"[The Tomb of Their Weroans or Chief Lords]", Bry, Theodore de
Subject: Virginia, Native Americans
Period: 1590 (circa)
Publication: Grands Voyages, Part I
Color: Black & White
8 x 11.8 inches
20.3 x 30 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 is from Part I, which concerned the first English exploits in Virginia (1584-88). This large structure is a tomb for the Weroans, or chiefs, to be laid to rest. Their idol Kiwasa is at left and protects the bodies. The tomb is attended by a priest who lives in the tomb, repeating prayers night and day, and building a fire when it is cold.
On a sheet with a fleur-de-lis watermark with the initials "ND." There is light soiling, an abrasion in the image at top right, and archival repairs to a few small worm holes in the image and chips along the edges of the sheet.