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A dugong near the coast of Madagascar


A dugong near the coast of Madagascar

Jolinck, Heyndrick Dircxz.

On 24 August 1598 Heyndrick Dirrecksen Jolinck, helmsman of the Vriesland, part of the Second Expedition to the East Indies organised by the Oude Compagnie, observed near Madagascar what he believed to be a dugong, and drew the animal in his journal. He notes that the Portuguese referred to it as a ‘pisie-boij’ or ‘vacca’ (peixe-boi or vacas-marinhas in modern Portuguese), while the Dutch called it a ‘ossijvis’ or ‘koijevis’ (ossenvis or koeienvis: zeekoe in modern Dutch). Interestingly, the drawing more closely resembles a ray, an entirely different kind of sea creature. Yet Jolinck was confident in his observation, noting that he’d seen it before in the Canary Islands.

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Sources and literature

Keuning, De tweede schipvaart der Nederlanders naar Oost-Indië̈ onder Jacob Cornelisz. van Neck en Wybrant Warwijck, 1598-1600 : journalen, documenten en andere bescheiden (1938-1951)