Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Theodor de Bry's Engravings of the Timucua

Transcript

Plate XXXVII
The Display with Which a Queen Elect is Brought to the King

When the king wishes to get married, he orders the most beautiful and the tallest girl from among the most noble families to be chosen. Then a seat is fixed on two stout poles and covered with the skin of some rare animals. Behind the seat a structure of branches is made so as to shade the head of the sitter. The queen-elect is put on this chair and four strong men take up the poles and carry them on their shoulders. They each carry a wooden fork on which to put the poles when they halt. On each side of the queen walk two men waving elegant fans, attached to long handles, to protect her from the ardors of the sun. Other men go before, blowing trumpets made of tree bark. These instruments have only two holes, one at the top and one at the bottom; they are narrower at the mouth end than at the other end. Hanging from them are oval balls of gold, silver and copper which are designed to make a very harmonious sound as they knock against each other. Then follow the most beautiful of the young girls, all decked out with necklaces and bracelets of pearls. Each carries a basket full of the choicest fruit. For the sake of decency they hang moss from their naval to their thighs. After them come the bodyguards.


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).