Beginning in the latter half of the 19th century, because the opening of treaty ports enabled the export of products from mountainous regions in northern Taiwan, commodities such as tea and camphor were extremely popular on the international market. Merchants often traveled deep into the mountains and bought the right to cut down camphor trees from the indigenous people using money or hogs, thereby sparking a new wave of forest and mountain land reclamation. Besides the Han Chinese, there was no shortage of indigenous chiefs who joined the camphor industry, with many achieving significant financial success. However, as camphor tree lumbering gradually pushed deep into the mountains, and at the same time destroyed the original living areas of the indigenous population, this led to greater conflict and rivalry between the camphor merchants and indigenous people.

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