55 results in English
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.
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.
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Christian Doctrine and Catechism for the Instruction of the Indians, and of all the People Who Have to Be Instructed in Our Holy Faith: With a Confession Booklet and Other Necessary Things
Doctrina christiana, y catecismo para instrvccion de los indios, y de las de mas perʃonas, que han de ʃer enʃeñadas en nueʃtra ʃancta fé : con vn confessionario, y otras cosas neceʃʃarias (Christian doctrine and catechism for the instruction of the Indians, and of all the people who have to be instructed in our holy faith: with a confession booklet and other necessary things) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1584. It is the first book printed in South America. A trilingual edition in Quechua, Aymara, and Spanish, it is also ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Third Catechism and Exposition of the Christian Doctrine for Sermons that the Curate and Other Priests Preach and Teach to the Indians and all the Other People Conforming to the Decisions Established at the Holy Provincial Council of Lima
Tercero cathecismo y exposición de la Doctrina Chriʃtiana, por sermones para qve los cvrasy otros mini ʃtros prediquen y enʃeñen a los Yndios y a las demás perʃonas conforme a lo qve en el Sancto Concilio Prouincial de Lima de proueyo (Third catechism and exposition of the Christian doctrine for sermons that the curate and other priests preach and teach to the Indians and all the other people conforming to the decisions established at the holy provincial council of Lima) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1585. The first printing ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Confession Booklet for the Curate of the Indians with the Instructions for Their Rites, Last Rites in Preparation for Death, and a Summary of the Privileges and Impediments of Matrimony
Confessionario para los cvras de indios, con la instrvcion contra svs ritos: y exhortación para ayudar a bien morir y ʃumma de ʃus priuilegios y forma de impedimentos del matrimonio (Confession booklet for the curate of the Indians with the instructions for their rites, last rites in preparation for death, and a summary of the privileges and impediments of matrimony) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1585. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
Catholic Indian Creed, in Which the Mysteries of the Faith, Which are Contained in the Three Catholic Creeds, the Apostles’, Nicene, and the Athanasian, are Manifested
Symbolo catholico indiano, en el qval se declaran los myʃterios dela fé, contenidos enlos tres symbolos catholicos, apoʃtolico, Niceno y de S. Athanaʃio (Catholic Indian creed, in which the mysteries of the faith, which are contained in the three Catholic creeds, the Apostles’, Nicene, and the Athanasian, are manifested) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1598. The book contains the texts of the three most important creeds in the Christian church, the Apostle’s Creed, the Nicene Creed, and the Athanasian Creed, in the languages of Quechua and Aymara, along ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
The Art of the Aymara Language: A Compendium of Phrases in the Same Language and Their Equivalent Meanings in Spanish
Arte de la lengua aymara, con vna silva de phraʃes de la miʃma lengua, y ʃu declaración en romance (The art of the Aymara language: A compendium of phrases in the same language and their equivalent meanings in Spanish) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1612. The book is by Ludovico Bertonio (1555−1628), an Italian Jesuit missionary who labored among the Aymara Indians of southern Peru and Bolivia, and who wrote several important works about the Aymara language. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
The Art of the Quechua Language
Arte de la lengva qvichva (The art of the Quechua language) was published in Lima, Peru, in 1619. The book is by Diego de Torres Rubio (1547−1638), a Spanish-born Jesuit priest who came to Peru in 1579, where he devoted himself to the study of Indian languages, especially Aymara and Quechua. The first printing press in South America was established in Lima by Antonio Ricardo (circa 1540−1606), an Italian who had worked for a time as a printer with the Jesuits in Mexico City. This book is part ...
Contributed by National Library of Peru
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 ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
The Special Features of French Antarctica, Otherwise Called America, and of Several Lands and Islands Discovered in Our Time
André Thevet (1516/17-92) was a Franciscan friar who traveled widely and, through his writings, helped to establish cosmographie--as geography was called at the time--as a science in 16th-century France. After making trips to Africa and the Middle East in the 1540s, he was appointed chaplain to the expedition of Nicolas Durand de Villegagnon, which set out from Le Havre in May 1555 to establish a colony in Brazil. The expedition landed near present-day Rio de Janeiro in November of the same year. In January 1556, Thevet fell ill ...
Contributed by 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 ...
Contributed by 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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
Guahibo Indians, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820–1902) depicts Guahibo Indians in Casanare Province (present-day Casanare Department), Colombia. The Guahibo were once present in large numbers in the eastern regions of Colombia known as Los Llanos (The Plains), of which Casanare is part. Although now much reduced in number, the Guahibo are still one of Colombia’s major indigenous ethnic groups. 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 ...
Mulattoes and an Indian Fishing, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows the different methods of fishing employed by people in Casanare Province (present-day Casanare Department), Colombia. The man identified as a mulatto has caught a large fish with a hook and line, while the Indian uses a bow and arrow. Another man in the background uses a fishing rod. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and ...
Saliva Indians Dancing, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a scene in which Saliva Indians of Casanare Province (present-day Casanare Department), Colombia, are dancing and enjoying music. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. 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 ...
