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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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A considerable part of the tenth (decimo) is constituted by the taxation of turtle butter. This should be about 1,000 pots, while in Belem do Para the yield is 3,000 pots. It also charges the tenth for chickens, pigs, etc., and that is the responsibility of the tenant farmers. State officials receive, instead of the emoluments, a portion of that tenth. In the face of this inadequate income of the province, the efforts of Almeida da Gama Lobo, who administered the province from 1781 to 1788, were all the more significant in improving finances with the foundation of factories, in which the Indians worked, at a small salary, for the government.

Its two institutions, a cotton spinning with weaving and a pottery factory, still exist. The first renders about 16,000 daily; the second, 14,000. In the house of cloth weaving, a large but rather rough building, some 20 or 30 Indians worked. The cotton spun here, constituting the greater percentage of the tenth, is fine and good; only the threads are inferior, which women spin coarsely on poorly built looms, few of which work today.

Improved cloth factory in Brazil, late 1800s

It seems that a "roll of cloth" of 32,000 was sometimes made daily. Each spinner produces per week at least a half pound of cotton thread, for which he receives 100 crusados. The pottery employs only whitish and reddish clay, which lies in considerable layers on the bank on the southern part of the river. It is used, for the most part, for non-glazed bowls, particularly pates for turtle butter, and tiles for roofing. In this work more women are employed than men. These two institutions, in fact, do not correspond very well to the founder's good intentions, for they took women from their families and from their maternal duties. In a country of so few men, it seems that there should be the greatest commitment to promoting marriages. In the upper basin of the Rio Negro and Rio Branco, there are still other establishments which employ only men, also pure Indians.

Piacoaba, hemp rope

The most profitable of these are the cable factories, piacoaba, which are the best ropes of hemp in Russia, which are usually used in the Arsenal of Belem do Para, and are also exported to the western islands. The ropes are of great strength, toughness and hardness, and resist immersion in water for infinite time. Unfortunately, I can not say with certainty if the Rio Negro rope is the same or one made from one of the several species of palm trees observed in Bahia, because I did not see it. Mr. von Humboldt refers to it without comment, under the name of Chiquechique, which places it on the upper Rio Negro (in Bahia, that name is given to the prickly and bushy cactus). The Spaniards of Sao Carlos, Rio Negro,

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