Austronesian Taiwan 2.0


Austronesian Taiwan: Linguistics, History, Ethnology, Prehistory was first published in 2000 and has been out of print for past few years. A new edition of the book was published to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Shung Ye Museum and the exhibition of artifacts from Japan’s National Museum of Ethnology.

The new edition was edited by Dr David Blundell, my thesis advisor at NCCU, with assistance from Chris Anderson and the people at SMC Books. I also played a small role in the editing process.

Austronesian Taiwan is a wonderful collection of papers on the Austronesian speaking peoples of Formosa. It is a great reference for anyone who would like to learn more about the rich culture and history of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. The book gives many insights into the value of Austronesian languages and their associated cultures as  living heritage and as a cultural resource for Taiwan and the world.

The connections between Taiwan and the Austronesian dispersal through the Indian and Pacific Oceans are explored in Peter Bellwood’s chapter “Formosan Prehistory and Austronesian Dispersal”. A more contemporary perspective is found in Chris Anderson’s essay on the Amis Folklore Great Singers of Malan. It is a fascinating look at how the group formed in response to the unauthorised use of samples of Amis singers by Enigma in their hit song “Return to Innocence”. It shows the complex interactions that took place in the context of globalisation when the group from Malan performed on the international stage. The book also contains essays on linguistic studies, archaeology and looks at Japanese studies of Formosa.

The final chapter by David Blundell has been updated to include more information about developments of the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative (ECAI). Another reflection of the influence of the internet is the list of internet resources (which also includes this blog) in an appendix.

The book is available in a soft cover version for NT$560 (15% discount for students) through SMC Books (南天書局) and the Shung Ye Museum. It may also be available through some other outlets including the NCCU bookshop.