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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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The Ica (Note III) was once ruled by the Spaniards up to its mouth. At present, however, with the advance of the Portuguese, the military occupation of this river receded thirty leagues.

The daily rain did not cease, and the climate was unhealthy. During our stay 2 days, two Indians of the crew, and, among others, the pilot got sick; yet they recovered, taking vomit medicine. As I also suffered the same evil, I made use of the same remedy and continued my journey, without further delay. From Ica, I returned to the Solimoes, crossed the river here, where it has the smallest width, to the southern shore, and stayed overnight at Fazenda Matura, where, on the following morning, seven Passes killed with Zarabatana

Zarabatana, the poison blowgun

in the space of one hour, along with about fifty monkeys and other large birds of the forest. From there I passed by Castro de Avelaes, once a very populous village, but now inhabited only by three families. I arrived on December 30 at Olivenca (Nota IV), or Sao Paulo, as it was formerly called.

Olivenca on Rio Solimoes

Solimoes river

This village rests on the southern bank of the Solimões, which is about a hundred feet high, and, with its meadows lends its surroundings a rare joy.

Meadows on Solimoes river

This place was also devastated by the same malignant fevers, for the Indians began to become ill, one after the other. The inhabitants are treated with all sorts of wild plants that are born here. They thus use the caqueta, against dysentery; of the parana-rana, against the chronic eruptions; coruba and caa-catinga, against fever; the herb of Santa Maria, against the pain of teeth and caimbras; of the marupa, against diarrhea; of the cataure, against rheumatic pains; and of the stick-cross, against hemorrhages. My health also deteriorated daily. A congestion, which had been afflicting me for three weeks, became increasingly asthmatic; my body emaciated visibly, and it was only the use of hot baths that somehow supported me.

The inhabitants here are the Campevas, Tecunas,

Culinos and Araicus, people who walk naked and paint the body in different ways. The girls of the Culinos, when they reach puberty, are suspended in a hammock on the ridge of the house, where, exposed to constant fumigations, they fast as long and as much as they can.

Among the Araicus, the boy, destined to a bride, since childhood, has to hunt and take care of all the needs of her father's house, until she marries him. I live even more singularly, but this practice is less popular nowadays, and that was what happened among the champions: they used to tie the child in a canoe, and tie his head in order to

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