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Political Spectacle and Colonial Rule: The Landdag on Dutch Taiwan, 1629–1648

  • Tonio Andrade

Extract

In 1637 Hans Putmans, having just retired as governor of the Dutch East India Company's Taiwan comptoir, set out from the East Indies to return to Holland. During the long voyage home he composed a report about his last year as governor, describing how he had expanded the Company's control over large parts of the island's hinterlands. He himself had led Dutch troops against the town of Mattau, one of the most powerful aboriginal towns of Taiwan, and against the towns of Soulang and Taccareangh. The results of his expeditions were, he wrote, spectacular: ‘Through the […] guidance and will of God, [the conquest] was easily accomplished, and, since they had never before seen such a manner of war, our authority and respect among these blind heathen was extended and raised to such a point that not only the towns of Soulangh, Backeluan, […] Taccareijangh, […] and Mattau presented their lands to the Dutch state, but also Pangsoia, Tapouliang, and many other towns in the area’. In all some twenty aboriginal towns sought peace with the Company after Putmans' expeditions, a huge increase in the Company's holdings on Taiwan. When, in 1929, Putmans had taken his oath of office, his job had been to run a small trading factory on the island's coast, a base from which the Company could profit from the rich China trade. The subjugation of these twenty towns abruptly changed his job, and changed the Company's mission on Taiwan: How were these towns to be administered?

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Notes

1 Mattau and Soulang are present-day Matou and Chiali. Taccareangh was located in the eastern part of the Kao-hsiung district, some twenty kilometers southeast of Tainan. The identification of place names has been made possible thanks to the excellent work of T'sao Yung-ho and Chiang Shu-sheng, whose maps appear in Blussé, J. Leonard, van Opstall, Margaretha E., and Ts'ao, Yung-ho eds, Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan I (The Hague 1986). This paper would not have been possible without this beautifully edited collection of documents.

2 Present-day Anting.

3 Pangsoia is present-day Changhua. Tapouliang was near present-day Wantan, in the Pingtung district.

4 Translations are my own, unless otherwise noted. Original missive of Hans Putmans from the ship Banda to the Amsterdam Chamber, 2 August 1637, General State Archives The Hague (ARA), VOC 1120, 1–18, folio 9.

5 It is not entirely true to say that the VOC had no territorial ambitions in its early years on Taiwan, for even in 1624 company officials could write that they hoped ‘with time to bring the inhabitants of this island under the authority of the Great Powerful Esteemed States of the United Netherlands’. Brief van Gouv. Sonck aan Batavia, 12 december 1624, ARA, VOC 1083, 53. Generally, however, it is believed that the Dutch were committed to a policy of non-interference (onthoudingspolitiek) on Taiwan until the mid-1630s. Brief van De Carpentier naar Heren XVII, 3 February 1626, Coolhaas, W.Ph. ed., Generate Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII der Verenigde. Oostindische Compagnie I (The Hague 19601985) 126.

6 Junius played a vital role in the VOC's territorial expansion on Formosa and in the administration of the island. Indeed, especially in the first decades of VOC rule, governors of Formosa relied heavily on missionaries for intelligence, policy advice, and even matters of day-to-day administration. See Blussé, Leonard, ‘Dutch Protestant Missionaries as Protagonists of the Territorial Expansion of the VOC on Formosa’ in: Kooiman, Dick, van den Muizenberg, Otto, and der Veer, Peter ran eds, Conversion, Competition and Conflict: Essays on the Role of Religion in Asia (Amsterdam 1984) 155184; and Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse: The Interaction between the Administration and the Protestant Mission in Early Colonial Formosa’ in: Prakash, Gyan ed., After Colonialism: Imperial Histories and Postcolonial Displacements (Princeton 1995) 153182.

7 Original missive of Hans Putmans from the ship Banda to the Amsterdam Chamber, 2 August 1637, ARA, VOC 1120, 1–18, folio 9.

8 Present-day Hsinshih, twenty kilometers northeast of Tainan.

9 Letter from Robertus Junius to the Heren XVII, 5 September 1636, Campbell's translation. Campbell, William M., Formosa under the Dutch: Described from Contemporary Sources (London 1903) 131.

10 Original missive of Hans Putmans from the ship Banda to the Amsterdam Chamber, 2 August 1637, ARA, VOC 1120, 1–18, folio 9. Kasteel Zeelandia was located near presentday Tainan.

