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There we found the same agreeable obsequiousness, with which the female villagers are distinguished, everywhere, from men.

Find Nogueira in Amazon Basin

In Nogueira, I also had the opportunity to watch the fishery, practiced on a large scale with the numbing cipo called timbo (Paullinia cururu).

Paullinia cururu

Several canoes lay for a time in a cove of the lake, from one side to the other, the cipo stems were trampled and mashed, and the poison acted so effectively, that after a quarter of an hour a canoe could be filled with fish.

In pursuit of this herbal plant in these virgin forests where they are abundant, I found Citamineas on a trek like the ones I used to undertake, accompanied by a single Indian.


I found a large jaguar, without being noticed by it. It is a well-known fact that

this carnivorous terrorist appears more frequently in the vicinity of the colonies than in the wildest virgin forests of the interior. These jaguars are less persecuted here by the Indians, and are certain to find prey among the domestic sheep and cows, etc.

Sometimes, when harassed by hunger, they dare to approach the villages. With an imperious nod, I was quick to prevent the Indian, who was accompanying me, from shooting arrows at the beast, for I had only a branch in my hand, and I did not want to risk the skill of his aim. Out of danger, he followed me through the woods and suddenly disappeared. After calling for him several times, I saw him as he slipped out of an enormous hollow tree, and answering my question why he had hidden, he showed me a handful of large beetle larvae,

which he had picked up on the rotten stick, and now, cutting them with his teeth, and sucking the rest, he enjoyed them. This disgusting food is as appreciated by the Indians as the big ants. They are raw or baked in their own fat, and the Indians say that they increase the milk of breastfeeding women.

Our stay in Ega and Nogueira inspired us, day after day, vividly to experience this place, this heart of Brazil and the Amazon, more thoroughly. Our desire was stimulated to seize this rare opportunity to gather its rich materials from ethnography and natural history, and therefore, each of us decided to follow his own exploration. Resolved to separate, Dr. Spix took charge of the tour through the upper Solimoes to the frontier of Brazil, while I decided to ascend the Japura, before whose mouth we stood. Moreover, one reason for this is found in the alteration of our health, which we might hope to be able to reestablish with the rapid change of climate. My companion, for a long time, was constantly suffering intermittent attacks of fever, which he could only alleviate with doses of cinnamon and other bitters, especially the root of the caferana (Tachia guyanensis).