Taiwanese aborigines (literally "original inhabitants") is the term commonly applied in reference to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Although Taiwanese indigenous groups hold a variety of creation myths, recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han Chinese immigration began in the 17th century (Blust 1999). Taiwanese aborigines are Austronesian peoples, with linguistic and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as peoples of the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Polynesia, and Oceania (Hill et al. 2007; Bird, Hope & Taylor 2004). The issue of an ethnic identity unconnected to the Asian mainland has become one thread in the discourse regarding the political status of Taiwan. For centuries, Taiwan's aboriginal peoples experienced economic competition and military conflict with a series of colonizing peoples.
Contributions by Ling.Nut, Mababa, and Kaihsu.