Annotated bibliography of 19th Century German articles concerning Taiwan (Formosa)

Compiled by Douglas Fix

With summaries by Tina Schneider


In Das Ausland. "Die Insel Formosa im Chinesischen Meer" [The island Formosa in the Chinese sea]
[Beazeley, M.]"Reiseskizzen aus dem südlichen Formosa" [Travel sketches from southern Formosa]
Biernatzki, [K.L.] "Zur Kunde der Insel Formosa" [Concerning the knowledge about the island Formosa].
--- "Die Insel Formosa" [The island Formosa].
Eismann, G. "Beschreibung der Nordküste von Formosa" [Description of Formosa's north coast]
Fischer, Adolf. "Formosa."
Friedel, Ernst. "Bericht über Arnold Schetelig's Reise in Formosa" [Report on Arnold Schetelig's voyage in Formosa].
In Globus. "Bei den Wilden auf Formosa" [The savages on Formosa]
---. "Kopfjagden auf Formosa" [Scalping on Formosa].
Haberlandt, M. "Die Eingeborenen der Kapsulan-Ebene von Formosa"[The aborigines of the Kapsulan plain of Formosa].
Hirth, Friedrich. "Aufzeichnungen über die Wilden Formosas" [Records concerning the wild people of Formosa].
Honda, Seiroku. "Eine Besteigung des Mount Morrison auf der Insel Formosa" [An ascent of Mount Morrison on the island Formosa].
Ino, Kakyo. "Die wilden Stämme von Formosa, ihre Einteilung und ihr Kulturzustand" [The wild tribes of Formosa; their classification and their cultural state].
Joest, Wilhelm. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Eingebornen der Inseln Formosa und Ceram" [Contributions to the knowledge on the aborigines of the islands of Formosa and Ceram].
Kurze, G. "Missionar G. Edes Reise durch das östliche Formosa" [Missionary G. Ede's travels through eastern Formosa].
---. "Missionar G. Edes Reise durch das östliche Formosa" [Missionary G. Ede's travels through eastern Formosa].
Lange, R. "Eine wissenschaftliche Gessellschaft in Taiwan (Formosa)" [A scientific society in Taiwan].
Le Monnier, Franz Ritter von "Die Insel Formosa" [The island Formosa].
MacKay, G.L. "Unter den Aboriginalstämmen Formosas" [Among the aboriginal trives of Formosa].
Maron, Hermann. Ein Besuch in Amoy und auf der Insel Formosa" A visit ot Amoy and the island of Formosa].
Müller, W. "Uber die Wildenstämme der Insel Formosa" [Concerning the savage tribes on the island Formosa].
Panchow, Hellmuth. "Die Bevölkerung Formosas" [The population of Formosa].
Plaut, Hermann. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Insel Formosa" [contributions to the knowledge on the island Formosa].
Richthofen, Ferdinand Freiherrn von. "Ueber den Gebirgsbau an der Nordküste von Formosa" [On the mining on Formosa's north coast].
---. "Uber eine Reise durch Formosa im Jahr 1900" [On a voyage in Formosa in the year 1900].
Riess, Ludwig. "Geschichte der insel Formosa" [History of the island Formosa].
Ruhstrat, E. "Geschichtliche Notiz über die Insel Formosa" [A note about the island Formosa].
Schetelig, A. "Mittheilungen über die Sprache der Ureinwohner Formosa" [Notes on the languages of Formosa's aborigines].
Schuhmacher, Rob. "Formosa und seine Gebirgsbewohner" [Formosa and it's mountain inhabitants].
---. "Eine Reise zu den Tschin-huan in Formosa" [A voyage to the Tschin-huan in Formosa].
Seubert. "Aus Formosa."
Stöpel, K. Th. Eine Reise in das Innere der Insel Formosa und die erste Besteigung des Niitakayama (Mount Morrison) [A voyage into the interior of the island of Formosa and the first ascent of Niitakayama (Mount Morrison)].
Swinhoe, Robert. "Ein Besuch der Insel Formosa" [A visit to the island Formosa].
Tamai, Kisak. "Die Erforschung des Tschinwan-Gebietes auf Formosa durch die Japaner" [The exploration of the Tschinwan terrirory on Formosa by the Japanese].
Warburg, [O.] "Uber seine Reisen in Formosa (12 October 1889)7quot; [On his travels in Formosa].
Wirth, Albrecht. "Die eingeborner Stämme auf Formosa und den Liu-kiu" [The aboriginal tribes on Formosa and Liu-kiu].
Yamasaki, N. "Ein Besuch in den Kopfjägerdörfern auf Formosa" [A visit to the scalp-hunter villages on Formosa].

"Die Insel Formosa im Chinesischen Meer" [The island Formosa in the Chinese sea]. Das Ausland 1872, No. 17 (22 April 1872): 402-405; No. 18 (29 April 1872): 427-429; No. 20 (13 May 1872): 463-468; No. 24 (10 June 1872): 558-561.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The writer of the article begins by describing the history, geography and population of Formosa. Following that, the author provides a summary (and at times direct translation) of several travelers' reports. The author's main source was Dr Joseph Bechtinger's Het eiland in de chineesche zee (Batavia: Bruining et Wyt, 1871). The entire article is markedly dramatized; mild descriptions are criticized and the natives depicted as the prototype of the bloodthirsty savage. The wording is uncommonly derogatory in nature.

Before the author starts his introductory survey of information on Formosa, he bemoans the fact that the island is still an unknown region to most readers. The only interest the western press has taken in the island since the Dutch had to leave in the 17th Century are the regular reports on murder of shipwrecked sailors. Only recently the crew of the "Rover" was killed by members of the wild "Koa-lut" tribe. The author describes the treaty that the American ambassador Le Gendre negotiated with the chief "Tok-e-tok" in 1867. The treaty secured the lives of those shipwrecked in the territory of the "Eighteen Tribes."

Next, the author looks back and evaluates the efforts of the Dutch to civilize the natives. He sees the Dutch rule as the most beneficial time for the island, and laments the ending of their colony. He then describes the events leading up to Coxinga's victory, including the details; he emphasizes the heroic part the Dutch priest Hambroek played in those battles.

The author ends the first part with an elaborate description of the island's geography, including potential resources for economical exploitation. He also briefly gives examples of Formosan animal diversity.

The second part of the article concentrates on the natives of Formosa. The author constructs the original population as ideal childlike savages. The Dutch were able to enhance their good qualities and lead them towards a civilized life, but when the colonists had to leave, the savages not only forgot the progress they had made, but even degenerated. The hostility of pirates and Chinese in the next centuries did nothing to stop this development. The author briefly discusses the idea of native populations becoming extinct in areas of Western influence, but finds it hard to draw a conclusion in the case of Formosa, as there is no data available.

Next, the article turns to the aboriginal character. The author states the impossibility of dividing the natives into "civilized" and "uncivilized," as all of them are barbarians. Yet he recognizes the existence of a number of tributary tribes more inclined towards agricultural pursuits. The remaining tribes are vagrant hunters and gatherers with wild temperaments, of which he gives some examples: for instance, the hostile reception, with poisoned arrows, of the English warship "Cormorant," or the above mentioned murder of the "Rover" crew. In the North he mentions the "The-wan," 'rough savages' [Ed. note: Che-hoan in some texts]. These impressions, together with the failed expeditions, effectively have inhibited serious exploring of unknown regions. Although various ships have sailed along the coasts, they usually have preferred to land only near Chinese settlements.

Before the author turns to Bechtinger's writing, he gives brief overviews of several other travel reports. The first he describes is Captain Brooker's voyage on the "Inflexible" in 1855, with orders to research the fate of a shipwrecked crew. Brooker started in "Tamsui" and worked his way down the west coast of the island and then up the east coast. The only episode the author writes about in any detail is Brooker's questioning of Chinese fishermen in "Chok-e-dai" [alt. "Tshok-e-dä"]. Brooker asked them about the native habitations they had seen, and learned that the population in the vicinity of "Chok-e-dai" was 4000.

Count Moriz August Benjowsky's travels in 1771 are discussed next. The count had escaped from a Siberian prison and traveled back to Europe via Formosa. His experiences were adventurous, and his dealings with the aborigines very violent. Several episodes are described in which the blood-thirsty count viciously murdered natives. In one village, the count met the shipwrecked Spaniard Hieronimo Pachéco, who had lived there for eight years. The Spaniard declined the count's offer to take him back to Europe, as he was quite happy with his life among the natives.

The author then turns to the "half-castes," and perambulates in dubious racial theories on worthiness and unworthiness of this third part of Formosa's population. He concludes that both Chinese and savages are of low quality, but the crossbreeds failed to receive even the best parts of their dual ancestry. Although the native will bring the girl of his choice scalps and presents to honor her, the author states that she will still prefer a Chinese.

The next section consists of a summary of the anonymous article "Visit to Tok-e-Tok, chief of the eighteen tribes," Overland China Mail Vol. 27, No. 475 (22 February 1871): 30-31. [Ed. note: Thomas Frances Hughes was probably the author of this text.] The unknown writer had the chance of joining Mr. Pickering of the firm Elles and Company on a visit to "Tok-e-tok" in the south of Formosa after another shipwrecked crew had been found by his tribe. The chief had treated the castaways well and at once sent for Pickering, who was known and respected among the natives. Although the European members of the crew all had died in the shipwreck, the owners of the ship sent representatives with Pickering to retrieve the "Pei-po-hwans." Pickering left "Takow" on November 12, 1870 on a fishing boat, sailing southwards down the West Coast. After coming to the village "Hong-kang," the group left the boat and continued the journey on foot. The villagers residing in Hong-kang traded with nearby natives and "half-castes," especially firewood and stag horns. As Pickering and his companions drew near to "Loong-kiao," the Chinese servants grew more and more nervous because of natives hunting near the city. Further to the south, the village "Hia-liao" marks the end of Chinese settlement. [Hughes] describes scenery and crops that they passed along the way. The expedition came across native dwellings, which seemed almost buried by leaves and are hard to see. Inside, the huts were tidy and well equipped. As they continued their journey, the population reminded [Hughes] less and less of Chinese peoples. In the evening they reached the Pacific Ocean and the territory of "Tok-e-tok." The landscape now was completely uncultivated. Although the chief was away mediating a quarrel (and most of the inhabitants were on a hunting trip), the travelers were welcomed and led to the surviving crew. The next thing mentioned is the ecstatic rage of one aborigine male, who went berserk for no reason. This was not seen as typical by the writer, who explicitly stated that they were treated with respect and cordiality during the entire visit as a contrast to this outburst. The author of the summary in Ausland doubts the judgment of [Hughes], as he thinks the rage was in accordance with other reports on native behavior.

This author subsequently turns to the dramatic adventure of Bechtinger, who undertook a visit to Formosa while he traveled to China. Bechtinger started his journey into the interior of the island from "Tamsui," whose main staple, he claimed, was opium. Bechtinger traveled on the "Tamsui" river to "Bangka," and the trip went slowly as the only ship he could find was quite large. After finally arriving in "Bangka," he still had to quarrel with the crew of the boat about their payment. After an old man mediated (and also wanted money), Bechtinger finally left "Bangka" on a smaller boat, as the river had grown even less deep. Until such a boat was found, Bechtinger spent the time looking around "Bangka," he related the great festivities of a boat launch. Otherwise he noted the uniformity of the buildings, which he called typically Chinese.

After "Bangka" the scenery along the river changed to hills and mountains, and ten hours southeast of Bangka, Bechtinger and crew reached the independent town of "Tsing-tam-kai" where they left the boat behind. There Bechtinger's guide from "Tamsui" departed after first finding him a local guide who knew more about the area. His name was "Ling-Ching," and he was an old man, but sturdy. Bechtinger had brought presents for the aborigines: glass beads, pigs and alcohol. He describes the mode of production for the popular Formosan brew. After crossing [this southeast branch of] the "Tamsui" river again, the landscape became wilder. Later on they reached the village "Takui," known for its indigo production. There the group could not be lodged, and rather than spend the night outside, they had to continue to a settlement of camphor exploiters further up stream. At this point in the text, the author explained the process of camphor extraction in detail. Bechtinger did not trust these settlers and was glad to leave them after he explored their business for a day.

From this village Bechtinger left alone, shouldering the gifts and exploring the far end of the valley, where the territory of the natives started. He did not remain unnoticed for long; a strange cry followed him all through the valley. To resolve any doubts as to the peacefulness of his purpose, he started waving his red shirt and motioning with the presents as he moved along. The cries continued, but two native women made their way to him. They were delighted to see the pigs, and seemed to understand Bechtinger's gestures, as he tried to signify with gestures his intent of giving them to some chief. The women took Bechtinger on their shoulders in order to cross the river, and after they reached the other side, they were welcomed with more and louder cries. The women started running along, up into the hills, and Bechtinger followed as fast as he could. By and by the three were joined by other native men, women and children. The pace of travel was so fast that, when they finally reached a dirty settlement, Bechtinger felt close to fainting. The village was situated on a beautiful, high plateau, and the arrival of the stranger caused the inhabitants to flock around him.

Bechtinger next described the physical appearance of the aborigines. He found little that was pleasing about these people, depicting them as rather scary looking. One characteristic he disliked especially was their habit of opening their eyes so wide that a lot of the white could be seen, reminding him of maniacs. They were of medium height, well proportioned, and with hair that was not as black as Malay hair and softer than Mongolian hair. He compared their faces to the Indian race, which he found displeasing. Their teeth were healthy and their lips thick.

He gave an account of their tattoos and described several patterns he saw on men and women. Their jewelry consisted of cheap beads and fake pearls, and clothing was simple and consisted mostly of natural cloth, except for a winter garment made from calico.

Bechtinger claimed that the origin of these Natives was to be found in the Malay family. Here in the text, the author quoted from the 17th-century Dutch writer, Valentyn, who had explained the differences among the several aborigine dialects. The author then mentioned "Favorlang" and "Sakam," giving credit to Gabelentz and Klaproth for their extensive research on the Formosan language. Bechtinger, however, saw the Formosans as related closer to the Polynesians.

Turning back to Bechtinger's description, the final events of his visit are described. While the population of the village stood and stared, a person of authority (which Bechtinger took to be the chief) came up to him, took the pig and after killing it, started cutting it up and eating it raw. While the inhabitants had to watch hungrily, Bechtinger declined to take part in the meal. He did have to join the chief in the traditional Formosan friendship drink, in which two people drink alcohol from the same cup, mouth to mouth, a ceremony that was very important and thus repeated several times during his stay.

Bechtinger had to share lodgings with the chief. The huts were made from bamboo or clay, with two windows and doors. The furniture was made of bamboo, or tree trunks caved out by fire. Decorations consisted of scalps and weapons.

Bechtinger then explained the process and importance of scalp hunting for the savages, which he compared to practices of the Sunda-islanders or the Dajak of Borneo.

Toward the end of this article, the author describes the dilemma Bechtinger found himself in. Even though he had entered the village without problems, is was hardly likely the natives would let him leave as he wanted to. He worried about his escape, and found an opportunity to get away unnoticed after a burial ceremony, which was followed by revelry and general drunkenness. The chief came up to him and again made Bechtinger take part in the friendship drink, at which time Bechtinger took care not to swallow. Soon the chief, already quite drunk, fell to the ground unconscious. Bechtinger stole away, leaving the aborigines dancing ecstatically to the cues of priestesses around the fire. Although it took some time for them to notice his absence, the natives almost caught up to him in spite of their drunkenness. Bechtinger only saved himself by jumping from a cliff into the river and swimming out of their territory. The natives stayed behind angry, and Bechtinger finally reached civilized areas after wandering for hours. He found the northern arm of the "Tamsui" river, on which he sailed north [northeast] until he came to "Kelung."

The article closes with a description of this harbor and a quote by Bechtinger, stating that he wished Formosa could become a Western colony so that the beauty of the island could be cultivated. He even thought about growing old on the "Beautiful Island" like Pachéco.


[Beazeley, M.] "Reiseskizzen aus dem südlichen Formosa" [Travel sketches from southern Formosa]. Das Ausland lviii (1885): 421-426; 448-453; 470-474.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

This article is the transcript of a lecture by the civil engineer M. Beazeley, who spoke on his voyage to the south cape of Formosa in 1875 to the Royal Geographical Society in London on 24 November 1884. The article introduces the topic by stating the recently growing importance of Formosa. Following Beazeley's lecture, the rest of the meeting is described, with reactions and comments by fellow members and other travelers, such as Collingwood. They often relate some small part of their voyage and point to certain facts that Beazeley didn't state or phenomena that were different where they traveled.

Beazeley worked for the Chinese administration, building lighthouses in difficult places, like the Pescadores. He had been ordered to measure and buy land on in South Cape, Formosa to construct a lighthouse there. Beazeley and members of his group set out in 1875 from "Ta-kow." Beazeley first declared his hopes for European domination of the island, as colonization would lead to more exact studies of the island, which is still fairly unknown. He then gave a rather lengthy account of the nations that have had dealings with the island and described the main historical development of Formosa. Next, he wrote about the main geographical features and mountain range. Beazeley turned to the insufficiency of the open harbors. As they all had important drawbacks, which he explained in detail for the four main ones, the trade with Formosa had to go by way of Amoy. One of the reasons for the lack of harbors was the rising of the island. There had been no exact studies about the phenomena, but from documents it was clear that places currently in the interior used to be on the coast or even islands. Beazeley quoted Collingwood, who described his own impressions of this phenomena. Finally, before describing his own voyage, Beazeley shortly gave some information on the Pescadores.

The group traveling from "Ta-kow" consisted of Mr. H.D. Brown (the customs official of "Ta-kow"); Mr. Hastings, the undersecretary of customs; a young Mandarin, the secretary of the Tao-tai of Formosa; and Beazeley. Accompanying them were the author's servant, Hasting's cook, 22 porters, two extra porters carrying the mechanical instruments, two rowers, eight more porters for food and luggage, and one soldier -- all together 41 people. Because of the season, they had to travel overland. They left "Ta-kow" on 18 June 1875. Throughout the lecture, Beazeley remained impressed by the landscapes they had passed through and thus spent a good amount of time describing the nature he saw. After having been carried through a jungle, they reached the beach, where the wind brought more temperate weather. They rested in a small fishing village called "Siau-tika" to let the porters rest. The company later continued to "Twa-na-pu", a larger village where they were stared at by masses of naked children. Another village they passed was "Oh-tschin", which seemed to Beazeley rather wealthy and clean. After further wandering, they crossed over to "Tan-kang" in a ferry at five o'clock. A merchant hosted them, and as was usual, offered his own bedroom to them. "Tan-kang was a lively city of 6-7000 inhabitants.

On 19 June, the group had wanted to leave around midnight, but were held up by long discussions with the servants. In the end the company left around 5 a.m. On the way they passed native farmers with oxcarts with enormous wheels. At about 9.30, the company reached the beach across from the island "Lambay." They followed the coast for several miles until they arrived in the village "Pang-liau." There Beazeley ate in a beautiful yamen, while the porters rested. The company continued following the coast, drawing near to the hills. On the way they passed several Chinese military camps, as the native territory was close and its inhabitants were at war with the Chinese. In the settlement "Tscha-tong-ka" they met general Wang, whose headquarters were located there. The Mandarin announced their arrival, and they were taken care of by a Mandarin named Tschoh, in whose yamen the expedition stayed. He continued with the group towards South Cape later on, and was very popular with Beazeley, who praised him several times in the article. An important asset of Tschoh was that he was a good photographer.

In the six months since the Japanese had left Formosa, the Chinese army had been fighting the rebellious natives. The army had been so successful that several tribes now subjected themselves to the Chinese, and that same day one hundred natives had come to the camp to cut their hair, a form of surrender. Beazeley and Brown were accompanied by an escort of eight men when they took a bath in a mountain creek. The night passed peacefully, and the next morning, 20 June, they left with Tschoh. From the hills they descended towards the sea again. On the way they passed through a village of native fishermen, the houses seemingly were deserted or at least not inhabited at that time, as Beazeley didn't mention any people. After passing through a high plain, they finally came to "Hong Kong," a mere collection of grass huts, in the evening. The travelers stayed with the leading official of the place. Most of the women they saw were native women who had married Chinese; Beazeley found them pleasing. A couple of hours later they departed and followed a pathway through a magnificent jungle, with which Beazeley was very impressed. Tschoh had become very tired, and needed to be carried, too, instead of riding up front. He was sent on to "Tschai-tschêng" before the others. Before the main part of the group arrived in the city, they rested in a deserted native village, where the huts consisted partly of stone walls and partly of wooden walls. Drawing near to the village they met natives for the first time. The aborigines were armed with long knives, and bows and arrows. In the late afternoon they arrived in "Tschai-tschêng," where they stayed in Tschoh's house. This town was the last Chinese settlement near the cape, and, thus, well fortified. When the Japanese landed on Formosa in 1874, they had been trapped there until they left the island. The company put up tents on a plain near the northern edge, was scrubbed and cleaned first, as they found the town very dirty and displeasing. That night, two mandarins came to confer with Beazeley, and they decided to leave early the next morning to arrive in "Sheomalee" (24 li away) in good time. There they would attempt to look for a person who was a friend of the native chief and could negotiate their business. Because the road would become rougher, they reduced their entourage to the absolute necessary number, taking provisions for only five days.

On 21 June they left in the morning and soon passed two villages where they rested. All the women in these dwellings were captured natives; all the men were Chinese. Because the porters fled, the company had to turn back to "Ho-tung," a well-fortified outpost and the designated future administrative seat of the new canton. Beazeley stayed in the house of the village headman. He found the people friendly and polite. After three hours they moved on, traveling eastwards on a road built by the Japanese on their campaign against the savages of the south. Mid-afternoon they reached "Sheomalee," after passing through beautiful jungle landscapes. Tschoh had arrived earlier and had organized accommodations in the chief's house. The village was suffering under a smallpox epidemic, and villagers at first believed the visitors to be doctors. To the great disappointment of the inhabitants, the company couldn't help the sick children. "Sheomalee" was populated by Chinese as well as Natives. The latter were armed with bows and arrows, long knifes and swords, and came to look at the travelers. Except for a small blue loincloth, they were naked. The villager who knew the native chief was unwilling to cooperate when Tschoh asked him to negotiate their request with the tribe. The company needed to pass through his territory and eventually wanted to buy some of his land. The man said that the natives were much too scared of the smallpox to let anyone approach them.

The next day, they left early in the morning and followed the river to the native village of "Pakolut." Women and men came out to see them, and the chief's son "Tokat" accompanied them. Turning south and crossing the river, they entered into the savage territory. Soon Tschoh reported that the natives were hiding and waiting to stop their passage. The two guides they had brought from "Sheomalee' spoke the native language, and they were sent to "Tauk-e-tok," the native chief, in order to negotiate. He came out of hiding, and though Beazeley didn't find him attractive, he did admire the ease with which he climbed down the steep slope. He was wearing a blue loincloth, an embroidered bag over his shoulder and had rice heads in his hair; he was armed with bow and arrows and a long knife. His younger brother came behind him, swinging from bushes and plants like an ape. "Tauk-e-tok" restated the fear of the smallpox as the reason for refusing to let the company pass. Betel-nut was passed around, and after a short lapse in which the chief seemed willing to let a few members of the expedition pass, he changed his mind. He decided that the whole group had to go along the coast, and that he would meet up with them at "Wo-lan-pi," the South Cape. The travelers gave the chief some sam-schu and left for the coast in their sedan chairs. After fighting their way along the jungle path, they reached a river mouth. After following the coast for a while, the sedan chairs became impossible to bring along. Thus, they returned to "Sheomalee," from where they headed directly south on foot. In the afternoon the three Europeans rested inside a cave, formerly used by natives, to escape the sun. At 3:30 they caught up with Tschoh, who had stopped at some grass huts near the beach. His proposal to spend the night there came too early to satisfy Beazeley, who suggested looking around some more. Thus, Beazeley, Tschoh, an old guide carrying Beazeley's gun, and his boy, serving as interpreter, climbed the cliffs to see how far the cape was away from their location. Meanwhile, Brown, the younger guide and the rest of the company followed the coast to look for water. The old guide doubted the point of the expedition and feared the natives. Beazeley was standing on some cliffs, when the guide became nervous again, so Beazeley descended and the company returned to the grass huts on the shore. Brown was in the company of natives, who told him that at this beach the crew of the "Rover" had been murdered [in 1867]. They claimed that the captain's wife, Mrs. Hunt, would have been spared if they had known she were a woman.

On 23 June 26, armed savages entered the camp at night. They only said they wanted to talk to the old guide and then left. The young Mandarin had to go back as he was unfit to continue, and Beazeley was sad to see him go, in part because he feared the man would be waylaid on the way back. The rest of the company left for South Cape in the early morning; the guides warned them to stay together. During this part of the journey, Beazeley suspected the guide of leading them in the wrong direction, and as the man couldn't explain his decisions, Beazeley watched him and Tschoh up front. Finally they reached "Kwa-liang bay" on the west coast. Here, Tschoh and the guide turned sharp towards the south cape instead of turning north to "Wo-lan-pi." Beazeley forced them to change direction, but the direct way into the village was blocked. The guides led them along an alternate path but hesitated to go further when they reached a grass plain. After Tschoh warned them, they did lead on, but turned south again. When Beazeley took up his position right behind the leaders again, to control their movements, he heard noises from behind. He thought it was a Mandarin punishing lazy porters, but Hastings told him there were several groups of natives behind them who told them to stop. When he turned back, he found several of his company being watched by a half circle of tall and strong natives; more followed them from the bushes. Beazeley could see the fuses for their matchlocks burning, and the three main chiefs explained that they would not let the expedition continue any further. Tschoh began talking to them forcefully and said they didn't care what the natives thought; they would continue anyway. Finally the oldest chief got up and started waving his hand, which Beazeley first took to be a gesture for attack, but the chief only motioned them to move on. The natives formed two groups, one walking in front of the group, and the other behind. When they reached the grass plain Beazeley had passed the day before, the natives again said they would not let them go no further One native was looking at Brown's revolver and asked Brown to show him how it worked. Brown used the opportunity to impress the aborigines, as he was a good shot. They spent the night near the plain, in the huts they had used before. In their hut, Beazeley and Brown discussed possible ways to reach their goal; they agreed that they would not return to Takow without visiting the south cape. Tschoh also intimidated the servants, warning them not to escape from the camp. The rain that fell that night also helped in keeping the servants together.

On 24 June the whole company started to walk towards "Wo-lan-pi." They turned southwest and soon reached a plain that sloped down to the south cape. Beazeley and his companions at once began their scientific measurements and observations, as the guides asked them to hurry. Soon they turned back. All the while they had been watched by natives in the bushes, as they later found out. The guards had signaled to the guides to hurry them away.

While they rested that day, the chief Tauk-e-tok came to them with eight other savages. Asked to explain why he had broken his promise, he only gave a weak apology. After midday the company set out for "Pakolut," accompanied by Tauk-e-tok. The return along the coast was generally pleasant. Tokat and his men received them cordially in "Pakolut." On the return trip Brown negotiated the price for a piece of land with Tauk-e-tok. The parties settled on 100 dollars for a large piece of land on the cape, which was ratified by a council of chiefs. These chiefs also agreed to help with the construction and to protect the workers. The general contentment was disturbed when a rival tribe heard of the money and came to claim retribution for stolen cows. Tschoh kept trying to convince the chiefs of the benefits of Chinese rule. The contract was finally signed by Tauk-e-tok and five other chiefs, by a fingerprint on the document. Brown paid the money and also distributed gifts of glass beads and red cloth. The next morning the expedition left "Pakolut". They had hardly come to "Sheomalee" when they heard shots and fighting between the two rival tribes -- the "war of the cows," as one guide called it. The same afternoon they reached "Tschai-tschêng," where they spent the night.

On 26 June, they arrived in "Tscha-tong-ka," where they took leave of Tschoh on the 27. On the way to "Takow" they passed a money transport moving south, spent another night in "Tan-kang" and finally arrived in "Takow" after an absence of 11 days.

Beazeley made closing remarks, stating that many things had changed since this voyage nine years ago. Chinese rule had spread over the entire island; "Ho-tung," where they only had found grass huts, now was a real town; and many more changes had occurred. The lighthouse had been built and had proven a great help for ships. He agreed with the Chinese domination because even if the native was interesting, he was also fickle and cruel.

The last pages of the article are a transcript of comments on the lecture, mainly by prominent travelers or researchers. The president's introduction was briefly presented, which also pointed to other two lectures on Formosa previously given to the society, Swinhoe in 1861 and Thomson in 1871. The president also gave factual information about trade and harbors. Colborne Baber tried to find a shape that best described the outline of the island. He further briefly accounted for his own journey and continued to add to the more general information the president had provided. Baber briefly explained the Chinese distinction between "Pepohuan" and wild natives. He also demanded a more detailed and better-researched summary of information on Formosa, as there were plenty of documents already existing on Formosa. He ended with an anecdote about officers on Formosa. They had proposed a shooting contest between natives and officers. The officers stood a good distance away and shot well. The natives, not very impressed, started their turn by hiding in the bushes, sneaking up to the goal and shooting at it from close proximity. When the officers claimed that the natives won by cheating, the natives failed to understand the term and only replied that that was the way they killed the Chinese.

Collingwood complimented the lecturer and commented on the fact of the rising of the Formosa land mass. He himself had spent some time in the north, and could give first-hand information on harbors and coal mines. While measuring the harbor of the Su-au bay [Editor's note: often spelled "Sauo bay" in English-language texts], he had spent some days among the "Kibalan," the tamed natives, with captain Bullock. They were physically very different form the Chinese but still lived at peace with them. Collingwood and his group also tried to find untamed natives, but couldn't find any on their journey. Collingwood also mentioned another journey he had made between "Tamsui" and "Kelung." The president, Lord Aberdare, then closed the event by lamenting the absence that day of two other explorers, Thomson and Pickering. He also stated that the state of war [i.e., the Sino-Franco war] had one big advantage, that the public interest for the island had been awakened. He hoped that soon Formosa would be well known and well researched.


Biernatzki, [K.L.] "Zur Kunde der Insel Formosa" [Concerning the knowledge about the island Formosa]. Zeitschrift für allgemeine Erdkunde n.f. 3 (1857): 411-427.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

In this article, Biernatzki combines the accounts of three explorers: Carl Ritter's (1835-?) description of the island of Formosa, Captain Richard's report on some harbors on the west coast and Swinhoe's report on the west coast. Biernatzki's general emphasis is geographical description; the inhabitants are hardly mentioned, and when they are, Biernatzki mostly refers to the Chinese population.

Biernatzki divides the island into east and west parts divided by the central mountain range "Ta Schan." East of this range, hardly anything is known about the island. Interest in the island had recently increased, and Christian missions and the peace of Nanking were but two steps in this change. Biernatzki discusses the origins of the name of the island then briefly gives an overview of geographical and demographic data on the Chinese districts. Quoting Ritter, Biernatzki notes that on the west coast there were many bays and a few larger harbors, the biggest of which was the port for the capital "Taiwan," called "Ta yuan Kiang." The main harbor in the far north was "Pekiang," now called "Kelung."

Captain Richards, commander of the schooner "Saracen," had explored the coasts the year before, as had Mr. Swinhoe, the general commissioner of the British consulate in "Amoy." Biernatzki summarizes reports associated with both trips.

Biernatzki follows Richards' notes closely; most of the information concerns times, latitudes and geographical measurements. Captain Richards' expedition started in February 24, 1856. Places passed on their voyage include the following: the Fischer islands ( in the Pescadores), "Takau," and the West Plates [term given only in English]. Finally, they arrived at the little harbor of "Cocksicon." Richards described the sand banks near the coast, where some fishermen lived in austere poverty. Then he sketched the harbor itself, mentioning the old Dutch harbor "Tayowan" close by. He compared both harbors, mentioning the locals only when he described the way the inhabitants of "Cocksicon" marked the deepest places in the bay. Richards described the location of the abandoned Dutch fort, two miles northwest of Formosa's capital, as well as the coast and its inhabitants. Rice plantations and fish provided sufficient sustenance for the large population, who were very friendly and hospitable. Local mountain ranges were named: the "Takau" mountain, the "Walfischruecken" (German for "Whaleback"), and another hill left unnamed. At the foot of Mount "Takau." there is another small harbor called "Takaucon." Employing translators, Richards obtained some information from local fishermen concerning the weather and storms and the local custom of moving their huts from the sand banks to the mainland and back. Richards concluded that the coast was dangerous, which complicated his view of "Takaucon" as an important future harbor. Richards ends his article with a listing of the prices the paid for food supplies in "Takaucon."

