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mine produced at that time (in Cuiaba, they are said to have dug up in the early months of the discovery four hundred golden arrobas) it was only natural that the adventurers would not think of doing anything that would not immediately satisfy their thirst for gold. It was abandoned until the planting of maize and cassava, so necessary, was abandoned for a long time causing greater dependence on imports from Sao Paulo; to this point the shortage of staple goods, as well as other indispensable articles, could only be obtained at fabulous prices. The colony was also surrounded by enemy tribes.


The Guaicurus, also a large tribe, who lived in the grassy plains between the Embotatai and Sao Lourenco Rivers, attacked the settlers on their lands and in the mines, and, having obtained a few canoes, chased the Paulista vessels wherever they encountered them. For this reason, the navigation of the Embotatai River (Imbotetei) was abandoned, which, above all, was disturbed by the head waters, and those of the Tacoari, which runs farther north and ends in Paraguay; This route was later generally frequented. For this reason, from the year 1723 onwards it was common for the boats of São Paulo to set sail on the

Porto Feliz

occasion of the flood, from Porto Feliz, after the rainy season (in February or March), to carry the most necessary workers, ammunition and mine exploration tools to Cuiaba.


These fleets were sometimes over a hundred canoes, and they carried with them military escorts. Even these considerable expeditions were attacked by the belligerent Indians in the early years, and only with the growth of the population in the land of gold was it possible to count them as less and less. The discovery and exploitation of the rich mines of Vila Bela (1735) increased the influx of settlers. In 1736 the Goias road was opened, whose mines had been closed twelve years earlier, when fifteen hundred people left these mines to get richer in Mato Grosso faster; later, the trips from Cuiaba to the Amazon River and Para

Trade route-=Cuiaba to Amazon

(in 1742 by Manuel de Lima, the Guapore and Madeira Rivers; and in 1744, by Joao de Sousa, the Arinos and Tapajos) proved the possibility of communication between Mato Grosso and Para. However, the way through the rivers was always much more frequent, leaving from Porto Feliz. Also the first Governor of Mato Grosso, Monsignor Antonio Rolim de Moura, took this route to go to the new provinces (1751). Only as the population of Goias grew, the dirt road began to be more frequented, the water route of Tiete being little by little abandoned; Today, only six to ten canoes leave from Porto Feliz to Cuiaba.