- Jan 7, 2014
- Primary Interest:
The Jesuits did use the backstaff as a navigational instrument. The backstaff, also known as the Davis quadrant, was a navigational tool commonly used by sailors during the 16th and 17th centuries to measure the angle of the sun or a celestial body above the horizon. The Jesuits, being explorers and missionaries, often utilized various navigational instruments, including the backstaff, to aid their voyages and expeditions.
Not as much as you think.
More often than not, and especially in Nueva España, they relied on something much simpler: indigenous guides. These guides were already traversing well-worn trails and paths, thousands of years old.