Illustration of a landdag, the annual assembly held by the Dutch
The sketch was drawn by Caspar Schmalkalden in his “Die Wundersamen Reisen des Caspar Schmalkalden nach West- und Ostindien” (1642-1652). In 1636 a Dutch official in Taiwan, Hans Putmans, gathered representatives of submissive villages in Sincan Village to hold a ceremony to confirm contracts. From then on, to reinforce the cooperation between the Dutch and the native people, and to demonstrate their authority, a newly appointed Governor would meet the chiefs or elders from different indigenous villages throughout southern and northern Taiwan. The meeting was expanded in 1644, when the Dutch held the first landdag by having one meeting in the south and another in the north, and this became an annual activity until 1659. This illustration is a sketch made by German Caspar Schmalkalden of the landdag he witnessed in 1648. It can be seen that the indigenous chiefs sat with the Dutch officials at a long table during the meeting, and that a banquet was held afterward.