EXPEDITIONS INTO THE YALLEY OF THE AMAZONS, 1539, 1540, 1639. Экспедиции в долину Амазонки, 1539, 1540, 1639 гг.

Экспедиции в долину Амазонки, 1539, 1540, 1639 гг.




1539, 1540, 1639.






EXPEDITION OF GONZALO PIZAURO to the land of Cinnamon,
A.D., 1539-42, translated from the second part of Garcilasso
Inca de la Vega’s ” Royal Commentaries of Peru.”
the Amazons, A.D. 1540-1, translated from the sixth decade
of Antonio de Herrera’s ” General History of the Western
by Father Cristoval de A curia, A.D. 1639, translated from the
Spanish edition of 1641.
AMAZONS, containing all those which are mentioned in the
voyages of Orellana and Acuna.



THE early expeditions into the great valley of the
river of Amazons, during the sixteenth century, are,
perhaps, the most romantic episodes in the history
of Spanish discovery. The first that is deserving of
notice was sent by the conqueror Pizarro, under the
command of his youngest brother Gonzalo, ” who was
held to be the best lance that ever went to those
countries, and all confess that he never showed his
back to the enemy.”1
I have translated the narrative of the expedition to
the land of Cinnamon, undertaken by Gonzalo Pizarro,
from the royal commentaries of Garcilasso Inca de la
Vega. This chronicler had excellent opportunities
of collecting information respecting the expedition,
and, as we have no account actually written by one
who was concerned in it, Garcilasso’s narrative may
be considered to be the best that is now procurable.
His father was intimate with Gonzalo Pizarro ; the
younger Garcilasso had himself seen him when a boy,2
1 Varones IUustres del Nuevo Munch, by Don F. Pizarro y
Orellana, which contains an eulogistic life of Gonzalo Pizarro.
2 When Gonzalo Pizarro entered Cuzco, after the bloody battle


he had conversed with several persons who were en-
gaged in the expedition, and had consulted the ac-
counts of Zarate and Gomara. The Inca historian
has frequently been accused of exaggeration ; but in
narrating the terrible sufferings endured by Gonzalo
and his followers, their heroic endurance, and final
escape from the dismal forests, I cannot see that he
outsteps the bounds of probability in any single
The base desertion of Orellana, which added so
much to the sufferings of Gonzalo’s people, was the
means of discovering the course of the mightiest river
in the world. I have translated the account of Orel-
lana’s voyage from Antonio de Herrera’s ” Historia
general de las Indias occidentales ;” and it forms a
sequel to the . Hen-era
held the post of historiographer of the Indies for
many years, during the reigns of Philip II and Philip
III, and died in 1625. He had the use of all public
documents, and his account of the expedition of
Orellana is the best that has come to my knowledge.
After the disastrous termination of these enter-
prizes, no attempt was made to penetrate far into the
of Huarina in 1547, the young Garcilasso went out as far as Quis-
picanchi (about three leagues) to meet his father, who was then
serving under the rebel chief. Garcilasso describes all the events
of this day, which seem to have been deeply impressed on his
mind. He tells us that he walked part of the way, and was carried ‘
by Indians towards the end of his journey, but that he got a
horse to come back on. He remembered these trifles, ” porque la
memoria guarda mejor lo que vio en su ninez, que lo que pasa en j
su edad mejor.”—Com. Real., ii, lib. v, cap. 27.


valley of the Amazons for several years, with one
notable exception. I allude to the escape of some of
the followers of the younger Almagro into the forests
of Caravaya, after the final overthrow of the young
adventurer at the battle on the heights of Chupas in
1542. A few scattered notices respecting these fugi-
tives have alone come within my reach. It appears
that they crossed the snowy range of the Ancles to
the eastward of the city of Cuzco, and descended into
the great tropical forests of Colla-huaya ; where they
discovered rivers, the sands of which were full of
gold.1 On the banks of these rivers they built the
towns of Sandia, San Gaban, and San Juan del Oro ;
large sums of gold were sent home to Spain ;2 and
the last named settlement received the title of a royal
city from Charles V. But eventually the wildChuncho
Indians, of the Sirineyri tribe, fell upon them, burnt
the towns, and massacred every Spaniard to the east-
ward of the Andes. Until within the last few years
no further attempt was made to settle in these forests
of Caravaya; but it is said that the Cascarilleros^ or
1 Don Manuel Guaycochea, the obliging Cura of Sandia, sup-
plied me with some of the above information. The province of
Colla-huaya (now called Caravaya), in the Peruvian department of
Puno, is becoming important, both on account of its gold wash-
ings, and of the number of valuable cinchona trees in its forests.
The village of Sandia is on the eastern slope of the Cordillera, and
on the verge of the boundless forests, which extend for hundreds
of miles to the north and east.
2 Comm. Real., ii, lib. iii, cap. 19. “La provincia de Colla-
huaya, donde sacaron muy mucho oro finisimo, de viento y quatro
(juilatcs, y hoy sc saca-todavia, aunque no en tanta abundancia.”


collectors of Peruvian bark, sometimes stumble upon
ruined walls almost hidden in the dense underwood:
—the crumbling remains of San Gaban, or San Juan
del Oro.
Beyond this settlement in Caravaya, no attempt
was made to penetrate into the valley of the Amazons,
after the return of Gonzalo Pizarro, for about four-
teen years. In 1555, however, the Marquis of Canete,
a scion of the noble house of Mendoza, was appointed
viceroy of Peru.
On arriving in Lima, he found that the disgraceful
feuds of the Pizarros, the Almagros, and their follow-
ers, had just been concluded by the death of the rebel
Hernandez Giron, at Pucara. It was his care to
punish all traitors with severity, and to turn the rest-
lessness of the turbulent adventurers into another
channel, by promoting expeditions of discovery
Thus it was that Juan Alvarez Maldonado was sent
to explore the forests east of Cuzco, and that Pedro
de Ursua started in search of El Dorado, and the
kingdom of the Omaguas.
Juan Alvarez Maldonado was, says Garcilasso, “one
of the fattest and most corpulent men that I have ever
seen but at the same time he was brave and active.
Throughout Cuzco he was famous for having es-
caped death in a most unusual way. When fighting
against Gonzalo Pizarro, a bullet struck him full or/
the chest, and knocked him down ; but the ball hap-
pened to strike upon the breviary which was in his
bosom, and so, by the miraculous interposition of the
blessed Virgin, as it was said, his life was preserved.


Ever afterwards he hung the book outside his clothes,
as a charm against the evil eye.
This cavalier had heard that a number of the Incas,
with forty thousand followers, had assembled together,
with great store of gold and silver, and had fled far away
into the forests to the eastward of Cuzco ;l to escape
from the oppression of their conquerors. He intended,
therefore, to pursue them with a chosen band of sol-
diers, spoil them of their treasure, and proceed also
to explore the great river which was reported to take
its rise in those forests.2 Maldonado, however, had
cause for alarm in the knowledge that another adven-
turer named Tordoya also intended to chase the Incas;
and it was probable that the two parties of Spanish
wolves would rend each other over the carcasses of
their prey.
Maldonado crossed the snowy range of the eastern
Cordillera, penetrated some distance into the forests,
along the banks of the Tono, (a tributary of the
Purus), and encountered his rival Gomez de Tordoya,
who was waiting to receive him. They fought for
three successive days, until nearly every man, on
,both sides, was killed. The wild Indians, called
1 M. Rodriguez, lib. vi, cap. iv, p. 384.
2 This is the river Amaru-mayu, Madre de Dios, or Purus (the
Cuchivara of Acuiia and Samuel Fritz), one of the largest tribu-
taries of the Amazons, which remains unexplored to this day. In
mentioning this flight of the Incas into the valley of the Amazons,
Velasco, in his Historia de Quito, enumerates eight powerful Ama-
zonian tribes as being descended from them, namely, the Cinga-
ouchuscas, Campas, Comavas, Cunivas, Pirras, Jibitos, Panos,
and Chunchos.


Chunchos, finished off the remainder, three only es-
caping out of the whole number, among whom was
Maldonado himself, who eventually made his escape
alone, through the forests of Caravaya, to Cuzco.
Such an adventure must have reduced the size of this
lucky old soldier.
Thus did these exploring expeditions to the east-
ward of Cuzco destroy each other ; and we know less
now concerning the vast territory along the banks of
the Purus, and its tributaries, than was known in the
days of the Marquis of Cafiete, three hundred years
;The other expedition, mentioned above, under Don
Pedro de Ursua, led to more important results; and
the story of his murderer, the pirate Lope de Aguirre,
is one of the most extraordinary wtyiqh even that age
of wonderful adventures can furnish.
The enterprize was organized, by order of the
Marquis of Cafiete, to search for the nation of Oma-
guas, of whose fabulous wealth most exciting rumours
had reached Peru. Felipe de Utre, a German who
had started from Coro, in Venezuela, in search of El
1 Lieutenant Gibbon, U.S.N., in 1852, reached the banks of the
Purus ; and, in 1853,1 followed the course of the Tono as far as its
junction with that great tributary of the Amazons. No one has
yet explored the whole course of the Purus.
In a report from the Deputy of Caravaya to the Minister of
Public Works at Lima, on the improvement of the roads in that
district, dated December 11th, 1858, it is proposed to send an
expedition to the confluence of the rivers San Gaban and Ynam-
bari, to ascertain if the united streams could be made available
for navigation, as far as the river Purus, or Madre de Dios.—
Co>nmcrcio, Dec. 18th, 1858.


Dorado, in 1541, returned with a story that, after
many days journey, he had come to a village whence
he saw a vast city, with a palace in the centre, belong-
ing to the Omaguas. At about the same time, in-
formation respecting this wealthy nation reached
Peru from an equally reliable source. Father Pedro
Simon gives the following account of the way in
which these wonderful stories were disseminated.
” Certain brave rumours,” he says, ” prevailed in
those times, both in the city of Lima, and throughout
the provinces of Peru, which were spread by Indians
from Brazil, respecting the rich provinces which
they declared they had seen, when on their road
from the east coast. These Indians, more than two
thousand in number, left their homes with the inten-
tion of settling in other lands, as their own were too
crowded ; but others declare that the Indians under-
took this journey, to enjoy human food in those
parts. At length, after travelling for ten years, with
two Portuguese in their company, they reached the
province of the Motilones in Peru, by way of a
famous river which flows thence, and enters the
Maranon.1 These Indians brought news respecting
the provinces of the Omaguas, in which El Dorado
was said to reside. This so excited the minds of
those restless spirits in Peru, who were ever ready
to give credit to these rumours, that the Viceroy
thought it prudent to seek some way, by which to
give them employment.”2
1 The Huallcuja.
2 Sexta Noticia de las Conqitistas de Tierra Firme, cap. i, p. 402.


Tlie expedition in search of Omaguas and El
Dorado was, therefore, organized ; and the Marquis
of Cafiete selected Don Pedro de Ursua to command
it. This cavalier was a native of a small town near
Pampluna, in the kingdom of Navarre, from which
he took his name. He had already served with some
distinction, both in New Granada and against the
Cimarrones, or rebellious negroes, on the Isthmus
of Panama.
Ursua collected his forces at a little village of
Motilones Indians, called Lamas, on the banks of the
river Moyobamba, a tributary of the Huallaga; and
began to build vessels capable of containing four
hundred men. He sent forward a party under Juan
de Vargas, and followed himself with the main body,
in September 1560.1 The expedition descended the
river Huallaga, entered the Maranon, and passed
the mouth of the Ucayali; where Ursua appointed
Vargas to be his lieutenant, and Don Fernando de
Guzman to be ” Alferez Mayor.”
But Ursua soon found that he had with him a
number of desperate wretches, who were prepared
for any atrocity; and a mutinous spirit was raised
by a villain named Lope de Aguirre, who desired to
return to Peru, and restore the days of anarchy
and civil war. Others set their eyes upon Ursua’s
1 The second expedition which descended the river Moyobamba
to the Huallaga, was made in 1650, by General Don Martin de la
Riba Aguero, who subjugated the territory of Lamas. He was
governor of Lamas for thirty years; and, on his death, the govern-
ment of the Motilones or Lamistas Indians was annexed to the
jurisdiction of Chachapoyas.


mistress, a beautiful widow, named Inez de Ati-
Guzman, who was an unprincipled young man,
of a good Andalusian family, was won over by the
conspirators ; and they agreed to assassinate their
general. On a dark night, when the explorers were
encamped on the great river of Amazons, and every
one seemed wrapped in sleep, a figure passed in
front of Ursua’s tent, exclaiming : ” Pedro de Ursua,
governor of Omagua and El Dorado, may God have
mercy upon thee!” The following day the expedi-
tion arrived off a village called Machiparo.1 It was
new year’s day, 1561, when the conspirators entered
Ursua’s tent and murdered him. Vargas was killed
at the same time.
The assassins then elected Guzman to be their
general, and Aguirre to be master of the camp. The
latter had been the chief instigator to the mutiny ;
and his extraordinary career, and the number of atro-
cious crimes of which he was guilty, give him a pre-
eminence in villainy over all the adventurers who
flocked to the new world, during the sixteenth cen-
Lope de Aguirre was born at Onate, in Biscay, of
noble but poor parents. He had proceeded to the
new world when very young, and plunged into all the
turmoil of the civil wars amongst the conquerors of
Peru, often serving in the lowest employments. He
was hideously ugly, and lame in one foot, from a
1 Near the mouth of the river Putumayu. See pages 27 and 29
of this volume.


wound received when fighting against the rebel Giron,
at Coquimbo.
This audacious monster took the lead in the revolt,
and induced the soldiers to renounce their allegiance
to King Philip, and to elect Guzman as their new
sovereign. All who refused were murdered. Mean-
while they continued their voyage down the river ;
and a bloody voyage it was. Every one, whom Aguirre
and his blood-hounds suspected of disliking their pro-
ceedings, was murdered, amongst others the unfor-
tunate mistress of Ursua, Dona Inez de Atienza.
Finally they slaughtered Guzman, the puppet king,
and Aguirre caused himself to be proclaimed com-
mander of the expedition. A half blood named
Carrion, the murderer of Dona Inez, was made chief
magistrate, and the piratical crew were christened
Maranones by their leader, after the great river which
they were navigating. These villains committed every
kind of atrocity on the unfortunate Indians whom
they encountered, and their crimes were not unfre-
quently varied by a murder amongst themselves.
Thus they continued their bloody course towards the
Padre Simon, Acufia, and Rodriguez, believe that
the Maranones ascended the Rio Negro, and reached
the ocean, by following the streams of the Cassiquiari
and Orinoco. They eventually reached the island of
Margarita, which they got possession of, committing
the most horrible atrocities on the inhabitants, and
murdering all the officers of the Spanish government.
Aguirre then landed with his Maranones, at Burbu-


rata in Venezuela, with the intention of conquering
New Granada; whence he dispatched a letter to
Philip II, a most extraordinary production, part of
which was published by Baron Humboldt in his
Personal Narrative.1 It is addressed to ” King Philip,
native of Spain, son of Charles the invincible,” and
” I, Lope de Aguirre, thy vassal, a christian of
poor but noble parents, and native of the town of
Oiiate in Biscay, went over young to Peru, to labour
lance in hand. I fought for thy glory : but I recom-
mend to thee to be more just to the good vassals
whom thou hast in this country ; for I and mine,
weary of the cruelties and injustice which thy vice-
roy, thy governors, and thy judges exercise in thy
name, have resolved to obey thee no more. We re-
gard ourselves no longer as Spaniards. We make a
cruel war on thee, because we will not endure the
oppression of thy ministers. I am lame in the left
foot from two shots of an arquebuss, which I received
fighting against Francisco Hernandez Giron, who was
then a rebel, as I am at present, and always shall
be : for since thy Viceroy, the Marquis of Cafiete, a
cowardly, ambitious, and effeminate man, has hanged
our bravest warriors, I care no more for thy pardon
than for the books of Martin Luther.
” Remember, King Philip, that thou hast no right
to draw revenues from these provinces, the conquest
of which has been without danger to thee.” He then
describes his exploits with cool effrontery,—and goes
1 Humboldt, Reise, iii, p. /520-..


on to say,—” We navigated for eleven months, till
we reached the mouth of the river. We sailed more
than fifteen hundred leagues. God knows how we
got through that great mass of water. I advise thee,
O great king, never to send Spanish fleets into that
cursed river.” Thus he concluded this remarkable
document, which was dispatched under the care of a
captive monk.
Aguirre and his Maranones then advanced into the
interior of Venezuela ; but their career was drawing
to a close. They were met by a Spanish force under
Gutierrez de la Peiia, and entirely defeated.1 The
pirate chief murdered his own daughter, who had
accompanied him from Peru, ” that she might never
be called the daughter of a traitor,” and then deli-
vered himself into the hands of the king’s officers ;
and he was put to death, on the spot, by two of his
own Maranones. His head was exposed for many
years at Tocuyo, in an iron cage. In Peru, and most
of the other countries in South America, this monster
is always known as the ” tyrant Aguirre.”
Fray Pedro Simon, in his sixth historical notice of
the conquest of Tierra Firme, has left us a long and
detailed account of this piratical voyage clown the
river of Amazons, and his information appears to have
been derived from some person who was actually in
the expedition.2
1 The poet Ercilla, then on his way home from Chile, was pre-
sent at this battle.
2 I have not dwelt at any length on this extraordinary voyage,
because I hope, at some future time, to translate the sixth histori-


Lope de Aguirre was the second leader who de-
scended from the eastern slopes of the Cordilleras to
the Atlantic, by water. It was upwards of seventy
years before any European performed a similar feat.
Expeditions, however, continued to be sent into
the valley of the Amazons, in different directions.
The first attempts, after the catastrophe which
befell Don Pedro de Ursua, were made in the direc-
tion of the ” Gran Chacu,” that extensive region in
the extreme south of the valley of the Amazons,
where the tributaries of the river Madeira, as wTell as
those of the Paraguay, take their rise.1
The tribe, in Gran Chacu, which wandered nearest
to the confines of Peru, was that of the Chirihuanas,
who were described by Padre Machoni in 1733, as a
quarrelsome and drunken race, living together in
cal notice of Pedro Simon, for the Hakluyt Society. I regret that
circumstances should have prevented me from inserting Simon’s
account of the expedition of Aguirre, in the present volume, ac-
cording to my original intention.
1 ” Gran Chacu” is a vast territory between the provinces of
Paraguay, Tucuman, Charcas, and Sta. Cruz de la Sierra. The
etymology of the name indicates the multitude of nations in this
region. When the Incas went out hunting, the animals were col-
lected together from various parts, and this congregated multitude
was called “Chacu” in the Quichua language. On account of the
number of tribes inhabiting this region, it is called, with reference
to this assemblage of animals, ” Gran Chacu.”
The chief rivers are the Pilco-mayu, Bermejo, and Salado, all
tributaries of the Paraguay ; but the northern part of Gran Chacu
is drained by streams which form the rivers Itenez and Mamore,
two of the principal feeders of the Madeira.—Gran Chacu por
Pedro Lozano, Cordova, 1733.


small villages, and amounting to about thirty thou-
sand men, besides women and children.
In the year 1572 Don Francisco de Toledo, then
Viceroy of Peru, attempted the conquest of the
Chirihuanas. He organized a small army, and, ac-
companied by a number of cows and horses, entered
their territory; but he was not prepared for the diffi-
culties of those untrodden forests. Leaving all his
baggage and live stock behind, his forces retreated
in disorder, suffering great losses on the way. The
Viceroy himself was carried in a litter; and the
Chirihuanas hung upon his rear, shouting, jeering,
and crying out: “Tumble that old woman out of the
basket, that we may eat her alive.”1
Though the Viceroy with his soldiers could not
penetrate into the Gran Chacu ; many solitary priests,
cross in hand, descended from the lofty plateau of
the Ancles, and fearlessly mingled with the wild
Indians, preaching and baptizing.
San Francisco Solano was the first Christian mis-
sionary who entered the Gran Chacu.2 In 1589
Padre Juan Fonte, accompanied only by a boy to
1 Com. Real., i, lib. vii, cap. 17. The Viceroy Toledo had
cruelly put to death young Tupac Amaru, the last of the Incas,
during the preceding year; and I therefore dwell with peculiar
pleasure on his ludicrous discomfiture by the Chiriguanas. He
was a cousin of the butcher Duke of Alva, and second son of the
Count of Oropesa.
2 Lozano, p. 108. Solano is one of the four Peruvian saints.
The others are San Toribio de Mogrovejo, third archbishop of
Lima; San Martin de Poras, a Dominican negro; and Santa Rosa
of Lima.


assist at mass, preached amongst the savage Lules
Indians; and in 1591 Alonzo de Barzana, a Jesuit,
also entered the Chacu, and married three thousand
couples ” in facie Ecclesiae”. In 1592 Padre Gaspar
de Monroy ventured amongst the indomitable Chi-
riguanas, and, says the chronicler of these pious
achievements, ” the devil was much enraged at his
success”.1 Thus, while the Indians remained inde-
pendent of Spanish rule, numbers of Christian priests
continued, from time to time, to explore the vast
forest covered plains of the Chacu.
While these intrepid missionaries were penetrating
into the Gran Chacu, attempts continued to be made
to explore the valley of the Amazons in other direc-
tions ; and especially from the province of Quito. ^
The first European who reached the banks of the
main stream of the Amazons, subsequent to the
piratical voyage of Aguirre, was Don Rafael Ferrer,
a Jesuit priest. This devoted missionary entered the
forests to the eastward of Quito, in the year 1602,
and, descending the Napo, reached the banks of the
Maranon in 1608. He was eventually murdered by
the Cofanes Indians.2 But previous to this single-
handed attempt of the fearless Jesuit, some steps had
1 Lozano, p. 120. The Viceroy of Peru (the Count of Mon-
terey) in 1607, gave fresh vigour to missionary enterprize in the
Gran Chacu, and numbers of priests continued to go forth into
those wilds, during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
2 The territory of the Cofanes Indians was discovered by Don
Gonzalez Diaz de Pineda in 1536; and was more fully explored
by Don Francisco Perez de Quesada in 1557, who was appointed
governor of that country by the Viceroy of Peru.


