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America, by J.F. Lafitau. 1731. 1713-1719


De zeden der wilden van Amerika . . .

€2300  ($2691 / £1955)
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Item Number:  21501
Category:  Books > Travel Books

Lafitau J.F., De zeden der wilden van Amerika zynde een nieuwe uitvoerige en zeer kurieuse beschrijving van derzelver oorsprong, godsdienst, manier van oorlogen, huwelyken, opvoeding, oeffeningen, feesten, danzeryen, begravenissen, en andere zeldzame gewoonten; tegen de zeden der outste volkeren vergeleken, en met getuigenissen uit de oudste griekse en andere schreyveren getoetst en bevestigt. 's Gravenhage, Gerard vander Poel, 1731. Folio, half calf. 2 vol. in 1, map + 41 engraved plates. Nice copy.

Sabin (America) 38598; Borba de Moraes, p.453

Dutch translation of the French edition of 1724, the Moeurs des Sauvages Amériquains, a major work on the natives of America.

Joseph-Francois Lafitau (1681-1746) was a French Jesuit missionary, ethnologist, and naturalist. He is best known for his important discoveries on the Iroquois society. He noticed the importance of women in Iroquois society, the universality of marriage as an institution, age grading, the classificatory system of relationship, and the pulse of Indian politics in the town council. Lafitau also contributed to existing scholarship on the Iroquois Long-house; he details the rules of residence and social organization.

Lafitau is considered the first of the modern ethnographers and a precursor of scientific ethnology for his work on the Iroquois.
The Moeurs des Sauvages Amériquains is Lafitau's major work. It was not until 1974 that Dr. William Fenton and Dr. Elizabeth Moore made the first translation into English available. (Dictionary of Canadian Biography).