The therapeutic virtues of pineapple in Franciscan and Jesuit writings between the 16th and 17th centuries

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2022-01-01

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The Order of Friars Minor and the Society of Jesus were two of the four main religious orders that settled in Brazilian lands throughout the 16th century. Recognized for their evangelizing missions and contributions to the expansion of the Catholic faith in the tropics, Franciscans and Jesuits, they were also responsible for writing chronicles, treaties, and letters. They reported their main impressions about Portuguese America. In these pages sent to their confreres who resided in Europe, educated clerics did not write only questions concerning the work of the Orders but contemplated the entire natural world they encountered, such as plant species that were little or totally unknown to European eyes. By bringing together writings produced by Franciscans and Jesuits from 1549 onwards, we seek to understand the main impressions, uses, and medicinal virtues these men attributed to Brazilian puffs. Of the cashews, araçás, and other tropical fruits that composed these writings, we will especially contemplate the narratives about pineapple, a fruit native to Brazil and very admired by the colonists who lived here. Thus, we wish to understand what narratives and knowledge about pineapple were produced by the priests and friars who visited the Brazilian New World between the 16th and 17th centuries.

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Português

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Boletim do Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi:Ciencias Humanas, v. 17, n. 1, 2022.

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