Saisiyat people

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Saisiat pastaai.jpg
Pas-ta'ai ceremonies in Nanzhuang, Miaoli, Taiwan
Total population
6,743 (2020)
Regions with significant populations
Saisiyat, Mandarin Chinese
Animism, Christianity
Related ethnic groups
Taiwanese Aborigines

The Saisiyat (Chinese: 賽夏; pinyin: Sàixià; Wade–Giles: Sai4 Hsia4; "true people"), also spelled Saisiat, are an indigenous people of Taiwan. In 2000 the Saisiyat numbered 5,311, which was approximately 1.3% of Taiwan's total indigenous population,[1] making them one of the smallest aboriginal groups in the country. The Saisiyat inhabit Western Taiwan, overlapping the border between Hsinchu County and Miaoli County. They are divided into the Northern Branch (Wufong in the mountainous Hsinchu area) and the Southern Branch (Nanzhuang and Shitan in the highlands of Miaoli), each with its own dialect. Their language is also known as Saisiyat.


Saisiyat are sometimes rendered as Saiset, Seisirat, Saisett, Saisiat, Saisiett, Saisirat, Saisyet, Saisyett, Amutoura, or Bouiok.


A series of major conflicts between the Kingdom of Tungning and the Saisiyat people left the Saisiyat decimated and with much of their land in the hands of the Kingdom. The details of the conflicts remain mysterious however historians agree that the outcome was negative for the Saisiyat.[2]

The first Aboriginal victim of the White Terror was Jih Chin-chun, a Saisiyat man executed in 1952.[3]


The Saisiyat people hold a festival called Pasta’ay every two years.[4]

Saisiat Global Flood Account[edit]

In the ancient times, human beings were created by god and lived in the original land. Then a flood happened suddenly and human beings were dispersed everywhere without knowing what would happen. Then, a man sat on a weaving loom and floated to Airubia Mountain. There was a god called Otspoehobong (Oopenhaboon) on the mountains. The god grabbed the man suddenly. Fearing that the flood would cause human beings to be extinct, the god killed the survivor, pounded his flesh, chanted an incantation, and threw the flesh of the dismembered corpse into the sea. The flesh turned into human beings. They were our ancestors named Siasiat by the god. Then the god cut his intestines and threw into the sea. The intestines turned into human beings. They were the ancestors, of Taiwanese… Then it threw his bones into the sea. The bones also turned into human beings. They were ancestors of the indomitable Atayal people.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan, R.O.C. (DGBAS). National Statistics, Republic of China (Taiwan). Preliminary statistical analysis report of 2000 Population and Housing Census Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine Excerpted from Table 28:Indigenous population distribution in Taiwan-Fukien Area. Accessed PM 8/30/06
  2. ^ Cheung, Han (22 November 2020). "Taiwan in Time: The Ceremony that Endured the Times". Taipei Times. p. 8. Retrieved 26 November 2020.
  3. ^ Yu-fu, Chen; Hetherington, William (30 August 2021). "Aboriginal White Terror Period Victims Remembered". Taipei Times. p. 2. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  4. ^ Cheung, Han (18 November 2018). "Taiwan in Time: Losing, Keeping and Reviving the Faith". Taipei Times. p. 8. Retrieved 18 November 2018.

External links[edit]