Chapter 1

Taiwan on the Eve of Colonization


Captain Ripon watched the warriors advance through the woods. For six days he and his men had been cutting timber for a fort. Each day people from a neighboring village had come to laugh at them, asking, "What do you need so much wood for?" This time they were not laughing. Ripon had fought his way around the world, but he did not like the odds. Only six of his eighty men had muskets. The rest had axes, little use against three hundred bow- and spearmen. Fortunately, the sloop had returned during the night for another load of lumber. If Ripon could lead his men to the seashore, they might be able to climb aboard and escape, for the natives were afraid of the ocean.


The warriors began shooting arrows and throwing spears. Ripon's musketeers shot back while Ripon led his men to the beach. When his men began wading through the surf, the enemy advanced in fury, even though the sloop's musketmen shot them down three or four at a time. One warrior struck Ripon in the kidney and was about to deliver the death blow when he was shot by a musketeer on the sloop. Ripon was not the only casualty. Seven of his men were wounded. Of these, four managed to scramble aboard the boat, but the other three fell and were dragged away. Then, even as Dutch muskets kept up a steady barrage, the began cutting the corpses into pieces.1


Who were these warriors, and why did they attack? In this chapter we explore Taiwan and its people on the eve of colonization. Ripon will be our main guide, but we will supplement his account with other early reports—Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, German, and Portuguese—and with modern ethnographies. We will explore the martial culture of the aborigines, who were headhunters engaging in frequent intervillage wars. We will also touch on their relations with Chinese sojourners, relations which became a problem for the company. Indeed, when Ripon reported the incident to his commander, the latter surmised that it was due "to the incitement of the Chinese" and later wrote that since the battle in the woods "we have seen no natives, and it has come to the point that (God help us) whenever we go to a place where Chinese are trading we must be on our guard."2


Taiwan Physical and Human Geography


In Ripon's words, Taiwan looked like three mountains, one on top of the other, the highest covered in snow three months out of the year.3 Modern geographers calculate that 70 percent of Taiwan is mountainous, with more than two hundred peaks higher than 3,000 meters. The mountains are concentrated on the east coast, where they rise nearly vertically from the ocean, reaching heights of 3,000 meters or more, a breathtaking sight. These green-blue cliffs are interrupted only occasionally by a narrow valley or a rocky riverbed, and, if it has been raining recently, the rivers can carry boulders in their churning waters. Most of Taiwan is subtropical, but the high mountains, with their snow-topped peaks, have temperate climates. Taiwan is therefore a place of enormous biological diversity. Indeed, few regions of the world have as many species per square kilometer. Its climate is also monsoonal. From October to March, the dry northern monsoon brings cool air from northern Asia. From May to September the moist southern monsoon brings warm air from Southeast Asia.


Monsoons made travel through the Taiwan Strait relatively predictable. Among the mariners who passed through each year were the Portuguese, who gave the island its European name: Ilha Formosa, or "beautiful island." In 1582 one Portuguese ship ran aground on a sandbar, and its crew and passengers became the first Europeans known to have landed on Taiwan. They were there forty-five days before they could build a ship and sail back to Macao.4 Indeed, Taiwan's western coast was dangerous for deep-drawing European ships because its sandbars and shallows shifted with tide and weather. But beyond the marshy coastline lay fertile alluvial plains, replenished constantly by mineral-rich soil from the mountains. These plains were covered by grasslands and forests, providing habitat for a multitude of animals: pheasants, boars, monkeys, goats, panthers, and, most important, huge herds of deer.


The plains were also home to human beings. Thousands of years ago, groups of people speaking Austronesian languages moved to Taiwan, the first step of an epic migration that took their descendants across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar and across the Pacific Ocean to Easter Island—the most expansive premodern migration in human history.5 By the time of Ripon, those who remained in Taiwan had split into dozens of language groups, and scholars today consider the Formosan Austronesian languages to be the oldest and most diverse branches of the Austronesian linguistic tree.6 Since this linguistic diversity is accompanied by cultural diversity, it is difficult to make generalizations about the culture and society of Taiwanese aborigines, especially for the early seventeenth century. Yet their societies did share common features.


The first significant description of the Taiwanese aborigines was left by a Chinese scholar named Chen Di 陳第. In 1603 he accompanied a Chinese imperial anti-pirate mission to Taiwan and afterward wrote "Dong fan ji" 東番記 (An account of the eastern barbarians), a short but important source.7 Most of his time on Taiwan was spent in the Bay of Tayouan (near today's Tainan City), the area that would later become the heartland of the Dutch colony, so his remarks are focused on the inhabitants of that area, a group of villages that later became known as the Siraya.8 One of the first things Chen Di notes is that these people were bellicose. "By nature they are brave and like to fight; . . . they kill and wound each other with the utmost of their strength." A warrior who made a kill took his victim's head, stripped its flesh, and hung it at his door. "Those who have many skeletons hanging at their doors are called braves."9 Chen Di writes that the aborigines had a gendered division of labor. Women farmed, using fire to clear an area and then planting crops, without using irrigation. Men, on the other hand, lived in special men's-only houses, where they trained for hunting and war.


