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GLOSSARY of the Slave World

Alfures is a term used for the people from the Lesser Sunda Islands, like Timori and Flores, in Indonesia with curly hair, they were also taken as slaves

Arakan this was the old name for Burma, and some slaves were obtained there

Armazoen a Dutch term describing a ship with slave cargo, whereas the term used for a cargo of merchandise was cargazoen

Angola a country in central east Africa. The Dutch conquered Luanda from the Portuguese and called it Fort Aardenburgh 26 Aug. 1641- 21/24 Aug. 1648. The Portuguese exported millions of slaves from Angola. The first ship full of slaves to the Cape was the Amersfoort and it arrived at the Cape in 1658 with Angolan slaves

Antongil bay in Madagascar, now Malagasy. The Dutch VOC had a factory here from 1641/2 - 1646/7 closed. Many slaves were exported from here to the Cape. Pieter van Meerhof, the husband of Eva the Khoikhoi interpreter, was killed on a slave capturing expedition 27 February 1668 in this bay by some natives

Aiya a word from Malay origin, meaning old nursemaid

Anak Mas a child from a freeperson and slave woman, also known as annack maes, or annamaes

Asientos the Spanish had contracts for supplying slaves for their colonies in the new world, these contracts were known as asientos

Baaren a term used at the Cape to describe a new or raw slave, it comes from the Malay word orang-barn which means new man

Bahai is the main province of Brazil where slaves from Africa was exported to. The Portuguese exported many slaves from Angola to Bahai, the first ship load of slaves to the Cape was at first destined for Bahai but the Dutch intercepted them from the Portuguese

Bali is an island in Indonesia just east of Java. This island has maintained its Hindu religion. A number of slaves came from this island to the Cape


Bantam / Banten was one of the main indegenous trading ports on the island of Java. The VOC established Batavia in opposition to Bantam. Bantam was also a kingdom on western Java and southern Sumatra

Barracoon describes the enclosure in which the slaves were held before they were loaded on the slave ships

Batavia The VOC defeated the British and destroyed Jaykarta and founded Batavia in 1619. Batavia became the main base of the VOC in the East Indies. Many rules and regulations which were made here including some who had bearing to the slaves at the Cape was decided at Batavia.

Bengal part of India. Many foreign countries came and established factories in the Bengal delta and exported silk and other garments. Many slaves were exported to the Cape from Bengal

Bima is on the island of Soembawa in Indonesia (just east of the island of Lombok). A number of slaves at the Cape came from this place

Boegies / Bugis is an ethnic group or tribe of South Sulawesi island [Celebes] - Makassar is the capital city of the island and was well known for its resistance against Dutch colonial invasion. The Boegies people still exists today in that part of Indonesia. Many Asian Muslim slaves who were exiled to the Cape, were from Boegies descent.
Thank you Ridwaan Levy for your correction to this item. See also: Bugis, Wikipedia.

Boeton / Bouton is an Island in the East Indies

Bone was the centre of the Boegies in southern Sulawesi, they were at war with the Goa/Gowa based at Makassar and in war they took slaves from one another

Brazil the Dutch had a number of fortresses in the North East of Brazil, like Fort Keulen (1634 - 54), Fort Oranje (1631 -54), Fort Maurits (1637 - 45), Paramaribo (1667)

Caffer or Kaffer, has a number of meanings: it originally came from the Arabs who referred to unbelievers as a Caffer, thus the Malays considered the Dutch as Caffers (since the Dutch did not believe in Allah). Secondly this term Caffer was use in the Cape for the hangman which was the Fiscal's assistant, most of them were Indian slaves and they wore gray uniforms, these 'policeman' were used to beat both slaves and free. Lastly Caffer was also used for an African the use in this sense is derogatory and not socially accepted

Cauries also known as cowrie, small little white shells from the Maldives islands, also known as boegis, which were a main trading commodity for slaves.

