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Abstract

In Dutch Brazil, the Brasilianen were essential allies to the West India Company. To maintain this critical alliance, the Dutch presented them with gifts of linen, a fabric in high demand. Representations of Brasilianen wearing linen garments were pervasive and include an image on Joan Blaeu’s 1647 map of the Brazilian Captaincies of Rio Grande and Paraíba. Traditional interpretations of these linen-clad Brasilianen prioritize a center/periphery model; in contrast, I argue that these pictured linens document the interdependencies between the WIC and the Brasilianen, a position supported by digital maps plotting Dutch/indigenous exchanges.

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