There are other descriptions of such men's houses, which were an important institution of aboriginal life. Ripon, for example, writes that the streets of the aboriginal villages were quite narrow, except for public squares at the center of which stood large round buildings. Men slept in these "temples" and trained in the squares. An early Dutch account describes how "the men are daily trained in the public squares, which are quite large. . . . They exercise with—and race against—each other, sparring with bamboos or reeds, each seeking to gain advantage over the other."10 This exercise occurred to the beating of drums, and appears to have been well organized. Ripon was impressed by the trophies held in these men's houses: "a great number of heads of their enemies, having nothing but the separated skin next to each head, made and tied in the fashion of a horsetail [mouchet], and also the heads of deer and boar. . . . A lamp burns day and night within, and that's where they do their devotions after they return from war, screaming and yelling as though enraged."11


Indeed, the men's houses were the center of a vibrant and pervasive culture of headhunting. A missionary named Georgius Candidius, who lived on Taiwan starting in 1627, described the celebrations that occurred upon the return of a victorious expedition:

When they succeed in bringing home a head from their enemies . . . the whole town holds a great celebration, with cheering and jubilation. First they take the head, parading with it through the whole town. They sing songs to glorify their idols, through whose help they believe they were able to obtain [the head]. Wherever they go in the town they are greeted as heroes and made welcome, being offered the best and strongest drink available. Then they take the head to the church of the one who obtained it (for every 15 or 16 houses there is a special church), where it is cooked in a pot until the flesh . . . falls away. Then they leave it to dry, dousing it with their best and strongest drink. They slaughter a pig in honor of their idols and in this way hold great celebrations. . . . These victory celebrations sometimes continue for fourteen days on end.12

Those who captured a head were heroes, having such a status "that no one has the confidence openly to speak to them for nearly fourteen days [after the head is obtained]."13 Thus, the warriors who attacked Ripon were risking their lives to capture heads. Doubtless the heads of Ripon's fallen comrades ended up as trophies in a men's house.


Headhunting was about more than glory. It is likely that Sirayan males needed to capture a head to advance to full manhood. Anthropologist John Shepherd has reconstructed the world of the Siraya in the seventeenth century, and his brilliant analysis places headhunting in the context of a basic feature of Sirayan society: gender separation.14 For the Siraya the world was divided into a masculine sphere and a feminine sphere. Men and women lived apart for most of their lives. At the age of 4, a boy moved from his mother's house to one of the men's houses, where he received training in hunting and fighting. As he grew older he proceeded through a series of stages called age-grades, each marked by changes in hair and clothing styles. Indeed, age was the most important aspect of his identity, for it determined not just his social authority but also his freedom to have children. He could marry at the age of 21, but once married he still had to reside in the men's house. He might sneak off at night to visit his wife so long as he did not violate the strict taboos that regulated sexual contact, such as that which forbade sex before headhunting raids. It was not until he reached the age of 42 that he could live with his wife, for at that point he ceased to participate actively in the male world of warfare and hunting. Indeed, he was not supposed to father a child before the age of 42, for pregnancy was a dangerous state, bringing together the male and female spheres. If his wife became pregnant before he was 42, her pregnancy was aborted. Those who performed the abortions were the spiritual leaders of the Siraya, the priestesses known as Inibs. They appear to have been the predominant mediators in Sirayan society between human and supernatural spheres before the arrival of Dutch missionaries. The dominance of females in the sphere of divine power (there were, so far as is known, no male priests) paralleled the dominance of males in the sphere of worldly power.15


The separation and military training of males was bolstered by another general feature of Formosan Austronesian culture: a culture of intervillage warfare. Missionary Candidius wrote that they "do not live in peace [in vreede ende pays] with each other, but rather wage war continually, one village against the other."17 Ripon, a fighting man, took special note of this, writing that "these people make war village against village."16 [note that the previous two footnotes have switched place.] Indeed, the attack against him may have been motivated by intervillage rivalries. When he was looking for a good place to cut wood, he spoke to people of a Sirayan village called Baccluan.18 Through an interpreter (probably Chinese19), people from Baccluan said they were willing to help Ripon, and they led him to the woods where, they said, he was free to cut lumber. In return, Ripon gave them Indian textiles. As he and his men cut wood, however, they were visited by people from a different village: Mattau.20 When the Mattauwers asked Ripon why his men needed so much wood, he said that they were going to build houses, "but jealousy convinced [the Mattauwers] that we were friends of those of Baccluan, and the interpreter told them that we had given presents to the people of Baccluan, and they got upset [eurent dépit]."21 It seems, then, that one of the reasons the Mattauwers attacked Ripon was that they worried that he and his men had befriended another village.22


Why might one village have wanted to prevent another from allying with the Dutch? In the warlike world of aboriginal Taiwan, a powerful ally could change the villages' balance of power. A village was always in danger, and it could seek protection by allying with another village. As we will see, the first decade of Dutch rule was filled with shifting alliances and constant warfare. Indeed, it appears that there was a shift of alliances even during the short time Ripon was on Taiwan. For example, some months after the fight in the forest, people from Mattau and Baccluan together attacked the company's new stronghold. Three hundred came at night to try to set fire to the new fortress, but a Dutch sentinel "furnished them with a match in the form of a musket, which he fired against them."23 Two company cannons aimed into the night also had an effect: "[The cannon fire] served as a candle to light their way home, but not all made it back, because a good number remained; and in the morning we found blood and pieces of human flesh and limbs and weapons. . . . They didn't come back, because these matches and candles were not agreeable to them."24 The alliance between Mattau and Baccluan held thereafter, and the two villages remained united against the Dutch. As we will see in the following chapter, the two villages would cause much trouble in the early years of colonization.