been taken to secure the territory which was dis-
covered by Gonzalo Pizarro. In 1551 the Marquis
of Cafiete sent Don Egidio Ramirez Davalos to esta-
blish a government in the land of Cinnamon, and he
founded the settlement of Quijos in 1552, on the
river of the same name. This cavalier was succeeded
in the command of these forests by his brother, Don
Gil Ramirez Davalos, in \55S; an officer who had
already distinguished himself by subjugating the
Canares Indians, and founding the city of Cuenca.
Don Gil Ramirez seems to have entered upon his
command with great energy, and his former popu-
larity induced many adventurers to join his standard.
Thus, during the three following years, he founded
the settlements of Baeza, Maspa, Avila, Archidona,
and Tena, in the dense forests through which the
feeders of the river Napo flow, to join the Amazons.
Finally he retired to Kio-bamba, near Quito, where,
in the time of Velasco, his numerous posterity still
resided. In the year 1599, however, the wild Indians
of the tribe of Jibaros rose in rebellion, and destroyed
all these flourishing settlements, Archidona alone
Early in the seventeenth century the territory
along the shores of the Upper Maranon, and its tribu-
tary the Santiago, was explored, and the government
of Maynas formed.2 A small fort had long been es-
1 Jaen, in 1549, had been founded by Don Diego Palo ma, on
whom the government of the district, near the river Chinchipe, had
been conferred by La Gasca.
2 The course of the Maranon, as far as the pongu or rapid of


tablished on the river Santiago, near the Pongo de
Manseriche, to check the incursions of the fierce
Jeberos Indians. In 1616 some Spanish soldiers,
prompted by curiosity and the love of adventure,
started from this fort in a canoe, and reached a settle-
ment of Indians of the Mayna nation, who received
them hospitably. They finally succeeded in reaching
Lima, where they reported their discovery to the
Viceroy Prince of Esquilache, a nobleman of the
family of Borgia.
The Prince of Esquilache conceived a strong desire
to conquer the territory on the Upper Maranon ; and
he chose an officer named Don Diego de Vaca y
Vega, who had defended Panama against the English,
and had served as commandant of the port of Callao,
to perform this service, appointing him governour of
all the countries he might conquer, in the year 1618.
In 1619 Don Diego occupied Maynas with his sol-
diers, and founded a settlement, which he named San
Francisco de Borja, in honour of the Viceroy, soon
afterwards resigning the government into the hands
of his son Don Pedro. A considerable number of
Spaniards settled at the new town of Borja, forcing
the Indians to work for them, and treating them with
great violence and injustice. At last the Indians rose
in rebellion, in the year 1637, and advanced in a
tumultuous body, to attack Borja. The Spaniards
threw up entrenchments round the church, which
were assaulted and carried by the assailants, and they
Manseriche, was explored by Pedro de Mercadillo in 1548, when
he was employed in subjugating the province of Yaguarzongo.


then retreated into the church itself, where they kept
up a fire from the windows. At this critical moment
the Indians were seized with an unaccountable panic,
and fled in confusion, leaving many of their number
dead or wounded. The Spaniards followed them,
committing a horrible butchery; but the insurgent
Indians rallied on the banks of the river Pastaza,
where they were joined by many other tribes, and
again became formidable to the invaders of their na-
tive land.
Don Pedro Vaca, the governor of Maynas, sent a
message to his father, who was living in retirement
at Loxa, saying that he despaired of subjugating the
Indians by force, and that his only hope was, that the
Jesuit missionaries might succeed in tranquillizing
them by persuasion. Accordingly Padre Lucas de la
Cueva, and Padre Cujia, a Sardinian, both Jesuits,
left Quito in the end of the year 1637, and, passing
through the towns of Cuenca and Loxa, reached Jaen,
whence, descending the Maranon and passing the
dangerous Pongo de Manseriche,1 they arrived at the
settlement of Borja.
Meanwhile Don Pedro collected all the Spaniards,
both in Borja, and in the adjacent settlement of San-
tiago ; and also obtained assistance from his generous
ally the chief of the Jeberos Indians. With this
force he defeated and scattered the rebels.1
1 Pongo. A rapid or narrow place in a river, from the Quichua
word puncu, a gate or door.
2 In 1657 Riva Aguero, governor of Caxamarca and Lamas, an
officer named Monroy, and Don Juan Mauricio Vaca de Vega,


Things were in this state when, on the 6th of Feb-
ruary 1638, fathers Cujia and Cueva arrived on the
spot; and thus the famous Jesuit missions of the
Upper Maranon were commenced.
There was a boundless field for the labour of the
good fathers ; and when father Cueva asked the chief
of the Jeberos how many nations there were in those
forests, the chief took up a handful of sand and, scat-
tering it in the air, exclaimed ” Countless as the
grains of sand are the nations in this land ; for there
is neither lake nor river, hill nor valley, plain nor
forest, which is not full of inhabitants.” The chief
of the Jeberos conducted father Cueva down the river
Maranon in his canoe, visiting all the villages of his
tribe, which were built on the banks. Thus the In-
dians of the tribe of Jeberos, whom Velasco describes
as ” a noble, amiable, and excellent people,” were the
first-fruits of the Jesuit missions.
Father Acuna, in the narrative of his voyage, men-
tions the labours of these missionaries, and says that
he had received many letters from them, describing
the grandeur and vast extent of the country which
they were engaged in exploring.1
While the rivers Santiago, Pastaza, and Upper
Maranon were thus explored by the followers of
son of Don Pedro, contended for the appointment of governor of
Maynas. The viceroy, Count Alba de Liste, decided in favour of
Don Juan Mauricio, who, in 1653, succeeded his father in the
government of Maynas. The evidence of Father Cueva, who was
in Lima at the time, was the cause of Don Juan Mauricio’s
success.—Manuel Rodriguez.
1 Acuna, No. 47, p. 91, of this volume.


Vaca, and the Jesuit fathers who came to his as-
sistance, attempts were also made in Peru, by soli-
tary priests, to penetrate into the regions watered by
the great rivers Huallaga and Ucayali; a land where
ancient legends placed the Peruvian El Dorado, and
the city of Manoa.
In the year 16151, the Franciscan father Felipe cle
Lugando left the ancient city of Huanuco, and, travel-
ling through the ravine of Chinchao, and across
the mountains, to the district of Cuchero, eventually
reached the banks of the rivers Monzon and Tulum-
ayu. In a short time he succeeded in forming six
villages of converted Indians, of the Cholones, Jibitos,
Lamistas tribes, on the banks of the Huallaga and
the Monzon.1 In 1636 another Franciscan, named
Jeronimo Ximenes, departed from Tarma, and, de-
scended by difficult and dangerous roads to the Cerro
de la Sal,2 where he built a chapel. From this station
he descended the river Perene, in company with Fray
Cristoval de Larios, and both were massacred by the
Antis Indians in the year 1637. When their untimely
fate became known at Tarma, two other fearless
priests, named Jose de Santa Maria and Cristoval
Mesa, set out to succeed them, and in 1640 they had
founded seven villages on the banks of the Chancham-
ayu. A year later father Matias de Yllescas, with
two lay-brothers, explored the river Perene, and even
reached the banks of the Ucayali, but they were all
1 Castelnau, iv, cap. liii, p. 416; Poeppig, Iieise in Peru, und
ouf dem Amazonenstrome, ii, p. 246.
3 Mentioned by Acuna, p. 120 of this volume.


three murdered by the Setebos Indians. At about
the same time other Franciscans began to follow the
footsteps of Lugando down the Huallaga valley. In
1641 two missionaries, named Gaspar de Vera and
Juan Calazas, were preaching to the Indians at Cue-
hero; and in 1644 Ignacio de Irraga, Jeronimo
Ximenes, and Francisco Suarez, left Tulumayu, and
made a journey of twenty-four leagues into the
forests, founding four Missions amongst the Payansos
Such were the energetic enterprizes of the Francis-
can Missionaries, in the valleys of the Huallaga and
Ucayali; and they continued during another century
and a half to send devoted men into the forests, who
preached fearlessly, explored vast tracts of previously
unknown land, and usually ended their days by being
murdered by the very savages whom they had come
to humanize.
The discoveries of the Portuguese on and near the
mouth of the great river of Amazons, during the
same period, were conducted on very different princi-
ples. In the year 1580 Portugal had been united
with Spain, so that the expeditions conducted by the
Portuguese from that time to the year 1640, when
they regained their independence, were undertaken
by orders from the Spanish government.
In 1613 Gaspar de Souza was appointed governor
of Maranham, with orders to prosecute discovery and
conquest in the direction of the river of Amazons.
Accordingly, in 1615, an officer named Caldeira, with
three vessels, and two hundred men, was sent to con-


quer Gram Para ; and he founded the city of Santa
Maria de Belem de Gram Para, in 1616, on a low
elbow of land, at the junction of the river Guama
with the Para, and about eighty miles from the sea.
In 1618, Francisco de Caldeira was superseded by
Jeronimo Fragoso de Albuquerque; while a mis-
creant named Benito Maciel was sent to take the
command against the Tupinambas Indians, and he
commenced a career of devastation and murder in the
district of Para. On the death of Albuquerque,
Pedro de Texeira became governor of Para, and he
was succeeded in 1622 by the brutal Maciel; but
the cruelty of the latter became so intolerable that
another officer named Mauoel de Sousa was sent to
supersede him in 1626. In 1630 Francisco Coelho
was governor of Para, and he was followed, on his
death in 1633, by Jacome Raymundo de Noronha.
The enterprizes of these successive governors were
chiefly confined to murdering and rooting out Dutch
settlers; varied by occasional inroads into the inte-
rior to burn the villages, and carry off the unfortunate
Indians, to be sold into slavery.
. The principal expeditions, undertaken to explore
the vast valley of the Amazons, from the days of
Gonzalo Pizarro to the year 1636 have thus been
briefly reviewed; and we now come to those events
which led to the voyage of Acuna.
In 1635 some Franciscans left Quito, and entered
the province of Sucumbios, where they were received
by Juan de Palacios, who commanded at a small fort
called San Miguel. They embarked, with Palacios


and ninety soldiers, on the river Aguarico, which
they descended until they came to the country of a
tribe of Indians, whom Ferrer had formerly named
“Los Endabellados,” from their long hair. Here Pala-
cios, delighted with the rich and abundant soil, esta-
blished a settlement called Ante,1 a little above the
junction of the Aguarico with the Napo ; but he was
attacked and killed by the Encabellados, while most
of the Franciscans and soldiers escaped back to Quito.
Two monks named Diego de Brieba, and Andres
Toledo, with six soldiers, fortunately happened to be
in the forests, a little below the spot where the mur-
der of Palacios took place. On hearing of it they got
into a canoe, and began the descent of the Napo, in
the month of June 1637. The adventurers finally
reached Para, at the mouth of the Amazons; and
were thus the first Europeans who had navigated the
whole length of this mighty river, since the days of
Aguirre. On their arrival, Noronha, the governor of
Para, determined to send an expedition commanded
by Pedro de Texeira, up the river; which arrived
at Quito in 1638.
Acuna, wTho was rector of the college at Cuenca,
accompanied Texeira in his returning expedition from
Quito, down the Napo and Amazons to Para ; with
orders to observe everything on the way; to note
down the names of all Indian tribes, their manners
and customs; the names of the rivers flowing into the
Amazons; the natural productions of the country;
and to send in a full report to the council of the
Or ” Anete.”—Acuna, p. 92.


Indies, on his return to Spain. These instructions
were ably carried into execution by the good father,
and the results of his observations were published in
Madrid, in the year 1641. Acuna’s voyage was per-
fectly successful; the people were well supplied with
provisions; there appears to have been scarcely any
sickness, no accident of any importance occurred, and
they floated down pleasantly, with the current of the
river. The good father was an intelligent traveller,
and was indefatigable in collecting information of
every kind. He describes the manners and customs
of the Indians, their modes of fishing and hunting,
and their arms. He enumerates the productions of
the forests and the rivers, and points out the infinite
capabilities of the magnificent country through which
he passed. Indeed he seems to have been fully alive
to the extraordinary advantages which would be
reaped by any country whose merchants could suc-
ceed in establishing a trade with the settlers in the
Amazonian valley, and in navigating the broad deep
rivers up to the very feet of the Andes.
Acuna’s work, entitled El Nuevo Descuhrimiento
del gran rio de las Amazonas, was published at
Madrid in the year 1641; but before it had issued
from the press, the Portuguese had shaken off the –
yoke of Spain, and again become an independent
state. The wretched government of Philip IV, terri-
fied lest the Portuguese should take advantage of any
information contained in Acuna’s book, and forgetting
that Texeira and all his officers knew quite as much .
about the Amazons as the Spanish priest, ordered


every copy of the work to be immediately and effect-
tually destroyed. It has consequently become exceed-
ingly scarce. The French translator (in 1682) said
that Philip IV, fearing that the narrative would serve
to guide his enemies into the heart of Peru, caused all
the copies to be suppressed except one only, which
is in the library of the Vatican. He adds,—” On
auroit de la peine d’en trouver mi autre, ny dans le
vieux, ny dans le nouveau monde, que celui sur lequel
cette traduction a este faite.”
There are, however, certainly three other copies in
existence. One in the King’s library at the British
Museum, from which I have made this translation :
another which was bought at Colonel Stanley’s sale;
and a third, formerly in the possession of Lord Stuart
de Rothsay.
A French translation was published by M. de
Gomberville in 1682,1 which, however, wants the
address to the reader, the certificate of Texeira, the
instructions from the Audience of Quito, and the
memorial at the end.2 An English translation, from
the French, was published in London, in 1698. It
is full of omissions, mistakes, and long interpolations
in the text.
When Portugal became independent, Acuna sub-
mitted a number of suggestions, in the form of a
1 Two vols., 12mo., Paris, 1682; “par M. de Gomberville de
1′ Academie Franchise, avec une dissertation sur la riviere des Ama-
zones pour servir de preface.”
1 Manuel Rodriguez gives Texeira’s certificate, and Acuna’s


memorial, to the council of the Indies, proposing
measures, with a view to preserving all the benefits of
the late discoveries, to Spain ; but the sleepy govern-
ment of Philip IV never took any steps to secure these
advantages. The good father eventually returned to
South America, and died in the city of Lima.1
The narrative of Acuila is the earliest published
account of the river of the Amazons in existence;
and another century passed away before a second
educated European navigated the mighty stream, and
gave the results of his observations to the world.
Meanwhile, during the latter half of the seventeenth
century, many expeditions continued to be made into
the valley of the Amazons, generally conducted by
intrepid Jesuits and Franciscans. It will not, I think,
be out of place to conclude this introduction by giving
a brief summary of the most important of these enter-
prizes, subsequent to the voyage of Acuna.
Four distinct objects have given rise to the various
enterprizes undertaken to explore the valley of the
Amazons, since the days of Acuna. The first and
most effective was the conversion of the Indians ; the
second was the search for the fabulous golden Empire
of Enim,Paytiti,orEl Dorado; the third was the pursuit
of commercial advantages ; and the last has been the
advancement of science and geographical knowledge.
Rapid and extensive discoveries were made through
the zeal and energy of the Jesuit missionaries of
1 His companion, Artieda, returned to Quito, by way of Cartha-
gena, in 1G43; where he advocated the establishment of missions
on the Maranon.—Manuel Rodriguez, lib. ii, cap. xv, p. 151.


Maynas, a territory including the shores of the Upper
Maranon, Santiago, Pastaza, Huallaga, and Ucayali.1
The Jesuit fathers, who had arrived at Borja in
IGoS, found that none of the Indians of the Mara-
non lived in permanent settlements; but Father Cueva
succeeded in collecting some of the Jeberos, and in-
duced them to live in a village on the river Apena,
which he named ” Concepcion de Xuestra Sefiora
de Jeberos,” in 1640.’2 In the same year two more
missionaries, named Bartolome Perez, of Talavera,
in Spain, and Francisco de Figueroa, of Popayan,
arrived at Borja, and established schools for the
Mayna children.
In 1644 Cujia and Perez made an expedition into
the country of the fierce Cocomas Indians, on the
Huallaga, and in the following year they visited the
Omaguas. Thus these indefatigable men laboured for
many years ; and, by the year 1650. they had esta-
blished several villages amongst the Cocomas and
Cocomillas Indians.
1 “The echoes of their sermons resounded through those de-
sert wilds.”—M. Rodriguez, lib. iii, cap. ii, p. 162.
2 Jeberos, in the time of Spanish power, was the most important
town of Amazonas. The most distinguished men of Spam came
out to fill the post of ” Intendente General” of Jeberos, and the
natives still remember the name of Sefior Calvo, so remarkable for
his firmness and integrity. At that time the population of Jeberos
was fifteen thousand. Even to this day there exist the remains of
its former grandeur, and the ruins of a college^and a government
house are pointed out. At present it scarcely counts seventeen
hundred inhabitants. The city is situated in an extensive plain,
watered by numerous streams which flow into the river Apena.—
Ileraldo de Lima, September 10th, 1855.


As a geographical discoverer, the most distin-
guished worthy of the first missionary epoch of the
Maranon, was Father Raymundo de Santa Cruz. He
was born at San Miguel de Ibarra, twenty leagues
from Quito, of noble parents, his father being de-
scended from the Aragonese family of Santa Cruz, and
his mother, Catalina, being a daughter of the house
of Calderon. He was educated at the college of San
Luis at Quito, and, after having been ordained, he
joined the Maranon missions. The scene of his
most important labours was amongst the Cocomas
Indians, on the banks of the Huallaga; where, in
the midst of incredible difficulties and hardships, he
acquired a knowledge of their language, gained their
affections, and preached to them with some success,
for several years. In 1654 he first turned his atten-
tion to the discovery of more easy routes from Quito
to the missions ; and determined, in the first place,
to explore the route by which Acuna had descended
the Napo, with Texeira’s expedition, fifteen years
before. He collected eighty Indians, and began his
voyage in canoes, from the mission village which he
had established on the Huallaga. The brave ex-
plorer descended the Maranon until he reached the
mouth of the Napo, and, ascending that river, ar-
rived at Archidona after a voyage of fifty-one days.
During this long and perilous undertaking, he suf-
fered much from the plagues of mosquitoes and other
insects ; from hunger; and from the anxiety and
perplexity caused by the difficulty in finding the
way; as there are several rivers, such as the Coca


and Curaray, which, though tributaries, are of equal
volume with the Napo ; so that in ascending the
latter river, there was constant danger of choosing
the wrong stream.
Leaving half the Indians in charge of the canoes,
Father Raymundo set out with the rest for the city
of Quito, travelling through the dense forests, and
over the mountains, on foot.
Great excitement was caused at Quito, by the
arrival of the father, after succeeding in performing
this journey. He was received outside the city by a
procession of ecclesiastics, with banners and images ;
and he entered in the midst of his Indians, who were
dressed in cotton shirts, with a headdress of feathers,
bows in their hands, and quivers of arrows hanging
from their shoulders. Thus they marched through
the streets to the sound of music, amidst a vast crowd
of spectators, until they reached the great square,
where the members of the Royal Audience, the
bishop, and the dean received them.1 After remaining
about a month in Quito, Father Raymundo returned
to Archidona with his Indians, and three fresh mis-
sionaries. They descended the Napo in eight clays,
and arrived safely at the mission of the Cocomas, on
the Huallaga.
In 1656 Father Raymundo was employed to ac-
company General Don Martin de la Riva Aguero in
an expedition to subdue the Jeberos Indians; but it
proved unsuccessful, owing to the mismanagement
* •
1 M. Rodriguez, p. 197. He says : ” This was one of the most
memorable days, which the city of Quito has ever seen.”


and greedy avarice of the Spanish commander, who
was governor of Caxamarca. The good missionary,
however, still thirsted after the discovery of new
territory, and of better routes between Quito and the
missions of the Maranon. He explored several rivers,
and finally, in 1662, ascended the Pastaza, with a few
Spaniards and Indians, in light canoes. On the third
day, the canoe in which Father Raymundo was em-
barked, entered a rapid near the confluence of the
Bombonaza, and was overset. The good man, giving
one last look at the overhanging forest, sank beneath
the waves, which became, his grave.1
This indefatigable explorer, and zealous missionary,
led a life of constant self-denial. His usual dress con-
sisted of an old battered hat, a coarse cotton shirt, and
a pair of sandals; and his mode of life was more
simple than that of the Indians who surrounded him.
Thus for many years he laboured to increase the tem-
poral and spiritual welfare of these wild hunters of
the Huallaga, seeking out medicines, and administer-
ing them with his own hands; as well as teaching
them the Christian religion. His was truly a noble
and well spent life; but it should be remembered that
there were many other intrepid and devoted men on
the banks of these rivers, at the same time, who were
equally zealous in preaching to the Indians, and in
exploring the vast forests, and unknown rivers, and
who, generally, like Father Raymundo de Santa Cruz,
met with a violent death, as the welcome reward of
their exertions.
1 M. llodrigucz, p. 270.


In 1658 Father Cueva extended the labours of the
missionaries to the banks of the Napo, and became
himself the permanent priest at Archidona. Thus,
through the untiring zeal of these Jesuits, the mis-
sions attained great prosperity, and in 1663 Father
Figueroa stated that there were fifty-six thousand
baptized Indians scattered through the missions
which had been established on the Upper Maranon,
Pastaza, Huallaga, Lower Maranon, and Ucayali;
and between A640 and 1682 no less than thirty-
three villages’ were established by the missionaries.
This period is known as the first missionary
1 A history of the first missionary epoch on the river Maranon
(1640 to 1682), was written by Father Manuel Rodriguez, and
published at Madrid in 1684, with the following title, “El Mara-
non y Amazonas. Historia de los descubrimientos, entradas, y
reduccion de naciones, por el Padre Manuel Rodriguez, de la Com-
pania de Jesus, Procurador General de las Provincias de India en
la corte de Madrid.” He divides his work into six books, three
being devoted to temporal conquests and information, and three to
spiritual triumphs, and the deaths of missionaries.
The names of the principal missionaries during this period de-
serve to be recorded here, in memory of their extensive geogra-
phical discoveries, in the valley of the Amazons. They were as’
Padre Cueva. Padre Camacho, of Spain.
,, Cujia (a Sardinian). ,, Lucero, of Pasto.
,, Perez, of Talavera. ,, Suarez, of Carthagena.
,, Figueroa, of Popayan. ,, Navarro, a Spaniard.
,, Santa Cruz, the first who ,, Hurtado, of Panama.
learnt the Cocoma language. ,, Durango, of Naples.
,, Majano, of Guayaquil. ,, De Cases,
and thirteen others.


