Formosans Wiki - What is the formosans?
Taiwanese indigenous peoples or formerly Taiwanese aborigines, Formosan people, Austronesian Taiwanese or Gaoshan people, are the indigenous peoples of Taiwan, who number nearly 530,000 or 2.3% of the island's population, or more than 800,000 people, considering the potential recognition of Taiwanese Plain Indigenous Peoples officially in the future. Recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on Taiwan for approximately 5,500 years in relative isolation before a major Han immigration from mainland China began in the 17th century. Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesian people. Related ethnic groups include Polynesians, most people of the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, among others. For centuries, Taiwan's aboriginal inhabitants experienced economic competition and military conflict with a series of colonising newcomers. Centralised government policies designed to foster language shift and cultural assimilation, as well as continued contact with the colonisers through trade, intermarriage and other intercultural processes, have resulted in varying degrees of language death and loss of original cultural identity. For example, of the approximately 26 known languages of the Taiwanese aborigines (collectively referred to as the Formosan languages), at least ten are now extinct, five are moribund and several are to some degree endangered. These languages are of unique historical significance, since most historical linguists consider Taiwan to be the original homeland of the Austronesian language family.Taiwan's Austronesian speakers were formerly distributed over much of the island's rugged Central Mountain Range and were concentrated in villages along the alluvial plains. The bulk of contemporary Taiwanese aborigines now live in the mountains and in cities. The indigenous peoples of Taiwan have economic and social deficiencies, including a high unemployment rate and substandard education. Since the early 1980s, many aboriginal groups have been actively seeking a higher degree of political self-determination and economic development. The revival of ethnic pride is expressed in many ways by aborigines, including the incorporation of elements of their culture into commercially successful pop music. Efforts are under way in indigenous communities to revive traditional cultural practices and preserve their traditional languages. The Austronesian Cultural Festival in Taitung City is one means by which community members promote aboriginal culture. In addition, several aboriginal communities have become extensively involved in the tourism and ecotourism industries with the goal of achieving increased economic self-reliance and preserving their culture..
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