Native toTaiwan
Ethnicity990 Sakizaya (2020)[1]
Native speakers
590 (2020)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3szy
(purple) Greater Ami. Nataoran and Sakizaya are in the north.

Sakizaya is a Formosan language closely related to Amis. One of the large family of Austronesian languages, it is spoken by the Sakizaya people, who are concentrated on the eastern Pacific coast of Taiwan. Since 2007 they have been recognized by the Taiwan government as one of the sixteen distinct indigenous groups on the island.


After the Takobowan incident [zh] of 1878, the Sakizaya people hid among the Nataoran Amis. Scholars mistakenly categorised the Sakizaya language as a dialect of Amis.

In 2002, the Center of Aboriginal Studies of National Chengchi University in Taiwan corrected this error when they edited the indigenous languages textbooks. That year, the Sakizaya language was designated both as a Chilai and Amis sublanguage. Both are included in the family of Austronesian languages.[2] On 17 January 2007, the Sakizaya community became the thirteenth distinct indigenous ethnic group recognised by the Taiwanese government.[3]

A total of 985 people are registered as Sakizaya.[4] They live primarily in the Takubuwan, Sakur, Maifor and Kaluluwan communities. Thousands of other Sakizaya are still registered as Amis, based on historic classifications. Around half of Amis politicians in Hualien City, the biggest city in the Amis area, are said to be ethnic Sakizaya.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b Sakizaya at Ethnologue (25th ed., 2022) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "Textbooks by the Council of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan".
  3. ^ "Taiwan Recognises 'Lost' People". BBC News. 17 January 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
  4. ^ "Sakizaya – Introduction". Council of Indigenous Peoples. 20 December 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2021.