De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part II, Plate 19, Actual Illustration of the Penekays from S. Thoma
De BRY, Johann Theodor, (1560-1623) and Johann Israel de Bry (1565-1609). Part II, Plate 19, Actual Illustration of the Penekays from S. Thoma. Including the Moluccans and Peguins. From the “Little Voyages”.
Plate XIX, Warhaffte Abbildung der Pene kays von S. Thoma. Item der Molucaner vnd Peguaner
From Part II of Johann Theodor de Bry (1561-1623) and Johann Isreal de Bry's (1565-1609) Orientalische Indien (“Little Voyages”), Ander Theil der Orientalischen...Frankfurt: 1598 (first edition)
Engraving with original, early 17th century hand color heightened with gold on laid paper; paper dimensions: approximately: 11 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches
Printed by Johan Saur
van Groesen 43
PEGUESE, MOLUKUS AND ST. THOMAS CHRISTIANS
According to the descriptions in Icones, the king- dom of Pegu is inhabited by people who resemble the Chinese, depicted here on the right. They have the custom of offering a daughter to guests who conduct trade in the area, to serve as a bed- fellow while the trade is being conducted. The Peguese do not believe the woman's honor is affected by this. The man with the sword and shield in the picture is a native of the Moluku Islands. On the left we see two Christians, follow- ers of the apostle Saint Thomas. According to the story they are born with a thick lower leg (as visi- ble in the illustration) and are cursed for all future generations.*
Translation of text:
Title: Actual illustration of the Penekays from S. Thoma. Including the Moluccans and Peguins.
Text: In the Moluccas one can find a special sort of people who live in the city S. Thoma and are called Penekays. Those were all born men and women with a thick and disproportionate thigh that's why the other Indians say that they are cursed. They are color-wise black like the Malabars and are in every other concern very similar to them.
Also there is another female Indian from the island Molucca where the spices and paradise birds come from illustrated are their clothes made out of straw and their bread that they eat is made out of wood and roots. Finally you see someone from Pegu where most of the gemstones come from. Their appearance and figure is like those from China but their color is slightly browner and they are great sodomites that is why they have one or two nut-sized bells on their penis to prevent this. Their women walk around with just a piece of fabric bound around them otherwise completely naked which even heightens the men's' lust.**
ENGRAVED PLATES FROM VOLUME II OF DE BRY’S ‘LITTLE VOYAGES’ OF THE EAST INDIES
Documenting the Asia Journeys of Van Linschoten. Featuring Depictions of Gabon, Mozambique, India, Ormus, Moluccas, and China
The Itinerario of Jan Huygen van Linschoten (ca. 1563, Haarlem - 1611 Enkhuizen) literally translates from the Latin as "travel report." It is the first Dutch description of a journey to the East.
Jan Huygen van Linschoten undertook the journey as commissioned by the Portuguese. Upon his return to the Netherlands after many years of travel, Van Linschoten chronicled his experiences. Jan Huygen wrote his travel report, which was published in 1596, in his hometown of Enkhuizen. In doing so he was assisted by Doctor Paludanus, a collector of rarities and curiosities, owner of a botanical garden, an encyclopedist of the newly discovered parts of the globe.
How did Van Linschoten find himself in Asia? Around 1579 the young man, 16 or 17 years old at the time, followed his two brothers to Seville, Spain. A year later he would move to Portugal, where, with his brother's help, he found a position as a clerk in the retinue of Vincente de Fonseca, the newly appointed archbishop of Goa on the west coast of India.
Van Linschoten would make his first journey in 1583, sailing to India with the archbishop's retinue. The journey gave him the opportunity to collect all sorts of information from various sources on the Portuguese empire in Asia: about products that were being traded, fauna of the region, customs and habits of the peoples; but above all Van Linschoten noted down information about the route to Asia.
In 1587 the bishop set out to return to Portugal to report on his activities. Jan Huygen van Linschoten stayed behind in Asia. He was thought to be collecting interest. He also cherished the hope that an occasion might arise for him to travel further east, to China and Japan. In 1588 he was informed that the bishop had died en route back to Europe.
He also heard that his brother's ship had been entirely lost. Jan Huygen van Linschoten suddenly became homesick and decided to himself return to Europe in 1589.
During a stop at Saint Helena, he met Antwerp- born Gerrit van Afhuijsen, who had been to the Maluku Islands (previously known as the Moluku Islands, currently part of Malaysia). He learned a great deal from him about trade in that region. At the next stop, the Azores, he was forced to stay for two years as the island was under siege by the English. He utilized this time to map out the city of Angra on the island of Terceira, as commissioned by the governor. In 1592 he arrived in Lisbon. In the same year, he started out for his homeland and settled once again in Enkhuizen, in what is now the province of Noord-Holland.
Jan Huygen van Linschoten's Itinerario appeared in print in 1596. Amsterdam resident Cornelis Claeszoon, the most important publisher of his time, published the book complete with six topographical maps, 26 illustrations of people and their customs and four prints of trees and fruits.
The 26 illustrations of Asian peoples and the four pictures of eastern crops are separately depicted in the book Icones, also published by Cornelis Claeszoon. These include depictions of Indians, but also of Moluku natives, Javanese and Malaysians. We do not know whether Van Linschoten himself encountered people from these last three population groups in India or whether he described them on the basis of other sources.
With the help of Van Linschoten's guide, four ships set sail on the first long journey eastwards in 1595 (De Eerste Schipvaert (The First Voyage) by Cornelis de Houtman).*
*Research provided by Martine Gosselink, head of the History department at the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands.
**Translated from original German by Karl Nesseler.
Description compiled by Erik Brockett who is pleased to provide additional information relating to this or other examples of the work of Johann Theodor de Bry available at Arader Galleries. He can be contacted at email@example.com