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China

[260] The appearance of the Chinese folk: 1599-1600
The men and women of China are well proportioned, quite tall, with broad faces, small eyes and flat noses. The men have beards. Those living in Canton are as dark as Negroes but those living inland are nearly as fair as the Europeans. The noblemen wear silk clothing of many colours. The middle-classes also wear silk but of an inferior quality. The lower-classes have cloths of serge, rough wool and cotton. Their robes are like those of our ancestors, with many folds in the materials and with wide sleeves. The noblemen and royalty wear robes embroidered with gold and silver, with belts studded with gems that distinguish them from the others. They wear velvet shoes and knee length boots. In the winter, they line their clothing with fur, mainly ermine, of which there is no shortage. Young men wear their hair as the women do, parted in the middle. The women are dressed like Spanish women, with wide sleeves and embroidered with gold and silver designs. They bind up their hair so decoratively with pearls and gems that it is a delight to see. On their feet they wear slippers or wooden shoes: £95

[261] Transport for the aristocratic Chinese: 1599-1600
There are many grades of officers in China, of which the mandarins are the most distinguished. They are carried about on special, highly decorated chairs with gold or silk curtains all round. Anyone approaching them with a message must do so on their knees, for the mandarins are almost as important as the king and there are no other such highly-esteemed people in all the land. Scholars and students are also treated with similar respect. The Chinese enjoy life; eating, drinking and being entertained. They have beautifully ornamented pleasure boats, with silken canopies all round and tables inside: £95

[262] Transport for the women of China: 1599-1600

The upper-class women of China are often carried about by their servants in chair-like boxes. These carriages have silken curtains through which the women, hidden from view, can see through small, lattice-worked windows. The Chinese also have very artistically built vehicles with four wheels and sails, blown along by the wind over flat land, which covers most of China. In this manner they can easily travel wherever they wish without effort: £95

[263]
A typical Chinese ship: 1599-1600

The Chinese have several kinds of ships, especially the large ones with a turret in the front and rear. They are so numerous in the waters of their kingdom that a sea-captain can, in one day, gather together as many as 600 of them for battle. So many people live on them with their families that they look like a floating town. All kinds of business is transacted on these ships and there are people who have lived on them all their lives without ever setting foot on dry land. We illustrate this particular ship because its sails are not of canvass or cloth but rather are made of cane or rushes, bound together. The anchor is not of iron but made of wood, formed like a star: £95

[264] How certain Chinese become aristocrats: 1599-1600

In China the aristocrats, called ‘loitti’ are appointed in the following manner: after completing their higher education, the candidates meet in the emperor’s palace and are individually examined in the presence of the other ‘loittis’. Those who have learnt enough in the laws of the empire are presented with the sign of the ‘loitti’ in the name of the emperor. This is a belt embroidered with gold and silver, and also a hat with wings that distinguish them from the common folk. A day of promotion is arranged when all the ‘loitti’ again gather in the emperor’s palace and those newly appointed, kneel before the examiner to receive the bejewelled robes and to swear complete loyalty to the emperor. After receiving their new titles and treasures, they are embraced by all the other established ‘loitti’. Thereafter, there is a great procession throughout the town, with drums and trumpets. The musicians lead the way, followed by soldiers and men carrying sceptres. Then come the, already established, ‘loittis’, carried on chairs accompanied by their friends and relatives. Six velvet clothes are borne with the names of the newly appointed ‘loittis’, embroidered in gold. Lastly, are the newly-appointed ‘loittis’ on white horses, with precious silken covers, wearing special ribbons on their hats. All this is celebrated with great solemnity: $95

[265] A Strange ceremony of the Chinese: 1599-1600
The Chinese, who have many idols, consult their three-headed god whenever they have an important assignment facing them. They throw two small pieces of wood in the air, one side is flat, the other side rounded. If they both land on the flat side, it means good fortune and they ask the idol for a sign. If one piece falls flat and the other rounded, it means bad fortune. If they throw the wood pieces again and they still show bad fortune, they begin to threaten their god, sometimes mishandling it or even burning it. When eventually the pieces of wood fall correctly they apologise to their god and bring it peace-offerings. Sometimes the evil spirits are evoked by lying face down on the ground, while someone else reads from a book and another sings and rings a bell. When the man lying face down becomes possessed they ask the evil spirits questions and he answers them in their name. In the event of him not being able to answer them, they lay down a red cloth and scatter rice on it. Then, another person supposedly possessed by the devil, begins to write answers to their questions in the rice: £95

