Tuesday, April 22, 2014

司馬庫斯 (Smagus Taiwanese Aboriginal Village)

Smagus (司馬庫斯) is a Taiwanese Aboriginal Village located deep in the mountains of Taiwan. These are some images from a two day trip that I took back in October 2012. To get into the village you actually need a passport even though you aren't "leaving the country".

I actually got the chance to sit down over a meal with the tribe leaders to talk about the tribe and ask any questions we pleased. They told us of how their tribe used to kill other tribes and go to wars until one day a missionary traveled out to their village and led the tribe to Christ. When Taiwan became its own government, they started placing regulations over the tribe. They said that they never wanted to be apart of the Taiwanese government and to this day don't believe that they are Taiwanese. The Taiwan government flies planes over their land making sure that their tribe isn't growing. However it is illegal to own a gun in Taiwan the government does allow them to own guns for hunting to an extent, though they still strive for more and better guns. During this time the tribe leader told us that they were thankful for the missionary who taught them the gospel because it allowed them to keep their culture, unlike a lot of tribes that lost their culture to the Taiwan government. I thought this was very interesting because most people look at Christianity as destroying other people groups culture.
Making some kind of rice meal, the old fashion way.

They also told us that they used to not allow foreigners to marry into the tribe. If they wanted to marry into the tribe the man had to carry a small refrigerator on his back through the mountains to the village for their new home. Which isn't easy, just by vehicle it took us hours to get to the village driving through the winding steep roads. While we were there a bus had to escort people by car because it got stuck trying to go around the sharp corners.
Stuck behind the mainland Chinese tourists

Looking up at the Bamboo trees

Stopped at a Hot Spring to cool off.

Near the hot spring was this bridge. We crossed it to get a view and just to check it out. I felt a shock but wasn't sure why. Until I felt it again and realized that the bridge has a wire running a crossed it that most be opposed to the metal.

While sitting the the hot spring we noticed lots of rocks falling down the side of the mountain. Apparently it was a controlled landslide that caused us to wait in our vehicle for over 2 hours until the road was cleared.


  1. I never knew you guys went up there! What a sweet encouragement to know that through Christ their culture was saved, you are so right, that is usually the opposite of what we hear. Thanks for posting!!

    1. Thank you. It was awesome I would love to go back that, though it was a very tiring car ride to get to the place.