Intervillage warfare and diplomacy appear to have been conducted within a sort of common geopolitical culture. Wars were conducted in various ways. Most appear to have been raids and ambushes, which Candidius describes vividly for the Siraya:

10 or 20 or 30 or as many as are so inclined, make their way . . . to the place. . . . Then under the cover of night they go into the enemy's fields, to see whether they can find anyone in the fieldhouses. . . . If they find anyone, whether it be old or young, woman or man, then they kill the person, cut the head off, as well as the hands and feet, indeed they sometimes take the entire body, cut into pieces. According as the party is numerous, everyone wants something, so that returning home he may boast of it. . . . Or, if they do not find anyone in the fields, they go to the town, await their opportunity, ambush a house, and kill everyone they find there in the dark, and then flee with the head, hands, and feet, before the rest of the village is alarmed.25

But wars were also sometimes conducted with hundreds of men, as the attacks against Ripon's woodcutters and against the fortress indicate.


Villages were therefore protected by plant defenses or bamboo or wooden walls.26 In 1630, for example, inhabitants of Mattau built "a sturdy double wall around their village, the inside filled with clay, as well as a moat and many demi-lunes."27 Demi lunes [halven maenen], a hallmark of the European revolution in fortification, were defensive works built outside of fortifications that served to protect bastions from assault.28 What might have been meant by demi-lunes in the case of Mattau is not entirely clear, but they were probably some sort of defensive outwork.29 Village fortifications could also be quite large, as were, for example, the defensive bamboo hedges of another powerful village, the non-Siraya village of Favorolang, which were reported in 1637 to be some 10 meters (30 voeten) wide.30 Such fortifications made hostile entrance difficult. Friends, however, could enter through village gates, which might number from three to six, and which were always heavily guarded. Indeed, village gates were frequently the sites of the men's dormitories, which thus acted as guard houses. If an enemy tried to enter the village he would immediately find himself confronted by the spears and arrows of the village's warriors.31 The fortified village appears to have been ubiquitous on all of Formosa.32 Indeed, in many areas it persisted into the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as it did among the Ami, the Paiwan, and the Rukai peoples.33


Such constant warfare was, it seems, tempered by diplomatic conventions. It appears to have been customary sometimes to warn an enemy officially before attacking him. Candidius writes, "When war is undertaken against a village, they first officially end the peace and warn each other."34 More general were conventions for paying tribute and restitution, pigs and spears being the usual currency. In 1626, for example, the villages of Mattau and Baccluan agreed to give twenty pigs to the village of Sinkan as restitution for an earlier attack.35 Similarly, in 1635, Mattau paid a restitution to Sinkan of nine pigs and eight of Mattau's "largest spears."36 Another convention was the sending of weapons to those with whom one desired peace or those whom one wanted as allies against a common enemy. In late 1635 and early 1636, for example, the Dutch East India Company received a spate of peace offerings, many of them accompanied by the sending of weapons. Mattau itself sent a spear and an ax to the company to signify that it was prepared to open peace negotiations. The mountain village of Taraquang sent two arrows to ask the Dutch "to grant them peace and security."37 The village of Tevorang sent a spear, "thereby implying that they were well inclined to join their arms to ours, and that our friendship was all they desired."38 If offering weapons signified a willingness for peace, the ultimate sign of subjection was a gift of trees planted in one's native soil, which the Dutch demanded as a formal sign that the village in question offered its sovereignty to the United Provinces of the Netherlands.39


The existence of such diplomatic conventions—the formal declaration of war, formal means for paying tribute and restitution, formal means for making truces and treaties, and formal means for indicating subjection—meant that warfare and diplomacy were carried out in the framework of certain rules (which, to be sure, might be broken). Thus, although the aboriginal villages lived in tension, they nonetheless possessed means to mediate that tension and so remained in contact with each other. In this way, information about strength and weakness, rumors of battles fought or impending, made their way through the villages. This situation was not unlike that in Europe itself, where early modern states existed in a tense power balance even as diplomatic, cultural, and economic intercourse continued. Europeans therefore did not find geopolitics on Taiwan entirely foreign, and they put their experience to good use in exploiting divisions among the Austronesian villages. Yet these villages themselves proved adept at diplomacy and, as we shall see, made good use of competition between the Europeans and their rivals.


Among the Siraya, the village was the highest-order political unit, but in other parts of Taiwan there were larger units. In the far south the Dutch encountered a proto-state, whose leader they referred to as the "Prince [vorst] of Lonkjouw."40 He ruled over some sixteen villages, each of which itself had an appointed chief. Succession to the princedom was hereditary.41 Lonkjouw was probably the most centralized Austronesian political unit on Formosa in the early seventeenth century, but there were other areas that had political organization above the village level. It is important to the history of the European colonization of the island that both the Spanish and the Dutch established their colonies in areas in which such higher-order political units were absent.


