Lalu Island Taiwan, Nantou City

Lalu Island

Lalu island is a small island in Sun Moon Lake, Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan. The island used to be much bigger, separating the lake into a part shaped like crescent moon and another part shaped like a round sun. When the island was still bigger, people lived on it. Under Japanese rule, the island was renamed "Jade Island" , and in the 1930s, the Japanese built a dam that raised the water level in the lake and almost entirely flooded the island. After Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Government moved to Taiwan in 1949, the island was renamed Kuang-hua Island. In 1999 the island shrank as portions sank during the 921 earthquake, which also destroyed a wedding pavilion constructed by the local government in 1978.

"Lalu" is an Austronesian word roughly corresponding to "after", "later" (Chinese: 後,)with similar meanings from Taiwan to Indonesia. In legend, Thao hunters discovered Sun Moon Lake while chasing a white deer through the surrounding mountains. The deer eventually led them to the lake, which they found to be not only beautiful, but abundant with fish. Today, the white deer of legends is immortalized as a marble statue on Lalu Island.

In recent years, due to increasing social and political awareness, more deference and recognition are being given to Taiwanese aborigines. As a result, after the 921 earthquake, the island was renamed in the Thao language as "Lalu".

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