11 Landdag (plural form: landdagen) means, literally ‘land-’, or ‘country-day’. This first ceremony is not referred to in Dutch sources as a ‘landdag’, and, indeed, it was not followed by another such meeting until 1641. But it is nonetheless safe to consider it the first landdag on Taiwan, since the essential features of the landdag - the general address, the naming of elders, the investment of elders with staves and robes - were there present and since it was the model for the ceremonies that followed.

12 Three volumes have been published thus far. The first runs from 1629 through 1641: Blussé, J.L., van Opstall, M.E., and Ts'ao, Yung-ho eds, De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan: 1629–1662 I (The Hague 1986). The second continues through 1648: Blussé, J.L., Milde, W.E., Ts'ao, Yung-ho and Everts, N.C. eds, De Dagregisters van het Kasteel Zeelandia, Taiwan: 1629–1662 II (The Hague 1995). The third volume appeared just as this article was going to press, and I was unable to obtain it in time to include its data in this study. I will refer to these volumes as Zeelandia Dagregisters.

13 Coolhaas, W.Ph. ed., Generals Missiven van Gouverneurs-Generaal en Raden aan Heren XVII der Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (The Hague 19601985); der Chijs, J.Z. ran, Colenbrander, H.T., and de Hullu, J. eds, Dagh-Register Gehouden int Casteel Batavia vant Passerende doer ter Plaetse als over Geheel Nederlandts-India (Batavia/The Hague 18871903); Shaogang, Cheng, De VOC en Formosa 1624–1662: Een Vergeten Geschiedenis (Ph.D. Dissertation, Leiden University 1995), this is a new edition of the Generale Missiven, the original edition of which left out many important passages pertaining to Taiwan; Campbell, William M., Formosa under the Dutch: Described from Contemporary Sources (London 1903).

14 Herport, Albrecht, Reise nach Java, Formosa, Vorder-Indien und Ceylon, 1659–1668 (1669) (Edited by Naber, S.P. L'Honoré, The Hague 1930) Reisebeschreibungen von Deutschen Beamte und Kriegsleuten im Dienst der Niederländischen West- und Ost-Indischen Kompagnien V, 1602–1797; Johann Merklein Jacob, Reise nach Java, Vorder- und Hinter-Indien, China und Japan, 1644–1653, Reisebeschreibungen von Deutschen Beamte und Kriegsleuten III; Schmalkalden, Caspar, Die Wundersamen Reisen des Caspar Schmalkalden nach West- und Oslindien, 1642–1652 (Leipzig 1983).

15 I will primarily use letters and resolutions produced by the Tayouan comptoir and sent, via Batavia, to Amsterdam, but I will also make use of a lesser known, but very illuminating collection of letters between governor Putmans and the two earliest missionaries on Taiwan. The former are preserved as the Overgekomen Brieven en Bescheiden series of the Amsterdam Kamer collection in the VOC archives at the Algemeen Rijksarchief in the Hague. See Meilink-Roelofsz, M.A.P., Raben, R., and Spijkerman, H. eds, De Archieven van de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie 1602–1795 (The Hague 1992) and Formsma, W.J. and Ketelaar, F.C.J., Gids voor de Nederlandse Archieven (Bussum 1975). The latter are contained in the Algemeen Rijksarchief's Teding van Berkhout collection, series 14 and 15.

16 Ch'üan, Han-Sheng, ‘Ming Chung Yeh Hou Chung-Kuo Huang-Chin Ti Shu-Ch'u Mou-I’ (The Export of Chinese Gold After the Mid-Ming Period), Chung-yang Yen-chui Tuan Lishih Yü-yen Yen-chiu so Chi-k'an [Bulletin of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan] 53/2 (1982) 213225.

17 See Souza's, George BryanSurvival of Empire: Portuguese Trade and Society in China and the South China Sea, 1630–1754 (Cambridge 1986). According to Souza the Portuguese out-stripped the Chinese and were the most important carriers of the silk-for-silver trade during the seventeenth century. He provides excellent statistics: the volume of the silver trade was enormous (about 1.5 million kilos between 1546 and 1638); the Portuguese share of this trade was 23% of the total in 1621, 18% in 1632, 49% in 1636, and 37% in 1638.

