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De Bry -“The idol Kiwasa" - 1590 - Virginia - Roanoke - Algonquian

De Bry -“The idol Kiwasa" - 1590 - Virginia - Roanoke - Algonquian

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"Kawasa - the idol of Secota"

-Original Copperplate Engraving

-Theodore De Bry (1528-1598)

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

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

-Engraved in 1590 (This image is from the Latin 1st Edition of 1590)

-Good condition with clean image. The page has been professionally restored with deacidification of the paper. Some marks to the rear 

-Verso blank

This is an original plate from Part 1 "Admiranda Narratio" of De Bry's famous set of "Grands Voyages". This part described Sir Walter Raleigh's expedition, granted by Elizabeth I, to settle the first English colony in what is now Carolina. The expedition founded the famous failed colony of Roanoke in 1585. John White was sent to be the artist for the voyage and produced a famous set of water colours. He stayed in Roanoke for over 13 months and produced over 70 images, now in the British Museum.  Once he returned to London he met Theodore De Bry, who published the images in engraved form in Thomas Hariot's account of the journey.

This is plate 21 from the series, describing the idol Kiwasa.

The text for the plate reads:
 
"In the temple of Secota sat the idol: Kiwasa, guarding the dead chief and noblemen. It was carved-in wood, four feet high, with the appearance of a Florida Indian. The face was flesh covered; the breast was white, with the rest black, except for white spots on the thighs. Around its neck was a necklace of white and copper beads, which they valued more than gold. Some villages have two, or even three of these idols. Their quiet presence in a dark corner was quite terrifying. The Indians seem to have no knowledge of a god but were evidently anxious to learn from the Christian settlers, as they used to attend their prayer meetings."

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Theodore De Bry

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