西拉雅 吉貝耍 夜祭24The Siraya are an indigenous people of Taiwan. The Siraya settled flat coastal plains in the southwest part of the island and corresponding sections of the east coast; the area is identified today with Tainan City and Taitung County. At least five subtribes make up the group: Mattauw, Soelangh, Baccloangh, Sinckan, and Taivoan.

The Siraya are one of Taiwan’s Pingpu peoples—that is, occupants of flat coastal regions rather than mountain areas. Like other indigenous peoples of Taiwan they are ethnically and linguistically Austronesian. The name “Taiwan” originated from the Siraya language. The Austronesian language family to which Sirayan belongs includes most of the languages spoken in the western Pacific, including Polynesian, Indonesian, Filipino and Malaysian.

After the port in the Siraya area of Taiwan was annexed in 1683 by Qing Dynasty China, a process of gradual acculturation led to the Siraya language falling out of use.

Text adapted from Wikipedia’s article on the Siraya peoples

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