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YUAN CHU MIN 2009/03/20

There are many ethnic groups living on the beautiful island of Taiwan. Among them are 430,000 indigenous status persons, which is about 1.9% of the total population. Although the number is relatively small, they perform superbly well in music, culture, and sports endeavors. The name "YUAN CHU MIN" in fact is a collective term. It includes Atayal, Saisiyat, Bunun, Tsou, Rukai, Paiwan, Puyuma, Amis, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku and Sakizaya, to make up the thirteen indigenous tribes of Taiwan.

Austronesia Language Family and Taiwan Indigenous Peoples

Since the Paleolithic Age, the earliest inhabitants in Taiwan were the Austronesians. Academic research found that there were once more than 20 aboriginal tribes living in Taiwan and all belonged to the Austronesian family. Some scholars even concluded that Taiwan might be one of the original homelands of the Austronesians. Currently, twelve of the Austroneisan peoples are recognized by the government. They are Atayal, Saisiyat, Bunun, Tsou, Rukai, Paiwan, Puyuma, Amis, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku and Sakizaya.

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