Chinese Culture > Culture in Taiwan > The Culture of Taiwan's Indigenous Peoples > Yami Culture


The Yami's

The Yami ethnic group which lives on Lanyu (Orchid Island) off Taiwan's east coast numbers around 2,700 people and has an oceanic island culture very different from those of indigenous groups living on Taiwan proper. For example, they do not make alcohol or practice head-hunting, taro is their staple crop, and their culture is centered on flying fish, which migrate annually through the waters off eastern Taiwan. Distinctive features of traditional Yami culture include the worship of anito (ancestral spirits), ceremonies to summon flying fish, semi-subterranean homes, richly-carved fishing boats, belief in evil spirits, and the hair-swinging dance, as well as a genetic and cultural relationship to the inhabitants of the Batanes Islands of the Philippines.