Gran Case
Jean François Hodoul
Arab Tombs

© Guy Van Heygen 2003


The Dauban family

In the first half of the 19th century, when the first setllers were already established on Silhouette, the island was divided into 10 pieces, and Auguste Dauban was the owner of the “ Anse Lascar” plot. The other plots were mostly owned by freed slaves. But Auguste was not only a settler; he also owned a shipping company, travelling between “Ile de France”, later Mauritius, and the Seychelles. Piece by piece he bought 8 other parts of the island, until “La Passe” was left. The legend tells he bought La Passe for a violin, but it seems, that the owner of La Passe, who loved music, asked Auguste to bring him an instrument from Ile de France, and later, when the owner needed money he sold Dauban La Passe. The Daubans tried everything to make the island flourishing, but seen its mountainous character they never really succeeded. Cinnamon, coffee, vanilla, copra, ylang-ylang, patchouli, rubber, cacao, kapok, everything was tried but without real success.

In this period the value of land depended from the number of coconut trees. So these trees were planted all over the island, even on the most improbable places. When you are in La Passe and look up the hills, you see palm trees, even on the top of “Mont Poules Marrons” To collect these nuts, paths were built, their remains can still be seen north of La Passe at trail cipaille.jpg (103379 bytes) Anse Cipaille, and all the way South from the Dauban mausoleum till Ansepath to Anse Patat.jpg (117786 bytes) Patat. In these days, around the turning of the century, more than 500 people were living on the island, and once there were more than a thousand. As the population was very poor, Auguste Dauban decided to plant a breadfruit tree in front of each house, so there was always something to eat. These bread food trees are still there, but the fruits are rarely eaten by the local population.

The old trail to Anse Cipaille (left) and to Anse Patat (right)

In 1960 the last Dauban who owned Silhouette, Henri Dauban, had to sell the island. He sold it to the Teemoljee's who sold it afterwards to a French consortium that started to build the hotel. But in 1982 the Seychelles government took over the island, so all inhabitants now are workers from the IDC (Island Development Company)