The Kavalan are one of Taiwan’s indigenous peoples. They live in communities dotted down parts of Taiwan’s east coast. Officially, they number around 1500. These are basic facts and statistics, the sort of thing anyone can look up online. But the few seconds it may take to come up with this information masks the 15 years of effort it took to win government recognition and be included in official counts. The Kavalan were long hidden in obscurity, but their campaign to recover their culture and win official status succeeded, getting them instated as Taiwan’s 11th indigenous group. The story of the Kavalan people and their struggle for recognition is being retold in an exhibit at the Institute of Yilan County History. It’s called “Kavalan Aimi”, which means “We are the Kavalan”. With us to discuss the exhibit is the institute’s Li Su-yueh.
- 26 August, 2018