« EelmineJätka »
ing. The only recommendation of the dwell, and to step over the boundary, formed by a ing was its coolness. It was, in fact, ce line of slippery sleins of palms, was tu siak cidedly damp; the plastered walls bore a up to the knees in a sticky swamp. crop of grecn mould, and a slimy muisture Notwithstanding damp and mosquitoes, I ouzed through the black, dirty floor ; the had capital health and enjoyed myself much rooms were large, but lighted by miserable at Fonte Boa ; swampy and weedy places lillle holes in place of windows The village being generally more healthy than dry ones is built on a clayey plateau, and the ruinous, on the Amazons, probably owing to the abhouses are arranged round a large square, sence of great radiation of heat from the which is so choked up with tangied bushes ground. The forest was extremely rich and that it is quite impassable, the lazy inhabit- picturesque, although the soil was everyants having allowed the fiue open space to where claycy and cold, and broad pathways relapse into jungle. The stiff, clayey emi- threaded it for many a mile over hill auc? nence is worn into deep gullies which slope dale. In every hollow flowed a sparkling toward the river, and the ascent from the brook, with perennial and crystal waters. port in rainy weather is so slippers that one The margins of these streams were paradises is obliged to crawl up to the streets on all- of leatiness and verdure; the most striking fours. A large tract of ground behind the feature being the variety of ferns, with implace is clear of forest, but this, as well as inease leaves, some terrestrial, others climbsthe streets and gardens, is covered with a ing over trees, and two, at least, arborescent. dense, tough carpet of shrubs, having the I saw here some of the largest trees I had yet samo wiry nature as our common heath. Be seen. There was one especially, a cedar, neath its deceitful covering the soil is always whose colossal trunk towered up for more moist and soft, and in the wet season the than a hundred feet, straight as an arrow; I whole is converted into a glutinous mud never saw its crown, which was lost to view, swamp. There is a very pretty church in from below, beyond the crowd of lesser one corner of the square, but in the rainy trees which surrounded it. Birds and mou. months of the year (nine out of twelve) the keys in this glorious forest were very abunplace of worship is almost inaccessible to the dant; the bear like Pithecia hirsuta being inhabitants on account of the mud, the only the most remarkable of the monkeys, and means of getting to it being by hugging the Umbrella Chatterer and Curl-crested clusely the walls and palings, and so advanc Toucans among the most beautiful of the ing sideways step by step.
birds. The Indians and half-castes of the I remained in this delectable place until the village had made their little plantations, and 25th of January, 1857. Fonte Boa, in addi- built huts for summer residence on the banks tion to its other amenities, has the reputation of the rivulets, and my raubles generally terthroughout tho country of being the head. minated at one or cther of these places. The quarters of mosquitoes, and it fully deserves people were always cheerful and friendly, the title. They are more annoying in the and seemed to be glad when I proposed to houses by day iban by night, for they swarm join them at their meals, contributing the in the dark and damp roums, keeping, in the contents of my provision-bay to the dinner, daytiine, near the floor, and settling by half. and squatting down among them on the mat. dozens together on the legs. At night the The village was formerly a place of more calico tent is a sufficient protootion ; but this importance than it now is, a great number of is obliged to be folded overy morning, and in Indians belonging to the most industrious letting it down before sunset, great care is tribes, Shumánas, Passés, and Cambévas, required to prevent even one or two of the having settled on the site and adopted civil. tormentors from stealing in beneath, their ized habits, their industry being directed by insatiable thirst for blood and pungent sting a few whites, who seem to have been men of making these enough to spoil all comfort. humane views as well as enterprising traders. In the forest the plague is much worse ; but One of these old employers, Senhor Guerthe forest-mosquito belongs to a different reiro, a well-educated Paraense, was still species from that of the towa, being