Male Clothing Styles, Gold Coast, late 16th cent.


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Image Reference
BRY02

Source
Theodore and Johan Israel De Bry, Indiae Orientalis pars VI [India Orientalis. pt. 6], (Frankfort, 1604), plate 3 (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)

Comments
In the foreground, from right to left, a "typical gentleman" wearing a hat and linen clothing; a merchant ("batafou"), with a dog skin hat and a rolled up cloth around his waist; an interpreter who accompanies farmers trading with [European] ships, wearing a small hat. The background portrays merchants after trading with German or Dutch ships; slaves carry the merchants' wares. The De Brys had never visited Africa and constructed their illustrations of Africans from the late 16th century eye-witness accounts by the Dutchman Pieter de Marees of the Gold Coast, and by the Portuguese Duarte Lopez of the kingdom of Kongo. For an extended discussion of the De Brys' illustrations of Africa and their sources, see Ernst van den Boogaart, De Brys' Africa, in Susanna Burghartz, ed., Inszenierte Welten: Die west-und ostindischen reisen der verleger de Bry, 1590-1630 [Staging New Worlds: De Brys' Illustrated Travel Reports, 1590-1630] (Basel, 2004), pp. 95-149; for this image in particular, see pp. 119, 121, 124-25. (Problems in scanning this volume have resulted in distortions in the left-hand side of the image.)