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.
- From descriptions elsewhere, it's a little difficult to decide whether the 180 page original german book on display at Brazil's Biblioteca Digital de Obras Raras e Especiais is the complete 2-part set of Staden's work. Click on the title page for an easy to navigate pop-up screen; higher resolution images open another screen.
- Harry J Brown at Lehigh University.
- The Athena Review.
- The film.