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The Australian National University is hosting a symposium on the cross-cultural links between traders from Makassar in Sulawesi with northern Australia, including recent archaeological research.

Macassan history and heritage: Building understanding of journeys, encounters and influences
Institute for Professional Practice in Heritage & the Arts
The Australian National University
9-10 February 2012

This professional update symposium will examine the history and heritage of the Macassan trepangers who made the long and sometimes dangerous journey from the port city of Makassar in southern Sulawesi to the northern Australia Arnhem Land and the Kimberley coasts. These voyages date back to at least 1700s and there is new evidence to suggest that the Macassan sailing vessels were visiting northern Australia even earlier.

This event will review inter-disciplinary perspectives on the maritime journeys of the Macassans, as well as their encounters with Indigenous communities in the north. The ongoing impact and significance of these connections in the spheres of language, society and culture will be addressed. This professional update symposium provides an opportunity for people working in government, cultural institutions and academia to hear from leader experts about the current state of knowledge on this fascinating topic.

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