Taiwan's Tao Prepare to Hail Part of Taiwan's Past

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Tuesday June 14, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Taiwan is an island nation with a rich, past that most are not that aware of. For example, current research is pointing more and more to how linguistically and by DNA Taiwan is the origin of the vast Austronesian Empire that extends from Madagascar to Easter Island. Similarly, Taiwan is seen as the origin of the Lapita Culture that extends throughout the islands of the Pacific. But the natural question arises, how could Taiwanese travel from Taiwan to all those islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans in spurts beginning some 5000 years or more ago? Today's Tao people who dwell primarily on Orchid Island are preparing to demonstrate how.

The Tao, a sea-faring people, are completing the "Si Mangavang" one of the largest canoes they have ever built using only wood from their island and traditional methods. They will launch the canoe on June 24 and on June 29, it will begin a journey of some 700 km to Taiwan proper. The two teams of rowers will cross the strong Kuroshio current, a rough cross in any weather and a crossing that has left many sea-sick on completion in a regular ocean-going vessel.

The rowers will paddle from eight to eleven hours a day in shifts of two changing every two hours. It is a task to show what their forefathers did. This is something that all Taiwanese should follow; it is a part of the multi-faceted part of Taiwan's past and heritage.

For those that want to explore this part of Taiwan's past, simply go to Google and type in "Lapita Culture, Taiwan"

you will be surprised at what comes up. Then go back to Google and type in "Austronesian Empire, Taiwan" and you will find more. Taiwan has its own rich and unique culture.