« EelmineJätka »
shown satisfactorily to what use it applies and my precious baskets. Most of those the leaves. I discovered this only after niuch passing outward were laden each with a grain time spent in investigation. The leaves are of farinha, which was, in some cases, larger used to thatch the domes which cover the and many times heavier than the bodies of entrances to their subterrancan dwellings, the carriers. Farinha consists of grains of thereby protecting from the deluging rains siinilar size and appearance to the tapioca of the young broods in the nests beneath. The our shops; both are products of the same larger mounds, already described, are so ex. root, tapioca being the pure sturch, and tensive that few persons would attempt to re- farinha the starch mixed with woody fibre, move them for the purpose of examining the latter ingredient giving it a yellowish their interior ; but smaller hillocks, covering color. It was amusing to see some of the other entrances to the same system of tunnels dwarfs, the sinallest members of their family, and chambers, may be found in sheltered staggering along, completely hidden under places, and these are always thatched with their load. The baskets, which were on a leaves, mingled with granules of earth. The high table, were entirely covered with ants, heavily-laden workers, each carrying its sey. many bundreds of whom were employed in ment of leaf vertically, the lower edge se snipping the dry leaves which served as lincured in its mandibles, troup up and cast ing. Tuis produce the rustling sound which their burdens on the hillock; another relay bad at first disturbed us. My servant told of laborers place the leaves in position, cove me that they would carry off the whole conering them with a layer of enrihy granules, tents of the iwo baskets (about two bushels) which are brought one by one from the suil in the course of the night, if they were not beneath,
driven off ; so we tried to exterminate then The underground abodes of this wonderful by killing them with our wooden clogs. It ant are known to be very extensive. The was impossible, however, to prevent fresh Rev. Hamlet Clark has related ibat the Saüba hosts coming in as fast as e killed their of Rio de Janeiro, a species closely allied tu companions. They returned the next night; ours, has excavated a tunnel under the bed and I was then obliged to lay trains of yunof the river Parahyba, at a place where it is powder along tbeir line, and blow them up. as broad as the Thames at London Bridge. At This, repeated many times, at last seemed to the Magoary rice-mills, near Pará, these ants intimidate them, for we were free from their opce pierced the embankment of a large visits during the remainder of my residence reservoir : the great body of water which it at the place. What they did with the hard contained escaped before the damage could dry grains of mandioca I was never able to be repaired. In the Butanic Garilens, at ascertain, and cannot even conjecture. The Pará, an enterprising French gardener tried meal contains no gluten, and therefore would all be could think of to extirpate the S:t üba. be useless as cement. It contains only a With this object he malu tires over some of small relative portion of starch, and, when the main entrances t') their colonies, and mixed with water, it separates and falls away blew the funes of sulphur down the galleries like so much earthy matter. It may serve by means of bellows. I saw the smoke issue as food for the subterranean workers. But from a great number of outlets, one of which the young or larvæ of ants are usually fed by was seventy yards distant from the place juices secreted by the worker nurses. where the bellows were used. This slows Ants, it is scarcely necessary to observe, how extensively the underground galleries consist, in each species, of three sets of indiAre ramitied.
