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Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua


Floridians Crossing Over to an Island to take their Pleasure

As can be seen from the preceding illustrations, this area abounds with very agreeable little islands. The rivers are not deep; the pure, clear water scarcely reaches the chest. When the Indians want to make an enjoyable excursion with their wives and children, they go to these islands. They either swim across the river (for they are excellent swimmers) or they wade across carrying the little children. In fact the mothers can manage three children at once, the smallest on a shoulder clutching its hand, and the other two under her arms. With the free hand, the women carry a basket full of fruit or other food for the occasion. For fear of meeting enemies the men carry bows and arrows. In order not to wet them, they attach the quiver to their hair and hold the bows stretched and ready with and arrow, prepared instantly to defend themselves, as can be seen in our engraving.

All transcriptions are taken from Discovering the New World, Based on the Works of Theodore de Bry, edited by Michael Alexander (New York: Harper & Row, 1976).