Music, Dance, & Recreational Activities

  • Festival of the King, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, ca. 1770s

    Shows the coronotion of a Black Queen and clothing styles of female slaves. The elaborately attired Queen is accompanied by two slave women, one holds her long cape, the other an umbrella to protect her from the sun. She is followed by an entourage of slave women, some dancing and playing various musical instruments, e.g., drum, rasp. Born in Italy ca. 1740, Juliao joined the Portuguese army and traveled widely in the Portuguese empire; by the 1760s or 1770s he was in Brazil, where he died in 1811 or 1814. For a detailed analysis and critique of Juliao's figures as representations of Brazilian slave life, as well as a biographical sketch of Juliao and suggested dates for his paintings, see Silvia Hunold Lara, Customs and Costumes: Carlos Juliao and the Image of Black Slaves in Late Eighteenth-Century Brazil (Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 [2002], pp. 125-146).
  • Dance or Festival, Havana, Cuba, ca. 1866

    The author, who visited Cuba ca. 1866, writes of African-born slaves in Havana and their Sunday festivals. And as all secret assemblies are against the law, these people meet in rooms together, which they call cabildos, or assembly rooms . . . . The visitor need not have the slightest hesitation in entering, for he will always be treated with great respect by those present . . . who are only too happy to have a white audience (p. 196); note musical instruments, banjo, drum.
  • Musical Instruments, Surinam, 1770s

    Caption: Musical Instruments of the African Negroes, shows various percussion (e.g., drums), string, and wind instruments. These instruments of sound, Stedman wrote, are not a little [in]genious, all are made by themselves, and he provides a detailed description of the items shown in the illustration. This and other engravings are found in the autobiographical narrative of Stedman, a young Dutchman who joined a military force against rebellions of the enslaved in the Dutch colony. The engravings are based on Stedmanís own drawings and were done by professional engravers. For the definitive modern edition of the original 1790 Stedman manuscript, which includes this and other illustrations see Richard and Sally Price, eds. Narrative of a five years expedition against the revolted Negroes of Surinam (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988).
  • Playing Musical Instruments at a Dance, Peru, 1780s

    Drawing identified as Danza de Negras shows two black men playing a drum (one end of which is being held by a boy) and guitar; a third is observing and smoking a long-stemmed pipe. A boy and girl are in the scene. All are fully clothed, the men and boys wearing conical caps. This and hundreds of other drawings were done by unidentified Native Americans during the 1780s and were commissioned by the Spanish Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martinez Companon during his pastoral visit to the region of Trujillo in northern Peru. The drawings, spread over nine volumes, are of Spaniards, Native Americans, plants and animals, as well plans and maps of the region. Only Vol. 2 contains a few pictures of blacks, the index to the volume giving very sparse information on each drawing. (See other images Trujillo on this website.)
  • Musical instruments, Marimba/Xylophone, Peru, 1780s

    Drawing identified as Negros tocando marimba y bailando (blacks playing the marimba and dancing), shows males and females, all fully clothed. Two men are playing a marimba/xylophone, the other people appear to be dancing. This and hundreds of other drawings were done by unidentifed Indians during the 1780s and were commissioned by the Spanish Bishop Baltazar Jaime Martinez Companon during his pastoral visit to the region of Trujillo in northern Peru. The drawings, spread over nine volumes, are of Spaniards, Native Americans, plants and animals, as well plans and maps of the region. Only Vol. 2 contains a few pictures of blacks, the index to the volume giving very sparse information on each drawing. (See other images Trujillo on this website.) j
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