http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/7491257776/ CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Note to teacher: This resource is supported by the document “The Macassans: What legacy did they leave for Australians?”, also available on the Our Asian Stories website (in teacher-developed resources). • • • • What is it? Where does it live? What would you do with it? What is it called? http://www.flickr.com/photos/cybersam/234905394/ Sea cucumbers • Also called trepang in Indonesian. • They live on the sea floor, but are exposed at low tide. • They are used in cooking and for their medicinal properties. • They keep oceans healthy by filtering sea water and eating decomposing organic matter. Macassar • Macassar (or Makassar), is the provincial capital of South Sulawesi in Indonesia. • It was once the dominant trading centre of eastern Indonesia. Macassar Image: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Macassans – what does it mean? • In the 18th and 19th centuries, fleets of boats came to the waters of Northern Australia from Macassar, to fish for sea cucumbers. • Historically, the term ‘Macassan’ refers to the Indonesian people who sailed in the annual fleet to Northern Australia. Macassans – fishermen • • • • • • There were between 30-60 boats in each fleet. The journey took between 10-21 days. Approximately 2000 men came each season. The journey was 1600kms. They used the monsoonal winds to travel by sail. They arrived each December, fished over the summer months and returned home in March. • They caught the sea cucumbers by hand or with spears. Macassans – traders • The Macassans boiled and dried the sea cucumbers. • They would sail to southern China to supply the markets. Images: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 Contact with Australia • Trepang fishing brought the Macassans into contact with many Aboriginal people, in particular the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land in Northern Australia. Image: Glen Dillion, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Praus Click here to view an Aboriginal bark painting. • What do you see in the bark painting? • What colours and patterns has the artist used? • What do you think is the significance of these colours and patterns? Bark painting sources: Search Google images, “Tjapu bark painting” or “Kalanga Numarndangiya Bara Anindilyakwa” Praus Image: Wikimedia Commons, public domain image (copyright expired) Image: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Praus (or perahu, prows) is the name for the sailing vessels used by the Macassan trepangers. Praus Student activities: 1. Research the features and materials used to construct these vessels, then sketch and label the parts of a prau. 2. Write an explanation about the significance of the Aboriginal bark painting. Describe what it shows about the relationship between the Aboriginal people and the Macassan traders. 3. Either make a model and see if floats or recreate the bark painting using textured cardboard and crayons, or with chalk in the playground. Image: Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 Mapping the voyage • On a map of Indonesia and Northern Australia, map the route of the Macassans (visit http://www.manikay.com/didjerid u/macass.shtml for guidance). • On your map, mark Macassar, Arnhem Land and the seas. • How did the monsoons assist the Macassans? • How did the monsoons impact when the Macassans travelled? • What dangers and problems do you think they faced during the journey? • Write a story about a trepanger’s voyage. Image: Wikimedia Commons, public domain image Matthew Flinders’ encounter with the Macassans • Matthew Flinders was the first person to circumnavigate Australia. • On the 17th of February 1803, he met the Macassans. • Read Matthew Flinders’ journal, p. 137 (“Every motion in the whale boat…” to “…the fleet returns to Macassar.”), then complete the activities on the next page. Image: Wikimedia Commons, public domain image (copyright expired) Student activities • In pairs, discuss the meeting between Flinders and Pobasso, from each man’s view point. What did Flinders and Pobasso learn about each other through this meeting? • Script the meeting and perform it as a role play. • Explore the saying ‘in the right place at the right time’ in relation to this scenario. Focus on the date and the winds as factors affecting the encounter between Flinders and Pobasso. • Why is reading Flinders’ journal important to our understanding of the Macassans? Click on each flag to watch the Red Flag Dancers (2 videos) • Which parts of the costume do you think are traditional to the Nundhirribala people? • Which parts do you think were introduced by the Macassans? • Describe how the dance tells a story. How did the Macassans influence Aboriginal life? • Brainstorm and discuss possible ways Aboriginal life may have been influenced by the ongoing contact with the Macassans over the centuries. • In research groups, investigate the following areas of impact: Language Canoes Tools and weapons Food and diet Health Methods of fishing Cloth Working for wages Methods of cooking • Analyse and record the impact of each area investigated on a PMI (positive, minus, interesting) chart. • Write a discussion text about the Macassan influence on Aboriginal life in Northern Australia.