3/24/2010

Toakoham or Dashi, Take Your Pick

Toakoham is actually Dashi (大水while Tien Liek is the old name of Chungli. Chungli is now pronounced Tien Liong, so we can see how the pronunciation of Taiwanese is changing. Instead of going back and adding these points to the last post, I’ve decided to write a new one. I’m doing more of the Aboriginal language name game for towns and adding a correction for the information I gave about Taoyuan. There’s still nothing new on Neili (內壢)


Toakoham is an Aboriginal word, either from Ketalgan (凱達格蘭) or Atayal (泰雅), meaning “big stream.” Big Stream is Dashi (大水), a place outside of Taoyuan. I’ve written about Toakoham before, when discussing Owen Rutter’s 1922 account of Taiwanese cannibalism, which he gives in Through Formosa: An Account of Japan’s Island Colony: "The Chinese atrocities [in Taiwan], however, far exceeded any committed by the [Aborigines]. The latter took heads, it is true, but the Chinese ate and even traded in their victims flesh. After killing an [Aborigine], the head was commonly severed from the body and exhibited to those who were not on hand to witness the prior display of slaughter and mutilation. The body was then either divided among its captors and eaten, or sold to wealthy Chinese and even to high officials, who disposed of it in a like manner. The kidney, liver, heart, and soles of the feet were considered the most desirable portions, and were ordinarily cut up into small pieces, boiled and eaten somewhat in the form of soup. The flesh and bones were boiled, and the former made into a sort of jelly. The Chinese profess to believe, in accordance with an old superstition, that the eating of savage flesh will give them strength and courage…. During the outbreak of 1891 [Aboriginal] flesh was brought in – in baskets – the same as pork, and sold like pork in the open markets of Toakoham (大溪) before the eyes of all, foreigners included; some of the flesh was even sent to Amoy (廈門) to be placed on sale there" (Rutter 224-5). At that time, I still was figuring Toakoham was Taoyuan.

Mr. Su, who runs Citycat’s Railway Web site http://www.citycat.hdud.idv.tw, informs me that Dashi got its name in 1920, while Taiwan was a colony of Japan. Prior to being called Dashi, the town was Dakuchien (大姑嵌) and then Lin Castle (林城堡) for the chateau the wealthy Lin family (林本源家) of Panchiao kept in the area. The Lins built this home in 1865 as a retreat, a place they could go whenever clan warfare in Taipei between Taiwanese who imagined and sometimes knew they came from Zhangzhou (漳州) and those imagining and sometimes knowing they came from Chuanzhou (泉州) became too intense. In 1886, Taiwan Governor Liu Mingchuan (劉銘傳) relabeled the town Dakukung (大嵙崁) and it stuck until the Japanese came along.

When I ask people in Taiwan where the Aborigines went, I’m often told “to the mountains.” I’m starting to believe a lot of Aborigines didn’t go anywhere. Rather, they mingled with Chinese immigrants and stayed right where they have stayed for thousands of years. Taiwan’s history didn’t begin in 1624 with the arrival of the Dutch ships bearing Chinese settlers. Taiwan’s people, towns, roads, languages and customs have been around much longer than that. This happens to be one of the reasons I’m interested in finding out the Aboriginal names of places.  

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

大水? Shouldn't that be 大溪?

Anonymous said...

Dashi, if in mandarin should be more likely 大渓instead of 大水, I think.
ChoSan

Patrick Cowsill said...

It should indeed be 大溪. I used the old spelling with the new translation of Dashi. Thanks for the clarification. I'm going a little mental with the names, but want to follow through on the idea more. Thanks for the correction. More corrections will be undoubtedly needed as I follow this whim. Thanks.

Pablo (yo) said...

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Thanks,
Pablo from Argentina

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

You might be interested in the following hyperlink:

http://www.google.com.tw/url?sa=t&source=web&ct=res&cd=3&ved=0CA4QFjAC&url=http%3A%2F%2Fjweb.kl.edu.tw%2Fuserfiles%2F419%2Fdocument%2F3462_86%25E5%258F%25B0%2520%25E7%2581%25A3%2520%25E5%259C%25B0%2520%25E5%2590%258D.doc&ei=xaKtS_3zE9GGkAWT7MWyDQ&usg=AFQjCNGOkKofxA70pnvbmpuuOCfPeOVQYA&sig2=6VdWpvbuobq4vyya2l977Q

It is a list of the current place names with their original ones.


