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idolatry of their homeland, and appreciate their safe, careless condition under the protection of certain laws, though still so restrictive (Note V). With this mindset I was able to convince myself, many times when I traveled the various mills of the Reconcavo, to concentrate on learning the farming system.

Sugarcane mill

The predominant orogenic formation of the promontory, on which Bahia rests, is of granite and gneiss, often transitioning from one to the other, sometimes with mica schist or leptinite and schist amphibolite.

amphibolite schist

Along the sea, as, for example, in the Public Promenade and Itapagipe, there appears the formation of very rich gray grains of quartz, which contains lignite with visible vegetal texture, and coal, as well as here and there, also volutite, and


still in other places, shells making the transition to chalcedony, enclosing in themselves marine animals, never seen until today. Also the stone coal, which exists near Itapagipe, was exploited, on behalf of the government, by our compatriot Lieutenant Colonel Feldner, although only for a short time.

The soil deposit on the above formation is mostly reddish-yellow clay, mixed with quartz and loamy iron granules, and contains, on uncultivated hills, covered with grasses, little moisture or a large amount of it in the forest, which proves the strength of the vegetation. From the swamps, formerly often flooded, are obtained by adequate drainage of the abundant waters, an excellent light vegetable land, which lends itself to any crop, especially sugar cane.

Sugar plantation

Such earth, which also contains a relative part of clay and therefore proper to receive and conserve water, is the so-called massape. This land is found in the shallow valleys of the Reconcavo rivers, notably around Santo Amaro, Iguape and Maragogipe. The valuable quality of the soil exists here, without calcium carbonate, but rather a small part of limestone earth, in chemical combination with clay and grains.

The vine produces twice a year, in June and December, but many species of parakeets pursue the bunches so eagerly that the grapes need to be wrapped in

Aratinga, the parakeet

cotton bags, as I had occasion to see in the orchard of Mr. Felisberto Caldeira. Nearly all European vegetables can be grown here; however, they are subject to the voracity of ants, snails and birds. It is mainly the ants that sometimes, in a few hours, devastate the most beautiful plantations. To defend the trees against them, they usually