Remember the Rainforest 1
Indians, whose disposition tends towards the belief in the supernatural forces. The present paje (1), snake healer, was of the Juri tribe.
He had the word paa, "devil," incessantly in his mouth and with that he seemed to impress particularly the feminine part of society, which treated him with feared deference. We left Maripi, after having changed to a bigger boat. Besides Gregorio, we still had as a companion the chief of the Jumanas.
Gregorio himself had advised, as a measure of prudence, to invite the leaders of various tribes to travel with us, and he insisted especially that we should approach Pachico (the Indian name for Francis), a powerful man and chief of the Cortes, acclaimed for his strategies, who lived above Sao Joao do Principe.
The northern shore, along which we sailed, reaches, here and there, to the height of 30 feet. It consists of red clay, or, albeit rare, of the same ferruginous, brown, or red-violaceous stonework we have observed in such a great extent on the lower Amazon.
Great clumps of a beautiful canarana, with pale gold flower clusters (Paspalus pulcher, Nees), are here one of the most common plants. Half a league above Maripi, we passed through the cool black waters of Vanacaru, a canal, which, according to the Indians, is the drainage of the great lake Aiama, and must run far to the north sides.
Here, in 1773, two hordes of the Anianas and Jucunas had been domiciled in the village with the name of Sao Mateus, in the neighboring diocese, but at present there is no more vestige of it; it seems that the Anianas have all gone extinct. Also in Maripi-Tapera, a high place on the bank, a league to the west, where the present inhabitants of Maripi were domiciled before an assault of the Uaupes,
Uaupes, or Tucanos today
who made them decide to move downstream, and today are only in the woods. Why is it that cultivated plants, cassava, maize and banana plants persist so recently in the vicinity of the old colonies? I also asked myself this question without being able to find an answer. It should almost be believed that these plants, which have
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(I) The word paje (piaje, Piacce) is common, as well as many others, in the languages of the Caribs, Tamanacos and Tupis, and I hesitate to use it as regards the shamans of the tribes, since the witchcraft is equal that practiced by the peoples of the Guianas and the rest of the South American continent. Exorcisms with spitting, with touches, massages, fumigations, etc., for those who spend some time among the Indians, are practices seen every day, since the paje thinks that it is in his interest to show himself, as much as possible, as busy. In all these manipulations of meddling chatter, I have never encountered a glimpse of higher knowledge or special medical experience. They exercise their office with such a blind belief in the effect of the treatment and so completely unconcerned with the diagnosis of the case that one must think that they are mistaken for being themselves deceived by their own prejudices.
In addition, the Juris,
as well as the Uainumas,
the Cauixanas and many other tribes do not use a particular expression for "God.“ The Tupi term for God, used in the Tupi language, means the " evil demon. “