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Hans Staden by H.
J.
Winkelmann,1664.


Hans Staden (c. 1525 in Homberg marker — c. 1579 Wolfhagenmarker or Korbachmarker) was a German soldier and mariner who made two voyages to South America in Spanishmarker or Portuguesemarker ships. On his second voyage, he was captured by the Tupinambá people of Brazilmarker.

After his return to Europe in 1555, the support of Dr. Johann Dryander in Marburgmarker enabled Staden to publish an account of his captivity, entitled Warhaftige Historia und beschreibung eyner Landtschafft der Wilden Nacketen, Grimmigen Menschfresser-Leuthen in der Newenwelt America gelegen (True Story and Description of a Country of Wild, Naked, Grim, Man-eating People in the New World, America) (1557).. The book became an international bestseller and was translated into Latin and many other European languages, reaching a total of 76 editions.

Cannibalism



The Warhaftige Historia provided detailed descriptions of Tupinambá life and customs, illustrated by woodcuts. However, the aspect of the book that received the most attention, from the time of publication up to the present, was cannibalism. Staden claimed that the Tupinambá were cannibals, gave vivid eyewitness accounts of the killing, preparing and eating of war captives. According to one anecdote, the Indians at one point gave him a delicious soup; after finishing his dinner, he found in the bottom of the cauldron some small skulls, which he later found out to be those of the children in his choir.

Some scholars have challenged the book's reliability, arguing that Staden invented its sensational accounts of cannibalism. Others defend the book as an important and reliable ethnohistorical source.

In his book he relates that he is eventually rescued by a French ship that then trades for his release before sailing back to Europe.

Cultural references



  • Como Era Gostoso o meu Francês (How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman), a 1970 film, was based on Staden's stories (but did not include him as a character) and adds a subplot about the main character's love affair with a young native woman.


References

  1. Hans Staden and the Tupinamba in southeast Brazil - URL retrieved September 14, 2006
  2. William Arens, The Man-Eating Myth: Anthropology & Anthropophagy (Oxford University Press, 1979), 22-31; Michaela Schmolz-Haberlein and Mark Haberlein, “Hans Staden, Neil L. Whitehead, and the Cultural Politics of Scholarly Publishing,” Hispanic American Historical Review 81, no. 3-4 (2001): 745-751.
  3. Donald W. Forsyth, “Three Cheers for Hans Staden: The Case for Brazilian Cannibalism,” Ethnohistory 32, no. 1 (1985): 17-36; Neil L. Whitehead, “Hans Staden and the Cultural Politics of Cannibalism,” Hispanic American Historical Review 80, no. 4 (2000): 721-751.
  4. Hans Staden, The True Story of his Captivity translated by Malcolm Letts, the Broadway Travelers, 1928, Edited by Sir E Denison Ross and Eileen Power, scanned and edited by http://www.jrbooksonline.com/HTML-docs/staden%20part%201.htm July 2006


See also



External links




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