Next, Biernatzki summarizes Swinhoe's report on the northern part of the west coast of Formosa. Three places are the focus of Swinhoe's report: 1) the seaport "Hongsan" ("fragrant mountain") to the north of "Taiwan"; 2) south of this port was the harbor called "Tschung kong" (the "middle harbor"), which was also often referred to as "Lo kong" ("camphor harbor"); and 3) "Teksan" ("bamboo trench"), which was situated to the north of "Hongsan." Swinhoe described the nautical circumstances of Teksan; described the landscape and view, including the many camphor boats; and detailed the help he and his shipmates received from the natives when entering the harbor. Biernatzki laments the fact that Swinhoe had failed to determine the name of the mountains he saw in the distance. Although Biernatzki was sure that Swinhoe had referred to "Ta Schan," he wanted to know if it was a new summit or the one measured by Alexander von Humboldt. Biernatzki concludes his recounting of Swinhoe's report by saying that the information Swinhoe gathered about the interior was nothing new; rather, it supported the knowledge already collected by others.

The third report Biernatzki mentions was Carl Ritter's. Ritter named three harbors of importance on the west coast: 1) the capital "Taiwan," whose port was divided into two entrances, the "Ta Kiang" and the "Lu cul men"; 2) the harbor to the north west, "Tan schuy kiang," located in the estuary of the river "Tan schuy Khy"; and 3) the relatively recently found harbor further to the north, "Wu teaou kiang," near the city of the same name.

Biernatzki follows these general summaries with a more detailed description of the character of the west coast in general and "Hongsan," in particular, (from Swinhoe's report). According to the inhabitants, the entrance to Hongsan used to be much broader and only recently had silted up. Two small forts made of slate protect the estuary from both sides. Biernatzki describes the view from the sea onto the west coast, highlighting the terraced appearance of the islands' topography.

Swinhoe's trip to the interior, with descriptions of the villagers' housing, comes next. Swinhoe traveled to both "Hongsan" and "Lokong," and when he returned to "Hongsan" from "Lokong," he was carried by natives. Looking for lodging for the night, Swinhoe entrusted himself into the hands of a native, who lead him to the house of a camphor agent in "Lokong." After the initial discomfort of the crowd staring at him, he was welcomed into the house. Swinhoe described the streets of "Lokong." Apart from wood and camphor warehouses, he saw vending stands and a meeting house, or "Yamun"; the mandarin was absent. Swinhoe tried to describe the areas further into the interior, having seen them from afar. There were plantations for rice and potatoes and a military road from "Teksau" to "Lokong." Although Swinhoe never really visited farther into the interior, he did undertake short trips form the coast. His descriptions center on landscapes and terrain between different villages and houses. Swinhoe did want to go further, but was detained by the warnings of his landlord about mixed tribes of blacks and Cantonese who constantly were at war with each other. If Swinhoe were mistreated, the mandarins would blame his host for taking him there. Thus, Swinhoe contented himself with the narration of camphor exploitation.

In a footnote, Biernatzki gives references to other reports classifying the Aborigines, including those of Ritter and Valentyn. He also gives a short explanation on the state of colonization and native resistance. Because Swinhoe only mentioned camphor as produce, Biernatzki refers readers to Ritter's article, but doesn't specify the products enumerated therein. Instead, he recounts Swinhoe's elaborate description of Formosan birds and mammals, which consists of comparisons of the animals Swinhoe saw in Amoy and those found close by the town of "Tschangtschau." There are domesticated animals, too, but buffalo are the only draught animals; they pull carts, which Swinhoe describes in detail.

Biernatzki claims that Swinhoe hardly mentioned the inhabitants themselves. Swinhoe had met only Chinese settlers and subjected aborigines, who themselves have become quite Sinified. Biernatzki enumerates the few instances in which Swinhoe mentioned inhabitants and tries to classify them into "Chinese" and "real Formosans." Swinhoe did state that relations between both groups were violent, in spite of the massive forces brought to protect the settlers. Swinhoe found abundant traces of war. He obtained one scalp and was only prevented from taking more by the difficulties in smuggling them on board.

The article ends with Swinhoe's description of his voyage back to Amoy.


Biernatzki, [K. L.] "Die Insel Formosa" [The island Formosa]. Zeitschrift für allgemeine Erdkunde n.f. 7 (1859): 376-395.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Biernatzki's article resembles his first one [of 1857]; it is a summary of several recent travel reports. He often directly quotes long sections of these reports. The authors he mentions in this article include Robert Fortune, Captain Joel Abbot, Reverend G. Jones, Lieutenant A.W. Habersham, Commander Brooker and Mr. Groom.

Biernatzki's introduction focuses on the need to learn more about the unexplored island of Formosa, especially the interior parts, whereas the coasts are beginning to become known. Abbot and Jones were ordered by Commander Perry in June 1854 to search for shipwrecked Americans and to examine the coal mines near "Kelung." Habersham visited Formosa in 1855, while Brooker was looking for shipwrecked foreigners in the summer of 1858. Mr. Groom was aboard the "Alert," which shipwrecked near the Formosan coast. He wrote about his captivity and return to China in the fall of 1858. Habersham, Groom and Fortune went ashore on the west coast of the island; Brooker explored both coasts; and Abbot and Jones only saw the north.

Biernatzki first turns to descriptions of the west coast. Habersham's orders were to explore the east and southeast coasts and look for shipwrecked sailors in the Formosa straits. His ship reached the Pescadores on 26 March 1855, and then visited the west coast of Formosa, finding fruitful plains and hills before them at daybreak after a storm. Part of the crew went ashore and were welcomed cordially by Chinese, who were armed.

Groom was shipwrecked on 11 October 1858. He was washed ashore with other members of the crew, and the Formosans who had seen them coming first robbed them and then sent them off to a nearby village. (Groom was probably captured by natives, not Chinese, as his description differs from Habersham's.) In the village, they came upon a mass of women, men and children, eager to see the strangers, or "Ta whanah." These inhabitants were a lot friendlier and gave the fugitives food and water. Groom describes the men as athletic and beautiful, looking more trustworthy than the Chinese. They were of light skin and carried knives, lances and guns. The women tied their hair up with red cloth, but they did not bind their feet. The village was in decay, but the local temple had been maintained in good shape. The other houses were made of clay and surrounded by a bamboo fence. After resting, the shipwrecked sailors traveled on to a larger town which they had seen across the bay. There they found sixteen other crew members from the ship. They were given dark and dirty lodgings and no food, but Groom felt more at ease there than in the earlier village. Few inhabitants were armed, they wore pantaloons, a turban and a large shirt. Everyone smoked tobacco and carried two boxes, one with the tobacco, the other with flintstone and tinder. After two more days spent in a temple, mandarins arrived. The oldest talked to the shipwrecked sailors and promised food and clothes. Later the crew followed the mandarin to yet another town, about a day's journey away. After Groom nearly fainted twice on the way, he was carried the rest of the way to the town of "Chungwa." As Groom was the first westerner who mentions this town, Biernatzki spends some time trying to locate this town with clues from the text and geographical data concerning Formosa. It was an important city, as it was the residence of the mandarins and the site of an official yamen. Here the group stayed and was not allowed to leave. Nevertheless, Groom made several trips into the interior while they waited for the return. Groom and another man once walked up into the foothills of the mountain range, but didn't dare to enter the mountains. They spent the night in hay or at a farm. Groom took a liking to the island and even stated that he would like to return one day and explore it further. The rice harvest reminded him of old England; he found the population healthier and hardly saw any disease.

Fortune visited Formosa in 1854 on the American ship "Confucius" bringing money to help fight a rebellion. He landed in "Tamshuy," and thought the town to be little more of a large village. Fortune only saw a very limited range of cheap food goods. He only spent a day in "Tamshuy" before departing for Shanghai the same night.

Brooker visited the capital "Taiwan." He had trouble landing, and his ship was guided by a fisherman into the canal leading up to the city of Taiwan. The mandarins they met in "Taiwan" were friendly and willing to help the crew in their search for shipwrecked sailors, but didn't know of any. To his surprise, Brooker found the city clean and expensive. Earlier, the "Inflexible" had anchored off the harbor of "Takau" in the south and then in "Pongli." There, part of the crew traveled into the interior to the village of "Laileaou," where the chief "Bantscheong" lived. He was independent of the Chinese, and was of great help in 1851, when other shipwrecked sailors were being sought. Although this chief had been in contact with the natives of the "Rallee-tribe," he did not know of any shipwrecked westerners.

Biernatzki then briefly turns to the different populations of Formosa, and describes the three classes. The Chinese seem to make up the majority of the population on the west coast. Groom had spent three days before he left Formosa with a Chinese friend of the mandarins called "Lotea," a passionate opium addict, whose habits Groom described. Groom disapproved of his dirtiness and the constant laxity due to the opium. The villages on the plains of the west coast seem to be populated with tributary natives; de Mailla had stated that they live in forty-five separate settlements. The real natives live on the east coast of the island, and Brooker and his men had met some of them. Though the Chinese described them as evil cannibals, when one of Brooker's crew approached a savage, he traded his bow and arrow for a Mexican dollar readily. Brooker described the natives as tall, well built, with strong cheekbones and chins and black hair falling on their shoulders; they only wore a cape. Brooker compared them to the American Indians.

Habersham sailed along the east coast to find natives in their own territory and search for a suitable landing spot. When the crew couldn't find any, they sailed on. One time, they tried to land two small boats on the coast, where native men and women patiently awaited them eager to trade. But as the surf was too strong, they had to row back to the ship. The aborigines then howled and yelled, out of disappointment, or so Habersham writes. From the boats they could see many stone houses and nice gardens, which the Chinese prisoners there had built.

Brooker sailed around the south cape and tried to land when he had sailed halfway up the east coast. While this attempt failed, about eleven natives and twenty Chinese watched from the shore. Brooker states that the natives were running wild on the coast, trying to man a boat to attack the ship, so eager were they to fight the foreigners. Although they were ready to receive the natives, the crew of the "Inflexible" fired some warning shots, whereupon the savages fled back into the distance. The Chinese quickly took the boat and rowed out to the ship. They asked the expedition to sail on, as the native "Tchewan" would kill all Chinese captives if anything happened to a native. Probably they were exiles from China earning their living by working for the natives, doing tasks that their superior culture allowed them to do. They said there were about 4000 natives in the surrounding area, mainly farmers but also hunters. Brooker sent the Chinese back with the order to promise presents to the tribes if the natives came out to the boat, which they declined. The aborigines were slender and well built, more similar to the Malays than the Chinese, but with light skin. They were naked except for a loincloth, holding a long knife. Brooker was convinced that these tribes would kill any European that fell into their hands. The Chinese called the place "Tschokeday"; the next town was "Sawo" or "Suau." There part of the crew went ashore, visited several villages around the bay, and were held to be Lutchuans [Editor's note: residents of Liu Chiu], as these were the only foreigners the population knew of. The people resembled Malays in customs and language, but were more beautiful with an olive-colored skin. Another delegation of the ship visited the "Kapalau"-district, where every village had two chiefs, one appointed by the Mandarins, and the other elected from among the inhabitants. These people feared the raw wild savages just like the Chinese did.

Abbot had traveled to "Kelung" in the northeast, a town with 3000 inhabitants. Jones researched the coal mines in the area, and Biernatzki quotes a passage in which Jones describes landmarks and the geography of the bay. Biernatzki also reprints Jones' more general evaluation of the coal he found there, and the location of some mines. While a guide brought him into the interior to visit mines, he took another way back to "Kelung" and describes the landscape. Both Abbot and Jones found the Formosans willing and helpful, but the Mandarin in "Kelung," i.e., the "Hiptoy" called "Letschuauh," was a nuisance, as he lied and hindered their analysis of the coal. They also noted that the Chinese seemed to have great respect, or fear, of their superior. If questioned by the scientists, these Chinese always seemed to expect fearful consequences.

Brooker, too, visited "Kelung." He saw several coal mines in operation, and visited the sulfur springs in the interior, which had been shut down by order of the mandarins. On their return journey, the "Inflexible" also anchored in other harbors on the west coast -- "Tamshuy," "Lampaw," "Gotschi," and "Taiwan" -- where they visited the mandarins. That way, they finally heard of the shipwreck of a ship from Hamburg on the west coast, but the crew already were on their way home.

Biernatzki closes his article by repeating Commander Perry's recommendation that a colony be established on Formosa. He lists the benefits and sees colonization as urgently necessary. In general, Biernatzki saw a great future for Formosa.


Eismann, G. "Beschreibung der Nordküste von Formosa" [Description of Formosa's north coast]. Annalen der Hydrographie und Maritimen Meteorologie 20 (1892): 410-416.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Eismann is a navigator and in this article tries to help fellow navigators to find their way around the difficult terrain of Formosa. Thus, what he published is a close and detailed description of the northern coast in nautical terms. He was traveling on the imperial Chinese transport ship "Fee Cheu" as first officer at the time he undertook his measurements.

Because the north coast of Formosa is not very clearly visible during the northeast monsoon, Eismann describes various landmarks to help find a location. Starting west of "Tamsui" (which he also calls "Hu–wei"), he works his way slowly into the harbor. There, he describes in an extremely detailed fashion the difficulties met when entering this port, the signals used by local sea pilots and how to find the way without signals. Eismann mentions his suspicions of the Chinese and their criminality, which is one of the only times he mentions people at all.

After he leaves "Tamsui," Eismann continues eastwards, going over landmarks, big rocks and islands as he goes. Eismann turns to "Kelung," and explains the quality of "Kelung" coal. From there he continues eastwards, until he reaches "Petou Point." Eismann concludes by mentioning that visibility rapidly become worse, especially during the northeast monsoon.


Fischer, Adolf. "Formosa." Kringsjaa 15 (February/March 1900): 241-49; 401-407. Note: In Danish, with photographs, engravings and a sketch.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The artice is a reprint from Westermanns Monatsheft [Ed. note: a German atlas]. After the editor briefly summarizes the relevant geographical and political setting, Fischer's views are quoted. He traveled to Formosa in February 1898 from Japan on the steamboat "Yokohama Maru."

The first harbor visited was "Kelung," where Fischer was impressed by the beautiful nature of the port. He mentions the island "Mero," on which one can still see the ruins of the fort "San Salvador." Fischer explained that there were hardly any Europeans in "Kelung" because the climate was unhealthy. Experiencing some difficulty at the docks, Fischer didn't wait for his luggage but from there continued on to "Taipeh," where he wanted to visit the German consulate and the Europeans living there.

First he traveled by boat, then changed to a train, passing dirty Chinese towns before he reached "Taipeh." Fischer was told that the consulate was situated in "Twatutia," but before he takes the reader there, Fischer describes "Taipeh." He mentions the way in which it had been built and the development it had undergone. The Japanese had greatly improved conditions in Taipeh. Fischer favorably compares the main roads with those in Tokio. He also gives a preview of possible further development. The Japanese dominate in "Taipeh" although they are boycotted by the Chinese population. The government is trying to counteract this animosity, but Fischer gives them little chance of success.

In "Twatutia" he visited the German consul Reinsdorff, who helped Fischer with contacts and gave him lodging. In the Twatutia Club he met other Europeans living there -- 6-8 people during most of the year.

Fischer undertook a day trip to "Tamsui," the largest trade center on the island. Fischer had to travel in what he deemed an insufficient vehicle: an open steamboat. Still he enjoyed the voyage and the view. On the way, they passed the "Kuanyin" hills and the village "Kan-tao." Together with the German consul, he visited the higher officials in Formosa to obtain passes and references. Fischer also found himself a Chinese servant. Before he left, he undertook short trips, one of which led him to "Bang-ka." Fischer describes the dirty, narrow streets and the "Tusimil" temple outside the town. This prompted Fischer to speak briefly about the state of religion beliefs and practices among the Chinese in Formosa.

Together with his servant, Fischer took the train into the interior of the island, to the last station "Shinchiku." He elaborates on the scenery near this city. In "Shinchiku," Fischer met the local officials, who were very critical about the purpose of his voyage; Fischer noted that generally the Japanese were wary of foreigners. Fischer then wandered around in the town; his text summarizes some of his observations there. He gives special notice to the production of paper money that was burnt as an offering to the gods, and the lack of division between religion and business.

The next day he continued to "Chozan," where he saw a school, temples, and a cloister. Fischer visited the camphor districts, where there are violent fights between natives and camphor workers still today. He arrived in the village called "Bioretsus," which contained an old mandarin palace. The next morning they left, passed the village "Katosho" and headed for the mountain of "Kotazan." Fischer, being carried in a sedan chair, didn't notice the dangers on this leg of the trip, but he continued on foot later. When his party descended on the other side, they came closer to the stream "Suibipiyan" that flows into "Koriuke." Finally they arrived in "Suibison," a tiny village where they saw the first savages.

In the second part of the article, Fischer first describes the "Hakkas," who were the Chinese living in closest contact with the savages. Among the savage tribes he names the "Chin-huan" tribes, living in the mountains and on the east coast. Fischer describes them as independent, showing animosity towards civilization, in contrast to the half-wild "Pepowans" [or Pepohuans] who live in the hills and valleys. Although the Pepowans were subdued by the Chinese, there was still much violence. Fischer provides a description the current relations between these social groupings and summarizes the history of these troubles.

After a long hike he came to "Tao" or "Taiko," which was a "Chin-huan" colony only ten years ago, but now Hakkas live there. The Hakka settlers drove the savages away, but they still do fight back.

Fischer then describes the "Chin-huan," focusing on women's roles, but also sketching family life, hunting and scalping. Afterwards he turns to camphor production, which he describes in detail.

After several days' hike, he arrived in "Taiwan." The city's importance had grown under the Japanese. From there, Fischer's party continued on to "Atammu," where they lodged with Formosa's richest Chinese, "Lin-cho-dos" and "Kishito." Passing fertile lands, they observed the river "Uké" turning into the "Taitoke" river. Here the landscape became wilder. After some adventurous climbing they arrived at the military station "Hokoke," where the group experienced a fire that got out of control. Two hours later, at nightfall, they came to "Polisha," another Chinese village with a military station.

Near "Polisha" there were two wild tribes, the "Hokuban" and the "Namban." They lived partly by hunting and partly by fishing. Although Fischer describes them as uncivilized, he points out that they treat their women and children with respect. He describes their burials and the custom of changing residence after someone has been buried, as they bury the dead inside their houses. Next, he shortly describes their hunting attire, their appearance and decorations, as well as scalp-hunting. Fischer mentions the town "Seki- in" not far from "Polisha." Fischer then gives some information about the village structure in these native settlements.

He finishes his account with a description of a festival in the village, at which the natives got drunk and danced around the fire. This impressed him very much.


Friedel, Ernst. "Bericht über Arnold Schetelig's Reise in Formosa" [Report on Arnold Schetelig's voyage in Formosa]. Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin 3 (1868): 385-397. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #8.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

With this article, Friedel published an annotated version of a speech given by Arnold Schetelig on May 9, 1868, to the "Berliner Gesellschaft für Erdkunde" [Geographical Society, Berlin]. Schetelig talked about his voyage to the north and northeast parts of Formosa. Friedel's own comments are taken from more recent studies on Formosa. These include articles by Dr. Biernatzki in the same magazine.

Schetelig concentrates on the circumstances of the voyage in the first part of the article, and especially on general geographical, historical and demographic data. He hardly describes any single encounters with natives during his voyages.

Schetelig's company, including a photographer, crossed over to Formosa from "Amoy" (in the province of "Fukien") on a sailboat. After a few days in "Tamsui," they left for the interior of the island. They used the well-maintained river system in the northern parts for traveling. From "Tamsui" they used "rapid boats" [Trans. note: the English term is given here] to pursue three different routes, the first along the "Kilung"[Kelung] channel, almost as far as the city of "Kilung"; the second along the actual "Tamsui" River to the southeast; and the third route along the southern branch of the river into the western foothills.

Schetelig describes his journey on the "Kilung" channel. Along the way they see the sulfur springs of "hell valley" [Trans. note: name given only in German translation], which leads him to describe the methods of sulfur extraction practiced by the Chinese. He describes the increasing beauty of the river valley after one passes out of the wide lower "Tamsui" River and the "Manka" plain -- also the name of the district-city for "Tamsui-Ting." Schetelig mentions the many trading boats passing them downstream, while they struggle with the current. The Chinese, he says, use two rudders on their boats. Before "Kilung" they pass over the watershed [which divides the channel from the stream flowing into Kelung]. "Kilung" is a Chinese city, made increasingly important because of nearby coal resources. Possessing few if any remnants of the Dutch (who settled mainly in the south, near "Taiwan-fu" and in the north, near "Tamsui"), "Kilung" seems to have been the main point of Spanish colonization efforts.

Because Schetelig wanted to see part of the east coast, he rented a junk. It took his group to the "Capenlan" plain, the only arable region on the entire northeast coast. The plain is situated among the foothills of the central mountains. There Schetelig and his group stayed a couple of days, researching astronomy and taking pictures. They also learned about the local tribe, whose territory reaches up to "Sawobay" [Ed. note: also referred to as Sau-o, i.e., Su-ao, Bay]. Schetelig doesn't describe any characteristics of the local settlers and aborigines; he only mentions the disturbances caused by the native's amazement at everything relating to his group.

They continued their journey up to the "Sawobay," and Schetelig describes the harbor of "Sawo" and it's position and function. Here he also mentions the English survey-ship "Sylvia," which had recently finished mapping the coasts of Formosa.

The geographical isolation of the location of "Sawo," cut off from the rest of the island, prevented more intensive farming. This is stated reason for Schetelig's classifying the inhabitants mainly as criminals. Even among the Chinese, "Sawo" has a bad reputation. Schetelig subsequently describes an example of the lawlessness here. After the company arrived, camphor agents came into the port. Because they thought Schetelig and his group were inhibiting their illegal business, the agents started instigating the inhabitants against the travelers until they had to leave.

In his next excursion, Schetelig followed the middle branch of the Tamsui River into the interior. He started form "Manka," the branching point of three separate streams. On the way he passed the village "Chintamki" (or 'the way to the indigo fields'), which is the furthest point to which the river is navigable. The route then continued into the mountains and the jungle. Schetelig gives a short overview of the phenomena he encountered: plantations for camphor, indigo and other crops, the difficult weather, the beautiful nature all around, and the visible changes human inhabitation has had on the forest. Schetelig mentions the village "Takan," which is the endpoint of their journey, and which has only been colonized for a short time. The goal of the excursion was geographical measurement. They did interact with some natives, whom Schetelig classifies as completely different from the tribes they saw on the coast. Without giving much detail, he only describes them as degenerated, and their role overrated. According to Schetelig, their relatively primitive mental and physical characteristics, and their missing morals keep them at an indifferent level with respect to Formosan issues.

Schetelig goes on to describe the third part of his voyage, along the southern branch of the "Tamsui" River. The landscape here is a model of original Chinese colonialism. First passing "Taiwanfu" [Ed. note: this has to be a mistake for Taiwanfu is on the southwestern coast], the trip lead to the bordering province, which was the second region the Chinese had colonized. Thus, what they find here is purely Chinese, although the diversity among these Chinese is noted by Schetelig. Upon reaching the old fort of "Tokscham," the boats had to be discarded.

The colonization of this place occurred on a private basis, and the settlers are described by Schetelig as squatters who step-by-step acquired land rights. From here the company took excursions to the camphor plantations in the vicinity and followed the river valley southwards.

Next, Schetelig explains some discoveries concerning the topography of the area he visited, along with the main products of Formosa (coal, camphor and sulfur). Schetelig concludes with a description of Formosa's climate.

This is then followed by the editor's brief discussion on articles on Formosa by Lobscheid, Frauenfeld and Swinhoe; he also described a map by M. de Montigny. The editor then turns to a survey of extant knowledge on the languages of Formosa. The most well-known is the "Sideia" dialect, spoken in "Taiwan-Hien"; after that comes the "Favorlang" dialect, named after a village by that name in "Changwa-Hien." In addition, there are "Kali-Formosan" in "Fungschan-Hien" and "Pipo-Formosan" from "Komalan" and "Tamsui-Hien." The relationship of Formosan to Malay was examined by Schetelig in an essay published in 1868.

Coastal surveying has improved greatly, but more work is still needed. The article ends with tables on economic data concerning Formosa.


"Bei den Wilden auf Formosa" [The savages on Formosa]. Globus 26, No. 16 (1874): 253-255.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The author (with the abbreviated name R.K.) summarizes a speech on Formosa given by E.C. Taintor to the "Asiatic Society" in Shanghai, which was reprinted in the "Japan Weekly Mail," 4 July 1874. Taintor visited the Kapsulan plains in the beginning of 1869, and collected information on the language and customs of the aborigines of that region.

The author first introduces the island and the territorial borders of the Chinese and natives. While the aborigines live on the east coast, the Chinese settlers inhabit the whole west coast and the northern part of the east coast.

The original population of the northern plain called themselves "Kabaran." They were driven back into the mountains by the settlers, but still took up many aspects of Chinese culture themselves. These culturally-assimilated natives were called "Pepo hwans," or 'savages of the plains,' by the Chinese to distinguish them from the rawer and freer "savages of the mountains." The author claims that the amount of Chinese immigration must have been small indeed, if Thomson found a "Pepo hwan" village only twenty miles from "Tai-wan-fu" in 1871. The migration towards the interior has not stopped, and only in the past year a company of Chinese with a European leader tried to settle in "Talam-o," south of "Suaobay," after first peacefully negotiating with the natives. Still, the project failed because of the resistance of the natives. "Lamo," too, had been the goal of another group of colonists. These attempts have failed three times in recent years, the second time the break down was signaled by numerous skeletons without heads.

The Pepos are fishermen and also good at rowing. Men are tall and well-built, women small and pretty, with dark eyes that distinguish them from the Chinese women they copied in dress and style. The "true" savages are smaller and thinner than the "Pepos," with thick shaggy hair. The savages wear earrings; women are small and plump, and carry heavy loads. The low brows and suspicious expression add to the ugliness Taintor found in the features of "true savages," contrasting them to the "Pepos." Both men and women tattoo themselves and wear much jewelry made of bones and brass. The most popular decoration seems to be hair from Chinese scalps braided and hung on clothing and jewelry. When their children are between six and eight years old, they remove the eyeteeth to increase their speed while hunting. Hunting tools include knifes, spears and arrows. The main game is a small deer, but occasionally they do trap bears. The bear's paws and gall bladder are sold to the Chinese, who need these goods for their medicines. Everything else is cooked all in one piece. In addition to hunting game, they cultivate crops like potatoes, beans and rice. Because of their like of pepper, they occasionally break into Chinese gardens to steal some of this spice. Another passion of theirs is tobacco, which they grow themselves and smoke in bamboo pipes. The native name ta-ba-ku for tobacco shows that the Dutch or Spanish first introduced the crop in Formosa. Some tribes supposedly even have relics of the Dutch colonists.

The natives make elastic and well-woven mats from long grass, and they trade game or furs with the Chinese for things they can't make, such as iron. Their huts are very simple: two main poles supporting smaller ones, thereby making up walls that are then filled up with grass or leaves. Some stones inside fashion a stove, but the huts lack a venting system. They usually keep their belongings in woven baskets hanging from the ceiling. The dead are buried in an upright position, and they are accompanied by their belongings and weapons.

The Formosans have a special friendship ceremony, in which two people stand close to another and drink wine from the same cup. A less important friendship ceremony consists of eating salt, which they value greatly, from the same table. When Taintor stayed among the natives, there were twelve chiefs with whom he had to perform the wine ceremony because, according to Taintor, of the fickle and suspicious nature of the savages. Pigs were the most popular gift for the natives, so Taintor brought some along and gave them away for a big feast. After the feet and snout were cut off, the entire remainder was grilled on a fire for a very short time. Then the chieftain divided the pigs into heaps of meat and bones. These piles were assigned to families according to their size. Some aborigines were so hungry that they roasted their part at once, but most stored theirs away. The visitors also were given meat, which they to their great relief were not meant to eat in front of the tribe. Still Taintor angered one young chief because he gave his share to the next best savage. Later, the whole group of natives, and the Pepos that accompanied the visitors, too, started to celebrate with the samshu that the travelers had given to the villagers. The company was relieved when in the early morning hours the debauchery finally slowed down. They had been afraid of the knives and heated temperaments of the natives.

Vendetta is practiced to the full extent, and although the Chinese administration had promised a reward for every native scalp that they receive, they have not been very successful, in contrast to the natives who kill an estimated 50-60 Chinese a year. While a Chinese has to risk his life for a meager reward, the native warrior is driven by higher values and religious beliefs. One's position in native society is determined by the number of scalps a man has hunted. The one who has most is generally the chief.

Formosa also is very rich in resources. While camphor was the main export commodity, there is also coal near "Kelung" and sulfur near "Tamsui." The exploitation of the sulfur springs has been prohibited by the government, though. The vast forests contain many kinds of valuable wood, and the east coast is rich in fish and turtles. The fertile western plain is sometimes called the granary of southern China. An island with such resources should develop well; the author states that no one can know what the Japanese will make of the island.


"Kopfjagden auf Formosa" [Scalping on Formosa]. Globus 77 (1900): 68.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The note is one of several small pieces assembled in the magazine. It describes the observations of the Japanese Shigetoro Nagano, the head of a bureau concerning savages on Formosa. He is quoted in Adolf Fischer's "Streifzüge durch Formosa," which is reviewed in the journal a few pages earlier. He collected a lot of information on the tribes of the north living near "Polischa." Nagano also started an ethnographic collection and took photographs. Like many Malay tribes, the Formosans were scalpers. Great honor and renown was rewarded for successful scalp hunters. First the scalps were hung in a net from the roof of a house. The Chinese braids were kept for decoration inside the hut, while the scalp, once it had decayed, was put next to the others outside on a long bamboo shelf. First, the success of taking a scalp was celebrated with samschu that was poured into the scalp to honor it and the persons' relatives. A construction of rice paper, made from Aralia papyrifera hung over the head for this celebration. Nagano took a picture of such a bamboo shelf, which put him in great danger, as he took it secretly.


Haberlandt, M. "Die Eingeborenen der Kapsulan-Ebene von Formosa" [The aborigines of the Kapsulan plain of Formosa]. Mittheilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien n. f. 14 (1894): 184-193. With illustrations.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Haberlandt constructs his article as a contrast to the usual writings on Formosa. While previous publications had focused on linguistic and ethnological data and relied on numerous travel descriptions for their data, Haberlandt argued that these articles were too contradictory and the data too exhausted for any new insights. Rather, he tries to employ a method that had received little attention so far. Haberlandt studied closely the collections of the ethnological museums, mainly those of Vienna and Berlin. He then compared his insights with existing claims in articles on Formosa and tries to draw parallels with other populations.

Haberlandt starts by lamenting that Formosa still is an unknown island, in spite of the mass of documents about the island. Then, he turns to a brief description of the question of the anthropological origin of the native population and gives a rough survey of different opinions and their defendants. The majority opinion proposes a Malay origin, while an alternative denies the Malay theory, and a third perspective compares the aborigines of Formosa to those of southern China and other Asian regions. Haberlandt focuses on the natives of the "Kapsulan" plain in the northeast, following cues from Schetelig, who stated that the "Shekwan" aborigines could be found there in relative purity.

Introducing his survey of artifacts, Haberlandt begins with two sculls that Schetelig brought back from Formosa and the descriptions of the skulls by Dr. Zuckerkandl. Zuckerkandl finds them both prolate and thus typically Malay. Haberlandt compares this to photographs taken from "Tokoham" in north Formosa, and finds Malay characteristics as well. He then describes the custom of the removal of eyeteeth in children, and states that often the native rationale for this practice has been forgotten. But he also mentions reports by Taintor and Joest, which do state that removing the teeth increases speed and luck.

Next, Haberlandt turns to tattoos. He favorably compares the descriptions in the reports with the pictures he found in the museum collections, and also finds evidence for differences between girl and woman patterns. He also noted that men remove their facial hair.

Haberlandt classifies the clothing as subtropical. Clothes are partially sown, and partially folded or wrapped. The cloth is fabricated by women who use small looms that they hold with their feet. The women add decorations with red and especially blue wool that are sown onto the cloth. The garments he found include jackets (called "cholus") skirts, aprons, shawls and shank protectors. Haberlandt found these protectors very interesting, and describes their use. Haberlandt also remarks that the chief and his family wear distinctive clothing. For instance, the chief, together with the priestesses, are allowed to wear the "pulatsu" beads sown on their clothing. This pearl is regarded as holy but is also used as a kind of money. Men wear braided rattan caps with or without visors; women wrap shawls around their head. In detail Haberlandt describes two specific artifacts, a leather armor-like garment and a "sunroof" that is bound onto the back of a man or woman working in the field. He compares them to things he found among the clothing and artifacts associated with other peoples, especially in the Philippines.

