The Curious Case of the "Livre des Sauvages"
July 28, 2011 8:33 AM Subscribe
posted by ecorrocio (44 comments total)
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Circa 1850. A curious document
that had been filed away in a box for over a century. Hundreds of pages of strange, crudely drawn figures,
resembling stick figures, many of them appearing to be urinating, copulating, whipping each other, and displaying enormously swollen genitals. An extremely important document that revealed much that was previously unknown about Native American history and culture?? The scribbling book of a German child, "the leisure pencillings of a nasty-minded little boy"?? We may never know.
In 1860, French abbé, missionary and author Emmanuel Domenech
published a curious book of pictograms
brought to him by a librarian at the Bibliotheque de l'Arsenal in Paris. Domenech came to believe it was an extremely important document that revealed much that was previously unknown about Native American history and culture (he had been posted in Texas and had traveled through Mexico). Others disagreed, saying it was "the leisure pencillings of a nasty-minded little boy."
To me, the images look more consistent and symbolic than what a child could produce. Perhaps a documentation of daily events by an illiterate adult?