diasporicroots
1644 map  of Africa Made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638).

One of the most decorative and popular of all early   maps of Africa, from the “golden age” of Dutch  mapmaking. First issued  in 1630, the map was reprinted many times between 1631  and 1667,  appearing in Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish editions of   Blaeu’s atlases. The maps and atlases of the Blaeu family business,  carried on  after Willem’s death by sons Cornelis and Joan, marked the  epitome of fine  engraving and coloring, elaborate cartouches and  pictorial detail, and fine  calligraphy—the most magnificent work of its  type ever produced.

In the format called carte à figures,  this  map contains  views of the major cities  and trading  ports of Africa at the time: Tangier and Ceuta (Morocco),  Tunis (Tunisia),  Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Mozambique (seaport of  Mozambique), Elmina  (Ghana, and Grand Canary (Canary  Islands) Side panels depict costumed people from areas visited along  the coasts. The interior is decorated with  exotic animals (lions,  elephants, ostriches), which were (and still are) a  major source of  fascination for the public. The Nile (today’s White Nile) is  shown  flowing from the Ptolemaic lakes of Zaire and Zaflan. Flying fish and   strange sea creatures cavort in the oceans, and the sailing ships all  bear  Dutch flags. Coastal names are engraved inward to give a clear,  sharp outline  to the continent.

Probably the most interesting cartographic  feature is  the identification of specific large territories or  kingdoms, which have been  outlined in color, including a huge Abyssinia  (Ethiopia)  and Monomotapa (all of southern Africa). But  these seem to  reflect a European sense of nationhood—something presumed and   projected upon a virtually unexplored canvas—more than the actual  experience of  traders and explorers, who would continue to report on  hundreds of smaller  ethnic enclaves and political fiefdoms during the  next 250 years

Interestingly note how Africa was perceived by the Early explorers no negative connotations.

Click here for A closer look.

1644 map  of Africa Made by Willem Janszoon Blaeu (1571-1638).

One of the most decorative and popular of all early maps of Africa, from the “golden age” of Dutch mapmaking. First issued in 1630, the map was reprinted many times between 1631 and 1667, appearing in Latin, French, German, Dutch, and Spanish editions of Blaeu’s atlases. The maps and atlases of the Blaeu family business, carried on after Willem’s death by sons Cornelis and Joan, marked the epitome of fine engraving and coloring, elaborate cartouches and pictorial detail, and fine calligraphy—the most magnificent work of its type ever produced.

In the format called carte à figures, this  map contains  views of the major cities and trading ports of Africa at the time: Tangier and Ceuta (Morocco), Tunis (Tunisia), Alexandria and Cairo (Egypt), Mozambique (seaport of Mozambique), Elmina (Ghana, and Grand Canary (Canary Islands) Side panels depict costumed people from areas visited along the coasts. The interior is decorated with exotic animals (lions, elephants, ostriches), which were (and still are) a major source of fascination for the public. The Nile (today’s White Nile) is shown flowing from the Ptolemaic lakes of Zaire and Zaflan. Flying fish and strange sea creatures cavort in the oceans, and the sailing ships all bear Dutch flags. Coastal names are engraved inward to give a clear, sharp outline to the continent.

Probably the most interesting cartographic feature is the identification of specific large territories or kingdoms, which have been outlined in color, including a huge Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Monomotapa (all of southern Africa). But these seem to reflect a European sense of nationhood—something presumed and projected upon a virtually unexplored canvas—more than the actual experience of traders and explorers, who would continue to report on hundreds of smaller ethnic enclaves and political fiefdoms during the next 250 years

Interestingly note how Africa was perceived by the Early explorers no negative connotations.

Click here for A closer look.

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