Individual villages could be large, especially in the Siraya area.42 An early Dutch source reports that Mattau had 2,000 fighting [weerbaere] men. This figure, which would correspond to a total population of around 8,000 people, is undoubtedly inflated.43 Mattau's population was probably closer to 2,000.44 Baccluan probably had around 1,500 inhabitants, and other nearby villages were similar in size. Farther from the Siraya region, village sizes tended to decrease. Some villages were recorded as having as few as 9 inhabitants, although most had at least 100, and many small villages were probably offshoots of larger ones.45


From Dutch sources, one can reckon the total population of Taiwan to have been around 100,000, which indicates a population density of around 3 persons per square kilometer.46 In more populated areas, such as the southwestern plains, the population density was probably around 5 persons per square kilometer. Such densities are, of course, far lower than were the population densities of intensively farmed areas like Fujian and Holland, but they are also lower than population densities among other Austronesian peoples with similar sustenance patterns. Austronesian swidden cultivators in the Philippines, Borneo, and Indonesia can reach population densities of more than 20 persons per square kilometer, and densities above 50 per kilometer have been observed among swidden agriculturists in New Guinea and parts of Polynesia.47 Taiwan's low population density translated into a relatively high standard of living. European visitors to Taiwan frequently noted that the aborigines were tall and healthy-looking.


The main reason for the aborigines' health and stature was their access to animal protein. Deer lived on the island in spectacular abundance, "sometimes two or three thousand in a flock together."48 German traveller Albrecht Herport, who visited Taiwan in 1660, when deer stocks on the island were already greatly depleted, wrote: "One finds here a large and unbelievable amount [Menge] of deer, so that it is a wonder that they can all find sustenance here. The deer are delicious [küstig], fat, and full in meat: innumerably many are shot and trapped . . . throughout the year."49 Deer were a primary source of food and wealth for the aborigines before colonization. Chinese traveler Chen Di left the first extant description of aboriginal deer hunting: "In the winter, when the deer come out in herds, then some hundred or tens of men will go after them, run them down until they are exhausted, and surround them. The spears find their marks and the catch is piled high as a hill."50 Some hunters put hooks on their arrows so that deer would get entangled in the underbrush, and sometimes they attached little bells to the hooks so that wounded deer could be pursued by ear through the bush.51 When the deer were caught they were skinned and the meat was cut up and dried in the sun. The meat was a valuable source of protein, which is one reason the Formosans were so well-nourished. Indeed, Ripon described them as "tall and hefty [gros], like big giants."52


Deer were not used just for food. The skin was used for clothing, armor, weapons, and, as an anecdote from Ripon makes clear, even bedding:

I was once going to sleep in the house of one whom they considered the most brave, and, having stayed for a long time, I asked where I would sleep with my men. Thinking to do me honor, he offered me his own bed, but there was nothing but deer skins beneath and above to serve as both sheet and blanket. I told him that I wasn't accustomed to lie in a bed without mattress and blankets, unless I were on campaign. He responded that it would be necessary to find me a woman to serve as my blanket. I responded that I wasn't accustomed to that type of cover either.53

Ripon also noted another use of deer products. When describing the interior of Formosans' dwellings, he wrote that they were furnished primarily with "small, flat trunks, about two feet [demi-aune] long, which are filled with Indian-style clothing, which they exchange for deerskins and venison."54 The aborigines of Taiwan were thus already connected to international trade networks before the Europeans arrived. Their primary trading partners were from China's Fujian Province.


Chinese in Taiwan


A seventeenth-century Chinese source has this to say about Fujian Province: "It is a barren land [斥鹵磽確] whose fields do not supply food, and inhabitants must turn to the seas to make their living. Nine out of ten families make their living from the ocean."55 The author exaggerates the numbers, but many Fujianese did make their living on the sea. Taiwan was increasingly a destination for them in the late Ming period. Indeed, in northern Taiwan, which had the longest-standing trade links with Fujian, some aboriginal peoples made their living as traders, buying iron and textiles from Chinese merchants and then exchanging them for products Chinese merchants sought, such as coal, sulfur, gold, and venison. It was not a high-volume business, but it was enough to allow these aboriginal intermediaries to make their living entirely through trade and handicrafts, a means of sustenance unique among Formosan Austronesians.56


The southwestern part of Taiwan had no coal or sulfur or gold, but in the sixteenth century it began to surpass northern Taiwan as a destination for Fujianese traders. One draw was the mullet fish, which migrated to the Taiwan Strait each year to spawn. Around the winter solstice, a hundred or more fishing junks from Fujian braved the difficult crossing to Taiwan to catch mullet with traps, nets, and poison. Six or eight weeks later they went home. Mullet flesh, dried and salted, fetched a pretty profit, and mullet roe fetched even more.57 At times these fishermen set up camp on Taiwan's shores, and some of them were doubtless threatened by headhunting parties. Many, however, began trading with aborigines, buying deer products—venison, skins, and antlers.


