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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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sea sand, which may be used in constant formation as a building material; when, however, the shell mass predominates, lime is produced. Shell banks, which made a complete transition to marble, were cited by M. Ferreira da Camara in Ilheus County,

but were not found in the places we traveled. The existence of these shell banks, as well as the coral reefs, even many miles away from the coast, and all the formation of the country at this latitude, seem to indicate that the sea recedes more and more, and leaves on the land ashore productions from their wet beginnings.

Lake Alamada today

On the southernmost coasts, especially those of Porto Seguro and Abrolhos, it appears that the fishermen, who are engaged in fishing and preparing the grouper - very tasty fish, which is salted and exported, - often also fish very large and precious corals.

Province of Porto Segura

II) In the woods of Almada, future travelers need to observe the most excellent Brazilian woods for flowering and fruiting, thus filling a significant gap, since so far few have been classified. The so-called hardwoods or paus de lei (whose felling is forbidden to the inhabitants, or only allowed by the government for certain purposes), are here trees of such prodigious height, and such a relatively short time of flowering, that travelers' attempts to get their flowers often fail.

Jacaranda

Etching 31 Jacaranda

White and black jacaranda, aderno and pau-de-arco, are here considered the best woods; Vinasse, piqui and putumaju are suitable for shipbuilding, especially the latter two for waterwheels. Sapucaia, jequitiba and jatai or quebra-machado, are in particular used for the large canoes, in which the inhabitants sail the rivers, and are also exported to the shipyards of Bahia. Angelim, laurel, jiboia, macaranduba, sucupira, serve to build houses and mills. Pau-de-estopa (a species of Lecythis) in quantity gives a very strong and fibrous bark, which serves to caulk the ships. Plants of healing virtues are here: the Brazilian nutmeg, bicuiba - (Myristica officinalis, Mart.), A species of false sarsaparilla (Herreria salsaparilha, Mart.);

Herreria salsparilha

a legume (probably of the genus Myrospermum) gives a balsam very similar to the true Peruvian balsam, which the Indians bring, in the gourd of the new fruits of sapucaia, to the coast of Ilheus, but more often to the provinces of Porto Seguro and Espirito Santo, whence it is sent to Bahia.

Also belonging to these woods, there is a tree, which I don't know, from which a resin of beautiful yellow color and great transparency is collected in small pieces, which in Bahia they showed me with the name of sertao rosin-lacre, or rosin imbirucu. This is the same substance that the Tocantins River Indians usually thread, like bright chopsticks, through their pierced lips and ears. According to the research of my friend Dr. Buchner, this resin, despite its color and transparency, hardly lends itself to lacquer because it is very tender and, dissolved in alcohol, forms only an insignificant layer.

III) The feasts of the early days of the new year, which we attend at Ilheus Village, are probably identical to our popular holdiays, being a tradition of the Saturnalia celebrated at Christmas in Cornwall, in which the knight Sao Jorge

Sao Joao

and his pagan adversary speak in verse. In northern England and Scotland, masked representations are made, the so-called guizards, which go from house to house and feature the pagan adversary as a comic character with the name of ananimal. These popular English actors are said to be so eloquent, as however, the Brazilian actors are not; only at the festive banquet do they become increasingly noisy, accompanying the dance music with stanzas of popular songs. These often celebrate local events, and are sometimes improvisations of the dancers themselves. Many of these stanzas are funny, others lewd. We saw, among others, the lundu, accompanied by the following verses:
“I understand that you deserve me / I understand that you deserve me / I understand your merit already has another love / whom you love the most.”

Dancing the Lundu

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