Friday, December 5, 2008

Travel Notes: The Thao People of Sun Moon Lake, Nantou County, Taiwan


Photo Caption: Some of the Thao people in Sun Moon Lake, Nantaou, Central Taiwan performing a traditional dance. Photos taken by Raffy Saldaña( ) on 5 December 208. All rights reserved.

Today (5 December 2008) our host in Taichung, Taiwan -- the National Center for High Performance Computing (NCHC) -- brought us on a cultural tour of the Nantou County in Central Taiwan where many of Taiwan's Aboriginal groups are located.

One of the Aboriginal groups is the Thao tribe.

Here's an information about the Thao people (from

Excerpt from :

The Thao/Ngan (Chinese: 邵族) are a small group of Taiwanese aborigines who have lived near Sun Moon Lake (Lake Candidius) in central Taiwan for at least a century, and probably since the time of the Qing dynasty. In the year 2000 the Thao/Ngan tribe numbered only 281, making them the smallest of all of the recognized aboriginal tribes in Taiwan (a number of aboriginal tribes, both smaller and larger than the Thao in population remain unrecognized by the Taiwanese governing authorities).

They are the smallest of the Taiwanese aborigine group in terms of population and the smallest ethnic group in Taiwan. Despite their small group size, the Thao/Ngan have retained their customs, beliefs and traditional culture and language up until now, though they have been assimilated into mainstream Chinese culture as well. Most of the members of this ethnic group work today as menial workers, cooks and vendors in the tourism industry at Sun Moon Lake. The Chi-Chi earthquake of 1999 damaged or destroyed 80% of the houses of the Thao/ngan tribe and made many of them lose employment.

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