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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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meat and food disappears for any reason, they believe that the dead have been satisfied, and long avoid eating the same meat of the animal that they offered (1). This habit, which is widespread among most Indian tribes, may prove that they have a notion, though very vague, of the immortality of the soul, or it may also have to do with the imprecise idea of the transmigration of souls. Moreover, they reach an advanced age; I met one of them a hundred years old whose hair was only gray, not yet bleached.

In cohabitation with whites, their mortality increases, and they succumb mainly to mumps or acute fevers. The colony ended up losing just a part of its members due to these diseases, thus giving rise to the skeleton of a man we saw in this tribe. We were afraid at first to offend the feelings of the Indians with such research; but they themselves implied what they wished we would. This man's skull was characterized by the extreme solidity and weight of the bone substance, the strong development of the lower jaw, and the great prominence of the foreheads; This results in the facial line being drawn from the lower jaw joint to the upper end of the nasal bone, with the horizontal diameter of the head, a much smaller angle (68 °) than that formed with that diameter and the protuberances (76). °).

The face of the Camachas often shows a strange shape of the upper lip; the short, muscular neck does not let the trachea stand out, but little, and for that reason the speech sounds like a faint, monotonous murmur, during which the lips move little, and even the teeth intersect, barely moving, producing nasal and palatine sounds that are very common in the language of the Camacha, and sometimes the words, no doubt very long and interconnected, become strange in the accentuation, because the sound, if emitted from the bottom of the chest, becomes muffled again in the mouth. In fact the language is really poor and poorly adapted and yet very energetic.

With the vocabulary available to them, they had very meager words when we entered their huts asking for information about the utensils of their poor abode. A boy was busy shaving some children's eyebrows, disfigurement

(I) The conception of the immortality of the soul, existing in the brain of these degraded men, must be very vague, if we consider the manifestations of an Indian, who had lost his wife and been comforted by the missionary himself. Separating the soul from the body, he could not consider. The question: "Where was your wife?" he answered: - "In the church where she was buried". So he wanted to bring her pork or some other food there and even serve her whatever was most pleasing to her. He added that the snake meat must be very pleasant to the dead, and therefore works were avoided with godly respect. In the face of such a low degree of development, it is no wonder that the holy priest was already satisfied that he could, on this pretext, call the sens catechumens to the church, where the women, lying on the floor, and the men standing, stood as statues barely began in the formulas of worship.

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