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Coastline profiles of New Guinea and Masi-Masi


Coastline profiles of New Guinea and Masi-Masi

Gilsemans, Isaac

After reaching New Guinea proper by 20 April 1643, the expedition of Abel Tasman tracked the island’s coast westwards. Making fast progress, about a week later the Zeehaen and Heemskerck reached an island group of which Yamna was the largest island. Here they decided to anchor on the 25th of April to barter for fresh supplies. Locals arrived with mostly bananas and coconuts and some fresh and smoked fish, which they bartered for knives, nails and beads. The expedition’s leaders had mistaken Yamna for the island of Insu Moar, but did not realize the mistake until the 27th of April. They then resolved to sail on to Insu Moar the next day, which they did in the early morning. While sailing to Insu Moar the expedition passed the island of Masi-Masi and the village of Takar opposite it on the New Guinea coast.

Isaac Gilsemans, supercargo on board the Zeehaen, is commonly identified as the artist who drew this depiction of the landscapes of the coast of New Guinea while sailing from Yamna to Insu Moar. The artist refers to this part of the coast as ‘Bettaff’. De top panels show the coastline of New Guinea between Yamna and Insu Moar. The bottom panel shows the island of Masi-Masi, here called Takal.

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Sources and literature

Posthumus Meyjes, De Reizen van Abel Janszoon Tasman en Franchoys Jacobszoon Visscher, ter nadere ontdekking van het Zuidland (Australië) in 1642 - 1644. (1919)