Native American Medicinal Practices.
Hand-colored engraving of Native Americans from De Bry's Voyages. The image shows the methods used by the indigenous peoples in curing the sick, which involves laying over a fire and making inhalations of certain substances. Hot stones are also used. Medicinal herbs and a pipe are also depicted.
This image was printed in a Latin edition of De Bry's Voyages, in a section that discussed the native inhabitants of Florida. De Bry's selection of tales from the great early expeditions to the New World and the Far East is considered one of the greatest travel books of all time.
Theodor de Bry (1528-1598) was a prominent Flemish engraver and publisher best known for his engravings of the New World. Born in Liege, de Bry hailed from the portion of Flanders then controlled by Spain. The de Brys were a family of jewelers and engravers, and young Theodor was trained in those artisanal trades.
As a Lutheran, however, his life and livelihood were threatened when the Spanish Inquisition cracked down on non-Catholics. De Bry was banished and his goods seized in 1570. He fled to Strasbourg, where he studied under the Huguenot engraver Etienne Delaune. He also traveled to Antwerp, London, and Frankfurt, where he settled with his family.
In 1590, de Bry began to publish his Les Grands Voyages, which would eventually stretch to thirty volumes released by de Bry and his two sons. The volumes contained not only important engraved images of the New World, the first many had seen of the geographic novelties, but also several important maps. He also published a collection focused on India Orientalis. Les Grands Voyages was published in German, Latin, French, and English, extending de Bry’s fame and his view of the New World.