viduals, or, as some express it, of three sexes Besides injuring and destroying young-namely, males, females, and workers; the trees by despoiling them of their foliage, the last-mentioned being undeveloped females, Saüba ant is troublesome to the inhabitants The perfect sexes are winged on their first from its habit of plundering the stores of pro- attainiug the adult state ; they alone propuvisions in houses at night, for it is even more gate their kind, flying away, previous to the active by night than in the day-time. At first act of reproduction, from the nest in which I was inclined to discredit the stories of their they have been reared. This winged state catering habitations unil carrying vff grain of the perfect mu'es and females, and the by grizin the farinha or mandioca nieal, the habit of flying abroad before pairing, are very bread of the poorer classes of Brazi). At important points in the economy of ants; length, while residing it an Indian village on for they are thus enabled to intercross with the Tapajus, I had ample proof of the fact. members of distant colonies which swarm at One night my servant wike me three or four the same time, and thereby increase the rigor hours before sunrise by calling out tbat the of the race, a proceeding essential to the pros. rats were robbing the farinla baskets; the perity of any species. In many ants, espe. article at that time being scarce and dear. I cially those of tropical climates, the workers, got up, listened, and found the noise was again, are of two classes, wbose structuro very unlike that made by rats. So I took ihe and functions are widely different. In some light and went into the storeroom, which spccies they are wonderfully unlike each was close to my sleeping-place. I there other, and constitute two well-defined forms found a broad column of Saüha ants, consist of workers. In others, thcre is a gradation ing of thousands of individuals, as busy as of individuals between the two extremes. possible, passing to aad fro between the duor The Curious differences in structure and
habits between these two classes form an in. securing a few with my fingers. I never saw teresting but, very difficult study. It is one them under any other circumstances than of the great peculiarities of the Saüba ant to those here related, and what their special possess three classes of workers. My inves- functions may be I cannot divine. tigations regarding them were far from com. The whole arrangement of a Formicarium, plete; I will relate, however, what I have or ant-colony, and all the varied activity of observed on the subject.
ant-life, are directed to one main purposeWhen engaged in leaf-cutting, plundering the perpetuation and dissemination of the farinha, and other operations, two classes of species. Most of the labor which we see pere workers are always seen (Figs. 1 and 2, formed by the workers has for its end the page 3). They are not, it is true, very sustenance and welfare of the young brood, sharply defined in structure, for individuals wbich are helpless grubs. The true females of intermediate grades occur. All the work, are incapable of attending to the wants of however, is done by the individuals which their offspring ; and it is on the poor sterile have small heads (Fig. 1), while those which workers, who are denied all the other pleas. have enormously large heads, the worker- ures of maternity, that the entire care demajors (Fig. 2), are observed to be simply volves. The workers are also the chief agents walking about. I could never satisfy myself in carrying out the different migrations of as to the function of these worker-majors. the colonies, which are of vast importance to They are not the soldiers or defenders of the the dispersal and consequent prosperity of working portion of the community, like the the species. The successful début of the armed class in the Termites, or white ants ; winged males and females depends likewise for they never fight. The species has no on the workers. It is amusing to see the acsting, and does not display active resistance tivity and excitement which reign in an ant's when interfered with. I once imagined they nest when the exodus of the winged individ. exercised a sort of superintendence over the uals is taking place. The workers clear the others; but this function is entirely uuneces. roads of exit, and show the most lively intersary in a community where all work with a est in their departure, although it is highly precision and regularity resembling the sub- improbable that any of them will return to ordinate parts of a piece of machinery. I the same colony. The swarming or exodus came to the conclusion, at last, that they of the winged males and females of the Saüba have no very precisely defined function. ant takes place in January aud February, that They cannot, however, be entirely useless to is, at the commencement of the rainy seathe community, for the sustenance of an idle son. They come out in the evening in vast class of such bulky individuals would be too numbers, causing quite a commotion in the heavy a charge for the species to sustain. I streets and lanes. They are of very large think they serve, in some sort, as passive in- size, the female measuring no less than two struments of protection to the real workers. inches and a quarter in expanse of wing; Their enormously large, hard, and indestruc- the male is not much more than half this size. tible heads may be of use in protecting them They are su eagerly preyed upon by insectiv. against the attacks of insectivorous animals. orous animals that on the morning after their They would be, on this view, a kind of flight not an individual is to be seen, & few “ pièces de resistance," serving as a foil impregnated females alone escaping the against onslaughts made on the main body of slaughter to found new colonies. workers.
