Tuesday, December 08, 2015

The aboriginal struggle continues

Glorious day out there today on the bike....

In the Qing Dynasty the aborigines were divided into two groups, the "cooked" who had been assimilated to Han culture to some degree, and the "raw", who remained free of Qing rule. This marvelous piece entitled The Tribe That Disappeared from Songshan Airport on a woman's discovery of her Ketagalan roots, reproduces a poem about the way the assimilated aborigines were abused and subjected to theft of land.
There was a poem during Qing rule called An Ode to the Cooked Tribes:

The Raw Tribes are feared as tigers, but the Cooked Tribes are treated like the dirt; trembling before the fierce and trampling the weak, just because the people lack the wisdom of ages.

A cooked tribesman obeys the law and works the field, but the day comes when a Chinese sets his sights on the tribesman’s land; he takes away the fields and the tribesman starves, regretting becoming “cooked.”

The tribesman hears of an official in the city and treks to the palace and kowtows before him in appeal; but his words are as the chirping of quails, and the official cannot understand at all.

His sad tales not finished, the official loses patience; the official orders the tribesman be beaten. The tribesman listens to the verdict with head lowered: “Stupid savage! Do as I say, give your fields to the Chinese man, who is your brother in every way!”

What a shame! The raw tribesmen are forced to kill, and the cooked tribesmen are bullied. Would our Chinese officials listen to these voices?
Also, an aboriginal hunter harvesting animals in the mountains was given a harsh three year sentence...
Two years ago, a Bunun called Wang Guang-lu from Hairui Township in Taitung County was hunting Formosan serow (a kind of goat) and Reeve's muntjac (one of the three rare species of deer in Taiwan) with a shotgun because his 92-year-old mother wanted to eat fresh game.

Wang was caught by the police and sentenced to three years and six months in jail. Chen Cai-yi, a lawyer from Legal Aid Foundation, considered the verdict unacceptable because, "the ruling of this case was even more serious than that of a murder case.”

China Times reports, Wang says normal pork is too greasy and makes his mother nauseous and dizzy. This is why he went hunting in the mountains with a shotgun. He didn’t expect the sentence to be this serious.

The court sentenced Wang to three years and six months in jail, saying he violated the Controlling Guns, Ammunition and Knives Act and Wildlife Conservation Act. The Supreme Court also fined him NT$ 70,000 (approximately US$ 2,138). The case was rendered last month.
Richard Foster, hiker extraordinaire, pointed out on my Facebook that the Serow is actually a bovine, not a kind of goat, and Taiwan's only native bovine. Foster noted:
FYI The best place to see the serow, muntjac, flying squirrels, other mammals, Swinhoe/Micado pheasants is at dusk or later near the Forestry Bureau office at km50 on the Dasyueshan road. Also drive down the road after dark with flashlights looking for eyeshine. Feel free to stop at any of the 3 police stations on the road and thank them for protecting the forest.
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!


Thomas Lee said...

Not sure if wikipedia is correct, but it says serow is in the boviDae family which includes cattle, antelopes, sheep, and goats. Its genus is caprinae which include goats and sheep. So a serow may be a goat and not "bovine" (the subfamily boviNae for cattle and antelopes)

--Thomas Lee

BTW Michael, I love your blog. I've learned so much about Taiwan from reading it. Thank you for writing. Wish I could visit Taiwan more often.

Thomas Lee said...

Don't know if you want to edit my last comment, but I made a mistake. Caprinae is the subfamily not genus.


Anonymous said...

Can you give the details of the poem? I want to find the chinese version!