Authentic Tribes

Nanzhuang Township in Lion’s Head Mountain is an area with the most Saisiyat habitants in Taiwan. Although there are also members of the Atayal tribe living in the Lion’s Head Mountains, the Atayal tribe mostly live on Lishan. Now, the original and authentic tribes are still preserved, definitely worth a visit. The most similar trait between Saisiyat and Atayal is their face tattooing culture. The Saisiyat Tribe are mainly distributed in Nanzhuang Township and Shihtan Township of Miaoli County, and Wufeng Township of Hsinchu County, and is formed in a patriarchal society structure, each with a natural object as their representing symbol. During the Qing dynasty when the indigenous people were asked to change their last names into Han names, these people chose Chinese characters for their totems, such as Feng(wind), Jih(sun), and Hsia(summer). The Atayal people lived near the Han people. Therefore, their customs were greatly influenced by Han culture. The Atayal tribe is mostly distributed in the mountain areas of middle and north Taiwan; they worship the “rutux” and follow teachings of “gaga.” Traditionally, the men are experts in hunting while the women are good at weaving. Face tattooing are significations of adulthood.

Authentic Tribes

The Baguali Tribal Village with Lion’s Head Mountain Scenic Area is in Nanzhuang and is a part of Saisiyat tribe. The outer parts of the houses are decorated with illustrations of Saisiyat totems and folk legends. There are also traditional barns and semi-circular theaters that are rich with Saisiyat characteristics. The park is open to visitors free of charge while the nearby Xiangtian Lake ancestral worship site and Museum of Saisiyat Folklore.

 

P'anoh tribal village is also located within Nanzhuang but is part of the Atayal Tribe. Members of the tribe used the abandoned elementary school to rebuild it into a hunting school. Visitors can participate in events such as bamboo weaving, beading, and hunting rituals. The location is also connected with sites such as Shibi Hsiung Feng, Shimen, Shenhsienku, Fengmei Waterfall, and Jialishan. In-depth tour guides are available.

 

Songhe Tribe Village is located at the Guguan section of Central Cross-Island Highway and is also an Atayal tribe. It was previously named “Defulan Tribe.” Later, the place was renamed as Songhe due to the Japanese White Pine forest and egrets. Despite damages brought by the 921 Earthquake and Typhoon Mindulle, residents continue to make efforts in community transformation to focus on ecological tourism. Not only are there many Atayal bamboo houses, but there are also preservations of Japanese accommodation left from the days of Basianshan Forestry. In addition, the forest trails provide a chance to an intimate experience with nature. Lishan’s Sqoyaw is located within the valley that Sijielan Stream meets Qijiawan Stream. Also consisting of Atayal people, there are 300 Atayal families living in this area, giving the space a rich Atayal atmosphere. At the moment, there is a band on hunting in the stream, hoping to restore the amount of Mountain Catfish, while Atayal weaving lessons are taught throughout the area. Visitors can go to the Huanshan Atayal Cultural Museum founded by Chan Hsiu Mei, or experience archery contests, making rice cakes, and traditional weaving for an in-depth participation of the charm of Atayal culture.