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De Bry Rare Books

Indian suicides under Spanish rule - Black legend - 1594 - De Bry

Indian suicides under Spanish rule - Black legend - 1594 - De Bry

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"Indian suicides under Spanish rule"

-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)


-Good condition 

-Verso  Blank

This plate comes from Benzoni's work which describes his 15 years on the isthmus of America, in Panama and Nicaragua.

Benzoni, an Italian, acted as a mediator between different nations. The work describes life of the first nations of Central America. Benzoni wrote at a time when the Spanish treatment of the Indians was a concern, and described the cruelty of the Spanish towards the Indians and African slaves - the famous "Black legend". The work is beautifully illustrated with engravings of the Native Americans and Spanish conquistadors. It including images of Nicaraguans dancing, how they held their markets, and made war, and of slaves being harshly treated.

The text reads:

"The natives of Hispaniola, who saw no end to the fearful oppression of Spanish rule, preferred death. So many, devoid of all hope, went into the woods to kill their children and hang themselves. After taking certain natural poisons, the women followed their husbands to death by means of the noose. Others threw themselves down mountains, jumped into the sea or into rivers, while some died by self-imposed starvation or even stabbed themselves to death with razor sharp stone knives."

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