Slaves Carrying a Covered Hammock, Brazil, 1630s

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Image Reference

C. Ferrao and J. P. Soares, eds., Dutch Brazil, The "Thierbuch" and "Autobiography" of Zacharias Wagener; D.H. Treece and R. Trewinnard, English translators (Rio de Janeiro, Editora Index, 1997), vol. 2, p. 191, plate 104.

White woman being carried in a covered hammock by two male slaves, white clay pipes tucked into their clothing; other slaves following on foot, carrying fruit baskets. Wagener/Wagner was a German mercenary for the Dutch West India Company; in 1634, at the age of about 20, he went to northeastern Brazil and stayed there for 7 years. He writes "The wives and children of notable and wealthy Portuguese are transported in this manner, by two strong slaves, to the houses of their friends or to church; they hang the beautiful cloths of velvet or damask over poles so that the sun does not burn them strongly. They also take behind them a variety of beautiful and tasty fruits as a present for those that they wish to visit" (vol. 2, p. 190).