Dutch, telescopes, Cooks, Flags etc.

Dutch telescope (1624)

Dutch telescope (1624)

I just learned that the Dutch East India Company were permanently stationed in Indonesia from 1602. Crazy. I had no idea.

Now is makes complete likely sense how and why Yolngu had ‘Balanda’ as name for white non-yolngu from ‘Hollander’, filtered through their extensive pre-British pre-colonial trade with Macassans from Sulawesi.

It also makes likely sense as to how and why items such as the telescope and the anchor became a part of the Macassan ceremonial cycle belonging to Yolngu groups on the coast in NE Arnhem before colonisation.

I think it is poignant also that Yolngu exchanged coloured cloth flags with Macassans which were/are used in ceremonies marking their seasonal arrival and departure at settlements along the coast.

These flag raising ceremonies took place annually well before Captain Cook’s flag raising ceremony in 1770 or Captain Arthur Phillips’s ceremony in 1788 at Sydney Cove, both of which the British used to marked their arrival and apparent ritual usurpation of Indigenous sovereignty.


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Filed under Incidental, Thesis/Yolngu related writing

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