Masque de fer blanc que l'on fait porter aux nègres
"White Iron Mask that One Makes Negro Wear" (caption translation). This image shows an enslaved man wearing an iron mask over his face. He was carrying a large ceramic jar on his head. Brazilian masters compelled slaves who were prone to eat earth or dirt to wear such masks. This illustration does not appear to have been published in Debret's, Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil (Paris,1834-39), although another slave, wearing such a mask, is illustrated in vol. 2, plate 10, captioned une visite a la campagne (a visit to the country). The engravings in this book were taken from drawings made by Debret during his residence in Brazil from 1816 to 1831. For watercolors by Debret of scenes in Brazil, some of which were incorporated into his Voyage Pittoresque, see Jean Baptiste Debret, Viagem Pitoresca e Historica ao Brasil (Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 1989; a reprint of the 1954 Paris edition, edited by R. De Castro Maya. For a description of this mask in Brazil, see image ewbank3.
A water color by Jean Baptiste Debret. Held by a museum in Rio de Janeiro. Published in Ana Maria de Moraes, O Brasil dos viajantes (Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, 1994), image 469, p. 93. Also published in Jean Baptiste Debret, Viagem Pitoresca e Historica ao Brasil (Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Editora da Universidade de Sao Paulo, 1989), p.128, a reprint of the 1954 Paris edition, edited by R. De Castro Maya.
Debret, Jean Baptiste
Image is in the public domain. Metadata is available under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International.
"Masque de fer blanc que l'on fait porter aux nègres", Slavery Images: A Visual Record of the African Slave Trade and Slave Life in the Early African Diaspora, accessed December 1, 2023, http://www.slaveryimages.org/s/slaveryimages/item/2996