aboriginal institutions on the central level, as well as for autonomous zones - all of these matters which so far had only been fought for by the oppositional elites whose members mostly originated from church and opposition circles or from campus student organizations. As for the work of preservation, protection and revitalization, great hopes were now placed in those Aboriginal elites who went back to the tribes as social activists, teachers or ministers to 'save what still could be saved'. Large expectations were also projected on the twelve Aborigines who were instructed in the area of documentary film by 'Public TV', the channel from the central information bureau, and who from 1994 on travelled through Aboriginal villages to record traditional rituals and festivals. Several private filming companies at this time also began to engage Aborigines as filmmakers.
The growing degree of interaction between people and elites caused latent contradictions and differences in cultural perspectives to become more salient. What can be named in this context is the failure of the renovation and re-habitation work of Old Haocha, or the tensions that developed in the course of the protest activities against the building of Majia water reservoir because parts of the Rukai population of the village threatened by inundation were not opposed to the idea of being resettled to the infrastructurally better off plains in the case that the water reservoir would be built. A good example of the contradictions between the elites' 'strive for authenticity' and the peoples' 'understanding of cultural practice' is a situation I experienced when attending the combined harvest and fishing- festival of the Amis in Qimei. While the people were very much willing to cooperate with Han film director Yu Kanping in order to raise the glory of the tribe - Qimei was known for the most 'authentic' festivals and the best preserved year-ranksystem within the Amis - they reacted quite angrily when the filming elites decided that intruders from the outside should not be tolerated during the filming activities because this was against the rules of the ancestors. In the eyes of the commoners the integration of a foreigner into the dances and into one of the central initiation rituals (which became necessary because of the lack of real Aborigines in one of the year-ranks) only helped to make the very exhausting ceremony more vivid and exciting; after all, it was not believed to be of any hindrance to the honour of the tribe. That they were wrong with regard to this last point was soon proved by the reactions from some of the Han spectators, who openly expressed their indignation at my intrusion into the still 'intact' year-ranksystem of Qimei (Han spectators in Qimei at that time mostly originated from the intellectual 'scene').
A similar contradiction is described by Xie Shizhong in his article 'Tourism, the Shaping of Tradition, and Ethnicity'. Xie focusses on those Atayal from Wulai who work in the tourism sector: in order to adapt their cultural productions for the amusement of the Han tourists and to meet their expectations for the ecotic, they don't object to synthetize Atayal culture with foreign elements. Interestingly enough, they do not regard this self-made hybridized culture as a false culture, but seem in fact to identify themselves with it. Local intellectuals such as teachers or ministers, on the contrary, reject this commodified culture because it does not match the 'authentic' Atayal culture displayed in the museum, which mainly consists of anthropological materials.
These observations suggest that contradictions between elites and people in the question of cultural praxis may develop because different segments of Aboriginal society attach themselves to different value-orientations within Han society: as the work of culture preservation and revitalization pursued by Aboriginal elites is frequently morrally and financially supported by Taiwanization circles, environmental protection groups etc., Aboriginal elites also often identify or at least sympathize with these world-views; in contrast, commoners feel much more attracted by the value-orientations of a consumption-oriented Han middleclass.
8. The Quest for 'Yuanzhumin-Subjectivity': the 'Re-emmergence' of Headhunting
However, as already mentioned at the beginning of my paper, not only does the 'strive for authenticity' of the elites sometimes lead to tensions and contradictions with the perceptions of commoners, but also the way image and status of the 'Yuanzhumin' are reconstructed and described today. So, where do the representations undertaken by the elites derive from that they are so different from the expectations of the ordinary people? I would now like to come back to my introductory example of elites refering to tattooing and headhunting culture, because here we can best see the interaction of certain value-orientations.
When I first started to concern myself with the situation of Taiwan Aborigines and the related social problems in 1987/88, besides child prostitution, the cases of Tang Yingshen and Dongpu and the 'Return our land' debate, yet one other topic attracted great public attention: the discussion on the negative impacts of the 'Wu Feng story', which until 1988 was still part of the history teaching-material in primary schools and which for most Taiwanese was their first and sometimes only occasion of any kind of contact with Aborigines. It was the anthropologist Chen Qinan, later vice-head of the Council of Cultural Planning, who in 1980 first expressed doubts about the verificability as well the adequateness of the story reprinted in schoolbooks. By this he initiated a hot debate, in which not only anthropologists but also members of the opposition, the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan (PCT) and the Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines (ATA) were to take part. Most severely criticized was the representation of Aborigines as 'raw, wild and morally rotten', as was suggested in the 'legend' through its emphasis on their indulging in headhunting and the mean murder of the noble-minded Confucian Wu Feng. As protests didn't cease, in 1988 the story was taken out of the schoolbooks; the same year, the Wu Feng memorial statue in Jiayi was torn down and smashed by a group of Aboriginal activists. It now was regarded as more or less political incorrect to mention headhunting in relation to Aborigines, and even anthropologists seldom refered to it.