18 An excellent account of the VOC China expedition can be found in Wills, John E. Jr, Pepper, Guns, and Parleys: The Dutch East India Company and China, 1622–1681 (Cambridge, Mass. 1974). See also Israel, Jonathan I., The Dutch Republic and the Hispanic World, 1606–1661 (Oxford 1982).

19 Generale Missive, P. de Charpentier, Frederick de Houtman, J. Dedel en J. Specx, Batavia, 25 December 1623, ARA, VOC 1079, folio 124–126 (Also in Cheng, Een Vergeten Geschiedenis, 27).

20 Wen-Hsiung, Hsu, ‘From Aboriginal Island to Chinese Frontier: The Development of Taiwan before 1683’ in: Knapp, Ronald G. ed., China's Island Frontier: Studies in the Historical Geography of Taiwan (Honolulu 1980) 16. For a fine introduction to the history of the Dutch in Taiwan, see van Veen, Ernst, ‘How the Dutch Ran a Seventeenth-Century Colony: The Occupation and Loss of Formosa’, Itinerario 20/1 (1996) 5977.

21 Jacob, Rase nach Java, 35.

22 In 1636 the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies wrote that Taiwan could become as rich a colony as any the Portuguese ever had ‘because it is outside of the jurisdiction of any powerful potentate, and is inhabited by ignorant and stupid heathen people, but is located near the powerful Chinese empire, from which as many poor, hard-working folk will flow as one could ever wish’. General Missive van H. Brouwer, A. van Diemen, Ph. Lucasz., Maerten IJbrantsz., Artus Gijsels en J. van der Burch, Batavia, 4 januari 1636, ARA, VOC 1116, 1–57, folio 17, as transcribed in Cheng, De VOC en Formosa, 149.

23 Account of the visit of John Struys to Formosa in 1650 in: Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 254 (Struys, Jan Janszoon, The Perillous and Most Unhappy Voyages of John Struys […] (London 1683)). An early Chinese visitor to Taiwan wrote that deer appeared ‘in herds of a thousand or a hundred’. Thompson, Laurence G., ‘The Earliest Chinese Eyewitness Accounts of the Formosan Aborigines’, Monumenla Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies 23 (1964) 177.

24 Herport, Reise nach Java, 81.

25 In 1638, a record year, the company shipped 151, 400deerhides to Japan, Generate Missiven I, 708. For a tabulation of yearly yields, see Höllmann, Thomas O., ‘Formosa and the Trade in Venison and Deer Skins’ in: Ptak, Roderich, Rothermund, Dietmar, and Steiner, Franz eds, Emporia, Commodoties and Entrepreneurs in Asian Maritime Trade (Stuttgart 1991) 273 and 289–290.

26 Indeed, company officials believed that the trade with Chinese was vital to the aborigines. A report of November 1629, for instance, reads: ‘This evening we understood that two Chinese, who had gone to the villages to sell a few clothes, were killed by the savages. This is very curious, since the villages’ clothes, salt, and other necessities must be obtained from the Chinese and without the latter the savages could not live’, Zeelandia Dagregisters I, A folio 390.

27 There was also a sizeable Japanese trade in Formosan deer products. See Höllmann, ‘Formosa and the Trade in Venison’.

28 This policy continued until the 1650s, when the tax was decreased because of falling prices in Japan, Höllmann, ‘Formosa and the Trade in Venison’, 274–275.

29 Shepherd, John, Stateaaft and Political Economy on the Taiwan Frontier, 1600–1800 (Stanford 1993) 75.

30 Favorolang, present-day Huwei.

31 Letter from Robertus Junius to Antonio van Diemen, 23 October 1640, transcribed in Höllmann, ‘Formosa and the Trade in Venison’, 281 (my translation).

32 Ch'en ti, ‘An Account of the Eastern Barbarians’ (1603), translated by Thompson: Thompson, ‘Chinese Eyewitness Accounts’, 172.

33 Familie-archief Huydecoper, Rijksarchief Utrecht (RAU), R 67, nr. 621. See also Campbell's translation of Candidius's ‘Discourse’, Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 9–25.

34 See, for example, Zeelandia Dagregisters I, I folio 912.

35 Lin Ch'ien-kuang, ‘Customs of the Aborigines’ (1685), translated by Thompson: Thompson, ‘Chinese Eyewitness Accounts’, 180.

