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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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in the raw state to Rio de Janeiro and Bahia; But here are also established some stonecutters, who prepare the stones, although with bad taste, to tell the truth.
 
 Already in the year 1572, with the discovery voyage of Sebastiao Fernandes Tourinho, from Porto Seguro, which penetrated the Rio Doce in Minas Gerais, the legend had spread of the richness of Serra Negra or Serra das Esmeraldas, and the unknown lagoon of Vupabucu, on whose banks lay gold and precious stones in profusion, a new Golden Pond, which ignited the imagination and entrepreneurial spirit of various adventurers.

Adventurers from Sao Paulo

The most remarkable thing is that the fable of a gold-filled lagoon has been preserved to this day by the inhabitants of Minas Novas, and is situated to the east between the Jequitinhonha River and the three springs of the Sao Mateus River, which are commonly called - The Americanas, by the Marambaias Indians, on the border of the Porto Seguro captaincy.

Province of Porto Segura (see green)

Also in these areas of closed and almost impenetrable jungles where almost all the precious stones mentioned above are sought after by poor mulattos and blacks, they are always at risk of an assault by Indian enemies; and soon the treasures are sold to jewelers in the villages. In the year 1808, a bold miner, Manuel Rodrigues Frois, opened in the bush, with great difficulties, a path that did not last long with the inevitable invasion by the vegetation. No planter dared to settle there, fearful of assault.

Botocudos exporting gemstones

Of the Botocudos, their stone collectors are forced to carry the gems in their mouths for many weeks of transportation and sometimes resorted to wild fruits and roots for their only nourishment.

Some regions of the termo once seemed to justify the reputation of golden wealth, and there important mines were opened in the village of Chapada; It seems, however, that the quantity of the precious mineral has diminished there, and today, at most, there are about 150 men busy washing gold, especially in Chapada and Aracuai.

Gold washing

After this exposure of the physical conditions of the country and its productions, and remembering that the settlement began to form only in the second decade of the last century, it is not surprising that in the whole termo only 36,000 inhabitants were counted.

According to the statistical notes, published at the end of the chapter (Note I), in the year 1812, the entire population numbered only 30,000 souls, and in recent years, only in the direction of the new road to Bahia, passing through Conquesto, did the population increase a little. This lack of population is the measure of the condition in which the industrial activity, commerce and culture of the inhabitants are found, which is found to be much lower than in the southern areas of Minas Gerais. Homes, household utensils and other needs of these people, most resemble

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