At the time of our arrival, Pará had not The third order of workers is the most quite recovered from the effects of a series of curious of al. If the top of a small fresh revolutions, brought about by the hatred hillock, one in which the thatching process which existed between the native Brazilians is going on, be taken off, a broad cylindrical and the Portuguese ; the former, in the end, shaft is disclosed, at a depth of about two calling to their aid the Indian and mixed col. feet from the surface. If this be probed with ored population. The number of inhabitants a stick, which may be done to the extent of of the city had decreased, in consequence of three or four feet without touching bottom, these disorders, from 24,500 in 1819, tu 15,a small number of colossal fellows (Fig. 3) 000 in 1848. Although the public peace hud. will slowly begin to make their way up the not been broken for twelve years before the: 81nooth sides of the mine. Their heads are date of our visit, confidence was not yet. of the same size as those of the class Fig. 2 ; completely restored, and the Portuguese: but the front is clothed with hairs, instead of merchants and tradesmen would not trust being polished, and they have in the middle themselves to live at their beautiful countryof the forehead a twin ocellus, or simple eye, houses or rocinbas, which lie embosomed in of quite different structure from the ordinary the luxuriant shady gardens around the city.. compound eyes ou the sides of the head. No progress bad been made in clearing the This frontal eye is totally wanting in the second-growth forest, which had grown over. other workers, and is not known in any other the once cultivated grounds and now reached kind of ant. The apparition of these strange the end of all the suburban streets. The creatures from the cavernous depths of the place had the aspect of one which had seen mine reminded me, when I first observed better days; the public buildings, including: them, of the Cyclopes of Homeric fable. the palaces of the President and Bishup, the They were not very pugnacious, as I feared cathedral, the principal churches and con- : they would be, and I had no difficulty in vents, all seemed constructed on a scale of
graudeur far beyond the present require. ive as it is in summer in New York and ments of the city. Streets full of extensive Philadelphia. The humidity is, of course, private residences, built in the Italian style excessive, but the rains are not so heavy and of architecture, were in a neglected condition, continuous in the wet seasou as in many other weeds and flourishing youny trees growing tropical climates. The country had for a from large cracks in the masonry. The large lung time a reputation for extreme salubrity. public squares were overgrown with weeds, Since the small-pox in 1819, which attackel and impassable on account of the swampy chiefly the Indians, no serious epidemic hai places which occupied portions of their areas. visited the province. We were agreeably Commerce, however, was now beginning to surprised to find no danger from exposure revive, and before I left the country I saw to the night air or residence in the low great improvements, as I shall have to relate swampy lands. A few English residents, toward the conclusion of this narrative. who had been established here for twenty or
The province of which Pará is the capital thirty years, looked almost as fresh in color was, at the time I allude to, the most exten- as if they had never left their native country. sive in the Brazilian Empire, being abou: The native women, too, seemed to preserve 1560 miles in length from east to west, and their good looks and plump condition until about 600 in breadth. Since that date- late in life. I nowhere observed that early namely, in 1853—it has been divided into decay of appearance in Brazilian ladies, two by the separation of the Upper Amazons which is said to be so general in the women as a distinct province. It formerly consti- of North America. Up to 1848 the salubrity tuted a section, capitania, or governorship of Pará was quite remarkable for a city lying of the Portuguese colony. Originally it was in the delta of a great river in the middle of well peopled by Indians, varying much in the tropics and half surrounded by swamps. social condition according to their tribe, but It did not much longer enjoy its immunity all exhibiting the same general physical char- from epidemics. Iu 1850 ihe yellow fever acters, which are those of the American red visited the province for the first time, and man, somewhat modified by long residence carried off in a few weeks more than fuur in an equatorial forest country. Most of per cent of the population. the tribes are now extinct or forgotten, at . The province of Pará, or as we may now least those which originally peopled the say, the two provinces of Pará ani the An. banks of the main river, their descendants azous, contain an area of 800,000 square having amalgamated with the white and miles, the population of which is only about negro immigrants ; * many still exist, how- 230,000, or in the ratio of one person to four ever, in their original state on the Upper Am- square miles! The country is covered with azons and most of the branch rivers. On forests, and the soil fertile in the extreme, this account Indians in this province are far even for a tropical country. It is intersected more numerous than elsewhere in Brazil, throughout by broad and deep navigable riv. and the Indian element may be said to pre- ers. It is the pride of the Paraenses to call vail in the mongrel population, the negro the Amazons the Mediterranean of South proportion being much smaller than in South America. The colossal stream perhaps deBrazil.
