This lithograph shows four portraits of enslaved people. Belisario described how "the woman (upper left) represents a vender of sausages about the streets, and is selected as an example of the inconsistency frequently observable in the Negro-class, who, while they are engaged in the meanest occupation, are still attentive to the adornment of their person. The woman is shown with an elaborate head-tie, jewelry, and a small blue purse dangling from her waist. In the upper right, the man is wearing the ordinary costume of the field worker. His Kilmarnock cap, a coarse black hat is also worn; these added to a blue checked shirt, Oznaburgh trowsers, and contoon, or cloak made of dark blue woolen-cloth called Pennistone, complete the ordinary costume. The man on the lower left is also a field-Negro, shown with similar clothing. The older woman (lower right) wears a head-tie and has chew-stick (sometimes, chaw-stick). The pearly whiteness of teeth so universal with the Negroes is in a great measure produced by the constant use of a withe, called chew-stick, which they cut into small pieces, and employ as a tooth-brush. . . it has a bitter juice, of a powerfully detergent quality." 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.
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, 1837-1838).
Belisario, Isaac Mendes
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"Creole Negroes", 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/2312