Indigenous Peoples of Florida in the Sixteenth Century Central European Travel Literature Cover Image
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Domorodé národy Floridy podľa stredoeurópskych cestopisov zo 16. storočia
Indigenous Peoples of Florida in the Sixteenth Century Central European Travel Literature

Author(s): Igor Zmeták
Subject(s): History
Published by: Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci
Keywords: Florida; Theodore de Bry; Jacques le Moyne de Morgues; Timucua

Summary/Abstract: The reports of the first Europeans who met with the indigenous American cultures in the 16th century were subject to multiple stylizations. On one hand, there existed a conviction about a universal culture of the estates, with the king, aristocracy and subjects as known from Europe. On the other hand, an image of the bloodthirsty savages and cannibals lacking the full status of humans was present. The fact they tried to picture faithfully the native indigenous culture in both textual and pictorial part of their travel books on the discovering of Florida gives credit to Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues and Theodor de Bry. The choice of the book illustrations is not at all restricted to the extreme phenomena in a cultural conflict between the European civilization and the natives. Part of the chalcographies is focused on the representation of their everyday life – the way of hunting, cooking, treatment of the diseases, or soil cultivation. For a 16th-century reader, one of the most important questions was the one on the essence of the newly discovered lands, and whether their inhabitants were human beings or monsters. The second most important question was the faith of the savages, their religious rituals, and their ability to adopt the faith in God, and thirdly, their way of life. Jacques le Moyne and Theodore de Bry answer these questions for us. At the same time, this work allows us to study how the inhabitants of the 16th-century central Europe were forming their opinion of the overseas cultures.

  • Issue Year: 2017
  • Issue No: 53
  • Page Range: 127-146
  • Page Count: 20
  • Language: Slovak