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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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and he greeted the savages, and made them understand, as far as his knowledge of their language allowed him, that we had come very far to see them, and that our only business was to catch birds, butterflies, and plants.

This statement hardly seemed to impress them; as before, mute hammocks continued to move stealthily as we stalked them. Neither good words nor gifts moved them. At our request to quench our thirst with fresh water, one of them raised his head and, curling his nose in a snarl, pointed to the nearby stream. During this mute conversation, we had time to observe the domestic dispositions of these men in the jungles.

Their abodes were built on the bare earth upon four pillars twelve to fifteen feet high, and were about thirty to forty feet long. The walls, which were lashed with laths and sometimes plastered with mud, were of two men's heights, with the openings fitted with movable palm leaf doors. The ceiling was made of palm leaves and corn husk; the windswept sidewalls were closed on the wind, or, when opened, the roof descended lower on that side. In each of the houses there were fires in different places, for the different families that live there.

Some huts were tent-shaped, made only with palm leaves. To get out of the smoke, there was no other opening than the ceiling and the doors. Hammocks made of cotton thread, replacing the bed, chair, and table, were suspended around the moorings of the beam; they constitute the main focus of the house and often serve as a common bed for husband, wife and child. Some clay pots, baskets of locked palm fiber filled with potatoes, corn, cassava roots, and other greens, gourds with urucu and genipapo paint, a hollowed-out trunk for pounding corn, were all the things they needed for domestic equipment. The men's weapons, bow and arrows, were lying there against the walls.

Weapons

In the chief's hut hung an ox-horn with a severed end, whereby he warned his people, scattered about the neighborhood, of the arrival of a white man, or any other event, and called them to a party or to war.

The maraca, a long gourd full of corn grains and fitted with a handle, which they use as castanets in the dances, some tufts or crowns of variegated feathers to adorn their head and arms on feast days, complete the simple supply of the house. Many beautiful and hitherto unknown parrots, some species of wild chickens, especially the beautiful jacu (Penelope Marail, P. leucoptera),

Penelope marail

 

 

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