Haberlandt continues with jewelry, first describing earrings. He found many bamboo-sticks with woolen threads, glass pearls and marble stones. Beads are also characteristically used for necklaces, as are stripes of cloth with buttons or animal teeth. Often hunters will add streaks of hair from the Chinese scalps they had hunted to their necklaces, as well as to their bracelets. Other artifacts include braided rattles, and a marriage headdress for a man and a marriage skirt for a girl. Both of the latter are made of the holy "pulatsu."

He sees their arms as less original; almost all the blades are traded from the Chinese and bound to or stuck on shafts. Their main weapon and tool is the knife with a wooden shaft, often carved with decorations. Most knives are protected by a sheath open on one side and decorated with wire. Here, too, many have a bushel of Chinese hair bound to them. Like the Malays, the Formosan aborigines wear their knives in their belts on their backside. Also very important are spears, for which the natives also use sheaths. According to Haberlandt, the heads of their killed enemies are stuck on the spears and carried home in triumph. Bow and arrow are used for fighting, hunting and fishing. Bows are mostly made of bamboo and arrows of hollow cane. Now the natives also use Chinese shotguns.

Haberlandt admits that the artifact collections offer little information on nutrition, cooking and agriculture, but he goes on to describe what can be found. Hoes with iron blades that the aborigines reportedly make themselves serve as agricultural tools. The natives use bow nets for fishing, together with boats (made from trunks "carved out" by fire) and floats [Ed. note: perhaps this latter word refers to catamarans]. They cook with clay pots and eat from straw bowls and plates as well as wooden cups and spoons.

Both men and women have a passion for tobacco, which they smoke in bamboo or wooden pipes, which often manifest intricate carvings. Haberlandt finds that they are related closely to pipes from Luzon and the "Tinguians," and the habit of the women to stick the pipe into their hair while not smoking reminds him of Malay tribes.

The only musical instrument found among the tribes is the Jew's harp, made from bamboo with metal tongues.

Although the material evidence is scarce, Haberlandt finds a general resemblance in various categories of Formosan artifacts to those of Malay peoples. In particular, peoples indigenous to the Philippines seem closely related to the Formosans in things like looms, clothing, sunroofs, jewelry and pipes. He also states that linguistic data confirms this connection. However, because of the limited amount of artifacts available to Haberlandt, he decidedly does not draw a final conclusion concerning the origin of Formosan aborigine tribes. The geographical proximity of the islands can explain many trends, and future anthropological research will bring more certainty into these debate.


Hirth, Friedrich. "Aufzeichnungen über die Wilden Formosas" [Records concerning the wild people of Formosa]. Mittheilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien 22 (1892): 91-92. Reprinted in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (Organ der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte) (1893): 333-335. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #20.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The text is actually a Chinese document describing Formosan aborigines from the 17th Century. It was translated by Hirth from the Chinese annals, the Tai-wan-fu-tchi [Taiwan fuzhi]. Haberlandt describes the text as a topography of the Chinese part of Formosa. The first edition of the Kao-kung-kien was completed in 1694; later editions followed. The text gives descriptive information on aborigine tribes next to the statistical data.

Hirth inserts many words in brackets within his translation of the Chinese text. The reprint of Hirth's translation differs from the original translation only in that it substitutes the elaborate footnote explaining the origin of the document with a much shorter one, dropping much background information.

Although merely two pages in length, the account is full of ethnographic descriptions and observations. There is little apparent structure and the article frequently changes from details to generalizations. The main topics are physical features, family and social life in the village, clothing, decorations, housing, nutrition, arms, and (at the end of the text) the aboriginal races differing from the ones described within the text. Many social and cultural traits are compared to distinct ones in Chinese life.

The aborigines lack surnames and a concept of time. They recognize no kin relationships beyond father and mother, such as uncles or nephews. They don't bring offerings to their ancestors and don't know their own age.

Both sexes are barefooted, but wear a short jacket and cloths (fu-pu). Women wear leggings and flowers, and girls and boys bind their loins with Rotang belts, which help them run fast. After their hair has grown out, they cut it and tie it up. They color their teeth black with herbs. They pierce their ears and stick ivory into the holes. Many aborigines are tattooed, mostly on the arm and back, but some have tattoos all over the body. Most tribes use Dutch alphabet. The aborigines wear bracelets of bronze or iron. They try to impress each other with feather decorations and shells hanging from their shoulders and foreheads.

Daughters are more highly valued than sons, as the son-in-law moves into his bride's family house. If a girl is ready to marry, she goes to the community center where she is wooed by a boy playing his Jew's harp. If she is willing, the parents are notified and a date for marriage is set. Marriage rituals include heavy drinking. Men and women have intercourse freely and openly, except when younger children are present.

New born babies are washed with cold water. The aborigines don't know about doctors or medicine, but rely for cures on bathing their feet. They generally put a high value on baths in all seasons.

A death in a house is signaled with colored rags. The dead person's possessions are divided among the survivors, and the corpse is kept under the bed for three days. Burial rites are performed by the neighbors, and without a coffin. If the family moves, they dig up and re-bury their loved one.

Aboriginal lodgings are set several feet above the ground. They resemble boats, built low and narrow. They paint the beams and poles of these houses. The ground near the house is continually sprinkled with water to keep away the dust. The natives don't use bed covers, but cover up with clothes. There are no kitchens; they cook on a mound which holds a pan. Fluid food is scooped out of this cooking utensil with a coconut shell, while rice is eaten with the hands. The amount needed for a meal is always freshly ground. Millet, wheat and clothing are kept in the same type of gourd flask. Wine is popular; it is made of rice chewed by old women and ripened in bamboo containers for several days.

When guests arrive, the aborigines step out of their huts to greet the visitors with the necessary honors. The guest has to taste wine before he enters the hut.

Voyages are made with the help of a cart pulled by oxen, using Rotang ropes and inlaid stones to overcome difficult sections of the road. Official messengers are equipped with small bells that ring while the messengers run.

The spears the natives use are over five feet long, and they hit everything within a range of a hundred feet. They also use bamboo bows with hemp strings. Field workers see the last day of harvest as the end of the year.

Deep in the mountains there lives another tribe that resembles apes. They don't reach three feet (or four English feet) in height. They flee to the treetops when they see strangers; if one wants to catch them, they draw back, holding a crossbow aimed.

Another race lives in caves, resembling primitive Chinese aborigines [ancestors]. They enjoy killing humans and keep their bare bone scalps [Ed note: skulls?], decorated with gold, in their houses as a sign of bravery.

One tribe has the custom of hanging an individual's own father on a tree when he gets too old. The tribe members kill this elder and take him away, replacing him with a pig. Their officials are divided into real officials and assistants. In a big community there are five to six (or in a small three to four) assistants, depending on the number of families in a community. The community house serves as court, but small conflicts are solved without using that space. Some of the court writers know the Dutch script; they are the registrars, and all people are counted by them. They write from left to right, not top to bottom.

Some say, the savages have been taking up Chinese culture lately, with tutors striving to gradually enlighten children so they are able to understand Chinese literature, customs and music.


Honda, Seiroku. "Eine Besteigung des Mount Morrison auf der Insel Formosa" [An ascent of Mount Morrison on the island Formosa]. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde (Tokyo) Heft 60 (1897): 469-473. Reprinted in Oesterreichische Monatsschrift für den Orient (1897): 143-146. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #18.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Honda had wanted to explore the area around Mount Morrison since the Japanese occupied Formosa in 1895, and finally in October 1896 he received an imperial order to explore the forests there. This article summarizes his ascent of Mount Morrison and the scientific observations he made on that journey. Honda focuses more on flora and geological facts than descriptions of the people he meets on his way. As no one [Ed. note: no foreigner] had climbed the mountain before, partly because of the allegedly dangerous savages living in the area, his ascent corrected some misconceptions concerning the central mountain range.

The company left Japan in October and arrived in "Kelung" some days later. With four other companions, Honda traveled southwards down the mountain range and to the east and south of the range on foot. The west part of Formosa is settled and cultivated by the Chinese, but the east is only inhabited by the native tribes. At several places in the text, Honda laments the destruction of the forests by the Chinese settlers, especially the camphor workers. Often they would only use a minimal part of the tree and leave the rest to rot. The Chinese had no consideration for the forest.

After ten days, the group arrived at "Ling-ki-ho," the last station of the Japanese military and the last Chinese settlement. Honda describes his difficulties finding guides, carriers or horses. The roads he describes as insufficient: mostly small one-man pathways. The Chinese farmers were incapable of understanding the goal of a government program for the building of better highways. The first set of porters deserted after they heard the goal of Honda's trip, and a second set had to be imprisoned and forced to depart along Honda's chosen path by the Japanese military. The Chinese live in great fear of the natives, as the aborigines hunt for scalps, and aborigine honor is linked to the killing of Chinese. In the end, the company consisted of two officers, twenty-five soldiers and seven Japanese, among whom there were one journalist, one interpreter, one doctor, one geologist and one topographer. Honda led the expedition and took photographs.

The company left "Ling-ki-ho" on 13 November and hiked for twenty-five kilometers through foothills, the second day traveling first through grasslands and then through forested areas. This prompted Honda to deliver exact descriptions of the woodlands they had crossed in the first part of their journey. The forests turned into a jungle, which they traveled through for two days. They spent the night of the second day in an abandoned hut for camphor workers.

The third day brought them to the first native settlement. Thirteen huts housed about 150 aborigines; the village was called "Namaka-ban." Only shortly before arriving here, Honda had sent back the military escort, because the interpreter had convinced him of the dangers. If the natives saw him approaching with the escort, they would assume an attack was being made and start an offensive. Honda sent the interpreter to the villagers to instruct them of his peaceful intentions. The chief then welcomed Honda by kneeling on the ground and folding his hands above his head. About thirty natives accompanied him.

The native men only wore loincloths, the women added more clothing. Deerskins could be seen, especially among the chiefs. All aborigines wear an abdominal belt to prevent them from eating too much. The natives wear many bracelets, rings and necklaces made of natural materials. All unmarried men sleep in a big community building, where Honda's group also slept. It was plastered with bamboo, had a stove in the middle, and was decorated with eight-five Chinese scalps. Two sides of the building were open, but the other two were semi-protected by a very low roof. All men wear a long knife. All the villages are led by a chief who is independent of individual communities. Many tribes are enemies with each other even though they are neighbors. The tribes remove the eyeteeth of their children when they are five years old. Some wear tattoos on their face and their hands. The chief honored Honda by letting women and men perform a circle dance for him. Marriage partners are faithful; the tribes are monogamous. There is a tradition among the natives that the Japanese and the natives are related, thus the victory over the Chinese intruders was welcomed by the tribes and seen as a liberation.

The next day, the group continued their ascent. After five hours they reached another native village called "Ho-Sha," where they were treated in the same manner as they were at the first settlement. On the way to this settlement they had crossed the "Tinlankei" River over a rope bridge that they found surprising.

On the following day, they went on through bush land and creeks to the village called "Tom- bo," the last settlement before reaching the mountain. In addition to provisions, they took along four native guides. Honda also left behind many of his porters and luggage. They continued their climb and reached a hot spring situated in the mountains.

On the morning of the eighth day they reached a watershed, where they set up camp and spent a cold night. On the next morning, they started the final ascent. First they followed the northern face of the mountain, then turned to the less steep southern side. At eleven o'clock they finally reached the peak and had a view of almost all of the entire island. After Honda took some photographs, they were forced to head back to the camp, as fog and wind made further study impossible. The cold night resulted in fevers; in particular Honda himself was so shaken that he had to be carried down the mountain on the back of one of the savages. Later he gave this native porter a pair old pants, as the man didn't appreciate the money Honda first offered. Also, their provisions were becoming depleted; all that was left was millet. On 25 November they finally reached "Ling-ki-ho" again.

Honda closes his article with ten observations, partly about misconceptions, partly of a geographical nature. The more interesting of these are the following: The formerly measured height of Mount Morrison was corrected from 12830 feet to 14350 feet. Honda disproved the belief that the mountain was snow-covered year round; rather this appearance was the reflection of the sun on the white quartz stone at the peak of the mountain. The mountainous regions of Formosa are not entirely covered by forests, but only to 40 percent forested; the rest is grassland. This deforestation partly came from native fires set to facilitate hunting. Mountain streams can be used for the transportation of wood. The camphor exploitation could be doubled if more effective techniques were used. The natives are not exclusively hunters, but mainly cultivators. They lack property and share their crops. Lastly, the men seem fit and willing to work as loggers.


Ino, Kakyo. "Die wilden Stämme von Formosa, ihre Einteilung und ihr Kulturzustand" [The wild tribes of Formosa; their classification and their cultural state]. Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin 34 (1899): 63-74. With map. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #25.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Ino Kakyo was a member of the Formosan "Banjo kenkyukai," the Society for the Research on Aborigines, which was founded in 1898 by the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan. The society works by sending its members on excursions into the interior of the island and offering speeches and forums for the scientists to share their findings. Because so little was known about the aborigines of Formosa, every bit of information is welcome. Ino Kakyo has published several long articles in recent months; this piece is one of those; it is a direct translation from the Japanese into German. The journal not only is glad to provide Ino's information on the natives, but also emphasizes the different style and revealed manner of thinking exhibited in Ino's article may be of interest to its readers.

The article consists of three parts: a) Ino's classification of the Formosan aborigine groups into tribes is followed by b) a discussion of their state of civilization and finally c) Ino's recommendations for the cultural education of the Formosan aborigines.

Ino disagrees with the practice taken by some recent researchers of concentrating only on the possible origin of the Formosan natives. Instead, he recommends looking at similarities and differences of characteristics among the different tribes on or near the island, and only then perhaps think about the question of a common ancestor. Even if they lack a common ancestor, many tribes have been exposed to other tribes and peoples, so that an optimum analysis should examine a large amount of traits for all of the tribes. Ino also noted that the old Chinese distinction of "dojin" 'natives' into "seiban" [Ed. note: sheng-fan in Mandarin Chinese] and "jukuban" [Ed. note: shou-fan in Mandarin Chinese] is worthless because it was based on politics alone. The current system of common names includes some that are self-assigned, as well as names that were given by others, and carry direct or indirect meaning (which Ino does not discuss in the article).

Ino presents a table with the classification scheme that he came up with. His hierarchy starts with four main groups that are divided into tribes. The tribes again have subcategories called departments -- twenty-four departments total. The first group, the "Altdaiyar" consists of one tribe of the same name (i.e., Altdaiyar) and two departments: the "Tagare Aldaiyar" and the "Daiya Aldaiyar." The second group, "Nakuijo," has two tribes. The first tribe is called "Vonum" [alternative "Nuwannwan"] and has three departments: "Matsuwa Vonum," "Rakubishan Vonum" and "Sekukun." The second tribe, "Tsono," has two departments: "Tsono Omiya" and "Tsono Oiye." Group three, "Kadas," consists of three tribes. The first tribe is the "Tsalise." The second tribe is the "Paiwan," and consists of three departments: "Palisalisao," "Tepomaku" and "Pakulkal." The third tribe is called "Puguma." Finally, the fourth group, "Tanas," has two tribes. The first tribe, the "Amis" has two departments: the "Kowanan Amis" and the "Kaele Amis." The second tribe is by far the largest; it is called "Behpo," and its nine departments are: "Tatsuo," "Shiraya," "Roa," "Pazchke," "Hinapabosa," "Taokasu," "Ketaganan," "Kubawaran" and "Amtonra." When constructing his classification system, Ino stayed on the lower levels and omitted categories like race, branch and stock, as he believes that all the tribes belong in the same upper category. This, however, is not his central point. More interesting to him are the characteristics themselves.

Ino subsequently spends the main part of this report describing the mentality of the Formosan aborigines. He focuses on three main ideas: intelligence, morals and religious beliefs. These together make up fundamental categories in his definition of civilization. He warns readers that the lack of a less or more civilized trait or custom is not sufficient proof in and of itself for judging a people to possess a superior or inferior state of civilization. Rather, these developments are complex and caused by internal as well as external conditions. His example is scalping. Several tribes have not abandoned this custom merely because they recognized the immorality of killing, but for a variety of reasons, and, in some cases, specifically as a result of external pressure.

Ino goes over certain ideas and skills to examine aborigine intelligence. He compares his results with the cultural status of other aboriginal groups who have been studied, such as the Maori, Australian aborigines and Samoans. The Formosans recognize numbers, and even have words for numbers up to 10,000. Although they explain natural phenomena in peculiar ways, it does show that they think about such phenomena. They use stones to make fire and cook with pots, although their metal utensils still come from the Chinese. They go clothed, and women, in particular, are required to cover themselves. The tribes are sedentary, live under a ruler, build huts and have taken up agriculture. They also know of firearms.

Economically they still remain at a very primitive level, as they do not strive to work. Rather, they believe that agricultural success or failure depends upon the help of dead ancestors. The soil they cultivate is insufficient, and as they hardly work the fields, their harvest is too small to feed them. Ino does see the possibility of turning them into a prosperous and industrious cultivators.

Ino perceives a sense for art among the aborigines; they have some artistic skills and manage to produce non-metal tools and goods. Some tribes have even learned metalwork. They make crafts, mainly woodcarvings and decorated cloth. The natives do prefer colors and patterns.

Next, Ino reviews their morals. In contrast to many other tribes, the Formosan aborigines demand a monogamous, permanent marriage between non-blood relatives. Ino therefore finds them morally far advanced to other peoples. They also have many ethical principles. The natives distinguish between work for women and work for men. Relationships within the family are heartfelt and respected. A child will feel a deep duty to avenge his ancestors, if they are killed. Mourning is important, and elders are respected. The aborigines recognize crime and define a misdeed as something in opposition to customary (and more recently accepted) morals. Criminals are punished with traditional sanctions, and the sanction may not exceed commonly accepted standards in harshness. Sanctions can possibly be turned into fines. The chief has the final legal authority in these cases.

Traces of religious feelings are present as well. The aborigines distinguish sleep from death, but believe in the immortal soul. The ghosts of dead people are good or bad sprits, whose apparitions result in dreams. These sprits are responsible for good and bad luck. Ino sees the Formosans as inhabiting a stage in human development towards an ancestral cult, which he sees as a forerunner of religion.

In the third part of the article, Ino discusses precautions that should be taken if the Formosans are to be raised to a higher level of civilization. It is important to keep in mind the fact that he considers the natives as quite advanced. Ino has two main points in this last section. The natives are still free and independent peoples, and they can be called grown-up children. They have no obligation to follow other's cues or rules. More important, they are easily overwhelmed. If a child is confronted with matters that are too complex, he will only develop an animosity toward them. What is healthy for adults can be harmful for children.

The two warnings he gives are deduced from two principles: Never use intimidation or violence; and slowly lead the aborigines towards cultural institutions like administration, law and religion. They would not be able to take up abstract information without prerequisite schooling. Ino also discusses the danger that has been proposed in colonization efforts, i.e., that colonized peoples seem to be extinguished or destroyed by their colonizers. While Ino sees the truth of this statement in examples like Tasmania, he links this danger to the use of violence and intimidation. In contrast, the benevolence of the Japanese emperor will only bring good benefits to the aborigines of Formosa. He sees the cultural education of the natives as a wonderful opportunity for change.


Joest, Wilhelm. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Eingebornen der Inseln Formosa und Ceram" [Contributions to the knowledge on the aborigines of the islands of Formosa and Ceram]. Verhandlungen der Berliner Gessellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte (1882): 53-76. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #34.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The article is based on a lecture by Joest. It is divided into two parts, the first (p. 53-63) is on Formosa, the second (63-76) on Ceram. The parts are independent, although there are several parallels in village life and traditions; Joest doesn't compare anything with Formosa. This is a summary only of the part of the article concerning Formosa.

Joest begins by providing general points about the geography and topography of Formosa. Then he gives a brief outline of the history from the period Dutch colonization (in the 17th Century) to the date of his visit. Joest also compares the relatively gentle rule of the Dutch with the problems and violence of the Chinese. He explains that the bad reputation Formosa now has came from the shipwrecks that Formosan natives have plundered, and that this has terrified the Germans out of any plans for colonization.

Next, Joest describes the current situation on the island. The Chinese live on the western half and the natives inhabit the eastern side. He gives a desolate picture of aborigine existence as poor fishermen or in villages in the mountains, decimated by illness, cold, alcohol and ongoing inner-tribal wars. Joest predicts either their eventual extinction or their absorption into the Chinese population in the near future.

The "Pepohoan" race was formed by the intermarriage of Formosan women and Chinese Hakkas. This tribe is very much involved in trade. Also important to their livelihood is camphor; the tribes control the areas of growth and sell passage rights to the Chinese.

Joest then explains the general features of the Chinese administrative structure and the European influence in Formosa, as it relates to trade. After some more economic information, he begins to describe his own voyage.

Joest mainly stayed among the savages of northern Formosa, but by pure chance he came to visit the south, too. When he went ashore in "Amping," the weather became worse. The steamship was unprotected in the bay and left for another port. Until it returned, three weeks later, Joest stayed with a German and explored Chinese ways in "Taiwanfu." His main aim, however, was exploring the life of the tribes in the North, living in the mountains to the southeast of "Tamsui."

Joest spends the rest of the article describing the ways of the "Chin-wan." They live together in villages, divided into tribes, which all have their own name and many also their own language. As the aborigines lack a name for the entire indigenous population, he takes over the Chinese words used by Schetelig, i.e., "Shekwan" and "Chinwan," to distinguish among the native population. "Shekwan," meaning 'half raw,' describes the tribes who have settled on the frontier or the coast, and who have given up scalping. "Chinwan," translated as 'all raw,' is used for those natives who live in the mountains and forests of the interior. Before he turns to the "Chinwan" themselves, Joest discusses possible origins of both groups. He mainly relies on Schetelig and his own comparison of words in "Chinwan" and "Shekwan" languages.

Joest's treatment of the "Chinwan" starts with his laments over poor demographic information, as the Chinese estimates of aborigine populations are useless, he claims. Next, he gives descriptions of their physical appearance, with specific details on height, hair type -- he collected a sample in the village "Tokohan" near the frontier -- build and physiognomy. Joest backtracks to write about the natives' hairstyle, which leads him to decorations. He focuses on tattoos, and gives detailed descriptions of patterns and methods.

After mentioning how easily impressed they were by western things, he discusses "Chinwan" clothing. Their attire changes with the season. During the summer they only wear a kind of loincloth; during the rainy season the natives wear cloth and leather pieces sown together to form jackets. The women wear much more than the men, adding skirts, vests, scarves and something resembling leggings. The men have hats.

Next, Joest writes about their weapons. Originally they depended on bows and arrows and lances but have also taken up Chinese shotguns. Joest describes these guns in more detail and then mentions that their marksmanship is bad. Another native item, a net, serves as a backpack for everything, even for carrying scalps. However, it is the women who carry the heavy loads.

Their decorations and accessories consist of European glass pearls, threads and bamboo sticks, stones, shells, copper rings, bandannas, and necklaces with animal teeth. Most popular with young men are bracelets of hair taken from a scalped Chinese head. Although there are Jew's harps and choirs, the "Chinwan" apparently don't dance.

Joest then turns to describe their villages, which are mostly found in the woods. They protect themselves by placing sharp bamboo sticks on the paths leading to the village. Houses are made of slate or bamboo, while the roof is straw or grass. Meals are cooked over fires in the middle of the hut. Pallets and mats serve as beds.

As for work division, men hunt, fish and go to war, while women cultivate the fields; cook; take care of clothing, huts and village; and accompany the men on hunts, in order to take the meat home.

Guests are served by the women. Their food consists of millet, rice, potatoes, meat and fish. Originally there was a traditional fermented beverage, but now the tribes have taken to Chinese "samshu." Joest's gift of alcohol was highly popular, and he was invited to drink with them often -- toasting fraternity. (That ritual is described in this section of the text.) Tobacco is popular, and in the south chewing betel nut is common.

All unmarried men sleep in a common building, which also serves as the location for major festivities.

Relations between the tribes are difficult. Although they constantly feud with each other, several tribes often join forces, especially against the Chinese. Joest describes these wars as quite bloody. Scalping plays an important role in battles, but it is not a prerequisite for a young man intending to marry. Polygamy does not exist, but divorces are simple. Many "Chinwan" girls marry Chinese men.

Joest did not find any evidence of cannibalism but mentions that Dr. Pickering, who knows a lot about the "Chinwan," did claim it to exist. Joest gives some rules and procedures for "Chinwan" battles. As the tribes constantly are fighting, there is no lack of opportunity for warfare.

Their religion is reportedly primitive; the villages have a specific animal that protects them. The "Chinwan" practice many taboos; things that should not be touched or taken are called "hiang." Old women take the role of priests. They have a lot of power and perform ritual dances in rich costumes. (Here Joest gives a detailed description.) The tribes believe in omens and signs, especially from birds. One tradition, which Joest bemoans, is aborting all babies born to women prior to reaching to the age of 34 or 37. Together with high infant mortality and the smallpox brought in by the Chinese, a grow in "Chinwan" population is improbable.

Joest favorably portrays their character, calling them friendly and modest. As long as Europeans came with peaceful intentions, they aren't murdered. Although he was the object of much curiosity, Joest always experienced them as kind and interested.

He closes his article with a suggestion for the missionaries in Formosa: If they would leave the comfortable cities, they would find a place of success in these native villages. Most don't enter the territories of the "Chinwan."


Kurze, G. "Missionar G. Edes Reise durch das östliche Formosa" [Missionary G. Ede's travels through eastern Formosa]. Mitteilungen der Geographischen Gesellschaft (für Thuringen) zu Jena 10 (1891): 22-32; 11 (1892): 13-21.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The article is based on G. Ede's journal entries. The introduction also provides a brief introduction to Formosa. Its west coast had been subject to English and Canadian Presbyterian missionary activity since 1865 and 1872, respectively. The eastern coast at this time is inhabited mainly by aboriginal tribes and hardly visited by Europeans. The English missionary teacher G. Ede traveled through eastern Formosa between 18 December 1889 and 19 February 1890.

The article continues with a geographical and demographic description of eastern Formosa, in particular the mountain ranges of central and eastern Formosa and the valley "Lai-pen-po," situated between the coastal range and the first interior mountain range. The inhabitants can be classified into two main groups, the Chinese-speaking population (containing Chinese and the aboriginal tribe called the "Pên-po-hoan," who migrated from the west coast) and non-Chinese-speaking tribes. The latter group is divided further into a) uncivilized savages from the mountains and b) marginally civilized savages from the foothills, of which most are known as "A-mi-a." Kurze mentions the plans of the Chinese government to establish a separate administrative department in eastern Formosa and discusses various possible sites for the future center of administration.

The description of Ede's voyage itself is very detailed. Ede began his trip on 18 December in "Taiwanfoo" on the western coast, the administrative center of the Chinese government as well as the base for the English Presbyterian Mission. Two native helpers and several Formosan Christians accompanied him. On the first evening, he arrived in "Lam-a-ken," a village with a small Christian community to the south-southwest. Ede continued southwards and passed a mountain called "Phoa-peng-soan" ['mountain cut in half']. The myth about the origin of this name is described. Towards nightfall, the company crossed a river, and spent the night at the Christian chapel "Kiam-po-a" nearby.

On 20 December the group followed the "Tang-kang" River northwards [Trans. note: alternative translation: 'which usually travels northwards'] to the city of the same name, Tang-kang. There they bought supplies for their voyage through the high mountains and continued eastwards to "Tek-a-kha."

They continued in the same direction the next day to the village "Pun-ki-o," situated at the foot of the main mountain range, where they stayed the night and the next day (Sunday) at the home of one of the native missionary helpers.

On 23 December, after one and one-half-hours' walk, they arrived at the road leading over the mountains "San-tiau-leng" ['mountains with three backs']. Kurze describes Ede's climb over these mountains and the problems encountered in great detail. Shortly after midday Ede arrived at the first Chinese military post, which secures the still endangered connection between eastern and western Formosa. The caravan continued upward to the next military post, where they arrived that night. Shortly before they reached the post, Ede saw a savage village down in the valley with a smaller hamlet next to it, which at first glance he mistakenly thought was a cemetery, because of the slate they used for decking the house roofs. Conversations at the post were limited to sign language; none of the group could communicate with the savages. They were called "Paiwang," and are characterized as proud and resembling a scalp-hunting society.

The next day, 24 December, they crossed the actual mountain pass, and arrived at the next post a few hours later. This post was situated at 7700 fuss [feet? using an older German measurement here], and they had to cross at the entrance to the jungle. The next segment of their route passed through the territory of the "Kui-a-nng" tribe. At 11 o'clock the group reached the culminating point of the road. Ede's barometer, which wasn't too reliable, measured 8300 [feet]. From this point he could distinguish "Tokow" in the distance, and further to the south, in the Formosa straits, the outlines of the island "Lombay." After crossing a plateau, they stood at an abyss, next to which the next military station was situated. To the east they could distinguish the contours of a high mountain range against the Pacific Ocean. Around midday they reached the military station, and continued onward after a short break. Bad weather conditions and savages lurking along the path prolonged their descent; they arrived at the next military post after nightfall.

On the next day, they continued their descent, with Ede leading way ahead of the others. He met savages waiting in ambush but disarmed them by his fearlessness. Together they went on until they came to a valley turning onto the beach. A river passed through the valley, which they followed to the village "Pa-long-ui." There they saw a number of houses built in a Chinese fashion belonging to "Hakkas," who had settled there on account of the fertile soil. Ede continued towards the beach, and they encamped at the point where the river met the ocean.

From here their route led northwards along the coast, a voyage of two days through dunes and along cliffs. Apparently there were two reasons for the Chinese government to install military stations along this road next to the sea leading to the port of "Po-chong" (Pohson): a) to protect against savage attacks and b) to protect fertile lands for further exploitation. Ede's group spent their two nights at these military stations. The population residing at the second station seemed to have migrated from a district further to the north, "Ti-pun."

The next morning, 27 December, they headed towards "Po-chong," and on the way saw two islands, "Hoe-sio-su" and "Ang-thau-su," situated far out in the ocean along the horizon and only visible on very clear days. Ostensibly the "Ti-pun" tribe originated from immigrants of the more northern countries, maybe Japan. Kurze follows this claim up with a description of their tribe and its position among the other groups of that area, as well as information on their interactions with the Chinese government. The land between "Ti-pun" and "Po-chong" is described as more or less fertile. The plain around "Po-chong" is usually called "Pi-lam," after a village of natives by this name, but also named "Plain of the Eight Towns" -- in addition to "Pi-lam" there were four more "Ti-pun" villages and three more "A-mi-a" settlements. Supposedly "Pi-lam" once was the court of a king in eastern Formosa. There are about 20,000 natives in the "Pi-lam" plain, next to the Chinese settlers there.

Ede arrived in "Po-chong," where he met the mandarin "Thong-leng" at the yamen; the mandarin welcomed him for the night after Ede provided references.

Kurze begins the second part of the report by describing the village of "Po-chong." Due to its position on the coast and proximity to densely populated areas, flourishing trade was carried out there, mainly with hunting goods. The village itself only consisted of two streets, but there were plans of turning it into a city by building a wall.

Although Ede was behind schedule by one day, he decided to modify his plans again. Instead of trying to reach the chapel of "Chioh-pái," he only aimed for the village of "Lí-lang," where a number of Christians used to gather. Still, because the porters refused to continue on after they had reached the military station of "Lòk-kiaû" in the late afternoon, only some native Christians and a missionary assistant accompanied Ede to the village, where they arrived late at night.

Ede described the general design of the military stations, with an inventory of buildings, their uses and a list of other protection devices. Ede discussed the soldiers, the majority of whom were opium addicts. He reproachfully stated that the soldiers received part of their pay in opium, and that many smoked it because of the lack of medical provisions.

Ede had planned to continue the next morning, December 30, but heavy rainfall hindered him. That evening he was at least able to visit a village inhabited by very shy natives. On the following day, Ede finally reached "Lí-lang," which was populated mainly by "Pên-po-hoan," although there also were some "A-mî-a" but hardly any pure Chinese. The inhabitants welcomed Ede very hospitably, and his reunion held on the last day of the year was a success.

On 1 January, the company came to the Christian village of "Chioh-pái," where there was a chapel which Ede praised. Apart from talking to the members of the community, Ede presented a show with a laterna magica, which was very popular with Christians and non-believers alike, who had come from far away to see the pictures. The Sunday masses also went well. The chapel couldn't hold all the people who had come to the village for the sermons. After midday, the strangers cooked their rice together and ate in the chapel, sitting on the floor. The rest of the day was spent reading the bible and the songbook and singing. To keep warm, the older visitors brought clay pots with coals, which they shoved under their overcoats.

