Slave market at Rio de Janeiro
Slave market at Rio de Janeiro

An online guide with a wealth of photos and illustrations giving a unique insight into the novel.

Links to this Illustrated Guide to Brazil can be found at the end of each section of the e-book enhancing the reader's enjoyment of a spellbinding saga "with the look and feel of an enchanted virgin forest, a totally new and original world for the reader-explorer to discover."

I searched for the story of Brazil for five years, a literary pathfinder in quest of the epic of the Brazilian people, a mighty trek of twenty thousand kilometers across the length and breadth of a vast country. See my travel journal in Brazil: The Making of a Novel.

[Images from from Wikipedia Commons, unless specified otherwise. Captions are from the text of Brazil. ]


Tupininamba palisaded village, 16th century - Hans Staden
The village below was the largest his people had built, and had been enclosed by a double stockade of heavy posts lashed together with vines — two great circles that protected the five dwellings arranged around a central clearing. These malocas were no rude forest huts but the grand lodges of the five great families of the clan.
Tupinamba | Tupiniquin | ritual dance | 16th century
Now the men in the clearing began to dance around the pagé, stamping their feet in such a way that the seedpods tied around their calves shook in unison. from many mouths came the cries:"Now speak, O Voice of the Spirits."
Sleeping Nambikwara Photo: Claude Levi-Strauss
Sex, above all, was the Nambikwara's delight. Making love was good, they said — and they did so with gusto whenever the opportunity arose.
Madeira-Mamore River rapids
Their passage was relatively easy except in those places where the river roared over a cataract and their small craft was shot through a narrow channel between the rocks.
Indian village in depths of Brazilian Amazon rainforest | Acre
They passed through two new moons, two men and a boy, voyaging into the heart of a great continent, as much in harmony with this wilderness as the animals that sought the riverbanks, leaving scant trace of their presence as they moved from one bend of the stream to the next. 
Amazon rainforest interior
But their innate suspicion of the evil that stalked humans in such mysterious places often made them fearful.
Brazilian jaguars
The jaguars rested between the canes, their cold yellow eyes unblinking as they peered into the darkness.
A quipucamayoc in El primer nueva corónica. On the lower left is a yupana
Among the objects in Tocoyricoc's cave was something even more magical to Aruanã — "the lines that remembered." They appeared to be a bunch of bowstrings of different colors and lengths knotted together untidily. Tocoyricoc used a word from his own language to describe them: quipu.
Inca quipu
When Aruanã first saw the old man consult it, he'd picked out a red cord. "First knot," he said,"is battle of Black Valley, where a young Tocoyricoc fought. Two and one knots is the age he had, this is his place among the warriors, these, the number of enemy killed."
"What magic is this?"
"It is a away or remembering," he said. "To show what is past."
Machu Picchu. Peru
"This was the land where Master — one you would call Great Chief — arose. Son of the Sun. He came to change our world when I was your age .Before He-Who-Trans-forms, we were a miserable people living as those who see nothing but the forest." His voice shook with emption as he told Aruanã about this great sky-being. He showed the young man his own golden earplugs — "tears of the sun" — and said that they were pitiful things compared with what adorned the Master.
Yware-pemme. the salughetr-club - Hans Staden
Yware-pemme struck again and again, and quickly there were three groups of women at work in the clearing.
Cannibalism in Brazil - Theodore de Bry based on Hans Staden's captivity
The enemy were being dismembered with bamboo knives and stone ax. The trunks were split, the intestines removed and set aside: these would go with other parts of the viscera into a great broth, which all would sip, taking the strength of the enemy.
Cannibalism in Brazil - Victim on the boucan - Theodore de Bry based on Hans Staden's captivity
The butchers caroused and sometimes squabbled over the joints; the men danced in the clearing and sang with joy at having seen the suffering of the Cariri. So it would go, they warned, with any who dared gnaw the bones of Tupiniquin.
Brazilian Indian Warrior and family - 16th century
Juriti brought his son; he heard the strong cry and saw the robust little body and was enormously relieved that his efforts thusfar had succeeded. Encouraged, he faced his confinement.
Beach near Porto Deguro  Photo: Quézia Graciele de Oliveira
On the beach where he walked for the shells, Aruanã felt contentment at being alone. One man, alone, at the edge of his world, his bare feet making an impression along great curves of sand.And then, at the height of his happiness, came a premonition...

