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This article analyses the role of emotions in Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC) encounters with local indigenous peoples in the region, as they sought the Great South Land during the seventeenth century. It seeks to understand how affective and communication practices in the Company shaped attempts at establishing trading relations on the ground. The nature of the relationships that the VOC could have with local peoples was pivotal to an enterprise that sought both trade and possible settlement. In particular, this essay explores VOC strategic emotional display, their interpretation of indigenous peoples' feelings and the varied narratives of these experiences and ideas in Company records. Interpretations of South Land responses to VOC actions and goods were critical to the decisions the Company made about their activity in the region, both limiting how much knowledge the Company gained about the region, and determining their future in it.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

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Journal Article

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