VOC Women in the East
With one million men who sailed on VOC ships to the east, what female companionship did they have?
The women can be divided into
2. Mesticos - a descendant of European man and an Asian woman
3. Swarte - Asian woman
In the book In Between, there is a good description with regards to the VOC conquest of Colombo in Ceylon on May 1656: "The Capture of Portuguese territory provided the servants and soldiers of the VOC with a welcome prize from a personal point of view: namely, 'half-caste' women, as well as a number of semi-Christianized or Christianized 'black women' who had some familiarity with European ways. ..... a large number of widows and unmarried women mainly mestices or half caste women .... were available in the city as marriage partners .... within a few months 150 marriages were recorded"
Michael Roberts, Ismeth Raheen and Percy Colin-Thome: People in between: The Burghers and the Middle Class in the Transformation within Sri Lanka