Digital Anthropology and the Renewal of Waishengren Studies: From Digitized Tombs to Identity Claims


  • Yoann Goudin
  • Oliver Streiter
  • Jimmy Chun Huang
  • Ann Meifang Lin



Taiwan, Waishengren, funeral practices, tombstone archive, digital anthropology


In this study we illustrate the potential contribution of digital archives to the study of variation among Taiwan’s Waishengren. Using the digital archive ThakBong of gravesites in Taiwan, into which the census data of 1956 have been merged, we show that
Waishengren varied in their practices and their social structure from North to South and through time in yet unobserved patterns. Our interpretation is that Waishengren assimilated and potentially even merged into existing Holo communities in the South, while in the
North, Waishengren developed social distinctions through these practices to reflect power and ethnicity. Regional distinctions will thus be central in future Waishengren-studies.


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Author Biographies

  • Yoann Goudin
    Ph.D student, INALCO, Paris. France.
  • Oliver Streiter
    Assistant Professor, National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
  • Jimmy Chun Huang
    (Assistant Professor), De La Salle University, Manila, Phillipines.
  • Ann Meifang Lin
    (Master student), Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.


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1. 12. 2011

How to Cite

Goudin, Yoann, Oliver Streiter, Jimmy Chun Huang, and Ann Meifang Lin. 2011. “Digital Anthropology and the Renewal of Waishengren Studies: From Digitized Tombs to Identity Claims”. Asian Studies -15 (2): 21-45.

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