Once upon a time, so the legend goes, the Saisiyat people - one of Taiwan's 12 officially-recognised aboriginal groups - lived in mountains next to a tribe of dark-skinned dwarves, or pygmies.
The short-people were both feared and admired by the Saisiyat as they were thought to have magical powers. But they also had bad tempers, and often flirted and made advances towards the Saisiyat women.
The story varies in detail but, according to one version, the short people were invited to the Saisiyat's annual harvest festival and angered one man by making advances towards his wife.
He took revenge by cutting down a bridge that killed all but two of the short people, who put a curse on the Saisiyat.
Alarmed, the Saisiyat begged for mercy and were forgiven on one condition - that they sing the songs and dances of the pygmies - called the Ta'ai - to appease the spirits of those they killed.
UPDATE: in response to the comments below, I know for a fact that Gluck attended the festival, one reason this article is so good.