Transporting a Covered Hammock, 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. 51 (plate 9 in the 1822 London edition). (Copy in University of Florida Library, Gainesville)

Caption, called the "Rede" this "sort of hammock," the author writes, is "usually made of cotton net, dyed of various colours and fringed, in which females, a little above the lower classes, are carried about by their slaves; it is furnished with a pillow to lean upon, and across the bamboo, from which it is suspended, is thrown a covering or curtain fantastically striped. When the lady wishes to stop, the carriers plant their sticks in the ground and support the ends of the bamboo on the iron fork fixed at the end of each for that purpose, until their mistress chooses to proceed." On the right, a male slave is carrying a load of "Capim or Guinea Grass" while on the left, the woman carrying her child is selling pineapples (pp. 202-203). The foreground figures in Chamberlain's book were copied from three separate 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 (including the ones shown here), 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.)