Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Transcript

Plate XII
Outina, going at the Head of His Army, Against the Enemy, Consults a Sorcerer on the Event

Laudonnière sent several Indian prisoners back to their king, Outina, who lived about forty miles south of the French fort. These men had been captured by Satourioua during the previous expedition. As a result of the French action a solemn treaty was concluded with Outina and reciprocal friendship promised. The reason for the French wanting this treaty was that this king's territory could offer access, both by land and by river, to the Appalachian mountains where gold, silver and copper was found. Having the friendship of this king which scarcely lasted a year), the French could easily reach these mountains. Under the terms of this alliance he asked Laudonnière for a few arquebusiers to help him make war on his enemy. He was sent twenty-five men under the command of Ottigny. He received them with great pleasure, counting on victory because of their co-operation, for the fame of their weapons had spread into the neighbouring countries and inspired terror. Now the king was ready and they departed. On the first day the going was easy, on the second more difficult, across swampy ground, covered with thorny scrub. The Indians carried the French on their shoulders which was a great relief to them in the strong heat. At last they arrived at the frontier. The king then halted his army and called an ancient magician who was more than a hundred years old, bidding him reveal the enemies' dispositions. The magician cleared a space in the middle of the army and on seeing Ottigny, he asked for the shield his page was brandishing. This he put on the ground and drawing a circle of five feet diameter around it, he inscribed some letters and signs in the circle. Kneeling with his heels on the shield, he sat in such a way that he was not touching the ground anywhere. Mumbling unintelligibly, he gesticulated as if he was engaged in a vehement discourse. After a quarter of an hour he looked so terrifying that his face no longer seemed human. He contorted himself until his bones could be heard cracking and he did many other things besides that were most unnatural. At last, exhausted and as if confused, he resumed his original aspect. Then he left the circle, saluted the king and informed him of the number of enemies and in which place they were awaiting him.


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).