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Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua


Solemnities at the Reception of the Queen by the King

It is with great pomp that the queen is led to the king in a place specially designed for that purpose. There a large platform made of logs has been erected, and on each side of it are benches for the nobles. Seated on the right, the king welcomes the queen who takes her place on his left, and he tells her the reasons he has chosen her to be his wife. The queen, a fan in her hand and full of majestic reserve, answers the king as graciously as her education has taught her. Next the young girls, now wearing a different costume, form a circle without touching each other. Their hair floats over their shoulders and down their backs, a wide belt encircles their hips and a sort of purse hides their intimate parts; pendants of gold and silver are attached to their belts and tinkle when the girls dance and sing the praises of the king and queen. When one of them raises her hand the others copy her, they do likewise if she lowers it. Men and women have the ends of their ears pierced in which they put little inflated fish bladders, bright as pearls, painted red and looking like carbuncles. It is astonishing that such savage people should have created such tasteful devices.

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).