Southwestern Taiwanese trade remained of minor importance until after 1567, when the Ming court lifted the ban on foreign trade but held in place the ban on Sino-Japanese trade. Chinese merchants, eager to buy Japanese silver, sought places to meet Japanese just outside the jurisdiction of China. Southwestern Taiwan was one of these places. The Japanese were eager to buy Chinese silks and porcelain, but they also began buying deerskins, which they used to make decorative wall coverings, armor, and other items. Chinese peddlers began making huge profits by buying deerskins from aborigines and selling them to the Japanese. In Ripon's words, deerskins "are the biggest business [le plus grand trafic] that there is in this country."58 Chinese traded not just the Indian-style textiles that Ripon saw in aboriginal houses but also iron, ceramics, and salt. The latter might easily have been produced in Taiwan, prompting an early Dutch visitor to ask a Chinese trader why the aborigines bought salt from the Chinese when "the nature of [their] land, aided by the interaction of the sun and the sea, gives it to them in abundance."59 The man replied "that the Chinese are perfectly aware of this, and clever enough to extract it from this natural abundance. But if they had shown the inhabitants how to do it, then their profitable trade would have gone to ruins, as it is an art and craft that can be learned only by sight; therefore they were keeping them to their rural devotion and simplicity."60


According to Chen Di, Fujianese trade to Taiwan increased markedly in the late sixteenth century. Indeed, he noted that some Fujianese merchants had even learned aboriginal languages. Early Dutch sources corroborate his account. One Dutch visitor found scores of Chinese living in an aboriginal village near the center of Sino-Japanese trade: "There is scarcely a house in this village . . . that does not have one or two or three, or even five or six Chinese living there."61 Indeed, he wrote, the villagers' speech was so riddled with Chinese words "that it . . . is a mixed and broken language."62 The visitor had no knowledge of the aboriginal language, and later accounts show that this and other aboriginal languages were alive and well, but his account suggests that Sino-aboriginal interactions were strong and growing in the years before the Europeans arrived. Chen Di felt that such contact was bad for the aborigines: "I am afraid their pure simplicity is becoming more and more corrupted."63


There is evidence of at two Chinese villages during the earliest years of Dutch settlement. The larger of the two was on a long thin peninsula, practically an island, that formed the Bay of Tayouan. It was separated by water from the aboriginal villages and certainly predated the arrival of the Dutch. It appears to have been inhabited year-round, which is one reason the Dutch decided to establish their headquarters nearby. The other village was on the mainland. It was smaller and may not have predated Dutch colonization. (It would later become the city of Tainan.) In the early seventeenth century it and its sister village on the peninsula were, according to a Chinese man who visited them, inhabited by "fishermen and pirates".64


Pirates indeed appear to have found Taiwan an amenable base, and there were many, many Chinese pirates during the first half of the seventeenth century. The reason is simple. Since Chinese were prohibited from trading with Japan, they turned to smuggling. Smugglers enjoyed no legal protection from their government and were therefore vulnerable to robbery and extortion. Moreover, they had no official means of guaranteeing their contracts. For these reasons they found it necessary to form organizations to enforce their claims against their rivals. There were thus selective pressures favoring the rise of large, armed maritime smuggling organizations, which combined smuggling, piracy, and extortion, selling protection to merchants and fishermen and using violence to enforce their claims against rivals. Chinese scholars have coined terms for these organizations, such as armed maritime organizations (海商武裝集團)65 or, even better, pirate-merchants (海寇商人).66 When the Chinese court had firm control over its coasts, such organizations declined, as they did in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. On the eve of European colonization, however, they were once again on the rise. They would prove a difficult challenge for the Dutch, but the Dutch also faced other enemies as well: samurai, conquistadores, and, of course, headhunters like those who had dismembered Ripon's comrades. The battle in which Ripon nearly died was the first of many.



Note 1: Élie Ripon, Voyages et aventures du capitaine Ripon aux grandes Indes: journal inédit d'un mercenaire, 1617–1627, ed. Yves Giraud (Thonon-les-Bains, Haute-Savoie: Éditions de l'Albaron, 1990), 104–5. Captain Ripon was sent to Taiwan in 1623, with orders to help construct a preliminary fortress on the island. Shortly after finishing, his party was ordered to destroy the fortress and leave Taiwan. The short-lived expedition would have remained obscure if Ripon had not written an account of his experiences, which was discovered in 1865 in a Swiss attic. No one knows why or for whom Ripon wrote, but his engaging account offers a wealth of data about Taiwan and the rest of the Dutch East Indies. back

Note 2: Commander Cornelis Reijersen to Governor-General Pieter de Carpentier, letter, 25 January 1624, VOC 1083: 252–56, quote at 252. back

Note 3: Ripon, Aventures, 108. back

Note 4: Three extant documents describe this incident, all of which can be found in José Eugenio Borao Mateo, ed., Spaniards in Taiwan: Documents, 2 vols. (Taipei: SMC, 2001), 1:1–15. back

Note 5: Recent findings suggest that the initial migrations may have occurred before Taiwan itself existed—that is, before the end of the last ice age, when sea levels were so low that Taiwan was part of the Asian continental landmass. See Jean A. Trejaut, Toomas Kivisild, Jun Hun Loo, Chien Liang Lee, Chun Lin He, Chia Jung Hsu, Zheng Yuan Li, and Marie Lin, "Traces of Archaic Mitochondrial Lineages Persist in Austronesian-Speaking Formosan Populations," PLoS Biology 3, no. 8 (2005): e247 (available online at Web Link). back

