Native American Man and Woman Eating
Hand-colored version of Theodor de Bry’s engraving depicting two American Indians sitting for a meal. De Bry’s engraving, “Their Sitting at Meate,” was originally published as an illustration in Thomas Hariot’s 1588 book A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.
In the center of the image, an Indian man and woman sit on a mat on the ground with a large plate or bowl of food between them. In front of the plate several other food items lie on the mat, including a large fish and some ears of corn. The man, on the left, wears a feather in his hair and a fringed garment that covers one shoulder. A drinking gourd sits next to the man. The woman, on the right, has her hair tied back and is wearing a necklace of beads and a fringed garment.
Theodor de Bry was a Flemish-born engraver and publisher who based his illustrations for Hariot’s book on the New World paintings of colonist John White. These depictions of the landscapes and residents of North Carolina provided Europeans with some of their earliest notions of what the North American continent looked like. An unidentified artist applied the color to this version of de Bry’s engraving, apparently without having seen John White’s original watercolor painting, “Indian Man and Woman Eating.”