Apart from "Chioh-pái," there was another Christian village in the valley of "Lâi-pen-po" called "Tak-kei." Yet another village further east by the name of "Chîm-kóng-ò" was Ede's goal when he left "Chioh-pái" on 5 January. First he headed for the near-by village of "Toâ-chng," a crossroads inhabited by several Christian families. Ede was received in all the houses, and recounted the strange ceremonies of hospitality. These included distribution and ceremonial refusal of tobacco, which was then secretly taken, followed by betel nuts.

The big village of "Toâ-chng" was a site of a rebellion that took place three years before Ede's journey. The three rebel leaders fled to the hills, but were tricked by spies into descending the mountains and returning to the village. During the negotiations, they were attacked and torn into pieces by soldiers. Ede was the first missionary back in East Formosa after the rebellion, and so all the Christians, who told him a lot about the rebellion, received him in a very friendly manner. The instigators of the rebellion had been the "A-mî-a," who were joined by many "Pên-po-hoan" and some savages from the mountains. The aim of the rebellion was to kill all Chinese and traitor natives on the eastern side of Formosa. Thus the Christian natives, who considered themselves neutral, had to flee into the mountains. Ede lamented the avarice of the Chinese. Because of the ways in which the Chinese exploit the peoples they colonize, they are never respected by their subjects.

Two roads led from "Toâ-chng" to the east coast, and the older one was shorter but steeper. Therefore, Ede took the new road, getting underway at 10, after much waiting and ordering. The Chinese were armed with knifes and muskets and were carrying backpacks. The road turned out to be a mere footpath leading up the hill through creeks and the jungle, and this fascinated Ede. In addition to some wild animals, the group twice passed empty huts that the natives used for hunting. When Ede was traveling through this area, no natives inhabited the coastal range. They had migrated to the central mountain range. At night, however, they still left their villages to hunt for animals or scalps. These scalp hunting expeditions often lasted for a month, a period in which the natives lived frugally off roots and plants. The success in scalp hunting was necessary to marry. Ede claimed that younger tribal members would like to abandon this tradition, but older members perpetuated the custom because of their remembrances and tales of their own deeds.

At nightfall, the group found themselves still on the mountain pass and had to camp in a bog. Ede vividly described his experiences during that dark and cold night, surrounded as he was by strange animals. To start a fire, Ede had to use the petroleum from his laterna magica. In the morning, after a frugal breakfast, the company began the descent to the coast. Ede could see Mount Morrison (or "Pat-thong-koan") to the northwest.

The descent was a lot easier, and consequently Ede reached the coastal village of "Phên-á-chûn" in the morning. The village had been completely destroyed by Chinese attacks during the rebellion. Like other places on the east coast, this village had been severely punished by the Chinese authorities for its participation in the troubles, and since then only a few of the original inhabitants had come returned. Only those native communities consisting completely of "A-mî-a" were spared. "Phên-á-chûn" lies to the north of "Chîm-kóng-ò" chapel, a place that carries its name for no reason, as the chapel is in the village of "Chiòh-hô-soàn." Ede reached "Chiòh-hô-soàn" in the afternoon. This community was delighted at his arrival, as they hadn't had a missionary in the village for 1 1/2 years. It was decided that one companion of Ede's on the journey, a missionary assistant, would remain in the village. The assistant had lived there before, but had fled to the mountains during the rebellion because he was Chinese. After a day of rest, the Christians from "Toâ-chng" left for their own village. On January 11, a delegation from another Christian village, "Tak-kai," arrived to convince Ede to stop by their village on his trip. Although the inhabitants of "Chiòh-hô-soàn" would have liked to keep Ede for longer, he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to visit "Tak-kai." On January 14, the company left and turned back to "Toâ-chng" on the older road. The landscape was dramatic, with abysses on either side of the path, and the voyagers hurried on in order not to spend the night in the forests. After nightfall, Ede finally reached "Toâ-chng," where he was welcomed with a bath, food and clothes, before he returned to the "Laî-pên-po" plain to visit "Tak-kai."


Kurze, G. "Missionar G. Edes Reise durch das östliche Formosa" [Missionary G. Ede's travels through eastern Formosa]. Mitteilungen der Geographischen Gesellschaft (für Thuringen) zu Jena 10 (1891): 22-32; 11 (1892): 13-21.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The article is based on G. Ede's journal entries. The introduction also provides a brief introduction to Formosa. Its west coast had been subject to English and Canadian Presbyterian missionary activity since 1865 and 1872, respectively. The eastern coast at this time is inhabited mainly by aboriginal tribes and hardly visited by Europeans. The English missionary teacher G. Ede traveled through eastern Formosa between 18 December 1889 and 19 February 1890.

The article continues with a geographical and demographic description of eastern Formosa, in particular the mountain ranges of central and eastern Formosa and the valley "Lai-pen-po," situated between the coastal range and the first interior mountain range. The inhabitants can be classified into two main groups, the Chinese-speaking population (containing Chinese and the aboriginal tribe called the "Pên-po-hoan," who migrated from the west coast) and non-Chinese-speaking tribes. The latter group is divided further into a) uncivilized savages from the mountains and b) marginally civilized savages from the foothills, of which most are known as "A-mi-a." Kurze mentions the plans of the Chinese government to establish a separate administrative department in eastern Formosa and discusses various possible sites for the future center of administration.

The description of Ede's voyage itself is very detailed. Ede began his trip on 18 December in "Taiwanfoo" on the western coast, the administrative center of the Chinese government as well as the base for the English Presbyterian Mission. Two native helpers and several Formosan Christians accompanied him. On the first evening, he arrived in "Lam-a-ken," a village with a small Christian community to the south-southwest. Ede continued southwards and passed a mountain called "Phoa-peng-soan" ['mountain cut in half']. The myth about the origin of this name is described. Towards nightfall, the company crossed a river, and spent the night at the Christian chapel "Kiam-po-a" nearby.

On 20 December the group followed the "Tang-kang" River northwards [Trans. note: alternative translation: 'which usually travels northwards'] to the city of the same name, Tang-kang. There they bought supplies for their voyage through the high mountains and continued eastwards to "Tek-a-kha."

They continued in the same direction the next day to the village "Pun-ki-o," situated at the foot of the main mountain range, where they stayed the night and the next day (Sunday) at the home of one of the native missionary helpers.

On 23 December, after one and one-half-hours' walk, they arrived at the road leading over the mountains "San-tiau-leng" ['mountains with three backs']. Kurze describes Ede's climb over these mountains and the problems encountered in great detail. Shortly after midday Ede arrived at the first Chinese military post, which secures the still endangered connection between eastern and western Formosa. The caravan continued upward to the next military post, where they arrived that night. Shortly before they reached the post, Ede saw a savage village down in the valley with a smaller hamlet next to it, which at first glance he mistakenly thought was a cemetery, because of the slate they used for decking the house roofs. Conversations at the post were limited to sign language; none of the group could communicate with the savages. They were called "Paiwang," and are characterized as proud and resembling a scalp-hunting society.

The next day, 24 December, they crossed the actual mountain pass, and arrived at the next post a few hours later. This post was situated at 7700 fuss [feet? using an older German measurement here], and they had to cross at the entrance to the jungle. The next segment of their route passed through the territory of the "Kui-a-nng" tribe. At 11 o'clock the group reached the culminating point of the road. Ede's barometer, which wasn't too reliable, measured 8300 [feet]. From this point he could distinguish "Tokow" in the distance, and further to the south, in the Formosa straits, the outlines of the island "Lombay." After crossing a plateau, they stood at an abyss, next to which the next military station was situated. To the east they could distinguish the contours of a high mountain range against the Pacific Ocean. Around midday they reached the military station, and continued onward after a short break. Bad weather conditions and savages lurking along the path prolonged their descent; they arrived at the next military post after nightfall.

On the next day, they continued their descent, with Ede leading way ahead of the others. He met savages waiting in ambush but disarmed them by his fearlessness. Together they went on until they came to a valley turning onto the beach. A river passed through the valley, which they followed to the village "Pa-long-ui." There they saw a number of houses built in a Chinese fashion belonging to "Hakkas," who had settled there on account of the fertile soil. Ede continued towards the beach, and they encamped at the point where the river met the ocean.

From here their route led northwards along the coast, a voyage of two days through dunes and along cliffs. Apparently there were two reasons for the Chinese government to install military stations along this road next to the sea leading to the port of "Po-chong" (Pohson): a) to protect against savage attacks and b) to protect fertile lands for further exploitation. Ede's group spent their two nights at these military stations. The population residing at the second station seemed to have migrated from a district further to the north, "Ti-pun."

The next morning, 27 December, they headed towards "Po-chong," and on the way saw two islands, "Hoe-sio-su" and "Ang-thau-su," situated far out in the ocean along the horizon and only visible on very clear days. Ostensibly the "Ti-pun" tribe originated from immigrants of the more northern countries, maybe Japan. Kurze follows this claim up with a description of their tribe and its position among the other groups of that area, as well as information on their interactions with the Chinese government. The land between "Ti-pun" and "Po-chong" is described as more or less fertile. The plain around "Po-chong" is usually called "Pi-lam," after a village of natives by this name, but also named "Plain of the Eight Towns" -- in addition to "Pi-lam" there were four more "Ti-pun" villages and three more "A-mi-a" settlements. Supposedly "Pi-lam" once was the court of a king in eastern Formosa. There are about 20,000 natives in the "Pi-lam" plain, next to the Chinese settlers there.

Ede arrived in "Po-chong," where he met the mandarin "Thong-leng" at the yamen; the mandarin welcomed him for the night after Ede provided references.

Kurze begins the second part of the report by describing the village of "Po-chong." Due to its position on the coast and proximity to densely populated areas, flourishing trade was carried out there, mainly with hunting goods. The village itself only consisted of two streets, but there were plans of turning it into a city by building a wall.

Although Ede was behind schedule by one day, he decided to modify his plans again. Instead of trying to reach the chapel of "Chioh-pái," he only aimed for the village of "Lí-lang," where a number of Christians used to gather. Still, because the porters refused to continue on after they had reached the military station of "Lòk-kiaû" in the late afternoon, only some native Christians and a missionary assistant accompanied Ede to the village, where they arrived late at night.

Ede described the general design of the military stations, with an inventory of buildings, their uses and a list of other protection devices. Ede discussed the soldiers, the majority of whom were opium addicts. He reproachfully stated that the soldiers received part of their pay in opium, and that many smoked it because of the lack of medical provisions.

Ede had planned to continue the next morning, December 30, but heavy rainfall hindered him. That evening he was at least able to visit a village inhabited by very shy natives. On the following day, Ede finally reached "Lí-lang," which was populated mainly by "Pên-po-hoan," although there also were some "A-mî-a" but hardly any pure Chinese. The inhabitants welcomed Ede very hospitably, and his reunion held on the last day of the year was a success.

On 1 January, the company came to the Christian village of "Chioh-pái," where there was a chapel which Ede praised. Apart from talking to the members of the community, Ede presented a show with a laterna magica, which was very popular with Christians and non-believers alike, who had come from far away to see the pictures. The Sunday masses also went well. The chapel couldn't hold all the people who had come to the village for the sermons. After midday, the strangers cooked their rice together and ate in the chapel, sitting on the floor. The rest of the day was spent reading the bible and the songbook and singing. To keep warm, the older visitors brought clay pots with coals, which they shoved under their overcoats.

Apart from "Chioh-pái," there was another Christian village in the valley of "Lâi-pen-po" called "Tak-kei." Yet another village further east by the name of "Chîm-kóng-ò" was Ede's goal when he left "Chioh-pái" on 5 January. First he headed for the near-by village of "Toâ-chng," a crossroads inhabited by several Christian families. Ede was received in all the houses, and recounted the strange ceremonies of hospitality. These included distribution and ceremonial refusal of tobacco, which was then secretly taken, followed by betel nuts.

The big village of "Toâ-chng" was a site of a rebellion that took place three years before Ede's journey. The three rebel leaders fled to the hills, but were tricked by spies into descending the mountains and returning to the village. During the negotiations, they were attacked and torn into pieces by soldiers. Ede was the first missionary back in East Formosa after the rebellion, and so all the Christians, who told him a lot about the rebellion, received him in a very friendly manner. The instigators of the rebellion had been the "A-mî-a," who were joined by many "Pên-po-hoan" and some savages from the mountains. The aim of the rebellion was to kill all Chinese and traitor natives on the eastern side of Formosa. Thus the Christian natives, who considered themselves neutral, had to flee into the mountains. Ede lamented the avarice of the Chinese. Because of the ways in which the Chinese exploit the peoples they colonize, they are never respected by their subjects.

Two roads led from "Toâ-chng" to the east coast, and the older one was shorter but steeper. Therefore, Ede took the new road, getting underway at 10, after much waiting and ordering. The Chinese were armed with knifes and muskets and were carrying backpacks. The road turned out to be a mere footpath leading up the hill through creeks and the jungle, and this fascinated Ede. In addition to some wild animals, the group twice passed empty huts that the natives used for hunting. When Ede was traveling through this area, no natives inhabited the coastal range. They had migrated to the central mountain range. At night, however, they still left their villages to hunt for animals or scalps. These scalp hunting expeditions often lasted for a month, a period in which the natives lived frugally off roots and plants. The success in scalp hunting was necessary to marry. Ede claimed that younger tribal members would like to abandon this tradition, but older members perpetuated the custom because of their remembrances and tales of their own deeds.

At nightfall, the group found themselves still on the mountain pass and had to camp in a bog. Ede vividly described his experiences during that dark and cold night, surrounded as he was by strange animals. To start a fire, Ede had to use the petroleum from his laterna magica. In the morning, after a frugal breakfast, the company began the descent to the coast. Ede could see Mount Morrison (or "Pat-thong-koan") to the northwest.

The descent was a lot easier, and consequently Ede reached the coastal village of "Phên-á-chûn" in the morning. The village had been completely destroyed by Chinese attacks during the rebellion. Like other places on the east coast, this village had been severely punished by the Chinese authorities for its participation in the troubles, and since then only a few of the original inhabitants had come returned. Only those native communities consisting completely of "A-mî-a" were spared. "Phên-á-chûn" lies to the north of "Chîm-kóng-ò" chapel, a place that carries its name for no reason, as the chapel is in the village of "Chiòh-hô-soàn." Ede reached "Chiòh-hô-soàn" in the afternoon. This community was delighted at his arrival, as they hadn't had a missionary in the village for 1 1/2 years. It was decided that one companion of Ede's on the journey, a missionary assistant, would remain in the village. The assistant had lived there before, but had fled to the mountains during the rebellion because he was Chinese. After a day of rest, the Christians from "Toâ-chng" left for their own village. On January 11, a delegation from another Christian village, "Tak-kai," arrived to convince Ede to stop by their village on his trip. Although the inhabitants of "Chiòh-hô-soàn" would have liked to keep Ede for longer, he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to visit "Tak-kai." On January 14, the company left and turned back to "Toâ-chng" on the older road. The landscape was dramatic, with abysses on either side of the path, and the voyagers hurried on in order not to spend the night in the forests. After nightfall, Ede finally reached "Toâ-chng," where he was welcomed with a bath, food and clothes, before he returned to the "Laî-pên-po" plain to visit "Tak-kai."


Lange, R. "Eine wissenschaftliche Gessellschaft in Taiwan (Formosa)" [A scientific society in Taiwan]. Mittheilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen zu Berlin, Erste Abteilung, Ostasiatische Studien (1902): 152-154.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The author wrote a short introduction to a new scientific society that was founded in 1898 by the Japanese. The "Banju Kenkyuk(w)ai" takes as its goal the task of exploring the native tribes of Formosa and other places. It is currently led by General Tatsumi Naobumi.

The members meet four times a year, and the number of members has risen rapidly, from 131 in April to more than 200 in August. The former and present governor-generals of Formosa are honorary members. Members are elected to a board that has the specific task of investigating the wild tribes and tributary natives, with special concern for the following specific topics:

Physiology, ethics, customs and traditions, language, religion, education, geography, production (and instruction concerning this), military service, statistics, administration and law, history and the study of ancestry, and traffic.

The society publishes a journal twice a year. The first issue, published in August 1898, contained a map with the territories of the different tribes. The Ataial live in the north; to the south there are the Vonum and Tsow; further south live the Tsalise; to the east are the Puyuma; and near the south cape are the Paiwan. The Amis live on the east coast. In this issue, there are also photos of the types of wild tribes and some longer articles, including one by Ino Yoshinori on his classification of the different kinds of savages. Satu Hojun wrote a piece on the mental state of the natives; Yae Michio included one on the district of "Tainan." There are also many small pieces, including notes on the following topics: the politics of the Chinese towards the natives; punishments; forests within native territories; and the total population of natives (which they gave at 890,299). One short article concerns the time of the year in which the different tribes celebrate their individual festivals at which strangers are considered very unwelcome. The Ataial, for instance, celebrate a festival honoring their ancestors, and any foreigner that comes to them in those two months causes a bad harvest. (Lange lists additional titles.)


Le Monnier, Franz Ritter von. "Die Insel Formosa" [The island Formosa]. Deutsche Rundschau für Geographie und Statistik 7, iii (December 1884): 97-103, 106-108; 7, v (February 1885): 210-221. With illustration and map.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Le Monnier never traveled to Formosa himself. Instead, he draws on the accounts of several other voyagers. In this article, he mentions the following travelers: Ritter, Richards, Swinhoe, Brooker, Thomson, Bechtinger, Kopsch, Allen, Bullock, Wallace, Heine, Ibis and Valentyn.

The first part of Le Monnier's article begins with an elaborate account of Formosa's history; he then mentions the current war between China and France to highlight the significance of the essay. Le Monnier then traces the island's various historical names, including older Chinese names like "Manty" from the Han Dynasty, "Tung san" from the Yuan Dynasty and "Kelung" after the Ming dynasty. Le Monnier goes on to describe Dutch colonial efforts, Coxinga's successes and the subsequent Qing conquest. When the Chinese were forced to open the island to trade in 1858, European, as well as Japanese, interests in Formosa increased. Recently the Japanese sent an expedition to the south of Formosa to punish the Butan tribe for killing shipwrecked Japanese.

Next, Le Monnier gives an extremely detailed description of Formosa's geography, topography and natural resources (8 pages). As his description moves around the coast, he writes about the bays and ports. Following that, he describes the mountains and peaks, and the rivers and lakes (mentioning one native tribe called "Tsuihwan" that lives near the lake of Tsui-sia-hai). Then the author elaborates on the climate, vegetation and fauna before he completes his picture with a sketch of the natural and mineral resources and human exploitation of both. After Le Monnier briefly describes the Pescadores, he promises information about population and administration in the sequel.

The second part of the article starts with a basic categorization of the population of the island into Chinese, half-wild, and independent aborigines. The Chinese live in the northwest and are pushing further into the interior; the half-wild live in hills and valleys; and the independent tribes make their existence in the mountainous and wild eastern and southern parts of the island.

Le Monnier next explains the hate of the natives towards the Chinese and their mass colonization and the resulting troubles this has brought. Scalping is an important expression of aborigine hate. Le Monnier claims that young men can only marry after they take their own hunted scalp. He further elaborates on the methods of Chinese colonization and native warfare, again based on the practice of scalping. Daughters of mixed marriages marry back into the tribe, while sons remain as middlemen between the cultures and facilitate the trade.

The article continues with a description of Chinese colonization and aggression. He describes their method as squatting, which favored the families that immigrated a long time ago. The power these rich landowners have is greater than that of the officials, but they are respected by the government and so there is much corruption. Le Monnier turns to Chinese life on the plains, describing the meadows, plantations and villages. He contrasts the friendly and moral peasantry in the countryside with the criminal Chinese in port towns.

Next, Le Monnier turns to the Hakka, which he describes as the link to the civilized tribes, as the Chinese on the island don't count them as their own people. As the Hakka live close to the half-wild and frequently intermarried with these aborigines, they took up many native customs and now hardly resemble the Chinese. Le Monnier gives a short description of their life, physiognomy and stature, nutrition, work and villages.

Next Le Monnier's description turns to the half-wild aborigines or "Pepohoan." These people have partly adapted to the Chinese. Many took up Chinese language and religion, with the exception of the village Tausia, which still practices their own religion. Briefly, Le Monnier describes their physique and physiognomy, and their clothing, when it diverges from the Chinese. The character of the Pepohoan is described as open and friendly, which has facilitated the establishment of Christian missions among them. After giving some numbers about the missionary activity in Pepohoan communities, he describes the native religion. The Pepohoans worship animal sculls; here Le Monnier relates a particular scene. Festive dances have been retained to a greater extent. Again, he portrays scenes related to this activity.

Like the Pepohoan, the "Sek-hoan" have submitted to the Chinese. They live in the hills in tropical Taiwan and have given up most of their original way of life. After describing their physique, Le Monnier classifies them as Malay and gives some information about language and cultivated crops.

In contrast, the uncivilized wild aborigines are composed of many tribes, of which only a few have been visited by Europeans. Le Monnier first states that the uncivilized aborigines, too, immigrated to Formosa and are not technically natives to the island. It has been claimed that there was a stop in the emigration and contact with the mainland about 1700 years ago. The tribes on the island speak different languages, and feel no common bond. As the tribes have constantly lived in a state of war with each other, it has been easy for foreigners to invade Formosa. This danger probably fostered a feeling of unity. Thus, now tribes let others pass through their territory, especially in regions near borders with the Chinese.

Le Monnier then states the names of the known tribes. He starts with the northern third, in which sixteen tribes live on the slopes of the central range. They share a language, Tagal, as well as borders and territories, but are all independent. In the east, these tribes are the Menibo, Selaman, Tapehan, and Katasick. More to the west there are the Muïau, Kaïau, Kuan, Takassan, Kakaugan, Keaï, Lahau and Tetunan. Near the Chinese border there are the Tangao, Takoham, Malipa, and Malikua. To the west and north, these tribes border on the Chinese settlements, but to the east they share borders with the settlements of the Taussai and Taïuku, and to the southwest they neighbor the Kalapaï. The Kalapaï speak a related language and are at peace with the Tagal tribes. They in turn border the Buiok to the south, who speak a different language.

In the middle and eastern parts of the island, south of the above tribes, there are the Meiahan, Kaburon, Baukebon, Kau-lo, and Shabagala. Their language has already taken up many foreign words. To the [middle and] west live the powerful Atabau tribe with its own language. These last tribes produce rice paper, camphor and textiles. The Tsu and Tibula tribes (the name of the latter tribe taken from the name of its main village) mostly use animal hides as clothing, living in the high valleys of the central range. The Tsu are the only tribe at peace with the Chinese and, therefore, to not possess Chinese sculls. They also are the starting point of a new, southern race. Their huts are not round but pointed. Towards the east there are the Sibuka and Kanagu, both with distinct languages. There are no more tattoos found among the people here. Between the Kanagu and the Soa-mai-hai live the Bantaurang, whose language resembles Tagal. Also in the east are the Katsausan.

The southern end of the island of Formosa is populated from north to south with the Pilam and the Saprêk. Between the Hong-kong and Long-kiau rivers live the Quajan, and further south there are the Liongrúan, Bakurut, Tuasok, Kantang, Whangschut, and Sabari. Apparently these tribes are collectively known as the Butang. On the south cape there is a confederation of 18 tribes with its center at the village of Tuasok, four miles north of Sabari. This is the only example of such a union of tribes on the island.

Le Monnier follows this extensive listing of Formosan tribes with a physical description of tribes in several regions. While the northern tribes are described as resembling miserable ape-like creatures, the middle tribes are characterized more positively, being stronger and more attractive. Next, Le Monnier turns to their clothing and hairstyles. Men mostly wear short jackets, though some tribes add shorts to the male outfit. In the cold season they also wear long gowns. Women wear short leggins, a short jacket and a sash. Their general hairstyles are described in detail as well. All tribes except the southern ones have many decorative bracelets and necklaces, as well as tattoos. A description of patterns follows.

Next, Le Monnier describes their villages. He writes about the structure and material of the houses, as well as the interior architecture and furnishings; he follows this with a brief outline of cultivated crops.

After briefly stating the extent of their weapons, knives and guns, and their hunting outfits, Le Monnier turns to the hunt itself. His description details the various animals and the hunting methods employed to capture each.

The Formosan aborigine tribes possess simple musical instruments; members of some tribes also sing together in choirs.

Women are respected in Formosan aborigine cultures. Le Monnier explains the monogamous marriage rites and rules. He characterizes aborigine morals in a positive manner, noting that family is considered an important institution. The head of the family has great authority, as do the chiefs of villages, who are always chosen from the same family. Family wealth also determines how much influence the chief has. There is hardly any crime in these communities. However, apart from some language similarities, there is no further connection between the tribes in Formosa.

Next, Le Monnier describes burial rites, in detail. Their religion consists of a family spirit, and the natives are very superstitious.

Trade with the Chinese is accomplished with the assistance of the Pepohoan. Le Monnier lists the main products traded by both sides.

Valentyn claimed that there was also a black race on Formosa, but Le Monnier denies this. He estimates the overall population to be about three million, while estimates of aborigines start at 20,000 and reach as high as 200,000. After listing populations of the Chinese cities and larger towns, Le Monnier mentions that Formosa is administrated by the Fu-chien province. In Formosa itself there is a Mandarin of second class; then there are six districts with a Mandarin of third or fourth class. Although Le Monnier describes the Qing administration as slow and useless, his article endorses the opinion that things would turn to the better if France became the colonial power in control of the island.


MacKay, G.L. "Unter den Aboriginalstämmen Formosas" [Among the aboriginal tribes of Formosa]. Mitteilungen der Geographischen Gesellschaft (für Thuringen) zu Jena 15 (1897): 1-21.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

After some short introductory remarks, Mackay describes Formosa as a model for the study of savage life. His report is based on personal visits consisting of several weeks at a time in villages and hamlets around the island. The account hardly mentions place names and travel descriptions. Rather, it puts more emphasis on ethnography of the tribes Mackay visited and studied. He seldom distinguishes between different tribes, only between tribes working with the Chinese and aboriginal tribes. Mackay arrived in Formosa in 1872. One year later, he made a greater voyage into the interior of the island to visit aboriginal tribes. He traveled with the English warship "Dwarf" and its captain, Bax. Mackay spends most of the essay describing different aspects of native life in detail, after a short description of the voyage the "Dwarf" undertook to arrive at the territories of these natives.

Three days' trip south of Tamsui they met with a group of friendly aborigines, who led them into the interior of the island. The company eventually came to the foot of a great mountain range. They mounted a ridge of 3500 feet [? an old German measurement "Fuss"]; this ridge constitutes the borderline between the areas settled by the Chinese and the territories of the aborigines. After crossing another ridge, and proceeding further, they came to a halt on the third ridge, where the company was met by a group of heavily armed natives. They were escorted down the slope, after some introductory communication. At nightfall, they arrived at a broad valley, where several hundred natives were encamped. At this point in the article, Mackay describes the camp and the atmosphere between hosts and guests. The next day the travelers asked to see the real village. They were led through the jungle and there discovered that this trek was actually intended to help the villagers hunt for Chinese scalps. After new negotiations, they were led to the natives' own village, instead of attacking the Chinese. This aborigine village was inhabited by several hundred natives, who were preparing a celebration because a Chinese scalp had been caught. After returning to their own camp, Mackay [and Bax?] tried to start their missionary activity among the 500 natives gathered in the region. The next day, they traveled further into the jungle, further than any other whites before them. However, because of severe bouts of malaria among them, the excursion was stopped short of its intended goal.

Mackay differentiates between several aboriginal tribes, but calls them all "savages." He then describes the savages demographically and ethnographically. He starts with their village structure. While there are also councils, the autocratic authority lies with chiefs. Villages are built on plateaus or hilltops. Their houses are made of planks, bamboo, or interwoven branches on which they throw clay. He further describes the interior of these houses. Their main food supply is game; next to meat, there is a little agriculture, worked by women, and fruits gathered in the jungle. Their clothing consists of canvas pieces; rattan is made into hats, and jewelry consists of pearls, shells and brass rings. Tattoos are popular and follow certain traditional patterns. The savages have two instruments: one resembling a bamboo Jew's harp and the other, a bamboo flute. All savages marry. Mackay describes the privileges of marriage and the tasks young men have to undertake to gain the right to marry. Mackay next describes the natives as basically virtuous. None of the usual vices [of the Chinese?] have been adopted by these tribes. If there are crimes and depravity, Mackay attributes them to Chinese influence. All tribes practice raids on Chinese villages, but crimes among themselves are uncommon.

The native religion is described as nature worshipping. They don't have gods, but rather celebrations related to natural occurrences. They also worship their dead ancestors in ceremonies several times throughout the year. Animals they worship superstitiously are small birds. An expedition to the mountain Sylvia, 11000 [feet] high, was canceled right before the group reached the crest after the chief leading the trip had received a warning from the birds. Mackay had to submit to this interpretation.

Mackay tells of the Christmas he spent among the savages, together with his helper Koa-Kau, another helper and a native from the Christian village of Sin-tiam, which also was their starting point, where they crossed the river. On the way, Mackay, leading the group, met with a native couple that agreed to lead them to their chief. Mackay describes the village, their lodging and the ceremonies or rituals they practice. Mackay notes that the tribes move around a lot, and he writes about the way they clear land and leave old lands to fallow. He states that the larger tribes swallow up smaller tribes, as natural reproduction is too low to keep the population stable. Mackay criticizes the role of women in these aborigine tribes; they do most of the hard work.

Mackay laments that his missionary activity is insufficient. Weather conditions and a hard life make it impossible to stay among the savages for longer periods of time. The many different languages render communication difficult. Generally, though, he sees them as open to mission work and friendly to the missionaries.

Mackay then spends the rest of the essay (some nine pages) on an all-important part of life for the natives: scalp hunting. The custom originated from wars between tribes on the island; the trophy of a scalp was good proof of the death of the enemy. The tribes see Formosa as their own property, owing to their long period of inhabiting the island, and the later migrating Chinese thus, are viewed as intruders. The Chinese have pushed back the savages into the mountains and made their life hard. Thus, all aborigine hate is concentrated on the invaders, and their scalps are highly valued. Tribes like the Pepohoan, who collaborate with the Chinese, are seen as traitors and therefore also persecuted. The savage is an excellent hunter and plans his raids carefully. He needs few necessities and is constantly hunting for Chinese. The ceremony and process of scalp hunting is described at length in this essay. In between, Mackay also mentions rattan and camphor trees on the island, as well as the exploitation of these natural resources by the Chinese.

Far inbound from Toa-kho-ham there is a Chinese trade station, at which in 1877 Mackay witnessed combat between Chinese inhabitants and twenty-four scalp hunters, which he also describes. Mackay also noted that scalp hunters caught by the Chinese are not treated any better. He witnessed the execution of a scalp hunter in Sa-kiet-a-koe, a Chinese city of 16,000 inhabitants on the Kap-tsu-lan plain, and he found the execution no less gruesome than the procedures the savages use. In 1876 Mackay was traveling along the coast of Formosa on the I.B.M. ship "Lapwing" with a Lieutenant Shore, when part of the crew was saved from scalping in the So-Bay only by the fortuitous warnings of a Chinese individual.

Mackay ends his account by assuring that he could continue such tales and makes clear that missionary activity in Formosa is slow work.


Maron, Hermann. "Ein Besuch in Amoy und auf der Insel Formosa" [A visit to Amoy and the island of Formosa]. Pp. 1-62 in 2 Band of Japan und China -- Reiseskizzen, entworfen waehrend der Preussischen Expedition nach Ost-Asien. Berlin: O. Janke, 1863.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

[I.] Pp. 1-19

The first part of the long entry on Formosa describes Maron's eventful journey to Takau. While traveling in China, Maron met the English Captain Roper, who took him to Formosa, a long entertained wish of Maron. Because of bad weather, the schooner had to return and anchored in Amoy on July 4. Maron writes about his discoveries and observations there. Finally, when waiting for weather more suitable to land in Takau on July 8, Maron became impatient and persuaded the captain to let him accompany a Chinese sailor, taking a catamaran to the mainland instead of cruising along the coast in the schooner. When their night-time attempt to hike to Takau on foot failed, local fishermen that Maron and the sailor met on the coast took them up to the harbor of Takau. The schooner arrived only six days later.