After these impressions it was quite confusing for me to be confronted with 'headhunting' again in April 1994 when I attended the 'First Aboriginal Culture Congress', where not only Aboriginal activists and anthropologists, but also politicians participated. The day the congress began, a group of 10 Aboriginal activists in traditional costumes suddenly marched on to the stage and openly announced the 'cultural headhunting raid proclamation'. In general, this was a catalogue of demands in which Aborigines requested to be taken more seriously with respect to their sovereignity. The participating cadres were asked to intensify their cooperative efforts regarding name correction as well as the implementation of Aborigines' institutions and autonomous zones; and the anthropologists who had been the main planners of the congress were blamed not only for wasting too much time on academic questions, but also for their Han-centred world-view, demonstrated by the under-representation of Aborigines at the congress, ... and anyway, the whole agenda of the congress should be changed in accordance with Aborigines' perspectives.
But this allusion to 'headhunting' was by no means the only reference to a theme which had originally been banned from public discussion some years before. In the following months while I was doing my field research in Taiwan, topics like headhunting and the possibility of the continuity of the gaya - the laws of the Atayal - again and again came to my ears. For instance, I heard speculation about the mysterious death of Duo Ao, who didn't simply die in a car accident but had tried to act in accordance with the gaya; or I was told stories about the last headhunting incidents on the east coast in the fifties. Also, in Aborigines literature of the 90s there was an increasing tendency for allusions to headhunting, for instance in a book by Walisi Yougan, 'Drawing the Savages' Knife'. While it had already become evident in commentaries during the Wu Feng debate that there was a willingness on the part of Aboriginal activists not just to falsify the 'savageness and meanness of the Aborigines', but to relativise it as a style of representation inherent to the Confucian value-system, Walisi now appealed to the Aboriginal elites to stand up against the 'enslavement' by the state: in order to be successful, one should be 'equipped with the will of the hunter who takes revenge for former humiliations', otherwise one would be thoroughly 'civilized' and corupted by 'civilized society' (which had built its civilization on exploitation etc.).
From the perspective of colonial and postcolonial discourse - that had been adapted by intermediation through the anthropologists as early as the 80s - this way of proceeding by the elites was to a certain degree understandable: in order to reach thorough emancipation one had to liberate oneself from the negative self-image that the dominators had forced upon the dominated. Fanon suggested violence as the way to liberty - violence as an equalization for the violence one had endured in receiving the negative self-image. But how did it come about that the negative image itself was now taken up again by the Aboriginal elites, despite of the well-testified repugnance of the ordinary people for it?
9. The Reasons for the Change of Attitude towards Headhunting
First possible answers on how this change could be explained were received through my making the acquaintance of the Han carricaturist Qiu Ruolong and his book 'The Wushe Incident' - a work greatly revered by Aboriginal elites and published by Qiu as a comic after several years of stay with the Atayal of Wushe. Besides an extensive biography of Mona Ludao and a depiction of his role in the fight against the oppression of the Japanese intruders the book also contains a thorough re-evaluation of the moral- and value sytem of the Atayal. Qiu here works with representations of the tattooing- and headhunting culture of the Atayal which are as fascinating as they are shocking. In a commentary on the book four years after its publication on the occasion of the 'National Festival of Culture and Arts' organized by the Council of Cultural Planning, Qiu offers the following explanations for his motivation in doing research on the Wushe incident and the tattooing-culture of the Atayal: It was of great importance to him to mediate a significant and great truth which was hidden behind the tattoos of the old people. Because of the dying away of the old tattooed people, this practice would very soon not only vanish, but might also be misunderstood as an expression of savagery. The value system of an entire people would then be lost and have been substituted with 'modern science civilization'. As for the tattooing culture, Qiu explains:
"With a face naked like that of an ape, you wouldn't belong to the human race. Only courageous men and capable women were allowed to produce descendants. Under such rigid conditions, men who didn't capture heads and those who where not courageous enough as well as those who were captured themselves were naturally eliminated, the same as the lazy and the dull-witted women. Thus, it was a kind of 'eugenics' or 'qualification certificate'. According to the aesthetic conception of the Atayal this was considered as 'beautiful'. Through it, one's own people could be distinguished from the enemies, and after death it was this sign by which the ancestors would recognize you and allow you to enter 'paradise'."
The facial tattoo of the Atayal, Qiu then continues, must be considered as an explanatation for why this people had been able to survive for such a long time. Their tattoo showed their nature-revering spirit. In times of hunting and slash-burning, the earth could only feed a limited number of people: that's why the Atayal developed a culture the characteristic of which was 'adaption to nature without changing it' and 'unity with the natural ecological equilibrum'. Qiu then concludes with the words:
"When you look at the destruction caused by modern civilization in Taiwan, you ask yourself how long mankind can still live here. Thus, the old people with facial tattoos are not only a national treasure witnessing old culture. They are outstanding personalities in which abilities, virtues, art, philosophy and practice are concentrated....."
