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 the 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. ]


Miguel Cabrera - Saint Francis Xavier - Google Art Project
In Lisbon, Inácio never strayed far from Francis Xavier's side. When the time came for Xavier's departure, Inácio had wept openly. "Follow Simon Rodrigues," Xavier had consoled him. "Obey his instructions and the Lord will surely indicate His will for you."
Dom João III of Portugal
Dom João III, entering middle age, was becoming increasingly concerned with the special duty demanded of a Most Catholic Majesty — the saving of his subject's souls. He was distressed when the two Jesuits informed him that his opulent and worldly Lisbon was as wicked and profane a locality as any they expected to encounter in some heathen land. While they waited for a ship, they announced, they would devote themselves to purging the capital.
The tower of the University of Coimbra, Portugal. At left, the Manueline door to the Chapel of Saint Michael
Perceiving the young man's grace and devotion, Rodrigues had ordered him to Coimbra University — which João III had donated to the Jesuits — to commence the studies he would have followed at Paris. "Arm yourself, Inácio," Rodrigues had said,"to win the minds and hearts of others."
Sugar press, 1648, Guilherme Piso
A sugar press stood beneath a palm-thatched roof at one side of the plaza, oxen straining against the great arms that turned the rollers into which men fed the cane stalks.
Sugar caludrons, 1648 - Guilherme Piso
Near these workers, other blacks and natives of Santa Cruz labored at the molasses cauldrons.
Pernambuco plantation, 17th century
"Build the new mill, Nicolau, not for Engenho Santo Tomas alone but for others...They'll have to bring every stalk they grow to your mill. And you take two out of every three stalks as compensation...."
Governor Tomé de Sousa arrives in Bahia,-  XIX engraving
Governor Tomé de Sousa was aware that beyond the Bahia in the forests of the hinterland were thousands of savage Tupinambá. "So many savages that they would never lack," the governor reported to Lisbon, "even if we were to cut them up in slaughter-houses." He did not balk at punishing those who dared interfere with his plans, and he took such action not for his sake alone but for the glory that should be promised King João in this land. "The Pious," as the king was now called, had made it clear that this time he would tolerate no nonsense from his native subjects.
Caramuru and  Paraguaçu - Anon.
Caramaru, "Fish Man," the sole survivor of the wreck of an Indies ship off the shoals north of the Bahia in 1510, had been found between the rocks by the Tupinamba. Caramaru had lived among the savages for more than two decades before the arrival of Dom Francisco Coutinho, one of Dom João's donatários. Dom Francisco had lost his life under a slaughter club. The Tupinamba had spared Caramaru, not only because he was their friend, but also because his wife, Paraguaçu, "Big River," was the daughter of their most powerful chief.
Governor Mem de Sá
Medium in height, slightly plump and stiff-limbed, Governor Mem de Sá was not given to displays of emotion. Months before, when he learned that the savages had slaughtered his son, Fernáo, twenty years old he'd reacted by withdrawing to his quarters to pray for the child he'd personally ordered into battle.
José de Anchieta -  Firmino Monteiro
"Compel them to come in!" the Gospel of St. Luke urged, and it had become the rallying cry of the Jesuits.
Compel them....Inacio glanced at José de Anchieta, a young brother standing with the group. Brother José was eager to comply with this shibboleth. Anchieta wa often sickly. But his zeal was militant and inspiring, and his craving for the harvest of souls insatiable.
Founding of São Paulo de Piratininga. - Antônio Parreiras -
Padre Nobrega, Anchieta and others had gone back to Piratininga. Nine miles from the mameluco settlement, on January 25, 1554, they had established the aldeia of São Paulo de Piratininga.
Tupi woman - Albert Eckhout, 1641
"They should fear — the Tupiniquin. If they but knew the lessons taught the Tupinambá in these lands."
The lessons Anchieta spoke of had been raids led by Mem de Sá against the Bahia Tupinambá, not successfully pacified since the day of Tomé de Sousa, when they had eaten the degredados. One especially arrogant elder, Bloated Toad had mocked the new governor as the creature of a king who was a baby: He, Bloated Toad, was man and would do as he had always done, and to prove it, he'd sent his warriors to seize a plump enemy, who was slain by him and eaten in the middle of his clearing. "Come and judge me!" Bloated Toad dared Mem de Sá.
Tupinamba - John White
The Tupiniquin simply refused to move. To Padre Inácio's pleas, they responded by showing that their fields were still productive, the thatch on their houses new, the clay of the great pots their women fashioned for beer as fresh as the brew they held. Their people had slain no Long Hairs — why should they move?

