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About Tsou-Ma-Lai Farm

Last updated:2014-10-20 16:55:58

Tsou-Ma-Lai Farm is a place full of pastoral beauty. The origin of the name can be traced to the following four sources:

a. Borrowed Directly from Taiwanese Plains Aborigines (Pingpu Tribe) Language: Historical records indicate that the site used to be the Dawulong community of the Siraya people.

b. Geographical feature: the farm is situated at the intersection of Zengwen River and its two tributaries, Dapu River (on which are Zengwen Resevoir and Wusanto Resevoir) and Houjue River (on which is Nanhua Resevoir). In the past, the water ran swiftly and copiously at the site, as the rapid streams ran past Wushan Ling (mountain), creating two major uplands, Zhuqi and Xinhua. The roaring torrents were like thousands of horses racing, which in turn gave the place its name of Tsou-Ma-Lai (“Tsou” means “walking or racing,” “Ma” means “horse,” and “Lai” means “swift river.”)

c. Historic allusion: During the Dutch occupation period over three centuries ago, the Dutch introduced horses to the Pingpu Tribe residing in this area, in order to help in agriculture and labor work. However, the Pingpu people were not good at domesticating horses, and mostly let the horses wander freely, which caused damage to the crops. Therefore, the Dutch decided to gather the horses and graze them together at a river valley surrounded by mountains on three sides and facing the river on one side. Since “Ma” in Tsou-Ma-Lai means “horse,” this was how the place received its current name.

d. Folk tale: this site used to be one of the stops on the Zengwen Old Trail, which was built during the westward cultivation along Zengwen valley extending to West Aliguan. The place was once prosperous. Rumor had it that once a rich man in the Li family was kidnapped by aborigines; his only daughter made a promise to marry the horse which rescued her father. After the father was successfully rescued, the daughter fulfilled her promise. The story of her filial piety was told for generations.