serves the name, for not only have the main The city is built on the best available site river and its principal tributaries an immense for a port of entry to the Amazons region, expanse of water; bathing the shores of exand must in time become a vast emporium ; tensive and varied regions, but there is also for the northern shore of the main river, throughout a system of back channels, con. where alone a rival capital could be founded, nected with the main rivers by narrow out. is much more difficult of access to vessels, lets, and linking together a series of lakes, and is besides extremely unhealthy. Al- some of which are fifteen, twenty, and thirty though lying so near the equator (1° 28' 8. miles in length. The whole Amazons valley lat.) the climate is not excessively hot. The is thus covered by a network of navigable temperature during three years only once waters, forming a vast inland fresh-water sea reached 95° of Fahrenheit. The greatest with endless ramificativns, rather than a heat of the day, about 2 P.M., ranges generally river. between 89° and 94° ; but on the other hand, I resided at Pará nearly a year and a half althe air is never cooler than 73°, so that a uni- together, returning thither and making a stay formly high temperature exists, and the of a few months after each of my shorter ex. mean of the year is 81°. North American cursions into the interior ; until the 6th of residents say that the heat is not so oppress- November, 1851, when I started on my long
voyage to the Tapajos and the Upper Amie * The mixed breeds which now form, probably, th greater part of the population have each & distinguish- zons, which occupied me seven years and a Ing name. Mameluco denotes the offspring of White ball, with Indian ; Mulatto, that of White with Negro;
CHAPTER II. Cafuzo, the mixture of the Indian and Negro: Curiboco, the cross between the Cafunzo and the Indian ;
PARÁ. Xibaro, that between the Cafuzo and Negro. These
The swampy forests of Pará-A Portuguese landed are se dom, however, well-demarcated, and all shades
proprietor-Country house at Nazareth-Life of a of color exist : the names are generally applied only
Naturalist under the equator-The drier virgin forapproximatively. The term Creole is confined to
ests-Magoary-Retired creeks—Aborigines. negroes born in the country. The civilized Indian is called Tapuyo or Caboclo.
AFTER having resided about a fortnight at
Mr. Miller's rocipha, we heard of another by the flowers of numerous leguminous and similar country-housć to he let, much better other shrubs. Besides buite: dies, there were situated for our purpose, in the village of few other insects except dragon-fiies, which Nazareth, a mile and a half from the city, were in great numbers, similar in sliape to. and close to the forest. The owner was an English species, but some of them looking old Portuguese gentleman Uamed Danin, who conspicuously different on account of their lived at bis tile manufactory at the mouth of fiery red colors. the Una, a small river lying two miles below. After stupping a long time to examine and Pará. We resolved to walk to his place admire, we at lengib walked onward. The through the forest, a distance of three miles, road then ascended slightly, and the soil and although the road was said to be scarcely vegetatiou became suddenly altered in charpassable at this season of the year, and the acier. The shrubs here were grasses, low Una much more easily accessible by boat. sedges and other plants, smaller in foliage We were glad, however, of this early oppor: than thvse growing in moist grounds. The tunity of traversing the rich swainpy forest, forest was second growth, low, consisting of which we had admired so much from the trees which had the general aspect of laurels deck of the ship ; 80, abjut eleven o'clock and other evergreens in our gardens at one sunny morning, after procuring the home : the leaves glossy and dark green. necessary information about the road, we set Some of them were elegantly veined and off in that direction. This part of the forest bairy (Melastomæ), while many, scallered afterward became one of my best hunting, among the rest, had smaller foliage (Myrtles), grounds. I will narrate the incidents of the but these were not sufficient to subtract much walk, giving my first iinpressions and some From the general cbaracter of the whole. remarks on the wonderful vegetation. TheThe sun now, for we had loitered long on forest is very similar on most of the low the road, was: exceedingly powerful. The lands, and therefore one description will do day was most brilliant ; the sky without a for all.