Manioc - Albert Eckhout, 1641
The horrors of plague and pox were raging at the malocas of natives not yet contacted by the Portuguese. Crushed as they were by the diseases, they had faced yet another torment — famine.
"If you could see the poor things," said a father reporting on the condition of these refugees," seeking a bowl of manioc. They arrive at a plantation begging the owner to take their children as slaves in exchange for a single meal.".
King Dom Sebastião I of Portugal, 1575 - Alonso Sanchez Coello
In 1578, King Sebastião "the Desired," a flaxen-haired large-limbed twenty-year-old filled with a sense of grand destiny, assembled sixteen thousand men and set out to conquer Morocco.
Battle of Alcácer-Quibir, 1578 - Georges Jansoone
At Alcacer-Quibir, south of Tangiers, the force was destroyed and Dom Sebastião himself slain. Less than fifty escaped.
The rout at Alcacer-Quibir had not ended in the sand of North Africa. Dom Sebastião died a bachelor, and the heir to the Portuguese throne was his aged grand-uncle, Cardinal Henriques. Eighteen months after his succession, Henriques died. Phillip II of Spain now claimed and won the throne of Portugal.
Not only had the Portuguese lost the independence of their homeland and empire; they gained new enemies — the English and the Dutch — with whom their new king, Phillip II, had long quarreled.
Caatinga scrub and cactus, Brazil
On the seventh day of their journey, their route took them out of the forest into open country, where the luxuriant vegetation quickly began to give way to an arid cover of spiky bushes and stunted plants. Clumps of bush, stick-dry and dead; spiny cactus bent into grotesque shapes; gnarled branches of stripped trees — caatinga, "the white forest," the natives called this ash-gray landscape.


The bandeirantes, pathfinders of Brazil - Jean-Baptiste Debret
The bandeiras of medieval Portugal had been small raiding parties sniping at the Moors; at São Paulo, a bandeira was an organized force that set out for an expedition into the sertão, the backlands.
House and chapel of bandeirante Antônio Raposo Tavares - João Batista da Costa
Antônio Raposo Tavares was thirty years old. He had come to São Paulo ten years ago from the plains of Alentejo, in central Portugal, where he spent his youth among the wheat fields and orange groves. Raposo Tavares was a tall, handsome, bearded man, powerfully built, decisive and confident. A born leader who devoutly believed he was destined to make great discoveries in Brazil, he was passionately eager for adventure.

