next arrow
previous

Remember the Rainforest 1

 

Home

Expedition Index

Itinerary

Etchings

Maps

Plants

Animals

People / Scenes

Lessons

Green Girl's Eco Club

Eco SuperHeroes RTR2

Free Posters

Authors / Artists

Contact us

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


villages. If the expedition is successful, the captured are forced to recognize the sovereignty of Portugal and to establish themselves, under the protection of the king, among the Brazilians.

Director of Indian village

Thus, the tribe or its members who surrender to the superiority of the adversary, abandon their home and are reunited in a village, generally distant from other Brazilian towns, where they are under the inspection of a director, kept in the confines of the government, sometimes with the cooperation of an agent chosen in their midst; they work in the fields, and are instructed in the faith by an ecclesiastic.

Priest instructs indians

What will be the fruits of such a violent transition is not difficult to predict. The captured Indian is required to renounce all his native habits, tendencies and customs, and even more to be subject to laws and to a religion he has never known. The fatal consequence is that the most resolute desire to escape, as soon as possible, the intolerable embarrassment, and the ones who remain are strangers, without assimilating among Brazilians, and are subject to the most lugubrious physical and moral distress. Only by great moral force could any favorable change be expected in these disadvantaged children of the jungles; but such energy the inspector does not always have, nor the minister of worship. In this way, these newcomers are left to themselves, feeling the loss of their primitive way of life, without anyone who inspires them, and finally lose, in idleness and drunkenness, the little soul strength they had, while living independently in the woods. It is remarkable how this lack of spiritual development reacts in their physical organization, how the Indians so quickly contract the illnesses of Europeans, how the fertility of women decreases, and how the robust and resilient spirit of the inhabitants wears and weakens. This sad condition of village settlement attempts, as seen almost everywhere in Brazil, seems to indicate that there is a greater advantage in another process, whereby the Indians submitted are not concentrated but are distributed among the farms. This was done, by order of the present governor, with the Pimenteiras, who from 1775, from time to time, immigrated from the region between the sources of the Piaui and Gurgueia Rivers, to overpopulate the Alto Piaui Farms.

Earlier, some of them had already been forced by Jose Dias Soares to recognize the sovereignty of Portugal, and they settled quietly on Lake a do Sal; but most of them still wander independently, and farmers have the right to seize all they can catch, and can hold them for 10 years in slavery, or sell them.

This procedure is in accordance with the principles considered legal at the beginning of this century against the Botocudo cannibals of Minas Gerais and Porto Seguro. It was then, by virtue of their inhuman

273