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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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When the principal, the intoxicated tuxaua, whose badge consisted of a headdress of red and yellow feathers, tied to the forehead, gave the sign,

Chief

the whole circle moved tap-dancing in a side-step, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left, to the sound of a drum and chanting an atrocious universal lament, which the men and women were screaming, sometimes alternating, sometimes together.

Dance

The alternating song was translated by the following form: The men:- "Here is your demon; Who wants to marry me? " Women:- "You are a beautiful demon; All women want to marry you "(1).

This prolonged dance and the savage shouting have even provoked, after all, our meek Indians. They asked for a place for their dances and they began, with equal extravagance, to jump; While repeating the following simple song: Xe kyryreta porangaete oera tagua Maiabe (my brothers are more beautiful than a yellow bird). The longer the dance lasted, the better the enthusiasm of dancers was. There was no way of dissuading them or moderating them, so that long after we had said goodnight, the wild uproar continued. In the morning, we found our Indians sleeping in the hammocks and, when we went to see the camp that the Muras had established in the south of the farm, in the pond of Manacapuru,

Manacaru fish in pond of Manacaru

we knew that all had taken a bath at dawn, after which they were gathered in their huts, where the men slept and the women worked in the kitchen. Many of these Muras that roam the neighborhood, are employed as expert fishermen by the settlers, because all farms, in these regions, are organized for fishing and depend on it;

Manacapuru

Also the same is done here in Manacapuru. Close by a channel of drift of the lagoon of Manacapuru, which flows into the arm of the river, from which we had come, there is a roofer for the canoes and an establishment where fish are washed and salted. These fishing grounds are particularly intended for catching pirarucus, because this large fish, often from 50 to 60 pounds of weight, is best for salting and drying.

Piraracu

Amazon fishermen's huts

Arrow fishing

Indian weapons

Hunter and fisherman

The fish are killed by the harpoon or arrows and are rarely caught in nets. The preparation of the fishing tackle is simple and fast. The head, bowels, spine and scales are cast in water; The meat is separated from the bones in large portions, salted and dried in the sun or smoked over the fire. The abundance of this fish is incredible, which annually is stored in the government or private fisheries. It replaces here the cod fish, and constitutes the main food of

Piraracu drying

(1) In the Lingua brasilica, these are the words: lhe cecoi Inde Jurupari; Mata Momendar potter XE-Irupamo. Nae Jurupari Poranga; Cunhueta Pabe Momendar Pottirnde-Irumamo. In the current dialect, spoken by the Indians of the Negro River, the same words sounded like this: Pussucu ene jurupari; Mata Umenar Putar sairum? 1ne Jurupari Poranga; Coinangeta pane Umenar putaneirum. This example serves to indicate how much misrepresented this primitive type of the general tongue, is in the mouth of the people.

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