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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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as fast as we could, on hired horses led by a sertanejo, familiar with the way. We left the village at nine o'clock in the evening of March 16, and rode by starlight for two hours to the miserable Jua Farm. Early in the morning, we rode again on horseback to feed the animals at Pouso, another far-off farm three leagues distant. Here we saw the poverty and the misery of the sertanejos, to the full extent. The residents, due to the lack of food, due to the sterility of the dry weather, were forced to prepare, with the marrow of the aricuri palm stems

Etching 10 Cocos coronata

(cocos coronata, M.), a species of corn that is no more rich in nutritious substance than the bread of the Normans, made with the bark of the pines. For this purpose the old trunks are cracked lengthwise, and by tapping and shaking the woody fibers the starch in the middle is obtained. This flour, mixed naturally with fiber particles, then kneaded into balls, boiled in water and eaten right away, or after sun-drying. One can easily imagine how this poor, bitter-tasting bread must be indigestible and poor in nutrition. They are incapable of preservation due to the absolute lack of starch, and, after a few days of preparation, are nothing better than sawdust.

Serra de ltiuba
   
The path slowly climbs up to Fazenda Cocho d´Agua, located on the western slope of Serra de ltiuba. Before we arrived, we found areas with groves of

Spondias tuberosa

catinga, in which the bushes (Spondias tuberosa, Arr.), were abundant with fruits, similar to "queen claudia". The local people delighted us with the imbuzada, kind of bittersweet soup, prepared with the juice of this fruit, with hot milk and brown sugar.

The formation of the buttresses, as well as the Serra de Itiuba itself, is generally granite-gneissic.

Granite-gneiss

The stone is usually completely bare, but here and there, in the shallow plains, there is a layer of reddish clay, from three to four feet high, that the sertanejos usually dig to the depth of some feet, forming cauldrons and tanks to conserve rainwater; and in them appear innumerable bones of antediluvian animals, but so damaged and scattered, that one can hardly count on finding an entire skeleton. The bones, which we were able to collect in a recognizable state here, were a lower jaw, a dorsal vertebra, and a mastodonous shoulder blade. (Note II).

Mastodon

Other parts, especially ribs and femurs, are often unearthed here in the backcountry; However, we were not so lucky, because all the pieces that appeared to us were completely damaged. Also near the neighboring Barriga Mole Farm, according to residents,

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