19th century Makassan prahu padawakang

Nick Burningham1987

Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

At a scale of 1:25 this ship model represents a prahu (perahu) padawakang, a type of vessel typically used by the Makassan traders during the 19th century. For centuries Makassans were active sailing on the Timor and Arafura seas to northern Australia conducting trade with the Indigenous population. They collected trepang, turtle shells and other marine products for sale. This trade disappeared at the end of the 19th century after the Australian government introduced customs taxes and license fees for Makassan traders.

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  • Title: 19th century Makassan prahu padawakang
  • Creator: Nick Burningham
  • Date: 1987
  • Location: Australia
  • Type: Ship model
  • Significance: This model represents vessels used by Makassans in the 19th century and was made using the techniques and materials of traditional boat builders. The Makassans were involved in the first export industry in Australia.
  • See institution's online collections: http://www.anmm.gov.au/collections
  • Medium: Balsa, hibiscus wood, paper, raw silk, pandanus leaves
  • Dimensions: 590 x 760 x 170 mm
  • Credit line: ANMM Collection


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