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lingness to work afterwards. The Ticunas that I had with me, however, were far the laziest and most worthless people that I had hitherto had anything to do with. I believe that this is not characteristic of the tribe, for they seemed well enough under Father Flores at Caballo-cocha, and they have generally rather a good reputation among the whites on the river. I imagine that the proximity of the garrison at Tabatinga has not a good effect upon their manners and morals; but, however that may be, these men were too lazy to help to cook the provisions ; and when we stopped to breakfast they generally seated themselves on the thwarts of the boat, or on the sand of the beach, whilst the Sarayaquinos fetched the wood and made the fire. They were realy enough to eat when the breakfast was cooked. I couldn't stand this, when I observed that it was a customary thing, and accordingly caused the provisions issued to be divided between the two parties, and told my Ticuna friends, “No cook, no eat." It would take many years of sagacious treatment on the part of their rulers to civilize this people, if it be possible to do so at all.
December 15.–We travelled till 11 p. m., for want of a beach to camp on; the men disliking to sleep in the woods on account of snakes.
December 16.–Finding that I was on the southern bank, and having an opening between two islands abreast of me, I struck off to the eastward for the mouth of the Japurá. We ran through island passages till we reached it at 3 p. m., distant one hundred and five miles from the mouth of the Juruá.
The Japurá has two mouths within a few hundred yards of each other. The one to the westward is the largest, being about one hundred yards wide. It is a pretty stream of clear, yellow water, with bold and abrupt, though not high banks, (ten or fifteen feet.) I pulled up about half a mile, and in mid-stream found fifty-seven feet of water, which shoaled to the mouth to forty-two; the bottom soft mud to the touch; but the arming of the lead brought up small quantities of black and white sand. There was very little current-only three-fourths of a mile per hour. I thought it might be affected by the rush of its greater neighbor, and that the water so near the mouth was “back water" from the Amazon; but the current was quite as great close to the mouth as it was half a mile up. The temperature of the water, to my surprise, was 85°; that of the Amazon, a quarter of an hour afterwards, was 81°. I had heard that, on account of the gentleness of the current of the Japurá, a voyage of a month
up this river was equal in distance of two on the Iça. A month up the Japurá reaches the first impediment to navigation, where the river breaks through hills called "As Serras das Araras," or hills of the
macaws; and where the bed of the stream is choked with immense rocks, which make it impassable even for a canoe. A gentleman at
, Egas told me of an extraordinary blowing cave among these hills.
The Indians of the Japurá are called Mirauas, (a large tribe,) Curitus, and Macus. The traveller reaches them in sixteen days from the mouth. The Macus have no houses, but wander in the woods; infest the river banks; and rob and kill when they can. (These are the fruits of the old Brazilian system of hunting Indians to make slaves of them.) The products of the Japurá are the same as those of the Juruá; and, in addition, a little carajurú, a very brilliant scarlet dye, made of the leaves of a bush called pucapanga in Peru. The Indians pack it in little bags made of the inner bark of a tree, and sell at the rate of twenty-five cents the pound. I am surprised that it has never found its way into commerce. I think it of quite as brilliant and beautiful a color as cochineal.
I judge the width of the Amazon, opposite the mouth of the Japurá, to be four or five miles. It is separated into several channels by two or three islands. We camped, at half-past 6 p. m., on an island where there was a hut and a patch of mandioc and Indian corn, but no people. We had a clear night, (with the exception of a low belt of stratus clouds around the horizon,) the first we have seen for more than a week.
December 17.-Started at 4 a. m. It was too dark to see the upper point of an island between us and the southern shore till we had passed it; so that we had to pull up for an hour against the current, so as to pass the head of this island and not fall below Egas. At half-past eight we entered a narrow channel betwen a small island and the right bank, which conducted us into the river of Teffé, about a mile inside of its mouth. The river at this point is one hundred and eighty yards broad; water clear and apparently deep. Just below Egas, where we arrived at halfpast ten, it expands into a lake; or, rather, the lake here contracts into the river. The town is situated on a low point that stretches out into the lake, and has a harbor on each side of it. The point rises into a regular slope, covered with grass, to the woods behind. The lake is shallow, and is sometimes, with the exception of two or three channels, which have always six or eight feet of water in them, entirely dry from Egas to Nogueyra, a small village on the opposite side.
On landing we showed our passports to the sub-delegado, an officer of the general government who has charge of the police of the district, and to the military commandant, and forthwith inducted ourselves into the house of M. Fort, our French friend of Tabatinga, who had placed it at our disposal.
Egas-Trade-Lake Coari-Mouth of Rio Negro-Barra-Trade-Productions.
Egas has a population of about eight hundred inhabitants, and is the largest and most thriving place above Barra. It occupies an important position with regard to the trade of the river, being nearly midway between Barra and Loreto, (the Peruvian frontier,) and near the mouths of the great rivers Juruá, Japurá, and Teffé.
There are now eight or ten commercial houses at Egas that drive a tolerably brisk trade between Peru and Pará, besides employing agents to go into the neighboring rivers and collect from the Indians the productions of the land and the water.
