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Perhaps the indians wanted to impress Orellana with the warlike opposition of a certain tribe, telling them that even women took arms. The sight of some of these women, who fought alongside their husbands, near their refuge on the edge of the River Cumaris, verified the legend.

Legend of the Amazon Women

So simply, Ribeiro explains the phenomenon, because he claims that, among other Indians, the Mundurucus used to take their wives to war, where they provided the arrows to the men. La Condamine establishes a probable reason for the establishment of Women's Independence due to their state of abject subjection; But I am so much less inclined to this fact, as I know that the independence of women is based precisely on their sensuality.

This subjugation is the reason that many Indian women abandon their villages, perhaps abused by their husbands, and, as free agents, move from one flock to another, where they are well received, because they are considered a species of slaves and submit to being servants.

(II) The Guarana (well known from the Carana gum) was, at first, prepared only

Guarana fruit

by the Mauhes. Then, however, its use has spread, which made it a very

significant trade article, and was also prepared by other settlers, mainly in Vila Boim and also at other points of the Tapajos. The true Guarana distinguishes itself from the false by the greater weight, by the greater hardness and thickness, and because its powder has no white color, but takes a grayish-red tint. The manufacture, as showed me by Indians of Tupinambaranas, was the following: The Guarana Bush (Paullina sorbilis, Mart.)

Guarana Bush (Paullina sorbilis)

has its ripe seeds in October and November. They release from the capsule and are dried. When they are very dry, to the point of, by rubbing, they detach the Perisperm, in the form of a dish, which contains the seeds. These seeds lie in a stone pestle or on a concave plate with a very hard surface, heated underneath by coals. These are reduced in size and then mixed with a little water, or is exposed to the humidity, until it is at the point of kneading, forming a paste. They gather with the dough some whole seeds or little pieces, and roll the whole in the preferred shape, generally cylindrical, or as pointed wedge, having from 12 to 16 ounces of dense paste, the length of five to eight inches, with relative thickness and more rarely in the form of a ball. In the sun or exposed to an oven inside the cabins, the paste, placed close to the fire, dries until considerably hard and then is cut into pieces. In the State of Para it is customary to grate the guarana paste with the bone of the tongue of the fish Piracuru. Then it is stored in a basket locked with fibers of the uaruma palm (Maranta Tonckat, Aubl.), considered a common object in the home. According to a less popular way of preparing, the powder of guarana is mixed with some cocoa or cassava flour. The paste is colored whitish on the surface, and becomes less compact, not conserving so well.

Roasted Guarana fruit and powder

As a particular property of Guarana, I remember that of the drugged fishes, sought by their analogy with several plants of the Sapindaceas family, especially

Paullinia Pinnata

the Timbo (Paullinia Cururu and Paullinia Pinnata, L.), which has proven effective in high degree. It seems mainly to affect the nerves of the abdomen and acts to depress diarrhea and dysentery, resulting from colds and the depression, or in the states where there is high sensitivity of the solar plexus. On the other hand, it is not indicated for congestion or infections. At higher doses, it excites the entire network of nerves, produces dual vision, flickings in the sight, insomnia, uncommon excitement and other similar phenomena. In cases of uterine flows and passive hemorrhages, it has provided excellent results. The concept has spread throughout Brazil, of its aphrodisiac effect, suppressing, at the same time, the Vis fecundans Seminis Virilis.