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Remember the Rainforest 1

 

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libations, which last longer, the more powerful the deceased is. The Mundurucu did not believe in immortality; the only vestiges of the highest belief that I found in the language are the words "getunt " for God, and "cauchi" for demon. Between God and the demons stands the witch doctor, a powerful and feared person; regarded both as a relative of the devil and as an medium.

Witch doctor, the paje

(III) Arraiolos is now, after Macapa and Mazagao, the most flourishing settlement of the coastal territory of Brazil, north of the equator, but in general this whole part of the province lies in complete abandonment and inertia as a result of the devastating fevers , which are widespread epidemics in almost all regions.

Cotton cultivation seems to adapt particularly to low and warm soils; Also in Macapa a very thick cotton is woven, which is sent to Belem do Para. Natural products, such as clove,

Maranhao clove

copaiba balm,

and salsaparilla

Smilax aspera, the salsaparilla

are also abundant there particularly in the Jari and Araguari territories; on the other hand, those of the Rio Paru are scarce, and for this reason, as well as because of their waterfalls and the scourge of gnats, they are less sought after. The Jari, in eight days of upstream travel, displayed marvelous shores, but then was completely hampered in its course by a large waterfall,

Rio Jari, Santo Antonio waterfall

so that one can only travel the Jari on small boats. Evil fevers there reign endemic.

Rio Jari

The Goarataburu, lateral arm of the Jari, is the passage, after a short walk overland, to the Araguari.

Cattle breeding, for which these vast fields are best provided, is relatively scarce, and the inhabitants complain of the bats as the greatest animal barrier. The trade with Belem do Para is made by means of large ships and sumca, sailing east of the Marajo Island, and small boats, sailing above Gurupa and Igarape-mirim. This trip, carried out in three, four and up to eight days, is always risky, because of the rocks and currents. The fort of Macapa is on the Brazilian

Forteleza de Sao Jose de Macapa

border, at the border with French Guiana. It was built between 1760 and 1773, at the time of the general government of Fernando da Costa Ataide Teive (the builder of the government palace in the city of Belem), and cost, 3,000 crusados.

Forteleza de Sao Jose de Macapa

The primitive inhabitants of all this stretch of coast were the Armabutos Indians,

Arianas,

Aroaquis,

Tucuxus and

Oaiapis.

The first two tribes have already disappeared from this region; the others domiciled, part in the interior of the province, part in mixture with the inhabitants of Arraiolos and Esposende, as well as in the environs of Macapa. This beautiful stretch of the country awaits cultivation and settlement of the generations through.

See Macapa

 (IV) The Amazon River - We touched lightly on the facts concerning the nature of the largest of all rivers, its basin and its banks, in the course of our travel narration, in order to later gather everything in one panel. As we now have to deal with this difficult undertaking, we must ask the geographers for their particular indulgence; we hope to obtain their goodwill, because the main objective of our trip was aimed at a whole different sense, that is, it was aimed at the study of special facts of zoology and botany.

There is much in the formation of the Amazon River and its basin that diverges from the conditions and is observed, in general, in the great rivers. This refers mainly to the circumstance that the main direction of the river, in most of its course, deviates from what must always be accepted as its original source, or as its main arm. The latter runs generally from west to east, while the Maranon, considered as its source, runs in the direction of its southwest to north-northeast; the other arms, which by their extension are considered as main springs, such as Ucaiale and Madeira, run from south to north. Also the Maranon,

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(I) Here is what is said about this toponym E. Reclus (ob.cit., Page 125): "One of the villages of the district, located about 60 kilometers to the west, inland, Mazagao, recalls the Moroccan city of Mazagao, nowadays El-Bridja, which the Portuguese possessed for two and a half centuries, and which they had to abandon in 1770.

The Portuguese families of this African city, numbered ll4, moved near the Amazon estuary, where they founded their new city.The Maizaganists, comparing themselves to the so variously mixed races of the Amazon, boasted the purity of their old Lusitanian blood, alias warmed with that of Berbers and Semites. " (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. And Geogr. Bras.).