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Elias Herckmans. A Poet At The Borders Of Dutch Brazil

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Chapter Summary

The Dutch colonists participating in the Brazilian adventure are often portrayed as traders seeking for profit. This chapter presents a reading of three texts related to the Dutch poet-adventurer Elias Herckmans (1596-1644). In 1635, Herckmans went into the service of the West India Company (WIC) and arrived in Recife on the 23rd of December. Herckmans mentions words that define a typical Brazilian reality in their original language: in Portuguese (for example 'farinha', 'aldeia', 'capitania') or in the indigenous language, defined by Herckmans as the 'Brazilian' language. Herckmans gives information about a typical Brazilian fruit, the cashew nut, and describes the effect caused by the drinking of a cashew concoction. Different aspects of the tribal life are mentioned: rites of passage, marriage (the ceremony, polygamic relationships), burial and cannibalistic practices.

Keywords: Brazilian language; Dutch colonists; Elias Herckmans; West India Company (WIC)

10.1163/ej.9789004186590.i-448.12
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004186590.i-448.12
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