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

Legendary World and Ethnic-groups Relation:
History and Legends of the Kaleawan in Hualien Areas, 1827-1930

Su-chuan Chan

Institute of Taiwan History, Academia Sinica

The Plains Aborigines of Taiwan had started an islandwide migration since the mid 19th century. Following the migratory trend, some of the Kavalan on the Lan-yang plains moved to Hualien plains and established Kaleawan settlements. These peoples were called Kalewan by local aborigines and become an influential force on Hualien plains. The Kaleawan, without losing their own ethnic identity, maintained good relationship with Han Chinese and were also accepted by the local aborigines.

The paper first uses documentary sources to reconstruct the historical pictures of migration and ethnic relations of the Kaleawan. It further interprets their historical memories and distinctive perspectives. By utilizing the shared legends of Tarraboan, the Kaleawan built up a common identity with the local aborigines in order to consolidate their local status.  They also employed the idea of brotherhood under a common ancestor to interpret their tense relationship with their rivalry, the Truku. The Kaleawans’ allegation of a common ancestor with other aborigines, which apparently excludes their contemporary social relations with Han Chinese, reflects a non-Han Chinese identity done by their own choice.


Keywords: legend, ethnic-groups, history, Kaleawan, identity