This paper investigates Tao (Yami) people’s various engagement with pigs as social agents. How do Tao people make sense of the encounter with this non-human? Pongso no Tao, in Taiwan, is the territory of the Tao, an indigenous community belonging to the Austronesian-speaking peoples. In Tao’s onto-cosmological conceptions, the entanglement between animals and humans participate in the blurring of the interspecies boundaries, making it possible to apprehend alterities as intentional beings. The flying fish may be the most respected animal on the island, however the Suidae play a key role in Tao’s life too. In Pongso no Tao, raising pigs is a sign of commitment to interpersonal relationships. Therefore, offering and receiving pig meat are far from being empty gestures; they have deep social meanings and implications, especially the obligation to “return”.
Indigenous people, human/non-human, ceremony, interspecies relation, Taiwan.