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by indolence, pride, and selfishness, became his servants and subjects. Only the chief knew how to conduct all trade with the whites; it seems that this gave him the supremacy, which he asserts among his fellow tribesmen; as commercial commissary he also happened to be head of the horde. In substance, however, I may suppose that, as an exception to the war, trade is always the reason why savage Indians resolve to give preponderance to a traveler in their midst. In addition, these people received us with a vivacity, a joyous, noisy volubility, which greatly diverged from the gloomy gravity, with which we were generally welcomed by the Indians. We attribute, not without reason, this ingenuity, this warm interest in all that concerned us, to its state of primitive freedom, ignoring the recruitment of all the Indians and even the scarecrows; the Miranhas constituted a powerful tribe, independent of the others.

Crude to the point of animality, that was how I found these Miranhas, whom I knew very closely; but there was no dissimulation, shyness, or petty disposition, traits which often made the village Indians an object of contempt for neighbors. They were a tribe of robust, well-proportioned Indians with a dark complexion. The broad chest matches the width of the face, which seems even more crooked and drawn, because of the dreadful practice of piercing nostrils and introducing cylinders of wood or shells. This almost hereditary disfigurement must have resulted in enlargement of the nostrils, which I observed was the characteristic physiognomy of all the Miranhas. In addition, they kept on their faces an expression of the most rude savagery, but, at the same time, natural goodness, without which we can not imagine man in the primitive state of nature. This tribe is the most numerous and powerful in the entire basin of Japura, east of the great cataract;

the number of individuals is estimated at 6,000 living from the Cauimari River in the west between Ica and Japura and the River of Enganos, and therefore on the southern side of Japura. According to chief Manuel, they

Upper and lower Amazon

(I) This badge disfigures the face, more than any other I have seen, when the dilation of nostrils is so excessive, that it strips the cartilage of the nose. In such a hideous extreme of the deformity, the nostrils need to be propped up, and therefore are lined with palm leaf splinters on the inside.

Women, who always find pleasure and time to adorn themselves, stretch their nostrils as much as possible; I saw some whose nostrils needed to rest on the ears so as not to hang loose. The blunting of the canine teeth at their tip helps to completely bestialize the face of these savages. The Miranha rarely wears a peg crossed in the cartilage of the nose; where you most frequently see this adornment, or a tuft of macaw feathers, and in the ears.

The tattoos are generally one and a half inches long, from the thickness of the tube of a swan's feather, with red-painted ends. Few wear tattoos on their faces, but the chief himself was tattooed all over. Sometimes they blacken all their teeth. A very generalized distinctive of this tribe is a white turiri bough strip, which is almost in the form of an arm sling. Only in this tribe did I see such use, for here the band was always worn by adult men. This brace, two inches wide, stretched over the lumbar region, and the other strip, twisted like a rope, passes between the thighs. This rope is tied in the front and back, in the region of the sacrum, where it is tied into the strap and hangs loose, so that this probably gave the reason for the reputed "tail Indians" of the Japura. Within this lumbar range, a few pieces of the fragrant stick of a laurel, which may appear as a decoration, are sometimes fixed.

Miranha

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