II. Pp. 19-38

The day before Maron's arrival in Takau, the English Consul Swinhoe had arrived at the port on a gunboat. Maron met him, and was promptly invited to join Swinhoe and his company on their way to Taiwan-fu, the new capital. The second part of the text then describes that journey -- first on boat, then overland in a palanquin. The descriptions focus mainly on Maron's evaluation of land and people. He writes about landscape, agriculture, and the way the Chinese treated him. He also shares several anecdotes of events that happened on this or previous travels.

That same day, Maron wandered around the vicinity and inspected the view (from the hills) of the mountain range, with Mount Morrison in the distance, and of an agricultural plain. He also found sulfur springs. He writes about the mysterious, beautiful savage tribes that lived in the mountains. Maron states that hardly anything was known about them, except that they were cannibals and looked neither like Chinese nor Malays. Their courageous and fierce ways made them the horror of the Chinese settlers, who had imported tigers from Singapore in order to eliminate them. He also briefly talks about the mixed populations of Chinese and savages who lived in between both peoples. Maron then describes the several encounters of Prussians with these savages, which interested him a good deal. These encounters mainly consisted of Prussian ships anchoring near the coast of the unsettled territories, and either fighting or trading with the savages.

Maron spent the evening in the company of Swinhoe, and together they planned their joint excursions. Maron intended to remain in the interior of the island for several weeks. On the morning of July 11, the company set off, consisting of Consul Swinhoe, his secretary, Mr. Brown, the commander of the gunboat, three naval sailors, a Chinese guide, the intendant of the journey, and the servants. A Manila-Spaniard accompanied Maron.

The journey proceeded slower than the group had expected, which forced them to spend the night in the town of Keja, at the house of a rich farmer. In addition, Consul Swinhoe was not sure if prepared quarters had been prepared for him in Taiwan-fu. On the way, the company made several stops, at which the local population stared at them. Maron describes the scenery of these regions at length, as well as his opinions on subjects like the pineapple palm tree and the institution of way stations.

Their arrival in Taiwan-fu had been announced by a messenger for 10 o'clock a.m., and they met the first delegation of officials at the city gates at that time the next morning.

III. Pp. 38-62

The third part of Maron's report deals with the rather dramatic events of his visit to Taiwan-fu, and the subsequent return to Shanghai. In great detail he describes the proceedings at the Mandarin court and the following events, though mostly from a self-centered perspective.

A minor mandarin received them at the gate, and led them to the Tautai's audience room. Swinhoe and the secretary changed into parade uniforms, which left Maron as the only one in civilian dress. This not only caused him to stand out more, but also, he claims, partly led to the later troubles. The whole meeting was full of ceremonial procedure, and there were several important mandarins and officials present, i.e., the departmental heads of justice, finance, police and military. Maron was impressed by Swinhoe's knowledge of "high-Chinese," as opposed to the vernacular. Apart from detailed accounts of the sensations he caused because of his snuff, beard and familiarity with some exotic kind of Prussian liquor, Maron focuses on the ceremonial procedures of the meeting.

After the reception, Swinhoe was led to his quarters, which turned out to be a dark, scruffy temple, much to Maron's disappointment. Although Swinhoe was very aware of the difficult and precarious political situation he and the company were in, he finally went to look at the alternative residence that the Tautai offered him: another temple. While this one was less decayed, it was in a more dangerous quarter of the city. The populace entered the temple, and pestered the company until the group felt threatened and fled under the guidance of a loyal police officer, followed closely behind by the mob. The police officer led them to the house of a merchant, who was not at all willing to defend them. A messenger sent to the Tautai brought back the answer that there was little the Tautai could do. Instead, an enlightened and brave merchant of Formosa invited them to move to his house, and the company fled the mob in closed palanquins.

The next day, there was talk of an uprising, and plans for defense and flight were talked of. Maron explains the agitation with the fear of the Chinese population that the British would take over trade in this harbor too, although it was closed for foreign ships. His own role, as the single non-uniformed member of the delegation, made him suspicious in the eyes of the Chinese. An agent of the government came by the merchant's house and asked questions; the company assured him there were no British traders among them.

Maron wanted to convince Swinhoe to return to Takau as soon as possible, but Swinhoe saw his duty to be in Taiwan-fu. However, Swinhoe did send the commander of the gunboat back, in order to try to get the boat closer to Taiwan-fu. Maron went with the commander, as he was sick, and as the real purpose of his journey had been to travel around the island and interact with the people. As this was impossible under the current circumstances and as Maron felt he could be an obstacle to the success of the British envoy, he saw his expedition to explore the interior as a failure. Thus, Maron left Taiwan-fu on July 14 and returned to Shanghai.

Maron ends this account of travel in Formosa with more notes on vegetation and a brief account of Formosa's history.


Müller, W. "Uber die Wildenstämme der Insel Formosa" [Concerning the savage tribes on the island Formosa]. Zeitschrift für Ethnologie (Organ der Berliner Gesellschaft für Anthropologie, Ethnologie und Urgeschichte) XLII, ii (1910): 228-241.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Müller presents an ethnologic study of the different native tribes that is very detailed and informative. His descriptions are short but to the point. He narrates a few episodes or single events but more often presents a general approach, in which he still distinguishes between the tribe types. Müller's article is divided into nine parts, each of which contains one part of his overall study or several related ones.

The first of these subdivisions of the article is entitled "Residence, origin classification, physique and language." The natives now live mainly on the mountains in the center and the east regions of the island, driven there by the Chinese. They used to be spread throughout the island. Müller estimates the population at 120,000, compared to two and one-half million Chinese and 100,000 Japanese.

Nothing reliable is known about the origin of the Formosan natives, but things like physique, customs, language and intelligence point to an affiliation with Malay races. He sees many traits that are present in all groups, but owing to isolated settlement, the tribes developed numerous differing characteristics as well. One example of this is language, as some tribes are unable to understand others.

Müller divides the tribes into nine groups, the Ataaiyal, Vonum, Tso'o, Tsarisen, Paiwan, Pyuma, Amis, Pepo and the Yami from Botel Tobago. Within these nine groups there are many more divisions. The Pepo are hardly recognizable as natives, as they have mixed with Chinese and taken up their culture. They even live in the same areas as the Chinese, although the Pepo isolate themselves from them. Only the Saisiett tribe kept its original character.

Besides the classification "Pepo-hoan," which means savages of the plains, the Chinese also made the classification into Seiban and Jukuban, i.e., autonomous and submitted savages, respectively. The Pepohoan, the Pyuma, and the Amis are the submitted tribes.

All Formosans share certain physical traits, such as the hair type, protruding cheekbones, Malay eyes, blunt noses with broad sides, skin color, and a few more. Müller classifies them as brachycephals, and observes them as robust but not sturdy.

Their language belongs to the Malay group. He includes a table with the numbers one through ten in all the Formosan dialects in the appendix. The Pepo tribes have almost forgotten their old language, although they only took up the Chinese language one hundred years ago. The natives don't write.

Part two of the article addresses the topic of political structure. The natives are sedentary people. Müller mentions different village structures and the tribes that practice each, such as single family units or communities. The authority mostly lies with a chief, but sometimes there are two. The position is hereditary or elected, with full authority granted a single chief, or, in other cases, authority shared with the eldest in a tribe. Rights among the population result in strict age divisions. Müller mentions one group that divides into categories of physical development stages.

Chapter three is called "Family, marriage and divorce, birth and education, death and burial." The natives are usually monogamous, but marriage rites vary among the tribes. Müller follows this statement with a sample of different practices found in the various tribes. A marriage lasts for life, but divorces are possible. They are decided by the tribe. If one partner dies, the other usually doesn't remarry; both have the same rights. Families are very loving, and family vendetta are seen as pious. The natives see hospitality as holy.

Births are easy, and the mother continues to do easy work immediately following the birth of her child. There are many religious and ceremonial treatments used against spirits after a birth. Some tribes see twins as evil. Naming processes vary; some tribes use the father's name, some have surnames, and some only have a limited range of names used for all.

Rites of passage again differ according to tribe. In one group a youth is only declared a man after he brings home a scalp, while in others the boys live separately after a certain age.

Dead relatives are buried inside or outside the court, accompanied by their belongings. After the burial a family will not leave their house for some time. Unnatural deaths are seen as bad luck, and, thus, the victims of such deaths are buried the farthest from the village or at the site of the violent death. Müller again presents variations among the several tribes.

The fourth part of the article describes housing, clothing, jewelry, tattoos, nutrition, arms and music instruments. Huts are concentrated within range of sight from each other, and are built from wood and bamboo, though there also are stone huts and caves. Usually a hut will consist of one room; windows can be shut by rattan shutters. Within these homes, there is no furniture, only wood pallets for beds.

Clothing varies; two pieces are generally used: a cloth shirt with or without arms and a square cape, tied on two corners. Women drape their legs, and men wear loincloths in different colors and according to various wrapping methods, from which the tribe of the wearer can be determined. Usually the natives are barefoot, though there are sandals for longer journeys and women wrap their shins for ceremonies. Men wear a braided cap or ones made of fur. There are several types of jewelry: brass bracelets (that are also given as promise for an oath), earrings of bamboo, necklaces of shells, teeth, berries, and also horn hair pins. Several tribes tattoo themselves. Müller describes the patterns of the different tribes. Some native groups also remove the upper canine teeth.

The main food supplies consist of millet, sweet potatoes and bananas, some varieties of meat and rice. They cook nearly all of their food. They eat with their fingers, but wash them. There is a popular alcoholic beverage made of millet, which now is fermented with a certain pollen but traditionally was chewed by women to induce fermentation. They cultivate their own tobacco, and smoke a lot, even children. The natives also chew betel nuts, coloring their teeth black as a consequence, which they think is pretty.

The tribes trade for guns. Apart from that they use lances for bear hunting (in south and central Formosa), and bows and arrows for birds. The points of these weapons are often poisoned. Swords are important and the chosen instrument for scalping. The number of heads chopped with a sword is marked on the sheath of the weapon. A Formosan will never be seen without his sword, which is also seen as decoration.

There are two music instruments, the Jew's harp and a bamboo flute. The natives dance to the accompaniment of the former musical instrument; there are group dances, too.

Part five of Müller's article deals with agriculture. Farming plays a subordinate role to hunting; the savages rely on the spirits of their ancestors and the weather for the growth of crops. If the ground has lost all fertility, they move to another location. There are hardly any tools. Because their harvest is too small to feed them, they trade game and cloth with the Chinese. They don't have paper currency or coins, only a unit which consists of shells sown on a piece of cloth the length of a forearm, called a "bintuan." Müller gives examples of the value of this unit: a woman costs 250 bintuan, a copper kettle one-half [?] bintuan. Today, this method has decreased but is still used for important or official dealings. Normally they trade with cloth.

Arts and crafts and fire are treated in part six of Müller's article. The only crafts they know are weaving and wood carving. They weave ramie on small primitive hand-held looms. Müller mentions the four kinds of ramie and three stages of hemp threads. The cloth is durable and patterned. Besides this, they tan hinds, weave baskets, make pots, and undertake other similar activities. Some tribes can work iron.

Fire is generally made with flint stones, but they also trade for matches. The traditional use of two sticks of wood to make a fire is still sometimes important for ceremonies.

Part seven concerns rights and laws. The savages define crime as something contradicting old customs and conventional opinions. Everyone must agree that the deed disagrees with the moral laws for a punishment to occur. Sanctions are not fixed, but there are traditions in punishing. Müller explains the categories of sanction in one tribe. Jurisdiction lies with the chief or a collection of elders. Müller also describes the practice of an ordeal.

Treaties take numerous forms, and are common. Müller describes some. This treaty is holy to them; they, they hardly ever break a treaty.

Chapter eight treats religious conditions and superstitions. Müller denies that the aborigines have religion, but some symptoms of it can be found. He lists four beliefs, like the soul being immortal, or that dreams are visitations of dead people. They believe in spirits but not in gods. These spirits are connected to the soul and to natural elements. Müller mentions two more beliefs about ghosts seen among certain natives. In particular, the belief in the evil power of ghosts is widely spread among the natives. Many different signs, many from birds, can be interpreted to help protect them from spirits. Müller describes one means of prophesy. Next, he describes rituals of exorcism, and variations in different tribes. Like the evil, there are helpful spirits that have a lot of power. In particular, the ancestors provide assistance, and, thus, that there are numerous festivities for them. Müller describes two of these.

The ninth, and also the last, part of the article is about scalping. Müller traces the custom back to the Malays. Several tribes still practice scalping, and their reasons for doing so vary according to tribe (or circumstance): as a proof of courage, or used as means of distinguishing between two males courting a young woman. Scalping is also used in ordeals, and scalps are employed as utensils in exorcism. Some believe that the soul of the killed will serve the hunter. Müller then describes the customary procedure whereby a scalp is taken. The hunter hides and waits for a victim, then deliberately makes a noise. As soon as the victim looks in the right direction, the hunter shoots him, and takes his scalp. The scalps are collected either on special racks or hung from the roof.


Panchow, Hellmuth. "Die Bevölkerung Formosas" [The population of Formosa]. Aus allen Welttheilen XXVII (1895): 33-40; 65-76. With illustrations (reprinted from other sources).

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Panchow considers it necessity to inform his readers of Formosa's three peoples because of the increasing interest in the island and the comparatively narrow range of knowledge concerning Formosa. Though Panchow does not clearly state his sources, as he never mentions a trip to Formosa, he probably summarized other reports and articles. Panchow introduces his topic by explaining the recent rebellions of the Chinese inhabitants of Formosa against the Japanese on the island, instigated by the Qing government. The revolt naturally leads to questions about the rebels, which is why Panchow concentrates on the different populations. The illustrations in the text are taken from Elisée Réclus' "Géographie universelle" and show members of the Butan tribe of the Chinwan people.

Panchow starts with the Chinese population. Geographically and historically, Formosa has always had affinities with mainland China. Formosa always has been the aim of migrating peoples, of immigrants and fugitives from China. Panchow gives the example of the pirates that inhabited the island for a while. The Dutch rule was ended by Chinese fleeing from the Manchus. Subsequently, the island, soon turned into a province of the Qing Dynasty [a claim which not correct], filled with masses of Chinese, and the population increased at great rates. Later, the little goldrush in 1890 again increased Chinese interest in the island. The immigrants came mainly from southern provinces on the mainland.

Panchow turns to describe the Hakkas as the first subdivision in the Chinese population on Formosa. The Hakkas, a migrating people even by name [i.e., Hakka 'guest people'], originally came from north China, but later mainly were found in the southern provinces. Panchow sees them as very distinct from their fellow Chinese, comparatively more raw but lovers of freedom and more difficult to be subjugated by the Japanese. Panchow refers to the description of the Hakka by the missionary Hubrig, who spent many years among them. Unlike the Chinese villages, the Hakka settlements are neither fortified nor hidden, and many lie high in the mountains, visible from afar. The Hakkas are mainly agricultural, and in contrast to the almost "overcultured" Chinese, they are of a simpler nature and lifestyle. Panchow contrasts the role of women in Chinese society with the freer Hakka woman, who work alongside their husbands and have normally developed feet [rather than the small, bound feet]. Polygamy is seldom found among the Hakka. The Hakka also sing a lot. These positive sides have their dark counterparts, in particular, the murder of female infants. Because daughters are married out while sons stay with their natal families, bringing more hands to work for any family, the birth of a daughter is seen as harmful, and no family brings up more than one or two daughters. The rest are killed at birth. This practice is supported by the religious belief that souls of infants don't die but come back in the form of the next child born to a family. Thus, the Hakka try to scare the soul from appearing in the shape of a girl. Differences from other Chinese have made the Hakka very unpopular among mainland Chinese. This is also one reason for the relative openness of the Hakka to Christian missionary activity. The Hakka make up the main part of the Formosan Chinese population [also in incorrect claim] and are also at the core of the rebellion. Formosa itself is aptly called a "wildgrowing" colony, as the government hardly aided the colonization process; rather, the initiative mainly came from the settlers themselves.

Next, Panchow turns to the mixed race, which was the product of Hakka and aboriginal marriages. Being relatively less developed culturally than other Chinese, the Hakka are naturally drawn to the natives, as the latter group's state of development is similar. But the Hakka immigrants also posses the typical Chinese obstinacy in keeping their culture. A lot of violence also resulted from this Hakka-aborigine interaction. Panchow mentions the Kapsulan plain, from which the original inhabitants were driven by force. Generally the war between the two groups is more latent than openly fought, but it flickers up now and then. Still the "sinification" of the aborigines continues and has reached two thirds of the island. Formosan women, in particular, have added to the process by their willingness to marry Hakka immigrants who lacked wives in the early stages of immigration. Even more numerous are the ethnologically pure natives who have accepted Chinese culture and have assimilated. Most have become economically dependent on the Chinese, who first talk them into trade relations with help of alcohol and opium, but later drop the friendly facade.

The remaining free tribes live in the forests of the interior, behind a neutral zone that existed some years ago. Now, many Chinese settlers have intruded into this zone or further, into native territory. The neutral zone was originally created to facilitate trade between natives and the Chinese. The main motive for extended settlement is camphor exploitation. While some settlers manage to purchase permission for settlement from the tribes, others are illegal trespassers and live in danger of attacks. Ordinary settlers follow the camphor workers and start to make roads and fields in the gaps into the forests. For some time Formosa has been a laboratory for the Chinese government. New technologies from the Western world were first tried in Formosa, such as the railway, the telegraph and telephones. The mainland still resists these new developments.

The pure natives that have assimilated culturally are called Pepohuan or Shekwan and are the next population that Panchow describes. They fish on the coast and are farmers in the interior. Although they are more cultured, hunting still plays a role in their nutrient intake. If they are sedentary, they live in small villages of up to three hundred huts. Panchow quotes a portion of Ibis' description of their houses. Their clothing, housing, language and customs all show great Chinese influence. However, under the surface they still hold on to many old customs and beliefs that are identical with those of the free natives. Their clothing is mainly Chinese in type and style, and males wear the queue. The mixture of Chinese and native hairstyle in women is a typical example of the combination of two ways of life. More importantly, the mentality and religious beliefs have aspects of several influences. The added Christian mission has increased the chaos. The Pepohuan worship animal sculls; here Panchow quotes Ibis for a description of such a ritual. Panchow follows this with general rules and procedures of the offerings. As the natives didn't originally protect their belongings, the use locks and jealousy only came with the Chinese. The animosity of the free tribes and the pressure from the Chinese will end with the disappearance of the Pepohuan.

The Chinwan, or all-wild natives, are probably only different ethnologically from the Pepohuans. Schetelig tried to convince other scholars of their different origins but was not too successful. Panchow sees these divisions as too hasty, and proposes (as the only secure fact) the claim that the Chinwan are Malays. He does not think that there are traces of Negrito-tribes in Formosa, as Schetelig (and Valentyn before him) claimed.

Panchow next describes some customs similar to ones in other Malay tribes. The taboo that other tribes have is called hiang in Formosa and includes head, hair and scalping net. The scalping itself is also found in other Malay natives. The importance of this practice has not decreased in time; on the contrary, a scalp opens tribal society to a young man, as marriage is only allowed after he has captured a Chinese scalp. Panchow traces the custom to religious beliefs. As Formosans worship sculls, it is understandable that hunting for such a head is honorable. Finally, the separate hut for unmarried male adults also points to a Malay origin.

The Chinwan live in the northern and eastern mountains. The rough and jagged country brings political and linguistic divisions with it; almost every village is an independent political entity. The tribes practice woodwork and weaving, but these crafts are endangered by the growing influence of the Chinese. Weaving still is common, and woven goods are traded to the Chinese for other cloth. Formosan women rip apart red and blue cloth acquired through trade to embroider their own textiles, another sign of changing traditions. Panchow observes that jewelry seems to increase as the state of civilization decreases; while the Pepohuan hardly wear decorations, the Chinwan indulge in bracelets, necklaces and earrings. In addition, the practice of tattooing their faces is still commonplace among the Chinwan; Panchow describes the tattoo patterns. They allegedly included Dutch signs while the Dutch ruled over the island in the Seventeenth Century. Also, the wild tribes still remove the eyeteeth of their girls, to facilitate breathing and thus increasing running speed.

Next, Panchow discusses the consistencies in typical native characteristics among the Chinwan. The dog is their oldest pet, as with other tribes. In addition, their main crops match those of others. Millet is very important, which is for Panchow a sign of the lower state of their development, as this crop does not require plowing. He criticizes other scholars' sharp division between hunters, agricultural tribes and vagrant tribes. For Panchow, all these are mixed in any native group to form a broader nutritional basis. Different tribes concentrate on different practices, of course, such as the Chinwan focus on hunting. Still, even they have been agricultural for a long time.

Panchow then mentions that there are remnants of a matriarchal civilization on Formosa among the native tribes. At marriage, for instance, the groom will still become a part of the family of his wife, and thus daughters are far more popular than sons are. However, today women are often bought even among the Chinwan, another sign of the great changes that interaction with the Chinese have caused.

Panchow claims that the custom of vendetta is the main keeper of peace and justice. The missionary Campbell found traces of cannibalism. Next to the worship of scalps, religion focuses on the worship of animals. Every village has its specific animal guardian, which the village honors and respects deeply. Panchow describes the increasing destruction of Chinwan mentality and customs as a result of the growing Chinese influence on Formosa. Traditions like chewing betel nuts, drinking the self-brewed millet-alcohol, and the use of the bow and arrow all but disappeared as tobacco, samshu and guns appeared as trade goods. Additionally, the illnesses imported by the settlers have wreaked havoc among the natives. Panchow ends his article by hoping for the preservation of at least some of the natives, so that they might share their culture and superior characters with others.


Plaut, Hermann. "Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Insel Formosa" [Contributions to the knowledge on the island Formosa]. Mittheilungen des Seminars für Orientalische Sprachen zu Berlin 6, i (1903): 28-62.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Plaut's article focuses on the legal situation and traditions of the Formosan population after the Japanese takeover. He cites three main sources for his information. The first source, which Plaut used for facts on the Chinese population, was the Provisional Report on Investigations of Laws and Customs in the Island of Formosa, 1902. The original Japanese version was published in 1901 as a result of the work of the Commission for Research of Old Customs on Formosa. The chairperson of that committee was Okamatsu Santaro, the professor of law and rights of the University of Kyoto. Plaut's other two sources contributed to the sections of his article devoted to the aborigines. One was a report by Ino Yoshinori and Awano Dennojo, two scholar assistants of the civil administrator of Formosa, Taiwan banjin jijo [Circumstances of the savages of Formosa], January 9, 1899. The other was the first issue of the journal Banju Kenkyukai Zasshi [Periodical of the Society for the Investigation of the Circumstances of the Savages] published in Tokyo in 1898.

Plaut strictly divides the Chinese and the aboriginal populations. Although he does explain the customary Chinese categories for the aborigines, Plaut prefers to use specific tribe names when providing examples after his general information a specific point. When describing the Chinese population on the island, Plaut points out the differences between mainland customs and traditions and those found in Formosa. When citing Chinese or Japanese terms or names in his article, Plaut usually gives a romanized form first, followed by the respective character.

Plaut's article begins with recent Formosan history, emphasizing the circumstances of the Japanese takeover and the resulting changes Japanese colonial rule has brought to the island. After some initial problems, the new administration is now on its way to maintaining order and encouraging development. Plaut gives credit to the governor-general, Kodama Gentaro, and the civil administrator, Dr. Goto Shimpei, for these accomplishments. He supports their views on the importance of investigating older Chinese customs, which resulted in the above-named commission. Plaut praises the commissioners' report. He sees it as an important contribution to the knowledge on Formosa and also to the study of international law. Plaut gives a rough overview of the content of the report, which centers on the laws and rights of the Chinese immigrants and those related to the irrigation system on the island. The report also includes samples of Chinese documents related to legal transactions.

Plaut's summary of these reports is divided into four parts, Chinese legal circumstances, savage laws, Chinese family laws and aboriginal family traditions. The parts on the Chinese are a lot longer; they are also subdivided into sections treating the topic in detail.

I. Chinese laws and legal system

A. Chinese jurisdiction on Formosa:

Before the mainland paid much importance to Formosa, the administration of the island was subordinate to the province of Fukien. Plaut describes this system, its officials and divisions, and gives all the relevant names. He then describes particular circumstances, like the enforcement of wearing the queue, the high taxes and the continuing troubles with the native tribes. All these factors led to relative dissatisfaction with the Qing administration. Because Qing officials appointed to Taiwan only served in office for three years, the permanent local interpreters were far more powerful than they should have been.

Plaut also explains a land survey and new taxation system as he writes about the changes that have occurred in the last few decades. The invasion of the French [in the mid 1880s] showed the Chinese that this island was of greater importance than they had thought. Subsequently, it then was upgraded to an independent province. Liu Ming-ch'uan was the new viceroy; Plaut describes and evaluates his efforts to bring modernity and order to Formosa. After describing at length the subdivisions of the Liu administrations, Plaut turns to the viceroy's efforts to civilize the natives. Because of the ongoing fighting between settlers and aborigines and the natives' custom of taking scalps, Liu Ming-ch'uan decided to civilize the savages and reclaim their land. He founded three main bureaus for this civilization work and one for immigration matters. Plaut gives the names of all the entities along with their locations, personnel and expenses. Next to the normal administrative officials, there were interpreters who had to negotiate with the natives. The plan was to show good will by giving gifts of food and goods to the natives, but in order to stop the aborigines from underestimating official strength, the Qing administrators often sent an escort troop with the embassies. Some natives then started to work for the Chinese, as interpreters or watchmen, and some children were sent away to schools. The viceroy also built a road to Shui-wei on the east coast, which increased the number of tributary aborigines, too. Liu's successes were not stable. There were problems of unsupervised trading with the natives in exchange for firearms. Also, the way in which the tribes were often cheated caused old enmities to flare up again. Together with the shifting nature of the natives, the exploitation of their goodwill resulted in new violence against the Chinese.

Finally, Plaut assesses Liu Ming-ch'uan's work as well meant but too broad based and short-lived for lasting reforms. After Liu's resignation in 1891, the new viceroy cut the expenses, but before any effects were seen, the Japanese annexed the island.

B. Judiciary:

Plaut describes three instances of courts and justices in detail, together with their competencies. He also explains appeals and the process of trials with the exact duties of all parties. Plaut closes this description by lamenting the high rate of corruption, a consequence of the low pay of the judges.

C. Formosan law:

Formosan law existed in two parts, written and customary. The written law was based on the Chinese legal work, Ta-Ch'ing lü-li. Plaut states that it is hard to see to what extent this formal legal code actually was practiced, or how loose the officials applied the rules. In addition, written law existed in the form of instructions and commands issued by the viceroy and administration.

Much more important were the customary laws, originating partly from the provinces of immigrants and partly created on Formosa. These customary laws are manifested in the large number of legal documents in the possession of the population. Other sources for the knowledge of customary law are oral history, extant traditions, decisions made by earlier courts, and the reports of the public authorities. For instance, the land registers containing the results of the land survey still exist. The ts'ai-fang-ch'ai, the biggest work on customs and traditions on Formosa and the result of many long years of intensive work, was mostly lost. The two volumes that remain are still an excellent source of information on customary law.

After the annexation, the Japanese structured the competencies, according to nationality. Plaut describes the different categories and their importance.

II. Native law

Plaut writes that the simple circumstances of the aborigines leave less possibilities for theft and strife than is common in a more civilized society. Several tribes, among those the Vonum from central Formosa, fail to recognize theft as a crime. Other tribes, in particular the agricultural ones, do know of theft and have sanctions for it. The importance that is attached to different offenses varies, as does the form of punishment. All tribes, however, give legal authority to the chief. He investigates and leads a trial and often executes the judgment. If a case cannot be solved, an ordeal is ordered. The ordeal is carried out either as a scalp hunt, in which both parties assemble friends and try to hunt as many scalps as possible, or as a combat of the two men involved.

Strife between two tribes is more complicated, and chiefs of both tribes try to resolve the matter peacefully. If this first attempt fails, a feud between the tribes is pronounced. Generally, all crimes can be atoned for by a payment to the claimant. The affected has the choice of accepting or refusing the offer, and in the latter instance demands vengeance instead.

Plaut next goes over the different accepted crimes, their sanctions and divergences among the various tribes. While manslaughter is seen as fate, and the killer as a tool of fate, murder is recognized and punished in all tribes. The Palisha exile a murderer until he is able to bring back a Chinese scalp. The Tsoo hand over the criminal to the family of the victim; that family can demand a fine or seek vengeance. The Paiwan, whose chief calls a jury in important matters, ask that the offender pay a fine according to the rightful motives for the act he committed. The Amis and Puyuma make the accused hand over all his property; vengeance is not allowed.

Adultery and seduction are also treated very differently. Most tribes pronounce the death penalty for both adulterous parties, although the male offender can sometimes escape punishment by paying a fine to the accuser. Other tribes demand that the offender give all his property or valuable presents to the husband. The Tsoo hand over the woman to her father and brothers, who then beat and torture her before giving her back to her husband. In the case of [adultery by] persuasion only the persuader is punished, often by ordering him to marry the girl in addition to a payment.

If theft is recognized, the punishment is usually a fine in addition to giving back the stolen goods.

Strife between two parties is usually about the hunt, slander or marriage. If a hunter crosses into another tribe's hunting grounds and is seen, he has to pay a fine to the other tribe. A chief will try to prevent a feud and force the offender in his own tribe to pay. Someone accused of slander has to take back the statement and apologize. If two men quarrel about a girl, they usually have to fight each other to decide the matter. Plaut closes this description of various offenses with an explanation of a complicated mediation process among the agricultural Paiwan tribe, a method probably taken over from Chinese settlers. Here, too, the chief has the final authority.

III. Chinese family and inheritance laws

A. Family:

Plaut begins this section by explaining the difference between family and other kin relationships, with all the subcategories and duties this entails. He also emphasizes the lack of official documentation of family and household proceedings. Although something regulatory may have existed in the past, all proof in the form of records has been lost. Plaut also goes through the different obligations to report members of a household because of taxes and police proceedings. While Formosa generally followed the practices of mainland Chinese in family and kinship distinctions, some new names were added to the existing ones by the inclusion of some Pepohuan terms. Plaut describes at length the names for the different degrees of kin relationships and also gives a table of the nine procreations.

Next, Plaut turns to marriage laws. While the marriages performed in compliance with the Ta-Ch'ing lü-li are recognized as "regular marriages," many are performed under less strict observance. These, too, are seen as lawful. As on the mainland, the woman enters the household of the husband. However, while Chinese men seldom purchase their women, buying a wife in Formosa is a general custom. Plaut describes the different Formosan prerequisites: the pubescence of both parties, monogamy (although there is an exception in the second marriage inside a household), and different surnames (for the families of the bride and groom); these rules may not pertain to a lower or disabled class like leprous or blind people, cobblers or executioners. Marriage also requires a matrimonial covenant or contract. Plaut explains this covenant and the process resulting in its completion in detail, specifying the role of the mediators, the various requirements, the symbolic acts and the parts that both families play in the formation of the marriage contract.

In the practice (and procedures) of adoptions, mainland and Formosan customs are quite different; Plaut describes both versions. While the mainland Chinese adopt sons to save their family from extinction and to secure the worshipping of the ancestors' souls, the Formosans often adopt sons simply to add to their own children, even if they already have sons. A problem resulting from this local practice is the additional strife concerning inheritance. Other differences concern the act of paying (or not paying) for a child; Formosan adoptions generally include payment. Plaut compares the Formosan adoption process to the Japanese one; while the Japanese will include the husband of the only daughter in their household, Formosans will only do this as a last resort. Also, if the husband is formally incorporated into the wife's household, he nevertheless remains part of his own family, too, and the children of the union are shared by the two families. Plaut gives the usual requirements to be met by the adopting and adopted parties, as they are not regulated by law but informed by tradition. He also explains the exact legal consequences for all included parties. In Formosa girls can be adopted as well, mostly in order to marry them to the son of the adopting family; in this case, the daughter is usually bought. This custom exists in China, often employed to save the cost of a normal marriage. In Formosa, an adopted girl is often sold or married to someone else's son. The girl can also be purchased to work a servant, which is a distinct Formosan custom. Again, Plaut gives detailed information about the process and requirements of this practice.

While guardianship is not customary in Formosan law, rich families have developed their own system of wardships to ensure guidance for young (or incompetent) heirs. The agency lies with the bequesting person, who arranges matters before his death. Plaut describes the process and the specific duties of each party. Generally, the warden takes over the household and the role of the father, but he lacks the ultimate power over the life of the charge.

Like in China, Formosan law differentiates between inheritance of the household and inheritance of the fortune. Only sons and male grandchildren in direct [patriarchal] line are capable of inheriting. Plaut elaborated on the legal and symbolic processes of inheritance. While Chinese law states that all sons receive equal parts of the fortune, Formosan custom gives two parts to the eldest son. Younger brothers become independent with the inheritance and can found their own households.

