2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

A Study on the Relation of the Distribution and Diffusion of the Aborigines Pile-dwelling in Northern and Eastern Taiwan

Lan-Shiang Huang

Institute of Taiwan History Preparatory Office, Academia Sinica

This article tries to elucidate the relation of the distribution and diffusion of aborigines pile-dwelling (raised living ground floor which supported by piles) in Taiwan. Based on the materials from field survey contemporary and the historical records which Japanese anthropologists, especially architectural researchers investigated during the Japanese colonization period. In fact, we have been successful in deciphering the traits of traditional pile-dwellings of the Amis of eastern Taiwan, and the Tao on Lan Yuh island. Though it seemed that Japanese scholars never came to the conclusion that those residences being pile-dwelling.

Concurrently, field surveying and literature analyzing tells that the residences of the Ivatan in Batanes, south of Lan Yuh, were transformed from pile-dwelling. Furthermore, those residences of the aborigines settled on Lan Yuh island, and in eastern, northeastern, and northern Taiwan also bear the characteristics of the pile-dwelling.

Intriguingly, we find all the ancestors of the Ketagalan (in Taipei area, northern Taiwan), the Kavalan (in I Lan plain, northeastern Taiwan), and the Amis (in eastern Taiwan) immigrated northboundly from oversea via Sanasai (Lu island, next to Lan Yuh island), according to the Sanasai legend. Resultingly, the hypothesis that the diffusion of aborigines Pile-dwelling in northern and eastern Taiwan is in connection with the aborigines migration route can be established.


Keywords: pile-dwelling, the diffusion of culture, Taiwanese aborigines, architectural history, Sanasai legend.