Un vieillard et son esclave
"An Elder and his Slave" (caption translation). This engraving shows two men walking along a path. After remarking on a foreigner's difficulty in ascertaining status and rank differences among the Bush Negroes (since they are not differentiated by their clothing), Benoit described a scene in which one of these people arrived at Paramaribo by canoe with two other villagers. He wrote that they "all wore only loincloths, and none was distinguished from the other by clothing, except the eldest wore iron and coral arm and leg ornaments and an unsheathed cutlass around his waist. After disembarking, however, the elder proceeded to don a robe and carry an elaborate staff; his own slave put on a top hat and followed the elder into town." Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland.
"Figure 98" in Pierre Jacques Benoit, Voyage à Surinam; description des possessions néerlandaises dans la Guyane (Bruxelles: Société des Beaux-Arts de Wasme et Laurent, 1839).
Benoit, Pierre Jacques
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"Un vieillard et son esclave", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed July 6, 2022, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2396