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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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It is situated on the top of a mountain slope, where gold is once more exploited like before.

Plateau

When, the next day, we rode the underbrush, on the gradual slope of the plateau, on our way to the main place of the Minas Novas termo, the village of Bom

Rio Fanado

Etching 3 Near Fanado

Sucesso or Fanado, we were suddenly taken aback by a band of Indians, men. and women, who came in complete silence along the road.

They were from the tribe of cannibal Botocudos. Like all the Indians we had seen so far, these were also light cinnamon colored, of medium height, stocky stature, short neck, small eyes, short flat nose, and thick lips. Shiny black hair, uncombed, fell in melting riot; most of them had it shaved around their heads, up to an inch above their ears. Their features were fierce with the inches of plugs that they put into the lower lip and pierced earlobes. The sad conditions of the Coroados, Puris, and Choropians had caused us both the sadness of heart and the sadness of our eyes, as we were now appalled at the sight of these men who, in their frightening countenance, have almost no trace of humanity. Idleness, stupidity, and animal savagery are stamped on their squared, flattened faces, their small elusive eyes; voracity, laziness, and rudeness are evident in their bulging lips, belly, as well as all their stocky torso and uncertain gait. The most horrendous aspect, however, was that of one of the women, whose arms and legs and breasts were covered with blood and swollen pustules and she hobbled behind the horde. She had been found by her husband in the act of infidelity; he, in the jealousy of such a dominant passion among the Indians, had tied her to a tree, pierced her with arrows, and now, abandoned, she could, as badly as she was injured, accompany the band, already repentant of the misstep. Filled with compassion and horror, we offered corn flour to the disgruntled band, and we continued our journey, worried with sad thoughts of these barbarians. Part of the horde went without weapons; almost all of them carried a bundle of white cotton or cheetah clothing that they had received from the Director of the Indians or from compassionate people, with their food provisions in a banana leaf full of cassava under their arms. The weapons the adult men carried were hard bows made of archwood or tapicuru (Bignonia chrysantha?) and a bundle of arrows.

Many had a short knife hanging from their neckline, and their face was painted red,

with a black line across from ear to ear under the nose. The men had their waist wrapped in a piece of banana leaf or a piece of cloth, not so much for decency as to get rid of insects and

Bignonia capreolata

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