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Watch an ancient indigenous dance

03/10 10:00

Do you know who Taiwan's earliest inhabitants are? They are Taiwan's indigenous tribes. Archaeologists believe they migrated to Taiwan from mainland Asia, or present day southeastern China, thousands of years ago. And from here they spread to the Pacific Islands, as well as to Southeast Asia, forming the Austronesian diaspora. But intermarrying and assimilation with bigger tribes as well as the majority Han Chinese race in Taiwan led to the population of Taiwan's indigenous tribes declining. One of the smallest tribes, the Hla'alua, which has less than 400 people, earlier this month held its most important annual festival in southern Taiwan's Kaohsiung City. The festival includes a ceremony in which the tribespeople honor their Shell God. According to the tribe's legend, holy spirits and ancestors' souls hide inside the shell. Participants in the ceremony also prayed for blessings, abundant harvests and a growth in their population. Most importantly, they wanted to pass on the millennia-old cultural traditions so they don't die out. Help them by watching one of their dances.

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