Queen or 'Maam' of the Set-Girls
This lithograph shows the female leader of a performance group, called the Set-Girls, standing alone in a large and colourful dress. According to Belisario, "she is invested with absolute authority, which. . . she exercises with unsparing severity, as may be inferred by the cow-skin whip borne in her hand. Her costume is elaborate and although the ornaments displayed are probably the loan of her mistress, the remainder of the dress is invariably purchased by herself." Isaac Mendes Belisario (1795–1849) was a Jamaican artist of Jewish descent and active in Kingston Jamaica around British emancipation in 1833. The image shown here, as well as others of “John-Canoes,” was drawn from life by Belisario in 1836. This lithograph is one of twelve originally published in three parts, four plates at a time. See also image Belisario02.
Isaac Mendes Belisario, Sketches of character, in illustration of the habits, occupation, and costume of the Negro population, in the island of Jamaica: drawn after nature, and in lithography (Kingston, Jamaica: published by the artist, at his residence, 1837-1838).
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Queen or 'Maam' of the Set-Girls", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed February 17, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2310