2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

"The Civilized" and "the Savage":
The Dutch Perception of the Formosan Austronesians and their Geographical Impressions

Peter Kang

Department of Taiwan and Regional Studies, National Donghwa University

This article discusses the civility discourses of the officials of Dutch East India Company (VOC) on the Formosan Austronesians. It begins with the descriptions of newly arrived VOC personnel of the Formosan Austronesians and, in the course of VOC territorial expansion, its administrators' view of the nature of three more civilized groups of people. The case of the Cavalan illustrates how the VOC-appointed local representatives affected both the perception of administrators and the VOC policy on the Formosan Austronesians. This article then turns to the early civilizing practices of the VOC. Te case of the Lameyers illuminates how the Dutch fulfilled their idea of civilizing practices in an extreme way. This article further examines how VOC personnel formulated their own ultimate impression of three civilizing geographical spaces of Formosan Austronesians based on hierarchical difference after decades of ruling and Christianizing practices.

Keywords: civilized qualities, Formosan Austr o nesians, Dutch East India Company, geographical impressions