IV. Native family customs

Plaut begins this final section of the article by attributing the divergences and contradictions in family-related customs of the various tribes to the state of each tribe's cultural development. He points to the matrilineal and patrilineal inheritance and family patterns, which sometimes contradict wordings that point towards the other structure, for example, the same term for grandmother and ancestor in the patrilineal Atayal tribe. Other patrilineal tribes are the Tsarise, Vonum, Spayowan and Peipo. Matrilineal tribes are the Puyuma and Amis. All tribes have the same definition of blood relations. Plaut describes these rules in detail. Blood relatives are not permitted to marry; there is an obligation to help needy relatives; and several tribes demand that blood relatives go into mourning for each other.

Next, Plaut turns to rites of passage. All tribes have these rites, at least for male members, but do not associate them with a specific age. Usually the rites are performed by youths between the ages of 16 and 20. The Atayal demand a scalp, in addition to the usual changes in appearance. Plaut lists tribes and their specific adult characteristics, which include either tattoos, the removal of teeth or both. The legal rights of adults are participation in tribal debates, marriage and (in several tribes) chewing Betel.

The natives usually marry at an early age. Nowhere is marriage forced upon bride and groom by the parents; the youths follow their preferences. Thus the relationship between the spouses is usually a very close one, and divorce is uncommon. Women are treated well, compared to other uncivilized peoples. Plaut closes the article with several descriptions of marriage rites in different tribes. While they are quite varied, the boy usually has to enter the house of the girl bringing presents. Some tribes, like the Atayal or Tsoo, celebrate the marriage with revelry, while in other tribes, only the future spouses drink, as with the Tsarise, or no one drinks. The Tsarise is the only tribe that uses a mediator to form a marriage. Also, they regard a marriage as nullified if there are no children after a set date. Some tribes have kept up a symbolic form of robbing the bride from her parents. Usually she is given back before the real marriage. The Spayowan, Puyuma and Amis customs demand firewood as a gift for the parents [of the bride], and the Peipo tribe has taken up paying bridewealth, probably influenced by the Chinese.


Richthofen, Ferdinand Freiherrn von. "Ueber den Gebirgsbau an der Nordküste von Formosa" [On the mining on Formosa's north coast]. Zeitschrift der Deutschen geologischen Gesellschaft 12 (1860): 532-545.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Richthofen was traveling on a Prussian boat when they stopped to stay in Tamsui for a day. Richthofen had a chance to go ashore and examine rocks. The results -- 90% of the article is geology -- are compiled in this report.

Richthofen begins with a short geographical introduction and soon continues to the first of his four main topics, i.e., surface engineering [alt. design]. He states that the north point of the island is called Syauki Point. Next, Richthofen describes first his own then the previously collected material on Formosa's northern region. There is scarcely any other research on the topic; he only credits Swinhoe and De Mailla, and draws from local knowledge. Richthofen mentions the peaks and their (estimated) heights, bays, rivers and their courses, and some topography. He also explains why there is so little information: foreign trade is only allowed in Tamsui and Kilung, so these are the only areas traveled by Westerners.

Richthofen's second topic is mining near the port of Tamsui. First he describes the harbor and states that he went ashore near the town of Ho-bi, from where he started his research. Richthofen then methodically goes over his geological findings, naming various kinds of stone and stating his findings for each [5 pages in length].

Next, he moves to his third topic, mining near the port of Kilung. Richthofen begins by quoting research done by Jones [with the Perry mission]. Jones focused entirely on coal mines, so Richthofen next quotes Lieutenant Preble, sailing on the same boat as Jones, the Macedonian, who describes the island of Kilung-khid as volcanic and the island Tong-fung-si as based on sandstone. Then, Richthofen turns to the coal mines. The Macedonian was the ship researching the potential of the coal mines in this region. The mines start close to the harbor and continue eastwards to the small bays of Qua-se-ku and Kea-lau. Richthofen gives detailed information about the mines, production, prices and problems. He also quotes Swinhoe's report.

Richthofen's last topic is the sulfur springs between Tamsui and Kilung. He mainly gives an introduction to sulfur and then quotes Swinhoe's report again.

His conclusions again only refer to geological facts about the consistency and makeup of the ground.


Richthofen, W. Fr[eiherrn] von. "Uber eine Reise durch Formosa im Jahr 1900" [On a voyage in Formosa in the year 1900]. Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin (1902): 293-304. With map and photos.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Richthofen worked in East Asia for two years and had the opportunity to travel through Formosa. Starting with some geographical data, he describes the structure of the island. Then he moves to historical background and finally to the present Japanese administration.

The voyage began in Kobe, from where Richthofen left on the steamship "Tai-chu-maru." He arrived in Kelung on February 28, 1900. After briefly describing the harbor, city and modernization projects planned for the island, Richthofen continues to Taipeh, or Taihoku [in Japanese]. He mentions the hierarchical structure of the Japanese administration with its governor-general, departments, sections, prefectures and sub-prefectures. Next, Richthofen gives an overview of the army.

Richthofen states how grateful he is to the Japanese surgeon major, Dr. Nagai, who accompanied him, as well as Dr. Müller, the interpreter of the German consulate.

Before continuing his travel description, Richthofen gives information about the area. He covers the towns of Bankha and Twatutia on the Tamsui river. Next, he describes the old Chinese part of Taihoku, which used to be the cite of the provincial administration, and was now a residence for Japanese officials. He estimates the population of the city to be 80,000. Then he gives national economic information, such as the main export and import products, and information on internal trade relations. Richthofen praises Taihoku for being very clean, for which he credits the Japanese influence.

The authorities enabled him to sail down the east coast south from Kelung to Takau on the infirmary boat "Gaisen maru." The boat collected injured Japanese soldiers and transported them to Japan. First they arrived at Hinan, a Japanese village. Here for the first time Richthofen saw the mixed population. He gives estimates for the population of various ethnic groups (Japanese, Chinese and savages). The aboriginal tribes live in the mountains and forests, the Chinese on the plains and the Japanese mostly in the cities. The offspring of intermarriages between Chinese and savages are called Pepohoans. After sailing past the south Cape, they arrived in Takau. Richthofen again describes the phenomenon of silting up around port city river mouths, which he saw in Takau as well as in Anping. This results in anchoring far from the actual harbor, because the water is too shallow to do otherwise.

From Takau north the railway was in construction, which up to then only consisted of one rail with wagons pushed by coolies. After further describing problems of the development of the railway, Richthofen mentions the telegraph network on the island.

The expedition left the ship in Anping and continued over land from there. They passed an old Dutch fortress and reached Tainan. From there they continued their journey (on March 7) by the railway substitute described above. Richthofen finds the scenery along the way flat and uniform, as far as Taichu. (This is one of the few statements about scenery in the first part of the article.) The group traveled through a region threatened by rebels, and Richthofen makes some observations about the armed population and the apprehension of danger. There were military guards along the railway lines from Kagi to Unrin. Apparently there were still independent Chinese moving around in the area.

On the third day the company reached Shoka. Ever since the Japanese took away the prefectural office from this town, it has rapidly degraded. There is a Japanese institute for teachers, which caused Richthofen to praise the efforts of the Japanese on the islands with regard to education. In Formosa, there are four institutes for research of the Japanese, Chinese and savage languages.

Taichu lies in a safer area. Richthofen also states the plans of the administration to make this town an important center in the future.

On March 11, the expedition started their journey from Taichu into the aboriginal territories beginning at the edge of the mountains. Their company included three sedan chairs (carried by three servants each), six coolies carrying luggage and fifteen soldiers and policemen.

Richthofen's descriptions of the scenery in the mountains are less negative than those he gave of scenery in the plains, and in this part of the article, he starts including his impressions of the landscape more often. After crossing many small rivers, the group arrived in Kishito, where they passed the night in a police station. This village was the last civilized place before they entered the mountain region.

Richthofen then gives a general introduction to the aborigines of Formosa. He states that their physiology and language point to a Malay origin; they probably came to Formosa as part of the Malay migrations during prehistoric times. Richthofen distinguishes two types of aborigines, one with strong cheekbones and a broad nose, the other with more pointed faces and aquiline noses. The men have line tattoos on their forehead and chin, while the women are tattooed around the mouth and cheeks. Scalping is important to many tribes; a youth must have captured a scalp before he can marry. Richthofen states that five hundred Chinese and a few Japanese lost their lives through scalping in 1899. Among the aborigines, the scalp is supposed to be a charm for good luck. Every scalp is celebrated with a festivity in an aborigine village. The scalps are collected inside the hut or in the courtyard. The natives own relatives are buried inside their houses. Their religion centers on the worship of wood and war gods and nature. Men wear a square cloth and a loincloth, a cap, a long knife, and a net for tools and scalps on their back. Women wear a square cloth and leggins. Cloth bracelets, rings and bamboo earrings serve as jewelry.

Richthofen describes his personal impressions of the natives; their animal-like behavior surprised him. He classifies them as almost all uncivilized, their only craft being that of weaving. They concentrate on hunting and only grow rice in a marginal fashion. He describes them as more vagrant than sedentary. They trade cloth and game for guns, which they only use at a narrow range for their targets.

On the second day, the expedition traveled to Polisia or Horisha, a Japanese enclave. On the way Richthofen noted the series of sentries established to protect the camphor transporters. Richthofen and his company stayed in Horisha for a day, and he saw a camphor oven and some native festivities. He gives a detailed description of the oven, then he turns to the aboriginal gathering. The Chinese founded education centers in this area, trying to introduce the natives to Chinese culture. The Japanese continued to run the centers. The local official organized a meeting with as many aborigines as he could find. The expedition gave a pig and some potato wine and watched the festivities. There were about one hundred rather suspicious natives carrying different banners. The official lectured them about morals and behavior, then the pig was roasted and the festivities began. The alcohol made them calm down, the chiefs sat together in peace, while the rest mixed among the fires. Richthofen states that all natives smoke, so tobacco was very popular. They also were very interested in the soldier's guns. They still remained watchful and part of the group disappeared as the sentries changed.

Richthofen continues with the journey back to the coast. After passing through Taichu, he traveled past Bioritsu. The railway substitute became increasingly dangerous as they traveled up hills and steep slopes.

Concluding, he states that the cultural level of the island's people is high, as much of it is farmland. Richthofen closes with his arrival at the starting point of his expedition on March 17.


Riess, Ludwig. "Geschichte der insel Formosa" [History of the island Formosa]. Mitteilungen der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Natur- und Völkerkunde Ostasiens (Tokyo) Heft 59 (April 1897): 406-447. With maps.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The article is based on lectures given by Riess in Tokyo on two dates in 1895. The text gives a detailed overview of Formosa's history. Although he focuses on political events and personalities, there are some sections that diverge from this primary topic. The long article is divided into twelve short chapters. Riess' style is elaborate, and he tends to digress a lot. He compiled this text from the reports of many other travelers and does not clearly state whether he ever visited Formosa himself.

Riess begins his lecture with a discussion of the origin of the Formosan aborigines. First he mentions other hypotheses concerning the aboriginal race and its ancestry, which he then disproves. Then he gives a lengthy argument to prove his opinion that north and east Formosa were settled by tribes from Ryukyu. Part of his argument is based on old Chinese, Fukien and Ryukyu documents, which he includes in the article. Riess mentions the use of the names "Smaller Ryukyu" and "Ryukyu" in these documents and the confusion caused by those references. He also explains that Chinese in the Seventh Century thought Formosa was inhabited by the same race as Ryukyu. The Dutch reportedly found a Lonkyu tribe when they colonized the island. Riess summarizes a short Dutch description of this tribe that stated where they lived and the size of the tribe. Riess sees in this text the resigned attitude of the aborigines towards colonial rule. The lecture continues to describe the Formosan aborigines as different in color and customs from their neighbors. Riess cites a list of facts about their culture and mentions that they apparently manifested friendly relations with the Dutch, but later turned rebellious. Riess also includes Schlegel's translation of Chinese documents as well as the findings of a Ryukyu researcher, Chamberlain. He continues with his argument, citing Candidus and mentioning several Dutch misspellings. Finally he rules out chance in the matter of placename similarities, as he tried comparing other names and found very few similar ones.

The second chapter discusses the Malay invasion and subsequent isolation of the island's peoples. Riess explains that the Chinese initially depicted highly civilized peoples but after a period of no contact found different tribes. Riess proves this point by citing Chinese documents, though he acknowledges some difficulties in interpreting the texts. Initial attempts to attack the island were followed by some five hundred years of isolation. The stream of Malay immigrants to the island apparently ceased early on; this is the only way Riess can explain the lack of developments in the south Malay islands. Finally, the difference between (and confusion caused by) the terms Ryukyu and Greater Ryukyu are discussed.

Part three addresses Hakka immigration and Formosa as a hiding place for pirates. First, Riess describes the Hakka immigration process and their settlement in Formosa. Then, he explains Formosa's important role in Asian trade shortly before Europeans developed an interest in the island. Although the position of the island made it perfect as a trading center between China and Japan, the low level of civilization and the existence of pirates in these waters prevented any major growth of trade.

Riess describes the gradual discovery of Formosa in the fourth chapter. Sailing by the island, the Portuguese first called it "the beautiful island." References of some of these first European sightings include ethnographic details; one compares the aborigines to the Bisayas of the Luzon islands. Riess also discusses fraudulent names and the development of the name Formosa.

The fifth chapter summarizes the unsuccessful Japanese colonization of Formosa in the 17th Century.

Part six recounts the history of Dutch and Spanish settlements on the island. Riess chronicles the construction of forts and the acts of historical personalities in some detail.

Chapter seven specifically describes the conflict between the Dutch governor a Japanese captain in 1628, which ended in the incarceration of the governor in Japan for several years.

Part eight describes Formosa under Dutch rule, which expanded out from Fort Zelandia and the fortress Hoornwerk, both built on the territory of the Saccam tribe. Dutch influence gradually stretched towards the north, and they tried to act as arbitrators between the native tribes. At the peak of Dutch influence, 293 villages and 45 tribes had submitted to the Dutch. Riess describes the methods the Dutch used to maintain their influence, as well as the role played by missionaries in this colonial enterprise. Then he turns to the development and importance of education. After briefly describing interactions with the Spanish, Riess gives an account of economic and political difficulties.

The ninth chapter chronicles Koxinga's conquest, which is described at length.

Chapter ten narrates the history of the short period of Formosa as a sovereign state, with the changes in the lives of the populace that this change in administration entailed. Increasing immigration from China drove the aborigines from the western parts of the island, and after the Chinese took over, only 45 tribes were left. Tribes moving into the mountains fought among themselves and the Pepowan manifested their hate for the Chinese in several ways. The conduct of the invading Chinese was reportedly brutal and void of the humanity the Dutch had employed, and Riess describes how Europeans even today will encounter friendly aborigines that still hold memories of Dutch friendship. Riess sees remnants of these brutal times even today. However, he also notes that many other aspects of life remained the same after the Chinese took over control of Formosa.

Chapter eleven describes Qing rule in Formosa. It is again divided into two sections. The first deals with the colonization of the island and the incorporation of Formosa into the Qing administration. Riess states that local outrage against harsh Chinese measures and the desperate wars of the aborigines, who were driven further and further inland, had become the constant element in Formosan affairs up to the present day. He describes these troubles and the resulting sanctions, together with various specific episodes in this history. The Manchu administration gave up control over the eastern part of the island; in turn, the aborigines moved there and maintained their independence. Cutting camphor was permitted in the eastern territories but only at the loggers' and developers' own risk. The second section of this chapter addresses Formosa as the goal of colonization by other powers. His introduction consists of examining various western nation's growing interest in Asia and Formosa, and then he moves to the actual facts. Here Riess emphasizes various problems relevant to the colonization of the island: the pirates, the corruption, the lack of imports. For several years, the Qing government paid for aboriginal scalps, because the Butang confederation had grown too powerful. Reiss describes an American embassy to the Butangs, which tried to establish peace with them and reduce the danger to shipwrecked crews on the coasts who were in danger of being scalped by the aborigines out of hate for the Chinese. The chief of these tribes, Tonkitok, agreed to a treaty, which was kept until his death. A massacre of shipwrecked Japanese by the southern Formosan aborigines resulted in the Japanese invasion of 1874. After describing the remaining European plans for colonization, Riess concludes the chapter with the signing of the Shimonoseki treaty by the Chinese and Japanese and the transfer of Formosa to the Japanese in 1895.

The concluding chapter evaluates Japanese colonial rule positively. Many projects and reforms have been begun. Riess sees the island eventually catching up to the modern world.


Ruhstrat, E. "Geschichtliche Notiz über die Insel Formosa" [A note about the island Formosa]. Das Ausland LXI (1888): 691-95.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The article explains how Formosa was won by the Chinese from the Dutch. It is primarily a political history of these events.

Starting with a brief description of the early history of the island, it then takes up the story where the Dutch first took hold of Formosa, building the Fort Zelandia and invading Tamsui and Kilung. Ruhstrat notes that missionaries helped the Dutch colonize the island. Then Ruhstrat turns to the interior affairs of China and describes how Coxinga fled the Manchu invasion then took Formosa from the Dutch. The Dutch side of this story is also given, citing the problems in the Dutch administration, as well as the tricks the Qing played on the Dutch after the Dutch had given the Qing administration support against Coxinga. Next, Ruhstrat returns to discuss domestic politics in China, and lastly tells how the Qing conquered Coxinga's army and took over Formosa. At the very end of the article, Ruhstrat notes that there are some remnants of Malay tribes on the eastern side of Formosa, independent of the Chinese.


Schetelig, A. "Mittheilungen über die Sprache der Ureinwohner Formosa" [Notes on the languages of Formosa's aborigines]. Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft 5 (1868): 435-464. With vocabulary tables.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

The longest part of this article consists of lists of words in both of the aboriginal language groups Schetelig studied. There are also lists comparing these words with other languages.

Schetelig traveled to Formosa in the summer of 1867. Before he describes his actual voyage, he gives some geographical and ethnological information. Schetelig starts with a short historical outline, lamenting the loss of nearly all Dutch documents concerning the island and its history. He also explains the need to categorize the knowledge of native languages, which up to the present had been done incoherently.

Schetelig traveled to the north part of the island, in part because the languages of the south were far more mixed. In the north, he studied two tribes as distinct as any two Malay tribes on Formosa. Prior to the beginning of Dutch settlement, the whole west coast had been settled with tribes of a Malay type. As the Dutch methods of colonization were rather friendly, the missionaries had the chance to record two dialects, Favorlang and Sideïa, which have subsequently disappeared. With the Chinese pushing the tribes back into the internal mountains, change came to the lives of the natives. Apparently, the two main language groups have been replaced by many smaller language communities, especially in the south.

Schetelig distinguished between two very distinct tribes, one a Malay tribe and the other of a type that is nearly unknown to foreign observers. The Malay tribe lived in several very isolated areas in the north, which greatly facilitated Schetelig's work as it ruled out influence, such as is found in the southern parts of the island.

The Chinese distinguish between the two groups by calling the tribes closer to them Shek-wan, or 'half wild' and the tribes in the mountains Chin-wan, or 'all wild.' Schetelig explains his distinctions, and he also claims that these tribes lack terms describing their own peoples.

The Shek-wan used to inhabit the plains and lowlands of Formosa, but they vacated those areas after the Chinese arrived. Because mountain life didn't suit them or because other tribes already occupied those mountain regions, the Shek-wan settled in the mid regions, i.e., between the new Chinese settlers and the wild tribes, with whom they continuously fight. The Shek-wan have mixed with the Chinese so much that they sometimes barely retain any attributes of their tribes. Schetelig gives a northern tribe as an example of aborigines that were driven to live on the dunes, after they had to leave the Kapsulan [alt. Komalan] plain. He remains pessimistic about their future and laments the frequency of racial intermarriage. Further information concerning the lifestyles and physical appearance of the aborigines would only detain Schetelig from his real goal, their languages, so he only gives a short description of Shek-wan facial features and their own beliefs regarding their origins, which are scarce. He sees them as coming form Malay background, but is not absolutely positive this is so. Schetelig summarizes their main creation myth. Although they like alcohol, they also know a limit to its consumption.

Schetelig next describes his manner of collecting his aborigine vocabulary, assuring the reader that he was very critical. Schetelig collected his linguistic evidence from the Shek-wan living on the dunes near Sao; they call themselves Lok-sang.

Schetelig continues by tracing the linguistic origins of the aborigine languages. He emphasizes the lack of any apparent relationship to other Malay languages, but he also shows there are distant similarities in grammatical structure between the two language groups; by employing special technique a relationship can be seen. In addition, he claims that the method of noting specific sounds is not yet sufficient, which adds to the problems of comparison across language groups. Schetelig then discusses specific parts of the language and their similarities to Malay, like lexical forms, prefixes, accents and more. Before turning to the Chin-wan, he again discusses (at length) his own opinion of the close relationship between Shek-wan and Malay languages.

The Chin-wan are, according to the opinions of all, a tribe very distinct from the Shek-wan. Without providing a detailed description of the Chin-wan, Schetelig discusses several of their traits, like [their particular practice of taking] scalps, their customs and their (lack of) religion. He notes that some scholars think they originated from Japan. Schetelig criticizes their tradition of killing all fetuses of women under 30, which he sees as one main reason for their probable extinction in the near future.

Few Europeans have entered the territories where the tribes live, as the Chinese have placed obstacles in the way of such entry. Mr. Dodd lent Schetelig his own vocabulary of native words, and together with his own notes, Schetelig could soon engage in short conversations.

The aborigine tribe that Schetelig interviewed lack a distinct term for themselves, but the tribe living on the northwest of the mountains call their territory Tong-aú. Although the savages to the north didn't know this term, he did encounter it other places. Another village, Kaláng, is the place where Schetelig stayed.

Schetelig gives further information on the vocabulary tables he presents at the end of the article, and reminds his readers that this is only the beginning of research on the tribes languages.


Schuhmacher, Rob. "Formosa und seine Gebirgsbewohner" [Formosa and it's mountain inhabitants]. Petermann's geographische Mitteilungen 44 (1898): 222-226. Note: Partial translation in HRAF, AD1, Formosa, #31.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Schuhmacher begins his article by stating his belief that Formosa's importance will only increase, and that therefore it is necessary to inform readers about the island.

He then gives a general account of the island's geography. Schuhmacher starts with the settlements in the north, starting from Kelung and passing through Tamsui, Tuatutia, Tschanghua and Kia-y [Kagee?]. He mainly focuses on crops and the general flora. Schuhmacher then describes the river system of Tamsui, Sin-tschu, Gosche, as well as the Tyka, Ponkam and Lokkang rivers. Next, he describes the Chinese villages at the foot of the mountains: desolate and dirty huts in bamboo jungles, with contaminated water. This leads to his next topic, the dangerous climate and environment in Formosa. Here, however, he blames the Chinese style of settlement and the lack of proper hygiene for most illnesses; he also claims that the introduction of rice cultivation has increased the dangers of infection. After briefly wondering about the black skin of local livestock, Schuhmacher returns to describe Lokkang and the numerous junks at that port, inhabited by the descendants of former pirates.

Schuhmacher tries to identify the origins of the aborigines called the Tschin-huan. After discrediting the contradictory information he received from Chinese priests and other travelers, he states his own observations and opinions. Of tall build, they are lighter in skin color than the Hakka and the tribes living at the foot of the mountains, the Peyo-huan, seemingly a hybrid of Chinese and Tschin-huan intermarriages. While the men remind Schuhmacher slightly of Arizona Indians, he finds the women very similar to the Chinese. Married life, too, resembles that of the Chinese. He further mentions other structural similarities.

Next, Schuhmacher describes their housing. Made of fence-like material and thatched with straw and shingles, the walls of their huts are enforced with clay. After describing the partitioning of the huts into rooms and the uses of the individual rooms, Schuhmacher moves on to their food. The mountain people mainly live off agriculture, game and the trade in camphor.

In an interlude, Schuhmacher describes some other groups of the island population. First, the Chinese on the west coast make their livelihood from sea fishing and oyster breeding. In the north, sulfur is obtained from the mountains. In the middle parts (Kagee) there is coal, and the river Su-ao has gold in it's sand. Much importance is assigned to camphor. Schuhmacher follows this with details about economic activities and the benefits of Japanese rule.

Returning to the mountain tribes, Schuhmacher describes their mode of settlement, which he uses as evidence for his opinion that these tribes also migrated to the island in the distant past. They settle in line villages with scattered patches of fields, which is similar to Chinese and [American?] Indian settlements. Also, this is the form chosen by migrating European tribes when they settled down. Schuhmacher claims that the advantages of this village structure could not have been seen by a people just beginning agriculture. This opinion coincides with the results of Japanese scientific investigations.

Several Chinese and Japanese priests assured Schuhmacher that the Tschin-huan are still followers of the brahmanic religion. Schuhmacher follows this opinion with the question whether the tribes are of Malay or Mongolian origin.

After citing arguments for and against the thesis that the Tschin-huan are of Indian origin, he turns to the possibility that the tribes originated from China. Some of the examples he cites are instances in which Chinese priests thought aboriginal artifacts were ancient Chinese ones, and proved their opinion by showing Schuhmacher ancient temple decorations.

Next, Schuhmacher describes how the demand for camphor drives the Chinese further and further into the mountains, thereby putting increasing pressure upon the mountain tribes. Schuhmacher recounts several wild stories he heard about cannibalism, scalp hunting and savage rituals. He tries to denounce these tales as mere lies, stating that he always experienced the aborigines as peaceful and a rather shy people.

Schuhmacher ends his account by explaining the strategic importance of Formosa, and the future potential of it's underdeveloped harbors.


Schumacher, Rob. "Eine Reise zu den Tschin-huan in Formosa" [A voyage to the Tschin-huan in Formosa]. Globus 76 (1899): 217-222. With illustrations.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Schumacher describes some of his impressions and adventures during a voyage to the savage tribes of the Tschin-huan and Pepo-huan in August 1895. He tries to describe and trace the origins of the Tschin-huan tribes. He discusses a current and possible future war between Japanese, Chinese and aborigines. His sympathies are clearly neither with the Chinese nor Japanese. Rather, he idealizes the simple but happy savage, although he sees them as inferior to other groups. Generally, he spends more time describing the nature and agricultural practices than the people themselves.

Schumacher starts by describing his journey to Formosa, crossing the Formosa channel from Amoy. He took the steamship "Formosa" of the Douglas Line with its friendly English captain. They arrived in the harbor at Tamsui. Schumacher emphasizes the mixture of different cultures at this port: Chinese and Japanese military, an English consulate, and various foreign merchants. He makes references to the fate of "our warship 'Iltis'" and the victory of the freedom-loving Chinese [on the island?] over the superior Japanese forces.

Schumacher continues his voyage from the anchor site Hobe up along the river, passing Tamsui and moving towards Sin-tshu, 60 kilometers away. From there he traveled on with a Japanese coverage unit to Chang-hwa and the active Japanese army there. Schumacher traveled by train, which he complains about at length; he also has negative comments about other circumstances of the journey. Everywhere he sees remnants of war, occupation and looting. While complaining about the lodging, he mentions that they have stayed in abandoned, decrepit and dirty Chinese villages, in huts made of clay and wood.

Schumacher continues by describing a visit to the savage areas, now concentrating more on nature. He mentions his other article on Formosa, in Petermann's geographische Mitteilungen from 1898, in which he described the densely populated low country. In this new article, he will lead the reader into the mountains. Schumacher explains that the seclusion of the Tschin-huan is responsible for their moral superiority and contentment, in contrast to other underdeveloped races.

He next describes some aspects of the Pepo-huan ('half educated') tribes, which are related to the Tschin-huan (Chin-huan, meaning 'wholly uneducated') he visited. They are the descendants of the completely sinified Tschin-huan and most often the children of Chinese mothers. Where the father was Chinese and the mother Pepo, the children have become immersed completely in the Chinese population.

The Pepo-huan live in the neutral zone at the foot of the mountains, where they engage mostly in trade. He characterizes them as friendly and, therefore, exploited by the Chinese. Thus the neutral zone, formerly twelve kilometers wide, shrank to a third of its size. The more the Pepo-huan move into the interior of the island, the more they mix with the Tschin-huan. Their cultures are mixed and diluted and the Tschin-huan have become increasingly economically dependent on the Pepo-huan. Schumacher laments this development, and mentions older accounts and myths, like those cited in Imbault-Huart's Ile Formose, which already can hardly be traced.

His first encounter with Pepo-huan men was in Chang-hwa, when they had come to supply the Japanese prince Kitaschirakawa in order to preclude the Japanese from meeting increasing obstacles in the export of camphor. He briefly compares them to the Chinese, describing them as basically similar. Schumacher communicated with them through Chinese interpreters and his English-speaking servant. They agreed to lead him into the mountains, accompanied by some Japanese. He concluded from the company's taking guns that the excursion served primarily to exert pressure on the Tschin-huan.

The voyage started by climbing the mountain arising behind Chang-hwa, crowned by an old fort. After a couple of hours they reached a Pepo-huan village, and Schumacher compared the women washing there to those he had seen back home.

Again, Schumacher concentrates on the scenery more than on the people in this section of the article. Schumacher continues to describe the voyage, mentioning agricultural practices related to the cultivation of ginger, bananas, camphor, indigo and rice. Arriving in the jungle forests, he looks back to the ocean and the coast, thirty kilometers back.

Schumacher next arrives at a clearing with a village called Tschin-wang. In a rather obscure scene, the Japanese intend to raid the village of the tibi-heng Bakari ['the vile deerhounds'] and shoot. Instead of answering there fire, a part of the villagers come out, but only women and children. They expect Schumacher to be a Swiss man, Mr. Greiner, who married a Chinese woman and trades camphor in the area. The travelers then act as [proper?] visitors and offer gifts to the villagers. Young girls approach the visitors and bring them into the village. Schumacher describes the village, consisting of 150 inhabitants in twenty-three huts. The company lodges in the meeting house, the only one made of stone. The rest are constructed from framework, braided walls and clay. He briefly describes the attire, weapons and tools of the villagers who came to see them. Schumacher next mentions specific details of what he saw there and of those objects he jotted down in sketches. The houses, he says, are built in a Chinese manner.

Schumacher continues with a description of the Tschin physiognomy and clothing. Their hair is compared to the Pepo, but they have tattoos of twenty or more lines on their foreheads. Their eyes are hardly slanted, and they have hooked noses. Their feet are compared to those of the collie, and Schumacher concludes that the bodies of the men show clearly that they are not the main work force.

In contrast, the women's physiognomy shows that they work hard, carrying loads on their head. While still young, their corner teeth are broken out, and their faces are tattooed with lines that make them appear to be smiling. Schumacher clearly admires the women, while he criticizes the men's laziness.

Their clothing is made of furs and woven fibers. The weapons and tools are either traded with the Pepo or fabricated by themselves. In describing a cape, Schumacher refers to Chinese and Indian styles. Decorations are made from fur, animal teeth and copper; men pride themselves on the bags in which they carry their hunting supplies, and women are proud of broad belts woven from natural fibers and cotton. Everything else Schumacher condemns as directly Chinese in origin.

Schumacher describes their food: they eat mainly grains and meat. The way they cook their rice, in large bast baskets over the fire, reminds him of tribes in the south Pacific. He next states his extreme dislike of several beverages: rice liquor and a spice brew.

The morals of the Tschin-huan are better than those of the Chinese, but marital faithfulness is of single importance after a child has been born. The general scholarly agreement on the contraceptive methods that women employ to the age of 30 explain the low reproduction rate of the Tschin-huan.

The language of the Tschin-huan is very difficult and hard to learn because of the many dialects in the tribes (or "unions," as he prefers to call them). He does see their singing tone (a phonetic trait) as a general characteristic among all the Tschin-huan. Therefore he sees difficulties in tracing their heritage using only their language.

After describing the climate, and its extremely large amounts of rain due to Mt. Silvia and Mt. Morrison, he claims that the differences between the hot low country and the rainy mountains has kept the Chinese in the lower regions. This was an important factor in the mountain tribes' reclusive and quixotic nature.

There has been no definite tracing of the origins of the Tschin-huan. Schumacher traces them back to the Chinese on account of their settlement patterns and the traces of marking lines, from which he deducts a certain agricultural system. Tribes who only recently took up agriculture, he thinks, could not have developed these particular attributes.

Next, Schumacher tries to classify their religion. He did not find enough evidence of a Brahman cult to substantiate that theory. This he connects to the belief that the Tschin-huan were driven step-by-step into the mountains by Chinese immigrants. While the Pepo are still moving back, Schumacher claims that the Tschin move because of their agricultural practice of slashing and burning, not solely because they have been driven back for Chinese encroachment.