cloud. In fact, it was one of those glorious On leaving the tuwn, we walked aloug a days which announce the commencement of straight suburban road, constructed above the dry season. The radiation of heat from the level of ibe surrounding land. It had the sandy ground was visible by the quiverlow swampy ground on each side, built upon, ing motion of the air above it. We saw or however, and containing several spacious heard no mammals or birds ; a few cattle rocinhas, which were embowered in magnifi- belonging to an estate down a shady lane cent foliage. Leaving the last of these, we were congregated, panting, under a cluster arrived at a part where the lofty forest tow- of wide-spreading trees. The very soil was ered up like a wall, five or six yards from the hot to our feet, and we hastened onward to edge of the path, to the heighi of, probably, the shade of the forest, which we could see 100 feet. The tree trunks were only seen not far abead. At length, on entering it, what partially here and there, nearly the whole a relief! We found ourselves in a moderfrontage from ground to sumnit being cov. ately broad pathway or alley, where the ered with a diversified drapery of creeping branches of the trees crossed overhead and plants, all of the most vivid shades of green; produced 4 delightful shade. The woods scarcely a flower to be seen, except in some were at first of recent growth, dense, and places à solitary scarlet passion-flower, set in utterly impenetrable ; the ground, instead of the green manile like a star. The low being clothed with grass and slirubs as in the ground on the borders, between the forest woods of Europe, was everywhere carpeted wall and the road, was incumbered with a with Lycopodiums (fern-shaped mosses). trayled mass of bushy and shrubby vegeta. Gradually the scene became changed. We tin, among which prickly mimosas were descended slightly from an elevated, dry, and very numerous, covering the other bushes in sandy area to a low and swampy one ; a cool the same way as brambles do in Eugland. air breathed on our faces, and a mouldy Other dwarf mimosas trailed along the smell of rotting vegetation greeted us. The ground close to the edge of the road, shrink- trees were now taller, the underwood less iug at the sligutest touch of the feet as we dense, and we could obtain glimpses into the passed by. Cassia-trees, with their elegant wilderness on all sides. The leafy crowns of pionate foliage and conspicuous yellow tow. the trees, scarcely two of which could be seen ers, formed a great proportion of the lower together of the same kind, were now far trees, and arborescent aruns grew in groups away above us, in another world as it were. around the swampy hollows. Over the We could only see at times, where tbere was whole fluttered a larger pumber of briliantly, a break above, the tracery of the foliage colored butterflies ihan we had yet seen ; against tbe clear blue sky. Sometimes the some wholly orange or yellow (Callidryas), leaves were palmate, or of the shape of large others with excessively elongated wings, sail. outstretched hands; at others, finely cut or ing horizontally through the air, colored feathery, like the leaves of Mimosæ. Below, black, and varied with blue, red, and yellow the tree-trunks were everywhere linked to(Heliconii). One magnificent grassy.green gether by sipós ; the woody flexible stems specics (Colænis Dido) espiccially attracted of climbing and creeping trees, whose foliage our attention. Near the ground hovered is far away above, mingled with that of the hany other smaller species very sipiilar in taller independent trees. Some were twisted
nearance to those found at home, attracted in strands like cables, others had thick stems
contorted in every varlety of shape, entwin. icate, with stems no thicker than a finger. ing snake-like round the tree trunks, or form. These latter (different kinds of Bactris) bore iug gigantic loops and coils among the larger small buncbes of fruit, red or black, often branches ; others, again, . were of zigzag containing a sweet grape-like juice. shape, or indented like the steps of a stair. Further on the ground became more case, sweeping from the ground to a giddy swampy, and we had some difficulty in pickheight.
