Local, regional and global connections of San Salvador de Kelang, a Castilian enclave in northern Taiwan

Author(s): Manel Ollé

Year: 2014


Restoration of a complex way of making history about the Spanish presence in Taiwan, using both archaeological and documentary evidence, entails establishing a dialogue between this evidence and different interpretive scenarios. The particular singularity of a colonial location is meaningful as far as it is projected against the background of potential different narratives, in which it can play a more or less central role. A first fundamental analysis must examine the local sphere, the interactions among different social groups involving the identification of domination and collaboration, the distribution of roles, their economic and mercantile dynamics... In our case study, these groups are the Castilians, the Filipino populations that arrived with them, the Austronesian inhabitants of northern Taiwan, the Chinese and Japanese that lived in and visited the area, and the Dutch who threatened and finally conquered it. A second level of analysis lies in producing a regional contextualization of this colonial location within the dynamics created by mercantile and imperialist rivalries, strategies to access new markets, and taking up places in order to accomplish imperial expansive projects. In this scenario, rivalry between Castilians and Dutch is key, but the role of Chinese mercantile communities, their presence and ability to mediate and cooperate with colonizers, is also fundamental. Studying the connection between European colonizers and Chinese and Japanese mercantile networks can really help us understand this historical process. This regional scenario projects itself, finally, over the global scenario of Castilian imperial strategies in Asia led from Manila, within the context of dualist monarchy and global confrontations with Dutch mercantile networks.

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Local, regional and global connections of San Salvador de Kelang, a Castilian enclave in northern Taiwan. Manel Ollé. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436571)

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PaperId(s): SYM-4,01