The visits of the Macassans to the northern shores of Australia is suggested to be started between 1650 and 1780 AD according to different scientific interpretations. The macassans used to sail to the Northern shores of Australia to obtain trepang sea slugs (tripang) to trade with China. The Macassan term is derivative from Macassar port which was the heart of the trade between Northern Australia and China.

The perahu is a small boat that has been used by the Macassans to sail to Australia. The vessel was depicted in the Aboriginal rock art in different occasions as well as in park painting in a later historical stage. It could carry about thirty people as crew members who were locating themselves in specific locations to boil and dry the trepang before taking it to Macassar to sell it the Chinese merchants.


  • Title: Perahu
  • Date Created: 2019
  • Physical Dimensions: 155cm x 105 x 39cm
  • Rights: Islamic Museum of Australia
  • Medium: Wood and fabric

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