Oedasoa, Chief of Cochoqua

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Oedasoa, Chief of Cochoqua

Death: (Date and location unknown)
Immediate Family:

Husband of NN (sister of Krotoa/Eva)

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About Oedasoa, Chief of Cochoqua

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Oedasoa, Chief of Cochoqua's Timeline

- 1661

Kratoa began to regularly slip away from the Fort for periods of time to visit he sister who was the wife of the Cochoqua Chief. In doing so she abandoned her Asian clothes for traditional Khoena dress and adornments. Commander van Riebeeck tolerated this behaviour believing that it will ultimately best serve the interests of the VOC.
Possibly prior to this time, she had left the fort for the customary Khoena initiation of girls upon reaching puberty.Since girls had to go into seclusion immediately at the onset of menstruation, this is more likely to have taken place in 1657, when she would have been fourteen or fifteen, than in 1658, as suggested by Elphick and Malherbe." [http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf Wells]

26 January 1661: “The interpreter Eva has remained behind to live in the Commander’s house again, laying aside her skins and adopting once more the Indian way of dressing. She will resume her services as an interpreter. She seems to have grown tired of her own people again; in these vacillations we let her follow her own will so that we may get the better service from her. But she appears to have become already so accustomed to the Dutch diet and way of life that she will never be able to give it up completely.” Riebeeck, Jan van. ‘Journal of Jan van Riebeeck. Volume II, III, 1656-1662.’ Edited by H.B. Thom and translated by J. Smuts. Cape Town: A.A. Balkema, 1954.
[http://chnm.gmu.edu/wwh/modules/lesson7/pdfs/primarysourcepacket.pdf last accessed 6 Apr 2013 by Sharon Doubell]

June 1659
- September 1659

Throughout June and July 1659, Eva travelled back and forth between the fort and the Cochoqua, camped in the vicinity of Saldhana Bay, at times by boat to avoid hostilities and dangers on the overland journey. While tensions bristled between the Dutch and their Goringhaiqua adversaries, the prospects of trade with Oedasoa and his Cochoqua people blossomed.

By the time the rebellion ended, however, Oedasoa had proved to be far from neutral. Not only did he decline to attack the Goringhaiqua and refuse to give the Dutch any intelligence about enemy whereabouts, but he gave shelter to the rebels and eventually negotiated a peace settlement on their behalf. The evidence suggests that Oedasoa had to neutralize Eva's independent actions. She spent much of the latter half of 1659 at Saldhana Bay, where she could not influence the Dutch prosecution of the war. Clear differences between her and Oedasoa surfaced when she urged the Dutch to send a wagon to fetch him to come into the fort. He refused to come, claiming the wagon ride would be too uncomfortable and that he wanted to attend to a sick child.'( Although a relatively trivial event, it exposed open conflict and disagreement between Eva and Oedasoa. His unwillingness to take up arms against fellow Khoena became more and more apparent to Van Riebeeck, who also began to lose trust in Eva, expressing many doubts and misgivings.') He was bitterly disappointed that Oedasoa's Cochoqua would not help the Dutch in their war against the Goringhaiqua.

When Eva had left the fort in July 1659, she hinted that she might not return. However, after spending three months with the Cochoqua, she resurfaced as Oedasoa's chief negotiator in peace talks. By this stage, she conformed completely to the Cochoqua position and tried to soothe the tensions by stressing the importance of achieving peace rather than point fingers at one another for past transgressions. In other words, she completely dropped her vituperations against the Goringhaiqua.[Wells http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf last accessed by Sharon Doubell 7 Apr 2013]

- 1666

By 1666, Krotoa had clearly fallen out with Oedasoa. The Company comander Zacharias Wagenaar, speculated that he began avoiding contact with Eva because she had married a European, but this seems implausible since Pieter had been well known to Oedasoa and apparently trusted by him for several years and the couple already had two children together. In fact, in 1664 Oedasoa had made an unusually generous offer to Eva of 100 cattle and500 sheep. Since this was also the year that Pieter and Eva formally married, it is possible that the offer was intended as a wedding gift, something sometimes given to orphans without other forms of support. Two months after the wedding, Pieter and Eva travelled together to visit Oedasoa,at his invitation, perhaps in an effort to collect, but Oedasoa never paid up and stopped coming into the fort.

The journal sheds little light on the reasons behind this. Perhaps Oedasoa expected Pieter and Eva to leave Dutch employment since his gift to them would have made them wealthy enough to live independently. It appears more likely that Oedasoa became disaffected with the Dutch in general and the church wedding signified the young couple’s commitment to live in conformity with the dictates of Dutch society. In the journal Wagenaar probably obscured the more deep-rooted reasons for the falling out between Oedasoa and the Dutch. During early 1664, the chief had become a regular visitor to the fort, bringing in large contingents of Cochoqua to be regaled and entertained by the Dutch. He often arrived with fifty people just as the Dutch were sitting down to church or dinner, much to the chagrin of Wagenaar who resented his presence as anintrusion. Oedasoa undoubtedly detected Wagenaar's blatant racism. Tithe journal, Wagenaar confided that he saw Oedasoa and his followers as` these incomparably greedy and beggarly men - a sharp contrast to VanRiebeeck's perception of Oedasoa as ` stately and dignified'. Perhaps Oedasoa's biggest disappointment with the Dutch in this period came in the early months of 1664, when he actively sought their military assistance in a war against his Hessequa enemies. He offered to pay the Dutch generously in cattle if they agreed. The Dutch, however, declined on the grounds that they wanted to remain friendly with all Khoena chiefs and not show favouritism. Oedasoa soon stopped coming into the fort, although the Cochoqua trade in livestock continued.. [Wells http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf last accessed by Sharon Doubell 7 Apr 2013]