This lithograph depicts a woman carrying milk products in a bowl on her head. Belisario explained how this milk seller "many Colored persons, as well as free Negroes living at short distances from towns or villages find it to their advantage to supply the inhabitants with goats' milk, which being richer than that of the cow, is therefore preferred by most families. The woman is on her way to town from the country in the early morning. Divested of the encumbrance of shoes and stocking and with the dress of a convenient walking length, the Milkmaid of Jamaica travels along at a rapid rate. . . arrived in town, she announces herself with 'See me day a wid de milk' (Here I am with the milk)." 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
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Milkwoman", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed September 18, 2020, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2317