Porters with Sugar Hogshead, Brazil, 1840s


Daniel P. Kidder, Sketches of Residence and Travels in Brazil (Philadelphia and London, 1845, 2 vols.), vol. 2, p. 20. (Copy in Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library)


A group of eight men, carrying a large hogshead of sugar suspended from poles by ropes. Burdens are . . . more frequently carried upon the shoulders, since the principal exports . . . being sugar in cases, and cotton in bales, it is impossible that they should be borne on the head like bags of coffee. Immense numbers of tall, athletic negroes, are seen moving in pairs or gangs of four, six, or eight, with their loads suspended between them on heavy poles (Kidder, p. 20). A slightly modified version of this engraving, captioned porters of Bahia, is published and described in Kidder's, Brazil and the Brazilians (New York and Philadelphia, 1857), pp. 475-476; also later editions. The image in Kidder's volume is a slightly modified and reversed version of one that originally appeared in Debret's Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil (see image JCB_07385-3).


Kidder, Daniel P.

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