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Region Between Amazon River and São Paulo
This pen-and-ink watercolor map shows the course of the Amazon River, including its minor tributaries and the towns located along its banks. Although much of the area along the Amazon was controlled by indigenous people through the early colonial period, settlers established towns along the riverbanks to support trade and exploration into Brazil’s interior. The largest of these towns was Belem, which appears on the map.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
New Image of Brazil
This map of Brazil is the work of Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of a famous Dutch mapmaking dynasty. Blaeu studied astronomy, mathematics, and globe-making with the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe before establishing his mapmaking studio in Amsterdam. In 1633, he was appointed mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company. In 1635, together with his sons Joan and Cornelis, Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Paraguay, or the Province of the Rio de la Plata, with the Adjacent Regions Tucamen and Santa Cruz de la Sierra
This map of Paraguay and the Rio de la Plata basin is the work of Willem Blaeu (1571-1638), the founder of a famous Dutch mapmaking dynasty. Blaeu studied astronomy, mathematics, and globe-making with the Danish scholar Tycho Brahe before establishing his mapmaking studio in Amsterdam. In 1633, he was appointed mapmaker of the Dutch East India Company. In 1635, together with his sons Joan and Cornelis, Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
New and Accurate Picture of All Brazil / Johann Blaev I.F.
This map of Brazil is the work of Joan Blaeu (1596-1673), one of the most important Dutch cartographers. Originally trained as a lawyer, Blaeu joined the Amsterdam business of his father, the cartographer Willem Blaeu (1571-1638). With his father and brother Cornelis (died 1648), Joan Blaeu published the Atlas Novus (New atlas), an 11-volume work consisting of 594 maps. Joan Blaeu later became the official cartographer of the Dutch East India Company. During the 1600s, the Netherlands became a major naval and commercial power, and its maps reflected its seafaring ...
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National Library of Brazil
Extent and Location of the Governments of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Matogroso, Cuyaba, and Towns of Native Americans Called Chiquitos
This map shows the present-day Bolivian provinces of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Chiquitos, and the Brazilian state of Mata Grosso. The map indicates the settlements of native people, known at that time as Chiquitos. This area was a center of Jesuit activity and many of the settlements may have been the remnants of Jesuit centers, called reducciones (reductions or townships). The Jesuits began their missionary work in South America in 1609. At the height of their activity, they sponsored 40 communities that were home to more than 150 ...
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National Library of Brazil
Geographic Map of Brazil
This map of Brazil was published by Giovanni Battista Albrizzi (1698-1777), a prominent Venetian publisher of books and maps. The notes on the map, in Italian, include various speculative remarks about the people and the geography of the interior of Brazil, then still largely unknown to Europeans. Albrizzi, who inherited his business from his father, was part of a family active in publishing and bookselling in Venice for 150 years. He played an important role in the intellectual life of the city and edited a weekly bulletin, Novelle della Repubblica ...
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National Library of Brazil
Brazil, which Coast is a Portuguese Possession, Divided into Fourteen Captaincies, Showing the Middle of the Country Inhabited by Many Unknown Peoples
This coastal map of Portuguese Brazil is by one of the greatest of the French cartographers, Nicolas Sanson (1600-67). Sanson gave geography lessons to both King Louis XIII and King Louis XIV. He also was named official geographer to the king, and his two younger sons succeeded him in this position. Until Sanson, the field of cartography was dominated by the Dutch, whose maps favored aesthetics over exactness. Sanson’s maps, notable for accuracy as well as elegance, marked a shift in the dominance of the field of cartography from ...
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National Library of Brazil
The Amazon and Madeira Rivers: Sketches and Descriptions from the Note-Book of an Explorer
Franz Keller was a German engineer who spent 17 years in Brazil. In 1867, Keller and his father were commissioned by the minister of public works in Rio de Janeiro to explore the Madeira River in order to determine the feasibility of building a railroad to circumvent rapids that made steamship navigation impossible on part of the river. This book, published some seven years later, describes the river and its rapids, the native tribes that Keller and his party encountered, and the animals and vegetation of the virgin forest of ...
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Library of Congress
Travels of Francois Coreal to the West Indies, Containing the Most Remarkable Things He has Seen on His Voyage from 1666 to 1697
This three-volume work by a Spanish author of uncertain identity, Francisco (François) Coreal, was published in Amsterdam in 1722. It purports to be the French translation of a first-hand account, in Spanish, of multiple voyages to Brazil and Spanish America undertaken by Coreal over a span of 30 years, from 1666-97. Coreal's supposed voyages cover about half of the three volumes. The rest of the work is comprised of a heterogeneous set of texts taken from the travelogues of Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) and several of his contemporaries. Many ...
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Library of Congress
An Aymara Indian, Full-Length, Standing, Facing Slightly Right, Bolivia
This photograph from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress depicts an Aymara Indian in Bolivia in the early part of the 20th century. Frank G. Carpenter (1855–1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography, whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890–1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 ...
