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surface there is pure sand; and no Indian thinks of cultivating the same farm longer than three years; he then clears the forest and plants another. There is nothing but a little coffee produced for sale in the neighborhood of the town. The fathers extract about three hundred arrobas of sarsaparilla from the small streams above, and sell it to Senhor Cauper in Nauta. This gives them a profit of about five hundred dollars. The College at Ocopa allows them a dollar for every mass said or sung. The four padres are able to perform about seven hundred annually, (those for Sundays and feast-days are not paid for;) and this income of twelve hundred dollars is appropriated to the repairs of the churches and conventos, church furniture, the vestments of the priests, their table and chamber furniture, and some little luxuries—such as sugar, flour, vinegar, &c., bought of the Portuguese below.
The padres have recently obtained an order from the prefect of the department of Amazonas, giving them the exclusive right of collecting sarsaparilla on the Ucayali and its tributaries; but I doubt if this will benefit them much, for, there being no power to enforce the decree, the Portuguese will send their agents there as before.
Each padre has two Mitayos, appointed monthly-one a hunter, the other a fisherman—to supply his table with the products of the forest and the river. The Fiscales cultivate him a small farm for his yuccas and plantains, and he himself raises poultry and eggs; they also make him rum from the sugar-cane, of which he needs a large supply to give to the constables, (Varayos, from “vara," a wand, each one carrying a cane,) the Fiscales, and the Mitayos.
The government is paternal. The Indians recognise in the padre the power to appoint and remove curacas, captains, and other officers; to inflict stripes; and to confine in the stocks. They obey the priest's orders readily, and seem tractable and docile. They take advantage, however, of Father Calvo's good nature, and are sometimes a little insolent. On an occasion of this kind, my friend Ijurra, who is always an advocate of strong measures, and says that in the government of the Indians there is nothing like the santo palo, (sacred cudgel,) asked Father Calvo why he did not put the impudent rascal in the stocks. But the good Father replied that he did not like to do it—that it was cruel, and hurt the poor fellow's legs.
The Indians here, as elsewhere, are drunken and lazy. The women do most of the work: carry most of the burdens to and from the chacras and canoes; make the masato, and the earthern vessels out of which it is drunk; spin the cotton and weave the cloth; cook and take care of the children. And their reward is to be maltreated by their husbands, and,
in their drunken frolics, to be cruelly beaten, and sometimes badly wounded.
The town is very healthy, there being no endemics, but only acute attacks from great exposure or imprudence in eating and drinking. From the parish register it appears that in the year 1850 there were ten marriages, sixty-two births, and twenty-four deaths. This appears, from an examination of the other years, to be a pretty fair average ; yet the population is constantly decreasing. Father Calvo attributes this to desertion. He says that many go down the Amazon with passengers and cargoes, and, finding the return difficult, they either settle in the villages upon the river or join the Ticunas, or other Infidel tribes, and never come back.
The Spaniards, from the Huallaga, also frequently buy the young Indians from their parents, and carry them off for domestic services at home. Father Calvo spoke with great indignation of this custom; and said if he could catch any person stealing his people he would hang him in the plaza Our servant Lopez desired me to advance him nine hatchets, for the purpose of buying a young Indian which his father wished to sell. But I told Lopez of Father Calvo's sentiments on the subject, and refused him. Two boys, however, put off in a canoe the day before we did on our return, and joined us below Tierra Blanca. I did not clearly understand who they were, or I should have sent them back.
We afterwards met with a boat's crew of twelve, who had come off with a young Spaniard of Rioja, (a village between the Huallaga and Marañon, who did not intend returning; and I fear that many of those that came down with me did not get back for years, if at all; though I did all I could to send them back.
Thus Sarayacu is becoming depopulated in spite of the paternal kindness and mild government of Father Calvo. My own impression as to the reason of their desertion is, not that it is on account of the difficulties of the return, or indifference, or a proclivity to fall back into savage life; but that the missionaries have civilized the Indians in some degree—have taught them the value of property, and awakened in their minds ambition and a desire to improve their condition. For this reason the Indian leaves Sarayacu and goes to Brazil. In Sarayacu there are comparatively none to employ him and pay for his services. In Brazil, the Portuguese " commerciante,” though he maltreats him, and does not give him enough to eat, pays him for his labor. Thus he accumulates, and becomes a man of property; and in the course of time possibly returns to his family in possession of a wooden trunk painted
blue, with a lock and key to it, and filled with hatchets, knives, beads, fish-hooks, mirrors, &c. He has seen the world, and is an object of envy to his kinsmen and neighbors.
Not included among the deaths of 1850 are those of four men who died from poison. In one of their drunken frolics the Indians were discoursing of the properties of a small tree or shrub, called corrosive sublimate, of the forest, (“ soliman del monte,") and they determined to test it. They rasped a portion of the bark into their masato, and five men and two women partook of it. Four of the men died in three-quarters of an hour, in great agony, and the others were ill for a long time.
Growing in the padre's garden was a small tree bearing a fruit about the size of our hickory nut, which contained within a small, oblong nut, called piñon. This has a soft shell; and the substance of the nut is a mild, safe, and efficient purgative. There was also a bush called "guayusa," a decoction of the leaves of which is said to be good for colds and rheumatism. It is also believed to be a cure for barrenness.
The friars entertained us on Sunday evening with a dance of Indians. These were dressed in frocks and trousers, but had head-dresses made of a bandeau or circlet of short and rich-colored feathers, surmounted with the long, tail-feathers of the scarlet macaw. They had strings of dried nut shells around their legs, which made an agreeable jingling in the dance. The half-bent knee, and graceful wave of the plumed hat towards the priest before the dance commenced, with the regularity of the figure, gave unmistakable evidence of the teaching of the Jesuits, who appear to have neglected nothing, however trivial, that might bind the affections of the proselytes, and gain themselves influence.
The inhabitants of Sarayacu are divided into three distinct tribes, called Panos, Omagias, and Yameos. They dwell in different parts of the town. Each tribe has its peculiar dialect; but they generally communicate in the Pano language. These last are the whitest and bestlooking Indians I have seen.
I was unable to gather much authentic information concerning the Infidels of the Ucayali. The padres had only been in Sarayacu a few years, and had never left their post to travel among the Indians.
The Campas are the most numerous and warlike tribe, and are resolute in forbidding strangers to enter their territory. They inhabit all the upper waters of the Ucayali; and I think it probable that they are the same who, under the name of Chunchos, are so hostile to the whites about Chanchamayo, and on the haciendas to the eastward of Cuzco. These are the people who, under Juan Santos Atahaullpa, in 1742, swept away all the Missions of the Cerro de la Sal; and I have very