36 Familie-archief Huydecoper, R 67, nr. 621 and see Campbell, Formosa under the. Dutch, 11; German traveller Albrecht Herport describes how the natives practiced their hunting and warfare skills: ‘Sind sehr geschickt vnd fertig mit jhren Bogen […], darzu sie von Jugend auff gehalten werden; dann alle Tag haben sie ein gewüsse Zeit, da sie sich gegen dem Ziel zuschiessen üben, der jenige aber der das Ziel nit erreichen kan, der bekommet keinen bissen zu essen, biß daß er in das Ziel schiesset’, Herport, Reise nach Java, 43.

37 Familie-archief Huydecoper, RAU, R 67, nr. 621 and see Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 12–13.

38 Ibid., 14–15.

39 Ibid., 21. See also Thompson, ‘Chinese Eyewitness Accounts’, 180.

40 Familie-archief Huydecoper, RAU, R 67, nr. 621 and see Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 15.

41 Lin Ch'ien-kuang, ‘Customs of the Aborigines’ in: Thompson, ‘Chinese Eyewitness Accounts’, 188.

42 Montgomery McGovern, Janet B., Among the Head-Hunters of Formosa (London 1922) 112.

43 McGovern, Among the Head-Hunters, 112–116.

44 Rosaldo, Michelle Z., Knowledge and Passion: Illongot Notions of Self and Social Life (Cambridge 1980). Rosaldo focuses on the Illongot of northern Luzon, a people as closely related to the aborigines of southern Taiwan as the aborigines of southern Taiwan are related to other Taiwanese aborigines, but she believes many of her findings apply also to other Austronesian headhunting peoples (see especially 226–230).

45 There is some disagreement as to the details of the following incident. The number of soldiers, for example, is the subject of some confusion. I have chosen the number reported in the Zeelandia Dagregisters I, A folio 390. See also Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’, 172, and Blussé, Leonard and van Opstall, Margaretha E., ‘Inleiding’ in: Zeelandia Dagregisters I, VIIXVII.

46 Zeelandia Dagregisters I, A folio 390.

48 One of the conditions of the peace was the return of the bones and heads of the Dutch soldiers killed in the massacre. These do not appear to have been delivered. Indeed, some of the heads were recovered more than a decade later. On 13 December 1641 a Dutch scribe reports in the Batavia dagregister the following incident: ‘The Christian Formosans of Sincan, Mattau, Soulangh en Bacoloangh conducted an expedition against the enemies from the southern mountains, and returned with two heads as symbols of victory. They discovered in a certain house three more skulls, which were from the Dutch who were murdered in the year 1628. The [governor] sent merchant Willem de Wilt and Captain Jan van Linga there, who brought the Dutch heads back, having told the Formosans that in this they were in violation of the peace, and that they should expect in the future to be punished by death for committing such offences’, Batavia Dagregisters, 1641–1642, 56–57.

49 Zeelandia Dagregisters I, E folio 575. See also Resolutie 19 mei 1633, ARA, VOC 1113, folio 763.

50 Missive of reverend Junius to governor Putmans, 25 November 1633, ARA, Teding van Berkhout collection, series 15, folio 2–3.

51 See Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’, 174.

52 Missive from reverend Candidius to governor Putmans and his councillors, 25 November 1633, ARA, Teding van Berkhout collection, series 15, folio 3–4.

53 Junius to Putmans, 25 November 1633, series 15, folio 2–3.

54 Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’. See also Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’.

55 Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’, 171–172.

56 Candidius to Putmans, 25 November 1633, series 15, folio 3–4 (part of this translation comes from Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’, 176).

57 Candidius to Putmans, 25 November 1633, series 15, folio 3–4.

58 Zeelandia Dagregisters I, G folio 241.

59 It is not clear what the Pockon was. It does not seem to appear elsewhere in VOC documents, Zeelandia Dagregisters I, G folio 241.

64 Ibid.; Letter from Junius to Putmans, 15 May 1635, ARA, Teding van Berkhout collection, series 15, folio 39–40.

65 Zeelandia Dagregisters I, G folio 241.

66 There is, unfortunately, little information available on this expedition, since Zeelandia journals have not been preserved for November and December, 1635.

