[Sca-cooks] Indian Hens, pictures of Turkeys
t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net
Thu Sep 11 15:05:05 PDT 2008
I ran across this book today in the Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek (Bavarian
State Library) and in browsing through it, found these two pages depicting
"Indian Hens", which look a lot like wild turkeys to me. The book was
published in Frankfurt in 1592.
Amman, Jost / Bocksberger, Hans <der Ältere> / Schaller, Georg: Thierbuch,
Francfurt 1592 [VD16 S 2261]
Male, pg 206
Female, pg 207
Lady Sophia Kress
What is interesting about these woodcuts is the birds in them appear to be
Meleagris gallopavo silvesteris or the eastern woodland turkey, which has a
range from the Atlantic seaboard to Oklahoma.
The turkeys that were imported into Europe and became the basis for
domesticated turkeys are likely either M. g. intermedia (AKA M. g.
riograndensis) which range into Northern Mexico or M. g. gallopavo, the
southern Mexican turkey. Argument has been made for Agriocharis ocellata,
the ocellated turkey, being the source for the domesticated turkey and it
was maintained in pens in the Yucatan, but, in my opinion, the color and
conformation don't seem to match known paintings.
I haven't seen a southern Mexican turkey, but the Rio Grande turkey I've
observed looks a lot like the turkey in Vincento Campi's The Poultry Seller.
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