Taiwan Native History

I wrote a review for Faisu Mukunana’s book My Dear Ak’i, Please Don’t be Upset . It was published in 2012 through support from the National Culture and Arts Foundation of Taiwan.

I wrote: “As a scholar familiar with California (USA) native American traditions, I am struck by the similarities of Tsou spiritual beliefs and practices with those of many native Americans. In her talk with her Ak’i (grandmother), Faisu expresses guilt that she and her family ‘forgot’ about him for fifty-one years, never sweeping or visiting his grave. She mentions to him that she realizes it had not been Tsou custom in the past to attend to the dead so devotedly and she seems to wonder about it, to the extent of apologizing to her Ak’i for seeming so ‘uncaring’. Indeed, the reader may have those same thoughts

. .. I see parallels that may provide some explanation, both for the general reader and for other scholars on these subjects. For example, the Chumash of Southern California traditionally ‘forgot’ about the newly dead in order to help their dead break from the emotional ties to their past life and physical pleasures. In Chumash tradition , Scorpion Woman assists souls, toward the end of their journey on the ‘path of the dead ‘, by stinging them so they will for get the life they just left and be content while waiting in the celestial paradise to be reborn. Perhaps, like the Chumash, the Tsou deliberately ignored their dead, thus assisting them to continue on the ‘path of the dead’ toward reincarnation, when their family might see them again. This is a topic that would be fascinating to learn more about from the Tsou people.” (page 2).