Three Years with the Sadyaq Tribe

by on Friday, 06 September 2013 Comments

 

Scott Simon is a professor at the University of Ottawa and an anthropologist at the Lyons Institute of East Asian Studies (IAO). He works on the issues of development, indigeneity and identity in Taiwan.

In this video he presents the book he wrote after 3 years of research: Sadyaq Balae ! L'autochtonie formosane dans tous ses états (Sadyaq Balae! The Many States of Formosan Indigeneity) He explains us, through the example of the Sadyaq tribe, the history and the structure of the aboriginal societies in Taiwan as much as the issues they are facing nowadays. He also discusses, from an anthropological point of view, the stakes of development and the claims indigenous people have made regarding their autonomy.

"Like indigenous peoples all over the planet, the Austronesian peoples of Formosa (Taiwan) have lost their sovereignty because of colonial history. The Sadyaq peoples, with a population of 35,000, traditionally constituted a "society against the state." Following the Sacred Law of Gaya, which prohibited all individual accumulation of power or wealth, they were democrats without equal. After 1895, they were submitted to the Japanese Empire, and were integrated into the Republic of China since 1945. The Sadyaq have henceforth been encapsulated in many new state institutions: tribal classifications, indigenous reserves, development projects, elections, and even a new legal regime for indigenous rights. But, the spirit of Gaya still continues to inspire resistance, as much against the state as against any form of compromise with the state."

 

 Readers in Mainland China can watch the video here.

The book Sadyaq Balae ! L'autochtonie formosane dans tous ses états is available in French at the Presses de l'Université Laval: http://www.pulaval.com/produit/sadyaq-balae-l-autochtonie-formosane-dans-tous-ses-etats

 

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