The second missionary epoch extended from 1683
to 1727. During this period Father Juan de
Lucero converted the Panos, and collected them in
a village on the Huallaga, called Santiago de la
Laguna. Forty-three missionaries entered upon the
work in Maynas, amongst whom were two distin-
guished Germans, named Henry Rioter and Samuel
Henry Ricter was born at Czaslau, in Bohemia, in
the year 1653, and entered a Jesuit college in his
tenth year. He was seized, when very young, with
a longing to go to the Indies, to convert the heathens,
and finally to obtain the crown of martyrdom. After
much opposition, he was at length permitted to go,
and departed from his native land in the year 168-1.
Soon after his arrival at Borja, he was sent on a
mission to the Indians of the river Ucayali, where he
laboured for many years to effect their conversion.
The most heroic devotion could alone have enabled
him to face the difficulties which surrounded him.
During twelve years he performed forty difficult
journeys, through dense forests, or in canoes on
rapid and dangerous rivers. He never took any
provisions with him, but wandered bare-footed and
half naked through the tangled underwood, trusting
wholly to Providence for support, and feeding on
herbs and roots. His efforts were rewarded with
success, and, having learnt some of the Indian lan-
guages, lie at last surrounded himself with a num-
ber of converts.
In 1695 he was sent on a mission, with a few


Indian guides, to the fierce tribes of the Conibos and
Pirros,1 who treacherously murdered him.2
Samuel Frit& was also a native of Bohemia, and
commenced his labors amongst the Indians of the
Maranon in 1687. He is generally known as the
Apostle of the Omaguas,” as he established forty
villages amongst them, and also preached to the Yuri-
maguas and Ticunas. His numerous journeys and
voyages embraced the whole course of the river of
Amazons, and many of its tributaries. He descended
to the city of Para at its mouth, and ascended it
again to Quito. He went up the Huallaga to Huan-
uco, and thence to Lima, returning by way of Jaen,
to the missions of the Maranon. These numerous expe-
ditions gave him an extensive knowledge of the geo-
graphy of those vast regions; and he is well known
as having published a map of the valley of the Ama-
zons at Quito, in the year 1707.3 He was well fitted
for the wild life he was forced to lead, for, besides
being a good priest and an intrepid explorer, he was
1 In the German they are called Schibaren; but, I suppose, from
the resemblance in the name, that the tribe of Jeberos must be
2 Stochlein’s Reise-Beschreibungen. A collection of letters from
Jesuit missionaries from all parts of the world, from 1642 to 1726,
published at Augsburg in 1726. No. iii, p. 60.
3 It is published in the Reise-Besehrcibungen, and Stochlein
says :—” Samuel Fritz made the first map of this river, from his
own observations and experience : by which the former maps of
the lovers of geography, for the measurement of the world, may be
corrected. The places where any of the missionaries suffered
martyrdom are marked, in the map, by a small cross.” He makes
the lake of Lauricocha to be the source of the Amazons.


a physician, a painter, a carpenter, and a joiner.
Many of the rude mission churches, in those forests,
were ornamented by the paintings of Samuel Fritz.
He died in 1730, at the good old age of eighty years,
in a mission village of the Jeberos Indians, attended
by a priest named Wilhelm de Tres, and surrounded
by his sorrowing flock, who loved and revered their
kind old friend.1
During this period the missionaries, in addition to
the natural difficulties of their position, had to con-
tend against the triple scourge of Portuguese invasion,
rebellion, and pestilence. The Portuguese made con-
tinual incursions up the river, burning the villages,
and carrying away the Indians for slaves. In 1660
the Cocomas Indians, eleven thousand strong, after
sixteen years of peace, rose in rebellion and killed
their Missionary, Father Thomas Majano. The in-
surrection continued until 1669, during which time
Father Figueroa and forty-four neophytes were mur-
dered. The Cocomas were joined by the Maparinas
and Chepeos, and the Avigiras rose in 1667, and
slaughtered Father Suarez ; while Fathers Picter and
Herrera were killed by the Indians of the Ucayali
in 1695. The missions on that river were entirely
destroyed, and the superior, Francisco Viva, who
attempted to regain them with the aid of the Spanish
troops, was disgracefully defeated. In 1707 the Gaes
rose, and massacred Father Durango, and seven thou-
sand catechumens ; and in 1753 all the tribes on the
1 Letter from Wilhelm de Tres, dated Cuenca, June 1st, 1731.
licise-Bcschreibungcn, vol. iv, No. 561 ; xiv, p. 61.


Napo were in rebellion. To these calamities pestilence
was added. The small-pox first appeared at Borja in
1660, and forty-four thousand Indians died. In 1669
upwards of twenty thousand more were swept away ;
and in the years 1680, 1749, 1756, and 1762 the dis-
ease committed such frightful ravages, that the sur-
viving Indians deserted the mission villages, and fled
into the woods.
The third missionary epoch of Maynas comprised
a period of forty-one years, from 1727 to 1768, during
which time eighty-six missionaries1 entered the field,
and forty- five mission villages were founded.
After the great pestilence of 1756, Borja was re-
founded on a new site, by order of the Royal Audience
of Quito, between the mouths of the Morona and
Pastaza, on the banks of the Maranon. At the end
of the last century it was a wretched little village,
composed of the relics of the Mestizos and Indians,
left by the insurrections, and the small-pox, about four
hundred in number.2 The capital of the missions,
where the superior resided, was removed to Santiago
de la Laguna, in 1756, a village which had been
founded by Father Lucero in 1670, on the east bank of
a beautiful lake formed by the river Huallaga. The
government of the Upper Maranon missions was
1 Among these there were six Germans : Father Henry Francen,
who worked for forty years, and died in 1767; Francis Rhen;
Carl Bretan; Adam Widman, who died in 1769, aged 70; Adam
Scheffen; and Leonard Deuhler, who died 1770, aged 80.
2 Though some remains of its former prosperity are still left,
Borja is now no more than a cemetery of desolation, covered with
trees and underwood.—Ileraldo de Lima, 1854.


placed under the Bishop of Quito ; and, at the com-
mencement of the present century they were four-
teen in number.1 The vice-superior of the missions
resided at a village on the Maranon called San Joa-
quim de Omaguas, composed of the small remnant
of the once flourishing missions, left by the Portu-
guese and the small-pox. The same causes reduced
the missions on the Napo to five missionaries, and
ten villages. The expulsion of the Jesuits still fur-
ther tended to reduce these once flourishing missions.
1 In 1808 the whole of the missions on the Maranon, including
the mouths of the rivers Napo, Pastaza, etc., were placed under the
jurisdiction of the Viceroyalty of Peru, by a law or Real Cedula,
the original of which is still extant. This fact will be of some
importance in deciding the dispute concerning the boundary be-
tween the Republics of Peru and Ecuador, which has lately led to
the blockade of Guayaquil. Among the South American Republics,
by a tacit agreement, which, however, is recognized and respected
on all occasions, the principle of the right of territorial juris-
diction has been fixed by the uti possidetis of the year 1810,
when the viceroyalties began to shake off the yoke of Spain. On
this principle the lower part of the courses of the Pastaza and
Napo, as well as both banks of the Maranon, certainly belong
to Peru.—Memorandum by Don Manuel Tirado, Oct. 30th, 1855.
Moreover, the present bishop of Chachapoyas, in Peru, is in
possession of documents which will prove that his predecessor,
Bishop Rangel (during the Spanish times) exercised ecclesiastical
jurisdiction in the province of Quijos, now claimed and occupied
by the authorities of Ecuador.—Letter from the Bishop, in the
Jleraldo de Lima, September 14th, 1855.
Dr. Villavicencio, who was governor of Canclos for many years,
not only denies the Peruvian claim, but also claims several districts
in Peru, to the south of the Amazons, for Ecuador. He proposes,
as the best mode of settling the dispute, to adopt the Amazons as
the boundary line.— Villavicencio’s Pamphlet, 1859.

xxx vii

The enterprizes of the Franciscans on the upper
waters of the Huallaga and Ucayali were, though par-
tially successful at first, almost entirely paralyzed
towards the end of the last century.
In 1651 Father Alonzo Caballero reached the banks
of the Ucayali, and resided for some years amongst the
Callisecas andSetebos,but he was eventually murdered;
and the same fate befell numerous other intrepid
priests who, during the latter half of the seventeenth
century, attempted to establish missions on the
Ucayali, and its tributary streams. Thus, at the com-
mencement of the eighteenth century, nearly all the
missions in the vast plains between the Huallaga and
Ucayali, known as the Pampa del Sacramento, were
abandoned. It was at this time, when the prospects
of forming any establishments in the valley of the
Ucayali seemed so hopeless, that Father Francisco de
San Jose1 founded the college of Ocopa, in a valley of
the Peruvian Andes, between the towns of Tarma
and Guamanga, with a view to the education of
missionaries. Father San Jose himself penetrated
into the forests, and formed the mission of Pozuzu in
1712. The exertions of this brave Franciscan gave
a new stimulus to missionary zeal: in 1730 ten new
villages had been established on the Chanchamayu,
1 A native of the city of Mondejar, in Spain. In 1712 he arrived
at Huanuco, whence he proceeded to Pozuzu, a village which still
exists. He also caused a hospital to be built at a place called
Chaglla. Between 1726 and 1755 the Franciscans penetrated,
eight times, from Pozuzu to the port on the river Mayru, but with-
out any permanent results.—Letter from Father Sobreviela, Guar-
dian of the College of Ocopa in 1792.


and in 1732 Father Simon Zara discovered the vast
territory which was named ” Pampa del Sacra-
mento,”1 because he entered it on the festival of
Corpus Christi.
Exertions continued to be made throughout the
last century, to establish missions in the valley of the
Ucayali. The missionaries were sometimes success-
ful ; but more frequently they met with terrible
disasters; and the labours of the century were con-
cluded by the most interesting expeditions of Father
Girbal, on the Ucayali.2 In 1670, missions were
1 The ” Pampa del Sacramento” is bounded on the east by the
Ucayali, on the west by the Huallaga, on the north by the Mara-
non, and on the south by the Aguatya. “The two continents of
America,” says Smyth, ” do not contain another country so favour-
ably situated, and so fertile.” It is three hundred miles long, by
forty to one hundred broad; and numerous streams, navigable for
canoes, rise in its interior, and flow off on either side, to the Hual-
laga or Ucayali. The soil is a red clay, thickly covered with vegeta-
tion, its forests are filled with an almost endless variety of beautiful
birds, and its rivers furnish an inexhaustible supply of fishes,
turtles, and manatees. Coffee, sugar, balsam, sarsaparilla, cotton,
indian rubber, resins, gums, dyes, wax, indigo, vanille, tapioca, a
great variety of fruits and herbs, are amongst its vegetable pro-
ducts ; and the climate is agreeable and healthy. It is inhabited
by several wandering tribes of Indians, who pass their time in
hunting and fishing.
2 The letters of Father Girbal were published in a Peruvian
periodical called the Mercurio Peruana, in 1791-92. His accounts
of the countries which he explored, of the manners and customs of
the Indians, and of his own adventures, are most interesting. In
No. 150 of the Mer curio Peruano, the instructions of Father
Sobreviela, the guardian of the College of Ocopa, to Father Girbal,
are published. They contain very judicious rules for the establish-
ment of mission villages amongst the Indians. In No. 194, there



established on some of the tributaries of the Hual-
laga ; the Cholones, Lamistas, and Jibitos Indians
were collected into villages ; and have ever since been
retained in a semi-civilized condition. Poeppig has
given us a minute account of these Indians of the
The extensive territory on the banks of the river
Mamore, which stretches far away to the eastward of
that grand chain of the Ancles, where Sorata and
Ulimani rear their snowy heads above all the moun-
tain peaks of America, was first visited by a missionary
in 1674.
In that year Cypriano Baraza, a Jesuit of Lima,
embarked, in a canoe, on the Rio Grande; and, after
a voyage of twelve days, arrived in the territory of
the Moxos Indians, who inhabit the banks of the
Mamore.2 He spent four years amongst them, learn-
ing their language, and gaining their good will ; at
the end of which time, exhausted by ague, he was
obliged to retire to Santa Cruz de la Sierra, to recruit
his health. After passing five years amongst the
savage Chiriguanas, he returned to his beloved Moxos,
and collected many of them into mission villages.
He dressed their wounds, administered medicine to
is a letter from Fray Juan Duehas, giving an account of his jour-
ney across the Pampa del Sacramento, from the Ucayali to the
Girbal was succeeded, in the Ucayali mission, by Father Plaza,
who laboured for fifty years, and died about twelve years ago.
There arc now four mission villages on the Ucayali.
1 Sec the list, at the end of the volume.
2 Ilcise Bcschricbungcn, No. 112, p. G2.


their sick, taught them weaving, carpentry, and
agriculture, introduced cattle into their country, and
gained their good will and respect. The first mission
village established by Baraza was called Loreto,1 the
second was Trinidad, where he built a handsome
brick church. Every family had its portion of land,
which it was required to cultivate for its own use;
and there were public lands and herds of cattle, for
the support of the church and hospital. Maize,
mandioc, rice, cotton, and cacao were cultivated with
success; while vanille, cinnamon, wax, and copaiba
balsam, were collected in the forests.
With the untiring energy of a minister of Christ,
Baraza voluntarily combined an amount of bodily
suffering, far exceeding in severity the useless pe-
nances of St. Simeon Stylites. He lived on roots,
sometimes, though rarely, indulging in a small piece
of smoked monkey, which the Indians gave him out
of compassion. He never slept more than four hours,
his bed being the steps of the church when at the
missions, and the bare ground when on a journey,
1 Loreto, and Trinadad de los Moxos, were visited by Lieutenant
Gibbon, U.S.N., in 1852. The former is in a ruinous condition.
The latter is twelve leagues north-north-west of Loreto, separated
by a marshy plain, covered with long grass, and frequented by
cattle, deer, peccaries, tapirs, and jaguars. Trinidad, on the banks
of the Mamore, now the capital of the Bolivian Department of
Beni, with about two thousand inhabitants, was laid out by Baraza,
in wide streets built at right angles. The houses are of one story,
and are roofed with tiles, which extend over the side walks, and
arc supported by a line of posts, thus forming a piazza. The plaza
is in the centre of the town, and contains the cathedral, and the
government house.



without shelter from rain or cold. Other priests,
when travelling on the rivers in canoes, used um-
brellas to protect their heads from the burning rays
of the sun, but Baraza would never use one; nor
would he take the least precaution to protect himself
from the tormenting bites of mosquitoes and sand-
flies. With his own hand Baraza baptised forty
thousand heathens. He found the Moxos an ignorant
people, more savage and cruel than the wild beasts ;
and he left them a civilized community, established
in villages, and converted to Christianity.1
In 1702, Baraza visited the Baures, a tribe living
in the country to the eastward of the Moxos, near
the banks of the rivers Itenez and Blanco. The good
man was murdered by these Indians on the 16th of
September, 1702, in the sixtieth year of his age,
after having labored amongst the Moxos for upwards
of twenty-seven years. Few people have studied the
history of the Jesuit missions more attentively than
Mr. Southey, and he says of Baraza, (in his History
of Brazil,) ” He was, perhaps, the most enlightened
Jesuit that ever laboured in South America.”1
The Moxos missions continued to flourish, after the
1 ” Account of the Life and Death of Father Cyprian Baraza,
the first Apostle of Christ to the Moxos Indians.” Printed in
Spanish, at Lima, by command of the Bishop of La Paz, and trans-
lated into French, in the tenth selection of the Lettres Edijiaiites,
Paris, 1713. Also translated into German in the Reise-Beschrei-
bungen, No. 112; with a map of the Moxos Missions, and of the
courses of the Beni and Mamore rivers, copied from one which
Avas drawn by the Jesuits of Peru. It is headed ” Mission bei den
Moschen durch die Jesuiter von Peru.”
>cing treated in the same way as the people of Sumaco.


river passes, which is supposed to he the largest of those
streams, which unite to form that river which some call the
Orellana, and others the Maranon.1
Here they waited nearly two months for the Spaniards
who were left at Sumaco. Having been joined by them,
and recovered from their fatigue, they all proceeded toge-
ther along the banks of that great river; but for more than
fifty leagues they found neither ford nor bridge by which
they might pass over, for the river was so broad as not to
admit either the one or the other.
At the end of this long journey, they came to a place
where the river precipitates itself over a rock, more than
two hundred feet high; and makes so great a noise, that the
Spaniards heard it at a distance of six leagues before they
arrived at it. They were astonished to see a thing so great
and so strange ; but much more did they wonder, forty or
fifty leagues lower down, when they saw that the immense
volume of water, contained in this river, was collected into a
channel made by another enormous rock.
The channel is so narrow, that there are not more than
twenty feet from one bank to the other; and the rock is so
high, that from the top (where these Spaniards presently
passed over) to the water was another two hundred feet, the
same height as the fall. Certainly it is a marvellous thing
that in that land should be found things so great and won-
derful as those two rapids, and many others.
Gonzalo Pizarro and his captains, thinking that they might
not find so easy a way of crossing the river again, to see
what was on the other side, because all they had yet seen
was a sterile and unprofitable land, bethought themselves
of making a bridge over the chasm; but the Indians
1 This is the river Coca, which rises in the Cordillera, forms a great
curve, and falls into the Napo. It is nearly equal to the Napo in size.
” The Indians navigate the Coca for eight days, when further progress
is prevented by a great cascade.”—Iiej)ort of Bon Manuel Villaviccncio.



on the other side, though few in number, defended the pass
bravel}r. The Spaniards were thus obliged to fight with
them, a thing which they had not yet done with any Indians
of that region. They fired their arquehusses, and killed a
few, and the rest retired about two hundred paces, asto-
nished at so strange a sight. They were terrified at the
bravery and ferocity of that race, which they said brought
lightning, rain, and thunder, to kill those who did not obey
them. The Spaniards, seeing the passage clear, made a
bridge of wood ; and it must be considered what an under-
taking it was to place the first beam across a chasm, at such
a height above the water, that even to look down was an act
of rashness. And so it proved to a Spaniard, who, wishing
to look at the furious rush of water from the top of the rock,
became giddy and fell in. On beholding the misfortune
which had befallen their companion, the others were more
careful; and with much labour and difficulty placed the
first beam, and with help of it, as many more as w7ere neces-
sary. Thus they made a bridge, by which men and horses
safely passed over. They left it as it was, in case it should
be necessary to return by it. They journeyed down the
course of the river, through such dense forests, that it was
necessary in many places to cut a road with hatchets.
Suffering these hardships, they reached a land called
Guema, as poor and inhospitable as the most sterile of those
they had passed; and they met few Indians, while even
those, on seeing the Spaniards, entered the forests, and
were seen no more.
The Spaniards, and their Indian followers, supported
themselves on herbs and roots. Owing to hunger, and
fatigue, and the heavy rains, many Spaniards and Indians
fell sick and died; but, in spite of these disasters,
they advanced many leagues, and arrived at another land,
where they found Indians, a little more civilized than those
they had seen before ; who fed on maize bread, and dressed


in cotton clothes. Gonzalo Pizarro then sent people in all
directions, to sec if they could find any open road, but all
returned in a short time with the same story, that the land
was covered with dense forest, full of lagoons and swamps,
which could not be forded. On this account they determined
to build a brigantine, in which they might pass from one
side of the river to the other, the river being nearly two
leagues broad. They accordingly set up a forge for making
nails, and burnt charcoal with great trouble, because the
heavy rains prevented the tinder from taking fire. They
also made roofed huts to burn the wood in, and defend it
from the rain. Some of the nails were made from the shoes
of horses, which had been killed as food for the sick, and
the rest of the iron they had brought with them. They now
found it more valuable than gold.
Gonzalo Pizarro, as became so valiant a soldier, was the
first to cut the wood, forge the iron, burn the charcoal, and
employ himself in any other office, so as to give an example
to the rest, that no one might have any excuse for not doing
the same. For tar, for the brigantine, they used resin from
the trees ; for oakum, they had blankets and old shirts ; and
all were ready to give up their clothes, because they
believed that the remedy for all their misfortunes would be
the brigantine. Thus they completed and launched her,
believing that on that day all their troubles would come to
an end. But in a few days their hopes were destroyed, as
we shall presently see.



