The Seediq (sometimes Sediq, or Seejiq, pronounced: [ˈsəədʑɪq] ; Chinese: 賽德克族) are a Taiwanese aboriginal people who live primarily in Nantou County and Hualien County. Their language is also known as Seediq.
The Seediq were officially recognized as Taiwan’s 14th indigenous group on 23 April 2008. Though recognized relatively late, there are records of the Seediq from the Qing dynasty. During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, anthropologists found that the Seediq and Taiya people share cultural similarities; in particular, the importance of face tattoos and the “chucao” tradition of headhunting. The more heads collected, the more recognized power in the tribe.
Although their languages are not similar, the Seediq are also closely related to the Truku (Atayal) people. Both tribes have the same origin and culture, but separated early on due to different lifestyles.
During the Japanese rule of Taiwan, the anthropologist Kanori INOU (伊能 嘉矩) recognized all the indigenous tribes around Puli (埔里) as Taiya people, including the Seediq. This is because he was unable to visit all the tribes in Puli mountain area and was not able to observe the differences between the Taiya and Seediq. Even though Seediq people were not initially recognized, later anthropologists believe that the Seediq are different enough from the Taiya to be classified as a separate indigenous group.
Seediq people were made up of three groups: the Tgdaya (德克塔雅群), Toda (都達群), and Truku (太魯閣群).
Starting from 1897, the Japanese began a road building program that brought them into the indigenous people's territory. This was seen as invasive. Contacts and conflicts escalated and some indigenous people were killed. In 1901, in a battle with the Japanese, indigenous people defeated 670 Japanese soldiers. As a result of this, in 1902, the Japanese isolated Wushe.
Between 1914 and 1917, Japanese forces carried out an aggressive 'pacification' program killing many resisting people. At this time, the leader of 馬赫坡社, Mona Rudao, tried to resist rule by Japan, but he failed twice because his plans were divulged. At his third attempt, he organized seven out of twelve groups to fight against the Japanese forces.
Shin Cheng events (新城事件)
When Japanese soldiers raped some indigenous women, two leaders and twenty men killed thirteen Japanese soldiers.
Truku battle (太魯閣之役)
The Japanese wanted to take over the Truku group. After eight years of investing the area, they attacked. Two thousand of the indigenous people resisted.
Renzhiguan events (人止關事件)
After taking over the plain, Japanese gained control of Wushe. Some of the Tgdaya people who resisted the Japanese were shot. Because of this, fighting broke out again.
In the media
The Seediq people were featured prominently in the 2011 Taiwanese historical drama Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.