"[A Typical Indian Village] Wie der Floridaner Statte Erbauwet Seyen", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Florida, Natives
Period: 1591 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages, Part II
Color: Black & White
8.3 x 6 inches
21.1 x 15.2 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.
This engraving depicts a typical Indian village in Florida. Tribes would find a suitable site near a river, surround the village with poles twice the height of man, and make a ditch around the exterior. They would create a narrow entrance (no larger than two men wide) where they would divert the river to provide a convenient water source. This opening was protected by a small round house that served as a guard station. The text states that the chief would select guards who had a very good sense of smell, enabling them to detect intruders from several miles away. At the center of the village is the chief's house which is set into the ground to help keep it cool. Surrounding the chief's house are the councilors houses, followed by the rest of the tribe. On a sheet of German text measuring 9.1 x 13.0".
A clean and crisp impression with some faint toning in the descriptive text below the image. There is a bit of light staining in the top corners of the sheet from tape on verso.