The positive re-evaluation of Atayal culture undertaken here by Qiu can nevertheless only partially explain the change of attitude of the Aboriginal elites. After all, Qiu's interpretation probably is much more an expression of change that was already happening. Thus, a question that might lead us further here is why people in Han society should actually be interested in such a re-interpretation of the value-systems of Aborigines.
References that hint at an historical interest in headhunting can be found in newspaper commentaries on the occasion of the 65th commemoration day of the Wushe incident in 1995 (the first big commemoration festival was held in 1990). Several authors here discuss the question of whether the Wushe incident was really an expression of anti-Japanese opposition by China-loyal Aborigines, as it had been described by the KMT, or whether it rather expressed the desire of the more or less japanized Atayal to revitalize headhunting after this practice had been prohibited in 1914. What would confirm the latter interpretation are the headhunting-rituals held directly after the incident.
That there actually was more than a pure historical interest in the differing value-systems which were manifested through headhunting is testified by the commentaries that were published by Han intellectuals in Taiwan Indigenous Voice Bimonthly directly after the Aboriginal culture congress. In her analysis of the relationship between anthropologists and Aborigines the journalist Chen Shaoru writes with satisfaction that the Aborigines at the congress for the first time expressed their subjectivity in front of the Han-cadres and ethnologists by doubting the use and the functions of this gathering and by showing that they were no longer willing to be 'discussed' and 'researched' objects of the ethnologists. And in an article entitled 'The culture headhunting proclamation is the beginning of a dialogue between Han and Aborigines', the Han and producer of documentary films Jiang Guanming points out that the Aborigines should have their own strategies and discourses in order to secure their space for existence and to construct their cultural subjectivity and dignity. They shouldn't make themselves dependent on the decisions and interpretations of the government or the anthropologists. Furthermore, Jiang emphasizes the influence of the cultural interpretations of the Aborigines and the tension generated by this for the development of the Taiwan-discourse. As he puts it, it 'is the question of Taiwanese subjectivity that is touched on here, (...) even to a much larger extent than in the home-literature debate or in the modern literature movement'.
10. Taiwanese subjectivity and Aborigines subjectivity: the search for new paths for the deconstruction and subversion of Han-hegemony and Han-centrism (or: 'De-nobling of the noble Confucian by ennobling the Savage')
Here we finally see the significance of headhunting allegories within the cultural and political context of Taiwan in the 90s: what first seems absurd, serves the manifestation of 'subjectivity'. Nevertheless, crucial is not only the manifestation of 'Aborigines subjectivity' that has been clearly demonstrated by the emancipation from the ethnologists, but also the 'Taiwanese subjectvity'. As to what this is, the historian Chen Zhaoying comments as follows:
"Until the beginning of the 90s it became clear that the concept of 'Taiwan consiousness' was too vague, thus it was almost totally substituted by the concept of 'Taiwanese subjectivity'."
And comparing the commentaries of a couple of different authors, Chen then analyzes six contrasted pairs which are obviously included within the concept of 'Taiwanese subjectivity', that is: China/Taiwan, center/periphery, dominator/people, from the outside/homeland, non-independent/independent, without subjectivity (colonized)/subjectivity. For Chen this means that on the one hand one seemed to set up the equation 'China = Center = dominator = from the outside = non-independent = without subjectivity'. And on the other hand, there is an equation like 'Taiwan = periphery = people = homeland = independent = subjectivity'. From these equations it could be concluded that the realization of subjectivity will only be possible by separation from China. But, Chen warns,
"Suppose that Taiwan [in the name of subjectivity] really succeeded in detaching itself from the domination of the center China: if then there existed further domination in its interior - no matter whether between members of different provinces, classes, ethnic groups or genders - then the legitimation for detaching oneself from China would suffer damage, and the construction of subjectivity would also be totally impossible."
Other scholars had also recognized the danger Chen describes here. That's why they pleaded for a radical abolition of Han-centered and Han-chauvinist thinking. At the inaugural symposium of the Wusanlian foundation the ethnologist Xu Muzhu made the following remarks:
"Though we often criticize the domination manners of the Han from the mainland, we ourselves frequently approach the 'savages' of Taiwan with the attitude of the Han from Taiwan (...). When interpreting Taiwanese history we should try not to assume a Han-centred attitude. In the historical conception of the so-called 'Taiwanese subjectivity' the viewpoints of all different ethnic groups in Taiwan's history and prehistory must fuse."
From this perspective the manifestation of any kind of minority-subjectivity not only had to be tolerated, but even was absolutely necessesary if one wanted to convince others and oneself about the sincerity and the maturity of 'Taiwanese subjectivity'.
