Bernardo Gomes de Brito
A collection of eyewitness accounts of Portuguese shipwrecks, many of which occurred along the African coastline. The volume is turned to the first account,Relação da muito notável perda do Galeão grande S. João (Report of the very notable loss of the great galleon St. John), about the tragic demise of Manoel de Sousa Sepúlveda. The anonymous author describes the travails of travelers returning to Portugal from Portuguese India who are shipwrecked off the coast of Natal, South Africa.
Dom António de Athaide
This particular map shows the Ilha de S. Lourenço (St. Lawrence Island), which today is known as Madagascar. The island was initially named for St. Lawrence in 1500 by the Portuguese explorer Diogo Dias. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to reach the island, which was separated from the Portuguese colony of Mozambique by a wide channel.
This is the first English translation of a manuscript by Jerónimo Lobo (1593-1678), a Portuguese Jesuit who traveled widely in Africa and India. He began a correspondence with the British Royal Society on his study of the Nile, which led to the English translation. Among the topics treated in the book are stories about the legendary Christian king, Prester John; discussions of how the Red Sea got is name; and studies of vegetation, including the palm tree.
Manoel Ribeiro Rocha
An important and early study and defense of the African slave that appeared long before the abolitionist movement caught hold in Brazil. Rocha identifies himself as a Portuguese from Lisbon, a resident and lawyer in the city of Bahia and a graduate of the Universidade de Coimbra.
José Basílio da Gama
The Brazilian-born poet Basílio da Gama (1740-1795), who was a member of the Society of Jesuits for several years, is best known for his epic O Uraguai (1769), about the Sete Povos de Missões battle that pitted Portuguese Jesuits and their indigenous converts against official Portuguese and Spanish forces sent to carry out the seizure of mission lands under the Treaty of Madrid. Gama’s little-known poem, Quitúbia, is in praise of an Angolan captain named Domingos Ferreira Assunção, who fought and died in the Guerra Preta (Black War) in Africa. It is considered to be the first poem written in Portuguese in which an African figure is a hero-protagonist.
Palmeira Dendém. Scientific Name: Elaeis guineensis.
English name: Palm Oil
Originally from the western part of Africa, the fruit was introduced in Brazil by African slaves, who brought it with them from their homeland. In Bahia, palm oil became increasingly popular in cooking and is among the ingredients that distinguish Bahian cuisine. [Information on this plant is from José E. Mendes Ferrão, As plantas na primeira globalização. Lisbon: Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical, 2007.]