Note 6: Some of the best recent scholarship on Austronesian languages and migration was published as part of the Comparative Austronesian Project, conducted by the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies of the Australian National University. See Peter Bellwood, James J. Fox, and Darrell Tryon, eds., The Austronesians: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (Canberra: Department of Anthropology, Australian National University, 1995), esp. Darrell Tryon, "Proto-Austronesian and the Major Austronesian Subgroups" (17–38), and Peter Bellwood, "Austronesian Prehistory in Southeast Asia: Homeland, Expansion, and Transformation" (96–111). For an excellent review of and perspective on the Meacham-Bellwood debate, see Donn Bayard, "Linguistics, Archaeologists, and Austronesian Origins: Comparative and Sociolinguistic Aspects of the Meacham-Bellwood Debate," in Indo-Pacific Prehistory: The Chiang Mai Papers (Proceedings of the 15th Congress of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 5 to 12 January 1994), vol. 2, ed. Ian C. Glover and Peter Bellwood, Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association, no. 15 (Canberra: Indo-Pacific Archaeological Association, Australian National University, 1996): 71–85. back

Note 7: Chen Di, "Dong fan ji" 東番記 (An account of the eastern barbarians), in Shen Yurong 沈有容, Min hai zeng yan 閩海贈言, Taiwan wenxian congkan, no. 56 (1959), pp. 24–27. A good translation into English exists: Laurence G. Thompson, "The Earliest Chinese Eyewitness Accounts of the Formosan Aborigines," Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies 23 (1964): 163–204, esp. 170–83. There is also a briefer description of the island from the Yuan period (1274–1368): Wang Dayuan 汪大淵, Dao yi zhi lue 島夷誌略 (Brief record of the savage islanders), in Taiwan wenxian congkan, no. 119 (1961), pp. 63–78 (it appears as an appendix to the Zhu fan zhi 諸番志 of Zhao Rushi 趙汝适). A translation appears in Thompson, "Earliest Chinese Eyewitness Accounts," 165–70. That Taiwan appears in Chinese records in the Yuan period and then disappears again until the late Ming may be explained by global trade patterns. back

Note 8: For an excellent introduction to the problem of identifying and classifying seventeenth-century Taiwan's aboriginal population, see Raleigh Ferrell, Taiwan Aboriginal Groups: Problems in Cultural and Linguistic Classification (Nankang, Taiwan: Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, 1969); and Ferrell, "Aboriginal Peoples of the Southwestern Taiwan Plain," Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, no. 32 (1971): 217–35. back

Note 9: Thompson's translation, in "Earliest Chinese Accounts," 172–78. back

Note 10: Leonard Blussé and Marius P. H. Roessingh, "A Visit to the Past: Soulang, a Formosan Village Anno 1623," Archipel 27 (1984): 63–80, quote at 75. I have altered the translation slightly, so that "public markets" reads "public squares." back

Note 11: Ripon, Aventures, 107. back

Note 12: Candidius, "Discourse and Short Narrative," Familie-archief Huydecoper, in Rijksarchief Utrecht, R 67, nr. 621. A different translation can be found in William M. Campbell, ed., Formosa under the Dutch: Described from Contemporary Sources (London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1903), quote at 14–15. back

Note 13: Candidius, "Discourse" (Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 15). back

Note 14: John Robert Shepherd, Marriage and Mandatory Abortion among the Seventeenth-Century Siraya, American Ethnological Society Monograph Series, no. 6. (Arlington, Va.: American Ethnological Society, 1995). back

Note 15: For more on gender in Siraya society, see Kang Peite, "Culture and Culture Change of the Siraya under the Dutch East India Company" (Ph.D. diss., University of Minnesota, 1996), esp. 34–55. See also Natalie Everts, "Indigenous Concepts of Marriage in Seventeenth-Century Sincan (Hsin-Kang) as Witnessed by the Dutch Ministers Georgius Candidius and Robertus Junius: A Note about Gender Relations on the Spot," paper presented at the International Conference on the Formosan Indigenous Peoples (Taipei, 1999). On the role of Inibs, see Leonard Blussé, "The Eclipse of the Inibs: The Protestant Mission in Seventeenth Century Taiwan and Its Persecution of Native Priestesses," paper presented at the International Conference on the Formosan Indigenous Peoples (Taipei, 1999). back

Note 16: Ripon, Aventures, 106. back

Note 17: Candidius, "Discourse" (Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 9–25). back

Note 18: Baccluan was most likely present-day Anding (安定), about 10 kilometers northeast of Tainan City. back

Note 19: The Dutch relied heavily on Chinese interpreters. Usually the Dutch communicated with the interpreter in Portuguese. back

Note 20: Mattau is present-day Madou (麻豆). back

Note 21: Ripon, Aventures, 104. back

Note 22: It is possible that the people of Baccluan had deliberately led Ripon to cut wood in an area close to or claimed by Mattau. Ripon later writes that the attackers in the forest were from both Baccluan and Mattau, making the story difficult to pin down (Ripon, Aventures, 111). But in the account of the attack itself, Ripon clearly indicates that the initial attackers were from Mattau and that they attacked because they were upset that Ripon had befriended the Baccluaners. back

Note 23: Ripon, Aventures, 111. back

Note 24: Ibid., 111–12. back

Note 25: Candidius, "Discourse" (Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 12–13). back

Note 26: Soulang may have been an exception to this pattern, for an early description of it does not mention walls around the village as a whole (Blussé, "Visit to the Past"). It seems quite possible that the arrival of the Dutch intensified tendencies toward fortification. Mattau, for example, may well have learned something of European fortification techniques when it tried to improve its fortifications against a possible Dutch attack. For another discussion of aboriginal fortifications, see Ferrell, "Aboriginal Peoples." back