67 Letter from Putmans to Batavia, ARA, VOC 1120, 219–244, folio 220.

69 Letter from Robertus Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce of the East India Company, 5 September 1636, ARA, VOC 1121, folio 1308–1356. I used Campbell's translation: Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 119. It is interesting that the Mattauwers used the Koutou, a Chinese gesture, to show their humility to the governor. Did they perhaps learn this from the Chinese? There were many Chinese in Mattau. Indeed, the massacre of 1629 was likely incited by Chinese living in Mattau, see Zeelandia Dagregisters I, A folio 440–441.

70 Letter from Robertus Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce of the East India Company, 5 September 1636, ARA, VOC 1121, folio 1308–1356 (Translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 119).

71 Letter from Governor of Taiwan to Batavia, ARA, VOC 1120, 219–244, folio 220–221.

72 Letter from Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber, 5 September 1636, folio 1308–1356 (translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 120). See also ARA, VOC 1120, 219–244, folio 221.

73 Putmans to Junius, 15 December 1635, ARA, Teding van Berkhout collection, series 14, folio 6.

74 Letter from Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber, 5 September 1636, ARA, VOC 1121: 1308–1356 (translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 122).

75 Letter from Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber of the East India Company, 5 September 1636, ARA, VOC 1121, folio 1308–1356 (translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 122).

76 ‘It was necessary’, wrote Junius of one of the expeditions, ‘to make it impossible for them to keep saying, “The Dutch do not dare to come; they were afraid of us, else they would have come; for they know we are just as guilty as the people of Mattau” ‘, Letter from Junius to the Directors of the Amsterdam Chamber, 5 September 1636, ibid, (translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 124).

77 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, E folio 285–286 and 295–296.

78 Ibid., 293–317.

79 In using the adjective ‘Hollandia’ rather than other possible adjectival forms, I follow John Shepherd, who first introduced the concept, Shepherd, Statecraft and Political Economy.

80 See Weber, Max, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (New York 1958) 125131.

81 Anthropologist Jack Goody's work on literacy is inspirational in this connection: ‘It is clear that the adoption of written modes of communication was intrinsic to the development of more wide-ranging, more depersonalized and more abstract systems of government; at the same time, the shift from oral intercourse meant assigning less importance to face-to-face situations, whether in the form of the interview or audience, of personal service or national festivals in which the renewal of ties of obedience was often as significant as the religious rites’. Goody, Jack, The Domestication of the Savage Mind (Cambridge 1977) 16. As another scholar puts it, ‘In past centuries, and more recently among non-literate peoples, there was no way to express a power hierarchy except through ritual and related symbolic behavior. In the absence of writing, it was ritual that defined people's power relations’. Kertzer, David I., Ritual, Politics, and Power (New Haven 1988).

82 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, E folio 281.

83 Company officials might have adopted such grand public speech quite consciously to suit aboriginal political culture, for Candidius wrote glowingly of the eloquence displayed in aboriginal.town meetings: ‘Yes, I believe Demosthenes would not have been richer and more fluent in words’ (from Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’, 165, Blussé's translation).

84 I will discuss the staves in greater detail below.

85 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, E folio 284.

88 Ibid., E folio 286.

90 Ibid., E folio 282.

92 Roosen, William, ‘Early Modern Diplomatic Ceremonial: A Systems Approach’, Journal of Early Modern History 52 (1980) 473.

93 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, H folio 293.

94 Ibid., H folio 311–312.

95 Ibid., J folio 556.

96 Ibid., E folio 281.

97 There is evidence, however, that suggests that Chinese did indeed play a role in the ‘rebellious acts’. A band of Chinese pirates (rovers) was active in the north, especially around Favorolang, and appears to have encouraged Favorolangers to oppose Dutch rule in the Favorolang area, Zeelandia Dagregisters I, K folio 493; and Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 210.

98 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, E folio 284.

99 Ibid., E folio 286.

100 Ibid., G folio 666.

101 Ibid., H folio 292.

102 Max Weber, From Max Weber, 245–252 and 296.

103 Originele missive van Jan van der Burch to den Gouverneur Generael in dato 14 November 1636, ARA, VOC 1120, folio 334–364.

104 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, A folio 638.

