I have seen a lot of sculptures of deer and owl in the souvenir's shops. Do they have any special meaning to the Sun moon Lake?
Both of these two kinds of animals are the sacred animals to the Thao aboriginal people. Thao tribe is the smallest aboriginal group in Taiwan. Its population is only about 500. According to the legend of Thao tribe, Thao lived around Alishan area long time ago. A white deer led them from that poor place to this promise land - the Sun moon Lake. According to Thao's legend, the owl is the incarnation of a Thao's girl, who was pregnant without being married. All Thao people, including her parents, could not forgive her. In a stormy night, she escaped into the mountain. After several days, a Thao's hunter found her dead body under a tree and an owl staying on the top of the tree. They believed the owl was her incarnation. Afterwards, an owl would fly over the house where a pregnant woman is living. The owl seems to tell Thao people that they have to take good care of the pregnant women. Never make the same mistake again.