Note 27: Missionary Georgius Candidius to Governor-General Jacques Specx, letter, 27 March 1630, VOC 1100: 347–59, quote at 6. Mattau is present-day Matou. back

Note 28: For an introduction to the military revolution debate, see Michael Roberts, "The Military Revolution, 1560–1660: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered before the Queen's University of Belfast," in The Military Revolution Debate, ed. Clifford J. Rogers (Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 1995); Geoffrey Parker, The Military Revolution: Military Innovation and the Rise of the West, 1500–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988); Geoffrey Parker, "In Defense of the Military Revolution," in The Military Revolution Debate, 321–49; and David B. Ralston, Importing the European Army: The Introduction of European Military Techniques and Institutions into the Extra-European World, 1600–1914 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990). See also John A. Lynn, "Clio in Arms: The Role of the Military Variable in Shaping History," Journal of Military History 55 (1991): 83–95. back

Note 29: Military historian John Stapleton suggests that the "demi-lunes" in question were probably not proper demi-lunes at all but rather ravelins—that is, outworks protecting the main walls. (Demi-lunes were outworks that protected bastions.) Personal communication, 18 April 1998. back

Note 30: Leonard Blussé et al., eds., De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan, 1629–1662, 4 vols. (The Hague: Instituut voor Nederlandse Geschiedenis, 1986–2001), vol. 1, K: 433 (cited hereafter as Zeelandia Dagregisters). Favorolang was probably located near present-day Huwei (虎尾), 25 kilometers southeast of Erlin (二林). back

Note 31: Cf. Ch'en Chi-lu, "Age Organization and Men's House of the Formosan Aborigines," Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, no. 32 (1965): 217–35. back

Note 32: It was certainly found among the Favorolangers, the Tevorangers, the Takarian, the Dolatok, the Pangsoia, and the Longkiau. (Tevorang is probably present-day Yujing 玉井; Taccariang was in the eastern part of Gaoxiong 高雄, about 30 kilometers southeast from Tainan; Dolatok is probably present-day Donggang 東港, in Pingdong County; Pangsoya is present-day Linbian 林邊, in Pingdong County; and Longkiau is present-day Hengchun 恆春.) back

Note 33: See Ch'en, "Age Organization." back

Note 34: Candidius, "Discourse" (Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 12–13). back

Note 35: Sinkan is present-day Hsinshih. Baccluan is probably present-day Anting. back

Note 36: Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 1, G: 241; Missionary Robertus Junius to Governor Hans Putmans, 15 May 1635, letter, Dutch Nationaalarchief Teding van Berkhout, 15:39. back

Note 37: Missionary Robertus Junius to the Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC, letter, 5 September 1636, VOC 1121: 1308–56 (Campbell's translation, Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 122–23). The location of Taraquang is in doubt. back

Note 38: Missionary Robertus Junius to the Amsterdam Chamber of the VOC, letter, 15 September 1636; Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 118–19. back

Note 39: Whether this was an indigenous symbol or a symbol introduced by the Dutch is not clear. back

Note 40: See for example Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 1, I: 847. The main villages of Lonkjouw were in the area of present-day Hengchun. back

Note 41: See Zeelandia Dagregisters, vol. 1, H: 421. back

Note 42: Indeed, the large size of Siraya villages is a puzzle. The best attempt to solve it is Kang Peite 康培德, "Helan shidai Xilaya daxing juluo de keneng chengyin" 荷蘭時代西拉雅大型聚落的可能成因, paper delivered at Maritime History of East Asia and the History of the Island of Taiwan in the Early Modern Period: International Conference in Celebration of the Eightieth Birthday of Professor Yong-ho Ts'ao (Taipei, 26–27 October 2000). back

Note 43: Governor Martinus Sonck to Governor-General Pieter de Carpentier, letter, 19 February 1625, VOC 1085: 228–33, esp. 230v. back

Note 44: See John Robert Shepherd, Statecraft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier 1600–1800 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), 38–46; and Nakamura Takashi中村孝志, "Helan shidai de Taiwan fanshe hukou biao" 荷蘭時代的臺灣番社戶口表 [Taiwan's Aboriginal House Registration under Dutch Rule], in Helan shidai Taiwan shi yanjiu xia juan 荷蘭時代臺灣史研究下卷 (Taipei: Daoxiang 稻鄉 Press, 2001), 1–38. Cf. Kang, "Culture and Culture Change," 21–22. Note that, because of a severe epidemic that occurred in 1635 and 1636, population figures at the outset of Dutch rule were probably significantly higher than those recorded in the Dutch censuses in the 1640s and 1650s. back

Note 45: Nakamura, "Helan shidai de Taiwan fanshe hukou biao," 11–37. back

Note 46: For a brief but good discussion of population estimates, see Shepherd, "Marriage and Mandatory Abortion," 19, note 3. back

Note 47: See Shepherd, "Marriage and Mandatory Abortion," 12. back

Note 48: Account of the visit of John Struys to Formosa in 1650, in Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 254 (from Jan Janszoon Struys, The Perillous and Most Unhappy Voyages of John Struys: Through Italy, Greece, Lifeland, Moscovia, Tartary, Media, Persia, East-India, Japan, and Other Places in Europe, Africa and Asia: Containing I. Most Accurate Remarks and Observations . . . of the Inhabitants: II. A Due Description of the Several Cities, Towns . . . and, III. An Exact Memorial of the Most Disastrous Calamities Which Befell the Author in Those Parts . . . to Which Are Added 2 Narrativs Sent from Capt. D. Butler, Relating to the Taking in of Astrachan by the Cosacs [London: Printed for S. Smith, 1683]). back