much trading on the Amazons when I left the larger, and having transparent wings; it is a country, in 1859 ; he told me that forty years little cloud that one carries about one's per previously Fonte Boa was a delightful place son every step on a woodland ramble, and to live in. The neighborhood was then well their hum is so loud that it prevents one cleared, and almost free from mosquitoes, bearing well the notes of birds. The town and the Indians were orderly, industrious, mosquito hus opaque speckled wings, a little and happy. What led to the ruin of the less severe sting, and a silent way of going to settleinent was the arrival of several Portuwork ; the inhabitants ought to be thankful guese and Brazilian traders of a low class, the big noisy fellows never come out of the who, in their eagerness for business, taught forest. In compensation for the abundance the easy-goiog Indians all kinds of trickery of mosquitoes, Fonte Boa has no piums; and imworality. They enticed the men and there was, therefore, some comfort outside women away from their old employers, and one's door in the daytime; the comfort, how- thus broke up the large establishments, comever, was lessened by there being scarcely pelling the principals to take their capital to any room in front of the house to sit down other places. At the time of my visit there or walk about in, for, on our side of the were few pure-blood Indians at Fonte Bua, square, the causeway was only two feet broad, and no true whites The inhabitants seemed
to be nearly all mamelucos, and were a loose- erable expense, I thought it spoke well for living, rustic, plain-spoken, and ignorant set the good intentions and simplicity of heart of of people. There was no priest or school- these poor neglected villagers. master within 150 miles, and had not been I left Fonte Boa, for Ega, on the 25th of any for many years, the people seemed to be January, making the passage by steamer, almost without government of any kind, and down the middle of the current, in sixteen yet crime and deeds of violence appeared to hours. The sight of the clean and neat little be of very rare occurrence. The principal town, with its open spaces, close-cropped man of the village, one Senhor Justo, was a grass, broad lake, and whito sandy shores, big, coarse, energetic fellow, sub-clelegado had a most exhilarating effect, after my trip of police, and the only tradesinan who owned into the wilder parts of the country. The a large vessel running directly between Fonte district between Ega and Loret), the first Boa and Pará. He had recently built a large Peruvian village on the river, is, indeed, the house, in the style of middle-class dwellings most remote, thinly-peopled, and barbarous of towns, namely, with brick floors and tiled of the whole line of the Amazons, froin ocean ruof, the bricks and tiles having been brought to ocean. Beyond Loreto, signs of civilizafrom Pará, 1,500 miles distant, the nearest tion, from the side of the Pacific, begin to be place where they are manufactured in sur- numerous ; and from Eya, downward, the plus. When Benhor Justo visited me, he improvement is felt from the side of the Atwas much struck with the engravings in a lantic file of Illustrated London Nors, which lay on September 5th, 1857.--Again embarked on my table. It was impossible to resist bis the Tabatinga, this time for a longer oxurgent entreaties to let him have some of cursion than the last, namely, to St. Paulo them “ to look at,” so one day he carried off de Olivença, a village higher up than any I a portion of the papers on loan. A fort- had yet visited, being 260 miles distant in a pight afterward, on going to request him to straight line froni Eya, or about 400 miles, return them, I found the engravings had been following the bends of the river. cut out, and stuck all over tho newly white. The waters are now nearly at their lowest washed walls of bis chamber, many of them puint; but this made no difference to the rate upside down. He thought a room thus of travelling, night or day. Several of the decorated with foreign views would increase Paraná-mirims, or by-channels, which the his importance among his neighbors, and steamer threads in the season of full-water, when I yielded to his wish to keep them, was to save a long circuit, were now dried up. boundless in demonstrations of gratitude, their empty beds lovking like deep bandy ending by shipping a bout loud of urtles for ravines in the midst of the thick forest. The my use at Ega.