105 Ibid.

106 Ibid., A folio 638–639.

107 Ibid., E folio 281.

108 During the course of the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, as administration became more legal-rational, bureaucracies came to be viewed as machines, and the men who filled them came to be seen as ‘functionaries’, ‘cogs’, parts of the machine. See especially Martin Krygier, ‘state and Bureaucracy in Europe: The Growth of a Concept’ in: Kamenka, Eugene and Krygier, Martin eds, Bureaucracy: The Career of a Concept (London 1979). See also Weber, Max, ‘Max Weber on Bureaucratization in 1909’ in: Mayer, J.P. ed., Max Weber and German Politics: A Study in Political Sociology (London 1956) 125131.

109 See Goody, Domestication of the Savage Mind, 16.

110 Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’, 165. (Or Familie-archief Huydecoper, RAU, R 67, nr. 621 [Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 9–25]).

111 As Blussé shows, the lack of headmen was a problem from the start for the missionaries, who found it nearly impossible to enforce Christian conduct in an acephalous society. Indeed, this was a major reason why the missionaries urged the governor extend company control over the towns. Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’, 165.

112 Ibid., 173.

113 Ibid., 173.

114 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, J folio 556.

115 Ibid., E folio 284.

116 Ibid., H folio 295.

117 Ibid., E folio 284.

118 Ibid., H folio 296.

119 Ibid., H folio 313.

120 Ibid., H folio 301.

121 Ibid., J folio 562.

122 Ibid., H folio 301.

123 Ibid., J folio 562.

124 Compare Durkheim's discussion of the sacred and the profane: the sacred is that which must be conceived as separate from the ordinary; the sacred must be protected from contact with the profane. Durkheim, Emile, Elementary Forms of the Religious Life (New York 1965); see also Douglas, Mary, Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo (New York 1966).

125 I am not arguing here that the Taiwanese aborigines believed that the staves had power in themselves, only that the Dutch thought they did.

126 Putmans expressed outrage at this: ‘What else has this been but a subservience by means of which our people have clearly professed themselves to be tenants and not owners of the land?’, Blussé's translation, in ‘Retribution and Remorse’, 166.

127 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, H folio 294.

128 Bourdieu, Pierre, Outline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge 1977). See also Mauss, Marcel, The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies (New York 1967, first published in 1925).

129 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, J folio 556.

130 Original missive of Hans Putmans from the ship Banda to the Amsterdam Chamber, 2 August 1637, ARA, VOC 1120, 1–18, folio 9.

131 Letter from Junius to the Heren XVII, 5 September 1636, translation from Campbell, Formosa under the Dutch, 130.

132 Zeelandia Dagregisters II, E folio 296.

133 Ibid., E folio 284.

134 Ibid., H folio 303 (see also J folio 563).

135 Ibid., E folio 296.

136 Ibid., E folio 296.

137 See Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’; and Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’.

138 In November of 1634, for example, the company sent a small expedition against the village of Taccareuan, enemies of its ally, the town of Sinkan: ‘His excellency the governor and the Council of Formosa have decided, upon the request of the Sinkanders, to send 60 or 70 Dutch soldiers to help the Sinkanders fight against those of Taccreyangh. This will, we hope, bind the Sinkanders to us more tightly’. Zeelandia Dagregisters I, G folio 232.

139 See Blussé, ‘Missionaries as Protagonists’ and Blussé, ‘Retribution and Remorse’.

140 In the 1637 expedition against the town of Favorolangh, for example, the day-journal notes that ‘our allies have obtained from the enemy twenty-two heads, not counting those which could not be obtained because our enemies removed the bodies of their fallen comrades too quickly’. Zeelandia Dagregisters I, K folio 433, pp. 377–378. In the 1641 expedition against Favorolangh, the company sent 1200 of its native allies home because they fell to fighting over the captured heads, Zeelandia Dagregisters II, 10). See also Blussé's discussion in ‘Retribution and Remorse’.

141 McGovern, Among the Head-Hunters, 53.

142 Ibid., 52. Leonard Blussé had a similar experience while doing fieldwork among the Tsou tribe in Chioumei village. In a celebration held as part of his adoption into the Tsou's tribal community, he was told that at last a blue-eyed man had come to fulfil a promise made to their ancestors long ago, when they were still living in the Western plains: the blue-eyed people would return to liberate them from the Chinese yoke: Blussé, personal communication, 10 April 1997.

143 de Beauclair, Inez, ‘Dutch Beads in Formosa?’, Bulletin of the Institute of Ethnology 29 (1970) 388; and Shepherd, Statecraft and Political Economy, 461, note 40.