Bandeirante - Rodolfo Amoedo
Valentim Ramahlo's family belonged to a great clan of mamelucos related to João Ramahlo, the castaway who had settled the high plateau long before the Jesuits Nobrega and Anchieta arrived to establish São Paulo de Piratininga.
Jesuit church and college (Pátio do Colégio) in São Paulo, Brazil]
The colegio of the Jesuit fathers stood upon a good vantage point above the Piratininga plain. Here, too, were the Franciscans and Benedictines, their churches raised with care. But most of São Paulo was a slum of mud-and-wattle hovels planted along dirt-strewn streets.
The Inquisition had not been established in Brazil, but occasionally Visitors were sent to examine the faith of the colonists and to investigate reports that Brazil was a haven for Jewish exiles and lax New Christians. The belief that there were significant numbers of crypto Jews was exaggerated, but Portugal had always been more tolerant of Jews than had Spain, and groups had come to the colony, particularly those with expertise in the sugar industry.
Phillip IV of Spain - Diego Velázquez
Philip II of Spain, son of the emperor Charles V and Isabella of Portugal, had taken the Portuguese crown in 1581....
And now there was Philip IV, horseman, hunter, lover of art and letters, who, when not engaged in these pastimes, involved his country — and Portugal — in a vicious and exhausting conflict with England, France and Holland.
Jesuit reduction in Paraguay - Guarani cavalry
The Paulistas had been slave-raiding in these lands since long before Amador's birth, leading thousands of Carijo back to São Paulo.
Guarani enslaved - Jean-Baptiste Debret
The Paulistas had been slave-raiding in these lands since long before Amador's birth, leading thousands of Carijo back to São Paulo.
Bandeirantes monument, Centro Histórico de Santana de Parnaíba SP
Bernardo da Silva's upper body was encased in a sleeveless leather jacket quilted and padded with cotton twill thick enough to withstand an arrow. Below the waist he wore cotton breeches and boots that extended above the knee. On the belt that secured the quilted carapace was a good-sized pouch, a powder horn and ramrod for his musket, and a sword, knives and small battle-ax.
Sunset, ruins of Jesuit mission, San Ignacio Miní, Paraguay
São Paulo itself did not have a population as large as this Jesuit town. The Carijo lived in houses ninety feet long, partitioned into separate family quarters. Walking with the Paulistas toward the reduction square, Amador counted nine rows of houses on either side of the main thoroughfare.
Memorial to Indians sacrificed on the march of the bandierantes ...  Image: Sergio Valle Duarte - Wikimedia Commons
For ten years, Amador da Silva marched with bandeiras that destroyed the remaining eight reductions of the province of Guiara and forced the fathers and the remnant of their great congregations to flee south in the direction of Buenos Aires.
Image: Sergio Valle Duarte - Wikimedia Commons 
Casa do Bandeirante, Butantã, São Paulo, Brasil.
The homestead was a one-storied whitewashed building, its rammed earth walls two feet thick. In the front were two large rooms, on either side of a spacious verandah... the roof made with half-round reddish tiles, pagoda-like, with graceful sloping sides
Dutch Siege of Olinda - John Ogilby's Atlas of America
A Dutch armada reached Pernambuco, landing troops on a beach just north of Olinda — then a prosperous city of eight thousand settlers — and seizing the capital the same evening.
Jean-Maurice of Nassau-Siegen (or Johann Moritz von Nassau-Siegen), 1603-1679, general governor of the Dutch colonies in Brazil. - 1637 painting probably by Michiel van Mierevelt
Those attending this night's festa included no less a personage than the governor of New Holland, Johan Maurits, count of Nassau Siegen. Capable solder and fine administrator, Maurits also showed himself to be a visionary. He assembled a group of forty-six scientists, scholars, writers and artists from all over Europe and solemnly declared their assignment: "to reveal to the world the wonders of paradise."
Boa Vista Palace in the city of Recife (Brazil) built in the period of Dutch rule - Frans Post
Opposite Recife on an island formed by two rivers, the governor was building a new capital, Mauritsstad, a well-fortified town with broad avenues and two canals.
Pernambuco engenho or plantation, 17th century - Frans Post
Amador was in the grand house on the plantation he has seen from the ridge overlooking the valley — Engenho Santo Tomás, the property of Fernão Cavalcanti, of an old and illustrious Pernambucan family.
Henrique Dias, 1662
Ribeiro told Amador that during the guerilla war, he had served with two units, the first commanded by Felipe Camarão, a Potiguara chief, and the other by Henrique Dias, a free black.
"I was there when Henrique Dias lost his hand," Ribeiro said. "Oh the brave man — with a sword in the hand that remained, howling like a wild dog, for the Hollanders to come to him..
Felipe Camarão - Victor Meirelles
"And Dom Camarão — he deserves to be made a fidalgo for his services — Dom Camarão saw Affonso Ribeiro chop up three Hollanders, one after the other, with my machete."
Dance of the Tapuyas - Albert Eckhout, 1641
In late November 1640, after an overland journey of four weeks from Engenho Santo Tomás, Amador and Segge reached the malocas of Nhandui, a powerful Tapuya chief
Tapuya woman - Albert Eckhout, 1641
Segge cupped his chin in his hand, the tip of his index finger touching his nose. "What more does it need?"
"You're painting a cannibal — a flesh-eating, bone-grinding, mother of pagans. Show this."
One morning four weeks after their arrival, Amador saw that Segge had made some changes in the painting of the Tapuya girl: One hand, resting on her knee, grasped a severed human hand. Segge had given her a basket, which she carried on her back, and protruding from the basket was a human foot.
"Bravo!" Amador exclaimed. "Exactly! A savage for the world to see!"
Muisca raft, representation of the initiation of the new Zipa in the lake of Guatavita, possible source of the legend of El Dorado. - Andrew Bertram
"There is a lake close to the lands of the warrior women, where the boys are sent. Once a year they hold a ceremony. One boy is chosen to be Son of the Sun. When the Great rains end and the Sun is strongest, this Spirit Man is covered with gold dust. He is taken to the lake and bathes in it."
"The man the Spaniards call 'El Dorado."
Amador and Segge spent ten months, from September 1642 until July 1643, with the Paresí. Here, as Segge said, they were gods come down from Olympus...
"Who were the warrior women, Kaimari?" Amador asked eagerly.
"In the beginning, a race of women ruled earth. A man's only use was to lie with them. The girls born to these women were trained as ferocious warriors. The boys? No one knows what happened to the boys."
Detail of the Cantino planisphere, showing the Americas and Tordesilhas line
"What is your purpose in these lands...of Spain?"
"The purpose?"
"You have traveled far beyond the line," Juan Baptista added. (The line he referred to was the Tordesilhas demarcation of the world dominions of Portugal and Spain.)
"Certainly, Padre," Amador admitted. "Through lands held by savages. The purpose?" He nodded. "We sought Paraupava," he said, using the Tupi-Guarani word for the fabled lake of gold.
"And have you found it?"
Amador plucked at his deerskin breeches. "Had we discovered El Dorado would we be standing before you as beggars?"
Guajara Mirim on the Madeira-Mamoré
"Guajara Mirim," he said, "Little Falls."
The canoes were moving with a strong current, some twenty yards from the left bank. The river was almost a mile wide, its flow north broken in several places by rocky, wooded isles.
Capuchin monkey
A colony of potbellied spider moneys fretted in the branches above them, chattering defiantly and baring their teeth in mocking grins. Coming downriver, Amador and Segge had seen monkeys of every description: capuchins, their hairstyle similar to the capuche of the Franciscan; the uakari, another monk of the forest; saki, boasting a splendid hood of hair; and the tiny squirrel monkeys, often one hundred together.
Munduruku head trophy, Brazil
The grateful Mundurucu gave Amador and Segge each a shrunken head.
The skull and brains were carefully removed, the skin gently daubed with urucu, the lips sealed with fiber strands. The head was filled with sand and left until it dried and shrank to the size of a man's fist. Then it was ready to be worn around the neck of the warrior who had taken it: a medallion of honor.

