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to the use of river water, lack of variety in food, lack of salt seasoning, and the preponderance of raw bananas and wild fruits, insects and small fish. It is also noted that the Indians are attacked by this disease mainly during the rainy season of the year, during which cold nights occur. Unfortunately, there are already traces of syphilitic discomfort in Japura; undoubtedly, the Indians who had dealings with the white settlers contracted this evil, or was brought by these same ones. Careful research on the subject, which I attempted at every opportunity, confirmed to me with certainty that this disease was not primitively indigenous among the Brazilian Red Skins. The forms, which appear here, are of a milder character, and are confined almost exclusively to skin diseases. I also observed in the Indians here several rashes, the causes of which I could certainly not attribute to syphilis: warts all over the body, yellow patches on the reddish skin, red pustules, which become inflamed and transform into a kind of anthrax (in Tupi pynha , as they also call the boubas), birthmarks (in tupi, munga); other eruptions very scattered, slight, finally cracked, bloody or dry, especially at the extremities. The vocabulary of the Indians was moreover, very limited in this respect.

(V) Sculptures of the Indians. - With disappointment one desists in the researches on the primitive civilization of South American, taking into consideration documents, whose high antiquity cannot be questioned; and it would be infinitely more interesting to note in the sculptures of Cupati and Araraquara proofs of divine worship and pure mythology,

rather than only the vestiges of a time equal to today's savagery and childish simplicity. But the first glimpse of these grotesque figures shows the absolute absence of any meaning of high symbolism; and I am quite convinced that they were made by Indians, whose manner of being and degree of civilization correspond in all respects to those of their present descendants, perhaps even of those to come. They constitute a theatrical demonstration of the obstinate inferiority of intuition of this race, which has reigned for centuries. Among the Indians of Japura, there is widespread legend that in times past this river was much more populated than today, and that the largest colonies were precisely in the vicinity of their waterfalls.

The innumerable arboreal grass fences with which they formed living hedgerows to defend the villages seem to confirm the legend, in this same region. Anyone who knows the custom of the Indians who have migrated, according to the various times of the year, to the forests of abundant fruits, and to the river, naturally admitted that, at the time of the greatest ebb, when the fish are conserved in greater quantity in the neighborhood of the waterfalls, these points would be the most wanted ones. In those times, those who had no inclination to fish, for fun, perhaps had fun carving figures on the banks of rock on the bank, undressed by the ebb of the river. The figures on the rocks of Araraquara, which astonished my Indians, by their position on a vertical stone wall, as well as by the rays around the heads, gave the impression of some cult; but in fact, instead of representing the sun, they seem like heads of Indians, decorated by the feathered diadem. In a figure of a woman carved farther on the stone, I saw a serpent-shaped line across her body. Do you want to compare the woman with the serpent, or is it mere chance ?

I must not fail to mention that not infrequently here in the Rio Negro they told me of a legend, according to which the peoples subject to the Incas, after the destruction of their kingdom, fleeing from the Spaniards to the east, settled in the uninhabited forests between the Japura and Ica. The march of the Incan Manco, successor of Ataualpa, to the mountains and eastern forests, may have given cause to this legend. Never, however, was it the Indians who told me about this supposed migration, but people who already knew of the narratives of Acuna and Berredo, in which this migration is mentioned without any historical proof. For lack of mutual exchange of literary correspondence and the resulting mysteries unsolved, it is not surprising that in Brazil the few who devote themselves to historical studies adopt, without further ado, the opinions and prejudices of Acuna, already widely accepted.

Father Acuna

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