Native American dance, 16th century

Native American dance, 16th century

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Native American dance. Coloured engraving based on a 16th-century artwork of an Algonquian tribal dance on Roanoke Island on the coast of North Carolina, USA. It is thought the dance was a harvest celebration. The posts are carved with faces, the dancers hold rattles, branches and arrows, and at centre three women embrace and a man and woman clasp hands. This is a colouring of a 1590 engraving by Theodor de Bry, based on a water colour by John White, who visited the area in 1585. White's artworks are amongst the earliest surviving images of North America. De Bry's engravings encouraged colonization of North America by Europeans.

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