Peddlers or Hawkers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1819-1820

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Image Reference

Henry Chamberlain, Views and costumes of the city and neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from drawings taken by Lieutenant Chamberlain, Royal Artillery, during the years 1819 and 1820, with descriptive explanations (London, 1822). The illustration shown here is taken from the Brazilian (Portuguese) edition, Vistas e costumes de cidade e arredores do Rio de Janeiro em 1819-1820 (Livaria Kosmos, Rio de Janeiro, 1943), p. 45 (plate 36 in the 1822 London edition). (Copy in University of Florida Library, Gainesville)

Caption, "Largo Da Gloria," shows the types of people that might be found on a street in this suburb of Rio. The people depicted, from left to right, are a man carrying a load of wood on his head, while "amusing himself" by playing a "madimba de Btsché, a Congo musical instrument" (described in detail by the author); a female peddler carrying her wares, such a hats, books, and cloth on her head; another female huckster selling a dish of corn and beans; a man selling old mats and brooms. The man in the right hand corner carries a glass case suspended around his neck in which there is a small figure of Jesus or the Virgin Mary--"for the truly pious to kiss; and for which act of devotion" he expects payment "though he generally pretends that he collects these alms for more holy purposes." Next to him is a female hawker of a rice-based liquor called Alhoa (pp. 201-202). The foreground figures in Chamberlain's book were probably copied from water-colors drawn earlier by Joaquim Candido Guillobel. Born in Portugual in 1787, Guillobel came to Brazil in 1808, and from 1812 started "drawing and painting small pictures on cards of everyday scenes in Rio de Janeiro." For biographical details on Guillobel, who died in 1859, and reproductions of about 60 of his original drawings in color, see Joaquim Candido Guillobel, Usos e Costumes do Rio de Janeiro nas figurinhas de Guillobel [1978]. The text of this volume is given in both Portuguese and English; the author of the biographical notes who is, presumably the compiler of the volume, is not given in the Library of Congress copy that was consulted. (See this website, "Chamberlain" for related drawings.)