Men from Pegu and the Moluccas and a man and woman of the St. Thomas Christians.
Doetecum, Joannes (I) van
On the left sits a man from Pegu. At the time, Pegu was the capital of a powerful kingdom in modern Myanmar. It was a wealthy kingdom, which was frequently visited by Europeans for trade. Not long after the publication of the Itinerario, the Portuguese conquered the city in 1599. The man sitting there on a cushion is holding a fan and a flower. Next to him is a depiction of a man from the Moluccas. In this martial depiction he is holding a sword and a shirt. To his right are a man and woman of the St. Thomas Christians. The St. Thomas Christians were a Malabarese community of Christians who traced their origins to the evangelizing of Thomas in southwest India, which he was supposed to have done in the 60s AD, during which he died of martyrdom according to the tradition. These Christians fell under the Church of the East, rather than papal Catholicism. They were thaught to be born with enlarged thighs and were called penekays. The text under the image states that they were considered cursed by the Indians.
The texts under the image read from left to right: “Someone from Pegu, where much gold [and many] diamonds and rubies are found the seal wax is made.”
“An inhabitant of the islands of the Moluccas, where the Garyophyl. cloves grow abundantly, whose clothes are of straw.”
“Of the Penekays lineague (literally: family) of St. Thomas, who the Indians say are wholly cursed.”Please contact Koninklijke Bibliotheek for reuse and copyrights.