Taiwan is homeland of Austronesian peoples, which is a linguistic and cultural ethnic group that stretches across Indian and Pacific Oceans, from Taiwan to Indonesia, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Hawaii, and Easter Island.
The aboriginal peoples of Taiwan once had megalith cultures.
They were also capable of shipping slabs basalt rocks from Penghu islands to multiple locations in Taiwan, and use them as building materials.
Prehistoric Taiwanese people also had a jade culture, where jade ware from Taidong was traded all around the island, as well as overseas to Vietnam and the Philippines.
The thin cylindrical ware are actually tubes, with a fine hole drilled through the middle. As jade is actually pretty hard to drill through, scientists are puzzled by how prehistoric Taiwanese people were able to drill such a fine straight hole down the middle of these tubes, especially since it is presumed that these jade wares were made by neolithic cultures.
There are at least 13 linguistically different aboriginal groups in Taiwan today. There have been more recorded in the past 400 years that had since been wiped out by colonialism. Most aboriginal languages are severely disrupted by KMT rule, and are on the brink of extinction. Today, there are only around 569 thousand aboriginals in Taiwan.
Main linguistic and cultural ethnic groups ranked by population:
Pangcah (a.k.a. Amis)
Atayal (includes Squliq, Skikun, Ts’ole’, Ci’uli, Mayrinax, Plngawan dialects which are so diverse they could be considered as individual languages)
Tao (a.k.a. Yami)
When the Japanese anthropologists got the names for the Tao and Pangcah, they asked their southern neighbors what to call them. The response was “Northerners” and that’s why Yami and Amis look so similar, as they share the same Austronesian etymology for North.