144 Among the most important works on ceremony and ritual are Cannadine, David and Price, Simon eds, Rituals of Royalty: Power and Ceremonial in Traditional Societies (Cambridge 1987); Bryant, Lawrence M., ‘Parlementaire Political Theory in the Parisian Royal Entry Ceremony’, Sixteenth Century Journal 7 (1976) 1524; Kertzer, Ritual, Politics, and Power, Wilentz, Sean ed., Rites of Pmuer: Symbolism, Ritual, and Politics Since the Middle Ages (Philadelphia 1985); and especially Seed, Patricia, Ceremonies of Possession in Europe's Conquest of the New World (Cambridge 1995).

145 Roosen, ‘Diplomatic Ceremonial’; Durkheim, Elementary Forms.

146 Geertz, Clifford, ‘Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture’ in: Clifford Geertz, Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays by Clifford Geertz (New York 1973) 16.

147 Darnton, Robert, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York 1984) 3.

148 Soly, H., ‘Plechtige Intochten in de Steden van de Zuidelijke Nederlande Tijdens de Overgang van Middeleeuwen naar Nieuwe Tijd: Communicatie, Propaganda, Spektakel’, Tijdschrift voor Geschiedenis 97 (1984) 341361; Arnade, Peter J., ‘Citizens, Sovereigns and Ritual Behavior: Ghent and the Burgundian Court, 1440–1540’ (Ph.D. Dissertation, State University of New York at Binghampton, 1992). See also Anglo, Sydney, Spectacle, Pageantry, and Early Tudor Policy (Oxford 1969); and Strong, Roy, Splendor at Court: Renaissance Spectacle and the Theatre of Power (Boston 1973). The work of Patricia Seed achieves a beautiful blending of interpretive and instrumental approaches, see Seed, Ceremonies of Possession.

149 Future work along these lines will demand comparative analysis. In order to show how rituals and ceremonies worked in a given context, it will be necessary to examine similar rituals and ceremonies in different contexts. Patricia Seed's innovative work sets out boldly in this direction, Seed, Ceremonies of Possession.

150 On the notion of ‘metanarratives’, see Lyotard, Jean François, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (Minneapolis 1984).

151 Weber, Max, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (New York 1930); and Weber, ‘Weber on Bureaucratization’.

152 The Italian Fascists and the National Socialists were adept at using rule by spectacle to achieve their political aims. See, for example, Ecksteins, Modris, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age (New York 1989).

153 One might argue that the VOC had, in Weberian terms, an ‘instrumentally rational’ approach to spectacle. See Weber's methodological introduction to Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology (Berkeley 1978).

154 Todorov, Tzvetan, The Conquest of America: The Question of the Other (New York 1984).

155 Ibid., 116.

156 In general, Todorov's argument has been rejected by scholars of colonial Mexico. The Aztecs were not trapped by their signs as Todorov would have it: they, too, appear to have used signs instrumentally. Nor was Cortés so adept at reading Aztec signs as Todorov would have it. Cortés appears to have misinterpreted certain key Aztec acts, despite the help of his lover and interpreter Malinche. See Lockhart, James, Nahuas and Spaniards: Postconquest Central Mexican History and Philology (Stanford 1991); Lockhart, James, The Nahuas after the Conquest: A Social and Cultural History of the Indians of Central Mexico, Sixteenth through Eighteenth Centuries (Stanford 1992); and, most importantly, Lockhart, James, ‘Sightings: Initial Nahua Reactions to Spanish Culture’ in: Schwartz, Stuart B. ed., Implicit Understandings: Observing, Reporting, and Reflecting on the Encounters Between Europeans and Other Peoples in the Early Modern Era (Cambridge 1994) 218248.

* I wish to thank Leonard Blussé, Geoffrey Parker, Jonathan Spence, and Robin Winks for their criticism of drafts of this paper. I also wish to thank Frans Paul van der Putten for introducing me to the Algemeen Rijksarchief and for his kind hospitality during my stay in Leiden. Thanks finally to the Yale Center for International and Area Studies and the Yale Council on Southeast Asia Studies, which provided generous grants for archival research.

Political Spectacle and Colonial Rule: The Landdag on Dutch Taiwan, 1629–1648

  • Tonio Andrade

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