Aboriginal Folk Tales of Taiwan

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The Aboriginal Peoples of Taiwan have a rich and varied cultural heritage. Historically, there was no written form of their native languages. Cultural knowledge and values within the different tribal groups was often transmitted through folk tales. These folk tales offer a valuable window into the rich cultural history of the Aboriginal Peoples of Taiwan. Furthermore, the tales contain fundamental values that aim to teach younger members a sense of right and wrong. It is one important way the tribal groups have been able to keep their traditions and ways of thinking alive. To this day, these tales serve as a crucial way of passing heritage and values to the younger generations of indigenous tribal members.

Many of the folk tales of the indigenous peoples in Taiwan have an intimate relationship with nature. As such, the aboriginal folk tales of these peoples represent an important element of their ‘native’ literatures, and are being increasingly appreciated as forming an essential part of Taiwan’s national culture. This book presents essential elements of this indigenous literature through selected folk tales, featuring animals, heroes, and ordinary people having heroic experiences. This book contains 42 black and white photographs.


“The various ethnic peoples of Taiwan have been struggling for much of the past century against both the Japanese and the Han majority to maintain their land, their rights and even their names in the face of an oppressive government. This collection represents an effort to save their "voices" at a time when indigenous ethnic voices are being stilled all over the world. ... Dr. Beaupre has captured the substance of the differing tales in clear concise English and capably draws the reader into the tales and of course the ethnic culture that it represents.” - Dr. James H. Morrison, Chair, Asian Studies, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Table of Contents

Foreword by Reimei Chung
Part I - Animals
The Snake Warrior
The Monkey and the Crab
The Bear’s Bride
The Dog Prince
The Multicolored Fish
The Pangolin and the Raven
The Chastised Mouse
The Leopard and the Bear
The Fish that Turned into a Man
A Contest in the Cold
The Treaty with the Snakes
The Dog That Talked Too Much
The Crab Battles the Snake
The Hunter and the Cloud Leopard
The Boy Who Became a Deer
Part II - Heroes
The Youths Who Came to Taiwan
Bei-Nan Stream
The Spirit in the Bamboo Grove
The Little People
The Men Who Shot Down the Sun
The Hunter and the Mountain Ogre
The Man Who Could Fly
The Magic Tree
The Fabulous Journey
The Giants
The People Who Lived Underground
The White Stone
The Hunter and His Dog
Part III - Heroic Adventures
The Brave Toad and the Fearless Bird
The Blue Dove
The Distraught Brothers
Under a Cruel Sun
The Forlorn Son
The Intrepid Wife and the Underground Dwellers
The Courageous Brother and the Little People
The Solicitous Father and His ‘Rainbow’ Daughter
The Valiant Creature
The Selfless Daughter
The Devoted Wife and the Thunder God
The Attentive Wife
The Judicious Grandmother

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