Francisco de Orellana deserts with the brigantine, and proceeds to
Spain to obtain a grant of Ids discovery. His death.
THEY put all their gold on hoard the brigantine, amounting
to more than one hundred thousand dollars, with many-
fine emeralds, also the iron, the forge, and everything else
of value. They also sent the sick on board, who were
unable to travel by land. Thus they started from this place,
having journeyed already nearly two hundred leagues ; and
began the descent of the river, some by land, others on
board the brigantine, never being far from each other, and
every night they slept close together. They all advanced
with much difficulty; for those on shore had to open the
road in many places, by cutting with axes; while those on
board had to labour hard to resist the current, so as not to
get far from their comrades. When they could not make a
road on one side of the river, owing to the dense
nature of the forest, they passed to the other side in the
brigantine, and four canoes. Having gone on in this way
for more than two months, they met some Indians who told
them by signs, and by means of some words understood by
their own Indians, that ten days journey from the place
where they then were, they would find an inhabited land;
well supplied with provisions, and rich in gold, and in all
other things which they wanted. They also told them, by
signs, that that land was on the banks of another great river
which joined the one down which they were now travelling.1
The Spaniards rejoiced at this news. Gonzalo Pizarro
1 This was the junction of the rivers Coca and Napo. The Napo rises
near the volcano of Cotopaxi, in the canton of Latacunga. It flows for
one hundred aud ninety miles from west to east, and then changes its
course, flowing north-west to south-east. In front of the port of Napo it is
thirty yards across, in front of Santa Rosa it is three hundred yards broad.
Its windings and islands present the most lovely views. The voyage from



selected, as captain of the brigantine, his lieutenant,
Don Francisco de Orellana, with fifty soldiers ; and ordered
him to proceed to the place indicated by the Indians, (which
would be distant about eighty leagues) ; and, having arrived
at the point where the two rivers meet, to load the brigantine
with provisions, and return up the river, to relieve the
people, who were so afflicted with hunger, that each clay
there died several men, Spaniards as well as Indians. Of
four thousand who started in this expedition, two thousand
were already dead.
Francisco de Orellana continued his voyage, and in three
days, without oar or sail, he navigated the eighty leagues,
but did not find the supplies which had been promised ; and
he considered that if he should return with this news to
Pizarro, he would not reach him within a year, on account
of the strong current, though he had descended in three
days ; and that if he remained where he was, he would be
of no use either to the one, or to the other. Not knowing how
long Gonzalo Pizarro would take to reach the place, with-
out consulting with any one, he set sail, and prosecuted his
voyage onwards, intending to ignore Gonzalo, to reach Spain,
and obtain that government for himself.
Many of his crew objected to this, suspecting his evil
intentions ; and they declared that it was not right to go
beyond the orders of his captain general, nor to desert him
in his great necessity. A monk named Fray Gaspar de
Carbajal, and a young cavalier named Hernan Sanchez de
Vargas, a native of Badajos, whom the malcontents took
for their chief, also dissented. Francisco de Orellana, how-
ever, appeased them for the time with fair speeches ; though
afterwards, when he had reduced them to obedience, he
broke his word, and told the good monk that if ho would
the port of Napo to the Amazons is made in small undecked canoes ; and
the dangers consist of trees fallen into the stream, and shoals at the
points of the islands.—Report of Villuvicenclo; Journey of Dr. Jameson.



not follow him, he would leave him behind, like Hernan
Sanchez de Vargas. That he might suffer a more eruel
death, he did not kill Hernan Sanchez, but left him in that
dreary place, surrounded on one side by the dense forest,
on the other by a mighty river, so that he could neither
escape by water nor land, and thus he would perish of
■ Francisco de Orellana continued his journey ; and soon, to
render his intention more clear, he renounced his obedience
to Gonzalo Pizarro, and elected himself a captain of His
Majesty, independent of any one else. A foul deed (what
else can such treason be called ?) such as has been done by
other worthies in the conquest of the New World; as
captain Gonzales Hernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, Chronicler
to his Catholic Majesty the Emperor Charles V, says in
book 17, cap. 20, of his General History of the Indies ;
” those who did these things, were paid in the same coin.”
Francisco de Orellana, in descending the river, had some
skirmishes with the Indians inhabiting that shore, who
were very fieree, and in some parts the women came
out to fight, with their husbands. On this account, and to
make his voyage the more wonderful, he said that it
was a land of Amazons, and besought His Majesty for a
commission to conquer them. Further down the river, they
found more civilized Indians, who were friendly, and were
astonished to see the brigantine, and such strange men.
They made friends with them, and gave them food, as much
as they wished. The Spaniards stayed with them some
days ; and then they sailed down to the sea, two hundred
leagues to the Isle of Trinidad, having suffered the hard-
ships that have been described, and many great dangers on
the river. In that island Orellana bought a ship, with
which he went to Spain, and besought His Majesty to
give him a commission to conquer that country, magnify-
ing his discovery, by saying it was a land of gold and


silver, and precious stones, and demonstrating his assertions
by the fine show of these things, which he brought with him.
His Majesty gave him power to conquer the land, and to
govern it. Orellana then collected more than five hundred
soldiers, many of them distinguished and noble cavaliers,
with whom he embarked at San Lucar, and died at sea, his
people dispersing in different directions. Thus this expedi-
tion met an end, in conformity with its evil beginning.
From it we will return to Gonzalo Pizarro, whom we left
in great distress. He, having dispatched Orellana with the
brigantine, made ten or twelve canoes, and as many balsas,
so as to be able to pass from one side of the river to the
other, when they were impeded on land by dense forest, as
they had been before.1 Theyjourneyed on with the hope that
their brigantine would soon succour them with food, to pre-
serve them from the hunger which they suffered, for they
had no other enemy in all their journey.
They arrived, at the end of two months, at the junction of
the two great rivers, where they expected to find the brigan-
tine, which they thought would be waiting for them with pro-
visions, and which might not have been able to reach them
before, on account of the strong current of the river. They
found themselves deceived ; and the hope of escaping from
that hell, for such a land might be called by that name,
was lost; (where they had passed through so many hard-
ships and miseries, without remedy, or hope of escape.)
They found, at the junction of the two great rivers, the good
Hernan Sanchez de Vargas, who, with the constancy of a
1 Gonzalo sent Captain Mereadillo down the river in search of Orel-
lana, with some canoes, but he returned in eight days without any news.
Gonzalo Diaz de Pineda was then sent in search, who, after navigating
for a few days, found that the river entered another much larger one,
where he saw traces of Orellana’s people. He found some roots of the
yuca plant (jatropha manihot), with which he returned. A Spaniard
named Villarejo went mad, and many others fell sick and died from
eating these roots.—Herrera.



true gentleman had insisted on being left behind, suffering
hunger, and other hardships, to give Gonzalo Pizarro a
complete account of what Francisco de Orellana had done
against his captain general, and against Hernan Sanchez
himself, for having opposed his wicked intentions. The
captains and soldiers were so grieved at being thus deceived
of their hopes, and deprived of all relief, that they were
ready to give way to despair.
Their general, although he felt the same grief as the rest,
consoled and cheered them, saying that they should take
heart, to bear like Spaniards these and even greater hard-
ships, if greater there could be ; that they had succeeded in
being the conquerors of that empire, and should, therefore,
behave like men chosen by Divine Providence for so great
an enterprise. With this speech they were all refreshed,
seeing the steadfastness of their captain general. They
continued their journey, still along the banks of the great
river, sometimes on one side, and sometimes on the other,
as they were forced to pass from one side to the other. The
work they had was incredible, to take the horses across on
balsas, as they still had more than eighty, out of one hun-
dred and fifty that they took from Quito. They also had
nearly one thousand Indians, out of the four thousand they
took from Peru; who served like sons to their masters,
in these hardships and privations, searching for herbs and
roots and wild fruits, frogs and serpents, and other wretched

Gonzalo Pizarro attempts to return to Quito.
SUFFERING these miseries, they travelled down the river
another hundred leagues, without finding any better land,
nor any hope in advancing further; for, from day to day



they were worse off, without any chance of better times.
These things having been considered by the general and
his captains, they agreed to return to Quito (if it were
possible), whence they had marched more than four hundred
But, as it was impossible to navigate up the river, on
account of the strong current, they determined to take
another road, and to return by the north of the river, be-
cause they had received notice that in that direction there
were fewer lagoons and morasses. They plunged into the
forest, opening a road with axes and bills.

Gonzalo Pizarro, having passed through incredible hardships, departs
from the land of Cinnamon.
GONZALO PIZARRO, and his party, struggled with many
obstacles in the shape of mighty rivers, and morasses which
1 Gonzalo was doubtful as to what road he should take to return.
He consulted with Don Antonio de Ribera, Sancho de Carbajal, Villegas,
Funis, and Juan de Acosta ; and they determined to send Gonzalo Diaz
de Pineda up the river to reconnoitre. He met fifteen canoes, with eight
armed men in each. Gonzalo Diaz took the only arquebuss they had,
and his lieutenant, Diego de Bustamante, the only crossbow. With the
arquebuss one Indian was killed, and another was wounded in the arm
with a crossbow. The Indians, with loud shouts, threw their darts; but
the Spaniards killed two more, and then fell upon them with their
swords. The Indians then jumped out of their canoes, and swam away.
The Spaniards found some food in the canoes, for which they gave
thanks to God. Diaz de Pineda and Bustamante made crosses on the
trees, as marks for Pizarro, when he should arrive at the place. Next
day they came in sight of hills, which they believed to be the Cordilleras
of Quito, and they found stones in the bed of a torrent. They then
returned to seek for Pizarro, whom they found by the noise made by his
people in cutting a road. He was in great misery, and only had two
dogs left out of nine hundred, one belonging to himself, the other to
Hi ber a.—Herrera.



they could not wade through. The forests were full of dense
thorny foliage; and the trees were of great size. Gomara,
in the end of his eighty-sixth chapter, describing the
discovery made of that land by Vincente Yanez Pincon,
after narrating what happened to the discoverer, finally
speaks of the wonderful things which he saw, in these
words:—”The discoverers brought the bark of certain trees,
which seemed to be cinnamon, and a skin of that animal
which puts its young into its bosom ; and they related, as a
wonderful thing, that they saw a tree which sixteen men
could not span round.”
Besides these difficulties, Gonzalo Pizarro and his follow-
ers had to contend against hunger, a cruel enemy both of
men and beasts, which had destroyed so many of them in
that uninhabitable land.
Gonzalo Pizarro intended to return to Peru, by leaving
the river, and journeying by dense forests, no better than
what he had passed before, where the road was formed by
dint of strength of arms ; feeding on herbs, roots, and wild
fruits, and it was very little even of such food that they
found, considering themselves lucky travellers to get any.
Through the lagoons, morasses and marshes, the worn
out and sick people were carried on the backs of their
comrades ; and those who laboured most among them, were
Gonzalo Pizarro himself, and his captains, who thus gave
fresh vigour to their followers to emulate their examples.
Thus they went on for more than three hundred leagues,
without escaping from the difficulties which have been
mentioned, or lessening the labour which they had to
endure : by which any one can imagine how great were the
hardships they endured in the four hundred leagues in going,
and three hundred in returning ; when their hunger was so
great, that they were obliged to kill their horses: and
previously they had eaten the greyhounds and mastiffs they
had with them : and, as Gomara says in chap. 144, they



even eat the Spaniards who died, according to the evil
custom of the savages of those forests.
Many Indians perished from hunger, and Spaniards also,
though the flesh of the horses was equally divided.
One of the greatest miseries which they suffered was the
absence of salt, which in more than two hundred leagues,
as Zarate says (Lib. iv. cap. v.) they did not find, and for
want of which they were attacked by scurvy. On account
of the constant waters from above and below, they were
always wet; and their clothes rotted, so that they had to go
naked. Shame obliged them to cover themselves with the
leaves of trees, of which they made girdles to wind round
their bodies. The excessive heat of the region made their
nakedness bearable ; but the thorns and matted underwood
of those dense forests (which they had to cut by blows of
their axes), cruelly tore them, and made them look as if they
had been flayed.
The labour and want of food that Gonzalo Pizarro and his
people suffered, was so great that four thousand Indians
died of hunger, and among them was an Indian beloved by
Gonzalo, whose death Gonzalo mourned as if he had been
his own brother; two hundred and ten Spaniards also died,
out of the three hundred and forty who started, without
counting the fifty who followed Orellana. The eighty
survivors, having passed the three hundred leagues of forest,
reached a land more open, and less covered with water;
where they found some game of different kinds, among
which were deer. They killed what they could with slings,
and with the arquebusses and the powder they had preserved.
Of their skins they made short little coats, to cover their
nakedness: thus on foot, without shoes, worn out and thin,
so that they scarcely knew each other ; they reached the
borders of Quito.
They kissed tne earth, giving thanks to God, who had
delivered them from such great perils and hardships. Some



began to eat with such will that it was necessary to stop
them. Others were of a different constitution, and could
not eat what they wished, because their stomachs, used to
fasting and abstinence, would not receive what was given
to them.
The city of Quito, which (on account of the wars of Don
Diego de Almagro) was half depopulated, received notice
of their condition, and those who remained sent clothes to
Gonzalo Pizarro and his party.
They collected six suits of clothes, each man assisting
with what he had, a cloak, a cap, a shirt, shoes, or a hat;
and thus they dressed Gonzalo and five others, it being im-
possible to clothe the rest.
A dozen horses were sent out, they had no more, as they
had all been taken away, when the people went to serve his
Majesty against Don Diego de Almagro. With the horses
they sent much food; they would willingly have sent all the
presents in the world ; because Pizarro was the best beloved
of any man in Peru, and had, by his own most noble quali-
ties, endeared himself as much to strangers as to his own
They chose a dozen of the principal people of the city to
bring these gifts. These men went, and found Gonzalo
Pizarro more than thirty leagues from the city ; where they
were met with much joy, and many tears, so that they
could not determine of which of those two things there was
most abundance. Gonzalo Pizarro and his party received
the people from Quito with great joy; because, in their
former misery, they had never hoped to reach this place.
The citizens wept for grief to behold those who came, and
to know that the missing had died of hunger. They con-
soled each other in thinking that there was no remedy for
the past, and that tears availed little.


, ETC.

Gonzalo Pizarro enters Quito.
GONZALO PIZARRO, his captains and soldiers, received the
gifts with joy ; but seeing that there were only clothes and
horses for the captains, they would neither dress nor mount, so
that they might be on equal terms with their good soldiers :
and thus they entered the city of Quito one morning, going
to the church to hear mass, and to give thanks to God, for
delivering them from such evils.
What follows, I heard from persons who were present.
The twelve citizens who brought the presents to Gonzalo
Pizarro, seeing that neither he nor his captains had either
dressed themselves, or mounted the horses; and that they
were determined to enter the city naked and barefooted;
bethought themselves also of entering in the same plight, so
as to share the honour, fame, and glory, that was merited by
those who had passed through so many and such great hard-
ships. Thus they entered all alike. Having heard mass, the
citizens received Pizarro with all the welcome possible. This
entrance took place in the beginning of June, 1542, they
having spent two years in the expedition.

A.D. 1540-41.




Of the voyage which Captain Orellana commenced, on the river which
they call San Juan de las Amazonas.
SOME say that Orellana and his companions deserted Pizarro
without his knowledge, and others that they continued the
voyage with their commander’s permission, in a barque which
they had built, and some eanoes. Voyaging, as they say,
with the design of returning to Gonzalo Pizarro, with pro-
visions, they found themselves, after going over two hundred
leagues, unable to return, and, therefore, continued to sail
on until they eame out into the ocean.
The second day, after they parted from Gonzalo Pizarro,
they expected to have been lost in the midst of the river,
as the barque struck upon a floating tree, and stove in a
plank; but being near the land, they ran her on shore,
repaired her, and continued the voyage. They made twenty
or twenty-five leagues a-day, assisted by the current. Pass-
ing the mouths of many rivers on the south side, they con-
tinued their course for three days, without seeing any
habitation. Finding that the provisions they brought with
them were exhausted, and that they were so distant from
Gonzalo Pizarro, they thought it best to pass on with the cur-
rent, commending themselves to God by means of a mass,
which was performed by a Dominican monk named Carbajal.
Their difficulties were now so great, that they had nothing


to eat but the skins which formed their girdles, and the
leather of their shoes, boiled with a few herbs.
On the 8th of January, 1541, when they were all expect-
ing their deaths, Orellana heard the drums of Indians, at
which they rejoiced, as it now seemed that they would not
die of hunger. After going on for two leagues, they came
upon four canoes of Indians, who presently retired, and
Orellana came to a village, with a great number of
Indians ready to defend it. The captain ordered all his
people to land in good order, and to take care not to
straggle. At the sight of the village these afflicted soldiers
plucked up such courage that, attacking the Indians with
valour, the latter fled, leaving their provisions behind them,
with which the Spaniards satisfied their excessive hunger.
Two hours after noon the Indians returned in their canoes,
to see what was going on. The captain spoke to them in
the Indian language, and, although they did not understand
all he said to them, yet when he gave them a few Spanish
trifles, they remained content, and offered to give him all he
required. He only asked them for food, and they at once
brought abundance of turkeys, partridges, fish, and other
things. On the following day thirteen chiefs arrived, with
plumes of feathers, and gold ornaments. Orellana spoke to
them with great courtesy, requested them to be obedient to
the crown of Castille, and took possession of the country
in the king’s name.
As he knew the good feeling of the Indians, and his people
being rested ; knowing also the danger of sailing in the barque
and canoes, if they reached the sea; he proposed to build
another brigantine. One of the chiefs, according to the
account of friar Gaspar de Carbajal, gave information re-
specting the Amazons, and of a rich and powerful chief in
the interior. Having commenced building the brigantine,
they found no difficulty except in getting nails, but it
pleased God that two men should make that which they had



never been taught to make, whilst another took charge of
burning the charcoal. They made bellows of their leathern
buskins, and worked hard at everything else; some carrying,
some cutting, and others doing various things, the captain
himself being the first to put his hand to the work. They
manufactured more than two thousand nails in twenty days,
a delay which was prejudicial, because the provisions were
consumed which had previously been collected.
Up to this point they had made two hundred leagues in
nine days, having lost seven companions, who had died of
hunger during their former sufferings. They now deter-
mined (in order not to exhaust the Indians) to depart
on the feast of Candlemas.1 Twenty leagues further on, a
stream flowed into the river on the right hand, which
was so swollen, that at the point of junction with the larger
stream, the waters struggled with such violence that the
Spaniards expected to have been lost. Escaped from this
danger, for the next two hundred leagues that they traversed,
they met with no habitations, and suffered much from toil
and dangers, until they arrived at some villages where the
Indians seemed to be quite off their guard. In order not
to disturb them, the captain ordered twenty soldiers to land
and ask them for food. The Indians were delighted to see
the Spaniards, and gave them plenty of provisions, turtles
and parrots. Orellana then went to a village, at another
part of the river, where he met with no resistance. The
natives gave him provisions ; and, continuing the voyage
in sight of villages, on another day some Indians in
four canoes came to the vessel, and offered the captain
some turtles, good partridges, and fish; they were much
pleased, and invited Orellana to come and see their chief,
1 It would appear that Orellana intended to have built his brigantine
at this spot, but that, after making the necessary preparations, he
changed his mind, deferring the execution of his project until he reached
the territory of the chief Aparia.


■who was named Aparia, and who now approached with
more canoes. The Indians and Christians landed, and
the chief Aparia came, and was well received by captain
Orellana, who treated him to a discourse on the law of God,
and the grandeur of the King of Castille ; all which the
Indians listened to with much attention. Aparia inquired
if he had seen the Amazons, whom in his language they call
Coniajniyara, meaning Great Lord. He added that his people
were few, while the Amazons were numerous. Continuing
the conversation, the captain begged the chief to name all
the lords in the country. Having enumerated twenty, he
ended saying, that all were children of the sun, and that as
such, he ought to hold them as friends. They were rejoiced,
and supplied plenty of provisions of good quality; and the
captain took possession of the land, placing a cross on a high
place, at which the Indians expressed wonder and satis-

Of what happened to Captain Orellana in his voyage, and in his
discovery of this river of the Amazons.
WHEN captain Orellana found that he met with a cordial re-
ception, he determined to build the brigantine at this place r,
and it pleased God that there should be an engraver in his
company, who, though ship building was not his business,
proved of great use. The timber having been cut and
prepared with great labour, which the men endured with
much willingness, in thirty-five days she was launched,
caulked with cotton, and the seams payed with pitch which
was given them by the Indians.
At this time four tall Indians came to the captain, dressed
and adorned with ornaments, and with hair reaching from
the head to the waist. With much humility they placed



food before the captain, and said that a great chief had sent
them to inquire who these strangers were, and whence they
came. Orellana gave them some articles of barter, which
they valued very much, and he spoke to them in the same
way as he had done to the others, and so they departed.
The Spaniards passed all Lent at this place, and all the Chris-
tians confessed to the two priests who were in the company,
and the priests preached to them, and urged them to
endure the hardships they would have to encounter with
constancy, until there should be an end of them.
The new brigantine being completed, and fit to navigate
the sea, they set sail on the fourth of April from the resi-
dence of Aparia, and voyaged for eighty leagues without
encountering a single warlike Indian. The river passed
through an uninhabited country, flowing from forest to forest,
and they found no place where they could either sleep or fish.
Thus with herbs and a little toasted maize for food, they went
on until the 6th of May, when they reached an elevated place
which appeared to have been inhabited. Here they stopped
to fish, and it happened that the engraver, who had been so
useful in building the vessel, killed a guana with his cross
bow. The creature was in a tree near the river, and fell
into the water. A soldier named Contreras also caught a
large fish with a hook, and, as the hook was small and the
fish was large, it was necessary to take hold of it with his
hand; and when it was opened, the nut of the cross bow was
found in its stomach.
On the twelfth of May they arrived at the province
of Machiparo,1 which is thickly peopled, and ruled by
another chief named Aomagua.2 One morning they dis-
covered a number of canoes, full of warlike Indians, with
1 Also mentioned in Aguirre’s voyage, as the place where Ursua was
murdered ; it is probably on the Putumayu river, near its junction with
the Amazons.
2 Evidently the Omaguas. Orellana mistook the name of the tribe
for the name of the chief.


large shields made of the skins of lizards and dantas,1 beating
drums, and shouting, with threats that they would eat the
Christians. The latter collected their vessels together, but
met with a great misfortune in finding that their powder
had become damp, and that they were thus unable to load
their arquebusses. The Indians approached with their
bows, and the cross-bows did them some damage; and thus,
while reinforcements continued to arrive, a gallant conflict
was maintained. In this way they descended the river,
engaged in a running fight until they reached a place where
there was a great crowd in the ravines. Half the Spaniards
then landed, and followed the Indians to their village; and as
it appeared large, and the people were numerous, the ensign
returned to make his report to Orellana, who was defending
the vessels against the Indians, who were attacking him from
their canoes.
Understanding that there was a quantity of provisions in
the village, the captain ordered a soldier, named Cristoval
de Segovia, to take it. He started with twelve companions,
who loaded themselves with supplies, but were attacked by
more than two thousand Indians, whom they resisted with
such vigour, that they forced them to retreat, and retained the
food, with only two Spaniards wounded. But the Indians
returned with reinforcements, and pressing on the Spaniards,
wounded four. Cristoval de Segovia, though he washed to
retire to the ships, said that he would not leave the Indians
with the victory, nor place his retreat in such peril, and,
making a gallant resistance, he succeeded in retiring in safety.
In the meanwhile another body of Indians attacked the
vessels from two sides, and, having fought for more than two
hours, it pleased the Lord to assist the Spaniards, and some,
of whom little was expected, performed wonderful deeds
of valour. Such were the acts of Cristoval de Aguilar, Bias
de Medina, and Pedro de Ampudia.
1 The tapir, also called by the Spaniards ” Gran bestia.”