Schumacher further elaborates on their religion. While they do have religious sentiments, he describes a lack of system and laws, which comes from their positive relationship to natural powers. They are not dependent on rituals and events, but hold the forest hiangé ['holy']. He traces their superiority in this point to the ability to suppress the passionate exhortations common to other underdeveloped tribes. His other theory is that the immigrants to the mountains didn't survive the climate long enough to impart their knowledge to their descendants, which is why the Tschin-huan live so freely and happily.

Finally, Schumacher draws the final conclusion that the Tschin-huan are not native to Formosa. Their many characteristics that he has traced to other races support his theory of the general universality of the human race.


Seubert. "Aus Formosa." Die Natur 12 (18 March 1876): 107-109; 13 (25 March 1876): 119-121; 14 (1876): 136-138.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Seubert draws from E.C. Taintor's report published in the Shanghai Budget. He also employs the reports of other travelers, which he only partly cites by name; among these are the works of Joest and Ibis. He introduces Taintor's report with a brief survey of Formosa and its main geographical features. He also claims that increasing public interest in Formosa is justified by the continuing troubles that Chinese and foreign travelers have with the Formosan aborigines. In addition to the aboriginal population on the island, several efforts at colonization have brought Japanese, Dutch and finally Chinese to Formosa. The island is [strategically] important; only four [two?] years ago there was a war between China and Japan over the island. Seubert divides the island into two basic segments: savage lands and Chinese territory; the Chinese live in the western third, made up of fertile plains, and the savages reside in the eastern mountains and forests.

The savages live in poverty, subsisting off hunting and a little agriculture. Because they prefer to be idle, they will go hungry for days, until the need for food drives them to hunt. Seubert states that the savages are to be classified as uncivilized; they are small of build and ugly, with long legs and a short torso. Their lifestyles and customs resemble those of other uncivilized peoples, especially their liking for alcohol. This love of drink results in unstable and fickle relationships with the Chinese (who try to trade with them) and violent attacks on unsuspecting travelers. However, their inadequate strength of body and mind makes them too weak to permanently resist the settler, who will continue to push them back into the interior.

Before Seubert turns to a description of Taintor's voyage to the Kapsulan plain, he briefly introduces the history and current situation of that area. Officially, the plain is called Komalan, but it is commonly known as Kapsulan. There are several large towns, of which the most important is Lotong. The Kapsulan plain first became known as the base of pirates that hid out there. At the beginning of the [19th] century, Chinese settlers started arriving, and eventually the government declared the area a district. The aboriginal tribe living on the Komalan plain is called Kabaran. Seubert clearly distinguishes them from the less developed race mentioned above; he describes the Kabaran as pleasant and beautiful. Though some of these natives fled from the Chinese, most have assimilated to Chinese culture. Thus, the Chines call them Pepohwan, or 'savages of the plain,' as opposed to the other 'savages of the mountains.' The Pepos had to draw back into the mountains, the territory of the wild tribes, and thus were subject to violence and pressure from both sides. One expedition of Pepos into savage territory was led by a European, and aimed at securing the area around Ta-lam-o. Although at first a peaceful coexistence was established, the colony later ended in failure.

Following this expedition, a group of Europeans started on a journey from Tamsui to Kelung on 14 January 1869. The company consisted of one German, one American, one Mexican, two Scotsmen, one Portuguese, one Malay and several Pepos. On the 16th, they left Kelung on a junk, passing Pitow and landing in the Suao Bay on the 18th. The weather prevented them from continuing to Talamo until the 23th. The group reached the harbor of Talamo, called Lamo, the same day. There they saw a small hut with posted sentries to prevent attacks from the savages. In Talamo there was also a larger fortress for a hundred men. The visitors were greeted by many natives, who had descended from the mountains to meet them. The travelers spent eleven days in Talamo, taking notes on native behavior, language and customs, and making several small trips into the surrounding areas.

The group left Talamo on February 3rd, but reached Tamsui very quickly. From [Talamo?] the travelers wanted to take the overland route to Kapsulan, and they soon reached the town of Kilokan on the Kaliwan river, the main town of the southern [part of the] plain, after several hours' walk. From there, a boat that sailed along the coast brought them north to the town of Towfia. The group were then carried over the mountains to the village of Nwan-nwan, where they continued back to Tamsui via boat. The only adventure mentioned on the way home was a trap set by river pirates, who disappeared after the Formosan crew called out that the passengers on their boat were foreigners.

After this main survey of the journey to Talamo and back, Seubert turns to the more important observations. He begins with the harbor of Suao. The Chinese fishing village Pak-hong-o is situated on the north, the Pepo village Lam-hong-o stands on the south side of the bay and the Chinese town Suao or Sawo is on the west side, next to a creek. Nearby there are also camphor workers, who assist in the clearing of land for agriculture. At one point, coal mines were worked up close to the bay but these were deserted as they became flooded. Five miles to the north, a Chinese businessman built a sawmill at Tang-o Bay. Seubert notes that this man has many problems with the natives, as he is working on plans for camphor production, too, and both of these industries rob the aborigines of their natural territory. Three times the Chinese have tried to settle in this valley, but every time they have been attacked and scared away or killed by the savages. Seubert also briefly explains why the climate is so mild.

Next, he turns to a more detailed description of the Pepos. The majority are fishermen, and they are very adept at landing their boats on the dangerous northeast coast. Seubert describes the visitors' landing and departure, when they were helped by the Pepos. The Pepos of the north call themselves Kabaran, but are usually called shekfan or shufan by the Chinese. The wild Pepos are called shengfan, and the Shekfan serve as mediators between the Chinese and the wild tribes. The four thousand Shekfan in the Kapsulan plain live in different tribes, each split up into various villages. Together they are able to withstand the encroachment of Chinese settlers, who use ever possible and illegal measure to gain land. Violence and instability are commonplace.

The physique of the Pepos varies widely. Most men are tall and slender, superior to the Chinese. Seubert is especially impressed with the free, open expression on their faces. Although the women marry earlier than Chinese girls, they grow old slower. Some women have a light olive skin, while others are dark; tight or full lips are both seen. Seubert praises their dark glowing eyes; the eyes are what truly distinguish them from the Chinese. The women also lack the affected and artful manner of Chinese women. The men wear their black hair in queues as long as they live near Chinese settlements, but at home they prefer to grow it out. The women bind their hair up around their heads. Wearing several earrings is a very common practice; the cape and slacks of the Chinese are the most common clothing worn by Pepo women. Meals are taken sitting down, but there are no chopsticks. All Pepos speak Chinese in addition to their native tongue, and some men also read and write. Seubert gives some characteristic features of the local language, and classifies it as related to the Malay languages. He also cites a Malay living among the Formosans who is of the same opinion. The women from fishing villages produce salt via filtration. The Pepos from the interior are primarily occupied by hunting, but there also is some agriculture to be seen, and they raise domesticated animals. Women work around the house and organize meals; they also produce a tightly woven cloth from natural fibers. Seubert describes the process of weaving and the loom in detail. Some of the cloth is decorated by embroidery.

Taintor is vague about the topic of religion. In the short time he spent among the Pepos, he had difficulties securing valuable information about religion. His informants generally stated that it was different from that practiced by the Chinese. He did see numerous dances, songs and ritual performances. Seubert describes several of these, emphasizing the collective experience manifested in each. Of one song he says that it was a lament on the tragic fate of the Pepos, who had been driven from their rightful property by the Chinese, while many of their members had been killed. Another ritual centered on a woman who played dead for the duration of a song, after which she was reawakened and welcomed anew among her tribe. Taintor also recorded a description of a priest who danced himself into a frenzy, then mounted a ladder of knifes on a pole. The bravest members of the tribe followed.

The Pepos pass on a myth about their migration from the south during the period of Dutch rule. Supposedly there were clay pots with Dutch letters on them in the Kapsulan plain, serving to corroborate this claim, but Taintor didn't have the time to investigate this matter. However, he agrees with the idea of a southern origin. The Shengfan, the true savages, are much smaller and thinner than the Pepos, their dark eyes lacking the full expression of the Pepos. Their hair is rougher than that of the Pepos, and they let it grow, binding it together behind their heads. Earrings are as popular as with the Pepos. The women are shorter and plumper and are used to carrying heavy loads. Seubert focuses on their expressions, which he describes as inferior to the Pepos: dark and suspecting. He compares them to the savages Aeneas found in Italy. Seubert claims the Formosans are generally part of the greater Malay-Polynesian group.

The Aborigines think tattoos are very important decorations and markers of social status. Seubert describes the patterns that men, women and girls wear, as well as the method of applying them. He states that the resulting ugliness of women surpasses even the blackened teeth of Japanese women, a good measure for jealous husbands.

Next, Seubert describes the clothing worn by the natives. Men wear loincloths, while the chief and his family are set apart by extra pieces of cloth, decorated with hair and tassels. Women add shin guards to the cape that all people wear. Although few people cover their heads, there are leather hats and braided hard caps for men. Other decorations include bracelets and rings, and the aborigines remove the eyeteeth of children to increase their speed.

The Shengfan live on game which they hunt with lances, spears, bows and arrows, all with iron points obtained in trade with the Chinese. Some have guns. The hair of a Chinese scalp is a very popular asset; it can be braided into bracelets or hung from shafts. One young native, the ideal of the noble savage, as Seubert claims, wore the hair of five Chinese scalps. Out on a hunt, the natives sleep around a bonfire. Game is caught in traps. They even hunt bears, whose paws and gall bladders are valuable trading goods with the Chinese. Taintor saw few birds, and instead noted masses of monkeys. In addition to hunting, the natives also produce crops like potatoes, peanuts and coconuts. They have a passion for chili- and cayenne pepper, and raid Chinese gardens to obtain these spices. They also grow tobacco, and women and children, in particular, smoke constantly. Their houses are simple, usually made of two poles and grass. Stones make the oven, grass is strewn on the floor to sit on. They bury their dead standing upright, and gather personal belongings to accompany them in the afterworld.

There are many different dialects spoken on Formosa; that heard around Talamo is rough and difficult to pronounce. The tribes nearby are called Yukan, Kowsia, Tapihan, Sikilut, Laohin, Katasei, Bisut, Binawatan, Gugut, Matakan, Watan-kakai, Watan-bituk, Haoqitaobin, Wang, Mutat, Taosai, Batu, Yao-ei, Piho, Buta, Tsi-et, Yapu, Teimuk and Chiring. Sia means 'tribe' and is added to the above names [to give complete references for local communities]. The Yukan tribe seemed to be the most important one, and its chief is the ruler of all the tribes in the region.

The natives have a strange way of sealing friendships. Two men stand next to each other and drink wine from the same bowl at the same time. The travelers visiting Talamo (described by Seubert) felt forced to comply with this friendship ritual, and it was repeated many times throughout their stay because of the fickle nature of the tribes. The visitors also brought pigs (for a feast) as a present, which is the most popular gift the natives acknowledge. After killing a pig, it is roasted briefly and then cut up into portions for the different families, according to their relative importance in the community. The visitors were not forced to eat the raw meat, but one was punished by an evil look after he gave his share away. After the division of the meat, which many seemed to save for later, the savages and the Pepos got drunk on rice liquor, and celebrated in revelry until the morning, The visitors watched, feeling somewhat uncomfortable. The passion for alcohol was often used by the Chinese to force the natives into debt and later press them for retribution in the form of land and goods. The system of vendettas is strictly enforced. Thus the Qing administration was not successful when it rewarded settlers for taking the heads of natives; the number of Chinese killed still exceeded the number of rewards for savage heads. The natives kill for religious reasons while the Chinese risk their lives for a little money. Scalping is extremely important to the aborigines, a man without scalps is considered worthless and not respected.

Seubert describes Taintor's complaints about fleas at length; he apparently suffered from them very much during the stay. In this context, he mentions that the small stature of the savages could be due to the flea plague.

Camphor is the main produce. After elaborating on the common methods of production and the associated dangers for the workers because of attacks of natives, Seubert laments that the workers have little concern for the future of trade in camphor. They not only waste this natural resource but also fail to ensure future production by not planting trees. Concluding his article, Seubert briefly states other resources and the areas they are exploited in, such as coal in Kelung and sulfur near Tamsui. Tea has gained importance, and rattan grows in masses. Generally, the island is incredibly fertile, which is why it is called South China's fruit store.


Stöpel, K. Th. Eine Reise in das Innere der Insel Formosa und die erste Besteigung des Niitakayama (Mount Morrison) [A voyage into the interior of the island of Formosa and the first ascent of Niitakayama (Mount Morrison)]. Buenos Aires: Compaòia Sud-Americanna de Billetes de Banco, 1905.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Stöpel stayed in Japan from 1897 till 1899 and during this time also traveled to Formosa. He begins his account by stating that Formosa has an unexplored area with Mongolian and Malay tribes that has interested scientists for some time. He also attempts to explain recent developments in the relations between Japan and Europe.

Before starting his description of the island, Stöpel makes several general introductory remarks, consisting primarily of a short historic overview of colonial rule and the reasons for Formosa's importance. Next, Stöpel gives a preview of his article. He will begin with geography, continue with a brief history and end with the account of his own voyage.

Stöpel's geography begins by describing the surface area of the island and then the different segments of the local population. He finishes with a summary of the contributions of knowledge of Formosa made by Christian missionaries exploring the island.

After a geological account of the formation of the island, he names various geological attributes of note and lists the mineral resources of the island, together with the history of the exploitation of these resources by the Chinese and Japanese. Before he provides a history of the island, Stöpel describes the basic demographic structure of the populace: the wild Malay aboriginal tribes reside in the eastern mountain regions, while the Chinese and all the various mixed tribes live in the plains. This regional contrast serves as the constant driving force in Formosa's history.

Stöpel's historical account begins with the original population, which he believes came from the Ryukyu islands. Later, Malay immigrants took over and were joined by Chinese Hakka. Colonization efforts failed until the Dutch exchanged Formosa for the Pescadores. This period of Dutch rule is narrated in greater detail; Stöpel explains their bureaucracy and chronicles their missionary efforts. Their impact on the aborigines could be felt even after Coxinga drove them away. Coxinga's rule didn't last long, for soon the island was incorporated into the Chinese province of Fukien by the Qing. The island was under the administration of a governor in Tainan and separated into three districts. Since that time, wars between the aboriginal population and the Chinese settlers have dominated the historical record. Eventually other nations became interested in the island, resulting in colonial wars. Most notably, difficulties arose between Japan and China, first in 1874, when a successful Japanese expedition against tribes like the Pattang in the south provoked the Chinese, but also later in the war of 1894-95, after which Formosa became Japanese territory.

Stöpel now begins to recount his own trip to Formosa. In addition to summarizing social and economic conditions, he hopes to explore the widely discussed origin of the aboriginal tribes. The tribes best known [to foreign observers?] are the Vonum and the Tsoo [alt. Tsow] groups.

After receiving support from the German consul, Mr. von Varchmin, and the Japanese governor-general, Baron Kodama Gentaro, Stöpel decided to attempt an ascent of Mount Morrison and explore the surrounding areas. Stöpel mentions an earlier, unsuccessful attempt to scale the mountain, the 1896 expedition led by Dr. Honda, a Tokyo professor. The group had to head back after Honda caught malaria. However, one of his officers continued until he almost reached the top. Likewise, thirty years ago, the Englishmen Dodd and Pickering failed because of malaria, scalp-hunting tribes and other difficulties.

Stöpel arrived in Formosa on November 24. He gives a short description of his impressions of Kilung, the port of arrival, and then describes the rest of the trek. After a short train ride the party arrived in Twatutia, where they lodged at the German consulate. A short description of the German consulate and those of other nations follows. Next, he writes about typhoons in general and then specifically of the one that had destroyed large parts of the town recently. Stöpel then describes the near-by town of Taipeh, the seat of the Japanese governor-general, who was supporting his trip. The governor gave Stöpel a military escort for the rebellious areas, a pass for travel throughout the island and references for the various police departments.

Apart from Stöpel, the expedition included the translators Greiner and Ito, a Chinese cook, and four Chinese servants. They left on December 4 by train. On the way to Tionglek station at 150 meters they passed plains and hills, which Stöpel describes, along with the crops growing in this part of northern Formosa. Next, they reached Tuaokan station on the tableland, the highest point of the railway in these parts. From there they had a view of the Tokoham mountain range, as well as Dodd's Range and Mt. Silvia. After descending these mountains, they reached Sinchiatau, where the bridge over the river Kuhang was impassable. Here the expedition continued on foot, soon arriving in Teksham. There they lodged at a Japanese inn, whose innkeeper, named Toshika, told them how his servants had been scalped.

On December 5, they continued on carts, in the company of two Japanese military doctors, passing Hongsan, Hongsankia and Tanhuia, where they saw many Chinese peasants, who Stöpel describes in his account. That night they arrived in Mali, from where they began to receive military protection.

On December 6 they passed a military cemetery and the rivers of Wani and Taika before they arrived in Honlotun. On the way, Stöpel saw the remains of villages destroyed [by the Japanese?] after rebel attacks.

On December 7 they arrived in Taichu, and the next day Stöpel received a telegram from the German consul, officially dissuading him from continuing his trip. However, the expedition continued and arrived in Chonghoa that night, after passing the river of the same name. There, they visited the prefect and the missionary Landsborough, who discouraged them from their expedition, too. Stöpel compared Chonghoa with Canton on the south China coast.

They left the town of Chonghoa on December 9, passing through agricultural plains and coming to Besoaki, where they crossed the Potanke River. The Potanke River is also called Tinlanke or Tono River, further up the plain into the interior, where it gathers in the waters of the river Chip-Chip (at the place of the same name) and continues with this name until reaching Poatau. The expedition arrived there at midday. They decided to continue to Linkipo instead of Unrin, because the Japanese official they had wanted to meet there, Inamura, was absent.

On December 10 they left Poatau. In the village of Sonlun they met the last white person, the missionary Mood. From there they continued to Lipachui, where the Japanese officer Ono welcomed them. Passing Biatau and crossing the Chip-Chip River, they arrived in Linkipo that same afternoon. There, the army refused to let them continue, but after some clarification (of the goals of their expedition) and an assurance that the trip was being undertaken at their own risk, officials let the group pass. There were twenty aborigines from the Arisoa tribe, through whose territory the group needed to pass, at the Linkipo local bureau at that time. Thus, the two groups traveled on together. The tribal group consisted of several youths, some adult males, the chief and his wife, and the tribe elders.

On December 11, while the expedition remained in Linkipo, Stöpel had time to look around the area (which he briefly describes in this text) and to speak to the chief via a translator. The chief stated that he was of the same ancestry as Stöpel, for he had Dutch blood. This claim was also applied generally, in contrast to their relationship with the Chinese. Stöpel offers two reasons for such a claim: a) memories of the good treatment by the Dutch during their period of rule, and b) a wish to claim the island as aborigine territory. Stöpel follows this up with some descriptions of the natives. First he focuses on the clothing and accessories of both men and women. They chew betel nuts but have adapted to the Chinese with many of their other habits. Next Stöpel states his own preference for the tribe and describes the importance the aborigines place on the hunt. Stöpel takes advantage of their fascination for his rifle to get to know them better.

After they completed their travel preparations, the groups left the village on December 15, totaling all together thirty people. Around noon they passed the village of Sintsia and next Taisuikutsu, where they had to stay, because the natives had too much baggage to travel faster. The next day they passed the Chinese village of Nichocho and climbed Mt. Howosan, gaining views of the Nochosan and Haban mountains before they descended towards Kolenka. Because this village is a center for camphor extraction, Stöpel gives information about that trade in this part of his text.

Next, they passed the Pepura canyon and the Tinlanke riverbed. These territories belong to the Vonum tribes. After experiencing some difficulty crossing the river, the two groups split up, and Stöpel's expedition continued up a mountain towards the native village of Sotkuram. On the way, however, the servants lit a fire that got out of control. After some chaotic action, the luggage was saved, as were the people, who were now exhausted and threatened by malaria. At night they finally arrived in Sotkuram, where they were welcomed with presents, a legacy of the Dutch period -- or so Stöpel thinks.

Stöpel next gives a description of Sotkuram village. It lies across from Mt. Chapeitenka ['silver mountain']. The next morning they learned that the other natives were on their way to their own village, Horsia. Stöpel and his group climbed towards the native village of Namakama, where they found another part of the old group, Japanese missionaries visiting a Christian Mission there. After noting the house of the chief, which was decorated with scalps, the expedition moved on to the Horsia River, a branch of the Tinlake. A few minutes after crossing the river they arrived at the isolated village of Horsia. Stöpel learned that the specific location of Horsia was chosen with respect to defensive considerations in view of the continuing raids between tribes. This also determined the layout of the village, with huts well protected. Stöpel further describes the village and the huts, especially the guest lodgings in which the expedition members stayed. Stöpel assesses the village favorably, and marvels at the water pipe the natives have built. With regard to social structure and division of labor, the women do most of the work, while the men hunt. The chief distributes food portions among the tribe's members and has ultimate authority over the families living together in huts, with the exception of the male youths who share a house. Scalp hunting is important and a prerequisite for marriage.

In the village he found several people with malaria, as well as some who were blind and other invalids, plus many human scalps of the lethal enemies, the Chinese. Stöpel also describes the presents, the dinner they prepared, and the native food.

The chief notified the chief of the Tombo tribe living at the foot of Mt. Morrison to take responsibility for the protection of the travelers. The Tombo tribe sent people to meet them, and on December 18 they all left Horsia. Passing the smaller Tombo village, they arrived at the main site, where they were welcomed with much ceremony. After describing the position and appearance of the village, which is situated underneath the Tombo and Guntei mountains, Stöpel turns to his lodgings and his hosts. After ceremonies associated with reception and celebration, the chief, Noisi, and the village elder Umashu held council with the men, to find an escort for the expedition. That day they prepared for the journey; their equipment is described by Stöpel.

On the next morning, December 19, they left after the natives had performed rituals of bird prophecy. Their negative answer was echoed in the change of weather that forced the expedition to turn back eventually. Before that happened, the expedition set off with equipment, crossing the Tombo river. Stöpel comments on the native practice of deliberately setting forest fires, to improve hunting and to fertilize the forest soil. As the expedition continues, it meets increasingly difficult conditions, ascending slowly. Stöpel is fascinated by the nature he sees around him and interrupts his account of the ascension of Mt. Morrison with descriptions of the flora and the views he enjoys. The natives are well accustomed to climbing in the area, as these are part of their hunting grounds, and Stöpel feels at their mercy.

After passing the 1300-meter point around noon, as well as crossing several rivers (one of which was the Tono), one Chinese servant had to head back because of malaria. The rest of the group took chocolate with cognac, supposedly very good protection against the fever.

At 2 o'clock and the 1500-meter point, the expedition halted and built its bivouac. The natives showed abilities that deeply impressed Stöpel and his fellow travelers. Stöpel describes their techniques, dinner and night procedures, while he emphasizes the popularity of cigarettes with the tribal people.

On December 20 they passed the foot of Mt. Pattakwan Omen while closing in on Mt. Morrison. Finally around noon, they arrived (at 2700 meters) at the watershed of the river they had been following for so many days. The whole area is called Pattakwan, and in the area there lived the Toaronshia tribe, to whom the natives in the expedition sent out a messenger to assure peaceful travel.

To find a place for the night, they again descended to 2500 meters along the Paffasassun River, where they found an empty hunting hut; however, they built their own lodgings for the night. When the messengers returned with the chief and members of the Toaronshia tribe, these natives expressed skepticism of both the goal of the expedition and the Chinese accompanying it; they asked for their scalps. Stöpel offered cigarettes, and together with the native's fascination for arms and equipment this seemed to be enough.

That night, the natives feared an attack from the hostile Tappang tribe. The vendetta between the Tombo and them had restarted recently. After taking special security measures, the night passed without events. At the same time, the weather conditions deteriorated rapidly, worrying Stöpel as well.

The next morning, December 21, the rain started falling, meaning snow on the mountain. There was no hope of it clearing for days, and the expedition was running out of food. Thus, on December 22, they headed back. That night, they arrived in the village of Tombo. Stöpel reports that the natives accompanying him on his expedition seemed to esteem him highly and treat him almost as one of the tribe. The missionary Greiner was reportedly asked to be their chief, which he declined. Greiner's Chinese servants in northern Formosa had been caught and scalped by natives, which in Stöpel's eyes made him overly prejudiced. At this point in the text, Stöpel recounts Greiner's biography. He had married a Chinese woman and was fluent in both Chinese and the native tongue.

On December 23 another chief visited Stöpel and asked him to come back to his village of Saigo. Greiner advised him to go in spite of the weather, as declining such an invitation could be taken as an offense. Together with his Chinese translator, Kohe, and two natives, Stöpel set off. At the village he was welcomed cordially and stared at by the inhabitants. Stöpel was prompted to demonstrate his gun, as the natives only use them to shoot at close range. The long range Stöpel successfully shot at left them astounded. The ensuing dinner was started with the traditional sharing of a fermented beverage, which the natives drank in great amounts. The general drunkenness that followed worried Stöpel so much that he chose to leave soon.

The next day, the expedition was taken up again as the weather had improved. This time he only traveled with the Chinese cook and 5 natives (Ebi, Ibi, Biung, Wishian and Hussung). Their pace was quicker, at night a kind of Christmas was celebrated at Stöpel's agency.

On December 25, although the natives had to stop and warm themselves at fires several times, they made good progress. Stöpel made topographical sketches of all directions surrounding the mountain. Again at night Christmas was celebrated, and Stöpel tried to connect his coming to that of the Dutch so many years ago.

On December 26 they set out for the peak. With such beautiful weather, Stöpel admires the scenery, even though the climb is adventurous, including several dangerous parts. During the ascent the natives instructed him on the names of all the surrounding peaks: to the southeast the Ninaff and the Cincan; to the south the Hassumbuto and the Heismat -- all around 3500-4000 meters high; to the north, the Hatuk, the Mamango, the Hattatan, the Tiboan and the Ciosque; to the west a forest blocked the view. They ascended the mountain from the peak of Mt. Pattakwan, then turning on to the eastern slope of Mt. Morrison. On the way they passed over Saito Peak. Underneath it the three older natives rested, while Stöpel and the two others continued. They found the Japanese flag left by officer Saito in Dr. Honda's expedition lying under a stone. The arrival at this point was celebrated with champagne, but Stöpel was not happy yet, as there was a higher peak still unascended. He finally arrived there after climbing over a last ridge, and Stöpel deposited a bandanna with German colors, which is still there when he writes the article. The highest point of Mt. Morrison was 4005 meters. The company returned to rejoin the cook towards evening night.

On December 27 they continued toward Tombo and were met by escorts on the way. Taking a bath in a hot springs, Stöpel's white skin was cause for native wonder. At night they arrived at Tombo village and the next morning departed from there. This time they followed the Tombo River to Chip-Chip, but didn't return to the village of the Horsia tribe and their chief Moro, as almost all the Tombo tribes people wanted to accompany Stöpel, and that would have caused an offense. Stöpel left the chief with the promise to send more presents, but the eldest Noisi insisted on coming with him. The Saigo tribe, too, wanted to escort him, but he refused, as already thirty men and seven women were in his company. Some members successfully hunted, and the distribution of the game and the rituals involved with the different animals are described in this text.

On December 28, they continued past the Pepuara canyon again and also past the Chinese villages of Teaka and Kuano, in which the mix of all their enemies in Stöpel group amazed the Chinese. The return to Chinese civilization didn't seem to please Stöpel, for he repeatedly criticizes the dirty and run-down conditions of these Chinese villages, noting also that the Chinese look at the group skeptically. In the afternoon they arrived in Chip-Chip, a Japanese military station. Stöpel and his companions lodged in a Japanese hotel, while the natives stayed with a camphor trader. A Japanese officer told them that the plague had appeared in Taichu, a town they had to pass on their way.

On December 30 they left Chip-Chip with twenty Japanese soldiers as an escort against the rebels. That afternoon they arrived in Linkipo, where Stöpel held a great celebration for the Arisoa tribe living there and for the Tombos traveling with him. They also illicitly traded gunpowder.

The next morning Stöpel took leave from the Japanese prefectural officials, Ishida and Jezuda, and from both tribes, who all asked him to return soon. Twelve Japanese soldiers continued on with him. The group arrived in Poatau, where they celebrated New Year's.

The following night was spent in Taichu, where Stöpel visited the missionary Moody and the Russian Aminoff, who was in service with the Japanese police. On January 2 they continued to Honlotun, and on the 3rd, they left the sedan chairs behind to continue on foot to Mali.

On January 4 the company traveled along the coast to Teksham and the next day reached the train station across the Kahung River, where they took the train to Taipeh. An hour later they found themselves in the German consulate again. There the consul, von Varchmin, Dr. Müller, and the Baron Kodama listened to detailed accounts of the journey. Later the Japanese officer's club heard another talk.

Stöpel ends his tale of the expedition by assessing the value of Formosa as a colony for the Japanese. He sees a positive future for the island, as the Japanese have shown they can adapt to European ways, especially with regard to the military and the economy. Stöpel also lauds the concentration of the Japanese on their most important assets.


Swinhoe, Robert. "Ein Besuch der Insel Formosa" [A visit to the island Formosa]. Zeitschrift für allgemeine Erdkunde VIII (1860): 207-223.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Swinhoe writes about his voyage to the aboriginal tribes. He spends a lot of time describing birds and other animals he saw in Formosa.

He begins his account with a summary of the voyage from Amoy, where Swinhoe is British Consul. They left on the British steamship "Inflexible" under Captain Brooker on June 7, 1858, and arrived the next morning in Kok-si-kon. There they talked with fishermen who temporarily live on the sand banks in rather austere conditions. The expedition continued to another sand bank, isolated like an island. The Chinese fishermen there were as friendly as on the first; Swinhoe describes their catamarans. Later in the afternoon they anchored near the old Dutch fort Zelandia.

On June 11, they called a fisherman aboard their steamship to help them navigate into a canal leading towards the capital, Taiwanfu, where they wanted to visit the mandarins. Traveling along the canal, the high banks prevented them from seeing anything. At Paksekwei, a suburb of Taiwanfu, they had to leave the ship because the water in the canal was too shallow. On foot they visited the Taoutai, named Kung Chaou-tze. He promised them support in finding survivors of foreign shipwrecks. He had never seen a Sangfan [shengfan], a savage tribe in the mountains, but he described them as barbaric, eating raw meat and humans. The company got stuck in the low tide on the way back, and had to wait for the tide to rise.

On June 12 they anchored at Ape's Hill at the port of Takow and talked to the rice traders. Natives were drying fish for export. In the harbor the biggest village was that of Ki-au [alt. Kee-aou]. The group walked through it, and Swinhoe describes the layout of the settlement briefly.

In the afternoon of June 14 they left Takow and continued the journey to Fangleau (or Pangle), some twenty-five miles south of Takow, where they arrived that same night. From there they continued on foot inland. Passing the village of Chuyleaou they arrived at Laileaou, whose chief, Bancheang, was a feared military leader. Swinhoe found him to be disappointingly lanky. Above his door stood the words "Wan ke."

On the 15th, they anchored in Langkeaou Bay, where the inhabitants were mostly a hybrid of Chinese and aborigines, but some women were real natives.

Because of bad weather on the 16th, they had to pass by the south cape at a great distance from shore. They passed the Botel Tobago and Sama Sama islands and sailed parallel to the coast at Black Rock Bay. Although they didn't see any aborigines, they did see lights in the mountains at night.

The next day they anchored near a river and closed in on some fishermen's huts. Some aborigines and some Chinese lived there. Six were clad only with loincloths. Swinhoe describes their attire and weapons in greater detail. Because of the tide they couldn't land, so they motioned to the Chinese to come out to them. When the Chinese tried to do so, the savages held them back and motioned to the expedition to go away. When someone in the group fired a shot, the natives fled. One of the Chinese then told the company that these savages were called Tai-lo-kok and numbered about 4000. There were about two hundred Chinese living in the vicinity, sent there [by the Qing officials] as punishment, and the savages threatened to avenge themselves if the expedition harmed anyone. None of the savages was willing to come out to the ship. To not put the Chinese in danger, the Swinhoe and his ship left. Swinhoe elaborates on the problem of savages living near civilized settlers and measures taken to ensure peace.

As the ship continues on, Swinhoe admires the high mountains. When they came close to Sooau Bay, they took a Chinese on board to help them in. Again, the fishermen there were partly mixed (Chinese and aborigine) and partly aborigines.