Indeed, one had been waiting for initiatives from the side of the Aborigines for quite a while. This is demonstrated by the remarks of Sun Dachuan, the chief editor of Taiwan Indigenous Voice Bimonthly, made in an article in the first edition of this magazine:
"Learning from the experiences of ethnic minorities in the Third world, some of the scholars who observed the movement of Taiwanese Aborigines began to critically analyze the situation and the literary activities of the Aborigines. (...) In general, Aboriginal discourse in the Third world tries to analyze problems from the question of 'power'. That's why the scholars interpret the whole movement of Taiwanese Aborigines as an activity directed against violence and oppression. (...) At the same time, they also realized that the Aboriginal movement - in contrast to the movement of the Minnan and the Hakka - was not only directed against the authoritarian regime, which hides behind political and economical supression, but also against the superior 'main culture', which exerts cultural domination. Thus - the scholars say - the Aborigines should attach some importance to the manifestation of their independence and their subjectivity in order not to get caught within the logic- and thought-system of Han culture."
And quoting the historian and social critics Fu Dawei from Qinghua University, Sun continues:
"If the Aborigines want to maintain a certain independence and subjectivity in their opposition against supression, they have to show incessantly and actively strategies and initiatives in the future."
What kind of fertilization the Han expected from the 'initiatives' of the Aborigines can be seen in the broadly discussed article by Fu Dawei 'Hunters of Chinese Characters in the Forest of Han Rascals' from 1993. Fu here emphasizes the potential of subversion within Aborigines' literature:
"Crucial are perhaps those effects of irony, challenge, subversion and seduction that this writing culture can generate when it succeeds to enter, settle and develop within the writing culture of the bailang [Han-rascals]. (...) As for the politics of language in Taiwan, the delicate and complicated relationship between the Beijing-Mandarin, the purposely neglected Taiwan-Mandarin, the language of the Holo which becomes the mainstream and the language of the Hakka ... wouldn't it be possible that the latent explosive potential which is inherent to the grammatical displacements and subversions undertaken by the 'character-hunter' of the Atayal can evoke a new politics, a new history and even a new geography within the language and the scripture of the bailang?"
Just as Chen Zhaoying and Xu Muzhu before, Fu Dawei here also expresses the anxiety that in the course of the re-determination of Taiwanese culture and re-alignment of power and resources one single group - i.e., the Holo - would again gain supremacy. Then there would be a high risk that Han-centred and and Han-chauvinist value-orientations would continue to exist unaltered, and different groups in society might again be culturally, politically and economically supressed or discriminated against because of their cultural or physical differences. The project of the liberalization of Taiwanese society would then be bound to fail, because within Taiwan suppression still prevailed, and Taiwan would lose legitimacy for the claim that because of its different socio-cultural conditions and pre-dispositions it had to walk a different way than mainland China.
'Multiculturalism' in Taiwan thus also functions as a 'bastion' against the hegemonic tendencies of a Taiwanese nationalism that is rapidly gaining self-consciousness. By pointing out the 'intentional neglecting' of Taiwan-mandarin, Fu implicitly points to the danger of the development of a new kind of cultural essentialism (otherwise why not be satisfied with hybridized Taiwan-mandarin, which in some way reflects all the different languages of Taiwan?). To counter this newly-developing hegemony with other subjectivities seemed to be the right strategy in such a situation. Though their participation in this process was very much desired, neither mainlanders nor Hakka with their zhongyuan-orientation were suitable to engage in the deconstruction of Han-centrism and Han-chauvinism - the Aborigines seemed to be the only group with the adequate predispositions.
Some Concluding Remarks
As an economic power that is making increasing efforts to detach itself from China and to obtain political and cultural independence, Taiwan today faces a situation that has 'postcolonial' as well as 'post-national' traits: the frame in which social processes were organized before - i.e., the Chinese national state, in which the political and cultural entities were regarded as identical - is gradually breaking up and disintegrating. Under the claim of bringing about a democratic transformation, limits and rules are newly determined; newly determined also are the possibilities and the opportunities of the players and the distribution of political and cultural resources, social welfare and compensation and subsidizing measures.
However, this process of disintegration and re-orientation within Taiwan does not proceed freely and independently, but under the steady impact and influence of another, exterior factor: the threat of a premature intervention or interference from communist China. To the extent that China - conjuring ethno-cultural homogenity - urges Taiwan to return into the Chinese empire, 'heterogenity', 'difference' and even 'rebellion' receive a new connotation and lose their former negative sense.
