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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


their tribes; they barely speak their native language and easily express themselves in Portuguese. This settlement, in the form of a colony, under the rule of an ecclesiastical, was the work of the Jesuits. We had to wait here at full tide, and only continued our journey after midnight.

A few hours of sailing took us to Pai Simao, a village that consisted of scattered houses, where a part of our shipment had to be landed, in view of the low water places. In the vicinity of the warehouses, where surplus cotton bales are deposited, the Carmelite Convent of Maranhao has a large estate, Fazenda do Carmo, or Pottery, where 90 slaves are generally engaged in the manufacture of earthenware pottery.

With the thin gray clay, abundant in the surroundings, they bake in three ovens mostly large pots and round plates. This pottery is not glazed; they content themselves with giving it a red color by rubbing it with water, which mixes the clay containing color. Although the material is identical to that made in Rio de Janeiro, small round beakers come from Maranhao. In addition to this very

lucrative production of pottery, some cotton is planted on the farm and cattle are raised, only for the use of the household.

The farm was run by a monk who, after three years, is replaced by another brother. This is not the only property of that convent, because another farm, located on the Mearim River, equipped with an equal number of slaves, provides mainly cattle, and cultivates sugar cane.

Sugarcane

In addition, the Carmelites have, in front of the city of Maranhao (Sao Luis), a Hospice of Our Lady of Bonfim, in fact independent of the convent, and which is under the supervision of the provincial vicar, which is also supreme authority for the Carmelites of Para, appointed by the provincial government of Lisbon. After the expulsion of the Jesuits from the two northernmost provinces of Brazil, many of the burdens that were entrusted to them were transferred to the Carmelite order which is generally esteemed for the industriousness with which it undertakes the mission of convert the indians. From now on the number of farms established by the river will be ever greater; They are part of the Parish of Nossa Senhora do Rosario, commonly called Itapicuru Grande, where the commander examines travelers' passports. Here the banks of the river begin to coat themselves with red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, L.), and announce the proximity of the ocean.

Rhizophora mangle
   
In this region the Portuguese built in 1620, on the right bank of the river, a fortress, the fortress of Calvario or Vera Cruz - destined

291