|Population growth of Tamsui, a 14-fold increase from 1829 to 2010|
Through the efforts of Taiwanese/Tamsui historians, we now know much more, far more than that reported by the occasional visiting scholars from outside of Taiwan.
The Aborigines of Tamsui (also Keelung and Taipei) were of the Basay tribe of the Ketagalan People (the other branch Luilang congregated in Chunghe, Sanshia and Taoyuan). The Spaniards entered Tamsui in 1628 and encountered these Pinpu whom they called Senar and Pantao (for more, see here and here). In 1642, after expelling the Spaniards from northern Taiwan, the Dutch re-built Ft Santo Domingo (now 紅毛城, see here) with the labor of the Pinpu whom they now called Kipatauw, Chinaer, Toetona tribes. The Ming-Cheng era did not leave much in terms of records, the Qing did maintain documentations, so the tribal names as recorded by the Dutch can be matched to that of the Qing (still valid today):
Census was not taken during Ming-Cheng or regularly during Qing; however, the population stayed at almost the same level during the Japanese Colonial rule, surveys between 1932 and 1935 are shown below:
|熟番=Pinpu and 生番=Mountain Aborigines from outside of Tamsui|
Newcomers are also readily identified. According to 淡水戶政事務所Tamsui Household Registry Office, the registered residential Aboriginal population in Tamsui Township itself (excluding outlaying villages) increased from the original locals of 13 in 1976 to 70 in 1980, then to 397 in 1990, 820 in 2000, and 1,451 in 2010. They are mostly 阿美Amis (718), followed by 布農Bunun (265), 泰雅Atayal (156), 排灣Paiwan (109), 卑南Puyuma (21), 魯凱Rukai (12), 噶瑪蘭Kavalan (8), 賽夏Saisiat (6), 鄒Tsou and 邵Thao (3 each), others (63), and unknown (83). Also, male = 653 and female = 798.
Since most of the first-generation Tamsui-lang arrived from Hokkien in mid- or late 1700s or even later (see here) when the sporadic migration bans loosened up, and many if not most arrived as husband and wife teams, a male Han marrying an Aboriginal bride was not impossible but pretty much unheard of. And land purchases from the Aborigines must go through proper legal proceedings (see, e.g., here). Did the Pinpu assimilate into the Han? Of course they did, although their tribal identities remain intact as evidenced by the number of households reported during official census-taking.
In earlier times, especially during the early Qing rule under Ming-Cheng turncoat 施琅Shi-lang (1621-1696), the Pinpu had been severely maltreated (see, e.g., here). Despite recent efforts, there is, however, still no consensus on how the wrongs should be righted, by whom, and to what extent. Above all, the concept of collective guilt in addressing the Aboriginal grievances is non-existent, nor will it be accepted by the populace. Historically, managing Aboriginal affairs in Taiwan has been a total failure. This is not going to change anytime soon.
Source: 淡水鎮志 Vol 3, 社會志, eds: Prof 張家麟 and Prof 卓克華