Calicut was a port on the Malabar Coast, India. The English had a trading post at Calicut

Cape Verde is the backland area from Cape Verde peninsula to the Sierra Leone river, also known as the Guinea of Cape Verde, (sometimes St Iago). It is not the cape where Dakar is found neither Cape Verde Islands (also known as the salt islands). Only the wealthy at the Cape could afford slaves from here, since they were very expensive

Celebes is today the island of Sulawesi which is part of Indonesia, Maccaser was situated on this island. Many slaves came from Celebes

Cochin is a port on the Malabar Coast on the West Coast of India the Portuguese had there trading base here. The Dutch took possession 16 Feb. 1661, and this was the HQ for the VOC Commander of the Malabar Coast. Slaves were also exported from here to the Cape

Colombo was a Portuguese port in Ceylon, but became a port of the VOC 12 May 1656

Coffle is a term used for a line of slaves tied together, it comes from the Arabic word cafila meaning caravan

Coromandel Coast was situated on the East Coast of India, and there were a number of trading posts, a number of slaves to the Cape came from this region, someone who came from this region is also referred to as 'van de Kust'

Creole is a term used for a local born slave  

Curaçao came under Dutch control in 1634, it is an island just north of Venezuela

Dapoer is an island near the island of Bangka in Indonesia

Deshima Dutch VOC office in Japan, was located at the city of Nagasaki in Japan

Droster is a runaway slave

Elmina was a Dutch slave centre captured from the Portugese which was known as Fort Sao George, also known as Mina, on the gulf of Guinea

Gamron in Persia is where the VOC had a post, there were some slaves brought to the Cape from there

Gorees a branch in the shape of a fork which was used in Africa to put around the neck of slaves

Goa was a Portugese base on the western side of India

Goa / Gowa was a tribe living on the western side of the southern peninsula of Celebes. Where Macassar was situated. They fought against the Bone who was on the eastern side of the peninsula of Celebes

Guinea there was Lower Guinea which was on the gulf of Guinea and Upper Guinea the latter was north of the river Gambia. Describes a big section of western Africa where many slaves were taken from. The second ship load of slaves to the Cape arrived on the Hasselt in 1658, these slaves were traded at Guinea. There were a number of Dutch bases in the Guinea region: Fort Batensteyn (Bountry) 1640, Fort Nassua (Moreè), 1611, Fort Amsterdam (Cormantine) 1665, Fort Elmina

Guinea is a English coin which was struck after the Royal Adventurers of England Trading Company was established in 1663, this company was engaged in the slave trade. The coin was originally made from gold obtained in Guinea. The Duke of York was its patron, and King Charles II was one of the big investors in this Company

The Gulf of Guinea encompasses a big area of north western Africa where many slaves were taken from. The second ship load of slaves to the Cape came from here and arrived in 1658 on the ship Hasselt

Gundiks was the term used for secondary wives in Batavia and these slave women were often then freed

A Halfslag refers to someone who has one white parent, many slave children at the Cape was referred to as halfslag

Heelslag is a term used describing a slave who is a full blood ie the slave does not have a European ancestor

Hoergat a term used by the Dutch to describe the quarters where the female slaves stayed on the slave ship, the term means 'whore hole'

Hong Kong was an English port in China used for its trading purposes

De Kaap (Cape Town): In March 1647, with the shipwreck of the Dutch ship Nieuwe Haarlem, the shipwreck victims, built a small fort named "Sand Fort of the Cape of Good Hope". They stayed for nearly one year at the Cape, finally they were rescued then the fort was abandoned. In 1652 with the commencement of refreshment station the build a Fort (wooden fort), Redoubt Kyckuit (1652), Redoubt Duinhoop (1652), Fort Goede Hoop (1666)

Gale is a point in Sri Lanka

Jafna Was a VOC base in Ceylon (today Sri Lanka) established in 1658

Jonge - On the ships there were youngsters 'skeepsjonges' doing all the menial servant work. With the slaves doing the servants work this term was used for them. In South Africa this term continued to be applied to domestic workers

Kettinggangers a Dutch word for captured convicts, it may have included the slaves. Literally meaning 'those in chains"

Libambo a Portuguese word describing an iron chain used to chain all the slaves together

Liblabs - this was a term uses in the East by the Dutch for a person whose parents where known to be both Europeans. One commentator stated that many on these children "een slag van die molen beet heeft"

