a small church of the same construction, and some open ranches, in which we found, upon arrival, three families of warriors who had moved from Almada there, as well as some individuals, women, and children of the Camacha tribe.
These last ones constitute, nowadays, the main nucleus of the population, counting about sixty to seventy souls; equal numbers died of malignant fevers, or dispersed soon after the founding of the village. We now found the remaining population incomplete, for most of the men had been for a week touring the Minas frontier, where they would fetch bows for their arrows and a plant to poison the tips.
All these Indians had been villagers, thanks to the efforts of a venerated priest, Friar Ludovico Liorne (of Livorno) of the Capuchin convent of the Bahian capital, who instructed them both in elementary church doctrines and in agriculture. If there was anyone capable of converting these restless and uneducated savages to the feelings of peace and obedience from the voice of religion, it could not be other than that worthy elder. Serenity and good humor showed in the face of this man, whose hair and beard gleamed in the well-appointed office of shepherd of souls, and his noble bearing imposed him, as a higher species, on the shy forest people, who, by trusting him, were willing to receive the first impressions of religious sentiment. When such means of humanization fail to achieve their ends, then it is doubtful that the condition of man to these fallen children of America can be raised. And yet, how insignificant the progress of the camacas in learning seemed to us, when the worthy missionary described to us the incidents of their lives and actions! A few weeks ago, a woman in a jealous rage had killed her own son; another had dug up the remains of her beloved son a few months earlier, scraped the bones and cooked the fleshy parts, sipping the broth, and again buried the clean bones, wrapped in palm leaves. Barbarian excesses, which pervert the path of humanity!
The nation of the Camacas (the word that the Portuguese also writes as camacases and still being called by the names of mongoioz, mougoyos or monxocos) lives between Rio das Contas and Rio Pardo. Their total number is estimated at 2,000 souls, but this cannot be accepted as accurate, because they live in isolated huts or clustered in rags, scattered in the woods and also moving from one location to another.
Minas Novas to Bahia
They lived in the Gravata River forests, in Minas Novas, as their preferred region, and where there are six of their villages.