Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Transcript

Plate XXXV
Solemnities at Consecrating the Skin of a Stag to the Sun

Every year, a little before spring, that is to say at the end of February, King Outina's subjects take the skin of the largest stag they have been able to capture. Leaving on its antlers, they stuff this skin full of the most delicate plants which grow there and sew it up. At the antlers, the neck and the stomach they hang the best of their fruit, made into wreaths or garlands. Thus decorated, this effigy is carried to the sound of flutes and harmonious songs, to a special place, large and level. Here it is put on a high tree with its head and breast facing the rising sun. Then the Indians say prayers to the sun so that it will give them again good fruit similar to the ones offered to it. The king and his sorcerer stand near the tree singing chants to which the people, standing apart, make the responses. Then the king and all his retinue salute the sun and depart, leaving the deer's hide where it is until the following year. They repeat this ceremony annually.


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).