Albert Eckhout

Don Miguel De Castro, Ambassador from Kongo to Dutch Brazil

Dutch (colonized) Brazil (c. 1637)

oil on wood

This portrait of D. Miguel shows the titular man clothed in impeccable contemporaneous Dutch fashion. Whether or not many of the paintings done by Eckhout depicting very sensationalized “Indios” from the series were made in Brazil or spun from whole cloth, so to speak, is a hotly debated issue. This, however, is almost certainly a portrait of the man it claims to be of; portraits of his entourage are part of the series as well (and will probably be featured on this blog at some point). During the 1600s many ambassadors were sent by Queen Jinga (Nzinga Mbandi) Soba on various diplomatic missions, including one to the Pope in Rome (Don Antonio Manuele de Funta [one] [two]).

[source 1] [source 2] [source 3] [source 4]

Mulher africana- 1641

Uma imponente mulher negra, uma criança e a natureza exuberante à sua volta apresentam esta pintura em primeiro plano, adornada com um colar de coral e outro de perolas, pingentes e brincos além de uma pulseira de ouro e na cintura um cachimbo semelhante ao dos holandeses.

Albert Eckhout

Óleo sobre tela, 265x178 cm.

Museu Nacional da Dinamarca, Copenhague

Manioc or Cassava is a tuber that is a primary food in tropical South America. Many rainforest peoples hold ceremony to honor the Manioc Mothers. In Brazil the Mundurucu Shamans invoke her thusMother of manioc, show favor to us. Let us suffer no famine; we call on you each year with our prayers. We have not forgotten you.
Goddesses in World Culture by Patricia Monagha

Painting: Still Life with Manioc, Recife, Brazil (1637-1644)
Scanned from the book Albert Eckhout: een Hollandse kunstenaar in Brazilië.

Americque By Jan Van Kessel “The Elder” (1626-1679), Dutch Brazil.

“It contains two Brazilian figures based on the paintings of Brazilian ‘Tapuya’ Indians made by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout in 1641-43, a third Ameridian figure in the foreground, wearing a headdress and a skirt of red feathers, and various fauna and flora taken from Piso and Markgraf’s Historiae rerum naturalium Brasiliae, Yet the scene is not fully American either; it includes a set of Javanese gamelan gongs, Japanese armor and arms, and shells wich are either Indo-Pacific or pantropical.” - Peter Mason

Albert Eckhout, Tarairiu dancers

The Indigenous peoples in Brazil (Portuguese: povos indígenas no Brasil) comprise a large number of distinct ethnic groups who inhabited the country prior to the European invasion around 1500. Unlike Christopher Columbus, who thought he had reached the East Indies, the Portuguese, most notably Vasco da Gama, had already reached India via the Indian Ocean route when they reached Brazil.

Nevertheless the word índios (“Indians”) was by then established to designate the people of the New World and stuck being used today in the Portuguese language to designate these peoples, while the people of India, Asia are called indianos in order to distinguish the two people.

At the time of European discovery, some of the indigenous peoples were traditionally mostly semi-nomadic tribes who subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture. Many of the estimated 2,000 nations and tribes which existed in the 16th century died out as a consequence of the European settlement, and many were assimilated into the Brazilian population.