On the 18th they arrived in the harbor at Sooau [alt. Saw-o]. In the main village upstream, Chinese lived in stone houses. The inhabitants wanted to show them a savage who had come down from the mountains, but unfortunately he had already returned. In this region, the inhabitants traded with the savages. In a village on the side of the bay the Swinhoe's expedition found natives of the Siekhwan or 'tamed wild' tribes. First Swinhoe describes their physiognomy, then their clothing -- both were quite different from European counterparts; he mentions that they all smoked. One spoke a little Chinese, and when they asked him where they came from, he said from the mountains; that was all they knew of the matter. Instead of Chin-hwan, they preferred to be called Hwan-ah, 'strangers.' They seemed to fear the real savages, or Sang-fan.

Swinhoe then turns to their language, including a couple of words he recorded. The tribe is described as very friendly. The Chinese called the village Lamhongo, and the one on the other side of the bay is named Pakhongo. The group climbed a nearby mountain and admired the view.

On the 19th they came to a beautiful plain and tried to land in spite of warnings about the tide. Following a river, they came to another Sieckhwan village called Polo Sinnawan. The friendly inhabitants let the travelers look at their village and lodgings, which Swinhoe describes in his text. Two miles further in, they found another Chinese village, Ke-ta-kan or Le-teek-kan, which is the main town on that river. The inhabitants were very keen on trading with the expedition, as that was how they made their living.

On June 20, they passed Kelung Island, and arrived in Kelung on the same morning. There Swinhoe visits the coal mines, which he describes in detail.

They left to see the sulfur springs on the 22nd, traveling with five people and several servants. They passed several stations, the first of which was called Tye-hoo-lun. After passing Massoo, they saw Mt. Ke-pah-kwai, and at night they arrived at Kim-paou-le. At the Choo-haw-keong temple, they visited the local elders and there also met the village headman. The next day they finally arrived at the mines, but found them deserted. Later they found out that the mandarins had prohibited the exploitation of coal at the mines and that they were only operated secretly. Next, Swinhoe describes the springs. They took a different route back, and saw the Tamsui River below, together with it's branches, one of which leads to Mangka, the other to Kelung. They later came to a village called Patsienah. There they rented boats where they spent the night.

The next morning they arrived in Chuy-t'ng-k'a ['village of the flooding'], up to which the tide reaches. Passing the village Chittaw, hours later they finally came to their goal, the village Kang-ah-lai. Shortly after leaving the boats, they walked into Kelung.

The next day, the 24th, they visited Flat Island where they saw the fort that had been built by the Spanish. At night Swinhoe watched the fishermen going out to work with fires in their boats, to scare the fish.

On the 26th, they left Kelung and anchored before the village Hawbe at the mouth of the Tamsui River. On the 27th they sailed along the coast and saw villagers standing on a coastal a plain. The expedition motioned them to come closer, and talked to one of them. He said their village was called Lampaw; they were Chinchew people, and the city in the distance was Gaw-c'hay-kang. Their village was in the Teek-cham district, which was under the administration of a Tsien-tsung. There were no savages in that area.

On the 29th the members of the expedition visited the mandarins in Taiwanfu. There they learnt that a boat had been recently wrecked near Kok-si-kon. However, the crew were able to save themselves and arrived safely back in Amoy.

On their way back, the group passed the Pescadores, where they received some information from the official about the islands.

Swinhoe ends his report with a prediction concerning future shipwrecks. While those found by the Chinese were likely to receive the same friendly treatment as Swinhoe's group had received, those found by the savages were likely to die. Swinhoe then calls the savages bloodthirsty, and links this to the custom that marriage is only allowed after a youth has produced a scalp.


Tamai, Kisak. "Die Erforschung des Tschinwan-Gebietes auf Formosa durch die Japaner" [The exploration of the Tschinwan territory on Formosa by the Japanese]. Globus LXX, vi (1896): 93-98.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Tamai translated several reports on Japanese military expeditions and negotiations with the Marai-Tschinwan. Tamai mainly used reports written by the Japanese journalist, Michio Kurosaki, although he added information from other articles, too.

The first part of the article treats the circumstances under which the expeditions were formed and their routes into the Tschinwan territory. After the Japanese annexation of Formosa, the new administration tried to come to better terms with the natives than the Chinese had maintained. The Japanese governor-general, Count Shiki Kabayama, tried to contact native tribes by employing aboriginal women married to Chinese settlers. These women called Tschinwan chiefs to Kabayama, who gave them gifts, food and alcohol and tried to befriend them.

On 3 February 1896, Kabayama sent an expedition to the Mareisha-Tschinwan villages because Chinese rebels reportedly wanted to induce the aborigines to revolt. Kurosaki was part of a group of journalists accompanying the expedition. The leader was First Lieutenant Okamura; and Chinese guides and interpreters were also part of the expedition. The lieutenant brought alcohol, tobacco, red cloth and a pig as gifts for the aborigines.

Tamai describes the changing landscapes during the journey, which ended two kilometers beyond the Tai-keika River, where the road stopped near some empty huts, which showed signs of recent inhabitation. The frightened Chinese made the expedition believe that this was Mareisha because they didn't want to go further. Actually the huts were Tschinwan hunting shelters. Okamura left all his gifts there and returned to Shin-Ten-Gai near Tei-pe-fu.

Subsequently, Captain Katugase equipped a new expedition on February 5, as he had orders to draw a simple map of the region, find the rebels and explore customs, traditions and the reliability of the Tschinwan. He employed a Chinese merchant as his interpreter. Before Katugase left, forty Tschinwan appeared at the Sokeiko River and demanded to negotiate with Katugase. Negotiations began after Katugase sent presents and food. The interpreter spoke to the thirteen chiefs from the eight villages. The chiefs refused to cross the river; after the Japanese came across, they were greeted by the aborigines with the traditional sword swinging ceremony. The natives had found gifts in their hunting shelters and decided to ask the Japanese for help. Chinese rebels had killed two Tschinwan women, and the chiefs wanted the Japanese to lead the negotiations for a retribution with the Chinese. The natives promised to keep peace with the Japanese if this happened. Katugase agreed to this request and was promised to be lead to the main Mareisha village, Togasha. The distribution of gifts followed. Negotiations were to be taken up again the next day, with food for the one hundred men that the chiefs brought as protection.

On February 10, Okamura returned to the river with an escort and found about forty Tschinwan. After the gifts were given, the natives asked about the retribution and would not accept negotiations if their claim were not fulfilled. In order to keep the Tschinwan gathered together and accessible, Okamura promised to take care of the fine.

The next day, Lieutenant Hashikawa returned and tried to convince some Tschinwan to follow him over the river to Shi-Ten-Gai, and finally two of the Tschinwan took on the challenge. One was called Shiro and had lived as a shopkeeper in the town of Moko for some time; he spoke Chinese. He repeated the claim for retribution and warned the Japanese that a failure in the negotiations would result in the return of the Tschinwan to their territory and hostile relationships. Because the assembled natives had no food left, Hashikawa took more Tschinwan with him to carry back provisions. Arriving in Shin-Ten-Gai, Katsugase gave them the money for provisions in return for a promise of peaceful relations with the authorities. The aborigines also promised to lead Katsugase to the main village at Togasha. Shiro and his companion remained in the city, while the rest of the natives returned. The next morning, worried relatives came to the city and asked if Shiro had been killed.

The next expedition was sent off on February 13 and equipped with a company of infantrymen, two police officers and First Lieutenant Matsuzaki. A group of journalists, photographers, porters, two Chinese, and four Tschinwan followed.

Tamai describes the hike and the scenery on the way to Togasha, including the crossing of numerous rivers and brooks and the climbing of five high mountains. On the way, they passed the Chinese village of Kushaku on the Tai-Keika river, from where they were escorted by the Tschinwan chief, Watama, and some of his people. Although the natives carried a barrel and a pig, they had much less trouble on the way than the soldiers. The expedition also passed the huts where Okamura had left the gifts for the aborigines earlier. From there the group passed through a long tunnel that the Tschinwan had formed in the high grass, and came to the former Chinese settlement, Korehanan. The former inhabitants of this village had been raided and driven away by the Tschinwan. The next stop was Tanku, another settlement of hunting huts, where more Tschinwan joined the group after an initial nervousness. After passing Mr. Kremiuashuya and Mt. Guane and the Katsukaurio River, the expedition finally reached Togasha, about sixteen kilometers from Kushaku.

The second part of the article describes various aspects of Tschinwan life in separate paragraphs. The first of these sketches the Mareisha group of villages, which includes the eight villages Tagesha, Yukan yumui-Sha, Maraiakosha, Watanjurosha, Watan toyo-Sha, Watan taimo-Sha, Rhinhongan-Sha (or Watan toroku-Sha), and Ankiu-Sha (or Butanokan-Sha). The former governor-general, Liu Ming-tschiang, had reduced them to tributary natives and called the village group Maraissha after the chief of Togasha. After a period of peace, the Tschinwan rebelled and burned the village Kushaku the year before this expedition. All traffic had been stopped until the Japanese arrived.

Tamai next describes customs and traditions. First he states that the origin of the aborigines is unknown, but similarities [in culture?] point to migration from the Philippines or Malakka. Tamai is also surprised at the many things that remind him of Japanese culture, in particular the native women, who would be hard to recognize if dressed as (and mixed among) Japanese women. All sounds of the Tschinwan language can be expressed with Japanese characters, in contrast to the European alphabets. Tamai gives several examples of aborigine words.

Then he turns to housing. The simple houses are made of wood or bamboo and consist of one big room with one door and windows. Generally, walls are made of big leaves, though some wealthy villagers have planked walls. Four beds stand in the corners, and most families also have a storage house built above ground to keep it dry.

Tschinwan men treat their wives as slaves, and a man who listens to his wife's advice is not respected by these men. Men hunt, while women either do agricultural work or make cloth, Buanamoan. The skins are sold or made into garments. Food consists mainly of meat, rice or other grains eaten three times a day. They use their hands to eat, and instead of salt they use sea water. Their dishes are simple and made of wood or clay, as are their other tools, but copper cauldrons do also exist. Men always carry knives, guns, bows and arrows.

Their clothing is simple as well. Children wear a piece of cloth on their chest, and men and women that are poor do the same. Men wear loincloths, and women wrap a cloth around their hips. They all wrap shawls around their shoulders, and women also wrap their calves. The Tschinwan never wash; they eat with dirty hands. Both men and women use tattoos as decorations and to show their social distinction. The more people a man has killed, and the more scalps one has hunted, then the more intricate the tattoos become. Marriage is only allowed for tattooed men, and women only receive tattoos after marriage. Men wear their hair down, put together at the back of the head or cut short; women bind their hair on their head. Men wear rattan caps; married women wear black caps, and unmarried women red ones. Earrings are popular, especially those made from bamboo sticks. Bracelets are allowed to be worn only after killing a Chinese. If it rains, the natives add a short skirt of deerskin. Tamai describes the Tschinwan as bold and courageous people who keep their promises. Blood feuds are common and very important to fulfill. The natives take much pleasure in music and dancing. Tamai laments their tendency towards greed. While they value metals, paper money is seen as worthless.

Young boys stay with their parents until they reach sixteen years of age. Unmarried youths live together into a separate house. Both the boy and the lodging are called Mota. Before marriage, a Mota must give the parents of the girl many presents. Parents of the bride usually give permission. The marriage festival is big and can last up to several days when celebrated by rich families. A former member of the Japanese parliament, Tetsu-aburo Hiyama, married the second daughter of the chief Shiro. Both sides are reportedly very happy with the arrangements, and Hiyama is always welcome in Tschinwan villages.

The Tschinwan accept death calmly and die early; they seldom reach the age of forty. The dead are buried inside or near their houses with all the deceased belongings, and the remaining members of the family move to a new house if the deceased is buried in the old house. The Tschinwan live on without mourning for the dead. There are three festive days for the natives: weddings, a day in November when the summer garments are exchanged for winter clothes, and generally all days on which a new garment is worn. Not possessing a calendar, hardly anyone knows his or her age. The passing of years is only noted by the return of a certain plant, and the passing of months is followed by counting full moons.

Hostility towards the Chinese comes from the loss of aborigine territory to Chinese settlers. Therefore, Chinese scalps are celebrated as great victories, and every house has a special rack for these scalps. The Tschinwan have six known heroes, all of whom hunted over seventy scalps. Tamai gives their names at this point in the text.

He then continues to describe the expedition, and their stay in the village called Togasha. The village consists of over a hundred inhabitants. All the soldiers were lodged in huts. Members of the expedition arrived wet, as it had rained, and the Tschinwan started fires in two parts of the huts to warm them. After describing the specific items Kurosaki noted in his quarter, he continues to comment on the friendly behavior of the natives. The women, though they had been afraid at first, entertained them all night with talk and flute music because the visitors were unable to sleep in the cold. The flute is the only instrument the Tschinwan have and popular among lovers. The author also noted that soldiers responded to an aborigine query concerning the guard at the door by saying it was a Japanese custom.

The next morning Chief Shiro gave them rice-flour cakes, which Kurosaki found very similar to the Japanese counterpart.

In addition to Maraisha, the other villages that Shiro mentioned were Takohaura, Beiwai, Takasau, Tonoba, Kajuizan, Tokurai, Kuro and Mieniebu in Sasan. Although there is no traffic between these villages, the members of the village groups treat each other friendly when they meet.

February 14 was spent in Togasha, and the expedition returned to Shin-Ten-Gai the next day.

Tamai gives descriptions of several possible routes back to Taipei from the Marei-Tschinwan region. Tamai considers them all difficult, and recommends using the river routes, as the mountains are very steep. He specifies several routes: a) passing Kushaku and Shinten, then on to Taipeifu; b) taking the road Liu Ming-Tschiang built to Taikokan; c) proceeding along the route to Sankakuto and d) taking the road along the river to Kelung, which is the longest route.

Finishing his article, Tamai describes the pledges of peace on both sides and the ceremonies of friendship between aborigines and expedition members, often repeated during a village stay; these included the drinking of sake. The Tschinwan emphasize the sincerity of their promises by burying stones; as long as the stone remains in the ground, they will keep their oaths.


Warburg, [O.] "Uber seine Reisen in Formosa (12 October 1889)" [On his travels in Formosa]. Verhandlungen der Gesellschaft für Erdkunde zu Berlin 16 (1889): 374-387.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Warburg wrote an article about his dealings with Formosa in the four year period he spent in the peripheral regions of East and Southeast Asia. His main focus of his research was botanical investigation, but because of the current interest in Formosa, he focused on the political and ethnographic details there as well.

He starts by explaining how he came to Formosa. Warburg was asked to accompany a governmental expedition to Amoy, where he arrived on Christmas 1887. He then describes the main harbors, Tamsui or Hobe, Amping, Takau and Kelung, and their deficits.

Next, Warburg turns to demographic information. After mentioning the missionary Dr. Mackay and his work, Warburg turns to the partly civilized Pepohwans, among whom Mackay alone has built thirty-six congregations. Warburg states that the Pepos are not a specific tribe or race, but merely all those aborigines that have come under Chinese influence. He explains that their physical characteristics, which differ from their neighbors (the mountain tribes), are the result of interbreeding with the Chinese and their different assigned living places. Here in Formosa, too, the more secluded tribes feature the more specific physical traits.

Because Mackay advises Warburg against visiting the areas not under Chinese control, he gives up an original plan of visiting the mountain tribes. At the moment, problems between Chinese and mountain tribes have increased. Thus, Warburg accompanies Mackay to the northeast part of the island. Mackay is the only European who has been there, and he offered Warburg the opportunity to meet and measure the Pepohwans and savages and see Chinese colonization measures.

Warburg takes a short trip to Taipehfu, and makes use of that opportunity to write about the quarrel between Banka and Twatutia and the later founding of Taipehfu by the Chinese governor, Liu Ming-chuan, whose activities are recorded in the article. He also describes the defeat of the French under the governor, and the part the aboriginal tribes and the Hakka played in that defense. After this victory, Liu Ming-chuan was appointed governor of Taiwan; he started many reforms and introduced innovations like the telegraph and a railway. To finance this, Liu turned to the coal mines in northern Formosa, and introduced rates and monopolized the camphor trade. What Liu Ming-chuan has not successfully dealt with yet is corruption in the administration and the resulting poverty among military veterans. Warburg had the privilege of meeting the governor and was treated cordially, supposedly because he was the first European to visit him and not ask for a position in his government!

Warburg is especially interested in the modernization process that he sees coming to fruition in China, and, therefore, he dwelt on this subject, as he sees Formosa as symptomatic of the Chinese process.

Finally he turns to his own travels. He started his trek through the island by going to Kelung, where he visited the coal mines. The mines interested him very much, and he elaborates on production and the amount of coal estimated to be in the region. He also tells a story related to the Franco-Chinese war.

In Kelung he meets Mackay, and they travel on together to the furthest valleys in the Kapsulan plains on a four-day journey. Warburg is fascinated by the natural beauty of the region. He describes the variations in prayer that Mackay employs in different environments. With the Chinese, he preaches using the sayings of Confucius, while giving his parishioners literal aids. In the Pepohwan villages, he turned to simpler methods and taught parables. Because most of the 6,000 Pepo inhabitants of these areas were Christians and Mackay's students, their Christianization had the effect of less intermarriage with the Chinese.

There is a lot of violence in these border areas between Chinese and the savages. Even the tribes are heavily armed with guns and very careful. The government sells the land to rich Chinese, who hire Hakka and Pepohwan laborers to clear it. Warburg describes a few grotesque scenes when he recounts his experiences in the region. Armed with a revolver, and accompanied by the children of a Pepo village, he tried to collect botanical specimens, while elder inhabitants of the village watched over their movements with pointed rifles to protect them all. Despite these unusual precautions, there are some instances of communication between savages and Pepohwan, according to Warburg. Many Pepo bear traces of their former tribal life, and there is trade with the mountain aborigines. Warburg cannot see many differences in the physiognomy of the inhabitants of this area, but it is notable that only s few Pepo understand the language of the savages.

Warburg found a few marks of European influence: newspaper clippings, thread, and a blond girl, the daughter of a Dutch captain. The climate is unhealthy in Warburg's view.

After 5 days he returned to Taipehfu, from where he undertook two more short trips into different mountain regions. Because the rainy season had already set in, he returned to Amoy to re-equip himself with botanical material before setting out again for Taiwanfu.

From there he traveled to the south cape of Formosa, a journey of four to six days partly by boat. Arriving at south cape, he found increased security with a lighthouse and three Europeans, among them Mr. Taylor, a well-known explorer on the island. The lighthouse and the presence of these men had greatly improved relations with the savage tribes, so that now the Paiwhans, Amias and Kuluts can be visited without fear. He then mentions the 18-tribe union, which has apparently lost much of its power after the mighty chief Toketok died.

The stability of the area is contrasted with the so-called southern military road, which is under Chinese control. The checkpoints along this road are useless, as they are manned by unprepared soldiers. Scalping and raids are frequent, and Warburg suggests that one European officer would suffice to bring order there.

After coming back to Taiwanfu, Warburg took a trip to the mountains in central Formosa. He climbed the Tangtim pass, and wished he could ascend the Mt. Morrison.

Warburg gives some information about crops and exports before he discusses botanical differences between north and south Formosa. He discusses the possibility that Formosa once was part of the Philippines, but he doubts it.

Then he turns to some final ethnological remarks. Warburg attempts to trace the origin of the native tribes on Formosa. He lists traits he found or read about and compares these to other native peoples. While there are so many phenomena that remind him of many different tribes, he rules out the possibility of direct influence from the Philippines. Generally he thinks Formosan natives migrated from the south. He also rules out an Negrito influence, and gives some evidence for his opinion. He sees the overall inclination against racism and seclusion on Formosa, with women at the center of the aborigines' worldview. He then says that the really unknown / unexplored region on the island is small, but he thinks there may be a distinctly un-Malay type of native there, as he sometimes has encountered. Warburg thinks it is very important to travel to the tribes between the Dodd range and Mt. Morrison and, if possible, up the east coast. He cannot find traces of direct relations between the Ryukyu and the Formosan tribes. It is difficult to come to any definite conclusions; instead Warburg cites a number of examples of characteristic behavior and cultural traits that coincide with other tribes.

Warburg concludes his article with the hope that even if Formosa has no chance of escaping colonialism, at least the Chinese will profit in their experimenting with modernity.


Wirth, Albrecht. "Die eingebornen Stämme auf Formosa und den Liu-kiu" [The aboriginal tribes on Formosa and Liu-kiu]. Petermann's Mitteilungen 44 (1898): 33-36.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

Wirth discusses the origins of the Formosan aborigines in his essay, but mainly that of the Chin-huan from the north part of the island. He mentions various other explorers, evaluates their evidence and presents his own, which he collected during two trips (but he doesn't state the dates of these visits). His main argument is against classifying the Chin-huan as Malay, but rather to accept them as a tribe not fitting any present category. His evidence is based on his studies of language.

Wirth begins by naming several great studies of Formosa and its aborigines, and states his opinions on the classification of the Formosans. He himself agrees with Joest, who states that the Chin-huan are distinct from the main groups.

Then he gives some information about territory and social structure. The Chin-huan inhabit the mountains and the east coast, with the exception of the northeast coast and the Khilai plain. Among these natives, a certain group of tribes forms a closer bond among themselves than they do with the others. They were described by Dodd and Kisak Tamai. Wirth learnt four of their dialects: that of the Tokaham, living southwest of Taipeh; the dialect of the tribes in the Dodd's Range, two days south; that of the Jukan, to the west of Gilan; and the language spoken from a point 60 km south-southwest of Suao. He found great similarities among these dialects, which to him is important, as this is seldom the case among the tribes of Australia and Southeast Asia.

Wirth believes that his evidence backs Baston in his protest against the general description of Malay. Wirth then turns to his evidence, first focusing on similarities and differences within the number system. The Chin-huan are almost the only diverging group in the larger area of Formosa. Then he states that the vocabulary and grammar of Chin-huan dialects are completely different. After briefly discussing a possible objection against his linguistic argument, followed by an attempt to enforce his point, Wirth turns the question around. If language doesn't determine ethnology, then we should still ask from where the Chin-huan received their strange language. In his comparisons with over seventy languages, he hardly found traces of any relationship with the Chin-huan language.

While the Chin-huan themselves call their language Tayal, the true Tayal is typically Malay. This paradox leads Wirth to mention some recent ideas and hypotheses. Most of these he doesn't find convincing; others lack sufficient evidence to persuade him of their validity. The only thing he can conclude is that the Chin-huan are not Malay.

Both the somatic and mental characteristics of the Chin-huan are very different from the southern Formosans, as Dodd has shown. While the northern tribes are monogamous, their southern counterparts practice polygamy and are more liberal towards their wives. Tribes from the north are peaceful, apart from taking scalp, rather naïve and informal, while the southern natives have high respect for warriors and etiquette and celebrate more solemnly. Also, the houses of the two groups are different.

Within the Chin-huan group itself, the southern tribes differ from the northern ones more in terms of physical traits than customs or traditions. Wirth here makes a point of going back to older aboriginal words for place names, such as calling Mount Morrison "Ghost hill" and naming Lake Candidius "Dragon Lake." He argues that one can trace a distant relationship between these southern tribes and the Tayal, but the southern dialects are so varied that it is hard to make valid connections between the two.

As proof for the hybridity discussed in his studies, Wirth cites earlier explorers, such as Valentyn, who mentioned pygmies, and Swinhoe, who had heard of Negritos. A Japanese explorer claims to have found them, too, and his publication is forthcoming. Wirth thinks the northern tribes could be separated into a northern group, the Negritos and a mixed group. Wirth elaborates on a part of Mackay's recent account. Some natives told [Mackay] that their ancestors came from the mainland but were not Chinese. Wirth elaborates on this example, without drawing any conclusions because there is neither sufficient evidence nor enough research concerning the matter. He closes his treatment of the Chin-huan by emphasizing that the term Chin-huan was invented by the Chinese; similarly, nearly all the Chin-huan tribe names we now know were recorded by the Chinese.

The southern tribes live around the central mountain range. They are generally referred to as Malay and can be divided into savages, half-educated tribes and civilized aborigines. The savage tribes live only at the southern tip of the island; the half-civilized tribes live in the hills in the west and south, near the Khilai River and in the Kapsulan plain; and the civilized inhabit the whole west coast and western plains. The savages only speak Malay; the civilized only Chinese; and the half-tribes use both, though perhaps they use Chinese more frequently. Both all-wild and half-wild natives are sometimes referred to as Sek-huan; half-ripe savages, as well as half-wild and civilized aborigines can be referred to as Pepohuan, or 'savage of the plains.' These terms are highly imprecise and vary according to individual user; thus foreign visitors have been confused by this terminology.

Wirth describes the population of Botan as wholly Tagal, and the people near Bam-kim-chim resemble them in their language. The connection becomes more distant with the Ami and Pilamese, and all tribes further north of these southern groups show a mixture of Malay and Polynesian influences. In addition, the people of Mt. Kale [alt. Keilai] have the same name as some Pepohuan in the Kapsulan plain. Wirth tries to connect this mountain and its name to Luzon and other places.

Wirth then turns to Liu-kiu [Ryukyu]. There are also ideas of reciprocal influence here, and several styles and traits remind him of Formosa. But then there had been contact between the two lands in recent decades. Lastly, Wirth responds to Riess' theory that Formosa was colonized from the north. He finds it more probable that migration happened the other way around. Chamberlain claimed that both Japanese and Luchuans [or people of Ryukyu ?] originated from a Tartar race. Again Wirth finds faulty and hopes that research in the coming years will bring more knowledge, especially about the Luchuans.


Yamasaki, N. "Ein Besuch in den Kopfjägerdörfern auf Formosa" [A visit to the scalp-hunter villages on Formosa]. Mittheilungen der Anthropologischen Gesellschaft in Wien XXXI (1901): 23-37. With sketches and vocabulary tables.

Summary by Tina Schneider.

In 1896, Yamasaki traveled through Formosa with Professor Koto to conduct some geological research. During their studies they met several tribes, and among those there were scalp hunting tribes, and Yamasaki was especially interested in the latter groups. The article is the account of a visit to the village of Hogo, together with sketches of and by the natives and an extensive vocabulary list.

First Yamasaki gives a short introduction to the population and their territories. The Taiyal were called Seiban, or 'raw barbarians,' by the Chinese because they often attacked the Chinese settlers. The Taiyal tattooed their faces, which was why they are called Yogei-ban. These natives are often friendly towards the Japanese, as the Japanese drove away their enemies. During their trips, the scientists were treated hospitably and shared lodgings and food with the natives. Throughout the article, Yamasaki presents native words for things they saw or used and follows them by appropriate German translations.

The expedition left Taichu or Tai-wan-fu [both points?] on December 2. Going south, they passed the village of Adamu with its beautiful gardens. After another twenty-five kilometers they came to Kiautau in the evening. This village is situated near the mountains and was very dirty.

The next morning, they joined the postman and some soldiers along the Hokko-kei (or Pakan-kei) River in the mountains. Chinese peddlers joined their group because they feared the aborigines, so the group totaled about thirty members. On the way to the independent territory, Yamasaki observed sentries in huts armed with drums, on which messages about stranger were sent along the route. Farmers privately organized this form of surveillance. After crossing the Hachiman-toge pass, they arrived in Polisha, situated on a plain amidst the mountains.

As the director of the local colonization office had won the trust of the natives, much of their work was made easier. It was very difficult to reach native settlements without help. The director sent a messenger to the chief and received a positive answer to the request for a visit. After assembling presents for the aborigines, mainly cloth and tools, the expedition left for the mountains. After about five kilometers they reached the village of Gyakulun, where they found a large hut, the official trading place for the natives, as well as many natives gathered there.

Yamasaki then describes their appearance: as short as the Chinese, with dark brown, tattooed skin, and smooth black hair that they often gathered in a knot on their head. Their clothing was simple, and they walked with bare feet. The company found part of the aborigines drunk, and others eating their breakfast. They joined the group to continue the way together. Men and children carried their trade goods in a pack that they wore on their backs, and women placed them in the cloth they wore wrapped around their head. The men were armed with sabers and spears.

Yamasaki describes the natives as friendly and innocent -- like children, singing while they walked in the difficult terrain without toil. The company wandered northeast for three hours, then stopped on a cliff for breakfast. There the valley that they had been following separated into two; some natives took the left fork, while Yamasaki and the remainder followed the right valley, which first became very narrow and dark before opening up again. The group began to climb the right-hand cliff and finally came to a plateau on which they found (to their surprise) fields and huts. Women were working in the fields, where potatoes, millet, rice, peanuts and other vegetables grew. There were trees with fruit and flowers being grown for decorative purposes. From the highpoint in the trail they could overlook the valley that the Dakusui-kei River passed though. Behind them they saw the massive mountains of the central range.

At four o'clock they arrived in the village of Hogo, where the chief and the inhabitants welcomed them. The village had thirty to forty huts and was surrounded by a bamboo fence to keep the animals from running away. Yamasaki hardly found any differences between the way the chief and his subjects lived. He gives a detailed description of the construction of their huts and the material of which they were made -- mainly bamboo and wood. A chicken coop built in a similar way accompanied every house. Lacking windows, the houses were very dark; they were decorated with a construction of threads hanging down from the roof in a circle. There were no mats or carpets on the floor; the only furniture was the bamboo bed in each corner. There was an oven, made of three stones, that was also used for light and heat. Racks and planks were set against the walls, filled with weapons and tools. Food was kept in clay pots. The village had a storage house, also built from the same material but in a different style; it rested on pillars to keep the moisture out. Traps kept snakes and mice away.

The pride of the village was the rack set up to collect the scalps of their enemies. Even if scalping had decreased, the natives still went hunting twice a year, during the marriage season in spring and for the harvest feast in autumn. The newest scalp was always placed in the middle of the rack, with a potato as a food offering. Older sculls were taken to the storage house and hung on the walls.

The visitors were invited into the chief's hut. There they were followed by the inhabitants of the village, who stared at them; their baggage and clothing were studied with great interest. Although Yamasaki found it annoying, he realized it was a good way to study the aborigines. He turns to a closer description of the tattoo patterns for men and women, and contrasts them with the pattern he saw on a woman from the north. Some arms and legs also had tattoos, but most were found on faces. The pattern, like any other drawing, was called potosh. Many women also had removed their eyeteeth. Men wore a hard cap made of Calamus, while women wore their hair bound together, with a band wrapped around their heads. Both men and women liked cheap beads, earrings and necklaces made of various kinds of pearls, beads, wood and cloth. Their other clothing was simple: a jacket for the men in addition to a loincloth, and a shawl for protection; the women substituted the loincloth for a wrapped skirt and added longer sleeves to their jackets. They also protected their calves, unlike the men. Their clothing was made from nettle fibers woven by the women on looms in different qualities. They also colored the cloth, and added red thread for decoration, especially on the lower sleeves and jackets. The women's clothing was mostly black. Yamasaki thought the garments were very pretty and admired their craftwork.

The chief Chili sent the company some chicken and potatoes for dinner. The village did not have a well, so water was piped by bamboo pipes from a creek higher up. The natives usually ate potatoes and millet, together with some vegetables and game. They cooked their food in great iron cauldrons. There were no dishes or plates; the family sat around the kettle and used their fingers. They took great pleasure in smoking tobacco in bamboo pipes. The visitors were also served roasted peanuts. Yamasaki drew various sketches, and the natives were very interested in his pencil. He asked them to draw for him, and several of these sketches he includes in the article, with his descriptions. Generally he compares their artwork to that of children. Tattoos were popular motifs, and holes like ears and eyes were marked by holes in the paper. The inhabitants sat together with Yamasaki's group until midnight, when they began to withdraw. Instead of lamps they burnt pieces of pine wood.

Yamasaki was also impressed by the variation of a swing the boys played with, a hanging cane with a branch to stand on. He also describes the common Jew's harp, their only musical instrument. The next morning they walked to a hot springs in the village of Kaiden. One man collected the stems of a plant that he later used as soap in the bath that the natives made in the spring. Yamasaki takes this as proof of their inherent cleanliness. After returning to Hogo for food at midday, the group was brought to another village called Paran. On the way they passed a village in which the inhabitants were celebrating, drinking and dancing happily. Yamasaki also mentions the way the Formosans toasted their fraternity by sharing a cup of alcohol. In Paran the scientists met the chief Piposabo who is the ruler of all the villages in the area. His brother wore the Chinese queue. The visitors liked the behavior of the chief; he first distributed the presents among his subjects before he served himself. Yamasaki does not describe more of Paran, as all the customs were similar to the ones in Hogo. The next morning they returned to Polisha, accompanied by many of the natives.

Yamasaki attaches the long lists of vocabulary he learnt in these villages to the end of the article.