It is in this context that we observe two different forms of culturalism today acting in close symbiosis. On one side there is the culturalism of the government elites (KMT as well as DPP), which aims at the conquest of old power structures within Taiwan, a demarcation from China and a demonstration of democratic structures vis-a-vis the international community. This kind of culturalism manifests itself through 'multiculturalist politics', 'efforts of community reconstruction' and the 'construction of Taiwanese subjectivity'; it creates the forum for - and needs to be complemented through - the culturalism of those who face each other in the process of negotiating social status and political and economical resources: this culturalism frequently manifests itself through 'cultural in-scenation': traditions are put on stage (mise en scène) to testify difference, which under multiculturalism is the precondition for the claim for receiving preferential treatment. I tried to exemplify this by describing the Aboriginal elites' strive for 'authenticity' on the one hand side and their efforts to accentuate 'Yuanzhumin-subjectivity' on the other. As for the Yuanzhumin-authenticity, this mostly confines itself within the categories desired and wished-for in Taiwanese culturalism: the more convincingly Aboriginal elites succeed in displaying the cultural particularities of the Aborigines the more they can count on the support from the government elites. In this case, the evaluations of anthropologists often serve as standards for what must be considered as different (for instance: typically Austronesian), which claims of minorities are justified and what kind of concessions may be made according to the degree and extent of difference (i.e., in language- and culture protection, land claims and implementation of legal institutions). As for the 'ascertainment of authenticity', ethnologists not seldom rely on the ethnographic material of the Japanese or theories of Western scholars; for the establishment of the relevant categories they draw on the principles of international minority politics (as, for example, in Li Yiyuan 1983 or Xu Muzhu 1992). Aboriginal elites have realized very well that the observation of these categories can help to push through demands more successfully and smoothly.
The conditions under which 'Yuanzhumin-subjectivity' is constructed are more complicated still. I showed that in this case still another discourse is adapted: the postcolonial discourse that had been developed in other Third world countries and that is not taken over directly, but through the mediation and interpretation of Taiwan Han scholars. With the help of postcolonial theories they define what kind of treatment is advantageous for minority-individuals (for instance what kind of self-images should be thrown off) and which cultural strategies should be adapted to improve a certain situation. In an article on the 'Historical status of the Yuanzhumin' in Taiwan Indigenous Voice Bimonthly the Qinghua-University anthropologist Liu Shaohua states 1993:
"The cultural strategy of postcolonial discourse is to develop a new discourse from its experience of border transgression. It transcends the political thought models in which the colonizer and the colonized are caught. Only by this can the latter cast off the nightmare of colonization, and culture can begin."
This means that if members of Aboriginal elites today talk about headhunting again and stage a 'cultural headhunting raid', they surely transcend the provided categories, but they don't take any risks, because besides the manifestation of authenticity it is just the transcendence of the existing paradigms which is expected from them. Regarded in this light, we may interprete the culturalism of Aboriginal elites in a similar way to how the German ethnologist Werner Schiffauer describes the behaviour of Turkish migrants in Germany. According to his findings, their culturalism is not so much an effort to bring about demarcations but is an appeal to solidarity: people who identify with the same culture produce commonness; to communication: people who have produced a common culture can refer and appeal to this commonness; and to recognition: people who appeal to a common culture wish for this aspect of their self-understanding to be recognized by the wider society.
Just because of this strive for recognition within Han society one of the dangers that critics of multiculturalism mention can be regarded as minor, i.e., that the interpretation of conflicts on ethnic lines would necessarily reduce the willingness to make compromises, because conscience and tradition would then rank before an open compromise-orientated way of proceeding. However, an exception might develop for the question of hunting. As I observed this, not only ethnic elites but also people in the villages often refer to hunting as something 'holy', because it stands for 'protecting last surviving traditions' and because it is often still regarded as a source of self-esteem in one's own community (today, hunting is mostly done with traps with iron-teeth!). As long as the support from environmental protection groups and human rights groups is still needed and allocation of resources from the government and the larger society remains as it is, most Aboriginal elites will probably continue to adjust themselves to the values of Han elites. This might change if the larger society's interest in the Aborigines should fade, so that Aboriginal elites find themselves totally dependent on the vote potential within their own people: then the question of hunting might easily be misused for political mobilization. From this perspective, the mobilization of the Taroko population of Hualian against the national park regulations in 1994 must be considered as something alarming. One of the reasons why this mobilization could be so successful (almost 2000 demonstrators in a so-called 'remote area'), was because 'anti-governing' elites successfully reminded common people of their obligation to 'ethnic solidarity'.
What also causes some anxieties are the contradictions between elites and people. Its not only that ordinary people often don't see any practical use in the way ethnic elites emphasize difference or even see disadvantages (as in attitudes towards cultural practice, ethnic tourism, language preservation and use of reservation land). Perhaps it is also important to pay more attention to the aversion ordinary people feel when their belonging to a 'different people (or nation)', 'different civilization' or 'different value-system' is too strongly accentuated. Thus, in their memories large socio-political transformation and turmoil are still present. Critics of multiculturalism often point to the dangers inherent in so-called 'othering': In the case of social upheaval or quarrels, ethnicity could very easily again become a resource. In times of an overall socio-political changes (what is not totally inconceivable in the case of Taiwan) or in case of a throw-back to an era of cultural-ethnic dominance of one certain group the difference which then sticks to one's body could then prove to be fatal (at least for those who can't escape from their communities).
