Culture, Race

In an otherwise innocuous article by the BBC about Amis Aborigine song and dance from Taiwan, they write:

The tribe was virtually left untouched for a long time, although now the younger members have gone into the cities.

This is the oldest myth in the books. Reporters love to write about untouched” tribes. It conveys a sense of mystery and exoticism. The noble savage living outside of society, etc. Unfortunately, it is almost never true. Taiwanese Aborigines, especially the Amis, were first incorporated into the Qing empire at the end of the nineteenth century — over one hundred years ago. The next fifty years saw nearly constant war with either Qing or Japanese forces, and many were then drafted into the Japanese army in World War Two. You’d think the BBC could do some fact checking once in a while…