Indigo production in Curaçao

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Indigo productie 20140825 004 smallAt the end of the 17th and the beginning of the 18th century there was a blooming indigo production in Curaçao. A lot of the plantations had planted indigo plants and had built indigo tanks to produce the indigo dye for export to the Netherlands. The dye was in high demand there.
I have simulated the indigo production process at a much smaller scale. The original process has been described in a old Dutch document "Brieven en Papieren van Curaçao en Onderhoorige Eilanden" (Letters and Papers from Curaçao and its subordinate islands). More specific in the "Memorie Om Indigo Zaat te planten, schoon te maken, te snijden, te slaan, en voorts tot Indigo te bearbeijden in manieren als volgt" (Memorandum how to plant indigo seed, clean, cut and beat the plants to produce indigo). This memorandum is part of book 204, part (folio) 39 - 41. Full source reference: Nationaal Archief Den Haag (A.R.A.) 2e WIC toegang 01.05.01.02 inventaris nummer 204, folio 39 - 41 transcribed by S. H. Vautier. The text is published in the Archiefvriend in June 2006. I will not translate the old Dutch text into English but will just quote the transcribed Dutch text. After each part of the original text I will describe the process in English as I repeated it in 2014 on a much smaller scale.


This month's spotlight is on Parke Sorsaka's hike

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Parke Sorsaka smallParke Sorsaka, also known as Den Dunki, is a park next to the country house Sorsaka. It is a nice green area inbetween more and more houses. It is publicly accessible for as long as I know, but it is only for the last few years that Uniek Curaçao is taking care ofit. They extended the park by removing some of the surrounding fencing, they cleared and marked a trail through the park and extended the trail to the Jan Thiel lagoon. They are in the process of putting signs along the trail probably with an explanation of what can be seen. All this makes it a perfect candidate for a guided hike.

Cleaning up Fort Beekenburg

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Caracasbaai Schiereiland 20140427 003 smallReplacing the stolen cannon on Fort Beekenburg is one step in the process to restore this fort in its old glory. After a lot of preparation finally in March 2014 the activities have been started to clean up the environment of the fort. Cleaning up means that especially the thorny Wabis will be removed from the grounds of the fort. These Wabis have overtaken the fort and the other vegetation on the fort. As a consequence large areas around the fort are not easily accessible and the view on the fort is partly blocked from the entrance.

Stolen cannon placed back on the fort

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Beekenburg terugplaatsing kanon 20140404 007 smallA few years ago an attempt was made to steal one of the cannons from the bastion next to the tower of fort Beekenburg. The thiefs succeeded in dropping the cannon from that bastion and dragged it to the path. Apparently the cannon was too heavy to go any farther. It is one of the things I tell during the hike over the Caracasbaai peninsula. Also that we consider to return the cannonby means of traditional equipment (pulley and manpower) to the bastion where it originally was. Today the cannon has been placed back on the fort by means of more modern equipment, an army helicopter.

Malpais - Friends of the National Archive

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Malpais Vrienden Archief 20140329 001 smallA special hike was organized for the "Vrienden van het Nationaal Archief" (Friends of the National Archive) in the area of Malpais. The hike started at the parking place of Kokomo Beach at Vaersenbaai at 8 AM. After a welcome word by Josette Vos, the guide and Helma Maduro the hike started. Soon the walking pace of the leaders of the group appeared too high so they got the request to slow down a bit.

We crossed the road to Bullenbaai and diagonally crossed the dry saliña.