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In Minas Novas, they were mentioned to us among the tribes that were to inhabit the jungles of the eastern border and the interior of Porto Seguro;

Province of Porto Seguro

however, they are considered to be less scattered tribes, and it seems likely that the largest number of them are currently camped between the headwaters of the Cachoeira River

Cachoeira River

and the Gonguje River, a tributary of the Rio das Contas. Part of them lives further west, near the Arraial de Conquista, in the Serra do Mundo Novo.

His Highness Prince Maximilian von Neuwied observed them there, and along the way through the virgin forests of Ilheus, as well as a large number of them, who are known by the name of menians, near Belmonte Village. We owe you, the reader, the precious news about the customs and particularities of such Indians, which agree with the remarks we made when we were in Sao Pedro de Alcantara.

The Camacas we saw there seemed to us a vigorous and healthy human race, broad-chested, fleshy with a dark brown, reddish, or copper color. The tallest individual among them was five feet and six inches (Parisian measure). In the features of their face, nothing was different from the other Indians, except perhaps the less sloping and higher forehead than that of the undeveloped Cariris and Sabujas. Their hair was loose, uncut, and of extraordinary length, tangled. Only a few men had beards. In all their movements they showed agility and readiness, characteristic of the American Indians. The men walked entirely naked or dressed in short cotton shorts, provided by the missionary. In the first case, we observed that they carried on some part of the body the tacanhoba (1), a cartridge made with palm leaf (patioba), and it was noted that they never failed to carefully tie or change it when they appeared before the missionary. They then thought themselves fully clothed, and thus felt they did not offend morals at all. The women wore multicolored cheetah skirts, and were happy to do various jobs and services at their Christian master's abode, to which they seemed to show much respect. They know how to make cotton and palm fiber bags, hunting bags and short, square aprons that they prefer to wear around their hips rather than European clothing, and they dye these cloths red with the seeds of the annatto (Bixa Orellana, L.), black with genipap tree fruits (Genipa americana, L.) and yellow with tatagiba (Brousonetia tinctoria, Kunth.). They also know how to make crazy clay.

Bixa orellana

Genipa americana

Brousonetia tinctoria

(I) Tacanhoba, as seen in the aforementioned work by Drs. Piraja da Silva and Paulo Wolf (p. 142), and corruption of taconha oba, meaning taconha the "virile member" and oba, "leaf" (Rev. Inst. Hist. and Geogr. Bras.).

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