Saturday, December 12, 2015

Southeast Asians in 17th Century Taiwan

The United Daily News ran a story today about the presence of Javanese and Cagayan islanders in 17 century Taiwan.

According to the UDN, the National Taiwan Museum of History holds a drawing showing Dutch colonists and their servants or slaves from Kelapa (an old name for Jakarta). After the Dutch were defeated by Koxinga, they left behind a contingent of 70 or 80 Banda Islanders who served Koxinga as mercenaries.

Place names in Tainan, Pingtung, and Kaohsiung are believed to be related to the Javanese presence in southern Taiwan. They include:


  • Black Devil Well (Wuguijing)
  • Black Devil Ferry Crossing (Wuguidu)
  • Black Devil Square (Wuguicheng)

  • Black Devil Flat (Wuguipu)   

Pingtung, Xiaoliuqiu (Lamay) Island

  • Black Devil Cave (Wuguidong)
The Spanish impressed around 200 Cagayan islanders to serve as soldiers and laborers in northern Taiwan. While most left Taiwan with the Spanish, some fled into the mountains to escape mistreatment by the Spaniards and remained in Taiwan.

The UDN article contains a number of errors. It incorrectly states that Koxinga defeated the Dutch in 1622 when in fact he did not do so until 1662. It also says that the Spanish left the island when Koxinga "won Taiwan." In fact, the Spanish left Taiwan after the Dutch defeated them at the Battle of Keelung in 1642. 


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    bbarta24 - Daily Breaking News
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