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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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up to 12 feet, and all without order and symmetry. Our Indians admired them in awe, but they knew nothing of their meaning or origin. Despite the hardness of this stoneware, and the somewhat oblique position of the faces in the direction of the water which subtracts the action of the current, yet many figures are almost erased, due to the many centuries of their existence. On the civilization from which these sculptures of a higher degree came to us and the present inhabitants, nothing can be said, however.

The paintings, made by the modern Indians on their backs, the doors of their huts, oars, etc., have the same monstrous heads, the same spirals within the squares, and seem to authorize the conclusion that their ancestors were in the same degree of artistic culture as that of their current descendants; for this reason, I doubt very much that they had left indications of some worship (Note VI). The regions around the Cupati Waterfall offered the botanist a number of beautiful and interesting plants worthy of further study (Note VII).

Cupati waterfall

Unfortunately, I was not in a position, as before, to use the Indians to collect plants, since all of them, without exception, suffered from the sickly influxes of the weather and the hardships endured heretofore. Captain Zani and I therefore needed to serve ourselves, in all circumstances.

Catain Zani

However submissive the Indian may be to his master, as soon as he becomes ill, all his complacency ceases, and he occupies himself exclusively with himself, or rather falls into a deaf apathy, without seeking remedy, and giving himself to illness, whose progress, at most, he detains with a harsh fast. To these sad conditions was added the fact that all the Indians of those who were domiciled in Upper Japura or its tributaries, and who had been loaned us by the various chiefs, as hunters or rowers, were ready to go home.

So we reduced the garrison, and many nights we saw one or the other, without waiting for their payment, take their few possessions and sneak, meekly, from the camp to the bush, never to return.

Rum, the powerful panacea for all the moods of the Indian, was not enough to keep them near us.

After two days of travel, we reached the place called, by the Juris, Uarivau, where we were welcomed by chief Miguel, with manifestations of genuine joy. Instead of the selfish spirit, the most unregarded waste of time and the shamelessness of the Miranhas, we saw here a more noble frankness and liberality, a kinder disposition to serve, and a more zealous intelligence.

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