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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


peace, had committed their arms to their orders against the Muras,

who, wandering in small bands, became dangerous, like thieves and robbers, wanting to sail to the river and to the colonies. This campaign of the Mundurucus, aided by Portuguese arms, continued for years, with cruelty without an example, resulting in the weakening of the Muras, of which a part went south towards the falls of the Madeira River, while another part remained, in small hordes, in the main river, where they were more annoying than dangerous, yet always practicing petty thefts.

The preponderance that the Mundurucus gained with this was of such great importance, that the Muras, their mortal enemies, everywhere go out of their way, and knew that they did not dare to take arms, even when some Mundurucus arrived with their egg buckets and then tried to kidnap women. The hope of great profit had at the moment attracted several families of Muras to the islands and the banks of the river, where we passed.

Etching 11 Island in the Amazon Basin

In a small cove, we saw a horde of about 30 people gathered. Men, women, and children were naked around a big bonfire where turtles were roasting. At the call of Dr. Zani who said: "Camara! Abutia hei! Gobe chureri! Doe pae-tisse" (Comrades, come here, bring turtles here!), several of them took their canoes, to follow us. In the meantime, or because we mingled impetuously - so much so that we could reach them, or perhaps because they had seen the Mundurucus with us, they went back into the forest, without having spoken to us. The next day we saw another horde of Muras, who had built huts on a heath-ridden ledge of the ravine. When they saw that four Mundurucus were approaching on a mount, armed with bow and arrow, looking very serious, the majority of the Muras wanted to slip away.

Our call, however, managed to stop them. When we reached the shore, we ordered the Mundurucus to leave their weapons in the canoe, and we, on our side, sought to appease them with a gift of beads and anise, which was of little value. They pointed to a thatched hut away in the woods, where the chief lived, who was at home at the moment.

Indian chief

When we entered his hut, accompanied by the Mundurucus, the frown of the chief had a mixture of hatred, embarrassment and fear, but soon it cleared, when we went out of the low and smoky hut out into the open air.

It took us a few minutes to see the poor, dirty household items. Nowhere did the misery of the American forest dwellers seem as frightening and obscene as it was there. Everything indicated that they satisfied even the simplest needs of life like animals. The hut, built with trunks of trees,

131