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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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to bring him even so much closer. The more he thinks of the solitary traveler, the more he quenches his hatred in the him, whom he squeezes with his arms until he suffocates him. When an Indian falls asleep in the canoe and disappears into the water, pulled by some crocodile, they say that this is the work of the wicked Ipupiara.

Ipupiara

A very inferior caste demon is the Uaiuara (perhaps "Lord of the Forest"?), which usually appears to the Indians in the form of homunculus or robust dog with long quivering ears.

Uaiuara

This demon is even more terrible to sense at midnight. Maybe it's a leprechaun or an immigrant werewolf. Also there are phenomenal fireworks, which the Portuguese imagine in the form of mule-without-head.

Boitatas

These for them are ghosts of Fire (Boitatas). The imagination of the obscure, rude savages surrounds them on all sides with maggots and fearful beings, whom their shy mentality never sets free; And in all his acts he is afraid and terrified of this constant companion. His language also has a word for “Terror” (Mocakyjaraba) (1). Maybe because of this fear of ghosts, the indians tend to place, at one or another point of the solitary forest, personal objects, for example, weapons, herbal sauces or bird feathers, either as a silent offering forgiveness to the dark powers, or as a sign of encouragement, indicating that this lonely traveler, so full of sinister impressions held by all humans, is free from the influx of evil demons.

Our excursions around the village acquainted us with its nature, markedly different from usual observed here. In particular, the numeric conditions of the division of plants, according to certain groups or families, indicate to the naturalist that he is at the threshold of a new river basin, different from that of the Amazon. It was an object of particular joy to discover, instead of uprooted vegetation all entrails and dirty from that flow, we found a great amount of splendid forms, Risonhas, in which the essential aromatic part predominates. Remarkably abundant here are Mirtaceas, Bignoniaceas, Rubiaceae and Lauraceas species.

Bignoniaceas

Rubiaceae, coffea arabica

Lauraceas. Nectandra

Among the wonderful plants of this region, we find the Carajuru (Bignonia chica, Humb.),

Bignonia chica

an excellent red dye which is obtained by a process similar to that of the preparation of the blue Indigo, which the Indians agglomerate in cakes of four to six inches of diameter, taking them to the market in bags fastened with fibers of Embira. Near the river, they had made chocolate plantations (cacao), which we often see on our excursions. A number of brave cocoa trees that survive in the Rio Negro,

Theobroma cacao

(1) In the original, Mocakyjacaba. In that word there was probably a typographic error. "What scares or amazes", in the Amazon Tupi, as can be seen in the "Vocabulario " of Stradelli (pag. 539), must be mucikigiaraua, from the verb mucikie, "frighten, cause amazement ". (Nola da Rev., Inst. Hist. and Geogr. Bras.).

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