Adina Sommer`s Rare Antique Maps and Contemporary Art

South America Brazil, middle provinces

  • Translation

Article ID AMS395
Artist Swanston
Title South America Brazil, middle provinces
Year ca. 1845
Description Map shows the provinces of Rio de Janeiro and Bahia and a total view of Rio de Janeiro
The oldest traces of human life were found in the Caverna da Pedra Pintada in the state of Piauí. The early inhabitants fundamentally changed the ecosystem of the Amazon basin by planting certain types of plants and improving the soil. Their settlements - for example on the huge river island of Marajó - were far larger than long thought. In the province of Mato Grosso there were numerous planned locations where fish farming and agriculture were practiced until around 1500. The cities, which were up to 60 hectares in size, were connected by a road network - although in most areas the canoe was the means of transportation - there were dams and artificial ponds. As in many places in America, the people of the Xingu are believed to have been victims of the epidemic, especially smallpox. The indigenous peoples in Brazil lived partly from hunting, fishing and gathering, as well as from the fragile ecosystem of adapted soil management. A large part of the local population died in the course of European colonization, mostly from imported diseases, but also as a result of forced labor or enslavement. The majority of the Indians living outside the rainforest, especially in the cities, were assimilated insofar as they survived violence and epidemics and mingled with European immigrants. Already in 1494 Portugal and Spain decided to divide South America in the Tordesillas Treaty. Because the line had been agreed in ignorance of the coastline of the New World, the (at that time still generally unknown) eastern tip of South America also belonged to Portugal. The prerequisite for a legitimate possession was the consequent catholization of the locals. The period from 1500 to 1530 was marked by bartering with the locals. In 1549, today's Salvador da Bahia (São Salvador da Bahía de Todos os Santos) was named the capital. From 1530, native Indians were brought to the coast from inland who had to do the work on the sugar cane plantations in the northeast. Many of them died because of hard work, persecution, and indigenous susceptibility to European diseases. The colonialists then tried to replace the lost labor with slaves from Africa.
Place of Publication London
Dimensions (cm)46 x 31
ConditionTear on upper margin perfectly restored
Coloringcolored
TechniqueSteel engraving

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