"Plate XXVI", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Native Americans - Florida
Period: 1591 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages
Color: Black & White
8.5 x 6.1 inches
21.6 x 15.5 cm
This copper engraving is from a remarkable series of publications, illustrating voyages of discovery and travels of exploration to various parts of the world. The project was begun by Theodore de Bry of Frankfurt, in 1590 and was to continue for another 54 years. They became known collectively as the Grands Voyages (to America and the West Indies) and the Petits Voyages (to the Orient and the East Indies). De Bry died after the first six parts of the Grands Voyages were completed. The project was completed initially by his widow and two sons, Johann Theodore de Bry and Johann Israel de Bry, then by his son-in-law, Matthaus Merian in 1644.
Fascinating scene of native Floridians hunting crocodile on a full sheet of German text. A rough translation provides the details of how the alligators were caught - Grasping a pointed tree trunk ten or twelve feet long, they advance towards the animal, who usually crawls along with open mouth, and when he opens his mouth they quickly plunge the thinnest part of the pole into it in such a way that he cannot get it out because of the roughness and irregularity of the bark. Turning the crocodile over, they then pound and pierce his belly, which is the softest part of his body, with blows from clubs and arrows.
Small stain at lower left. Slightly trimmed into image at right, which is not unusual for this engraving.