Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tupinamba -v- Staden




German soldier Hans Staden sailed to Brazil on a couple of occasions and spent some years there working until his capture by a (now extinct) Tupinamba cannibal tribe from the south east of the country. He was held for a few months during which time his Spanish shipmates were executed, but he managed to escape. He published Hans Staden: The True History of His Captivity to great success in 1557.

Although simplistic, these woodcuts were the first images seen by europe of South American Indians that didn't derive from folklore or imagination. They formed the basis for emerging copper engravers such as Theodor de Bry to elaborate upon in publishing their own works about the new world.

2 comments :

Luis Molinari said...

O relato de Hans Staden é uma boa froma de se entender as alegorias europeias sobre a América

peacay said...

BSB have released Staden's 'Warhafftig Historia' (first ed. 1557, this version 1689). This is the same year as the book in this entry so I wonder if it's the original German version. I haven't sampled from it too much but it has a lot of illustrations.
(even if it's not approx. the same book, the title does have 'America' in it and it's listed among a travelogue bibliography so it's safe to bet that it relates in some way to his time in Brazil and travels)

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