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Illustrated ethnographic description of the Iroquois in Canada

LAFITEAU, Joseph-François.
De zeden der wilden van Amerika. Zynde een nieuwe uitvoerige en zeer kurieuse beschryving van derzelver oorsprong, godsdienst, manier van oorlogen, huwelyken, opvoeding, oeffeningen, feesten, danzeryen, begravenissen, en andere zeldzame gewoonten.
The Hague, Gerard vander Poel, 1731. 2 volumes bound as 1. Folio. With engraved frontispiece,  engraved map of North and South America and 41 engraved plates. Contemporary calf, richly gold-tooled spine.
€ 3,750
First edition of the Dutch translation of an important work on North American Indians. The author, Joseph François Lafitau (1681-1746), was the son of a rich merchant and travelled as a missionary to Canada in 1711, where he tried to convert the Iroquois Indians to Christianity. He made "a thorough study of Iroquois character and usages, as a preparation for his great work Moers des sauvages ..." (Howgego). It deals extensively with the religion of the Iroquois, referring to other "primal" religions in Brazil and the Antilles, but also to ancient Greek and Roman rites. Other chapters deal with the Iroquois government, marriage, warfare, trade, hunting, burial, etc., all illustrated in great detail. Lafiteau also discovered ginseng in Canada, and wrote a treatise on its medicinal properties.
With bookplate and some marginal annotations in pencil. Binding rubbed along the extremities, corners bumped and top of front hinge slightly cracked. Text leaves and plates in very good condition, with only a few faint spots or stains.
Alden & Landis 731/128; Sabin 38598; Tiele, Bibl. 637; cf. Howgego, to 1800, L51.
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Related Subjects:

Americas  >  Canada & Greenland | Cartography & Exploration | North America & Mexico
Cartography & exploration  >  Americas | Voyages & Travel
Religion & devotion  >  Jesuits