large sand islands, and miles of sandy beach, These neglected and rude villagers still ra were also uncovered ; and these, with the tained many religious practices which former swarms of large aquatic birds, storks, hermissionaries or priests bad taught them. ons, ducks, waders, and spoon-bills, which The ceremony which they observed at Christ- lined their margins in certain places, made mas, like that described as practised by the river view much more varied and ani. negroes in a former chapter, was very pleas muted than it is in the season of the fluod. ing for its simplicity, and for the heartiness Alligators of large size were commun near with which it was conducted. The church the shores, lazily flouting, and heedless of was opened, dried, and swept clean a few the passing steamer. The passengers amused days before Christmus eve, and on the morn. themselves by shouting at them from the ing all the women and children of the village deck with a double-barrelled rifle we had were busy decorating it with festoons of on board. The sign of a mortal hit was the leaves and wild flowers. Toward midnight monster turning suddenly over, and remainit was illuminated inside and out with little ing finating, with its white belly upward. oil lamps, made of clay, and the image of the Lieutenant Nunes wished to have oue of the “Menino Deus,' or Child-God, in its cradle, dead animals on board, for the purpose of was placed below the altar, which was opening the abdomen, and, if a male, extractlighted up with rows of wax candles-Very ing a part which is held in great estimation lean ones, but the best the poor people could among Brazilians as a “ rernedio," charm or afford. All the villagers assembled soon medicine. The steamer wus stopped, and a afterward, dressed in their best, the women boat sent, with four strong men, to embark with flowers in their hair, and a few simple the beast the body, however, was found 100 hymos, totally irrelevant to the occasion, but heavy to be lifted into the boat ; 9 a rope probably the only ones known by them, were was passed round it, and the hideous creatsung knoeling ; an old hull-castē, with black ure towed alongside, and boisted on deck by społted face, leading of tho tunes. This fin. means of the crane, which was rigged for the ishod, the congregation rose, and then purpose. It had still some sparks of life, and murched in single Alo up one side of the when the knife was applied, lashed its tail, church and down the other, singing together and opened its enormous jaws, sending the a very pretty marching chorus, and each ono, crowd of bystanders flying in all directions. on reaching the little image, stooping to kiss A blow with a hatchet, on the crown of the tho end of a ribbon which was tied round its hosd, gave him his quietus at last. The waist. Considering thas tho ceremony was length of the animal was fifteen feet ; but got up of their own froe will, aad at cunsid. this statement can give but an imperfect ideas of its immense bulk and weight. The num- Fonte Boa, of having seen better daya ber of turtles which were seen swimming in Signs of commerce, such as meet the eye at quiet shoaly bays passed on the road, also Eva, could scarcely be expected in this regave us much amusement. They were seen mote spot, situate 1800 miles. or seven by dozens abuad, with their snuuts peering months' round voyage by sailing-vessels, above tho surface of the water, and, on the from Pará, the nearest market for produce. steamer approaching, turning round to stare, A very short experience showed that the idibut not losing confidence till the vessel had habitants were utterly debased, the few Pornearly passed, when they appeared to be tuguese and other immigrants having, inshuddenly smitten with distrust, diving like stead of promoting industry, adopted the lazy «ducke under the stream.
mode of life of the Indians, spiced with the The river scenery about the mouth of the practice of a few strong vices of their own Japurá is extremely grund, and was the sub- introduction. ject of remark among the passengers. Licu. The head-man of the village, Senhor Anienant Nunes gave it as his opinion that tonia Ribeiro, half-white, bali-Tucúna, pro there was no diminution of width or grand. pared a house for me on landing, and introeur in the mighty stream up to this point, a duced me to the principal people. The sumdistunce of 1500 miles from the Atlantic ; and mit of the hill is grassy table-land, of two or yet we did not here see the shores of the river three hundred acres in extent. The soil is on both sides at once ; lines of islands or not wholly clay, but partly sand and gratracts of alluvial land, having by-channels vel ; tbe" village itself, however, stands in the rear, intercepting the view of the chiefly on clay, and the streets, therefore, northern mainland, and sometimes also of the after heavy rains, become filled with muddy southern. Beyond the Issa, however, the river puddles. On damp nights the chorus of becomes evidently narrower, being reduced to frogs and toads which swarm in woedy back an average width of about & mile; there were yards, creates such a bewildering uproar then no longer those magnificent reaches, with that it is impossible to carry on a converseblank horizons, which occur lower down. tion in-doors except by shouting. My house We had a dark and rainy night after passing was damper even iban the one I occupied at Tunantins, and the passengers were all very Fonto Boa, and this made it extremely diffiuneasy on account of the speed at which we cult to keep my collections from being were travelling, twelve miles an hour, with spoiled by mould. Rut the general humidity every plank vibrating with the force of the of the aimosphere in this part of tho river engines. Many of them could not sleep, was evidently much greater than it is lower myself among the number. At length, a lit- down; it appears to increase gradually in aslle after midnight, a sudden shivut startled cending from the Atlantic to the Andes. It us: “ Back her 1 (English terms being was impossible at St. Paulo to keep salt for used in matters relating to steam-engines.) many days in a solid state, which was not The pilot instantly sprung to the helm, and the case at Ega, when the baskets in which in a few moments we felt our padddle box it is contained were well wrapped in leaves. brushing against the wall of forest intu Six degrees further westward, namely, at the which we had nearly driven headlong. For. fout of the Andes, the dampness of the climute tunately, tbe water was deep close up to the of the Amazonian forest region appears to bank. Early in the morning of the 10th of reach its acme, for Poeppig found at ChinSeptember wo anchored in the port of St. chao that the most refined sugar in a few Paulo, after five days' quick trarelling from days dissolved into syrup, and The best yun. Ega.
