May 3, 2013

"Vatican fresco from 1494 found to have first known European depiction of Native Americans."

"During restoration of the work, hanging in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace for 500 years, Maria Pustka found an image of dancing naked men wearing feathered headdresses."

29 comments:

Sorun said...

What Americans wore before there were Target stores.

m stone said...

Early gay pride event?

annk said...

Poor Maria was hanging there all those years? Good Lord!

Scott M said...

A man on horseback is also visible.

Hold the phone. Why would there be Indians on horseback two years after Columbus landed in the New World?

My understanding was that horses were introduced to South America by the Conquistadors which would follow years and years later.

I suppose it could be argued the guy on horseback is a European. Did Columbus take horses?

SteveR said...

Its fun to stay at the YMCA

edutcher said...

The first Mummers Parade.

(stone took mine)

El Pollo Real said...

What the fresco trying to depict overall?

sydney said...

What the fresco trying to depict overall?

The Resurrection.The Indians are just over Jesus's left shoulder.

sydney said...

Right shoulder, sorry.

sydney said...

Oh wait, that's not Jesus. Let's try this again. The painting is of the Resurrection. The Indian's appear over the right shoulder of a man in red (John?) looking up at the sky and risen Christ.

Methadras said...

I'm not seeing the indian resemblence at all. Maybe a looks like an early european pagan ritual perhaps?

El Pollo Real said...

The bodies and faces look too pale to be Native Americans.

edutcher said...

Maybe they were the Native Americans the Indians wiped out after they came over from Siberia.

sydney said...

The headdress kind of looks like this guy's.

sydney said...

Also resembles these people.

Rusty said...

Scott M said...
A man on horseback is also visible.

Hold the phone. Why would there be Indians on horseback two years after Columbus landed in the New World?

Artistic licence.

sydney said...

I don't see a man on the horse. Only see two riderless horses.

campy said...

Were any of these so-called "Indians" in gay marriages?

El Pollo Real said...

Also resembles these people.

Except for the nudity.

El Pollo Real said...

@sydney: Perhaps the Carib Indians were naked which the 1494 fresco captured but which was fig-leafed in the 19th century depiction.

The following passage (from 1769) describes Native American dress, polygamy, and the possible raison d'ĂȘtre of George Kotsiopoulos and Tim Gunn. It was written by a diarist on the Portola Expedition which first described Native Californians:

Both the men and the women are of good figure and appearance, and are fond of painting and staining their faces and bodies. They use large tufts of feathers, and hairpins that they put through their hair with various ornaments and coral beads of different colors.

The men go entirely naked, but when it is cold they wear long capes of tanned otter skins, and cloaks made of the same skins cut into long strips, and turned in such a manner that all of the fur is on the outside. They then weave these strips together, making a fabric, and give it the form mentioned above.

The women are dressed with more modesty, wearing around the waist tanned deerskins, which cover them in front and back more than halfway down the leg, and a little cape of otter skin over the body. Some of them have attractive features.

Polygamy is not permitted among these people; the chiefs alone possess the right to take two wives. In all of their towns there was noticed a class of men who lived like women, associated with them, wore the same dress, adorned themselves with beads, earrings, necklaces, and other feminine ornaments, and enjoyed great consideration among their companions. The want of an interpreter prevented us from ascertaining what kind of men they were, or to what office they were designed; all suspected however, a sexual defect or some abuse among those Indians.
link

rcocean said...

What, no "Lo, the poor Indian" posts?

AllenS said...

As far as those Indians go, it was all down hill after that.

n.n said...

Some of the first native Americans were of European descent. I wonder what happened to them when they met native Americans of Asian descent. We know that the Asian variety engaged in slavery in genocidal activities. Perhaps the signal of early European settlers was lost in the diversity shuffle.

Sam L. said...

Them priests! Tehy be craaaaaaaa-zeeeee.

tiger said...

The world is an interesting place.

David said...

Looks to me more like they are being herded into a pen. The horse is suspicious too. Columbus brought no horses. Not sure when the first ones came but was it really by 1494?

Perhaps they need to rethink what the scene depicts.

Rusty said...

David said...
Looks to me more like they are being herded into a pen. The horse is suspicious too. Columbus brought no horses. Not sure when the first ones came but was it really by 1494?

Perhaps they need to rethink what the scene depicts.

The artist is going by what he has been told. Not what he knew for certain. The conclusion being since there are horses in Europe there must be horses everywhere. A lot of art takes licence with the truth.

El Pollo Real said...

The evidence that the figures are American Indians or Carib people is the nudity, the weird hairstyle or headdresses, and the timing (1494). The evidence against is that one of them is clearly riding a horse and also that the rider's headgear does not look like feathers. Also, the skin of the figures as ghastly pale.

I think there's reasonable doubt that the figures are not what they're said to be. They might instead--based on their pallor--be ghostly figures of some sort.

Serket said...

A painting of Christ's resurrection that involves Native Americans and horses sounds like a Mormon fantasy. Of course, I don't think the Bahamas is one of their claimed locations.