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The raja of Cochin


The raja of Cochin

Doetecum, Joannes (I) van

This illustration shows the raja of Cochin [Kochi] on the southwestern Indian coast in what today is the state of Kerala. Cochin had been the first territory where the Portuguese established their colonial presence in India, before Goa became the capital of their empire in 1530. The raja of Cochin remained an ally and vassal of the Portuguese from the early 16th century until the Dutch conquered the city in 1663. The image shows the ruler riding an elephant while holding a very large arrow. Nobles with spears and muskets walk in front and behind the king, and a warrior with a shield and sword walks beside him.

The texts under the image read from left to right: “The king of Cochin sitting on an elephant, accompanied by his nobles who people call Nairos”.

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Sources and literature

Linschoten, Jan Huygen van, Itinerario, voyage ofte schipvaert van Jan H. van van Linschoten: naer Oost ofte Portugaels Indien (1596)