However, when we look at the situation of the Paiwan, such calamitous prospects are not even necessary to be able to imagine the discomfort that could be caused by an emphasis on the former class-difference - petrified in the traditional front and family names - for the lower-class members of this society. From this example we can also clearly see the limits of multiculturalism (as well as the limits of difference and subjectivity) in Taiwan. Because here it becomes evident that it might be harmful to further democratization to indiscriminately comply with the demands of ethnic elites for the making possible of cultural survival of their collectivities - for instance by officially ordaining the rehabilitation of names. True, it can be argued that the 'right to difference' that is inherent to multiculturalism cannot be limited to individuals: on account of the dialogic character of human existence this right in some cases only makes sense if it is granted collectively, as in the case of language or the rehabilitation of names. ... . But to vest 'cultural collectives' or their representatives with rights that enable them to generate further members according to their own (?) perceptions would surely- as the example above suggests - result in discrimination against further, subordinate groups.
List of Literature
ATA (Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines), 1987, Yuanzhumin - bei yapozhe de nahan [Taiwanese Aborigines - The Cry of the Oppressed], Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu quanli cujinhui chengli sanzhounian zhuanji, Taibei 1987.
ATA/PCT (Presbyterian Church of Taiwan) 1992, Yuanzhumin xuandao weiyuanhui, 1992, Zhengqu xianfa 'Yuanzhuminzu tiaokuan' xingdong shouce [Booklet on the Strive for a 'Paragraph for Taiwanese Aborigines' in the Constitution'], (PCT) Taibei 4/1992:13).
Chang Mao-kuei, 1996b, "Political Transformation and the 'Ethnization' of Politics in Taiwan" in: Schneider, Axel u. Guenter Schubert (ed.), Taiwan an der Schwelle zum 21. Jh. - Gesellschaftlicher Wandel, Probleme und Perspektiven eines asiatischen Schwellenlandes, Mitteilungen des Instituts fuer Asienkunde Hamburg vol. 270, Hamburg 1996:135-152.
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, No 17, Taibei 7/1994:149-222.
Chen Ruiyun, 1990, Zuqun guanxi, zuqun rentong yu Taiwan Yuanzhumin jiben zhengce [Ethnic Relations, Ethnic Identity and Aboriginal Policy in Taiwan], non-published MA thesis, Zhengzhi University 1990:29-33.
Chen Shaoru, 1994, "Shilun Taiwan renleixue de Gaoshanzu yanjiu" [Preliminary Discussion of the Gaoshanzu Research in Taiwan's Cultural Anthropology], in: Shanhai wenhua zazhi, No 6, Taibei 11/1994:27-36.
Chen Zhaoying, 1995, "Lun Taiwan de bentuhua yundong: yi ge wenhuashi de kaocha" [Discussion of the Taiwanization Movement: Examination of a Cultural History], in: Zhongwai wenxue, vol.23, No 9, 2/1995:8-43.
Fanon, Frantz, 1961, Les damnées de la terre, Paris 1961.
Fu Dawei, 1993, "Bailang senlin li de wenzi lieren" [Hunters of Chinese Characters in the Forest of Han Rascals], in: Dangdai zazhi, No 83, 3/1993:28-49.
Gao Deyi, 1993, "Maixiang 'duoyuan yiti' de zuqun guanxi: Yuanzhumin jiben zhengce de huigu yu zhanwang" [Towards a 'Pluralist Entity' in Ethnic Relations: Review and Prospects of Aboriginal Policy inTaiwan], in: Zhonghua minguo Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu wenhua fazhan xiehui (ZMTYWFX), Yuanzhumin zhengce yu shehui fazhan, Taibei 1994:140-188.
Gao Deyi, 1995, "Maixiang duoyuanhua jiaoyu: Yuanzhumin jiaoyu xiangguan fagui de jiantao" [Towards a Pluralist Education: A Critical Review of the Regulations on Aboriginal Education in Taiwan], in: Yuanzhumin jiaoyu yantaohui, Hualian shifan xueyuan 1995:12-32.
Guan Hongzhi, 1987, "Minzhong de Wu Feng lun" [The Public Discourse on Wu Feng], in: Renjian 8/1987.
Hsieh Shih-chung, 1994, "Tourism, Formulation of Culture, and Ethnicity: A Study of the Daiyan Identity of the Wulai Atayal", in: Harrell, Stevan & Huang Jun-chieh (ed.), Cultural Change in Postwar Taiwan, (Westview Press), Colorado 1994:184-201.
Jiang Guanming, 1994, "Chucao xuanyan shi Yuan/Han duihua de qidian - ping 1994 Yuanzhumin wenhua huiyi" [The Headhunting Raid-Manifest is the Starting Point of a Dialogue between Taiwanese Aborigines and Han: A Comment on the Aboriginal Culture Conference in Taiwan 1994], in: Shanhai wenhua shuangyuekan, No 6, Taibei 9/1994:37-44.
Keesing, Roger M., 1989, "Creating the past. Custom and Identity in the Contemporary Pacific", in: The Contempory Pacific I (1 and 2) 1989:19-42.
