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was added to the garrison and unfortunately, both he and the young Miranha, his companion, died, barely supporting the change of climate and the new conditions of the exterior.

On March 11, I entered Barra do Rio Negro, where I had the good fortune to press my friend, Dr. Spix, again in my arms.

(1) When I sailed in the Japura, I did not know at all what I learned later through research. Mr. von Humboldt ("Relat.", 11, page 697) related the story about a German who, in the sixteenth century, had been seen in that river. The expedition of Phil. von Hutten (Urre), who in 1541 sought Eldorado from Venezuela traveling in the Guaviare, Uaupes and Japura regions, gaving victorious combat to the Omaguas; it seems, however, that it left no historical record in Brazil.

Omagua with wedge-head

The fact is that, in more recent times, the Spaniards did not travel at all in the upper part of the Japura, which they call Caqueta. The few friars of the Franciscan missions of the Andaquis, dependent on San Juan de los Llanos, could scarcely see the waterfalls that must be found four days' journey.

Cupati waterfall. Brazil

Its eastern mission to Santa Maria may have been established at the latitude of the mouth of the Amori River (0 ° 36 'n.), and was some thirty years ago destroyed by the Umauas. The journey of the guardian, Pr. Francisco Pugnet, from the shores of Upper Japura to Guaviare, related by Mr. von Humboldt ("Relat.", II, page 459), also makes no mention of the river basin traveled by me. Only the Commission of Ibero-Lusitana borders had been before me in these regions. That the bifurcation of the Japura to the Orinoco and the Amazon, indicated in many maps since 1655, is based on false information, and does not exist, which was proved by the investigations of that Commission.

(2) Distinctions of Indian tribes. - The basin of the Japura, is inhabited by a large number of hordes and tribes, each distinct from the others (and it is impossible to give a strict designation to these communities, whose ancestors are, as it were, unknown), and it is precisely here that the custom of characterizing each tribe by its distinctive signs.

Tribes of Northwestern Brazil and Peru

Many times I asked the Indians themselves the reason for these national marks, that can only be executed under long suffering, and the usual response was: "These signs served for each one of them to recognize their own tribe". As for the tradition or myth, upon which to base the custom, nowhere could I discover anything. It is necessary to remember the great number of hordes, families or tribes that live in proximity, who find in their hunting and expeditions, some inherited grudges that continue from generation to generation,

and the interlacing of many alliances and friendships that are formed by this constant state of war, and finally the difficulty of understanding in the midst of such a wide variety of languages. All this, then, justifies the need for the characteristic signs, so that they can recognize each other quickly and from afar. The Indian is never confined to a territory that is the exclusive and recognized possession of his tribe, and may therefore be considered upon being encountered as an enemy, a thief of the others hunt; this gives the reason for the singular disfigurations that the indian uses as a vivacious and congenial brand to distinguish him in peace, war, or neutrality. This point of view is based on the fact that tribes of equal character generally live in peace, and that every other tribe is always their declared enemy. One of the most common experiences, when one inquires of an Indian any particularity of his tribe, the indian never ceases to add the names of his hereditary enemies. These marks are always based on the animal kingdom (they indicate similarities with macaws, different species of monkeys, oncas, etc.), and more generalized are the signs made by the tattoo, especially on the face, that the parents begin to practice already in the their children, injuring their skin with a bundle of

Juri tatoo

 

 

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