"[The Duties of the Hermaphrodites] Was die Hermaphroditen / so Beyde Mannlicher und Weiblicher Natur sind / fur Empter Haben", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Florida, Natives
Period: 1591 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II
Color: Black & White
8.3 x 5.9 inches
21.1 x 15 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.
According to the text (Le Moyne), hermaphrodites were common among the native population. Because of their strength, they were employed like pack animals and used for carrying the sick and dead during war. The scene illustrates two natives on stretchers heading to the burial grounds, along with two other injured natives ride piggyback . The depictions of hermaphrodites reveal fully developed men with female hairstyles. On a sheet of German text measuring 9.3 x 13.1".
On a bright sheet with a few faint printer's creases and marginal soiling at bottom right.