Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Discovery of Brazil en route to India

In the summer of 1500, the second Portuguese expedition to India, commanded by Pedro Alvares Cabral, following that of Vasco da Gama in 1497-98, accidentally sailed off course and ended up on the coast of Brazil. A Portuguese chronicler of the period described the events that followed: 'The fleet on the 24th of April, came in sight of land. This was cause of much joy, as it was supposed to be a country which had not been discovered by De Gama…Cabral immediately sent off the master of his ship in a small boat to examine the country, who reported that it appeared pleasant and fertile, with extensive woods and many inhabitants. The fleet was brought to anchor, and the master sent again on shore to examine more narrowly into the state of the country and its inhabitants. His account was that the natives were well proportioned, and of a swarthy colour, armed with bows and arrows, and all naked. A storm arising at night, the fleet weighed anchor and stood along; the coast, till they found a good harbour, in which they all came to anchor, naming it Puerto Seguro, or the Safe Port, as it was quite secure in all weathers. Our men took two of the natives in an almadia or canoe, who were brought to the admiral, but no one could understand their language. They had therefore apparel given them, and were set on shore much pleased. This encouraged the rest of the natives to mix with our people in a friendly manner; but finding nothing to detain him here, the general determined to take in a supply of water, not knowing when he might have another opportunity. Next day, being in Easter week, a solemn mass was said on shore under a pavilion, and a sermon was preached by Fra Henrique. During service, many of the natives gathered around, who seemed very merry, playing and leaping about, and sounding cornets, horns, and other instruments. After mass, the natives followed the general to his boat, singing and making merry…'

1 comment:

  1. why did the portuguese stay in brazil? did they think it was india?


Google Analytics