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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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After a day of travel below Santarem, we disembarked on the southern bank of the river, next to some huts, in the place called Barreiras. The coast was higher than in general, and consisted, as heretofore in brown-ferruginous stoneware.

Manaus (Vila da Rainha)-Santarem-Belem

In front of us, we glimpsed again, with great joy, the Village of Almeirim, under one of those tabular mountains.

In order to at least examine a locality of the region on the northern shore of the Amazon, we decided to visit this village, and, with the favor of the west wind, we reached it after two good hours of navigation. The Amazon rolls its yellow water with ever so much more impetuosity, the closer it gets to the northern shore. The waves, in the strongest rapids, are one-and-a-half to two feet high, and the canoe must be carefully loaded and solidly constructed to withstand the pressure of the waves.

 

The Village of Almeirim (in Tupi, Paru) is home to some of the oldest people of the Amazon.

It was formed with the remains of a European town, founded as an army garrison, the Fort of Desterro, located later, to the west, and originally built by the Dutch. Its present inhabitants are, for the most part, descendants of the Apamas and Aracajus. Except for the church, poorly maintained and dirty, we found here no stone building, no vestige of the old Fort, which had been no more than a fort built to protect the slave trade. The mud huts, covered with palm leaves, are near the river and about twenty feet above it.

At the moment, all the Indians, engaged in the harvesting of the Maranhao cloves,

the salsaparilla,

and the copaiba balsam,

were found absent from the Pam and Jari Rivers. What remains of the Apamas and Aracajus, still in freedom, lives next to these rivers, gathered in small villages. Although at peace with the Brazilians, they have little inclination to establish their abodes in the midst of them. They are very dark in color, not using distinctive tatoos. Their weapons are not poisoned. They live in constant hostility with the Oaiapis, who inhabit the upper Rio Jari and the Guarataburu, and with the Cocaris, who live in Araguari. Friar Isidore Jose, Carmelite from Belem do Para, priest of Alenquer and Almeirim, informed us that he found in the ferruginous stoneware, as a breach, that here constitutes a gold-brearing formation, right next to the sacristy of the church, a considerable amount of azougue.

Azougue, mercury

Acuna has already referred to the wealth of minerals

Father Acuna

to the north of the Curupatuba and Genipapo Rivers,

 

and the formation of the mountains makes the presence of gold not unlikely; However, they say that the expeditions sent

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