Market Woman or Hawkers, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ca. 1770s

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Image Reference

Carlos Juliao, Riscos illuminados de figurinhos de broncos e negros dos uzos do Rio de Janeiro e Serro do Frio (Rio de Janeiro, 1960), plate 33. The prints used as plates in this book are housed in the Secao de Iconografia in the National Library of Brazil; the historical introduction and descriptive catalog were written by Lygia da Foneseca Fernandes da Cunha. (Copy in Tulane University Library)

Showing different clothing styles, the woman on the left carries a large fish on her head, and her child strapped to her back. The woman on the right is also shown with her child on her back, and is heading a wooden tray filled with bananas and other fruit; note the long-stemmed pipe in her hand and the amulets around her neck and hanging from the sash around her waist. These amulets, or "bolsas de mandinga," were small pouches "that contained powerful substances from the natural world--leaves, hair, teeth, powders, and the like. Each bolsa had distinct powers, but the most common ones were believed to protect the wearer from bodily injury" (James Sweet, Recreating Africa: Culture, Kinship, and Religion in the African Portuguese World, 1441-1770 [University of North Carolina Press, 2003], p. 180). Born in Italy ca. 1740, Juliao joined the Portuguese army and traveled widely in the Portuguese empire; by by the 1760s or 1770s he was in Brazil, where he died in 1811 or 1814. For a detailed analysis and critique of Juliao's figures as representations of Brazilian slave life, as well as a biographical sketch of Juliao and suggested dates for his paintings, see Silvia Hunold Lara, Customs and Costumes: Carlos Juliao and the Image of Black Slaves in Late Eighteenth-Century Brazil (Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 [2002], pp. 125-146).