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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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they occupy the forests five days' journey from the river to the interior, that is, at least 50 leagues in distance. There are many tribes who speak different dialects and even harass each other. The chief and most of his people belong to the horde of Miranhas Carapanas-tapuias,

Carapunas

and they live in declared hostility with the Miranhas of the interior and with the Umahu cannibals, who inhabit the territory above the waterfall of Araraquara, in Japura.

Waterfall of Araraquara

After our arrival, he dispatched the messengers to the woods, advising that the whites had arrived to do business, and especially wanted to exchange ornaments, weapons, and utensils. But these messengers returned with the news that there had been a conflict between Carapanas-tapuias, and that several had died as a result of beatings. The chief received the information with the greatest calm; but after a while he stood up gravely from the hammock and said, "I need to go and see what it is, they will have to know who Joao Manuel really is, he is strong and a real devil."

In the courtyard, they took long, half-buzzing mouthfuls of smoke, and as a large cigar passed from mouth to mouth, consultation was made, and finally it was resolved that they would make an expedition to the interior. The clever chief, however, had imagined another plan, which he kept secret, and it was probably only that night that he deliberated with his people in the woods, where he suddenly retired. We hoped that during his absence we could follow our purpose; and as I, besides had the most ardent desire to reach the Araraquara Waterfall, because of the time constraints of my voyage, it was decided that, in the absence of the chief, I would go there; but Captain Zani would stay here to collect what was offered and to build a new canoe, in which we could carry the important collections made so far, with the monkeys and birds.

Captain Zani ?

Before we parted, all the Indians slaughtered a large Jacareuva (Calophyllum inophyllum) trunk and transported it to the port, to build the canoe.

Calophyllum inophyllum

Capitan Zani ordered a platform of beams to be erected, on which the trunk lay horizontally, after an opening had been made in the direction of its length, to be gradually enlarged by fire. During these preliminaries of the work, he took care of ordering manioc flour and Indian candy, since our supplies were already scarce. In the great open hut behind the chief, these poor and kind creatures worked, as if our visit, which had suddenly brought them my beads and showy aprons, caused them great pleasure. Towards dawn, the old women came back from the farms, carrying roots of manioc, and the old women and men were busy with the hurried peeling, grating, squeezing and baking in large ovens.

 

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