The Lodge known in Dutch as 'Logie' was the slave quarters of the VOC slaves at the Cape. It also served as a de facto brothel

Macao was a Portuguese Port (enclave) in China

Macassar / Makassar was a trading port of the Goa / Gowa until the VOC with the help of the Boegies from Bone defeated Macassar. The VOC established a fort in 1661 at the southern part of Celebes, it is now part of present day Indonesia. This fort was known as Fort Rotterdam

Madagascar was a major supply for ship loads of slaves for the Cape. The first slave imported to the Cape was Antony van Madagascar. Madagascar provided slaves for both the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean

Madras was a base for the East India Company of England

Malabar describes a region on the West Coast (Kerala) of India and a number of slaves was sent to the Cape. The Dutch ruled this coast for about 130 years, they had 11 military outpost. Some of the forts: Cannonore (1662), Cranganore (1663), the main base was Cochin (1663). Traded with pepper and cinnamon

Malay is an ethnic group which spreads from Indonesia, Malaysia to Madagascar. The descendant of the slaves from Indonesia at the Cape continued to practice there Islamic religion and is referred to as Malay

Malakka VOC had a base here. Previously it was known as Mulaqua to the early Moor traders and Malakka to the Dutch. During the British colonial rule it was known as Malacca. Today it is known as town of Melaka in Malaysia.. Melaka was founded around 1400 and its empire was ruled by the Malay Sultans. In 1511 the city was conquered by the Portuguese and in 1641 the Dutch captured it

Mandoor refers to the slave who oversees the others slaves

Manumission refers to those slaves who gained their freedom. This could have been by conversion, marriage to an European, or purchased their freedom. This is not the same as the emancipation when all slaves were set free

Mardijker a term from Sanskrit which originally was maharddhika meaning grootmagtig. It had nothing to do with a Dutch dike. In Batavia it was used for the free slaves which were full blood Asian. They were also referred to as Swarten (Black). They were also considered to be Portuguese since they were mainly from old Portuguese territories and brought to Batavia as slaves. The Dutch also referred to them as inlandse Christine. These ex-slaves received their freedom, when the Indonesians fought for their freedom from the Dutch they used the word 'Merdeka' freedom, which is derived from Mardijker

Masulipatnam was a Portuguese port on the Coromandel Coast

Mataram was a kingdom on the eastern part of Java

Mauritius an island east of Madagascar there used to be a Dutch Fort Frederik Hendrik, later it became a French port

Mestiços - refers to a descendent of mixed races, in Dutch Mixtiezen

Mina a term used for wet nurse, love mother

Middle Passage a term used for the experience of the slaves across the Atlantic. Slavers engaged in a triangular trade. From Europe they sailed to Africa. The middle trip was from Africa to the Americas and the third leg was the return trip from America to Europe

Minnemoer was a term used for those slave women who became a wetnurse for the children of their owners

Mollucca / Molukke is an island group in the East Indies (Indonesia)

Mombasa a harbour on the coast of Kenia where slaves were obtained

Mozbiekers a termed used at the Cape refering to slaves from Mocambique

Mulatto come from the latin word mule, it refers to a child from miscegenous relationship, often a slave women and European man

Nyais is the term used for female slaves who were made concubines in Batavia

Negapatnam use to be part of the Portuguese sphere of influence, it became a Dutch trading port on 23 July 1658, a number of slaves came to the Cape from Negapatnam

Nieu Guinea -
the VOC obtained some slaves from New Guinea, there was a Matthys van Nieu Guinea at the Cape, he was a slave to Maria Engelbrecht teh wife of Ds van Loon.

