Chapter

“Having a Wife is Better than Having a God”

Melissa J. Brown

in Is Taiwan Chinese?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780520231818
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927940 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520231818.003.0004
“Having a Wife is Better than Having a God”

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This chapter aims to reconstruct short-route identity change in Taiwan. It discusses historical references to marriages that occurred between Han and Aborigines in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries together with evidence of the overwhelmingly male immigration from China and the rapid growth of the Han population in Taiwan. The analysis suggests that discrepancies between Dutch- and Zheng-period census figures not only support the idea that mixed-ancestry descendants of plains Aborigines did indeed take the short route to Han, but also imply that changes in governmental power, rather than intermarriage itself, spurred the identity change.

Keywords: identity change; Taiwan; Han; Aborigines; male immigration; China; mixed-ancestry descendants; intermarriage

Chapter.  13316 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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