Li Yiyuan et al., 1983, Shandi xingzheng zhengce zhi yanjiu yu pinggu baogaoshu [Evaluation Report on Taiwan's Aboriginal Policy], Academia Sinica, Taibei 1983.
Liu Shaohua, 1993, "Yuanzhumin wenhua yundong de lishi weizhi" [The Historical Position of the Culture Movement of Taiwanese Aborigines], in: Shanhai wenhua shuangyuekan, No 1, Taibei 11/1993:48-55.
Qiu Ruolong, 1990, Wushe shijian [The Wushe Incident], (Shibao wenhua chuban), Taibei 1990 (2nd ed. 1995).
Qiu Ruolong, 1994, "Tayazu de jingmian wenhua" [The Tattooing Culture of the Atayal], in: Tayazu renwen lishi yantaohui: Taya wenhuaji 5/1994 (quanguo wenyiji), Taiwan 1994:12.
Radtke, Frank-Olaf, 1993, Politischer und kultureller Pluralismus. Zur politischen Soziologie der 'multikulturellen Gesellschaft'" [Political and Cultural Pluralism: On the Political Sociology in a 'Multicultural Society'], in: Robertson-Wensauer, Caroline Y., Multikulturalitaet - Interkulturalitaet? Probleme und Perspektiven der multikulturellen Gesellschaft, (Nomos-Verlag) Baden-Baden 1993:89.
Rudolph, Michael, 1993, Die Prostitution der Frauen der Taiwanesischen Bergminderheiten - historische, sozio-kulturelle und kultur-psychologische Hintergruende [Taiwan's Aborigines and the Prostitution Problem - Historical, Socio-Cultural andPsycho-Cultural Backgrounds], (LIT Verlag) Hamburg/Muenster 1993.
Rudolph, Michael (Liu Zhexun), 1994, "Taiwan shehui bianqian de shaoshu minzu funue changji wenti - shehui wenhua, shehui xinli, ji lishixing de yinsu" [Social Change in Taiwan and the Prostitution Problem of Taiwan's Aboriginal Women - Socio-Cultural, Psycho-Cultural and Historical Factors], in: Taiwan Indigenous Voice Bimonthly, Nr.4, Taipei 1994.
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 Self-Organization]", in: Schneider, Axel u. Gunter Schubert (ed.), Taiwan an der Schwelle zum 21. Jh. - Gesellschaftlicher Wandel, Probleme und Perspektiven eines asiatischen Schwellenlandes, Mitteilungen des Instituts fuer Asienkunde Hamburg vol. 270, Hamburg 1996:285-308.
Stainton, Michael, 1995, Return our Land: Counterhegemonic Presbyterian Aboriginality in Taiwan, York University Canada 1995.
Sun Dachuan, 1993, "Yuanzhumin wenxue de kunjing - huanghun huo liming" [The Dilemma of Aboriginal Literature in Taiwan - Dusk or Dawn], in: Shanhai wenhua shuangyuekan, No 1, Taibei 11/1993:97-105.
Taylor, Charles, 1992, Multiculturalism and 'The Politics of Recognition', Princeton 1992.
Walisi Yougan, 1992, Fandao chuqiao [Drawing the Savages' Knife], (Daoxiang cbs) Taibei 12/1992.
Walisi Yougan, 1994, "Yuyan, zuqun yu weilai: Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu muyu jiaoyu de ji dian sikao" [Language, Ethnic Groups and Future Prospects: Some Reflections on Vernacular Language Education of Taiwan's Aborigines], in: ZMTYWFX, Yuanzhumin zhengce yu shehui fazhan, Taibei 1994:190-221.
Walisi Yougan, 1996, "Cong xianxing de jiaoyu zhengce kan muyu jiaoyu - yi Yuanzhumin jiaoyu zhengce wei zhu" [Looking at the Vernacular Language Education Policy of Taiwan's Aborigines], in: Jiaoshou luntan zhuankan, Taibei 1996:417-431.
Watan Baser, 1987, "'Chucao huo fanhai' shi Yuanzhumin kang Han de yiju" ['Headhunting Raids' were the Method of Resistance of Taiwanese Aborigines against the Han], in: Watan Bater, 1987, "'Chucao huo fanhai' shi Yuanzhumin kang Han de yiju", in: ATA (Alliance of Taiwanese Aborigines), 1987, Yuanzhumin - bei yapozhe de nahan, Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu quanli cujinhui chengli sanzhounian zhuanji, Taibei 1987:153-160.
Wei Yijun, 1997, Ling yi ge shijie de lailin: Yuanzhumin yundong de lilun shijian [Advent of Another World: Realization of Theory in the Aboriginal Movement in Taiwan], M.A. dissertation, National Tsinghua University, Taiwan 1997.
Werner Schiffauer, 1997, "Kulturdynamik und Selbstinszenierung - Kulturalismus im postnationalen Zeitalter: Sich als Gruppe konstituieren und Gehoer verschaffen" [Dynamics of Culture and Self-Inscenation - Culturalism in the Post-National Era], in: taz 4.3.1997:14f.
