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Ref ID: 23558
Ref Type: Book Section
Authors: Allibert, Claude
Title: The archaeology of knowledge: about Austronesian influences in the Western Indian Ocean
Date: 1998
Source: Southeast Asian Archaeology 1994: Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archeologists
Place of Publication: Hull
Publisher: Centre for South-East Asian Studies, University of Hull
Abstract: One of the principal problems met with when dealing with the origin of the Malagasy population is that of the very first contacts of Austronesian navigators with the western Indian Ocean. Recent researches have emphasized the part played by the Sriwijaya thalassocracy in that part of the world. Besides, a new reappraisal of the Arabic texts enables us to obtain a new interpretation by uncovering a lower and much older layer of knowledge, not yet analysed. The rokh bird and the wakwak tree - thought to be mere fantastic and groundless imagery - do seem to correspond to a real bird (the Aepyornis) and to plants (the bamboo and the coconut tree), themselves referring to the Austronesian and Malagasy worlds or imports. Furthermore, Arab historians have also mentioned the presence of Austronesian sailors quite early in the history of the western part of the Indian Ocean. The problem will be to try to date this influence and to see whether it took place rather in the northern or in the southern parts of the western ocean.
Date Created: 10/14/2009
Editors: Manguin, Pierre-Yves
Volume: 2
Page Start: 205
Page End: 214