Alas and Abas ©Rich Matheson. My wife and her twin sister in Chou tribal clothing at her younger sister’s wedding in Mexico.photo of an old photo. My wife’s Chou tribe mother with her mother in Namasia.My wife’s late mother and father. Dama Bali is Bunun tribe and Jina Nivu, Chou. Her father walked up to Alishan to collect his wife when she was fourteen years old. They had 11 children in the coming years. My wife likes to say, “What else is there to do when there is no electricity?” For the few years I knew them they were always laughing, a very natural, deep laugh. Dama Bali loved to tell stories, but his Mandarin Chinese was not great (he spoke Japanese and Bunun). He told a story of his grandfather being chased and caught by the Japanese in Taoyuan Village. He was tied to two Japanese and he threw himself off a cliff, killing both Japanese and effecting his escape.
I like to think it is true.
There is a story of a famous warrior, Istanda Lamata Sing Sing, who was involved in the Bunun resistance against the Japanese. My wife’s Indigenous family name is Istanda and her brother’s name is Lamata (Bunun given names stay in the family in a system to prevent inter-marriage). I would like one day to go on a fact-finding mission.