[266]
How the high ranking judges ride through the streets: 1599-1600
When the high judge sets out to do his duty, he is accompanied by two silver pillars, carried on poles, to signify he is an officer of the emperor. Next in line, two long straight rods are carried to signify the righteousness of justice. Then come two more rods with red tassels with which prisoners are whipped. Behind them, two white plates are carried, bearing the judge’s name and function. Lastly, the high judge comes, carried on a chair or riding a white horse. To obtain a confession from criminals, two methods are used: either they threaten to pull his fingers from their sockets by a hollow wooden contraption with strings running through it, or his feet are placed between two large boards, held together by ropes that work on a pulley and the boards are beaten with a heavy hammer until the victim pleads guilty: £95

[267] A Chinese prison and place for execution: 1599-1600

The Chinese have many large prisons, with large parks and ornamental fish-ponds, where petty criminals spend their days. These have high walls and are well guarded. While awaiting execution, those who are condemned to death must wear a white board round their neck, with their crimes written on them and at night time are locked in the stocks. When the criminal is lead out to be executed, bells are rung and shots fired in the air. Lesser crimes, such as theft, are punished by whippings or placed face down on the floor, with their hands tied behind them. Then they are savagely beaten on their bare calves with thin planks, soaked in water. After six strokes the victim can rarely stand, after fifty strokes he usually dies: £95

[268] How the Chinese serve guests and comfort the dying: 1599-1600
The Chinese serve their guests lavishly with all kinds of good dishes, laid out on beautifully decorated tables, covered in silken cloths. Meanwhile, they offer musical and other forms of entertainment. In the event of a guest not being able to attend, his table is still decorated and afterwards, the servants carry the food to his home with great solemnity. The Chinese also believe in the immortality of the soul. When someone is dying, he is shown a fearful picture of the devil, holding the sun in one hand and a dagger in the other. They are told that, if they meet him after death, they are not to fear him but to consider him as a friend: £95

[269] How the Chinese bury their dead: 1599-1600
When someone dies, the body is washed by friends, then precious clothes are smoked and the corpse is wrapped in them. It is then placed on a chair and people kneel before it to pay respects to their much-loved friend. Later the corpse is put into a coffin, covered with a white cloth, which has a painting of the person on it and is left for fourteen days, during which time many ceremonies are performed for the soul of the departed. Then, with musical accompaniment, the corpse is buried, along with a fir tree and several pieces of paper on which various slaves and animals are painted. Thereafter, on a certain day in August, the monks build an alter, decorate it with pictures of the dead man and, using incense, start tapping it with a stick and praying for his soul. Meanwhile, people bring offerings, sit about eating and drinking at tables and make much noise with wooden musical instruments, drums and bells. Finally, the monks burn the painted papers so that the dead man’s soul is purged of his sins: £65

[270] The Chinese merchants who trade in Bantam: 1599-1600
The Chinese - dressed in white as shown here, do a flourishing trade in Bantam with the goods they bring from China. They buy women in Bantam, using them as servants and, if, in the meantime they have not had children with them, they sell them when they return to China. Others live permanently in Bantam. Their homes are in a different district from the Javanese folk. Sometimes they go from village to village, buying peppers from farmers and, to avoid being cheated, they take scales with them. A sack hangs at one end into which the pepper is poured and, when the sack is full, they pay the farmer the amount due to him. They pay rich men less than they do to the poor. The Chinese who do this work usually wear dark blue garments with knitted caps on their heads: £65

[271]
How the Chinese worship their idols in Bantam: 1599-1601
As can be seen here, the Chinese worship their idol, which takes the form of a devil. They lay offerings of fruit on an altar before the idol. Then they bow right down on the ground, remaining there until they think the idol has had enough of the fruit and has blessed whatever is left over. When they go home they take the remainder of the fruit that has been blessed and eat it with relish, in the hope that their god will now keep them from harm and grant them future success in their dealings: £95