powder became liquid, even when enclosed St. Paulo is built on a high hill, on the in canisters. At St. Paulo refined sugar southern bank of the river. The bill is kept pretty well in tin boxes, and I had no furmed of the same Tabatinga clay which difficulty in keeping my gunpowder dry in occurs at intervals over the whole valley of canisters, although a gun loaded over-night the Amazons, but nowhere rises to so great could very seldom be fired off in the morn. an elevation us here, the height being about ing. 100 feet above the mean level of the river. I remained at St. Paulo five months ; five The ascent from the port is steep and slip- years would not have been sufficient to ex. pery ; steps and resting-places have been haust the treasures of its neighborhood in made, to lighten the fatigue of mounting, zoology and botany. Although now & forotherwise the village would be almost inac est-rambler of ten years' experience, tho cessible, especially to porters of luggage and beautiful forest which surrounds this settleCargo, for there are no means of making a ment gave me as much enjoyment as if I had circuitous road of more moderate slope, the only just landed for the first time in a tropi. Sill being steep on all sides, and surrounded cal country. The plateau on which the vilby dense forests and swamps. The place lage is built extends on one side nearly a contains about 500 inhabitants, chiefly half. mile into the forest, but on the other side the castes and Indians of the Tucúnia und Col descent into the lowland begins close to the Kina tribes, who are very litile improved streets, the hill sloping ubruptly toward a from their primitivo state. The streets are boggy mcadow surrounded by woods, narrow, and in rainy weather inches deep in through which a parrow winding path conmud; many houses are of substantial struc- tinues tho slope down to a coul, shady glen, 'lure, but in a ruinous condition, and the with a brook of icy-cold water sowing at the Dlace altogether presents the appearance, like bottom. At mid-day the vertical sun pono
trates into the gloomy depths of this suinen- of more or less infinence, accordicg to his tic spot, lighting up the leafy banks of the energy and ambition, and possessing its pajé rivulet and its cleau sandy margips, where or medicine man, who fosters its supernumbers of scarlet, green, and black tanage r8 stitious ; but they are much more idle and and brightly-colored butterflies sport alwut debauched than other Indians belonging to in the stray beams. Sparkling brooks, large the superior tribes. They are not so warlike and small, traverse the glorious forest in al- and loyal as the Mundurucás, although remost every direction, and one is constantly sembling them in miny respects, nor have meeting, while rumbling through the thick- they the sleuder figures, dignified micn, and ets, with trickling jills and bubbling gentle disosition of the Piissés ; there are, springs, so well provided is the country with however, no trenchant points of difference in muisture. Some of the rivulets flow over a distinguish them from these highest of all the sandy and pebbly bed, and the banks of all tribes. Both men and women are tattooed, are clothed with the most magnificent vege. the pattern being snmetiines a scroil on each tation conceivable. I had the almost daily check, but generally rows of short straight habit, in my solitary walks, of resting on the lines on the face. Most of the older people clean banks of these swift-flowing streams, wear bracelets unklets, and garters of tapir and bathing for an hour at a time in their hide or tough burk ; in their hoines they bracing waters ; hours which now remain wear no other dress except on festival days, among my most pleasant memories. The when they ornament themselves with feath. broad forest roads continue, as I was told, a ers or masked cloaks made of the inner bark distance of several days' journey into the in- of a tree. They were very shy when I made terior, which is peopled by Tucúnus and my first visits to their habitations in the forother'Indians, living in scattered houses and est, all scampering off to the thicket when I villages, nearly in their primitive state, the approached, but on subsequent days they nearest 'villagé lying about six miles from St. became more familiar, and I found them a Paulo. The banks of all the streams_are harmless, good-natured people. dotted with palm-thatched dwellings of Tuc- A great part of the horde living at the first únas, all half-buried in the leafy wilderness, Maloca ur village dwell in a common habitatbe scattered families having chosen the cool. tion, a large oblong hut built and arranged est and shadiest nooks for their abodes. inside with such a disregar
