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palm thorns, and rubbing it with the (Genipa caruto, Humb.), which produces a bluish-brown tonality, which shines brightly on the epidermis and never goes out again.

Genipa caruto

This results in the stain on the face or mesh (in Tupi, sobakytam). The piercing of the lips, nostrils and ears, and the adaptation, in these holes of objects of various forms of wood (taboca), stone (tametara) (1), resin, shell, glass, etc., is a lower form of characterization, since the Indian can be stripped of it when he is at home, and sometimes he takes it out at night;

Mura ornaments

in the case of tatoos, the distinctive sign stay forever and grows with the face. On the journey to Japura I met individuals of twelve tribes, namely: Passes, Juris, Coerunas, Coretus, Jumanos, Cauixanas, Miranhas of the horde of Carapanas-tapuias (whom I observed in their domiciles), Jupuas (Gepuas), Tecunas, Muriates, Jamas, Macuinas and Miranhas of the horde of the "great bird" (oira-acu-tapuias). We lived as guests among those, or they accompanied us as rowers.

(III) Salsaparrilha (in Portuguese also salsa, in the Spanish bush, bush). The salsaparrilhas of Maranhao (S. de Marafton, Para, lisbonensis) are the innumerable aerial roots and shoots of the roots, which arise from the soil, from Smilax syphilitica, Humb.


The stem of this bush (in Tupi, sipo-em) and its main branches are angular, cornered, or often extended like narrow tape, with great closed acupunctures, directed upwards. Climbing stems are now coiled a short distance from the ground, now passing around neighboring canopies, forming impenetrable thick walls. Often an entire section of the forest is dominated by this grotesque creeper, and when it is shaken or torn, it lets down on the frightened traveler spills of water left in the tangled foliage, or swarms of biting ants, or “bees of iron”.

Due to the great extension of the roots, it is rarely possible to start the whole plant; only shoots and roots are cut off from the ground. This is perhaps the reason why, in the so-called "salsaparrilha de Lisboa", more rarely are found those strong, woody stems like those that appear in the middle of the tangled bush of the so-called "long sarsaparilla" of Caracas and Vera Cruz. This latter species, more common in trade, exported to Jamaica and Spain, comes without a doubt from another plant (perhaps from Smilax officinalis, Humb.).

The roots of Brazilian salsaparilla are thinner, less wrinkled, more colored yellowish brown than reddish brown, less lustrous and with meat with a richer starch content.

Salsaparilla roots, dried

The Indians harvest it the whole year, according to the state of the weather and if the rivers allow them to cross the producing region of salsaparilla. This circumstance favors, in a way, the propagation of the useful bush; for if they were to harvest only in the summer months, when the berries matured, the plant would soon become rare in some places, and in others it would be utterly exterminated. The climbing branches and shoots of the root are put to dry on a low heat, in bundles of four to five feet in length and a foot of thickness, with the flexible cord of the thymus, and are thus taken to the markets of Brazil. In the interior an “arroba” of good salsaparrilha is sold for 6 or 7 $ 000. The Indians know that this farinaceous root is very subject to the voracity of the worms; they keep it safe, in the ridge of the hut, where it is exposed to a strong fumigation, whose smell is sometimes exhaled from the end product.

(IV) Medicinal knowledge of Indians. "In fact, the Indians know many herbs and trees, and know how to differentiate them by their own names; but this is especially true when it comes to edible plants or for dyeing or for domestic use. Of the medicinal plants, mainly remedies (pocanga), they have the most obscure notion, almost always superstitious ideas instilled by the witch doctors. In general, most of the plants, now employed in Brazil for medicine, were found by the early settlers, in particular the Paulistas, and by those who brought reminiscences of the useful plants of the East Indies. Many forest dwellers also know that plants are effective for certain diseases; However, you have no idea of ??the dosage, nor of the

(1) Instead of tametara, it must be tembearara, "adornment of the lips". To the lip ornament, consisting of a meditating stone on the lower lip, it is called in Tupi, the term tembeta, a word formed from tembe-ita, "stone of the lip." (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).