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Taiwan Folktales

It is with great thanks, respect, and appreciation to the Houston Taiwanese School of Language and Culture (HTSLC) and the New Taiwan, Ilha Formosa Organization for the contributions for this page. For further information please contact their wonderful website at http://www.taiwandc.org and look for other points of contact with them located on other pages of this site. 

"Folk Stories of Taiwan" is part of the Taiwanese Tradition Series presented by the Culture Committee, Houston Taiwanese School of Languages and Culture. It explores some of Taiwanese folk tales, parables and mythologies, and introduces some of Taiwan's geographic landmarks and historical heroes as well. Through them, you may find a moral or religious lesson or the values underlying the culture. Hopefully, this will help you understand the difference between American and Taiwanese cultures. 
What is special about the stories in this book is that most of the articles were translated or edited by second-generation Taiwanese Americans. They are attending high school, college or graduate school, and some of them have attended this Taiwanese School. 

"Folk Stories of Taiwan" and "Festivals in Taiwan" can be ordered from the Houston Taiwanese School of Languages and Culture (HTSLC), c/o Mrs. Mei Tseng, 7511 Coachwood Drive, Houston, TX 77071, fax number (713) 495-3940. 

The Stories:

The Aboriginal Hero 
The Atayal tribe suffered for many years under the harsh rule of the Japanese. Eventually, this tribe revolted and fought for their freedom. many lives were lost. This famous "Wu-She" incident inspired many Taiwanese to stand up against Japanese rule.

The Lake of the Sisters and the Three Brothers
On the famous Mount Ali (Alishan), the Lake of the Sisters and Three brothers accompany each other, making for a harmonious natural scenery. Read this aboriginal legend to find out how this came about.

The Tigress Witch (Hoko Po)

Do you believe in the strange ability of animals to change themselves into humans ? Remember the story of the three little pigs ? Read this story about a smart little Taiwanese girl named A-kim, and her encounter with the Tigress Witch.

The Legend of Sun-Moon Lake
This myth originates from the Shao tribe, living in Central Taiwan. The "holding ball dance" was originally a popular game among the southern aborigines. The story tells of the sacrifices of a young couple in search of the sun and the moon to save people's lives.

The Legend of Muddy River
Chou Shui Hsi is the largest river in Taiwan. It originates from Mt. Chi-Lai and passes through several big pristine forests. Soil and sediment is carried downstream from the mountains, making the river muddy, as the name implies.

Ban Pin Shan
Ban Pin Shan means "Half-faced mountain". It is named as its shape implies. This story tells about the virtue of integrity and the values of kindness and selflessness.

Little Frog in the Well
Many people are only aware of the things they see and hear in their own small world. They often ignore what's going on outside of their daily lives. This can be bad, as the small frog in this story learned. 

A Taiwan folktale as translated by MME. CHIANG KAI-SHEK


Related Pages

Aboriginal Hero
Lake of the Sisters...
Tigress Witch (Hoko Po)
Sun-Moon Lake
Muddy River
Ban Pin Shan
Little Frog in the Well
Little Sister Su
Tales from a Taiwan Kitchen

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