Contributed by
Library of Congress
Brazil
This early map of Brazil is by Jacopo Gastaldi (circa 1500-circa 1565), a Piedmontese cartographer who worked in Venice and rose to the position of cosmographer of the Venetian Republic. Gastaldi produced maps and illustrations for parts of Delle Navigationi et Viaggi (Travels and voyages), a compilation of travel writings by the Venetian diplomat and geographer Giovanni Battista Ramusio (1485-1557). Ramusio’s work contained more than 50 memoirs, including the writings of Marco Polo.
Contributed by
National Library of Brazil
Chibcha Dictionary and Grammar
This manuscript is a glossary with prayers, confessions, and sermons in the Chibcha language. It was compiled by an unknown hand, most likely in the mid-16th century (as suggested by the style of handwriting). The work was used by missionaries in the evangelization of the Muisca, the Chibcha-speaking people who lived in the central highlands of New Granada. The Spanish learned early in their colonial role that to accomplish their religious and other objectives they needed to communicate with the people in their native languages. As early as 1580 the ...
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National Library of Colombia
A Study of the Saliba Language
This 1790 manuscript contains a grammar and partial glossary of the Saliba language, compiled by an unknown writer in San Miguel del Macuco (present-day Orocué, Colombia), and used by Jesuit missionaries. A note on the manuscript reads: “Under the Royal Order of our Catholic Monarch Charles IV, God preserve him, for demanding the greater learning and intelligence of the dictionary." The manuscript also includes a letter addressed to Charles IV by Friar Clement of Saint Xavier, in which the friar states that he has requested the Saliba language dictionary recommended ...
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National Library of Colombia
The Art and Vocabulary of the Achagua Language
Arte y bocabulario de la lengua achagua: Doctrina christiana, confessionario de uno y otro sexo e instrucción de cathecumenos (The art and vocabulary of the Achagua language: Christian doctrine, the confession of both sexes, and instruction in the catechism) attests to the linguistic effort undertaken by the Jesuit missionaries in the borderlands of present-day Colombia and Venezuela. As its long title explains, this small manuscript volume, written in beautiful calligraphy and now preserved in the National Library of Colombia, contains several items: a grammar of the Achagua language, an extensive ...
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National Library of Colombia
A Guiding Light to the Indians
Lucerna yndyca (A guiding light to the Indians) is a manuscript dating from 1715–22 containing a Castilian–Quechua dictionary and selections of the Gospels translated from Latin into Quechua, the predominant Andean language at the time of the Spanish conquest. The text is annotated with comments by the author, Esteban Sancho de Melgar y Santa Cruz. Melgar, a late-17th century academic, is known for his work Arte de la Lengua General de Inga Llamada Qquechhua (The art of the general language called Quechua) published in Lima in 1691. This ...
Contributed by
National Library of Colombia
Sacred Images of the Indians, Province of Antioquia
The figures depicted in this watercolor by Henry Price (1819–63) represent sacred symbols, probably made of gold. The province of Antioquia, Colombia, was famous for its abundance of gold, prized by both the indigenous people and the Spanish colonizers. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born in London but ...
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National Library of Colombia
Antique Pottery: Brazier, Pitcher, or Vessel for Offerings, Province of Antioquia
This watercolor by Henry Price (1819–63) depicts pottery from Colombia decorated with zoomorphic figures. The term brasero in the lower-left corner suggests that these items may have been used as braziers, but they also could have been ritual vessels for sacred offerings. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born ...
Contributed by
National Library of Colombia
Buriticá Indian Male and Female, Province of Antioquia
This watercolor by Henry Price (1819–1863) depicts an Indian man and woman from the town of Buriticá in the province of Antioquia, Colombia. The note in bottom-left margin states: “Colonel Codazzi believes that this (pure) ethnic group is almost extinct.” Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born in London ...
Contributed by
National Library of Colombia
Goddess in Gold, from a Grave or Tomb of the Indians, near Neira, Province of Córdova
This watercolor by Henry Price (1819–63) depicts a goddess, probably made of gold. The annotation at the bottom indicates that it was found at an Indian burial site near Neira (present-day Caldas Department), Colombia. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born in London but moved to New York with ...
Contributed by
National Library of Colombia
Indian Earthenware from Medellín
In his watercolors and drawings, Henry Price (1819–63) often depicted everyday artifacts used by the indigenous people of Colombia. Shown here is Indian earthenware from the province of Medellín. Price was a British painter and musician who was one of the draftsmen of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission), a body tasked with studying the geography, natural resources, natural history, regional culture, and agriculture of the Republic of New Granada (present-day Colombia and Panama). He was born in London but moved to New York with his family as an adolescent ...
Contributed by
National Library of Colombia
Saliva Indian Women Making Cassava Bread, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820–1902) depicts, in a manner typical of Paz’s style, Saliva women in Casanare Province (present-day Casanare Department), Colombia, making bread from the cassava root. For Paz, the features of the individuals portrayed were often less important than characteristics typical of an ethnic or social group. Paz was born in Almaguer in the province of Cauca. He joined the Colombian army at a young age and showed exceptional skills as a cartographer and painter. In 1853 he took over the role of draftsman ...
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National Library of Colombia