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A beautiful example of Rigobert Bonne's decorative map of northern South America. Covers from Honduras and the Windward Isles south as far as 12 degrees south latitude. This region, known since the days of Columbus as Tierra Firma, consists of the modern day nations of Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guyana, and Brazil. Offers excellent detail throughout showing mountains, rivers, national boundaries, cities, regions, and tribes. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this map is Bonne's treatment of the apocryphal Lake Parima. Lake Parima was first identified by Sir Walter Raleigh in the 16th century - though he admittedly never saw the lake himself. Raleigh associated the lake with indigenous legends of Manoa and the supposed site of El Dorado. Many early maps actually show El Dorado on the shores of Lake Parima, though Bonne curiously does not. The reality of Lake Parima and the Manoans is based upon Raleigh's misinterpretation of local trade networks. The Manoas were a river trading tribe based in the Amazon. Each year during the rainy season flooding on the Orinoco and Parima rivers would create a large flood plain and open channels of trade between the two otherwise unconnected regions. Raleigh misinterpreted these watery trade channels as a great lake. Curiously, despite the popularity of Raleigh's assumptions, the true homeland of the Manoa, along the Rio Negro, was known by the early 18th century. This map actually identifies the Ancienne demeure des Manaos in the correct region. This once a great trading empire was defeated in the earliest years of European exploration of the regions by a series of terrifying Small Pox outbreaks - no doubt carried by the explorers themselves. A large decorative title cartouche appears in the upper right quadrant. Drawn by R. Bonne in 1771 for issue as plate no. A 34 in Jean Lattre's 1776 issue of the Atlas Moderne .
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