Jean Chaffanjon Two Images of the Amazon, Venezuela (On the Orenoque or Orinoco River, a branch of the Amazon)
Medium Albumen print from wet plate negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1886-87 Print Date 1887c
Dimensions 6-11/16 x 4-11/16 in. (170 x 120 mm)
Photo Country Venezuela
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
The size refers to each individual photograph. These extremely rare images were from the important Jean Chaffanjon (French explorer and anthropologist) expedition on the river Orénoque. The Orénoque is one of the rivers having the most important flows in the world, after the Amazon (175 000 m? /s) and Congo (39 000 m? /s). Orénoque is connected naturally to the Amazon by the channel of Casiquiare, which crosses the watershed. The last Amerindian tribes live along Orénoque. They account for hardly 2% of the population of Venezuela. The majority of these tribes are in the process of extinction. Chaffanjon took most of the photographs on this expedition but the painter Auguste Morisot apparently assisted at times. Jean Chaffanjon (1854-1913) formed an expedition to explore the Orénoque, which was financed by the French Ministry for State Education and the Art schools. The objective was to go up the course of the river, carry out a geographical description, study the manners and the habits of the Indian population living along the river, the fauna, the flora and the geography of the basin. Chaffanjon accepted a medal and prize in 1888 from the Company of Geography of Paris. Jules Verne's 45th volume of the 54 Extraordinary Voyages is entitled "Superb Orénoque". Chaffanjon's own book was Jules Verne's primary source for information about the Orinoco region, and the novel's principal character, Jean de Kermor, reads and repeatedly cites Chaffanjon's book during the first two-thirds of the journey. Chaffanjon refused the Legion of Honor from France, but later accepted the title of Chevalier de l'Ordre du Libérateur conferred on him by Venezuela.
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