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Minas Novas to Bahia

The termo extends from Minas Novas to the north, from the Diamantino District to the border of the captaincy of Minas Gerais, towards Bahia, to whose province this territory once belonged. To the east, the limit continues to that of

Serra do Mar

Serra do Mar, known under the different names of Serra das Esmeraldas, Serra

Serra das Esmeraldas

dos Aimores, Serra Negra and Serra do Jacui; to the west, Serra Branca, Serra

View from Serra de Itambe

das Almas, Serra de Itambe, Serra do Gaviao, etc., and the Rio Verde. This large

Serra Gaviao

Waterfall of Rio Verde

region, which is approximately 150 leagues in length and 86 leagues in width, has a double physical appearance. The eastern part, above all, from the right bank of Jequitinhonha to the provincial border with the Porto Segura captaincy, is mountainous lands, which rise east of the Aracuai River, at altitudes of three thousand feet, and are covered there with overgrown virgin forest, and, on the edge of them, with high catingas (semi-arid) that, in the dry season, lose their foliage; However, between the Jequitinhonha and Aracuai Rivers, as described above, they have high plateaus,

High plateaus

sometimes covered with simple gramineas, sometimes with scrubland and undergrowth. The western part, from the Jequitinhonha River, is much less populated, by what is called by the common name of sertão (scrublands), and presents uneven ground, very interrupted, sometimes mountainous, sometimes extending in plateaus, that gradually descend to the border of the region. The eastern part of this territory is most suitable for agriculture; the western one for cattle breeding; and indeed, from about thirty years ago, so much development has taken place on this land in the cultivation of cotton, which today is its most important branch of activity.

Cotton plantation

Cotton is usually planted both in the capoes (tree groves) along the floodplains

Etching 2 Capoes, tree groves

of the rivers and streams, and also, and even more advantageously, in the

Etching 10 Catinga in Bahia

catingas (semi-arid land), without leaves in the dry season, which exist there to great extent. In the catingas, they reach sometimes the height of our new oak forests, sometimes resembling twenty-year-old weeds, and sometimes alternate with low, vassoural weeds, which are largely very thick. In the capoes, the soil is stony and mixed with very rich humus; On the other hand, in the catingas themselves, there is a mixture of very fine quartzite grains with dry black moisture. Water is scarce in both. What greatly favors the growth of cotton is the constantly dry and sunny climate of these regions.

Serra do Mar

The high Serra do Mar prevents the passage of wind and wet clouds from the coast; alternatives in hygroscopic air condition are smaller; relatively, rains are rarer; the shape of the dew is weaker, for the sky is almost always cloudless; and the night temperature registers less difference from the day temperature than that on the coast. All these contingencies together, which we can