Busy couple of weeks, hence the posting hiatus. My last post was about the wonderful collection of digital images made available by the British Library, via their Digital Scholarship Blog. I came across a wonderful illustrated Portuguese book: Expedição portugueza ao Muatiânvua. Descripção da viagem á Mussumba do Muatiânvua … Edição illustrada por H. Casanova. [With plates, including portraits and maps.] vol. 1-3
Author: DIAS DE CARVALHO, Henrique Augusto (Lisboa, 1890); there’s an online facsimile edition available online at the Internet Archive site.
I focused on images of birds. Today I shall finish with a few more lovely bird pictures, then move on to animals, people and places.
Let’s start with a few more birds whose images appealed:
First is Coracias Spatulata, or the Racket-tailed Roller. Largely found in Angola, but also in other southern and central African countries.
There are some lovely public domain photographs of this bird:
The Secretary Bird, Sagittarius serpentarius, has a raptor’s body rather like an eagle’s, but with crane-like legs:
A Wikimedia Commons photo provides a slightly less dishevelled-looking portrait:
It’s an unusual predator, in that it hunts terrestrially: it walks about the sub-Saharan savannah, flushing its prey out with its stamping. Previously thought to subsist largely on snakes, hence the Latin name, it’s now known to eat all kinds of small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates.
I’ve selected just a couple of animals, largely on the grounds that they resembled nothing I’d ever seen (in the 1890 illustrations): this is called ‘Aca’ in the book, but looks like a pangolin (or scaly pangolin) to me. Named from a Malay word meaning ‘something that rolls up’ (in a ball, not arrives unexpectedly) – they’re found in tropical Africa and Asia – they have sharp claws for digging up termite nests.
No idea what this is.
Here it is on the online edition p. 400:
Here’s an image, from p. 671, of a lizard (or maybe a chameleon) eating an insect:
And something called a Pelumba in Carvalho’s text, but all I can find is that’s the name of a place in Moxico region, Angola; this little chap looks like some kind of sloth to me.
These engravings can be compared with the extraordinary photos in an online album found here, taken from his expedition 1884-88, from the collection of the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal. Here is Carvalho himself (1843-1909), who explored extensively in Africa, ending up in Lunda in 1895, where he ended up as governor.
I’ll finish this second part of the dérive with three typical portraits from BL site, compared with one from the online edition of the book: