With a current population of about 39,000, the Bunun used to be concentrated in mountainous regions of the Central Mountain Range’s central section. Following two massive migrations, they have spread to Nantou, Kaoshiung, Hualien and Taitung counties. As with the Atayal, the Bunun have no chieftains. Competent persons are chosen as leaders when needed.
In 1953, the Bunun’s music enjoyed the spotlight with the introduction by Takatomo Kurozawa during an international conference devoted to ethnic music. In particular, the song “Prayer for a Abundant Millet Harvest” is performed in multi-part harmony. Starting with a low pitch and proceeding gradually to the highest scales, the song uses this harmony to entertain deities in heaven. It is also meant as an indicator of a given year’s millet harvest.