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Its origins should not be attributed to the Purus; In a rigorous sense, they are not deltas of tributary, because for their formation they compete with independent rivers, such as Paratari and Aru, or also the main river, which, during higher floods, flows through these canals to the Purus. Perhaps this singular separation and connection of the waters is accomplished by low riverbeds which must likely be an almost flat surface. On the other hand, it also seems necessary to propose that the undulating terrain between these valleys is the cause of the violent rapids that meet,

Rapids of the Rio Purus

sometimes the margin of land (Ibi-rete), sometimes in the canals (Parana-Mirim), between the islands.

"Ibi-rete"rapids on Rio Madeira

If this were not so, the waters in such plains would flow into shallow ponds. Identical rapids predominate west of Anuri, on the northern side, in the cove of Arauna-Coara. For this reason we sailed along the opposite coast upstream, until, on the afternoon of the next day, we reached the second island of Turtles, with the beach, Oncas.

Here we found some 250 men occupied with the preparation of the butter, and had in several shops there were many useful objects exposed to sale.


The turtle butter beaches (in Tupi, “Caiba-Ibicui”) offer the settlers, who live scattered, all the advantages of an annual fair. They also used to help, especially on the once exceptionally profitable Jurupari beach, the dealers of Belem, who were now replaced by the merchants of Barra do Rio Negro.

Guajaratuba beach

The mixture of people of all colors was here much larger than on Guajaratuba beach. The activity increased with the presence of an officer of Barra, named captain of the beach by the governor, and the ensemble presented an interesting spectacle.

Among the Indians were several of the horde of the Purupurus, who offered their services, as servants, during the period of the harvest of the eggs, in exchange for an axe or a bolt of cotton fabric. Two of them were attacked by a characteristic skin rash, which must be hereditary among the same forest dwellers and is considered by the others as the tribe's mark. The whole body seemed to be covered with dark, irregular stains, in general rounded, isolated or assembled constituting a disgusting aspect. These stains seemed to cause a slight hardening of the skin, and did not demonstrate any herpetic secretion, because the surface of them, although uneven, was drier than that of the rest of the skin. The circle around was almost always paler than the skin, even almost white; But, by heating, it took a darker hue, so luckily this whitish tone seemed to be the first degree of disease. Both of these individuals demonstrated a more robust constitution and tendency to gain weight, without any other anomaly; however, more rigorous