The Indians having retired, the wounded, who amounted
to eighteen, were ordered to be attended to. All recovered
except Ampudia, a native of Ciudad Rodrigo, who died of
his wounds in eight days. In this encounter the value of
the commander’s example was shown ; for Orellana did not,
because he commanded, cease to fight like any common
soldier; while his good disposition, his form, his promptitude,
and forethought animated the soldiers.
As it appeared to Orellana that it was useless, and could
serve no purpose to fight with the Indians, he determined
to continue his voyage. He embarked a great part of the
provisions, and got under weigh; while the Indians on shore,
amounting to nearly ten thousand, gave loud shouts, and
those in canoes continued to assault the Spaniards with much
audacity. In this way the whole night was passed until
dawn, when they saw many villages. The Spaniards,
fatigued by so bad a night, determined to go and take
refreshments on’an uninhabited island ; on which, however,
they were unable to get any rest, from the crowds of Indians
who landed and attacked them.
On this the captain determined to proceed. He was
continually followed by one hundred and thirty canoes
containing eight thousand Indians, and accompanied by four
or five sorcerers, while the noise of their drums, cornets, and
shouting was a thing frightful to hear. If the Spaniards
had not had arquebusses and cross-bowTs, they must have
been destroyed, for the Indians advanced with the determi-
nation of grappling with and boarding the vessels. Orellana
sent forward an arquebusier named Gales, who shot the
Indian general, and the other Indians crowded round to
assist him. The ships then set out down the river, followed
by the canoes, without resting for two days and nights, and
in this way they departed from the settlements of the great
chief who was named Machiparo.1
1 Ribciro, in 1775, mentioned that a chief of a tribe of Juris, on the


Having left the canoes behind, the Spaniards came to a
village defended by several Indians. Orellana thought it
would be well to rest here for four days, after the former
toil, and having brought the vessels to, he landed his men
with arquebusses and cross-bows. The Indians fled, and he
took possession of the village.

Captain Orellana continues the discovery of the river, ‘which is also
called by his name.
THEY remained at this village for three days, eating plenti-
fully. The captain calculated that they had sailed down the
river for three hundred leagues from Aparia, two hundred of
which were through uninhabited regions. Having embarked
a good supply of the biscuit which the Indians make from
maize, yucas,and fruit, they set sail on the Sunday after Ascen-
sion ; and a league, further on, Orellana found that another
great stream entered the river, with three islands at its mouth,
for which reason he called it the river of the Trinity. The
land appeared to be well peopled and fertile, and many
canoes came out into the river.
.On another day they discovered a small village in a very
beautiful spot, and, though the Indians resisted, they
entered it and found plenty of provisions. There wras a
country house containing very good jars of earthenware,
vases, and goblets of glass enamelled with many bright
, colors, resembling drawings and paintings. The Indians
at this place said that these things came from the interior,
together with much gold and silver. They also found idols
worked from palm wood in a very curious fashion, of
Putumayu, was named Maehiparo.—Southey’s Brazil. (See Juris, in
the list of Indian tribes at the end of the volume.)



gigantic stature, with wheels in the fleshy part of the arms.
The Spaniards found in this village, gold and silver ; but
as they only thought of discovery and of saving their lives,
they did not care for anything else.
From this village two highroads branched off, and the
captain walked about half a league along them, but finding
that they did not end, he returned and ordered his people to
embark and continue the voyage, because in a country so
well peopled, it was not advisable to remain on shore during
the night.
Having sailed for one hundred leagues through this
inhabited country, always in the middle of the river, to keep
clear of the Indians; they reached the territory of another
chief named Paguana, where the people were friendly, and
gave the Spaniards what they required. These Indians had
sheep of Peru, the land was productive, and yielded very
good fruit.
On Whit-sunday they passed in sight of a great village
with many suburbs, and large crowds of people at each
suburb. AVhen they saw the vessels paSs, the Indians got
into their canoes, but returned, owing to the damage they
received from the arquebusses and cross-bows of the
Spaniards. On another clay they reached a village which
ended the dominion of Paguana. They then entered the
territory of another chief of a warlike people, whose name
they did not know; and on the eve of Trinity Sunday they
came to off a village where the Indians defended themselves
with large shields ; but the Spaniards entered their village,
and supplied themselves with food. Soon afterwards they
discovered a river, on the left hand, with water as black as
ink, the force of which was so great that, for more than
twenty leagues, its waters flowed separately, without
mingling with the Amazons river.1 They saw many small
villages, and entered one where they found quantities of fish,
1 This was the Rio Negro.


though it was necessary to force open a door in a wooden
wall which surrounded the village.
Continuing the voyage, they passed through a populous
country, well supplied with provisions; and when they were
on one side of the river, it was so broad that they could not
see the other bank.
They came to a place where they captured an Indian
who told them that the territory belonged to the Amazons ;
and they found a house containing many dresses made of
different coloured feathers, which the Indians wear, when
celebrating their festivals and dances. Afterwards they passed
by many other villages, where the Indians were shouting
and calling, on the banks ; and on the 7th of June they
landed at a village without meeting any resistance, because
there was no one in it, but women. They loaded themselves
with fish, and, owing to the importunities of the soldiers be-
cause it was the eve of the festival of Corpus Christi, Orellana
consented to stay there. At sunset the Indians returned
from the fields, and finding such guests, they seized their
arms; but the Spaniards resisted and discomfited them.
Nevertheless the captain embarked his people, and, con-
tinued his voyage, always through an inhabited country,
until they came among Indians with gentle dispositions.
Passing onwards they discovered a large village, in which
they saw seven gibbets with men’s heads nailed on them,
on which account they named this land il the Province of
the gibbets.” Paved roads issued from this village, writh
fruit trees planted on each side. On another day they came to
a village, where they were obliged to land for provisions.
On seeing this, the Indians concealed themselves, and when
the Spaniards landed they attacked them, led on by their
chief; but a cross-bow man aimed at and killed him, on
which the Indians fled; and the Spaniards found a supply
of maize, turtles, turkeys, and parrots.
“With this large supply of provisions they went to rest on



an island ; and they learned from an Indian woman of intelli-
gence whom they captured, that in the interior there were
many men like the Spaniards, and two white women, with a
chief, who had brought them down the river. The Spaniards
supposed them to be of the party of Diego de Ordas, or
Alonzo de Herrera.
Passing by villages, without touching at any of them, be-
cause they were supplied with provisions ; at the end of
some days they came to another large village, where the
Indian woman said they would find Christians, but, as there
was no sign of any, they passed on.
Two Indians came out in a canoe, and looked at the
brigantine, but although the Spaniards called them, they
would not come on board. After four days, they came to
a village which the Indians did not defend. They found
maize, and Castillian oats, of which the Indians made a liquor
like beer; and the Spaniards discovered a store house
of this liquor, also good cotton cloths, and a temple with
warlike arms stored up, and two mitres like those of bishops,
woven with various colors.
According to their custom, the Spaniards went to pass the
night on the other side of the river, where many Indians
came in canoes to disturb them.
On the twenty-second of June, they discovered many
villages on the left bank, but they could not get at them
on account of the strength of the current. The following
Wednesday they came to a village, with a large square,
through the midst of which flowed a stream. Here they
obtained supplies, and they continually passed the habitations
of fishermen. In doubling a point of the river, they came
upon some very large villages. The Indians were pre-
pared for the Spaniards, and came out to attack them on the
water. Orellaua called to them, and offered them articles
for barter ; but they mocked at him, and a great multitude
of people advanced against him in different troops. The


captain ordered the ships to retire to the place where his
people were searching for food; but the flights of arrows
which the Indians discharged were such that, having woun-
ded five persons, and among others the Father Fray Gaspar
de Carbajal, Orellana made great haste to bring the vessel
to, and land his people; where the Indians fought bravely
and obstinately, without taking account of the number of
killed and wounded. Father Carbajal affirms that these
Indians defended themselves so resolutely, because they were
tributaries of the Amazons, and that he and the other
Spaniards saw ten or twelve Amazons, who were fighting in
front of the Indians, as if they commanded them, with such
vigour that the Indians did not dare to turn their backs ; and

those who fled before the Spaniards were killed with sticks.
These women appeared to be very tall, robust, fair, with
long hair twisted over their heads, skins round their loins,
and bows and arrows in their hands, with which they killed
seven or eight Spaniards. This account of the Amazons I
repeat as I found it in the memorials of this expedition,
leaving the credibility of it to the judgment of others; for
the name of Amazons is that which these Spaniards chose to
give them.1
As reinforcements were coming up from other villages,
the Spaniards embarked and retired; calculating that up to
that day they had gone over one thousand four hundred
leagues, without knowing how far it might be to the sea.
Here they captured an Indian trumpeter, aged thirty years,
who told them many things respecting the interior; but some
of the Spaniards were of opinion that Captain Orellana
should not have given the name of Amazons to these
women who fought, because in the Indies it was no new
thing for the women to fight, and to use bows and arrows ;
as has been seen on some islands of Barlovento, and at Cartha-
gena, where they displayed as much courage as the men.
1 This encounter with the Amazons appears to have taken place near
the mouth of the river Tromhretas.



End of the discovery of the river of Orellana.
HAVING reached the centre of the river, at a short distance
they discovered a large village, and, yielding to the impor-
tunities of the soldiers, the captain went to it to get pro-
visions, though he said that if Indians were not to be seen,
it was because they were concealed, which proved to be true.
On reaching the banks, they discovered a great number,
who discharged a flight of arrows, and, as the Spaniards had
not put up the defensive cloths, which were made after they
left the country of Machiparo, they received much damage.
Father Gaspar de Carbajal was so badly wounded by an
arrow in the eye, that he lost the use of it; an accident
which caused much sorrow to every one, because this
father, besides being very religious, assisted them in their
difficulties by his cheerfulness and sagacity.
The multitude of people, and the number of villages,
which were not half a league distant from each other, as
well on the south side of the river, as in the interior, showed
Captain Orellana the dangers which he must encounter, and
induced him to keep his people well together, and advance
cautiously. Here they took particular care to notice the qua-
lities of the country, which appeared genial and fertile. The
forest consisted of ever-green oaks, and cork trees, and con-
tained plenty of game of all kinds. Orellana named this coun-
try” the Province of St. John,” extending more than one hun-
dred and fifty leagues. From the time that they entered it,
they sailed in the middle of the river, until they came to a
number of islands which they believed to be uninhabited; but
the natives, on seeing the vessels, came out in two hundred
piraguas, each one containing thirty or forty persons, decked
out in warlike dresses, with many drums, trumpets, an
instrument played with the mouth, and another with three
strings. They attacked the brigantine with loud shouts ;


but the arquebusses and cross-bows stopped their onslaught ;
and on shore there were a vast number of people with the same
instruments. The islands appeared, high, fertile, and very
beautiful, the largest being fifty leagues long. The brigan-
tines went on, always followed by the piraguas, and they
were unable to get any provisions.
Having left this province of St. John, and the piraguas
having desisted from following them, they determined to
rest in a forest. Captain Orellana, by means of a vocabu-
lary which he had made, asked many questions of a captured
Indian, from whom he learned that that land was subject to
women, who lived in the same way as Amazons, and were
very rich, possessing much gold and silver. They had five
houses of the sun plated with gold, their own houses were
of stone, and their cities defended by walls ; and he related
other details, which I can neither believe nor affirm, owing
to the difficulty in discovering the truth. The tales of
Indians are always doubtful, and Orellana confessed that he
did not understand those Indians, so that it seems that he
could scarcely have made, in such a few days, so correct
and copious a vocabulary as to be able to understand the
minute details given by this Indian : but each reader may
believe just as much as he likes.
Having rested themselves in this wood, they continued
their voyage, not expecting to find more people; but on the
left side of the river they discovered, on an eminence, some
large and beautiful villages, and the captain did not wish
to approach them so close as to aggravate the Indians. But
many of them came out into the water up to their middles,
looking at the brigantines, as if they were terrified. The
captive Indian said that this territory extended for more
than one hundred leagues, under a chief named Caripuua,1
1 Acuna mentions a tribe of Indians called Caripunas, on the river
Madeira. They were seen, in 1852, by Lieutenant Gibbon, U.S.N., near
the falls of that river.—Acuna ; Gibbon, \>. 295.



who had great quantities of silver. Finding a small village,
the Spaniards landed to obtain provisions. The Indians, in
defending it, killed Antonio de Carranca, a native of Bur-
gos ; and here they found that the Indians used poisoned
arrows. At this place also the Spaniards first noticed signs
of the ebb of the tide. The captain, continuing the voyage,
desired to rest his men, and halted in a forest. Here they
surrounded the brigantincs with bulwarks, as a protection
from poisoned arrows. Although they desired to remain
here for two or three days, canoes soon began to arrive, and
also people by land. Father Carbajal affirms that a bird fol-
lowed them for more than a thousand leagues, and often cried
huxj, hwj; at other times, when they approached villages, it
cried huis, which means houses. He also relates other mar-
vellous things.
At this place the bird left them, and they never saw it
again. After going on for a whole day, they arrived at some
other peopled islands, where, with great delight, they be-
came aware of the presence of the tide ; and a little further
on they came to a small arm of the sea, whence two
squadrons of piraguas came out, and furiously attacked the
brigantines with loud shouts. The bulwarks were here of
great service; and when the Indians saw the effect of the
arquebusses and cross-bows, they retired, but not without
doing the Spaniards some harm. They killed Garcia de
Soria, a native of Logrono, with a wound from an arrow,
which did not enter more than half a finger deep, but, being
poisoned, he died in twenty-four hours. This land was well
peopled, and belonged to a chief named Chipayo. Once
more the crowds of piraguas attacked the brigantines, which
were under weigh; and Alferez, with a shot from his arque-
buss, killed two Indians, and, frightened by the report, many
others fell into the water. A soldier named Perucho, a
Biscayan, struck one of their chiefs, on which the piraguas
retired, and left the brigantines.


Concludes the discovery of the river of Orellana, and the captain enters
the sea, and reaches the island of Cubagua.
ON account of the many villages on the right hand, they
kept on the left side of the river, which had none, though
they could see that the interior was well peopled. After
resting for three days on the banks, the captain sent some
soldiers to go at least a league inland, and reconnoitre.
They soon returned, saying that the land was good and
fertile, and that they had seen many people who seemed to
be going to hunt. From this place the land was low, and
there were, many inhabited islands, to which they went to
obtain food. Never more were they able to return to the
main land on either side, till they reached the sea ; and it
appeared that they sailed amongst these islands for about
two hundred leagues, to which distance the tide rose with
much force. Continuing their voyage, with great scarcity
of food, they saw a village, and the larger brigantine came
to in front of it; the other struck on a snag, and, breaking a
plank, it filled.
They landed to get supplies, and so great a multitude of
Indians attacked them, that the .Christians were obliged to
retreat to their vessels ; of which one had sunk, and the
other was left high and dry by the tide. In this great
danger and difficulty, Captain Orellana ordered that half his
company should fight, and that the other half should get the
large vessel afloat, and stop up the hole in the smaller one.
It pleased God that this was done with great diligence; and,
at the end of three hours labour, the Indians left off fighting,
and all the Spaniards embarked with some food, and slept
on board in mid channel.
Another time they came to, near a forest, to repair the
vessels, which delayed them eighteen days, as it was neces-



sary to make nails. They suffered much from hunger, but
God succoured them with a tapir, as big as a mule, that came
to the river, and on it they fed four or five days.
Having arrived near the sea, they made their rigging and
ropes of grass, and their sails of the blankets in which they
slept. Here they remained fourteen days, eating nothing
but the shell fish that each man could pick up, and thus ill
provided they started on the eighth of August 1541. They
went under sail, taking advantage of the tides, which often
when it turned, carried the vessels back; but it pleased
God to deliver them from these perils, because as they went
by lands which were inhabited, the Indians gave them
maize and roots, and treated them well. They got water on
board in pitchers and jars, toasted maize and roots ; and
thus they got ready for sea, to go where fortune might
choose to take them, without either pilot, compass, or any-
thing useful for navigation ; nor did they know what direc-
tion they should take.
The two fathers of the expedition declare that in this
voyage they found all the people to be both intelligent and
ingenious, which was shown by the works which they per-
formed in sculpture, and painting in bright colours.
They left the mouth of the river, between two islands
four leagues apart, judging that the mouth of the river
extended fifty leagues, and that the fresh water extended
into the sea for more than twenty leagues. They sailed out
on the twenty-sixth of August 1541, at such a good season
that neither in the river nor in the sea did they experience
rains. They continued in sight of land by day and night, and
saw many rivers which entered the sea; and the small
barque, having separated from the large one in the night,
she was never seen again during the passage. At the end of
nine days they reached the gulf of Paria, and though they
struggled for seven days, they could not get on, while their
food only consisted of fruit like prunes, which they call hogos.


, ETC.

God led them through the mouth of the Dragon,1 and at the
end of two days after getting out of that prison,2 without
knowing where they were, or where they were going, they
reached the island of Cubagua on the eleventh of September,
two days after the smaller brigantine had arrived.
They were very well received in Cubagua, and from
thence captain Orellana determined to go and give an
account of his great discovery to the king, certifying that it
was not the river Maranon, as the people of Cubagua
declared, and many called it El Dorado. According to
Father Carbajal they sailed for one thousand eight hundred
leagues, including the windings of the river.
1 The strait at the north end of the gulf of Paria, separating the
island of Trinidad from the main land.
2 Namely, the gulf of Paria ; which is entirely surrounded by land
excepting at the two straits, one called “the mouth of the Dragon,” the
other, ” the mouth of the Serpent.”


Of the great river
a Priest of the Company of Jesus, and
Censor of the Supreme General Inquisition.
Which zuas made ly order of
His Majesty in the year
10 3 9,
from the Province of Quito, in the kingdom of Peru.
to the most excellent Lord the
Count Duke of Olivarez.

By Permission. In Madrid, in the Royal Press.
in the year 1641.


HERE are born, oh curious reader, in affairs
of great moment, two brothers—namely, Novelty
and Unbelief, which appear to be the ticins of
one birth : and while admiration is excited by
what is new, at the same time credit is endangered. Though
it is true that natural curiosity inclines us to desire the know-
ledge of new things ; uncertainty respecting their accuracy
deprives them of that higher degree of pleasure which they
ivotdd undoubtedly afford, if, persuaded of their truth, all
the perplexity caused by doubt coidd be dispelled. Desirous,
then, to bring before the view of all, the new discovery
of the great river of the Amazons {which I undertook by
order of his Majesty, as you will j)resently see); and
wishing that, though my story is novel, it shotdd also be
relished; while I do not cease to suffer from my fears
in respect to accuracy, I hope to assure myself both of
the one and the other: the first, by the promise of a new
world, new nations, neio countries, new occupations, neio
modes of life, and, to say all in one loord, a river of sweet
icater navigated for more than one thousand three hundred
leagues, all,from its sources to its mouth, full of neio things:
the second, by placing before your eyes the obligations of my
jyosition, as a p?*iest of the company of Jesus, as a deputy of
his Majesty, and in other capacities, which it neither signi-
fies to you to know, nor to me to repeat; and if, with all this,
I can persuade you that I have succeeded in to hat I laboured
for with some care, I shall be rewarded. Now hear what
sworn testimony gives credit to my narrative..


I, PEDRO TEXEIRA, Capitan Mayor in this Captaincy of Gran
Para, and formerly head of the expedition which went to the
discovery of the river of the Amazons, as far as the city of San
Francisco de Quito, in the kingdom of Peru :—certify, on
oath by the holy Evangelists, that it is true that, by order
of His Majesty, and dispatched by particular provisions of
the Royal Audience of Quito, the Reverend father Cristoval
de Acuna, a priest of the company of Jesus, came with me
from the said city of Para, and also his companion the
Reverend father Andres de Artieda :—that in this voyage
they both served His Majesty, as regards the objects on –
which they were sent, like his good and faithful subjects,
noting down everything that was necessary to give a full
and complete account of the said discovery; to which entire
credit should be given, before any other:—that as regards
the obligations due to their profession, and to the service of
God, they complied with what is required by their religion,
preaching, confessing, and teaching the whole army, satisfy-
ing their doubts, reconciling their quarrels, animating them
at their work, like true fathers in everything :—that they
endured the same hardships and labour as the meanest
soldiers, both as regards food, and all other things :—that
not only did these said fathers make this voyage at their own
expense, without His Majesty giving them any help, but
also that all they had with them, as well food as medicines,
was common to all who required it, to whom they gave



assistance with great love and kindness :—and as attestation
of all that is here written, I give this certificate, signed with
my hand, and sealed with the seal of ray arms, in this city
of Para, the 3rd of March, 1640.
( Capitan Mayor.)

IN conformity with that which was done by the said Presi-
dent and Judges, I order that this my letter and royal order
be given to you, and each one of you ; and I hold it good
that you, the said fathers Cristoval de Acuna, and Andres
de Artieda, priests of the said company of Jesus, shall take
all that you require for the better completion of your mis-
sion and voyage ; and that the useful results which I anti-
cipate may be attained, I order that no impediment be, on
any account or reason, placed in your way. I charge you,
the said father Cristoval de Acuna, that, in compliance with
the wishes of the said President and Judges, and in confor-
mity with the nomination of your Prelate, and with the offer
of your services which was presented, having received this
my letter from my Fiscal, to read what it contains, and to
comply with and execute its orders ; for which objects you
shall depart from my court at Quito, with the said com-
panion, for the said province of Para, in company with the
commander Pedro de Texeira, and the rest of the troops
under him ; and you shall take particular care to describe,
with clearness, the distance in leagues, the provinces, tribes
of Indians, rivers, and districts which exist from the first
embarkation, to the said city and port of Para; informing



yourself, with all possible precision, of all things, that you
may report upon them,as an eye witness, to the Royal Council
of the Indies; and that you shall perforin this duty in
the said provinces, as I order you, appearing personally,
with this my letter on the part of the said audience of Quito,
before my president and judges of the said Royal Council,
and presenting a narrative of all this before my royal person,
according to the directions of the Audience of Quito ; and,
in your default, I confide the discharge of this duty to the
said father Andres de Artieda, expecting him to perform it
with the care and punctuality with which those of your
religion are accustomed to serve me:—and in an under-
taking of such importance for the service of God our Lord,
and of our own, in the conversion of so many souls as are
reported to be in the said newly discovered provinces, I shall
hold your services to be valuable to religion. Given at
Quito, this 24th day of January, 1639.
( Signed)
The Licentiate Don Alonzo de Salazar ;
Doctor Don Antonio de San Isidro y Manrique ;
The Licentiate Don Alonzo de Mesa y Ayala;
The Licentiate Don Juan de Valdez y Llano;
The Licentiate Don Geronimo Orton Zapata;
Don Juan Cornejo (Secretary).