ing our way. The wild banana (Urania AmIt interested me much afterward to find azonica) here began to appear, and, as it grew that these climbing trees do not form any in masses, imparted a new aspect to the scene. particular family. There is no distinct group The leaves of this beautiful plant are like of plants whose especial habit is to climb, broad sword-blades, eight feet in length and but species of many and the most diverse a foot broad ; they rise straight upward, alfamilies, the bulk of whose members are ternately, from the top of a stem five or six not climbers, seem to have been driven feet high. Numerous kinds of plants with by circumstances to adopt this habit. leaves similar in shape to these, but smaller, There is even a climbing genus of palms clothed the ground. ` Among them were spe(Desmoncus), the species of which are call. cies of Marantaceæ, some of which had broad ed, in the Tupí language, Jacitára. These glossy leaves, with long leaf-stalks radiating have slender, thickly-spined, and flexuous from joints in a reed-like stem. The trunks stems, which twine about the taller trees from of the trees were clothed with climbing ferns, one to the other, and grow to an incredible and Pothos plants with large, fleshy, beartlongth. The leaves, which have the ordinary shaped leaves. Bamboos and other tall grass pinnate shape characteristic of the family, and reed-like plants arched over the pathway. are emitted from the stems at long intervals, The appearance of this part of the forest instead of being collected into a dense crown, was strange in the extreme ; description can and have at their tips a number of long re- convey no adequate idea of it. The reader curved spines. These structures are excel. who has visited Kew may form some notion lent contrivances to enable the trees to secure by conceiving a vegetation like that in the themselves by in climbing, but they are a great palm-house spread over a large tract great nuisance to the travelier, for they some of swampy ground, but he must fancy it times hang over the pathway, and catch the mingled with large exogenous trees similar to hat or clothes, dragging off the one or tear- our oaks and elms covered with creepers and ing the other as he passes. The number and parasites, and figure to himself the ground variety of climbing trees in the Amazons incumbered with fallen and rotten trunks. forests are interesting taken in connectivu branches, and leaves ; the whole illuminated with the fact of the very general tendency of by a glowing vertical sun, and reeking with the animals also to become climbers.
moisture. All the Amazonian, and in fact all South We at length emerged from the forest, on American, monkeys are climbers. There is the banks of the Una, near its mouth. It no group answering to the babouns of the was here about one hundred yards wide. The Old World, which live on the ground. The residence of Senhor Danin stood on the opGallinaceous birds of the country, the repre. posite shore ; a large building, whitewashed sentatives of the fowls and pheasants of Asia and red-tiled as usual, raised on wouden piles and Africa, are all adapted by the position above the humid ground. The second story of the toes to perch on trees, and it is only was the part occupied by the family, and on trees, at a great height, that they are to along it was an open veranda, where people, be seen. A genus of Plantigrade Carnivora, male and female, were at work. Below were allied to the bears (Cercoleptes), found only several negroes employed carrying clay on in the Amazonian forests, is entirely arboreal, their heads. We called out for a boat, and and has a tony flexible tail like that of certain one of them crossed over to fetch us. monkeys. Many other similar instances Senhor Danin received us with the usual for. could be enumerated, but I will mention only mal politeness of the Portuguese ; he spoke the Geodephaga, or carnivorous ground English very well, and after we had arranged beetles, a great proportion of whose gener, our business we remained conversing with and species in these forest regions are, by the him on various subjects connected with the structure of their feet, fitted to live exclusively country. Like all employers in this prov. on the branches and leaves of trees.
ince, he was full of one topic—the scarcity Many of the woody lianas suspended from of hands. It appeared that he had made trees are not climbers, but the air-roots of great exertions to introduce wbite labor, but epiphytous plants (Aroideae), which sit on the had failed, after having brought numbers of stronger boughs of the trees abyve, and hang men from Portugal and other countries un. down straight as plumb-lines. Some are sus. der engagement to work for him. They all pended singly, others in clusters ; some reach left him one by one soon after their arrival. half way to the ground and others touch it, The abundance of uuoccupied land, the libstriking their rootlets intc the earth. The erty that exists, a state of things produced underwood in this part of the forest was com, by the half-wild canoe-life of the people, and posed partly of younger trees of the same the ease with which a mere subsistence can species as their taller neighbors, and partly of be obtained with moderate work, tempt even palms of many species, some of them twenty the best-disposed to quit regular labor as to thirty feet in height, others small and del. soon as they can.