Japan

[272] How the Japanese confess their sins: 1601-2
The people of Japan have an extraordinary way of confessing their sins. In the countryside of Osaka there are high cliffs with a great overhang, some two hundred fathoms in height. On the top of one of the overhangs are scales, made of iron, with a long rod upon which two large bowls hang. The pilgrims, known as ‘Xamabuxis’, who go there to confess their sins are filled with fear, just by the sight of it. The priest, known as the ‘Goquis’, placed the pilgrims, one at a time in a bowl on one side of this scale. Naturally, his body weight sends his side precariously downwards but, for every sin he confesses, the empty bowl is pulled down by a lever at the top until he has confessed enough sins to draw the balance level again. Then the pilgrim is swung back to safety and the next sinner takes his seat: £95

[273] A portrait of the Japanese people: 1602

The Dutch, being not far from Manila, met up with a ship from Japan. These folk are pictured here. They are fairly tall and wear long garments not unlike those of the Poles. Among these people was the chief, who was a nobleman. He wore a long, silken dress with a flower design. They are good, well-trained warriors, expert with firearms, spears, arrows and sabres. Their heads are shaved almost bald, except for a long pigtail hanging down behind: £155

Polynesia

[274]* Map: ‘Tabula Hydrographica Maris Australis …’: 1619 (rare)
After rounding Cape Horn, Schouten and le Maire headed northwards until, on the first day of March 1616, they reached the Juan Fernandez Islands, in latitude 33° south. After ten days ashore, gathering in provisions and two tons of fish, they headed out across the Pacific towards New Guinea. The map first appeared in Schouten’s Journal, published 1618. (17cm x 41cm): £345

[275]* Map: Novæ Guineæ Tabula: 1619 (rare)
This shows the track of Schouten and le Maire along the north coast of the island of New Guinea in 1616. Although the islands of Seram [Zeram], Ambon and Buru [Burro] are quite well defined, the northwest peninsula of New Guinea is shown here as an island. Two compass roses with radiating rhumb lines above, with title cartouche below. (15cm x 27 cm): £220

[276] Schouten and le Maire attack a Polynesian ship: 1619 (rare)
After having their lunch, the Dutch anchored below 15º 20’ latitude [near Tahiti], they noticed a ship which they first mistook for a Spanish barque, so they warned the ship three times to move away. Since it did not respond to their warnings, they took their small boats and fired their muskets at it. The natives then panicked and some leaped into the water, while others threw their goods overboard: £155

[277] How the natives responded: 1619 (rare)
One of the natives tried to swim off, carrying a small child. Another who was badly wounded in the back was spared by the Dutch. As they went to seize the native ship, an old white-haired man and a youth entered the Dutch vessel and bowed down before them. As a result they were received with kindness and their wounds were treated. In the evening, the natives introduced the Dutch to their women-folk, by whom they were made very welcome. It was observed that these people drank seawater and also gave it to their children, that being truly against nature. After they had all parted in peace, the Dutch continued on their way to the southeast: £155

[278] Dutch experiences in the Coco and Traitor’s Islands: 1619 (rare)
The Dutch arrived at two more islands (near Samoa), one of which was so full of coconut trees that they named it Coco Island. The inhabitants paddled out in their canoes to meet them in such numbers, that the Dutch hardly knew which way to turn. As soon as the natives had finished trading with them, they leapt back into the water but some had stolen goods with them. On going to the other island, the Dutch sent out their boats to the shore but the inhabitants, in twelve canoes, attacked them. The Dutch defended themselves and as soon as the natives saw the damage their muskets could do, they held back. The king of this island seemed friendly at first but soon proved otherwise. He sent out a large number of his men in boats to attack the visitor and plunder their ships. However, he subsequently had to surrender as the Dutch fired back, causing great losses of his men. Because of this the Dutch named this island: ‘Traitor’s Island’: £165

[279] The adventures of the Dutch at ‘Bottomless’ Island: 1619 (rare)
The Dutch arrived at an island [in Samoa] fringed with wild vines on which there were native men with long hair and native women with short hair. Because the water surrounding the island was so deep as to appear bottomless, the Dutch had to either swim ashore, or be pulled in by ropes or rowed there in boats. After landing, two of them were seized by about thirty natives and carried off into the forest. As soon as the Dutch began firing at them, the women begged their men-folk to surrender otherwise they would have all been shot. Later, they sent a boat with three natives on board to the Dutch ship to make peace and trade goods. The Dutch reciprocated their friendship by giving one man some drink in a silver cup, which they had difficulty in getting back. The natives would have enjoyed stealing some of the iron artefacts aboard if they had been able to carry them away. While the three natives were aboard the ship, a great crowd gathered, calling for the Dutch to come ashore: £165

