The Paiwan inhabit the southern tip of Taiwan. They are known, among other things, for their belligerence towards occupying powers - subjugation of the Paiwan by the Chinese and Japanese was a long and bloody process. Historically, they worshipped a number of supernatural beings, the most important of which were ancestral spirits. Some of these spirits were believed to inhabit sacred knives and swords.

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Traditional Culture(1895)Expand All +
Belief +

Supernatural Beings

Nature Spirits Present, but not a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 134-136
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 199
Ferrell (1969), pp. 44-45
Nature god(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ferrell (1969), pp. 44-45
Ancestral spirits Present, and the principal focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Tan (2002), pp. 170
McGovern (1922), pp. 136
Deified ancestor(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 133
McGovern (1922), pp. 136
God(s) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Ferrell (1969), pp. 44-45

Supernatural Punishment

Supernatural punishment for impiety Present (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 90, 93

Afterlife and Creation

One's actions while living can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 195
The actions of others after one has died can affect the nature of one's afterlife One factor in determining one's afterlife (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 195
Myth of humanity’s creation Absent (Source)
Ferrell (1969), pp. 44
Culture hero(es) Present, and a major focus of supernatural practice (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 133
McGovern (1922), pp. 136

General Features

Forces of nature are controlled by or imbued with the supernatural Present (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 199

Classes of Tapu

Kinship tapu Present (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 161
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 89
Social hierarchy tapu Present (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 76

Mana

Mana as a personal quality Absent (Source)
Blevins (2008)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Mana related to social influence or technical skill Absent (Source)
Mana as a spiritual or religious concept Absent (Source)
Blevins (2008)
Blust (2007)
Keesing (1984)
Practice +

General Supernatural Practices

Headhunting Present (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 133
McGovern (1922), pp. 117-118, 136
Largest religious community Larger than a household, no larger than the local community (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Political and religious differentiation Considerable overlap between religious and political leaders (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 133
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 188-189, 200-202

Rites

Tooth pulling Present in the culture as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 187
Scarification Absent from culture (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 186-192
Piercing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 185, 186-187
Tattooing Present in culture, but not as a rite or feature of a rite (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 191
Genital cutting Absent from culture (Source)
McGovern (1922), pp. 186-192, 192
Social Environment +
Population 20000 (Source)
Alvarez (1927)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 5
Population of largest political community 100-999 (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Importance of Patrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131, 132
Importance of Matrilateral descent Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131, 132
Polygamy Monogamy prescribed (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Marital residence Ambilocal - with either wife's or husband's kin (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131

Conflict

Conflict within community Low (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 206
(No) internal warfare Frequent, occurring at least yearly (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Isolation +
Contact with other cultures Frequent, through trade, warfare, travel, etc. (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 192
Distance to closest landmass inhabited by a different culture (km) 0.0 (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 192
Distance to nearest continent 305.0 (Source)
Blundell (2000), pp. 44, 182
Daft Logic Distance Calculator (2014)
Pre-Austronesian population Present: Clear evidence of human occupation prior to Austronesian settlement (Source)
Bellwood (1995), pp. 109
Hindu / Buddhist influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.21
Islamic influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence and not in region of known contact (Source)
Cribb (2000), pp. Map 2.23
Christian influence on supernatural belief No evidence of influence but in a region where contact is likely (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 19
Baldick (2013), pp. 5
Subsistence and Economy +

Land-based means of subsistence

Animal husbandry as a source of food Minor (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 13
Land-based hunting performed by individuals Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12, 13
Land-based gathering Medium (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 13
Land-based hunting performed by one or more groups Medium (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12, 13
Agriculture / Horticulture Principal (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12-14
Lebar (1975), pp. 130

Water-based means of subsistence

Fishing and water-based hunting performed by one or more groups Minor (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12, 13
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Fishing and water-based hunting performed by individuals Minor (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12, 13
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Water-based gathering Absent (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 130-131
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 12-14
Chiang (1993), pp. 30-38

Commercial Activity

Trade / wage labour as a source of food Minor (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 13
Metalworking Present (Source)
Lebar (1975), pp. 131
Physical Environment +

Geographical Range of Culture

Number of islands inhabited by culture One (Source)
Alvarez (1927)

Features of Island with Largest Culture Population

Island type (island with largest culture population or largest island if unknown) Continental island (Source)
Copper (2021)
Island Size (km²) 32260.0 (Source)
Ding et al (2005), pp. 300
Maximum elevation (meters) 3952.0 (Source)
Ding et al (2005), pp. 300

Location

Latitude 22.5 (Source)
Alvarez (1927)
Google Maps (2014)
Longitude 120.9 (Source)
Alvarez (1927)
Google Maps (2014)
Post Contact History(1895-2014)Expand All +
Religious History +

