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The dwelling house usually has a sufficient number of rooms; it has a balcony on the main facade; and like the great storehouses, is covered with tiles. From Caxias to near the Codo River, the landscape of the vegetation of the higher or lower banks opens, in green fertile meadows, sometimes interrupted by low

Areca, the Indian palm tree

sarcal or Indian palm trees, sometimes to expand freely to the east and west. To the north, however, the forest stretches uninterruptedly, from the river bank to three or five leagues inland. When they described the region of this river as the most fertile for the cultivation of cotton,

Gossypium vitifolium, the cotton tree

and, above all, as the most favorable ground for all kinds of crops, we were surprised at first to see relatively few plantations, among the woods and uncultivated fields. Only by walking through one of these cotton farms did we get to know the reason for this apparent solitude on the mountain with almost incredible fertility. Although the present time of the year was a time of

secondary, temporary harvest, finding, however, on some cotton plantations, all flapping white fibers flying as the innumerable capsules burst, we were convinced that a plantation, covering the margins without interruption just on this river alone could supply cotton for consumption across Europe. This great strength of the soil, which reminded us of being close to the equator, can also be found in all kinds of fruits. For the first time, we saw here the banana tree (here called pacova), bent to the ground by the weight of the bunches; In general, in a bunch of 80 bananas, each one has a thickness one foot. Also growing here are the oversized ears of Turkish wheat, squash, watermelons and guavas.

Etching 55 Banana plantation

Banana plantations often extend almost near the top of the highs bank of the river. These banks, covered with hawthorn and palm trees, lend themselves less than those of the Sao Francisco River to watermelon and other similar crops.

Persea gratissima, the avocado tree

In the vicinity of the crops, the avocado tree (Persea gratissima, Gaertn.) is not uncommon, whose pear-sized fruit offers, around the seed, tasty and fresh pulp, which is eaten with sugar.


Half of the trip to the village of Itapicuru-Mirim was a long and monotonous sailing; the barge sometimes ran into rocks and sand banks, sometimes got caught between tree trunks, brought on by this year's great flood. The old master of the boat claimed that the river's sandbars grew steadily and would increase still more with the cultivation of the banks, whose plowed ground was sinking. This last village, mentioned above, which we reached on June 10, is situated on an elevation, the eastern bank of the river, and only gives an outward perception of the considerable trade moving from here to

Itapicuru-Mirim trade exchange