By the way, you mentioned :"while Tien Liek is the old name of Chungli. Chungli is now pronounced Tien Liong, so we can see how the pronunciation of Taiwanese is changing." I think that saying Tien[g] Liek is the old name of Chungli could not be precise. Actually 'Tien[g] Liek' (Tiong-lik) and 'Chungli' differ in their pronunciations of two same Sinograph (中壢). In Taiwanese, they are pronounced as 'Tiong-lik' (or spelled as Tien[g] Liek on the map). And in Mandarin, they are said as 'Chungli'.

In fact, Chunli has another old name called 'Kan-a-lik' (澗仔壢). The sinograph '壢' means valley in Hakka. Most of the researchers believe that the name Chungli (Tiong-lik, Kan-a-lik) originated in Hakka language.

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

Additionally, personally I have never heard that Tiong-lik (Chungli) is called nowadays as 'Tien Liong'. In Taiwanese, it is still called 'Tiong-lik', and in Mandarin 'Chungli'. I am not sure we have this as evidence of the pronunciation of Taiwanese is changing. For your reference.

Patrick Cowsill said...

Thanks for the insight and link, Voyu. It's very helpful.

But where did the Hakka come up with the name? It's not based on an older, Aboriginal name then?

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

The two Sinographs '中壢' are pronounced as 'Chung-lak' in Hakka.

The origin of this name that we can usually find in the books or on the internet is as belows:

This place is in the halfway of Tik-tsham (竹塹;now called Hsinchu新竹) and Pat-li-hun (八里坌;now called Bali八里), and it was important in the transportation route. Because there are two rivers 老街溪 and 新街溪 running through. The Hakka people named this place as 澗仔壢 (Gien-e-lek), which means river-valley. Latter, due to this place is in the halfway of the transportation, the place name is changed to be Chung-lak (中壢, meaning a valley in halfway; in Taiwanese 'Tiong-lik').

I cannot make sure that the explanation above is 100% correct or not. However, prof. Chen (陳國章), who is an expert, also adopts it (refer to 陳國章《台灣地名辭典》).

I think that it is true that many place names in Taiwan originate from aboriginal languages. E.g. Kaohsiung (Takao (打狗)-->Japanese used Sinographs of 高雄 to replace the old writing since the two Sinographs are pronounced as 'Takao' in Japanese). Other examples like the aforementioned 'Tik-tsham' (竹塹) and 'Pat-li-hun' (八里坌) etc.

Nonetheless, we still lack a comprehensive research in place names in Taiwan, especially their relevance with aboriginal languages. Since Sino-culture and values are so strong in the mindset of the government and common people. Many people still tend to refuse any connection to aboriginal people, no matter in aspects of their lineage or history.

Therefore, most of the explanation of the origins of place names are just conjectures from their Sinograph writing (and as we know, many Sinographs are merely used phonetically to record the Aboriginal pronunciations and have nothing to do with the original meanings).

There is an interesting book in which the author has gathered and compared the records of village names of aboriginal people in Taiwan. Maybe we can find something new in it: 臺灣平埔族社名研究 (http://www.eslite.com/product.aspx?pgid=1001133191280328).

Last but not least, not until the Japanese ruler came, the island has never come under the state power completely. We cannot expect there are complete records of the aboriginal names of each place on this island. Both Koxinga and Qing (Ching) empire governed only the southwestern and the most western part of Taiwan. The vast fields out of their territories would hardly left any historical data in their times. (well...we do have some wonderful data left by the Dutch.)

Patrick Cowsill said...

Voyu,

Wow, this is such a great comment. Thanks. 臺灣平埔族社名研究 sounds exactly like the thing I've been searching for.

I'm intrigued by what you say: "This place is in the halfway of Tik-tsham (竹塹;now called Hsinchu新竹) and Pat-li-hun (八里坌;now called Bali八里)" simply because you use Bali instead of Danshui as a point of reference. Bali has such a long history; they're finding Chinese coins there from 2000 years ago that suggest it was a northern point of trade going way back. Don't get me wrong. I am also interested in Danshui. My favorite Taiwan blog is about Danshui: http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/ But I'm going to start hunting down the names you've provided.

Question: Do you know what Takao used to mean in the Aborigine language it comes from?

You write: "Many people still tend to refuse any connection to aboriginal people, no matter in aspects of their lineage or history." I totally agree; that is exactly why I have posted these last two articles on my site. I want people in Taiwan to consider this.

