Autshumato facts for kids

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Autshumato (or Autshumao; Herry or Harry de Strandloper) was a chief of the Gorinhaikonas (or Goringhaicona) who worked as an interpreter for the Europeans in present-day, Cape Town, South Africa prior and during the establishment of the Dutch settlement on the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.

His date of birth is unknown, but it is thought that he lived between about 1625 and 1663. In 1630, he was taken to Bantam, there he was taught English and Dutch in order to facilitate trade between settlers and his people. As chief and interpreter he accrued considerable wealth. In 1632, he moved to Robben Island, working as postman and liaison for European ships passing the island. Moving back to the mainland 8 years later, Autshumato worked to create trade between the Gorinhaikonas and the Dutch.

On 6 April 1652, Jan van Riebeeck, a Dutchman employed by the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (V.O.C.), arrived at the Cape to take control of the burgeoning settlement that eventually became Cape Town.

In 1658, Dutch settlers stole cattle which Autshumato ordered reclaimed. These actions led to a war between the Gorinhaikons peoples, the Dutch settlers and the V.O.C. Losing the war to the Dutch, he was imprisoned on Robben Island in 1659, with Simon Boubou and Khamy. They were the first to be imprisoned on the island. After one and a half years on the island he and another Gorinhaikonas escaped from the island on a rowboat. One year later Autshumato applied for and received permission to again live and work near the Dutch settlement, resuming his role as an interpreter.

He died in 1663.

Family

Krotoa, or Eva, was the niece of Autshumato.


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