Note 49: Albrecht Herport, Reisebeschreibungen von Deutschen Beamte und Kriegsleuten im Dienst der Niederlädischen West- und Ost-Indischen Kompagnien, 1602–1797, vol. 5 of Reise nach Java, Formosa, Vorder-Indien und Ceylon, 1659–1668, ed. S. P. L'Honoré Naber (1669; The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1930), 81. back

Note 50: Thompson's translation, "Earliest Chinese," 175. back

Note 51: Ripon, Aventures, 106. A Portuguese account of 1582 notes that the aborigines of an area farther to the north of the Siraya area attached hooks to their arrows, which would "trap the prey among the grasses and tree branches." See Borao Mateo, Spaniards in Taiwan, 1:15. back

Note 52: He was likely exaggerating, for he goes on to note that "their women are small, like girls of eight or ten years" (Ripon, Aventures, 105). back

Note 53: Ripon, Aventures, 107. back

Note 54: Ibid., 107. back

Note 55: Gu Yanwu 顧炎武, Tian xia jun guo li bing shu 天下郡國利病書, cited in Nakamura Takashi中村孝志, "Helan shidai Taiwan nanbu zhi ziyu ye" 荷蘭時代的臺灣南部之鯔魚業 [The mullet fishing industry in southwestern Taiwan during the Dutch period], in Helan shidai Taiwan shi yanjiu shang juan 荷蘭時代臺灣史研究上卷 (Taipei: Daoxiang 稻鄉 Press, 1997), 121–40, quote at 121. back

Note 56: This is the case with the Taparri and Quimaurri people of Taiwan's northern coast. See Jacinto Esquivel, "Memoria de las cosas pertenecientes al estado de la Isla Hermosa," August 1633, APSR (UST), Libros, 49:306–16v. back

Note 57: For a survey of Ming sources concerning fishing in Taiwan, see Ts'ao Yung-ho 曹永和 "Mingdai Taiwan yu ye zhi lüe" 明代臺灣漁業志略 [A brief sketch of the fishing industry in Ming Taiwan], in Ts'ao Yung-ho, Taiwanzaoqi lishi yanjiu 臺灣早期歷史研究 (Taipei: Lianjing Press, 1979), 157–74, esp.158–61. back

Note 58: Ripon, Aventures, 106. It is difficult to know how many deerhides were shipped to Japan before the Dutch arrived, for our data are limited to the Dutch period, a time during which the deerhide trade increased enormously. Yet given the Japanese interest in the trade and the number of Chinese hunters the Dutch discovered on Taiwan when they arrived, pre-Dutch trade in deer products must also have been large. See W. Ph. Coolhaas, ed., Generale Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII der Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (The Hague: Martinus Nijhof, 1960–85), 1:708; and, for a tabulation of yearly yields during the Dutch period, Thomas O. Hölmann, "Formosa and the Trade in Venison and Deer Skins," in Emporia, Commodities, and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade, ed. Roderich Ptak, Dietmar Rothermund, and Franz Steiner (Stuttgart: Verlag, 1991), 263–90, esp. 273 and 289–90. back

Note 59: Leonard Blussé's translation, "Dutch Protestant Missionaries as Protagonists of the Territorial Expansion of the VOC on Formosa," in Conversion, Competition, and Conflict: Essays on the Role of Religion in Asia, ed. Dick Kooiman, Otto van den Muizenberg, and Peter van der Veer (Amsterdam: Free University Press [VU Uitgeverij], 1984), 155–84, quote at 72. back

Note 60: Blussé's translation, in "Dutch Protestant Missionaries," 72. back

Note 61: J. A. van der Chijs et al., eds., Dagh-Register Gehouden int Casteel Batavia vant Passerende daer ter Plaetse als over Geheel Nederlandts-India (Batavia; The Hague: Landsdrukkerij / Martinus Nijhoff, 1887–1903), 1624–29, pp. 23–24. back

Note 62: Ibid., 24. back

Note 63: Thompson's translation, in Thompson, "Earliest Chinese Accounts," 172–78. back

Note 64: Salvador Diaz, "Relaçaõ da fortalesa poder e trato com os Chinas, que os Olandeses tem na Ilha Fermosa dada por Salvador Diaz, natural de Macao, que la esteve cativo e fugio em hua soma em Abril do Anno de 1626," Biblioteca Nacional de España, MSS 3015, 56. back

Note 65: Yang Yanjie 楊彥杰, Heju shidai Taiwan shi 荷據時臺灣史 (Taipei: Lianjing 聯經 Press, 2000). back

Note 66: Li Jinming 李金明, Mingdai haiwai maoyi shi 明代海外貿易史 (Beijing: Zhongguo shehui kexue chubanshe 中國社會科學出版社, 1990), cited in Ang Kaim 翁佳音, "Shiqi shiji de fulao haishang" 十七世紀的福佬海商, in Zhongguo haiyang fazhan shi lunwen ji di qi ji 中國海洋發展史文論集第七輯, ed. Tang Xiyong 湯熙勇 (Taipei: Academia Sinica, 1999). back