Amazon sunset
The surface of the river would be painted in a way no mortal artist would emulate, passing through a spectrum of shades, from soft pinks and mauves to a fiery blaze that turned the waters of the Rio das Amazonas into molten gold.
Sir Walter Raleigh raids Trinidad, 1595
English and Irish parties made persistent attempts to gain a foothold on the northern banks of the lower Rio das Amazonas, the 1620 expedition having been led by Captain Roger North, an officer who'd served with Sir Walter Raleigh. Four years later, Abel O'Brien's cousin Bernard O'Brien settled a group of colonists 250 miles upriver at a place called Pataui, "Coconut Grove."
Urubu, black vulture, Maranhão, Brazil
On Death-Bird Island, the urubu, which had taken flight at the first burst of musket fire, now began to circle back to their territory. And into the channel streamed piranha.
Red piranha
Men who lived to tell of this day would never forget the horror. The blood attracted thousands of the deep-bellied fish, their triangular shaped teeth snapping at those who thrashed about frantically to escape this ultimate enemy. The piranha feasted and the mighty Rio das Amazonas became a river of blood.
Zumbi, King of Palmares
For ten years João Angola had served his master, Menezes, but when the Dutch invaded Pernambuco in 1630, João and forty slaves from Engenho Formosa ran into the sertão. As a fugitive, João Angola received another set of names from the Portuguese, a corruption of "Nganga Dzimba we Bahwe": "Ganga Zumba"
Plan of quilombo
Not only had Ganga Zumba remained free these past fifteen years; he had attracted fourteen thousand runaways to his refuge. His capital, Shoko, was home to six thousand people, their huts lying along three avenues, each of which was a mile long.

Great Zimbabwe ruins
He knew that Nayamunyaka envisaged walls and towers such as existed at Great Zimbabwe, but ten years of sporadic effort had produced no more than forty feet of loose foundation. Still the site was called Dzimba we Bahwe ("Place of Stones.)
Capoeira or the Dance of War by Johann Moritz Rugendas, 1835
The two contestants now wheeling and dancing toward each other were the same young men who had trapped the bird as a gift for the Nganga...The rhythms of the berimbau died away. The two men stopped their sparring and turned to face Nhungaza, their ebony skins glistening with sweat, their chests heaving.

Monte das Tabocas
Monte das Tobacas rose two hundred feet above ground level and offered a good vantage point in all directions. To the west and south of the hill flowed the Tapicura River; on the eastern side lay an old track used by brazilwood loggers.
Pernambuco engenho or plantation
Haus and his officers were in the main residence of this old and substantial plantation, the property of a widow, Dona Ana Paes. The dwelling, mill, slave quarters, and outbuildings were sited similarly to those at Santo Tomás; the big house was also double-storied but was built upon stilts.
Battle of Guararapes - Victor Meirelles
At Pernambuco in April 1648, the patriots had defeated five thousand Hollanders and their native troops at the Guararapes, a series of hillocks outside Recife.
Brazilian tropeiro or muleteer
Far behind the slaves, Olímpio Ramahlo took up the rear of the column, with forty mules and their drivers. Amador's prejudice against his son's pack animals had lessened when he saw their surefootedness and the great burdens they were capable of carrying.
Gold rush
"I feel it in my bones, Olímpio," Procopio would say, and laughing, he would slap his wooden leg — carved by himself and adorned with two wide bands of silver filigree."There are riches here! Your father climbs the highest peaks, but the treasure is down here. Not emeralds. Not silver. Gold!"

Bandeirante gold and emerald hunting expeditions
Again and again they had found traces — enough to pay for their expedition — but it had taken eleven years before they came to a river, where a single day's work with the bateia produced one thousand oitavos! Procopio was back there now, guarding their precious claim, for many others had become convinced that gold in great quantities was to be found in the highlands of Terra do Brasil.

Antônio Parreiras - Death of the Bandeirante
"Your father..."
Olímpio turned to look at Amador's still form. Immediately he knew. "Now! Here? So near the end?"
"He had his triumph," Procopio Almeida said quietly.
And so, in his sixty-seventh year, with his pouch of emeralds at his side, Amador Flôres da Silva died. In the sertão.