Conversion

Role of social status in conversion process Primarily a bottom-up process. (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 231
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Use of force in conversion Low (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 231
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Adoption of a world religion Present and predominant (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 190
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 268
Resident missionary involvement in conversion process Present, and from non-Austronesian societies (Source)
Tan (2002), pp. 190
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 268

Syncretic Movements

Syncretic religious movements Absent (Source)
Matsuzawa (1989), pp. 231-232, 268
Tan (2003), pp. 190
Tan (2002)
Secular History +

Demographic and Social Changes

Foreign government systems Present, and of high importance (Source)
Chiang (1993), pp. 45-54
Language shift Medium (Source)
Chen (2006), pp. 3
Foreign education systems High (Source)
Law (2002), pp. 66

Modern Infrastructure

Air travel Present and long-distance (Source)
Blundell (2000), pp. 44, 182
Google Maps (2014)
Sea port Present (Source)
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009)
Blundell (2000), pp. 44, 182
Google Maps (2014)

Loss of Autonomy

Nature of loss of autonomy Largely involuntary (Source)
Chiang (1993), pp. 45-51
Loss of political autonoomy High (Source)
Chiang (1993), pp. 45-54

Economic Changes

Exportation of goods to other cultures Present and substantial (Source)
Chiang (1993), pp. 44
Lebar (1975), pp. 130
Current Culture(2014)Expand All +
Belief +

Religious Demographics

Dominant world religion Christianity (Source)
Tan (2003), pp. 190
External Links
References
Alvarez, J.M. (1927). The Aboriginal Inhabitants of Formosa. (With Map). Anthropos, 22:1-2, 247-258. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.auckland.ac.nz/stable/40445104

Baldick, J. (2013) Ancient Religions of the Austronesian World: From Australasia to Taiwan. London, UK: I.B. Tauris.

Bellwood, P. (1995). Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion and Transformation. P. Bellwood, J.J. Fox, & D. Tryon (Eds.), The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (pp 113-114). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press.

Blevins, J. (2008). Some Comparative Notes on Proto-Oceanic *Mana: Inside and Outside the Austronesian Family. Oceanic Linguistics, 47 (2), 253-274. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/ol/summary/v047/47.2.blevins.html

Blundell, D. (Ed.). (2000). Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory. Taipei: SMC Publishing Inc.

Blust, R. (2007). Proto-Oceanic *Mana Revisited. Oceanic Linguistics, 46(2), 404-423. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20172322

Chen, C. M. (2006). A Comparative Study on Formosan Phonology: Paiwan and Budai Rukai. Austin, TX: The University of Texas at Austin.

Chiang, B. D. (1993). House and Social Hierarchy of the Paiwan (Doctoral Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Copper, J. C. (2021). Taiwan. Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/place/Taiwan.

Cribb, R. (2000). Historical atlas of Indonesia. Surrey, UK: Curzon Press.

Daft Logic Distance Calculator. (2014). http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-google-maps-distance-calculator.htm.

Ding, T., Yuan, H., Geng, S., Lin, Y. & Li, P. (2005). Energy flux, Body Size and Density in Relation to Bird Species Richness Along an Elevational Gradient in Taiwan. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 14 (4), 299-306. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-822X.2005.00159.x

Ferrel, R. (1969). Taiwan Aboriginal Groups: Problems in Cultural and Linguistic Classification. Taipei, Taiwan: Academa Sinica.

Google Maps (2014). Retrieved from maps.google.com

Keesing, R. M. (1984). Rethinking "mana". Journal of Anthropological Research, 40(1), 137-156, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3629696.

Law, W. (2002). Education Reform in Taiwan: A Search for a 'National' Identity through Democratisation and Taiwanisation. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 32 (1), 61-81. DOI: 10.1080/03057920120116535

Lebar, F. (Ed.). (1975). Ethnic Groups of Insular Southeast Asia. Volume 2: Philippines and Formosa. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.

Matsuzawa, K. (1989). The Social and Ritual Supremacy of the First-born: Paiwan Kinship and Chieftainship. (Doctoral Thesis). Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University..

McGovern, J. (1922). Among the Headhunters of Formosa. London, UK: T. Fisher Unwin Ltd.

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (2009). World Port Index Nineteenth Edition. Bethesda, MD: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Tan, C. (2002). Syncretic objects material culture of syncretism among the Paiwan Catholics, Taiwan. Journal of Material Culture, 7(2), 167-187. DOI: 10.1177/1359183502007002638.

Tan, C. (2003). Tradition and Christianity: Controversial funerals and concepts of the person among the Paiwan, Taiwan. Oceania, 73(3), 189-207. http://www.jstor.org/stable/40331896.

Taylor, G. (1889). Formosa: Characteristic traits of the island and its aboriginal inhabitants. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society and Monthly Record of Geography, 11(4), 224-239. DOI: 10.2307/1801165.