Remarks on this great river.
ALMOST on the first discovery of that part of America, which
now bears the name of Peru, vehement desires arose in
Spain, though the information was still defective, for the dis-
covery of that great river of the Amazons, called, by a vulgar
error among those little versed in geography, the river of
Maranon.1 These desires did not arise on account of the
abundant riches which that river was always supposed to
possess, nor on account of the multitudes of people who
dwelt on its banks, nor on account of the fertility of the
lands, and the pleasant climate ; but chiefly because it was
believed with reason to be the only channel, and as it were
a great highway, which flowing from Peru, was fed by all
the tributaries which descend from the lofty Cordilleras.
Francisco de Orellana discovers this river.
These desires tempted the heart of Francisco de Orellana;
who, in the year 15-10, in a frail vessel, with a few compan-
1 Velasco (Ilistoria de Quito) says that this river of Maranon derives
its name from the circumstance of a soldier, who was sent by Francisco
Pizarro to discover the sources of the Piura river, having beheld the
mighty stream from the neighbourhood of Jaen, and, astonished at



ions, descended the current of this great river (which from
that time also received the name of Orellana), and passing
on to Spain, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor Charles V,
on account of the relation he gave of its riches, ordered
three ships to be prepared for him, with men and all things
necessary, that he might return and people the land in his
royal name. He set out in 1549, but met with such ill
fortune, that, half his soldiers dying at the Canaries and
Cape de Yerds and the rest daily diminishing in number,
he at last reached the mouth of this great river with so few
men, that he was forced to abandon two ships, which up to
that time he had preserved. Not having a sufficient force
to man more vessels, he prosecuted his design, with all his
people, on board two launches which he built. Entering the
river, after a few leagues, he was convinced that the expedi-
tion would be fruitless, and so, putting all on board one single
vessel, they retired along the coast of Caraccas, until they
reached Margarita, where the enterprise came to an end ;
and, with it, the hopes that His Majesty would come into
possession of that which he desired, and which Orellana
had promised.
The tyrant Lope de Aguirre enters this river.
Twenty years afterwards, in 1560, these hopes were re-
vived by the expedition which was undertaken to this river
under the General Pedro de Ursua, by order of the viceroy
of Peru; who descended with a large army to its waters, to be
an eye-witness of its grandeur, which had only reached him
by report. But he met with ill success. He wras killed through
the treason of the tyrant Lope de Aguirre ; who, raising
beholding a sea of fresh water, having asked ” Hac mare an non ?”
The historian of Quito adds, that the name of Solimoens is given to this
great river by the Portuguese, out of contradiction, and in opposition to
the whole world.



himself not only to the rank of general, but to that of king,
continued the voyage. God did not permit that he should
discover the principal mouth by which this great river
empties itself into the ocean (thus depriving loyal Spaniards
of the discovery of a thing of such importance to our Lord
and King); but he came out on the coast opposite the island
of Trinidad, where, by order of His Majesty, he was put to
death, and his houses sown with salt; the place being still
shown in that island.
Others attempt this discovery.
These same aspirations to discover this river, induced
the Sargente Mayor Vincente de los Reyes Villalobos,
Governor and Captain General of Quixos, in the jurisdiction
of the Province of Quito, to offer to commence it from those
parts.1 In consequence of this, a cedula was dispatched by
the catholic person of our great king Philip IV, who now
lives, and may he live many years ! to the royal audience
and chancellery of San Francisco in Quito in 1621, that they
should arrange the conditions which might be necessary for
the discovery. But, as this governor had retired from office
in the interval, they did not take effect. In like manner, the
ardent desires of his successor, Alonzo de Miranda, were
checked by death : which also attacked General Jose de
1 In 1551 the Marquis of Cahete, viceroy of Peru, sent Don Egidio
Ramirez Davalos as governor of Quijos, who founded the town of that
name in 1552, on the river Quijos.
In 1558 his brother, Gil Ramirez Davalos, who had subdued the Cana-
ris and founded Cuenca, succeeded him. He established the settle-
ments of Baeza (between the Maspa and Vermejo) 1558 ; Afaspa (on the
Maspa) 1558 ; Avila (on the Suna) 1560; Archidona (near the Misa-
gualli) 1560 ; Tena (on the Tena) 1566.
Don Gil retired to Riobamba, where his numerous posterity still
reside. The Jibaros Indians rebelled in 1599, and entirely destroyed
these settlements. Archidona alone remained.— Velasco, iii, p. 147.



Villamayor Maldonado, governor of Quijos before either of
the above, and put a stop to his ardent zeal to subject to God
and the king, the multitude of nations on this river.
Benito Maciel attempts the discovery.
The same desires not only animated the minds of the Span-
iards in Peru, but also extended to the Portuguese on the
coast of Brazil. They desired to seek the origin, and bring to
light the riches of this river, commencing from its mouth ;
and they were led on by that zeal which they always exhibit
to augment the power of their crown. Benito Maciel,1 who
was then Capitan Mayor of Para, and is now Governor of
the Maranon, offered himself for that service. In accordance
with his wishes, a real Cedula was dispatched in 1626,
authorizing him to carry his intentions into effect; but they
were indefinitely postponed, as His Majesty required his
services in the war of Pernambuco.
Francisco Coello is sent on this enterprise.
It does not seem that the heart of our king could he
satisfied until he had seen an affair which he so much desired,
carried into execution. Though all the ways and means which
1 In 1618 Benito Maeiel was appointed to command a force to operate
against the Tupinambas Indians. He commenced a career of devasta-
tion and murder, amongst the Indians rouud Para. For several years
he continued his vile trade of hunting down Indians, and selling them
as slaves. In 1622 he was appointed governor of Para; and in 1623 he
assumed the title of ” First discoverer of the rivers of Amazons and
Curupa ;” though the islands and channels near Para had been ex-
plored by a Portuguese pilot, named Meirinho, half a century before.—
Southey’s Brazil.
Of all the savages, who were employed in the Portuguese conquests,
Benito Maeiel was the most notorious for his atrocious cruelties.



human prudence could suggest had failed, not for this reason
did he desist from persevering in the chief enterprize. With
this view, he dispatched a real Cedula, in 1633-4, to Fran-‘iseo
de Coello de Caravallo, who was then Governor of Maranon
and Para, with an express order that he should presently
make this discovery; and if he had no one to send, that he
should set out in person to put it in execution. Much as His
Majesty wished that this should be effected, which had been
tried in all directions, and never successfully; yet on this
occasion his desires were again disappointed. The Governor
did not consider that he could prudently divide his forces, at a
time when the Dutch were daily infesting the coast, and when
he had scarcely power enough to resist their attacks. But
there was no need to despair, because human endeavours
failed ; when Providence had prepared a way almost miracu-
lous, by which this grand discovery should be made, as will
be presently related.
Two monks of the order of San Francisco navigate thus river.
The city of San Francisco de Quito, which is one of the
most celebrated in all America, is built on a mountain, in
that lofty Cordillera which traverses the whole of the New
World. Situated only half a degree south of the equator, it
is the capital of a province—the most fertile, abundant, and
gifted, and of the most pleasant climate of any in Peru; and
which, in the multitude of inhabitants, civilization, in-
struction, and Christianity, has the advantage of all. From
this city, in the years 1635, 1636, and the beginning of
1637, several Franciscan monks set out,1 by order of their
1 In 1G35 they entered the province of Sucumbios, and were received
by the captain of the Presidio of San Miguel, Juan de Palacios, with
whom, and ninety soldiers, they embarked on the river Aguarico, till they
reached a tribe which Ferrer had called Los Encabellados, from their



Superiors, in company with Captain Juan Palacios and other
soldiers, to work, the former in their spiritual, the latter in
then temporal calling, for the discovery of this river. It was
thirty years since the fathers of the company of Jesus had
commenced the same labours, among the Cofanes, where the
natives cruelly murdered father Rafael Ferrer, in reward for
thedoctrine which hehad taught them.1 The Franciscan monks
arrived in the country of the Encabellados, a very numer-
ous tribe, but well prepared for the burning zeal with which
these servants of God, as is always their wont, endeavoured to
reduce them to the yoke of the church. The fathers laboured
long hair. Here Palacios, enamoured of the rich and abundant land,
made a settlement called Ante, a little above the junction with the Napo:
but he was attacked and killed by the Indians, and a few only of the
Franciscans escaped back to Quito.— Velasco.
1 In 1602 the Jesuit Padre Rafael Ferrer set out from Quito alone. He
was a native of Valencia, pious and learned, and earnestly seeking for
martyrdom amongst the heathen.
The country of the Cofanes is sixty leagues east of Quito, on the
eastern slope of the Grand Cordillera. It is covered with steep moun-
tains and thick forests, where many great rivers take their rise. The
Cofanes Indians are divided into twenty tribes, each governed by a
curaca or chief.
Ferrer had no other arms than a little crucifix in his breast, a breviary,
and writing materials. The Indians abhorred the Spaniards, and knew
that he was one ; but, seeing him alone, unarmed, seeking their friend-
ship, and bearing in his countenance an amiable sweetness, they received
him kindly. He soon obtained great influence over them ; he collected
many of them into a village, where a church was built in June, 1603,
and the place was called San Pedro de Cofanes.
Ferrer learned that a vast multitude of infidels dwelt in the immense
regions to the eastward, and in 1605 he set out alone, to preach to them.
He journeyed on from the Cofanes, down the Napo to the Maranon, re-
turning to the Cofanes in 160S. In 1611 some traitors followed him in
one of his journeys, watched him while he was crossing a torrent on a
frail plank, and toppled him over into the abyss.
When he fell, instead of being carried away like an arrow by the
water, he stood up in the midst of it like a block of marble, and, with
outstretched arms, preached to them for a long time on their wicked-
ness, and then disappeared. The Cofanes returned to their former
barbarism.— Velasco, vol. iii, lib. iv, 3°., p. 136.



amongst the natives for several months, when some returned
to their convent at Quito, and others remained with the few
soldiers wrho chose to stay by the side of their captain. But
in a few days they saw him, with their own eyes, murdered
by those to whom they had come to do so much good. They
were thus obliged to evacuate the country, and return to
Quito. Two monks, however, named Domingo de Brieba,
and Andres de Toledo, with six soldiers, descended the
current of the river in a small canoe, with no other intention
than, influenced by a Divine impulse, to make the discovery
of this river, in their frail vessel.
The two monies reach the Maranon.
God favoured the enterprize of these two monks, and after
many days of navigation, in which they experienced the
providence of God, they arrived at the city of Para, a Portu-
guese settlement which is situated forty leagues from the
place where the river empties itself into the ocean, within
the jurisdiction of the Government of Maranon. They had
passed, without any hindrance, through immense provinces
of savages, many of them Caribs, who eat human flesh;
receiving from them the necessary supplies, to enable them
to complete the enterprise they had commenced. They went
on to the city of San Luis de Maranon, where the Governor
was Jacome Reymundo de Nororia, chosen, I believe, more
through divine Providence, than through the voice of the
people; for no other man could have surmounted so many dif-
ficulties, or faced so many misfortunes, who had not the zeal
and determination which were prominent in his character, to
serve disinterestedly in this discovery, for the service of his
God and his king. The two monks gave him an account of
their voyage, which was like that of persons who were each
day in the hands of death ; and the most remarkable thing



was that they declared themselves ready to return by the
way they had come, if there should be any who were ready
to follow this route.1
Pedro Texeira is named to undertake the conquest.
Our discovery would have remained in this state, if the
Governor had not undertaken to clear up these shadows,
and, against the opinion of all, to send an expedition up the
river to the city of Quito, which, with more attention and
less risk, might note down that which they found worthy of
remark. He named Pedro Texeira2 for this expedition, as
head, and captain of those discoveries for His Majesty.
Texeira was a person whom Heaven had undoubtedly chosen
on this occasion, on account of his prudence ; and the work
he performed in the service of the king, in this enterprize,
was the cause of not only loss to himself, but also of much
injury to his health. If this is nothing new in one who, for
so many years, had served His Majesty; at least he has
never been ambitious of anything, but to give an honorable
account of all that has been put under his charge, which has
been much, and under circumstances of no small importance.
1 The monks returned to Quito with Texeira, where the Franciscans
were astonished at seeing their lost brethren still alive.— Velasco.
2 Alferez (Ensign) Pedro Texeira accompanied Caldeira, in 1615,
when he founded Para ; and he was sent by land to Maranham, to
announce the success of his commander’s expedition. In 1618 Texeira
became governor of Para ; but was superseded, in 1622, by Benito
Maciel. In 1625 the Dutch, who had entered the Curupa, were routed
by Texeira, and in 1626 he ascended the Amazons, and the Tapajos, to
obtain slaves. In 1629 he was sent to destroy an Irish settlement, under
one James Purcell, on the island of Toeuyos, who capitulated after a
gallant defence. Texeira had thus seen a great deal of service before
he was sent on this memorable expedition.



Pedro Texeira commences his voyage.1
This excellent leader set out from Para on the twenty-
eighth of October, 1637, with forty-seven canoes (vessels of
which I shall speak hereafter), containing seventy Portuguese
soldiers, and one thousand two hundred Indians, who, with
their women and boys, brought the total number up to two
thousand persons. The voyage lasted more than a year,
both on account of the force of the current, and the time
which it was necessary to spend in collecting supplies for
so large a force, and in exploring the ways, that they
might discover the shortest and most direct course, by which
they ought to follow their road. On account of this being
so difficult, and of the hardships they had to endure, the
friendly Indians began to exhibit little relish for continuing
the voyage, and some returned to their own country. The
commander, being anxious that the rest should not do the
same, and thus make the prosecution of the voyage impos-
sible, used every means to retain those who were wavering.
Though they were not half way, he gave out that they were
near their destination, and, choosing eight canoes well sup-
plied with provisions and soldiers, he sent them on ahead of
the main body, as if to announce their approach, but really
to discover the best road, of which he was very uncertain.
Colonel Benito Rodriguez is sent ahead.
Pedro Texeira, named Colonel Benito Rodriguez of
Oliveira, a native of Brazil, as head of this detachment, who,
1 Pedro Texeira had under him Pedro de Acosta, and Pedro Payon.
The expedition embarked under these three Peters in forty-seven great
canoes.— Velasco, iii, p. 185.



having been brought up all his life among the natives, could
divine their thoughts, and understand what was in their
hearts. He was known and respected by all the Indians, and,
in the present discovery, his presence was of no small im-
portance, to assist in bringing the enterprize to a happy
termination. After having overcome many difficulties, the
Colonel and his squadron arrived at the port of Payamino,
on St. John’s day, the twenty-fourth of June, 1638. This is
the first settlement of the Spaniards in those parts, subject
to the province of Quijos, in the jurisdiction of Quito, and
near the banks of the river Quijos. If they had chosen the
Napo (a river of which I shall speak presently), the fleet
would have met with better ports, more provisions, and
fewer losses not only of Indians, but also of goods.

The captain leaves the army among the Encabellados.
The captain always guided his course by the advices which
the colonel left at the sleeping places, and each day the
people thought that the following would be the last of their
voyage. Sustained by these hopes they reached a river,
which flows from the province of the Encabellados, who
were formerly friendly Indians, but now inimical, on account
of the murder of captain Palacios. This place seemed adapted
for a station where the whole of the troops might remain.
The captain, therefore, named as commander of them, Pedro
de Acosta Favela, who was to remain stationary, until he re-
ceived further orders. Texeira also left behind captain Pedro
Bayon. Both these officers displayed on that occasion the
valour which they had exercised for so many years; and the
fidelity, with which they obeyed the orders of their supe-
riors, was most praiseworthy. They remained waiting for
eleven months, without food, except such as they obtained
with their arms ; and that so scanty, that it seemed scarcely



sufficient tc sustain life. But the captain was well satisfied
that those whom he left in this position would only he
prevented from complying with his orders by death.
The captain arrives at Quito.
“With this confidence, and a few companions, Pedro Texeira
set out in the footsteps of the colonel, who had previously
reached the city of Quito, where he was well received,
both by the laity and clergy, all showing their joy at seeing
the famous river of Amazons, not only discovered, but
also navigated, from its mouth to its source, by vassals of
His Majesty. The monks of that city, who were numer-
ous and influential, took no small share in these rejoic-
ings, each one offering himself as a faithful labourer, ready
to enter on the work in that great and uncultivated vine-
yard of innumerable heathens, of which news had been re-
ceived from the recent discoverers.
Resolution of the viceroy of Peru.
Having received news which was sufficient to convince
them of the importance of this grave business to both
Majesties—divine and human, the President and Auditors
of the Poyal Audience decided on doing nothing, without
first reporting all to the Viceroy of Peru, who at that time
was the Count of Chinchou.1 He, having first consulted
1 Velasco says that the Viceroy in question was Marquis of Mancera (fif-
teenth viceroy); but he was mistaken. The Count of Chinch.on, whose wife
was cured of fever by the Peruvian bark, and who introduced it into
Europe, was the Viceroy who sent these orders to Quito, though he re-
signed his government the same year. His wife, the Countess of Chin-
chon, was ill of a tertian fever ; and the corregidor of Loxa, Don Juan
Lopez de Cannizares, sent some powder procured from the bark, to her



with the most eminent persons in the city of Lima,—the
court of the New World,—sent orders in a letter to the Pre-
sident of Quito (then the licentiate Don Alonzo Perez de
Salazar), dated the tenth of November 1638, that the
captain Pedro Texeira, with all his people, should presently
return by the same road by which they had come, to the
city of Para; ordering them to be supplied with all things
necessary for the voyage. Their return was ordered, be-
cause so many good officers and soldiers would be wanted on
a frontier which was usually infested by the hostile Dutch.
He likewise directed that, if it were possible, two persons
should accompany them, who might give an account to the
court of Castille, of all that had been discovered, and all
that might be discovered on the return voyage.
General Don Juan de Acuna volunteers for the service.
The execution of this last order of the Viceroy put every
one into confusion, on account of the many inconveniences
which presented themselves at the first glance. However,
there were not wanting officers zealous in the service of the
country, who desired, each one, to be of the number of those
who should be chosen for an enterprize of such importance.
But he who, above all, displayed most ardent zeal in seeking
new occasions of prosecuting the service of his King, which he
had now done for thirty years, and his ancestors before him,
was Don Juan Vazquez de Acuna, a knight of Calatrava, lieu-
tenant of the captain general of the Viceroy of Peru, and
actual Corregidor for His Majesty, over the Spaniards and
natives, in the same city of Quito, and its district. He not
only offered his own personal services, but also, at his own
expense, to raise troops, pay them, buy provisions, and
physician, Don Juan de Vega. In memory of the cure effected on this
occasion, Linnaeus afterwards named the plant Cinchona.



provide for all the necessary expenses of the expedition ;
with the sole motive, which always influenced him, of further-
ing the service of his King and Lord. His desire did not
take effect, because, as inconvenience would arise from his
vacating the office which he actually held, permission was
denied him. However, God did not permit that such honor-
able desires should be wholly frustrated, so disposing things
that, though he did not go, his brother, Padre Cristoval de
Acuna, a priest of the company of Jesus, went in his place.
The Royal Audience names Pedro Cristoval de Acuna for this
The Licentiate Suarez de Poago, Fiscal of the Royal
Chancellery of Quito, seeing that the Portuguese expedition
was about to depart, considered, like a faithful minister of
His Majesty, that it would be of great use, and no harm, if
two priests of the company of Jesus should accompany it,
noting down with care all that was worthy of remark in this
great river ; with which information they might return to
Spain, to give a reliable acconnt of all they had observed
to the Council of the Indies, and if necessary to the King
our Lord, in his royal person. As the Fiscal thought,
so he proposed to the Royal Audience,1 and the proposition
seeming good to all, they gave notice of it to the provincial
of the company of Jesus, who at that time was father Francisco
de Fuentes. He, rightly estimating the honor which might
1 Quito was a part of the Viceroyalty of Peru until 1718, when it was
annexed to New Grenada. Before that time the province of Quito
had been governed, under the Peruvian Viceroy, by a Royal Audience
established in 1563. It consisted of a President, four Oidores or Judges,
and a Fiscal, who took cognizance of everything connected with the
revenue. The Royal Audience of Quito, abolished in 1718, was re-
established in 1739. The President was also governor of the province.
— Clloa, i, p. 256 ; Stevenson, ii, p. 294.