Trade is carried on in schooners of between thirty and forty tons burden, which commonly average five months in the round trip between Egas and Pará, a distance of fourteen hundred and fifty miles, with an expense (consisting of pay and support of crew,
with some small pro. vincial and church taxes) of about one hundred and fifty dollars. M. Castelnau estimates these provincial and church taxes at about thirteen per cent. on the whole trade. Here is the bill of lading of such a vessel bound down : 150 arrobas of sarsaparilla : cost at Egas, $4 the arroba; valued in Pará at from $7 to $7 50. 300 pots manteiga: cost at Egas, $1 40 the pot; value in Pará, $250 to $3 50. 200 arrobas of salt fish: cost at Egas, 50 cents the arroba; value in Pará, $1 to $1 25. Thus it appears that the cargo,
which cost at Egas about thirteen hundred dollars, is sold in Pará, in two months, for twenty-six hundred dollars. The vessel then takes in a cargo of coarse foreign goods, worth there twenty-five hundred dollars, which she sells, in three months, in Egas, at twenty per cent. advance on Pará prices; making a profit of six hundred and twenty-five dollars. This, added to the thirteen hundred of profit on the down trip, and deducting the one hundred and fifty of expenses, will give a gain of seventeen hundred and seventy-five dollars in five months, which is about two hundred and seventy-five dollars more than the schooner costs.
There are five such vessels engaged in this trade, each making two trips a year; so that the value of the trade between Pará and Egas may be estimated at thirty-eight thousand dollars annually. Between
Egas and Peru, it is about twenty thousand dollars. I myself know of about ten thousand dollars on its way, or about to be on its way up.
A schooner came in to-day ninety-two days from Pará, which is bound up with a greater part of its cargo. I met one belonging to Guerrero at Fonteboa. Marcus Williams, a young American living at Barra, has one now off the mouth of the river, which has sent a boat in for provisions and stores; and Batalha himself is about to send two.
Major Batalha (for my friend commands a battalion of the Guarda Policial of the province divided between San Paulo, San Antonio, Egas, and Coari) complains, as all do, of the want of energy of the people.
that as long as a man can get a bit of turtle or salt fish to eat, a glass of caçacha, and a cotton shirt and trousers, he will not work. The men who fish and make manteiga, although they are employed but a small portion of the year in this occupation, will do nothing else. There is wanting an industrious and active population, who know what the comforts of life are, and who have artificial wants to draw out the great resources of the country.
Although the merchants sell their foreign goods at an advance of twenty-five per cent. on the cost at Pará, yet this is on credit; and they say they could do much better if they could sell at fifteen per cent. for cash. Moreover, in this matter of credit they have no security. When a trader has made sufficient money to enable him to leave off work with his own hands, the custom is for him to supply some young dependant with a boat-load of goods and a crew, and send him away to trade with the Indians, depending upon his success and honesty for the payment of the twenty-five per cent. The young trader las no temptation to desert or abandon his patron, (habilitador;) but much is lost from the dangers incident to the navigation, and the want of judgment and discretion in the intercourse of the employer with the Indians, and in the hostile disposition of the Indians themselves.
There is much in this life of the “habilitado,” or person employed by the traders, to attract the attention of the active, energetic young men of our country. It is true that he will encounter much hardship and some danger. These, however, are but stimulants to youth. It is also true that he will meet with a feeling of jealousy in the native towards the foreigner; but this feeling is principally directed towards the Portuguese, who are hard-working, keen, and clever; and who, as a general rule, go to that country to make money, and return home with it. This is their leading idea, and it makes them frugal, even penurious, in their habits, and indisposes them to make common cause with the natives of the country. Not so with the Italians, the French, the English, and the Americans, whom I have met with in this country. I do not know more popular people than my friends Enrique Antonii, the Italian, and his associate, Marcus Williams, the Yankee, who are established at Barra. Everywhere on the river I heard sounded the praises of my countryman. At Sarayacu, at Nauta, at Pebas, and at Egas, men said they wished to see him again and to trade with him. He himself told me that, though the trade on the river was attended with hardships, exposure, and privation, there was a certain charm attending the wild life, and its freedom from restraint, that would always prevent any desire on his part to return to his native country, I heard that he carried this feeling so far as to complain bitterly, when he visited Norris, the consul at Pará, of the restraints of society that compelled him to wear trousers at dinner.
Any number of peons, or, as they are called in Brazil, Tapuios, may be had for an almost nominal rate of pay for this traffic with the Indians.
All the christianized Indians of the province of Pará (which, until within the last two or three years, comprehended all the Brazilian territory drained by the Amazon and the lower part of its tributaries on each side, but from which has been lately cut off and erected into a new province the Comarca of Alto Amazonas, comprising the Brazilian territory between Barra and Tabatinga) are registered and compelled to serve the State, either as soldiers of the Guarda Policial or as a member of "Bodies of Laborers," (Corpos de Trabalhadores,) distributed among the different territorial divisions (comarcas) of the province. There are nine of these bodies, numbering in the aggregate seven thousand four hundred and forty-four, with one hundred and eightytwo officers. A better description of the origin and character of these bodies of laborers cannot be given than is given in the message to the Provincial Assembly of the President of the Province, Jeronimo Francisco Coelho, for the year 1849. This distinguished official, whose patriotism, talents, and energy are still spoken of with enthusiasm throughout the province, says:
“A sentiment of morality and of order, created by the impression of deplorable and calamitous facts, gave birth to this establishment; but abuse has converted it into a means of servitude and private gain. The principal object of the law which created it was to give employment to an excessive number of tapuios, negroes, and mestizos-people void of civilization and education, and who exceeded in number the worthy, laborious, and industrious part of the population by more than three-quarters. This law founded, in some measure, a system which