Abstract

Summary:

Between 1562 and 1565, France sent three colonial expeditions to the eastern shores of Florida. Led by Jean Ribaut and René de Laudonnière, the French explored a 65-kilometer expanse along the Atlantic coast, stretching from today's St. Augustine, Florida to Port-Royal, South Carolina. They befriended tribes of Timucuans, set up alliances with them, and established settlements Charlesfort and Fort Caroline. The king appointed professional painter Jacques le Moyne de Morgues to accompany the second expedition and illustrate the experiences of the colonists in Florida. Le Moyne's 42 illustrations, later published as engravings, reflect a unique model of early modern European visual representations of the indigenous Other of the Americas. Le Moyne uses various gazes to portray the French experiences in Florida, the most provocative of which are those depicting members of the French expedition observing the Amerindians engaged in activities related to their lifestyle and social structure, including rituals, ceremonies, and interactions with other tribes. These illustrations reflect an ethnocolonial gaze, which represents a process of French exploration and colonization mediated by extended cross-cultural interactions with the Other. This gaze, which involves both reading alterity and self-reflection, shows the French analyzing elements of local society that might work to their colonial advantage. Le Moyne's innovative ethnocolonial representations of Franco-Amerindian interactions, an extension of an emerging Huguenot hemeneutic of reading alterity, constitute a significant stage in the development of modern ethnographic portrayals of Otherness that French Protestant travel writers, cartographers, and visual artists were developing in the mid-sixteenth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1836
Print ISSN
0098-9355
Pages
pp. 201-222
Launched on MUSE
2018-12-03
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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