inside with such a disregard of all syminetry I frequently heard in the neighborhood of that it appeared as though constructed by a these buts the “realejo" or organ bird (Cy- number of hands, each working independphorhinus cantans), the most remarkable soug. ently, stretching a rafter or fitting in a piece ster, by far, of the Amazonian forests. When of thatch, without reference to what his fulits singular nutes strike the ear for the first low-laborers were doing. The walls as well time the impression cannot be resisted that as the roof are covered with thatch of pulin they are produced by a human voice--some leaves, each piece consisting of leaflets plaited musical boy must be gathering fruit in the and aitached in a row to a lath many feet in thickets, and is singing a few notes to cheer length. Strong upright posts support thu himself. The tones become more fluty and rout, hammocks being slung between them, plaintive ; they are u.;w those of a Hageolet, leaving a free space for passage and for fires and notwithstanding the ulter impossibility in the middle, and on one side is an elevated of the thing, one is for the moment convinc- stage (girao) overhead, formed of split palmed that somebody is pleying that instrument. steins. The Tucunas excel most of the other No bird is to be seen, however closely the tribes in the manufacture of pottery. They surrounding trees and bushes may be scan. make broad-mouthed jars for Tucupí sauce, ned, and yet the voice seems to come from caysúma or mandinca beer, capable of holdthe thicket close to one's ears. The ending ing twenty or more gallons, ornamenting of the song is rather disappointing. It be. them outside with crossed diagonal streaks gins with a few very slow and mellow notes, of various colors. These jars, with cookinya following uach other like the commencement pots, sinaller jars for holding water, blowof an air ; one listens expecting to hear a guns, quivers, matirí bags full of small arcomplete struin, but an abrupt pause occurs, ticles, baskets, skins of animals, and so forth, and then the song breaks down, finishing form the principal part of the furniture of with a number of clicking unmusical sounds their huts, both large and small. The dead like a piping barrel-organ out of wind and bodies of their chiefs are interied, the knees tuné. I never heard the bird on the Lower doubled up, in large jars under the floors of Amazons, and very rarely beard it even at their huts. Ega ; it is the only songster which makes an The semi-religious dances and drinking impression on the natives, who sometimes bouts usual umong the seltled tribes of Amrest their paddles while travelling in their azonian Indians are indulged in to greater small canoes along the shady by-streams, as excess, by the Tucunas than they are by most if struck by the mysterious sounds.
other tribes. The Juruparí or Demon is the
ouiy superior being they have any concepThe Tucúna Indians are a tribe resembling tion of, and his name is mixed up with all much the Shumánas, Passés, Jurís, and their ceremonies, but it is difficult to ascerMauhés in their physical appearance and cus- tain hut they consider to be his attributes toms. They lead, like those tribes, a settled He seems to be believed in simply as a misagricultural life, each horde obeying a chief chievous imp, who is at the bottom of all those mishaps of their daily life, the causes with great spirit for three or four days, Dag. of which are not very immediate or obvious ging during the heats of mid-day, but renewto their dull understandings. It is vain to jog itself with increased vigor every even. try to get information out of a Tucúnu on ing. During the whole time the bride, deckthis subject ; they affect great mystery when ed out with feather ornaments, was under the name is mentioned, and give very con. the charge of the older squxw8, whose busifused answers to questions. It was clear, ness seemed to be sedulously to keep the however, that the idea of a spirit as a bene. bridegroom at a safe distance until the end ficent God or Creator had not entered the of the dreary period of dancing and boosing. minds of these Indians. There is great sim- The Tucúnas have the singular custom, in
