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Facial casts of Nias islanders, J.P. Kleiweg de Zwaan, 1910 – A Post-Colonial Simulacrum – Dutch History Exhibit – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam – Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

Why do these men look so unhappy and violated?

After 1900, the colonial-military expansion of power in the Dutch East Indies opened it up as an unparalleled area of activity for Europeans. This also applied to the Dutch anthropologist J.P. Kleiweg de Zwaan, who conducted research on the physical characteristics of ethnic groups. During a 1910 expedition on Nias he covered the faces of a group of living men with plaster to record their appearance. Numbered casts of these plaster moulds were made in the Netherlands. – Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Lowlands Correspondent: Gaia Son – Pakhuismeesteren – Celebes, Borneo, Java, Sumatra – Kop de Zuid, Rotterdam NL

Rotterdam – Kop van Zuid, at Wilhelminakade-Statendam, October 2012 © Gaia Son

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE – Reskewed with Photoshop – © Gaia Son

© Gaia Son

Pakhuismeesteren (warehouse supervisors) is a former business and warehouse in the harbor area of Rotterdam in the south of centrum district called Kop van Zuid or South Bank. This post-colonial relic, on which the Indonesian islands of Celebes, Borneo, Java, Sumatra are written, stands on the Wilhelmina Pier for only about 70 years. Research has shown that a prior building with a wooden pile foundation once stood here from 1898 and burned down in 1937. This abandoned non-landmarked pre-WWII structure dates from about 1940 and is currently being renovated to feature a multi-purpose first floor with rented shops and offices, a catering hall, and  24 units of residential living spaces.¹

The now defunct Pakhuismeesteren business was established in 1818 after the 1800 dissolution of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) which after an almost two-century reign of colonial plunder, fell into ruins by way of corruption and mismanagement. Originally the “Pakhuismeester of Tea,” the company took on the interests of the Rotterdam VOC’s tea and spice trade. After three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia declared its independence in 1945 which was finally recognized by the Netherlands in 1949. Rotterdam was the busiest world port since the early sixties until being surpassed by Shanghai in 2004.


De Boompjes or trees in front of the East India House which stood on the north bank of the , circa 1700, print van Petrus Schenk, Atlas van Stolk Boompjes, Rotterdam , from “Atlas van Stolk”, ca. 1700 – Wikipedia

Dear Columbus – A Letter from a First Grade Elementary School Class

Dear Columbus-

We are sorry that you are dead and we are writing you a little note. Please, Columbus be nice because other people don’t want to be slaves. Please do not hurt other people because they can’t find gold for you.  Also, share the gold and the spices you have stolen with poor people. Cutting off people’s hands who can’t find you gold isn’t a nice thing to do. We are peacebuilders.

We wish you would have been nice. The stories about you don’t tell the truth. Please say you are sorry.


First Grade Class

Children need to be taught the truth about Columbus’ blood-and-gold-thirsty voyages and their impact on the indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere and the people on the African continent.

Black Peter in Post-Colonial Flanders & France – Zwarte Piet – Brussels & Antwerpen, Belgium

Shop window in Brussels © Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Bar on Grote Markt in Brussels © Frank H. Jump

 Could not help being reminded of lynching © Frank H. Jump

Restaurant sign in Antwerpen © Frank H. Jump

Gallery window in Brussels © Frank H. Jump

For the West, the Black man is a savage.

Along the Seine across Notre Dame (Rive Gauche) at an art kiosk © Frank H. Jump

Josephine Baker – Le Tumulte Noir – CLICK

Other Internet resources:

  • Zwarte Piet – Wikipedia
  • Zwarte Piet Blog – links and references about the Zwarte Piet tradition
  • Post-Colonial Theory (PDF)- Childs, Peter. Williams, Patrick. An Introduction to Post-colonial. Theory  unthinkingly conceded that the black man is the colour of evil.

What is NY400? – Island @ the Center of the World Opening – South Street Seaport


Dit is Nieuw York - This is New York - NY400 Holland On The Hudson - NYC400

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

© Frank H. Jump

Prince of Orange & Princess Máxima of the Netherlands © Frank H. Jump

Paula, Willy Broekveldt Jump & Frank H. Jump © Frank H. Jump

Paula, Willy Broekveldt Jump & Frank H. Jump © Frank H. Jump

Willy overlooking Fulton Street & Seaport © Frank H. Jump

Willy overlooking Fulton Street & Seaport © Frank H. Jump

400 Years Later, and Still Proud of New Amsterdam – NY Times

“It’s bigger there [the Netherlands] than over here [NYC],” said Babette Bullens, 38, who lives near Holland’s border with Belgium and was making her first trip to New York. “If you talk to New Yorkers, they don’t know what’s happening. It’s very disappointing,” she said in Battery Park on Sunday. – New York Times

In spite of the disappointment of some Dutch tourists who made New York City their destination for this long-awaited cultural event, I’m not surprised most New Yorkers have been totally unaware of the hoopla over the 400 year anniversary of Henry Hudson sailing up the “West River” in search of the Northwest Passage for the Dutch. Those of us who watch public television, read the New York Times, or have an interest in the myriad of events that occur here in the “capital of the world” on a regular basis, will know why there were four-hundred year-old replicas of the Half Moon (Halve Maen) sailing in the New York Harbor- and Dutch tourists flocking all over Lower Manhattan.

Unfortunately, the masses are either too busy in their hurried lives to eke out a living or are just uninformed. I’m sure the majority of the uninformed can tell you who was recently booted from American Idol or whether or not President Obama’s original birth certificate has been located. These are the important issues that concern most uninformed Americans. History? Well that was written by the conquerors – IN ENGLISH!

But do strike up a conversation with a Dutch tourist about how the Dutch West India Company fueled the slave trade, or how the Dutch were the only colonials who “bought” their land from the Indians, or how the future Queen of Holland’s father Jorge Zorreguieta may be guilty of war crimes [other resource], and I’m sure you will get an earful.