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|Leiden University catalogue
|Visions of Disorder and Profit: The Khoikhoi and the First Years of the Dutch East India Company at the Cape
Ethnic and Race Relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
|The author argues that notions of the transformability of identity are prominent in the official journal kept during the first ten years of the Cape's settlement by the Dutch East India Company (the VOC), 1652-1662. The text of the journal, composed mainly by Van Riebeeck, is concerned in a number of ways with the need for constant improvement, a process that is often presented in terms of financial gain. The economic expectations of the VOC determined to a large extent the way in which the land and the inhabitants of the Cape (South Africa) were viewed and written about. The sexuality and domestic arrangements of the Company's men became central to the maintenance of the desired social order. Which mothers may be acknowledged and which children may inherit the father's status is one of the recurrent debates in VOC documents. The Khoikhoi woman Krotoń, baptised Eva, who was married to a Dutch surgeon, serves as proof of the Dutch ability to transform 'base' material into something that could bring profit to both the Company and God. Bibliogr.