What's your background? I had a look at your site. You're writing in a language I don't know; but I'm guessing it's Aboriginal. How do I translate it? And do you speak Hakka then? It seems like you do.

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

According to what I read, 'Takao' is a Makatao word which means 'bamboo forest'. (Makatao '馬卡道' is a dialect of Siraya '西拉雅' language). Siraya was one of the biggest plain aboriginal peoples in southern Taiwan.

I am now a graduate student in the Graduate Institute of Taiwan Culture, Language and Literature, National Taiwan Normal University. But my main research interest is formal syntax of Taiwanese (Holo or say Hoklo). So I am not actually an expert in all the issues on which we are talking.

Which site did you look at? I have two blogs. I don't often update them. One of them is in Mandarin. And the other one is in Taiwanese.

If you read something in a language you don't know, I guess that is in Taiwanese. We write it either in a Romanized orthography or in a orthography mixed with the Romanized system and Sinographs (sort of like the Japanese is written in a mixture of Sinograph and kana).

My dad is from 民雄 (Minxiong), where my grandma still lives there. It is another interesting example of place name with an aboriginal origin. Long time ago, Minxiong was the place where one of an important tribe of another plain aboriginal people called Hoanya. The tribe (village) was called Taniao (phonetically written in Sinographs as 打貓). During the Japanese ruling period, the two Sinographs are replaced by 民雄, which is pronounced as 'Tamio' in Japanese.

Just like most of the Taiwanese, I am not sure that I am sons of the immigrants from China hundreds of years ago or I am a Hoklo-cized descendant of Hoanya people. Hoanya language is extinct today. Our family has a genealogy book according to which our paternal ancestor was from Guangdong. Nonetheless, it is not sure the genealogy book is real or a fake one. In the history, both the rulers of Koxinga kingdom and Qing (Ching) empire are engaged in policies of Sinocizing the aboriginals. Many aboriginal people were given Sino family names and fabricated genealogy book. Hundreds of years have past, it is hard to tell the truth.

Lastly, I speak a little Hakka.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"Just like most of the Taiwanese, I am not sure that I am sons of the immigrants from China hundreds of years ago or I am a Hoklo-cized descendant of Hoanya people. Hoanya language is extinct today. Our family has a genealogy book according to which our paternal ancestor was from Guangdong."

This is something I think about. For example, people in Taiwan who didn't know where they came from would adopt the genealogy of other people with the same last name in their community. That's why I wrote: "The Lins built this home in 1865 as a retreat, a place they could go whenever clan warfare in Taipei between Taiwanese who imagined and sometimes knew they came from Zhangzhou (漳州) and those imagining and sometimes knowing they came from Chuanzhou (泉州) became too intense." It is possible they were fighting for the wrong side, although they shouldn't have been fighting at all; in their defense, I'm sure some of them just got dragged into it and were not always the most willing of participants.

Historically speaking, if a settler from China married an Aboriginal, this would've of been a man because Chinese women were pretty much barred from coming to Taiwan for hundreds of years (some did slip through, but I think the amount would have not been of consequence), the children took the father's name in a patriarchal system for lineage. In this way, Aboriginal forebears were soon forgotten, a kind of genealogical distortion to be sure.

Thanks for the information on Takao. We were trying to figure this out in school, but didn't get as far as you.

Patrick Cowsill said...

"If you read something in a language you don't know, I guess that is in Taiwanese." I saw it here. I have never studied Taiwanese: http://hakkhiam.blogspot.com/ I have seen Aboriginal languages being taught in the schools, and they also use Romanization.

I did study Hakka for a while. They have characters, which are usually the same as Chinese, but not always.

Voyu Taokara Lâu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Voyu Taokara Lâu said...

The website you mentioned:
http://hakkhiam.blogspot.com/
is a blog of a professor in Taitung University. Below is mine (written with both Sinographs and Romanized):

http://blog.roodo.com/senghian

By the way, you might also be interested that the first newspaper (or say periodical journal) published in Taiwan was once printed in Romanized Taiwanese. This newspaper was initiated by the Taiwan Presbytarian Church in 1885. Spanned almost 90 years (1885-1969) it had been printed in Romanized Taiwanese. In 1969, KMT government banned this orthography and forced it to print in Mandarin.

The newspaper is now under digitalization. Take a look:
http://www.tcll.ntnu.edu.tw/pojbh/script/artical-default.htm

This is another story that few Taiwanese know.