ilarity in all their ceremonies and numme- common with the Collíuas and Mauhés, of yies, whether the object is a wedding, the cel- treating their young girls, on their showing 'bration of the feast of fruits, the plucking the first signs of womanhood, as if they had of the hair from the heads of their children, committed some crime. They are sent up to or a holiday got up siraply out of a love of the girao under the smoky and filthy roof, dissipation. Some of the tribe on these oc- and kept there on very meagre diet, somecasións deck themselves with the bright-col- times for a whole month. I heard of one ored feathers of purrots and macaws. The poor girl dying under this treatment. chief wears a head-dress or cap made by fix. The only other tribe of this neighborhood ing the breast-feathers of the Toucan on a concerning which I obtained any informaweb of Bromelia twine, with erect tail. tion where the Mujeronas, whose territory plumes of macaws rising from the crown. embraces several bundred miles of the westThe ciuctures of the arms and legs are also ern bank of the River Jauarí, an affluont of then ornamented with bunches of feathers. the Solimoens, 120 miles beyond St. Paulo. Others wear masked dresses. These are long These are a fierce, indomitable, and bostile cloaks reaching below the knee, and made people, like the Aráras of the River Madeira ; of the thick whitish-eolored inner bark they are also cannibals. The navigation of of a tree, the fibres of which are inter- the Jauarí js rendered impossible on account laced in 80 regular a manner, that the of the Majeronas lying id wait on its banks material looks like artificial cloth. The to intercept and murder all travellers, espe. cloak covers the head ; two holes are cut out cially whites. for the eyes, a large round piece of the Four months before my arrival at St. Paucloth stretched on a rim of flexible wood lo, two young half-castes (nearly white) of is stitched on each side to represent ears, the village went to trade on the Jauarí, the and the features are painted in exag- Majerónas having shown signs of abuting gerated style with yellow, red, and black their bostility for a year or iwo previously. streaks. The dresses are sewn into the proper They had not been long gone, when their shapes with thread made of the inner bark canve returned with the news that the two of ihe Uaissíma tree. Sometimes grotesque young fellows bad been shot with arrows, hea i-drusses, representing monkeys' busts or roasted, and eaten by the savages. José Paheads of other animals, made by stretching tricio, with his usual activity in the cause of cloth or skin over a basket-work frumo, are law and order, despatched a party of ained worn at these holidays. The biggest and men of the National Guard to the place to ugliest mask represents tho Juruparí. In make inquiries, and, if the murder should these festival habiliments the Tucínas go appear to be unprovoked, to retaliate. When through their monotonous see-saw and stamp- they reached the settlement of the horde who ing dances, accompanied by singing and had eaten the two men, it was found evacudruumiog. and keep up the sport often for ated, with the exception of one girl, who bad three or four days and nights in succession, heen in the woods when the rest of her peodriaking enormous quantities of caysúma, ple bad taken flight, and whom the guards smoking tobacco, and snufting paricá powder. brought with them to St. Paulo. It was
I could not learn that there was any deep gathered from her, and from other Indians symbolical meaning in theso masked dances, on the Javarí, that the young men had or that they commemorated any past event brought their fate on themselves through in the histury of the tribe. Some of them improper conduct toward the Majorðna seem vaguely intended as a propitiation of women. The girl, on arriving at St. Paulo, the Juruparı, but the masker who represents was taken care of by Senhor José Patricio, the demon sometimes gets drunk along with baptized under the name of Maria, and taught the rest, and is not treated with any rever. Portuguese. I saw a good deal of her, for ence. From all I could make out, these In- my friend sent her daily to my house to fill Chians preserve no memory of events going the water jars, make the fire, and so forth. I beyond the times of their fathers or grand. also gained her good will by extracting the faihers. Almost every joyful event is made grub of an Estrus fly from ber back, and the occasion of a festival-weddings among thus cured her of a painful tumor. She was the rest. A young man who wishes to wed decidedly the best-humored and, to all ap. a Tacúna girl has to demand her hand of her pearance, the kindest-hearted specimen of parents, who arrango the rest of the affair her race I had get scen. She was tall and and fix a day for the marriage ceremony. A very stout : in color much lighter than the wedding which took place in the Christmas ordinary Indian tint, and her ways altoweek while I was at St. Paulo, was kept up gether were more like ibuse of a careless,