Friday, January 29, 2010

Descendants of Shipwrecked Survivors

This subject has always fascinated me. During the massive maritime trade routes of the 16th century many ships were destroyed and ended up at the bottom of the ocean. Along with the shipwrecks were a handful of survivors who made it to shore. Statistics were hard to obtain for obvious reasons, but it was known that they were missing.

My colleague and friend Mike Hillis has met an incredibly unusual man named Goyo. He is believed to be a descendant of some European sailor/adventurer type several generations back having mixed with the local women. His features clearly are not pure Indonesian because he is tall and has big feet and hands and has some kind of non-Asian features. Here are Mike's words:

"This man is an Indo from the jungle of the Spice Islands. His name is Goyo and he was born and lives in the jungle. I met him in April, 2009 in a small coastal village on a remote island. Most Indos learned how to eat with cutlery a long time ago. Goyo does not own shoes, eats off banana leaves and hunts wild jungle boar. He is known as the Raja Hutan (King of the Jungle)...."

I also recently read about a DNA study that was done in Australia to determine how much Dutch DNA is mixed with the Aboriginals in a particular area where there were shipwrecks. The study is being done by the VOC Historical Society in Perth.

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