Thao (people)

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The Thao ( Chinese  邵族 , Pinyin Sào zú ) are one of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan , to which about 770 people are currently (as of 2016). The Thao now live by Sun Moon Lake in Yuchi Township in Nantou County . Their language is also known as Thao , but they also speak Taiwanese in order to be able to communicate outside their ethnic group. Their religion is based on belief in their ancestors.

The Thao are assigned to the indigenous peoples who live in the south of the island of Taiwan .


Although the Thao settlement is not by the sea, there was a lively exchange of goods with the inhabitants of the coastal region. Because of its great popularity, its local specialties and its sights, the Sun Moon Lake is a tourist attraction. The Thao “pestle” song (杵 歌) is a well-known folk song that has developed into a musical feat and is performed today with song and dance. The song consists of pounding the pestle in the grain mortar and dancing. Usually this song is played by women. Because of the strong rhythm, this song is popular with most of the people. The dugout canoe originally played an important role for the transport of goods and for fishing. In the Thao beliefs, a special basket plays a special role. Each group has a basket in which the ancestors' clothes and jewelry are kept. This basket then functions as a separate entity for the worship of the ancestors.


There are many taboos for pregnant women among the Thao. For example, they are not allowed to sit on the floor and they are not allowed to go to funerals. In the past, the birth of twins was considered a disfigurement. In this situation the newborns were suffocated. After the boys are accepted into the men's circle at the age of 18, they are required to participate in special combat training held on the water. After the age of 50, they no longer need it. The marriage was arranged by a marriage broker. However, compared to other Taiwanese peoples, the Thao are relatively free. With the Thao, the funeral service is presided over by the leader. Family members must worship at home from 4 a.m. on the day after death.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Organization of the Taiwanese Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved September 16, 2016 .