Village on the Banks of the Meta River, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) appears to show a scene from one of the Comisión Corográfica (Chorographic Commission) expeditions in the province of Casanare (present-day Casanare Department), Colombia. A small group of indigenous people are engaged in preparing a meal alongside two men from the commission. One man is reading a map; the other is examining a gun. The scene is placed on the banks of the River Meta. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and ...
View of the River Meta from Orocué, near the Old Macuco Mission, Province of Casanare
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820-1902) shows a scene at the edge of the River Meta in Casanare Province (now Casanare Department), Colombia, in the Llanos Orientales (The Eastern Plains) region. The river port of Orocué was close to San Miguel de Macuco, one of the most important missions (active from about 1730 to 1825) to the Saliva Indians. The Meta flows into the Orinoco, which now forms the border between Colombia and Venezuela. In this vast and sparsely populated area, rivers were often the only transport routes. The ...
White and Mestizo Inhabitants, Tundama Province
This watercolor by Carmelo Fernández (1809−87) shows three individuals representing  different ethnic and racial groups living in Tundama Province (present-day Boyacá Department), northeast Colombia. As indicated on the caption, shown are a man of European extraction and two mestizos (people of mixed Indian and European ancestry).  Fernández was born in San José de Guama, Venezuela, into a well-connected family (he was the nephew of José Antonio Páez, a hero of Venezuelan independence and three times president). He studied art in New York when still a youth. He returned home ...
The Engraved Rock of Gámeza, Province of Tundama
This watercolor by Carmelo Fernández (1809−87) shows the Gámeza Rock art in Tundama Province (present-day Boyacá Department), northeast Colombia. The caption below the picture says that the great rock once dammed Lake Sogamoso, and that its surface was smoothed by the action of the water. When the rock was dislodged, the resulting flood was a great catastrophe, which the native people recorded in their incised petroglyphs. Sogamoso was once a sacred place of the pre-Columbian Chibcha. Fernández was born in San José de Guama, Venezuela, into a well-connected family ...
Indians Living by the Banks of the Tapaje River, Province of Barbacoas
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a group of three Indians, described in the caption as living on the banks of the Tapaje River in what was then the Province of Barbacoas. The painting implicitly contrasts the large pot being fashioned by the person seated on the left, and the commercially-manufactured bottle held by the boy. In the distance are palm trees and a tropical blue sky. Located in the far southwest of Colombia near the border with Ecuador, Barbacoas Province stretched from the Pacific lowlands up ...
Poncho Weaver in Cali, Province of Buenaventura
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a man making woolen ruanas (ponchos) on a large foot-pedaled loom. Weaving of this kind was one of the most important crafts of the Indians of the Cordillera Occidental, in the Andean region in Colombia. In 1853, when Paz painted the picture, Cali was in the province of Buenaventura; it is now the capital of Valle del Cauca Department. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities ...
Interior of an Indian Hut, Province of Chocó
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows an Amerindian family at home in the Province of Chocó (present-day Department of Chocó), in the Pacific lowlands of western Colombia. The scene shows a mother nursing her baby while the father looks on; another adult is seated on the right. In the background are palm trees, mountains, and a sky with billowing clouds. Chocó is one of the wettest places in the world, with an annual average rainfall of more than 10 meters. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s ...
Porters on the Mountain of Nóvita, Chocó Province
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows a group of porters setting up camp close to Nóvita, the first capital of the Province of Chocó and now a town in the Department of Chocó, western Colombia. The mountain is probably the nearby Cerro Tamaná, which rises some 4,000 meters above sea level on the western edge of the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes. The mountainous terrain, very high rainfall, and many rivers of this region meant that in the 1850s porters were the main means of transporting ...
Indians of Puracé, Popayán Province
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows four Amerindians in the village of Puracé in Popayán Province (present-day Department of Cauca), in southwest Colombia, an area sandwiched between the western and central cordilleras of the Andes. Puracé is also the name of the local volcano and is a Quechua word meaning “fire mountain.” One of the most active volcanoes in Colombia, it is surrounded by other volcanic mountains and the sources of several major rivers. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of ...
Indians of Pansitará, Popayán Province
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows colorfully dressed Amerindian inhabitants of the village of Pancitará, or Pansitará, in Popayán Province (present-day Department of Cauca), southwest Colombia. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of New Granada and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups. 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 ...
Coconuco Indians, Popayán Province
The watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) depicts a Coconuco Amerindian couple from the highlands of the Cordillera Central of the Andes, Popayán Province (in present-day Cauca Department), southwest Colombia. The Coconuco, like some of the other ethnic groups that survived the Spanish conquest and colonization, lived primarily in remote areas at higher elevations. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ethnic, racial, and social groups ...
View of the Village of Puracé, Painted from the Pesares Highlands, Popayán Province
This watercolor by Manuel María Paz (1820−1902) shows the view from the highlands above the city of Popayán in the Cordillera Central of the Andes, in present-day Cauca Department, southwest Colombia. The view looks across to the little village of Puracé and the Puracé Volcano, barely visible in the distance, which is one of the most active in Colombia. The watercolor is typical of Paz’s work, which captured the diversity of the population of Colombia and depicted the daily activities and traditional customs of the country’s different ...