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The journey through the narrow canal of Uruara, which is usually calculated at seven leagues,

went happily, until the afternoon of September 16th when we once again entered the Amazon itself. Spending the night on the shores or beaches, is always preferable to staying in the canals.

Amazon river beaches

The more open scenario, the view of the powerful flow, and the gentle breeze, which always eliminates some of the mosquitoes, are amenities which add to a more abundant fishery; The Indians rarely lay the hooks or net in the river, without harvesting their intended prey. Our Indians always rejoice, anticipating the moment they can drop the oars, to surrender to this favorite occupation. They would just stop the canoe, and they'd throw the fishhooks off the bow.

Some jumped overboard, releasing exclamations of pleasure, seeking a favorable place to drop the anchor, while others soon lit the fire onshore to prepare the fish. They were ecstatic, surrendering to jubilation. A good ration of rum, which on these occasions we never neglected to give them, had the salutary effect of making them cheerful, social people and full of energy. The Indians were as handy with rum as they were with fishing. Looking in the water, the Indian sees and distinguishes in the distance the most diverse fish, chooses with insight the right specie of fish, which seems to attract the fish of the moment, and then uses his equipment with incredible speed. He rarely uses a stick to hold the line; he winds it, ingeniously, and even if it is from the far bank, in the river, he feels, without seeing, the slightest tremor from the fish's contact with the hook. I have often heard of Indians that attracted fish by the smell, as well as by the form of the bait and, to my great amazement, they caught precisely the fish, whose special lures they had manufactured, The lures were made either from rags, from paper, from cork, from an insect, fish or salted meat, and all done so cleverly, perfect for deceiving the fish.

When one thinks of the numberless tribes of these primitive Brazilians, living in proximity to these vast waters, nourishing themselves with fish, as well as terrestrial animals, and relatively few edible vegetables, it should not be surprising that, despite all their savagery, they possess skills and even knowledge, to us totally unknown, in the art of fishing.

The Indians’ fishing is done with the same weapons they use against other animals and in war: they snatch the fish out of its element, and sometimes they pour various substances in the water to numb the fish.

The hunting of fish is done with the spear, the dart, the arrow or with the club. The arrows have, in general, splinters on the ends, and are armed with hooks in two separate parts. As soon as the tip hooks the fish, and it starts to escape to the bottom, a thin line in the front of the arrow is unwinding, and the part is brought to the surface of the water, indicating where to fetch the fish. The agility of the