International Journal of Human Diversity and Evolution
Coverage: 1923-1941 (Vols. I-XIX) & 1962-2023 (Vols. 1-61)
ISSN 0323-1119 (Print)
ISSN 2570-9127 (Online)
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'Chaloupka G, 1996: Praus in Marege: Makassan Subjects in Aboriginal Rock Art of Arhnem Land, Northern Territory, Australia. Anthropologie (Brno) 34, 1-2: 131-142'.
From at least the middle of the 17th century to as recently as 1906 fleets of Makassan praus made their way through the eastern islands of the Indonesian Archipelago to Kai Jawa, the Kimberley coast of Western Australia and to Marege, the Arnhem Land coast of the Northern Territory. The principal aim of their visits was to collect and process trepang. Eyewitness accounts, trading documents and oral traditions in South Sulawesi describe this period, the reason for the voyages and the types of vessels used, however there is a lack of local pictorial record that would clearly document what the praus of the period were like. The situation is different in Australia. Here, since the beginning of the 19th century a number of European artists and observers have depicted, and in some considerable detail described, Makassan vessels operating along the Arnhem Land coast and the activities of their crew. There are however even earlier records of the praus, sailing canoes and other items of Makassan origin painted by the Aboriginal artists on walls and ceilings of their rock shelters. That these artists had an intimate knowledge of all the praus'features and how they were used can be seen in the detail of their rock paintings.
Makassans - Praus - Aborigines - Rock art - Arnhem Land - Northern Territory - Australia

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