H T M L   T R A N S C R I P T   O F

A Perfect Description of an Indian Squa, in all her Bravery; with a Poem Not Improperly Conferr’d upon Her

by   J O H N   J O S S E L Y N   (c.1608–1700?)
17th-century travel writer
who spent time in New England
(Boston, Massachusetts and
Black Point, Scarborough, Maine)
from 1638–9 and from 1663–71

Opening quotation markA Description of an INDIAN SQUA.

 Now (gentle Reader) having trespassed upon your patience a long while in the perusing of these rude Observations, I shall, to make you amends, present you by way of Divertisement, or Recreation, with a Coppy of Verses made sometime since upon the Picture of a young and handsome Gypsie, not improperly transferred upon the Indian SQUA, or Female Indian, trick’d up in all her bravery.

 The Men are somewhat Horse Fac’d, and generally Faucious, i. e. without Beards; but the Women many of them have very good Features; seldome without a Come to me, or Cos Amoris, in their Countenance; all of them black Eyed, having even short Teeth, and very white; their Hair black, thick and long, broad Breasted; handsome streight Bodies, and slender, considering their constant loose habit: Their limbs cleanly, straight, and of a convenient stature, generally, as plump as Partridges, and saving here and there one, of a modest deportment.

 Their Garments are a pair of Sleeves of Deer, or Moose skin drest, and drawn with lines of several Colours into Asiatick Works, with Buskins of the same, a short Mantle of Trading Cloath, either Blew or Red, fastened with a knot under the Chin, and girt about the middle with a Zone, wrought with white and blew Beads into pretty Works; of these Beads they have Bracelets for their Neck and Arms, and Links to hang in their Ears, and a fair Table curiously made up with Beads likewise, to wear before their Breast; their Hair they Combe backward, and tye it up short with a Border, about two handfulls broad, wrought in Works as the other wiih their Beads: But enough of this.

 The POEM.

     Whether White or Black be best
        Call your Senses to the quest;
        And your touch shall quickly tell
        The Black in softness doth excel,
        And in smoothness; but the Ear,
        What, can that a Colour hear?
        No, but ’tis your Black ones Wit
        That doth catch, and captive it.
        And if Slut and Fair be one,
        Sweet and Fair, there can be none:
        Nor can ought so please the tast
        As what’s brown and lovely drest:
        And who’ll say, that that is best
        To please ones Sense, displease the rest?
        Maugre then all that can be sed
        In flattery of White and Red:
        Those flatterers themselves must say
        That darkness was before the Day:
        And such perfection here appears
        It neither Wind nor Sun-shine fears.
Closing quotation mark

SOURCE:  Josselyn, John. New-Englands rarities discovered: in birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country. Together with the physical and chyrurgical remedies wherewith the natives constantly use to cure their distempers, wounds, and sores. Also a perfect description of an Indian squa, in all her bravery; with a poem not improperly conferr'd upon her. Lastly a chronological table of the most remarkable passages in that country amongst the English. Illustrated with cuts. By John Josselyn, gent. London: Printed for G. Widdowes at the Green Dragon in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1672. 99–102.