The growth of Portuguese interests in the Americas was slow, the king being absorbed with establishing Portuguese hegemony in Asia. The first governor general, Tomé de Sousa, was appointed in 1549 and established his capital at São Salvador da Baía. Intensified colonization under de Sousa began in the form of coastal settlements and spread to the interior. The encounter with the Amerindians of the interior was marked with battles, diseases and destruction. The indigenous people made this hammock probably around the Brazil-Guyana border in the 1800s. The hammock is woven from local cotton and decorated with feathers from toucans, parrots etc. At the middle is a Portuguese crown, which perhaps indicates that the hammock was made as a special gift for a colonial officer. The crown could also be a local appropriation of a colonial motif. Such appropriation is also found on belts and other objects.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

The database sometimes uses language taken from historical documents to help research, which may now appear outdated and even offensive. The database also includes information on objects that are considered secret or sacred by some communities.

If you have any further information about objects in our collections or can suggest corrections to our information, please contact us: enquiry@horniman.ac.uk