Tiny puffs of cloud had fallen to the end of the earth. Four...five...six...were bunched together just above the horizon. Otherwise the sky was perfectly clear.
Romantic depiction of Cabral's first landing on the Island of the True Cross (present-day Brazil). He can be seen on the shore (center) standing in front of an armored soldier, who is carrying a banner of the Order of Christ.
They were there, darkening images now, these canoes that had come from the end of the earth.
Map of Brazil in the Miller Atlas of 1519.
"Sixty-four days out of Lisbon," the fidalgo said, "forty days west of Cabo Verde, and still no Terra de Santa Cruz..."
Cavalcanti did not reply immediately. He was thinking of Gomes de Pina's use of the old name — Land of the Holy Cross — given to the territory by Pedro Álvares Cabral when he discovered it for Portugal in 1500. On the Lisbon waterfront, to men who knew better, it was Terra do Papagaio (Land of Parrots) or Terra do Brasil, named for the brazilwood taken from its wild shores.
Portuguese caravel
What distinguished Sao Gabriel from those rakish caravels was her size — 120 tons against fifty or so; her broad, square sails spreading above a wide beam; her towering castles fore and aft.
Afonso de Albuquerqe, O Terrível (The Terrible),
Afonso de Albuquerque's name was already a byword for terror among the petty kings and sultans along the coast of India: O Terrível (The Terrible), they called him...
Sofala, Aden, Ormuz, Malacca — all were strategic points on the trade routes across the Indian Ocean, but none was so commanding as Goa. Let the Infidel hold the others, Albuquerque said, and the Indies could be conquered from Goa..
Map of Goa
For eighty-four days the ships held out; on the eighty-fifth day, the monsoon over, they could finally weigh anchor. But it was not long before Albuquerque was back, this time in a great armada with 1,700 fighting men. By ten o'clock on the feast day of St. Catherine, the garrison at Goa had fallen.
Fishing boats at Goa
For three days and three nights the fighting had raged in the city. By dawn on the fourth day, when O Terrível decreed a halt, they had slain six thousand disbelievers, men, women and children, for Portugal — and for Christ.
Jeronimos Monastery interior, Lisbon
Gomes de Pina had ordered his vessels tarry in the river while he held a holy vigil in the new church of the Jeronymites, built at nearby Belém in gratitude to God for the passage to India. He'd assembled his family and hangers-on and proceeded to prayerful office — in the manner of great navigators like Vasco da Gama and Pedro  Álvares Cabral, who had knelt in the humble chapel that had stood on the ground now occupied by the majestic limestone monastery.
 Tower of Belém, Lisbon, Portugal
When his lonely appeal was over, Gomes de Pina had led his entourage to the water's edge, where a boat awaited to carry him to the ships. They were anchored close to the Tower of St. Vincent, a great bulwark that rose on a group of rocks in the Tagus.
Christopher Columbus -Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Cavalcanti looked at the caravels in the distance, his eyes searching the vast expanse of moonlit sea.
Was it a night like this, in the year of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1492, when Cristovão Colombo first saw Ilha San Salvador? O Santa Maria! The scheming Genoese adventure sailing for Castile and Aragon! O Portugal, robbed by Spanish dogs and the traitors who sail in their ships!
Vasco da Gama, Portuguese navigator
When Columbus was on his third voyage in 1498, the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama reached India via the Cape of Good Hope..
Pedro Álvares Cabral - Francisco Aurélio de Figueiredo e Melo
Two years later, Pedro Álvares Cabral, commander of the second Indies fleet, veered far to the west, making an unexpected landfall ar Terra de Santa Cruz on April 22, 1500.
First Mass in Brazil - Victor Meirelles
Aruanã was remembering the day Cabral held the first devotions at this cross: As the pagés of the Long Hairs had gone about their sacred work, the Tupiniquin had followed their actions, kneeling when they knelt, standing with their hands uplifted, and breathing not a word when they were silent.
João I Nzinga a Nkuwu, King of the Kingdon of the Kongo - Pierre Duflos
Who would acknowledge, for instance, that there was a black chief who called himself Affonso I, son of King João da Silva, (John of the Woods) and Queen Eleanor; who ruled his lands not with chiefs and elders but with nobles he addressed as his duques, marquezes, viscondes and baroes?
São Salvador, capital of the Kingdom of Kongo, in the late 17th century - Thomas Astley
Cavalcanti's first impression of Mbanza, palace and place of justice of the ManiKongo, was one of confusion. He was taken back by the sight of a wall, like those in Portugal, raised before this city in the heart of Africa.
King of Kongo gives audeince to Portuguese and his subjects
Affonso I, Lord of the Kongo, sat on a throne inlaid with gold and ivory and draped with leopard skins. He was dressed in the fashion of a Portuguese noble, with scarlet tabard, pale silk robe, satin cloak with embroidered coat of arms, and velvet slippers.
Dress of Kongo Women - Theodore de Bry
There were women, too, dressed as Portuguese donas, with veils over their faces and velvet caps and gowns. Their gold and jewels were such as few ladies of Lisbon possessed.
"Not east but south," the slaver said. "They are Khoi-khoi who bring copper and ostriches to the kingdom. They live near the Cape." — The Cape of Good Hope, at the tip of Africa.
Branding of a slave woman (undated) - Source:
Sancho de Sousa sent his customs officials to brand the captives, marking their breasts with a red-hot iron. When this was done, Padre Miguel had the slaves assembled and informed them that they were to be baptized.
"You will taste the salt of our faith," he told them. "Your souls, servants, will be free."
Drawing of Sintra Royal Palace in 1509 (Portugal) - Duarte D'Armas
n the domed Sala das Armas of Sintra palace on a day in October 1534, the fidalgo Dom Duarte Coelho Pereira sat listening to the Keep of Records, Belchior da Silveira, read part of a petition taken from the royal archives.
Coat of Arms Room, Sintra Palace, Portugal
"I don't know this Cavalcanti," Dom Duarte repeated, "but it's obvious he's not fooled by parrots and logs: he sees the one thing that will bring a profit from Brazil."
"Which is?""Sugar! Sugar will be the treasure of our New World!"
Cabo da Roca - The westernmost point of the European mainland (Portugal)
Days passed in which Nicolau said little to his family about Dom Duarte's visit. He wandered off alone through the woods, to the very edge of the land, where the blue-gray Atlantic rolled against the rocks.
Iguarrasu, Pernambuco, Brazil
A start had been made at a settlement also called Santa Cruz, but soon the settlers had moved inland to this more elevated position, and named it Villa do Cosmos, for the saint. Shortly, however, they were seduced by the cadences of the native word Iguarassu (Big River) and had begun to use it for both "stream" and "village."
16th century map of Olinda and port of Recife
Dom Duarte had not been happy with this choice of Iguarassu as his main base. A few weeks before, he had seen his "Lisbon": on the coast twenty-five miles to the south, there were seven hills, from any one of which he could look far inland, and which could be admirably defended seaward.

There was at this time an old romance of chivalry and knighthood with its heroine, Olinda, a name meaning beautiful. Dom Duarte found this a perfect description for those seven hills facing the sea: Olinda