[280] The Dutch are received at another island: 1619 (rare)
On visiting another island [in Samoa] the Dutch were made heartily welcome by the king and all the inhabitants. A king of another neighbouring island also called to meet them, bringing with him gifts and preparing a fine banquet for them. To honour the natives, the Dutch entertained the inhabitants by firing their guns and blowing their trumpets: £155

[281] The natives eat, drink and dance for their king: 1619 (rare)
Food was carried on the natives’ heads as they humbly crept forward on their knees to greet the Dutch. The drink, called cava, was made from a certain plant, which they chewed up thoroughly and then spat out into a bowl. On going ashore by moonlight, the Dutch were greatly amazed when they came across the king, sitting with his wives and watching several young girls dancing for him: £155

[282] The description of Horn’s Island: 1619 (rare)
This was a charming and beautiful island, full of coconuts, upas-root and wild pigs, which the natives either offered or sold to the Dutch. The natives seemed very wild and rough at first but were soon mollified by the friendliness of the Dutch. The houses all along the shore were round with pointed tips. The roofs allowed rainwater to drain away easily. In each home there was a bit of dried vegetation, two fishing poles and a wooden club, which seemed to be the only household items. The natives are good swimmers, dreadful thieves and very greedy for metal artefacts. After staying there for some time, the Dutch sailed on to the Moluccan Islands: £155

[165] A description of the island of Thieves: 1602
This shows Van Noort’s fleet in 1600, moored off the Isla Ladrones (the Islands of Thieves, believed to be the Marianas Islands) and surrounded by natives in small sailing crafts. In the foreground are natives, indigenous to the island. The low-lying island is rocky and thickly covered with trees. It is called Ladrones because the inhabitants are notorious thieves, which caused the Dutch to take great care of their possessions. The brown-skinned folk go about naked. Only the women wear a leaf over their loins. The men have short hair, the women wear it long. Having no laws, they live like animals and because of this, many are afflicted and disfigured by syphilis: £165

[166] What the Dutch experienced at the Island Ladrones: 1602
At the Marianas Islands, the Dutch ship was visited by about 200 small boats, each containing 2 or 3 people. To do trade with them, the Dutch let down ironware by means of a rope, which was eagerly received. In return a sack of rice was offered but, on hauling it up, the Dutch realised they had been cheated because, below a thin layer of rice, the sack was filled with leaves and other rubbish. Several natives even came aboard. One snatched a Dutchman’s sword before leaping into the sea and swimming back to shore with it. The admiral opened fire and the invaders hid by diving under water. Many capsized boats were also used as shields when the natives hid behind them. These boats are long and narrow, enabling them to quickly move backwards or forwards without turning: £155

[167] Cavendish meets natives at Guam: 1599-1600
During Thomas Cavendish’s voyage to the Spice Islands of the East, he dropped anchor in 1587 at Guam in the Ladrones, known as the Islands of Thieves. At least sixty canoes, full of natives with fruit and other provisions, arrived and began accosting him in the hope of doing some trading. After swapping various wares of old iron for provisions, the English prepared to depart and set their sails but were pursued by the natives and were quite unable to shake them off. In order to be rid of them, the English fired several shots and, in the confusion that followed, were unable to determine how many natives perished and how many of them managed to save themselves: £110

[168] Portrait of the Islands Velas or Ladrones Islands: 1619-20
The Ladrones Islands were first discovered by Magellan in 1521, who originally named them Velas, after the little local ships with sails. They are, however, believed to be the Marianas Islands and that he landed at Guam with many of his crew dying of scurvy. Later, he re-named the islands Ladronnes because of the inhabitants who loved to steal. A: This is the ‘Admiral’ or Sun; B: The Vice Admiral or Moon; C: The Morning Star; D: The Æolus; E: The Hunter – all these Dutch ships were surrounded by native boats like a swarm of bees; F: The captured ship where many Dutchmen were killed; G: natives rowing-boats with frames on either side to balance; H: native ships for voyages, and I: figure and clothing of the inhabitants: £165

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