Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228491
Title: THE UNCHANGING FORMOSAN BRIDE: GLIMPSES INTO INTERMARRIAGE ON DUTCH FORMOSA IN THE 1600S
Authors: LOW ROZANNE
Keywords: Overseas Chinese
Formosa
indigenous peoples of Taiwan
Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch East India Company
intermarriage
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2022
Citation: LOW ROZANNE (2022-03-30). THE UNCHANGING FORMOSAN BRIDE: GLIMPSES INTO INTERMARRIAGE ON DUTCH FORMOSA IN THE 1600S. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The short-lived Dutch colony of Formosa has seen significantly fewer scholarship than its counterparts in East and Southeast Asia. Additionally, while present literature on the Dutch interlude focuses mainly on establishing the political and economic structure of the island; the literature generally ignores the social interactions between the islands’ inhabitants — made up of the indigenous Formosans, the migrant Chinese, and the Dutch. Utilising mainly Company archives and missionary writings, this thesis explores the understudied realm of intermarriages. Before the Dutch arrived in 1623, the substantial Chinese male trading population living on the island often took indigenous women as wives, fortifying their ties with and influence on the local community. Though wary of the Chinese trading community’s influence, the Company required a substantial Chinese migrant population to develop Formosa into an agricultural commercial colony. Hence, the Dutch learnt from the Chinese example. They took countermeasures to prevent more Chinese-Formosan unions and encouraged Dutch men to wed Formosan women. The Company also used the Dutch Reformed Church as an arm to push these marital objectives. While the picture seems to suggest that only Chinese and Dutch men stood to gain from intermarriages, it was not so. The Formosan villages established ties with the Chinese and Dutch for the security of traded goods and an edge during intervillage wars. Similarly, the unchanging bride of these intermarriages — the Formosan women — did not just passively accept these men as husbands. Rather, the women often enjoyed material gains and economic stability when intermarrying with Chinese and Dutch men. Studying each stakeholder of intermarriages in Formosa provides a more coherent reimagining of social relationships between island’s inhabitants. In doing so, this study will motivate more research on the interplay of social interactions between the inhabitants instead of reductively viewing them as separate communities.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228491
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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