Change in prehistoric social organization in Northeastern Taiwan during the European colonization period


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




Indigenous settlements in Northeastern Taiwan suggest relatively complex social systems around the 17th century, which corresponds to the same time as European contact. This research focuses on the question of whether European contact and their effect on the local trade networks stimulated an increase in social inequality, and eventually led to social change more broadly in Northeastern Taiwan communities. The hypothesis is that if European colonization created trade monopolies for a small number of people, and stimulated the accumulation of individual power, then the following changes should be observed: how people marked their status in burials, controlled the quality of prestige goods, emphasized feasting through pottery production, and built up personal networks.