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The Truku

The Passing Down of the Face Tattooing Culture
The Truku of Hualien County previously immigrated to the Mugua River and Liwu River area. There, they enjoyed over 200 years of stable mountain life, building eight settlements. More recently, due to an increase in the population which created a need for more land, they spread out east toward the coast, south toward the Mugua and Wanli Rivers, and north toward the Heping River. As they extended their area of residence, their contacts with other ethnic groups increased. From 1914 to 1936, under the Japanese occupation, they were forced to go down the mountain and move to Hualien County, settling in the mountain townships of Xiulin Township, Wanrong Township, and Zhuoxi Township, as well as a part of Jian Township.
They are currently distributed in nine villages in Xiulin Township, namely, Heping Village (Hanzhong and Hanren), Chongde Village, Fushi Village (Xibao), Xiulin Village (Duboge), Jingmei Village (Sanzhan), Jiamin Village (Dashan), Shuiyuan Village, Tongmen Village, Wunlan Village (Miyawan, Zhongguang). There are also Truku living in five villages in Wanrong Township, namely Xilin Village, Jianqing Village, Wanrong Village (Fenglin Mountain), Mingli Village (Shangmingli, Mataian) and Hongye Village (Xibao). The Truku residents of Jhuosi Township are distributed in Lishan Village and Lunshan Village. In Jian Township, the Truku live in Qingfeng Village, Fuxing Village, and Nanhua Village (Boai New Village). The Truku have a population of over 21,000.
Cultural Features
The traditional of tattooing the face is what most characterizes the Truku. It is a symbol of adulthood, beauty and glory. The second distinguishing characteristic is their skill at weaving. The patterns and matching decorations are extremely ingenious and brilliant. The most unique of their musical instruments are the xylophone and bamboo mouth organ.
Religious Belief
The religious beliefs of the Truku involve worshiping their ancestral spirits, and they place great importance on nature and the universe. They have the concept of man being an integral part of nature. In everything they do, they must first seek the permission of their ancestral spirits. These included determining all living norms, morals, taboos and festivals. This is expressed most clearly in the taboos involved in their daily living, which are very strict.
Festivals
The main festival is the Ancestral Spirit Festival, which takes place once a year, and is held on a larger scale once every two years. Family festivals are held during regular times, and involve asking the ancestral spirits of all historical eras (included those of other ethnic groups) to protect them, allow them to live peaceful lives, give them an abundant harvest and hunting gains, and provide wellbeing and happiness.
The Truku

East Rift Valley National Scenic Area Administration, Tourism Bureau, MOTC, All rights reserved
Office Address: No.168, Sec. 2, Xinghe Rd., Ruisui Township, Hualien County 978, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Office map (Open the new window) Tel:886-3-887-5306, Fax:886-3-887-5358
Liyu Lake Service Station Address: No. 100, Huantan Road, Chinan Village, Shoufeng Township, Hualien County 97445, Taiwan (R.O.C.)  Tel:886-3-8641691, Fax:886-3-8641703
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