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Iron and magnetite ore, sometimes compact, sometimes mixed with quartz, is strongly magnetic, or oligyst, which often replaces mica in granite. Perhaps this mineral would lend itself to exploration if the inhabitants did not lack the necessary fuel.

Rio Seco in drought season

After we had completed another day's march north of the Rio Seco, we camped on a round granite mound covered with dense green. The scenery, to our great pleasure, was slowly flooding. It had been raining here, and the vegetation, already more viscous due to the proximity of the sea, appeared to us in its true spring splendor.

With this glimpse of green, whose long deprivation we suffered, we felt so comforted that we decided to go on an excursion to visit the Indians of Vila da Pedra Branca, a league and a half to S. S. W. of


Tapera, where we had planned our stop. The owner of this farm accompanied us there, along a narrow path, among overgrown hills. We found rows of low mud-clad straws huts, and among them a church of the same construction, distinguished only by a poorly ornamented altar. Opposite this temple, we saw most of the Indians and a few settlers from other races gathered to hear mass.

The forest people, belonging to the Cariris and Sabujas tribes who have lived here for some thirty years, gathered under the direction of a Brazilian judge and a clerk. The first live in the very village of Pedra Branca; the others in a village called Caranguejo, half an hour further south. Before settling under Brazilian rule, they lived scattered in the woods of neighboring hills. Currently, they form a district of about 600 souls. Both tribes entertain relations of mutual good harmony, and are not distinguished from each other, either by the conformation of the body, nor by the customs and habits, but only by the difference of languages. They are of medium height, very slender, with no strong complexion, of light brown color, they allow to grow the messy hair, they are not deformed by tattoos, or by the use of bumps on the lips, nose, or ears. However, there is nothing that distinguishes them from other Indians in Brazil.

As with the Coroados, their relationships are completely dependent on whites; This did not exert a favorable influence on their spiritual development, nor did it ennoble the expression on their faces. They are lazy, slothful dreamers, indifferent to any stimulus but the lowest passions, and reveal in the petty expression of their faces a state of moral decay. More likely to adopt defects than the virtues of