Remember the Rainforest 1
them like trophies in their huts. With broken teeth, they made their necklaces and the arrows for their weapon; however, they do not shoot with a bow, but with a blade, a long, two-and-a-half-inch base, at the end of which is fixed a tooth or nail, with the curve inwards. With this adaptation of the arrow, they know how to shoot from a great distance, with the utmost dexterity. This weapon has the smell of the Inca warriors of Peru. We are not sure that the Campevas were anthropophagous [cannibals]. Many people think that those Indians, the Bravos, who live in the forests, still are.
However, I did not want to mention this fact to any Campevas, but they insisted that they distinguished themselves from the cannibals, by their deformation of the children's heads. Among the customs of the Campevas, one also counts the scams and witchcraft in the treatment of the diseases. The pajes (wizards, shamans) are here very revered.
Paje, the witch doctor
They serve the parica which is inhaled by means of a hollow bone, which they
call, like the Otomacos of the Orinoco, “curupa”. They have the use of the powder of parica in common with the Muras, Maues, Tecunas and others. When they feel weak, they prepare and take these astringent seeds into clisteres.
(V) The western situation of the Sao Francisco Xavier de Tabatinga Presidio seems very suitable for a border post.
From this place one has the view of the river, which is quite tight here and without islands, at a distance of two leagues to the east, to the mouth of the Rio Javari, and, at one and a half league to the west, to Xanarie Island; and the passage of the river would be easy to master, by setting there some fortifications. Alas, the fort, built of wood, with some pieces of caliber 6, to the west of the place, in the highest point of the shore, is not carefully preserved. At the time of Dr. Spix's stay in Manaus and Peru, Fernando VII's authority was still in force; but the then Viceroy of New Granada had already declared his independence, and we received, before our departure from Barra de Rio Negro, on March 14, a proclamation of Bolivar published on February 20, 1820, which had been passed by the Orinoco falls to the mouth of the Rio Negro, in less than a month.
The political convulsions in the neighboring Spanish states were not considered for fear that they may extend to this side of the Brazilian border. Undoubtedly, due to a lack of settlement, one has to fear some kind of negative reaction against the existing authorities. As well as active "volcanoes" in the vicinity of the sea, also on the coasts, where denser and more populated, more animated the traffic, have stronger passions and are the point where the political storms form.
The traffic between Tabatinga and the neighboring Spanish lands of Mainas was not very considerable, nor probably is it today. As regards trade between the two countries, I refer to Note IV of the preceding chapter. The Indians of Loreto, originally from the tribe of the Pevas, speak the Incan language; however, not purely, but usually with a mixture of Tupi words. They are cited as people of good character, hardworking and dedicated to the Spaniards. Upon receiving the news of Dr. Spix's stay in Tabatinga, they came in several canoes up the river, and offered him the exchange of skinned birds and wood-carved glasses, varnished in various colors and trimmed with gold leaflets.
most widely scattered and most feudal tribes of the Upper Solimoes. They do not recognize Spanish or Portuguese supremacy, and are dangerous to Brazilian travelers on the Javari, as well as to the Spanish travelers on the Ucaiale. They speak their own language, very loudly and hard. They use long hair, with the tonsure in the Pure. They pierce the nose and the lips, where they put long sticks, and, next to the corners of the mouth, they thrust two macaw feathers. On the lower lip, nostrils, and ear lobes, they often use discs carved from shells: This terrifying aspect corresponds to the barbarity of their customs; for they are not satisfied with eating the flesh of the downtrodden enemy, they kill and eat their own old and sick of their tribe, without sparing their parents and children.
(VII) In March, the Commission of Limits, declared a distance of 1815 bracas at the river’s mouth measured from the left bank.