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The Sakizaya

The 13th Aboriginal Group, Reborn in Fire
The Sakizaya are mainly distributed in Hualien County, in the following settlements: Beipu, Meilun, Desing, Zhubu, Yuemei, Shanxing, Shuilian, Jiqi, and Maliyun. The remaining Sakizaya live in Ami Settlements or northern cities. Their total population is between 5,000 and 10,000.
Cultural Features
The Sakizaya economy is based on fishing and hunting. Millet and upland rice are their most important crops. Because of their early contact with the Kavalan Aboriginals, they learned paddy-field cultivation and as such, their paddy-cultivation skills of today go back a long time. Every four years, the older people must plant a fence of thorn bamboos, something not found in other Aboriginal settlements.
Religious Belief
The Sakizaya are animists, believing in the omnipresence strength of the supernatural, and the inclusion of ancestral spirits among the gods and ghosts. They believe that the location of the ancestral spirits is impossible to determine, and nobody knows where they actually are. Only the Shaman is able to communicate with the ancestral spirits.
Festivals
The ceremonies of the early Sakizaya were centered on offerings of millet. The festivals followed the growth progress of the millet, and included the Grain-Sowing Festival, Fish-Catching Festival, Harvest-Gathering Festival, Harvest Festival, and Harvest-Storing Festival. Conducted according to age-hierarchy, the “Feeding of the Elders” blessing ceremony is unique to the Sakizaya.
The Sakizaya's festivals photo