accrue to his religion, in an affair of such importance, and
anxious that, in this way, the gate might be opened by which
its sons could enter, to convey the new light of the holy
Evangelist to so large a number of souls, who on that great
river lie in the shadow of death ; named, in the first place,
for this enterprize, father Cristoval de Acuna, a professed
priest, and actual rector of the college of the company in the
city of Cuenca (jurisdiction of Quito) ; and secondly, as his
companion, father Andres de Artieda, reader of theology in
the college of the city of Quito. The members of the Royal
Audience accepted the nomination of the said Jesuits, and
caused a royal provision to be given to them, in which
they were ordered to set out from the city of Quito, in com-
pany with the Capitan Mayor Pedro Texeira, and, having
arrived at Para, to go on to Spain, and give an account of
all which they may have carefully noted down in the course
of the voyage, to the King our Lord, in his royal person.
The fathers set out from Quito.
The said fathers obeyed the orders they had received, and
on the 16th February 1639, they commenced their long voy-
age, which lasted for a space often months, when they entered
the city of Para, on the 12th of December of the same year.
After they had crossed those lofty mountains on foot, which,
with the liquor of their veins, feed and sustain that great
river; they voyaged on the waves to where, spread out into
eighty-four mouths, it pays its mighty tribute to the sea.
They, with particular care, took notes of all that was worthy
of remark, measured the heights, noted down all the tributary
rivers by their names, became acquainted with the nations
who dwell on their banks, beheld their fertility, enjoyed the
resources of the great river, experienced its climate, and
finally left nothing of which they could not say that they had



been eye-witnesses. As such, as persons whom so many con-
siderations oblige to be accurate, I pray to those who read
this narrative that they will give me the credit that is just, for
I am one of those, and in the name of both I took up my pen
to write. I say this because other accounts may be brought
to light, which will not be so truthful as this narrative.
This will be a true account, and it is an account of things
which, with face uncovered, not more than fifty Spaniards
and Portuguese can testify to, namely, those who made the
same voyage. I affirm that which is certain as certain, and
that which is doubtful as such, that in an affair of so much
importance, no one may believe more than is stated in this
The river of Amazons is the largest in the world.
The famous river of Amazons, which traverses the richest,
most fertile, and most densely populated regions of Peru,
may be, from this day forth, proclaimed as the largest and
most celebrated river in the whole world. For if the Ganges
irrigates all India, and, with the great volume of its waters,
eclipses the sea itself, which loses its very name and is called
the Gangetic Gulf (or sometimes the Bay of Bengal): if the
Euphrates, the famed river of Syria and Persia, is the joy
and delight of those countries : if the Nile irrigates and
fertilizes a great part of Africa: the river of Amazons
waters more extensive regions, fertilizes more plains, supports
more people, and augments by its floods a mightier ocean :
it only wants, in order to surpass them in felicity, that its
source should be in Paradise ; as is affirmed of those other
rivers, by grave authors.
Histories say of the Ganges that thirty great rivers fall
into it, and that the sands on its shores are full of gold : but
the Amazons also has sands of gold, and irrigates a region



which contains infinite riches. The Euphrates, as St. Ambrose
observes, is called Icetificando, because its streams gladden
the plains, so that those which it irrigates in one year, are
secure of an abundant harvest in the next. But of the river
of Amazons it may be affirmed that its banks are a paradise
of fertility, and if the natural riches of the soil were assisted
by art, the whole would be one delightful garden. The
fertility of the land which is bathed by the Nile, is celebrated
in those verses of Lucan,1
” Terra suis coritenta bonis, non indiga mercis
Aut Jovis, in solo, tanta est fiducia Nilo.”
The regions bordering on the Amazons require no supplies
from foreign lands ; the river is full of fish, the forests of
game, the air of birds, the trees are covered with fruit, the
plains with corn, the earth is rich in mines, and the natives
have much skill and ability, as we shall see in the course of
this narrative.
Source of the river of the Amazons.
In assigning a source and origin to this great river of
Amazons, which up to this time has remained concealed,
each country has striven to make out a title to be the mother
of such a daughter; attributing to their own bowels, the
first sustenance which gave it being, and calling it the river
Maranon. This latter error is so firmly established, that the
city of kings boasts that the Cordilleras of Huanuco,2 only
seventy leagues distant, give it a cradle; and provide the
earliest nourishment for this famous river, in a mountain
lake. In truth this is not very far from the truth, because
if this is not actually the origin of the river of Amazons, it
1 Pharsalia, book viii.
2 The river Huallaga, one of the chief affluents of the Maranon, rises
in the mountains of Huanuco ; and the river Maranon itself rises in the
Lake of Lauricocha, within a short distance of that ancient city.



is at least that of one of its chief affluents, which supplies it
with fresh life, and makes its after career more vigorous.
The kingdom of New Grenada also seeks to augment her
credit, by attributing the source of the river to the cascade of
Mocoa, which the natives call El gran Caqueta: but there
is no foundation for this assertion, as the river flowing from
Mocoa does not behold the Amazons until after a course
of seven hundred leagues, and when they do meet, the
Caqueta,1 as if recognizing a superior, turns its course, and
comes to do homage to the Amazons.
Peru claims the source of this great river, glorifying her
stream as queen of the rest; but, from this time forth, the city
of San Francisco de Quito will not permit the claim; for at
a distance of eight leagues from the site of that city, this
treasure is enclosed in the skirts of a Cordillera which divides
the jurisdiction of the government of Quijos ; at the foot of
two hills, the one called Guamana, the other Pulca, rather
less than two leagues from each other. The former produces
a great lake, as mother of the new born stream; and the
latter forms another lake, which, though of smaller dimen-
sions, is of great depth. The stream, flowing from the lakes,
pierces a hill, which, envious of the treasure, precipitates it
from the summit with the force of an earthquake, as if to de-
stroy it in the beginning, and dash those grand hopes which
this little stream had promised to the world. Thus from
these two lakes, which are twenty miles south of the equator,
the great river of Amazons takes its rise.2
Its course, latitude, and longitude.
This river flows from west to east, as a sailor would say ;
that, is from the setting to the rising of the sun ; and a few
1 Or Japura.
3 The error of supposing the Napo to be the true source of the river



degrees to the south of the equator. Its length, from the source
to the mouth,is one thousand three hundred and fifty Castillian
measured leagues, or according to Orellana, one thousand
eight hundred. It flows along, meandering in wide reaches ;
and, as absolute lord of all the other rivers which run into
it, sends out branches, which are like faithful vassals, with
whose aid it goes forth, and, receiving from the smaller
streams the lawful tribute of their waters, they become in-
corporated in the main channel. It is worthy of remark that
according to the dignity of the guest, is the harbinger who
is sent to receive him; thus with ordinary arms it receives
the more common rivers, increasing them for those of more
importance; and for some which are so great as almost to
be able to put shoulder to shoulder, it comes forth in person
with its whole current. In breadth it varies very much, for
in some parts its breadth is a league, at others twro, at others
three, and at others many more ; preserving so much narrow-
ness in a course of several leagues, in order that, with greater
ease, spread out into eighty-four mouths, it may place itself
on an equality with the ocean.
Breadth and depth of the river.
The narrowest part in which the river collects its waters, is
little more than a quarter of a league wide. A place, doubt-
Amazons was exposed by tbe Jesuit Father Samuel Fritz, who, in his
chart engraved at Quito in 1707, pointed out the true source to be the
Lake of Lauricocha. The Ucayali, also, has had its partizans, and M.
Condamine inclines in its favour, but leaves the question doubtful. It
is, however, beyond a doubt that the source of the Ucayali is the most
distant from the mouth of the Amazons ; but, ou the other hand, it is
equally certain that the Ucayali is only a tributary of the Amazons, and
not the main stream ; the latter river being the largest at the point of
Velasco declares that it is certain and beyond all doubt that the Lake
of Lauricocha, pointed out by Fritz, is the true source of the Amazons.



less, which has been provided by divine Providence, where
the great sea of fresh water narrows itself, so that a fortress
may be built to impede the passage of any hostile armament
of what force soever ; in case it should enter by the prin-
cipal mouth of this mighty river.
The depth of the river is great, and there are parts where
no bottom has yet been found. From the mouth to the Rio
Negro, a distance of nearly six hundred leagues, there is
never less than thirty or forty brazas1 in the main channel;
above the Rio Negro it varies more, from twenty to twelve or
eight brazas, but up to very near its source there is sufficient
depth for any vessel; and, though the current would impede
the ascent, yet there is not wanting usually, every day, three
or four hours of a strong breeze, which would assist in
overcoming it.
2 2.
Islands, their fertility and products.
All this river is full of islands, some large, others small,
and so numerous that it is impossible to count them, for they
are met with at every turn. Some are four or five leagues,
others ten, others twenty in circumference, and that which
is inhabited by the Tupinambas (of whom I shall speak here-
after), is more than a hundred leagues round.
There are also many other very small ones, on which the
Indians sow their seeds, having their habitations on the
larger ones. These islands are flooded by the river every
year, and are so fertilized by the mud which it leaves behind,
that they can never be called sterile. The ordinary pro-
ducts, which are maize and yuca, or mandioc, the common-
est food of all, are in great abundance ; and though it would
seem that the Indians are exposed to great loss, on account
of the powerful floods ; yet nature, the common mother of us
1 Fathoms.




all, has provided these barbarians with an easy means of pre-
serving their food. They collect the yucas, which are roots
from which they make the casaoa, the ordinary substitute for
bread in all parts of Brazil; and forming caves or deep holes
in the earth, they bury them, and leave them well covered
up during all the time of the floods. When the waters
subside, they take them out, and use them for food, without
their having lost any part of their virtue. If nature teaches
the ant to store up grain in the bowels of the earth, to serve
for food during a whole year : how much more will she
suggest a contrivance to the Indian, how barbarous soever
he may be, to protect him from harm, and to preserve his
food: for is it not certain that Divine Providence will take
more care of men than of dumb animals ?
The kinds of liquor which they use.
This (yuca ?) is, as I have said, the daily bread which
always accompanies their other food; and it not only serves
for food, but also as a drink, to which all the natives are
usually much inclined. For this purpose they make large thin
cakes, which they place in an oven and bake, so that they will
last for many months: these they keep in the highest part
of their houses, to preserve them from the dampness of the
earth. When they wish to use them, they melt them in
water, and having boiled the liquor at a fire, they let it stand
as long as is necessary ; and, when cold, it is the usual wine
which they drink. It is sometimes so strong that it might
be taken for grape wine, and intoxicates the natives, making
them lose their judgment.1
1 The roots of the yuca are boiled and set to cool, then chewed by
women, put in a vessel filled with water, and boiled again, being stirred
the whole time. The contents are poured into great jars half buried in
the floor of the hut, closely stopped up ; and in two days fermentation



With the help of this wine they celebrate their feasts, mourn
their dead, receive their visitors, sow and reap their crops;
indeed there is no occasion on which they meet, that this
liquor is not the mercury which attracts them, and the riband
which detains them. They also make, though they are not
so common, other kinds of wine, of the wild fruits which
abound on the trees; so fond are they of drunkenness.
They put the juice into water, and produce a liquor which
often exceeds beer in strength, that beverage which is so much
used in foreign countries. These wines are kept in large
earthen jars, like those used in Spain ; also in small pipes
made of one piece of the hollowed trunk of a tree; and in
large vases woven from herbs, and so smeared with bitumen,
that not one drop of the liquor which they contain is ever
The fruits which they have.
The food with which they accompany their bread and
wine is of various kinds,—not only fruits, such as plantains,
pine apples, and guavas, but very palatable chesnuts, which
in Peru they call ” almonds of the Sierra,” for in truth they
more resemble the latter than the former. They name them
chesnuts, because they are enclosed in shells which resemble
the prickly husk of the real chesnut. The Indians also have ‘
palms of different kinds, some of which produce cocoa nuts,
others palatable dates which, though wild, are of a very
pleasant taste. There are also many other different kinds of
fruits, all proper to tropical climates. They have likewise
nourishing roots such as the potatoe, the yuca ?nansa,1 which
takes place. On the drinking day the women kiudle fires round the
jars, and serve out the warm licpaor in half gourds.—Southey,s History
of Brazil.
1 The yuca, mandioc, or cassava, if eaten raw, or with the juice in it,
is deadly poison. When scraped to a fine pulp, ground on a stone, and
the juice carefully expressed, it is good food.



the Portuguese call macachera, gar as, criaclillas de tierra,1
and others which, either roasted or boiled, are not only
palatable, but also very nutritious.
The fish of this river, and of the Pegebuey.
After all, that which supplies them with most food, and,
as they say, fills up their dish, is the extensive fishery.
Every day they procure an incredible abundance from this
river, with full hands.
But above all, the fish, that like a king lords it over all the
others, and which inhabits this river from its sources to
its mouth, is the pegebuey,2 a fish which, when tasted, only
can retain the name, for no one could distinguish it from
well-seasoned meat. It is as large as a calf a year and a half
old, but on its head it has neither ears nor horns. It
has hair all over its body, not very long, like soft
bristles, and the animal moves in the water with short
fins, which in the form of paddles, serve as propellers.
Under them the females have their dugs, with which they
give sustenance to their young. The Indians make shields
of their skin, which is very thick. When well cured these
shields are so strong that a ball from an arquebuss would
not pass through them. This fish supports itself solely on
the herbage on which it browses, as if it was in reality a
bullock; and from this circumstance the flesh derives so
1 A kind of truffle.
2 This is the manatee or vaca marina, a kind of porpoise, frequently
eight feet long, which abounds in the Amazons, and its affluents. ” Pege”
ox”pexe”& fish, and “buey,” an ox. “Like the cetaceous family to
which it belongs, it suckles its young, and also feeds among the grass on
the banks of the rivers.”—Dr. A. Smith’s Peru as It Is.
Smyth caught one which was seven feet eight inches long. It took
the united strength of at least forty men to drag it out of the water by
means of ropes.—Smyth, p. 197.



good a flavour, and is so nutritious, that a small quantity
leaves a person better satisfied and more vigorous than if
he had eaten double the amount of mutton. It cannot keep
its breath long under water ; and thus, as it goes along, it
rises up every now and then to obtain more air, when it
meets with total destruction, the moment it comes in sight of
its enemy.
As soon as the Indians see it, they follow in small canoes,
and kill it with harpoons which they make of shells. They
cut it into moderate sized slices, which, having been toasted
on a wooden gridiron, remain good for more than a month.
They preserve them throughout the year with ashes (which
are of great value), as they have not salt in any quantity;
and that which they use to season their food is made from
the ashes of a certain kind of palm, which is more like salt-
petre than salt.
The turtles of the river, and how they keep them.
But although they cannot preserve their food for a very
long time, they are not wanting in industry to procure fresh
meat throughout the winter,, which, though it is not sopalatable
as the above, is more wholesome. For this purpose they make
large inclosures surrounded by poles, and completed inside
so as to form lakes of little depth, which always retain the
rain water.
Having finished these at the time when the turtles go out
to lay their eggs on the beach, the Indians also leave their
houses and, hiding themselves near the places most fre-
quented by the turtles, wait until the creatures come forth, and
begin to occupy themselves in constructing a cave in which
to deposit eggs.
Then the Indians come out, and station themselves at the
part of the beach by which the turtles have to make their



retreat to the water, and falling upon them suddenly, in a
short time become masters of a great many, with no other
trouble than turning them on their backs, thus rendering
them unable to move. In this way they keep them until
they have pierced holes in all their shells, and strung them
together. They then get into their canoes, and tow the
turtles without any trouble, until they have deposited them
in the inclosures which they had prepared; when they let
them loose in that narrow prison; and, feeding them on
branches and leaves of trees, keep them alive as long as they
think it necessary.
These turtles are as large as good-sized targets, their flesh
tastes like tender beef; and the females, when they kill them,
have within their stomachs usually more than two hundred
eggs each, some even more, and almost as good as hen’s eggs,
though harder of digestion. They are so fat that from only
two a whole jar of grease may be taken, which, seasoned
with salt, is as good, more palatable, and much more lasting
than that of beef. It is useful for frying fish, and for any other
kind of dish, for which purposes this will be found the best
and most delicate grease of all.
They collect these turtles in such abundance that there is
not an inelosure which does not contain upwards of a hundred.
Thus these barbarians never know what hunger is, for one
turtle suffices to satisfy the largest family.
Methods of fishing used by the Indians.
With great ease do the inhabitants of this river enjoy all
kinds of fish which are contained in it; for never appre-
hending that they will want anything on the following day,
they do not prepare the day before ; but that which they
collect to-day, sustains them, and they reap another harvest



The mode of fishing is different, according to the variety
of seasons, and the rise or fall of the waters. Thus when
the waters subside so much that the lakes are dried up,
without permitting communication with the river, they use
a kind of poisonous branch, which in those parts they call
Umbo, about the size of an arm more or less, and so strong
that two or three poles of it being broken to pieces, and the
water being beaten with them, scarcely have the fish tasted
of its strength, than they all come to the surface, and may
be caught with the hand.
But the usual way in which, at all times and on all
occasions, the Indians become masters of as many fish as this
provision supplying river sustains, is with arrows, which
they discharge with one hand from a thin oval board which
they hold in it, and the arrows being fixed in the fish, the
board serves as a buoy, to shew in what direction the prey
has retired, after it has been wounded. They then rush to the
place, and grasping the fish, they drag it into the canoe.
This mode of fishing is not confined to any particular kind
of fish, but extends so generally to all, that neither large
nor small are privileged,—all are treated alike.
As these fish are of so many kinds, they are very palatable,
and many have very peculiar properties ; especially a fish
which the Indians callparague, which is like a very large ser-
pent, or, to speak more properly, like a conger eel. It has the
peculiarity that, while alive, whoever touches it trembles all
over his body, while a closer contact produces a feeling like
the cold shiverings of ague; which ceases the moment he
withdraws his hand.1
Game of the forest, and birds on xohich they feed.
It may be that these Indians now and then become tired
1 The electric eel.



of always feeding on fish alone, although so good, and that
they may have a craving for some kind of flesh meat : accord-
ingly nature has indulged their longing by peopling the
land with many kinds of game.
Such are the da?itas,1 which are the size of a one year old
mule, and very like one in colour and disposition, while the
taste of their flesh is like that of beef, though a little sweeter.
There are also wild hogs, not like those of Spain, but quite
a different kind, which have humps on their loins; and they
are numerous all over the Indies. The flesh is very good
and wholesome ; as is also that of another species of these
same animals, which are found in many parts, and are very
like our own domestic pigs.
There are also deer, guinea pigs, cotias, guanas, yagois,
and other animals of the Indies, and of such excellent taste,
that they fall little short of the most dainty dishes of Europe.
There are partridges, in the plains, and the Iudians breed
domestic fowls in their houses, which were first brought
from Peru, and have gradually been spread all along the
river. In the many lakes there are an infinite number of
ducks, and other water fowl.
When the Indians desire to provide themselves with any
game, the most wonderful thing is the little trouble which
the chase occasions them, as we experienced in our voyage.
After arriving at the place where we were to sleep for the
night, and after the friendly Indians had employed them-
selves in making provision for our lodging, which took some
time, they separated,—some on land with dogs in search of
game, and others on the water, with only their bows and
arrows. In a few hours we saw them return, laden with
fish and game sufficient to satisfy the hunger of the whole
party. This did not happen on any particular day, but
during the whole time the voyage lasted. It is a marvel
worthy of admiration, and which can only be attributed to
1 Tapirs, also frequently called the “gran lestia.”



the paternal care of that Lord, who with only five loaves and
a few fishes fed five thousand men ; remaining with free
arms and full hands, ready for still greater acts of beneficence.
Climate and temperature of the river.
The climate of this river, and of all the adjacent provinces,
is temperate; so that the heat does not molest, and the cold
does not fatigue, neither is there a continual change of wea-
ther to annoy. A certain kind of winter may, however,
be distinguished, not caused by the variation of planets
or the course of the sun, (which always rises and sets at the
same hour), but by the rising of the waters, which, by their
damp vapours, impede during some months the seeds and
fruits of the earth. It is by the harvests that we usually
register the difference between winter and summer in those
parts of Peru, which experience various temperatures; so
that the whole time in which the earth produces fruit, we
call summer, and on the contrary we call the time in which
the harvest is impeded by any cause, winter.
These harvests occur twice in the year on this river, not
only as to the maize, one of the principal articles of food, but
also as to all other seeds proper to the country. It is true
that the country more adjacent to the Cordilleras of Quito
enjoys more warmth than any other part of the river,
as there are constant breezes which usually refresh the
land near the sea coast: and this warmth, when greatest, is
equal to that of Guayaquil, Panama, or Carthagena, tempered,
to a great extent, by continual showers almost every day;
and causing great advantage, in all this land, in preserving
the food uncorrupted for a long time; as we experienced
in our hosts, with which we said mass. After five months and
a half’s absence from Quito, they were as fresh as if they had
only been made a few days, so that at the end of that period,



we had not yet found out how long they would last; a
thing which astonished those who have endured the different
temperatures of the Indies, and who know by experience the
rapidity with which even things of more substance than
these wafers, become corrupt in hot countries.
In this river there are no dews which do any harm; of
which fact I am able to bear witness, for during the whole
time that I navigated this river, it was seldom that I did
not pass the night in the open air, without ever having a
headache, as in other countries ; but a small ray of the
moon used sometimes to cause an unusual sensation. How-
ever it is true that, at first, almost every one who came from
a colder country, suffered from quartan ague, but the patient,
with as many blood-lettings, became well again.
Neither are there, on this river, any pestilential airs,
which with sudden qualities disable those whom they hurt,
such as are felt, at the price of health and sometimes of life,
in almost all the discovered parts of Peru. If it were not
for the plague of mosquitoes which abound in many places,
this country might be proclaimed with open mouth to be one
vast paradise.
Nature of the land, and of medicinal drugs.
From this mildness of the climate arises without doubt the
freshness of all the banks of this river, which, crowned with
various beautiful trees, appear to be continually delineating
new countries, in which nature brightens, and art is taught.
Although for the most part the land is low, it also has tolerably
high rising grounds, small plains clear of trees and covered
with flowers, valleys which always retain moisture, and, in
more distant parts, hills which may properly receive the
name of Cordilleras.
In the wild forests the natives have, for their sicknesses.



the best dispensary of medicines ; for they collect the largest
canafistula, or fruit of the purging cassia, that has ever been
found; the best sarsaparilla; healing gums and resins in
great abundance : and honey of wild bees at every step, so
abundant that there is scarcely a place where it is not found,
and it is not only useful medicinally, but also very pleasant
and palatable as food. The wax, though black, is good, and
burns as well as any other.
In these forests too arc the oil of andirova, trees of price-
less value for curing wounds; here too is the copaiba, which
has no equal as a balsam ; here too are found a thousand
kinds of herbs and trees of very peculiar qualities ; and to
find many others a second Dioscorides or a third Pliny should
come out, to investigate their properties.
Timber and materials for ships.
The woods of this river are innumerable, so tall that they
reach to the clouds, so thick that it causes astonishment. I
measured a cedar with my hands, which was thirty palmas
in circumference. They are nearly all of such good wood
that better could not be desired; there are cedars, cotton
trees, iron wood trees, and many others now made known
in those parts, and proved to be the best in the world for
building vessels. In this river vessels may be built better
and at less cost than in any other country, finished and
launched, without the necessity of sending anything from
Europe, except iron for the nails. Here, as I have said, is
timber ; here are cables made from the bark of a certain tree,
which will hold a ship in the heaviest gale ; here is excellent
pitch and tar; here is oil, as well vegetable as from fish;
here they can make excellent oakum which they call embira,
for caulking the ships, and also there is nothing better for
the string of an arquebuss ; here is cotton for the sails ; and



here finally is a great multitude of people, so that there
is nothing wanting, for building as many vessels as may be
placed on the stocks.
Of four valuable products found on the banks of this river.
There are on the banks of the great river of the Amazons
four products, which, if cultivated, would undoubtedly be
sufficient to enrich not only one, but many kingdoms. The
first of these is the timber ; of which, besides there being so
many curious kinds, of great value ; there are such quantities
fit for building that while as much may be cut as is wanted,
there will be the certainty that the supply can never be
The second kind is the cocoa, of which the banks of this
river are so full that in some places the wood of it would
suffice, if cut, for lodging a whole army. There is scarcely
any difference between this tree, and that which yields
this much valued fruit in New Spain; which, when culti-
vated, is of such value that the trees, growing a foot apart,
are every year worth eight silver rials, after all expenses
are paid. It is clear with what little labour these trees may
be cultivated on this river, when, without any help from
art, nature alone covers them with abundance of fruit.
The third kind is tobacco, of which great quantities are
found, in all the country near the banks of this river,
and if it were cultivated with the care that this seed re-
quires, it would be the best in the world. In the opinion
of those who understand the subject, the soil and climate
are all that can be desired to produce prolific harvests.
The product which, in my view, ought to be most culti-
vated on this river is sugar, which is the fourth kind. It is
the most noble, most productive, most pertain, and most
valuable to the royal crown ; and many farms ought to



be established, which in a short time would restore the
losses on the Brazilian coast. For this purpose neither
much time nor much labour would be necessary, nor, what
now-a-days is more dreaded, much outlay, for the land for
sugar cane is the most productive in all Brazil, as we can
testify who have visited those parts; and the floods, which
never last more than a few days, leave it so fertile that it
might be thought to be too rich. Nor will it be a new thing
to raise sugar cane on the banks of this river ; for along its
whole vast length, from its first sources, we were always
meeting with it: so that it seemed from that time to give
signs of its future increase, when mills should be established
to work it. These would not be expensive, because all
necessary timber is at hand, with water in abundance.
Copper is alone wanting, which with great ease might be –
supplied from Spain, in anticipation of the rich return which
would be afterwards received.