Wu Tiantai, 1993, "Xiaoxue de duoyuan wenhua jiaoyu" [Multicultural Education in Taiwan's Elementary Schools], in: Zhongguo jiaoyu xuehui, Taiwan shudian 1993:375-386; also as: Wu Tiantai, 1996, "Xiaoxue duoyuanhua jiaoxue", in: Cai Zhonghan, 1996, Yuanzhumin xiandai shehui shiying (2), (Jiaoyu guangbo diantai) Taibei 1996:626-657.
Wu Yaofeng, 1994, "Yuanzhumin wenhua ziyuan zhi fajue" [The Unearthing of Aboriginal Culture Ressources in Taiwan], in: 83 niandu shandi yanxiban jiangyi, Taibei 6/1994.
Xie Shizhong, 1992a, "Guanguang huodong, wenhua chuantong de sumo, yu zuqun yishi: Wulai Daiyazu Daiyan rentong de yanjiu" [Tourism, Formulation of Culture, and Ethnicity: A Study of the Daiyan Identity of the Wulai Atayal]; in: Kaogu renleixue kan, No 48, Taibei 12/1992:113-129.
Xie Shizhong, 1992b, "Pianli qunzhong de jingying: Shilun 'Yuanzhumin' xiangzheng yu Yuanzhumin jingying xianxiang de guanxi" [Elites without People: A Preliminary Discussion of the Elites Phenomenon of Taiwanese Aborigines], in: Daoyu bianyuan, No 5, Taibei 10/1992:52-60.
Xie Shizhong, 1994, Shandi gewu zai nar shangyan" [Where shall the Songs and Dances of Taiwanese Aborigines be performed], in: Zili zaobao 19.12.1994.
Xu Muzhu et al., 1992, Shanbao fudao cuoshi jixiao zhi yantao [Discussion of the Effects of the Assisting Measures for Taiwan's Aborigines], Academia Sinica, Taibei 1992.
Yang Changzhen, 1995, "Zhuanxingqi de Taiwan zuqun zhengzhi" [Taiwan's Ethnic Policy in Transition], in: PCT Taizhong zhonghui, 1995 Taiwan xinian - qiguo xilie yantao zhuanji, Taizhong 1995:187-220.
Zhang Maogui, 1996a, "Taiwan zui cishou de zhengzhi wenti" [The Most Critical Political Problem in Taiwan], in: Cai Xun (Wealth Magazine) No 168, 3/1996:152-163.
Zhonghua minguo Taiwan Yuanzhuminzu wenhua fazhan xiehui (ZMTYWFX), Yuanzhumin zhengce yu shehui fazhan [Taiwan's Aboriginal Policy and the Development of Aboriginal Society in Taiwan], Taibei 1994.
The Quest for Difference vs the Wish to Assimilate: Taiwan's Aborigines and their Struggle for Cultural Survival in Times of Multiculturalism
The advantages and disadvantages of multicultural politics for minority groups are widely discussed (Taylor 1992); so are the impacts of multiculturalism to the notion of culture: one of the most notable shifts is a growing tendency to 'stage difference and authenticity' in order to be recognized in one's 'right to be different' (Schiffauer 1997).
The claim for multiculturalism in Taiwan's political and cultural sphere since the early 90s affects Taiwan's Austronesian population and the cultures of these peoples in various ways. It can be observed that particular segments of Aboriginal society (which may differ in social strata as well as in ethnic backgrounds) often have completely different and even mutually excluding views on the question of which parts of a particular culture shall be preserved, revitalized, renewed or omitted - a divergency which fosters new contradictions between ethnic elites and the people. For instance: During the first Aboriginal Culture Congress in 1994 Taiwanese Aboriginal activists staged a symbolical 'culture headhunting raid' in order to utter their demands for cultural, educational and political autonomy more convincingly. This action was by no means praised by all members of Aboriginal society. On the other hand, activists often express their discontent about the 'lack of authenticity' in the innovational activities of Aborigines engaged in representation of 'Aboriginal culture' for tourism. This paper, partly based on field research in Taiwan from 1994-96, discusses the relation of Aboriginal culturalism to popular culture as well as the socio-cultural context in which the strive for recognition takes place (i.e., the values minority groups refer to).
My paper mostly focusses on the last point I mention in my abstract, that is 'the socio-cultural context in which the strive for recognition takes place and the values minority groups refer to'. During my stay with the Taroko in Hualian, I realized that ordinary people often have very different perceptions of their own past than the elites, who are (and may also feel) expected to expose their 'authenticity' or their 'Aboriginal subjectivity' in order to nourish and testify 'Taiwanese subjectivity'. If the latter wants to continue to serve as a crucial legitimizing factor for non-unification and non-incorporation, it has to show its maturity, which is only possible by testifying that 'multiculturalism' (which itself serves as a testification that there exists more than one homogeneous, mainland based Chinese culture on Taiwan) works.