New Walcheren was a VOC controlled island from 1628 - 78. Now known as Tobago

Oorlam a word used at the Cape to describe an old experienced slave. A number of people who already served as slaves in Batavia were brought over to the Cape and they would have been classified as oorlam. It comes from the Malay word orang-lami which means old man

Orang Betawi are the people who are considered to be the "native" people of Jakarta, they would be mainly descendants of slaves. They can not be distinguished in appearance from other Indonesians but use a number of different words in their vocabularly, some of these words are from Arabic origen. Bahasa Betawi also had a Balinese influence since a number of the slaves were taken from Bali

Paliacat (Pulicat) was a VOC base in India established in 1613, it was known as Fort Geldria

Patria meaning fatherland was the term used for Netherland, conversely Batavia was known as Matria since so many of the European VOC men took eastern women, thus the mothers were Asian

Patronus a term applying to someone who had freed a slave

Peculium The slaves at the Cape received some payment for their work and this payment is referred to as peculium

Pondicherry was a French port in India

Popo the slave ship Hasselt that came to the Cape in 1658 obtained slaves from Popo, which is today known as Grand Popo on the coast Benin (Known formerly as Dahomey)

Plagium this is a term to describe the kidnapping of native people

Rio de la Goa or de la Goa, refers to present day Maputo (former Lorenço Marques) the Portuguese exported slaves from here, a number of slaves at the Cape came from there. The VOC established a commercial interest here in Jan 1721 for the propose of trading in slaves, they abandoned it in Dec 23, 1730. Their fort was called Fort Lydsaamheid (during this time they obtained 280 slaves for the Cape from here)

Roti is the most southern island Indonesia, it is just south of Timor, and some slave came from there to the Cape

Royal African Company was founded in 1672 with the King of England being a major stake holder in this Company who traded in slaves

Sao Thome also known as St Thome is an island in the gulf of Guinea, this island was used by the Portugese as a gathering place for captured slaves

Siam today Thailand

Slamaier is a term used at the Cape refering to the descendants of the slaves who were Malay and practiced Islam

Sofala slave trading area on the coast of Mocambique

Soloor is an island which is just east of Flores Island, in Indonesia, and north of Timor. It use to be called Nusa Holt. It was first a Portugese fort, in 1636 it was attacked by the Dutch, the Portuguese had to abandon the fortress again, and this time, forever. Some slaves from this island was taken to the Cape

St Augustine Bay is located in Madagascar, some slaves for the Cape was traded here

St Thome also known as Sao Thome, a island in the gulf of Guinea

Suratte on the west coast of India

Surinam a major Dutch settlement with Fort Kijkoveral (Essequebo) 1616

Taiwan on this island the VOC established Fort Zeelandia (1623 - 1661) here

Tamboer / Tambora is on the island of Soembawa in Indonesia (just east of the island of Lombok)

Ternaten an island in the Moluccas

Terra Natal some slaves were obtained in what is today known as Natal

Timor is an island in the East Indies, the VOC had some presence on the western side. The eastern side became a Portuguese base. Some slaves who came to the Cape came from Timor. In 1681 a Timor family and a Mohammedan woman Catrijn kept a house of ill fame at the Cape

Tonkin part of Indo-China

Tranquebar is on the south of India, there were a number of slaves who came to the Cape from there. Franciscus Xaverus van Tranquebar was crucified upside down in 1721, and were not to be given the coup de grace, but dragged though the streets of Cape Town, there to be broken on a wheel and then to be hung on the gallows

Tupass or toepassen in Dutch - term used in Ceylon for emancipated slaves, also called Libertines

is on the southern tip of India. It became a Dutch port Feb. 1658. In March 1677 one hundred Tutucorin slaves arrived at the Cape. Due to famine they had sold themselves into slavery

Swarte Portugeezen - foreign Asians in a particular area, also known as Asian Christians. In Indonesia they were also called Mardijkers. They had previous contact with the Portuguese and tended to speak Portuguese

Van de Kaap or Cabo refers to a person who was born at the Cape, many slave children were given this as their last name or place of origin, in other words they were born at the Cape

'van de Kust' was a description given to some slaves who came from the Coromandel Coast in India. Willem Adrian van der Stel's grandmother was Monica de Costa. According to Kolbe this indicates that the person came from the Coast of Coromandel and is a descendent of a slave (Oud Batavia Vol 1 p543)

Vrij swart refers to someone who was black and a slave and received freedom, or to someone who was black and was always free

Zanzibar was a main slave trading place for the Arabs, it is an island off the East coast of Africa, it now forms part of Tanzania

Zeelandia was the VOC base in Formosa

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