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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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give the head the shape of a miter. Also common is blowing arrows through a hollow stick (reed, stolics). In fact, this nation is good and loyal. Their language has many words in common with Tupi. Also here is the custom of subjecting the boys to the flogging test and the girls to smoke. The subject can only eat the tortoise Tracaja and fish, but not mammals; The husband also observes the same diet, until the infant can sit upright. When a member of any family dies, the family closes their home for a whole month, whimpering with incessant groans; the neighbors have to feed them by means of their hunting, during that time. The burial in the bush is made but the chief is buried in a large vase.

The product of the hunt was here so great, that I could daily fill a box with game. After five days I left the village, having previously dispatched some canoes to the woods, to hunt and gather ethnographic curiosities. I passed through the old village of Sao Jose. now transformed into jungles, on the way to Tabatinga (Note V), where I arrived on January 9, 1820. This place was the frontier barracks of the Portuguese, guarding the Solimoes, against Peru, at the extreme western point on that river, and distant from Para by almost five hundred French miles. Here we find a militia commander with 12 soldiers. Trade with the Spanish provinces seems to have been much more active than it is today.

There are still ruins of a beautiful building, built in the time of Pombal, for the foundation of the village, by the Grao-Para and Maranhao Trading Company. The fort, with some rusty cannon, is in very poor condition. The forests of Tabatinga are, to a large extent, inhabited by the Tecunas; in the jungles that extend along the Javari River, which drains on the southern shore, live the Maxurunas (Note VI). I have noticed some of these last Indians here: they are entirely wild; they pierce the ears, nostrils, and lips; in addition, they pierce the whole face with thorns and feathers, while the forehead is painted black and red. Not infrequently, some are quite light in color. To prove their bravery, they make deep incisions in their arms. The subject must not eat any meat of monkeys, but should feed himself mainly meat of Curassow (Crax globulosa). The children receive their name without any solemnity; On the other hand, the operation of piercing ears, lips and faces is celebrated with great ceremony. The first two are already made in childhood; the perforation of the face is only done when virility arrives. So that the perforations do not get clogged, little arrows are left in them, which are every morning are revolved from one side to another.

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