CFP: Seeking the Kokota’ay: An Ethnography of the Elusive Little Men of Taiwan

Calls for Submissions

The oral traditions of several of Taiwan’s indigenous groups include legends that tell of a population of short-statured humans that predate their ancestors’ arrival on the island, who taught the Austronesian-language speakers agriculture, and who subsequently disappeared. The best-known are perhaps the Kokota’ay of Saisiyat, who are commemorated even today in a biennial ritual called the paSta’ay. In the mythology, these Little People often lived in caves, and were mischievous and quick-tempered. Other tales speak of the Ngudul od the Paiwan; the Sazoso of the Bunun; the Ngutol of the Rukai, and the diminutive, red-haired Kavorua of the Tsou. Recent archaeological discoveries have reignited interest in this topic, on which very little research is available in English.

Aim of the Book:

The main objective of this book is to provide an indispensable reference source for further inquiry into the Little People myths in Taiwan, from a variety of perspectives and disciplines including ethnology, archaeology, and sociology. In Addition to being a natural starting point for students who seek to conduct inquiries in this field, this volume will likewise serve as a useful reference text for practicing researchers. Moreover, it will consolidate existing knowledge on this fascinating topic, that is currently spread out among different fields and in various languages. The editors particularly welcome indigenous writers and scholars to submit proposals.

From the editors:

This book will be a multidisciplinary examination of the Little People myths in this part of the world (and globally). We have writers who have committed to providing chapters from the anthropological, archaeological, genetic, and literary perspectives, as well as examinations of to what degree they may be reflective of a deep-past reality. So we already have extensive coverage of these similar myths, and a detailed breakdown of the ethnographic corpus that exists.

What we don’t have, and what I would like to provide our readers, is a chapter on the psychological significance of these stories. If they are ubiquitous as they seem to be, what role do they play in the collective unconscious? Are they Jungian? Why do magical, powerful dwarf creatures show up in so many of the world’s cultures? I feel our book will be incomplete unless we include this component.

Chapters should be 6,000 to 8,000 words.

To Propose a Chapter:

If you are interested in contributing a chapter, please email a sentence or two about your topic, interests and approach to: [email protected]

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