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De Bry - " How the Indians cross rivers" 1601 - Acosta - Peru - Pumpkin raft(!)

De Bry - " How the Indians cross rivers" 1601 - Acosta - Peru - Pumpkin raft(!)

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"How the Indians cross rivers"

-Original Copperplate Engraving

-Theodore De Bry

-Page 9.5 x 13 inches (23 x 33cm)

-Image 8.5 x 6 inches (22 x 15cm)

-1602 (This image is from the Latin 1st Edition)

-Good condition - some mild toning and marks to page. 

-Verso blank

-More recent colour

This is an original plate from Part 9 of De Bry's famous set of "Grands Voyages". This part contained an early translation of Acosta's famous "Historia natural y moral de las Indias", first published in Salamanca in 1589. The work was divided into seven parts, the parts I-IV of which described the flora, fauna and geography of the area. Books V-VII contained information on the religion, politics and history of Mexico.

This is plate 2 from the series, depicting the methods used by Indians to cross rivers, including the ingenious use of dried pumpkins.

The text for the plate reads:

"The Indians of Peru had strange ways of crossing rivers. They tied a rope between two poles on either side of a river; then they hung a large basket from this rope and whomsoever wanted to cross, sat in the bascke and was pulled across. Others crossed rivers by sitting astride a bundle of reeds and punting across with two wooden poles. Yet another method, suitable for transporting heavy cargoes, was to make a raft out of dried pumpkins and row across"
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