which dates from the pre-Christian era. Thus, it is estimated to
be about two or three thousand years old.
The other six prehistoric sites are: Buluowan, Xidagan, Batagan,
Bulexengan, Tura-Sag and Xibao. Prehistoric relics, like pottery fragments, stone
axes, stone spinning wheels and iron have been found in these places.
( 2 ) Aboriginal Taroko Culture
The Taroko(Truku) tribe is one of Taiwan's 14 aboriginal tribes.
The Taroko developed from the Atayal tribe. The Atayal is divided into Atayal Proper
and Sedeq Proper. Sedeq Proper is in turn divided into the East Sedeq group, inhabiting
Taroko, and the West Sedeq group. Somewhere between A:D. 1680 and 1740 the Taroko
people, who then lived near the upper reaches of the Zhuoshui River, found broad
wilderness to the east of the Central Mountain Ranges. They then crossed the mountains
and settled in the valley of the Liwu River and its tributaries, where the sites
of 79 old Taroko villages have already been found. After 250 years of separation
from the Atayal, the Taroko(Truku) language has developed differently. The Taroko tribe
was officially-approved in 2004 January and became the 12th indigenous tribe in
The Taroko people had a fairly advanced culture. They mainly practiced
slash-and-burn agriculture, hunting, fishing and gathering. After Taiwan was recovered
from Japan in 1945, the Han people introduced the Taroko to rice farming, but the
mountain people preferred millet, corn, sweet potato and hill rice. When fighting
with other tribes, Taroko people used to cut off their enemies' heads, after which
the members of the tribe celebrated with reveling and drinking as a means of promoting
the solidarity and safety of the tribe. This custom was abolished many years ago,
as have the initiation rituals of facial tattooing and tooth-filing.
The Taroko people's weaving skill was highly developed. Both men
and women wore homemade gunny with tea-brown stripes on a white background, and
also wore ornaments on their heads, ears, necks, and feet. The craft skills of
the Taroko tribe (weaving, gunny spinning, working with wood and rattan, and net
knotting) was among the best in Taiwan. Taroko people usually chose small terraces
in the mountains on which to establish their villages.