Of other valuable products.
Not only may these four products be promised, from this
newly discovered land, to supply the whole world; but
there are also many others, which, though in less quantities,
would not fail to enrich the royal crown. Such, among
others, is the cotton which is picked in abundance; the
tiruca,1 which gives the best dye, and is much valued by
foreigners ; the fruit of the cassia ; the sarsaparilla; the oils
which rival the best balsams in curing wounds ; the gums and
sweet resins; the agave,2 whence the best cord is obtained,
which is plentiful, and many others ; which necessity, or the
desire of riches, are bringing to light every day.

1 Achiote, heart-leaved bixa or anotta.

The American aloe.



The riches of this river.
I will now treat of the numerous mines of gold and silver of
which I heard in the newly discovered land, and which will
assuredly be discovered hereafter: these, if my judgment
does not deceive me, are richer than alf the mines of
Peru, although the famed hill of Potosi should be included :
nor do I state this without foundation, as an idea arisen
solely, as some may think, from a desire to magnify the
glories of this river; but my statement is founded on reason
and experience. These I have in the gold which we found
in possession of some of the Indians of this river, whom we
met, and in the information they gave us concerning their
The following argument arose out of what I then saw and
The river of the Amazons receives affluents from all the
richest lands of America. On the south side, mighty rivers
which descend, some from the neighbourhood of Potosi,
others from Huanuco, and the Cordillera near the city of
Lima, others from Cuzco, and others from JeJbaros, which
is the land most famous for gold, all fall into the Amazons.
Thus, on this side, vast numbers of rivers, springs, brooks,
and little fountains flow towards the ocean, throughout the
space of six hundred leagues between Potosi and Quito, and
all pay homage to this great river of Amazons.
In like manner all those which descend from New Grenada,
not inferior in their yield of gold to the others, are affluents
of this great river. If the Amazons then is the chief street,
—the principal road by which to ascend to the greater
riches of Peru, well may I affirm that she is the chief master
of all those riches. If the lake of Dorado contains the gold
which common opinion attributes to it; if, as many affirm,



the Amazons inhabit the richest country in the world; if the
Tocantins are so famous for their gold and precious stones ;
if the Omaguas were so famous for riches that a Viceroy of
Peru dispatched a force under Pedro de Ursua in search
of them; then all this wealth is now shut up in the great
river of the Amazons. Here is the lake of Dorado, here the
nation of Amazons, here the Tocantins, here the Omaguas,
and here finally is deposited the immense treasure which the
Majesty of God keeps to enrich our great King and Lord,
Philip IV.
The discovered land is four thousand leagues in circumference.
This vast empire, according to good cosmography, is four
thousand leagues in circumference, and I do not think I ex-
aggerate much ; for if in the longitude alone there are one
thousand three hundred and fifty-seven carefully measured
leagues, and according to Orellana, who was the first to navi-
gate the main stream, eighteen hundred ; and if each river
which enters it on one side or the other, according to the best
information from the natives who inhabit their mouths, ex*
tends two hundred leagues, and some even four hundred,
without ever reaching a Spanish settlement, and always
passing different Indian nations; we must certainly allow
four hundred leagues of breadth in the narrowest part;
which, with one thousand three hundred and fifty-six, or
according to Orellana, one thousand eight hundred of longi-
tude, will give for the circumference, according to good
arithmetic, very little less than four thousand leagues, as I
The multitude of tribes, and of different nations.
All this new world, if we may call it so, is inhabited by



barbarians, in distinct provinces and nations, of which I am
enabled to give an account, naming them and pointing out
their residences, some from my own observations, and others
from information of the Indians.
They exceed one hundred and fifty, all with different
languages. These nations are so near each other, that from
the last villages of one they hear the people of the other at
work. But this proximity does not lead to peace; on the
contrary, they are engaged in constant wars, in which they
kill and take prisoners great numbers of souls every day.
This is the drain provided for so great a multitude, without
which the whole land would not be large enough to hold
But though, among themselves, they are so warlike, none
of them shewed courage to face Spaniards, as I observed
throughout the voyage, in which the Indians never dared
to use any defence against us, except that of flight. They
navigate in vessels so light that, landing, they carry them on
their shoulders, and, conveying them to one of the numerous
lakes near the river, laugh at any enemy who, with heavier
vessels, is unable to follow the same example.
Arms which the Indians use.
Their arms consist of short spears, and darts made of strong
wood, well sharpened, and which, thrown with dexterity,
easily reach the enemy. Others have estolicas, weapons with
which the warriors of the Incas of Peru were very dexter-
ous. These estolicas are flattened poles, about a yard long,
and three fingers broad. In the upper end a bone is fixed, to
which an arrow of nine palmos is fastened, with the point
also of bone or very strong palm wood, which, worked into
the shape of a harpoon, remains like a javelin hanging from
the person whom it wounds. They hold this in the right



hand, with the cstolica clutched by the lower part, and fixing
the weapon in the upper bone, they hurl it with such
tremendous force and with so good an aim, that at fifty paces
they never miss. They fight with these arms, with them they
hunt, and with them they become masters of any fish that
are hidden under the waves. What is more wonderful, with
these arrows they transfix the turtles, when, from time to
time and for a very few moments, they shew their heads
above the water. The arrow is aimed at the neck, which is
the only part clear of the shell. They also use shields for
their defence, made of strong canes tightly sewn together,
which, though very light, are not so strong as those which I
mentioned before, made of the skin of the pegebueij.
Some of these nations use bows and arrows, a weapon which,
among all the others, is respected for the force and rapidity
with which it inflicts wounds. Poisonous herbs are plentiful,
of which some tribes make a poison so fatal, that an arrow,
stained with it, destroys life the moment that it draws blood.
Their means of communication are by water, in canoes.
All those who live on the shores of this great river are
collected in large villages, and, like the Venetians and
Mexicans, their means of communication are by water, in
small vessels which they call canoes. These are usually
of cedar wood, which the providence of God abundantly
supplies, without the labour of cutting it or carrying it from
the forest; sending it down with the current of the river ,which,
to supply their wants, tears the trees from the most distant
Cordilleras of Peru, and places them at the doors of their
habitations, where each Indian may choose the piece of
timber which suits him best. It is worthy of remark that
among such an infinity of Indians, each wanting at least
one or two trees for his family, whence to make one or



two canoes ; it should cost no further labour than just to go
out to the banks of the river, throw a lasso when the
tree is floating past, and convey it to the threshold; where
it remains secure until the waters have subsided; when
each man, applying his industry and labour, manufactures
the vessel which he requires.
The tools which they use.
The tools which they use to make not only their canoes,
but also their houses and anything else they require, are
hatchets and adzes, not forged in the smithies of Biscay, but
manufactured in the forges of their understanding, having,
as in other things, necessity for their master.
By it they are taught to cut from the hardest part of the
shell of the turtle, which covers the breast, a plate about a
palmo long, and a little less in breadth, which, cured in smoke
and sharpened with a stone, they fix into a handle. With
this hatchet, though not with much rapidity, they cut what
they require. Of the same material they make their adzes,
to which the jaw bone of the pegebuey serves as a handle,
which nature formed in a curved shape, adapted for such a
With these tools they work as perfectly, not only in the
manufacture of their canoes, but also of their tables, boards,
seats, and other things, as if they were the best instruments
of Spain.
Amongst some of the tribes these hatchets are made of
stone, which, worked by hand, are finer, and run less risk of
breaking than those made of turtle shell, and cut down any
tree however thick it may be. Their chisels, and gouges,
for more delicate work, are made of the teeth of animals fitted
into wooden handles, which do their work as wrell as those
of fino steel. Nearly all the tribes possess cotton, some



move, some less, but they do not all use it for making clothes.
Most of them go about naked,—both men and women, ex-
cepting that natural modesty obliges them not to appear as
if they were in a state of innocence.
Of their rites, and of the gods they adore.
The rites of all these infidels are almost the same. They
worship idols which they make with their own hands; attri-
buting power over the waters to some, and, therefore, place
a fish in their hands for distinction; others they choose as lords
of the harvests ; and others as gods of their battles. They
say that these gods came down from Heaven to be their
companions, and to do them good. They do not use any
ceremony in worshipping them, and often leave them forgot-
ten in a corner, until the time when they become necessary ;
thus when they are going to war, they carry an idol in the
bowrs of their canoes, in which they place their hopes of
victory; and when they go out fishing, they take the idol which
is charged w7ith dominion over the waters ; but they do not
trust in the one or the other so much as not to recognize
another mightier God.
I gathered this from what happened with one of these
Indians, who having heard something of the power of our
God, and seen with his own eyes that our expedition went
up the river, and, passing through the midst of so many
w7arlike nations, returned without receiving any damage ;
judged that it was through the force and power of the God who
guided us. He, therefore, came with much anxiety to beseech
the captain and ourselves, that, in return for the hospitality
he had shewn us, we would leave him one of our gods, who
would protect him and his people in peace and safety, and
assist them to procure all necessary provisions. There were
not wanting those who wished to console him by leaving in



his village, the standard of the cross, a thing which the
Portuguese were accustomed to do among the infidels, not
with so good a motive as would appear from the action itself.
The sacred wood of the cross served to give colour to the
greatest injustice, such as the continual slavery of the poor
Indians, whom, like meek lambs, they carried in flocks to their
houses, to sell some, and treat the others with cruelty. These
Portuguese raise the cross, and in payment of the kind treat-
ment of the natives when they visit their villages, they fix it
in the most conspicuous place, charging the Indians always
to keep it intact. By some accident, or through the lapse
of time, or purposely because these infidels do not care for
it, the cross falls. Presently the Portuguese pass sentence,
and condemn all the inhabitants of the village to perpetual
slavery, not only for their lives, but for the lives of all their
For this reason I did not consent that they should plant
the holy cross; and also that it might not give the Indian,
who had asked us for a god, occasion for idolatry, by attribu-
ting to the wood the pjower of the Deity who redeemed us.
However, I consoled him by assuring him that our God
would always accompany him, that he should pray to him
for what he wanted, and that some day he would be brought
to a true knowledge of him. This Indian was well persuaded
that the gods of his people were not the most powerful on
earth, and he wished for a greater one, to obey.
An Indian would make himself God.
With the same understanding as the above, though with
more malice, another Indian displayed his intellect. As he
could not recognize any power or deity in his idols, he
declared himself to be the god of that land. We had notice
of this man some leagues before we reached his habitation ;



and, dispatching news that we brought a true and more power
ful God, we asked him to wait our arrival. He did so, and
our vessels had scarcely arrived at the banks, when, eager
to know the new God, he came out in person to ask for him.
But though it was declared to him who the true God was ;
because he was unable to see him with his eyes, he remained
in his blindness, making himself out to be a child of the
sun, whither he declared he went every night, the better to
arrange for the government of the following day. Such was
the malice and pride of this Indian.
Another shewed a better understanding, when asked why
his companions were retiring into the forests, apprehensive
of the vicinity of the Spaniards, while he alone with a few
relations came out fearlessly to place himself in our power.
He answered that he considered that a people who had once
gone up the river through the midst of so many enemies,
and returned without any hindrance, could not be less than
lords of this great river, who would often return to navigate
and occupy it; and as this was so, he did not wrant always
to be attacking them under the shade of night; but to know
them, and recognize them from that time as friends ; while
others would be forced to receive them. This was a sensi-
ble discourse, which, should God permit it, we shall some
day see put into execution.
Of their sorcerers.
Following the thread of our narrative, and returning to
the rites of these people ; it is worthy of notice that they all
hold their sorcerers in very great estimation, not so much on
account of the love they bear them, as for the dread in which
they always live of the harm they are able to do them.
These sorcerers usually have a house, where they practise
their superstitious rites, and speak to the demon; and where,



with a certain kind of veneration, the Indians keep all the
bones of dead sorcerers, as if they were relics of saints.
They suspend these bones in the same hammocks, in which
the sorcerers had slept when alive.
These men are their teachers, their preachers, their coun-
cillors, and their guides. They assist them in their doubts,
and the Indians resort to them in their wars, that they may
receive poisonous herbs with which to take vengeance on
their enemies.1
Their methods of interring their dead differ among the
Indian tribes. Some preserve them in their own houses,
always retaining the memory of the dead in their minds.
Others burn in great fires not only the body, but also all
that the deceased possessed when alive. Both the one and
the other celebrate the obsequies of their dead, for many
days, with constant mourning, interrupted by great drink-
ing bouts.
These Indians are of mild dispositions.
These tribes of infidels have good dispositions, with fine
features, and are of a colour not so dark as those of Brazil.
They have clear understandings, and rare abilities for
any manual dexterity. They are meek and gentle, as was
found in those who once met us, conversed with us confi-
dently, and eat and drank with us, without ever suspecting
anything. They gave us their houses to live in, while they
all lived together in one or two of the largest in the village;
and though they suffered much mischief from our friendly
Indians, without the possibility of avoiding it, they never
returned it by evil acts. All this, together with the slight
inclination they display to worship their own gods, gives
1 The sorcerers of the Tupi Iudians, at the mouth of the Amazons,
were called payes. Each one lived alone, in a dark hut.



great hope that, if they received notice of the true Creator
of heaven and earth, they would embrace His holy law with
little hesitation.
Treats especially of the affairs of the river, and of the entrances
into it.
Up to this point I have spoken, in general terms, of all
things touching this great river of Amazons ; it will be well
now to descend to particulars, and to describe the entrances
into it, to enumerate its ports, to inquire into the waters by
which it is fed, to open to view the lands near it, to mark
the heights on its banks, to notice the qualities of its various
tribes, and, finally, to leave nothing that is worthy to be
known, which, as an eye-witness and a person sent by his
Majesty on purpose to examine everything, I shall be able
to do better than others.
I do not here treat of the principal entrance into this
river by the ocean, near the coast of Gran Para; for this is
well known to all who wish to sail to those parts, which are
under the equator, at the extreme limits of Brazil. Nor
shall I mention that by which the tyrant Lope de Aguirre
came out, in front of La Trinidad; for it is out of the way,
and the river is not entered by it, having other streams to
give it birth.
It is only my intention to bring out clearly, and to enumer-
ate, as with a finger, all the ports by which, from the pro-
vinces of Peru, the inhabitants of those conquests may make
sure of entering this great river; with which, as I said
before, many others of great volume communicate from both
sides of its banks ; on the currents of which it would be
necessary to sail, in order to reach this principal river. But
as it is not certainly known from what cities or provinces
they derive their first origin, neither is it possible to treat
positively of their entrances. I am, however, able to do



this of some eight, concerning which no one, having a know-
ledge of this country, can find difficulty. Three of these
come from the new kingdom of Granada, which is, with
respect to this river, on the north side ; four come from the
south, and one from the equator itself.
Of the three ways which lead from the neio kingdom.
The first entrance which, on the side of the new kingdom
of Granada, is known to lead to this immense sea of fresh
water, is by the province of Micoa, which belongs to the
Government of Popayan; by following the current of the
great river Caqueta, which is the lord and master of all the
streams which flow from the side of Santa Fe de Bogota,
Timana, and El Caguan, and which are famed, among the
natives, for the vast provinces of infidels who live on their
banks. This river has many branches flowing through wide
districts, and, as it approaches to join the Amazons, it forms
a great multitude of islands, all inhabited by many savages.
It flows, for a great distance, in the same direction as the
Amazons, accompanying that river, though at some distance,
and from time to time sending forth branches, which might
well be the main streams of any other great river. Finally it
collects all its force in 4° of latitude, and surrenders itself.
By one of the branches which is nearest to the province
of the Aguas or flat-heads, is the way by which it is neces-
sary to come out, in order to enjoy the grandeur of our great
river of Amazons ; for if any one should attempt those which
incline more to the north, the same would happen to him as
befell Captain Fernan Perez de Quesada, in times past, who,
starting from the direction of Santa Fe, entered this river with
three hundred men, and reached the province of Algodonal,
but was obliged to retreat faster than he had come.1
1 According to other authorities his name was Francisco Perez de

\% J


The second entrance to this river, on the northern side,
is by the city of Pasto, also in the jurisdiction of Popa-
yan, whence, traversing the Cordillera with some diffi-
culty owing to the bad road, on foot, for it is impossible
on horseback, reaching the Putumayo, and navigating its
downward course, explorers would reach the Amazons in
2° 30′ south latitude ; at a distance of three hundred and
thirty leagues from the port of Napo. By this same road,
starting, as I said, from the city of Pasto and crossing the
Cordillera, they would approach the Sucumbios, who are not
far from the river called Aguarico, otherwise the ” river of
gold”. By this river, the Amazons may be reached almost
on the line itself, at the commencement of the province of the
Encabellados, which is ninety leagues from the said port of
Napo. This is the third way by which the great river may
be entered from the northern side.
Other means of entrance.
The port for this great river, which is on the equator, is in
the government of Quijos, near Quito, and in the territory
of the Cofanes; whence, by the river of Coca, the principal
channel of our river of Amazons is traced by the strong-
current, until it meets with the Napo. The navigation is not
so good as it becomes lower down, in the southern part of
its course. Of the entrances, the first of all, though not the
best, is by the settlement of Avila, in the same government
of Quijos; whence, by three days journey on land, the river
Payamino is reached, by which the Portuguese fleet ap-
proached the jurisdiction of Quito. This river empties itself
between the rivers Napo and Coca, at that point which is
Quesada. He explored the territory to the eastward of Popayan in
K>o7, and was appointed governor of the country of the Cofanes Indians,
by the Viceroy of Peru.



called ” the Confluence of the rivers”, distant twenty-five
leagues from the port of Napo. We discovered a better en-
trance for this fleet, on the return voyage, than that which
they had found on ascending the river, though with much
labour and loss. It was found to be by way of the city of
Archidona, also in the government of Quijos, and jurisdiction
of Quito ; whence, by only one day’s journey on foot in
winter (for in summer it may be performed on horse-back),
we reached the port of Napo, on a powerful river, in which
the inhabitants of that province have all their treasure, taking
every year from the shores, in gold, that which they require
for their expenses.1 Its waters are well supplied with fish,
and its banks with game. The land is good, and with little
trouble would yield plenty of fruit.
This is the road by which, with most ease and least trou-
ble, all persons who wish to navigate the river of Ama-
zons, may descend from the province of Quito. It is also
said that from Quito, at or near the town of Ampato,
which is eighteen leagues from the city itself, on the road to
Riobamba, there is an entrance by a river which is an afflu-
ent of the Amazons, without any impediment caused by falls
in its course. This way is very convenient for entering the
said river, about seventy-seven leagues below the port of
Napo, by which the whole of the journey through Quijos is
Other entrances into this river.
By the way of the province of Macas, which is under the
same jurisdiction, and from the sierras of which the torrents
which form the river Curaray descend, there is another en-
1 The gold washings of the river Napo are still famous ; and gold is
also obtained in the sands of most of its tributaries.—Report of SeTwr
2 By the river Curaray, which is navigable for a considerable distance.



trance to the Amazons, in 2° of latitude, and one hundred
and fifty leagues from Napo ; the intervening territory being
peopled by various tribes. This is the seventh way to this
The eighth is by ” Santiago of the forests”, and the pro-
vince of Maynas; a land which is drained by one of the largest
rivers which feeds the Amazons, under the name of Mara-
non, and at its mouth by that of Tumburagua.
This river is such that, for more than three hundred
leagues from the place, in 4°, where it empties itself into the
principal one, its navigation is dreaded, as well on account
of its depth, as for the violent current, and the rumours con-
cerning many savage tribes who infest it. But those who
are zealous for the honour of God, and the welfare of souls,
would overcome greater difficulties. In quest of these objects,
two priests of my order, in the beginning of the year 1638,
entered the country of Maynas ; from whom I received many
letters, in which they did not cease to enhance its grandeur,
and to speak of the innumerable provinces, of which every
day they continued to receive information.1 This river unites
with the main stream of the Amazons, two hundred and
thirty leagues from the port of Napo.
The river of Napo.
This river of Napo, so frequently mentioned by me, has
its source in the skirts of a mountain called Antezana, eight-
teen leagues from the city of Quito; and, though so near the
equator, it is wonderful, that, like many other peaks which
rise up above the inhabited parts of these provinces, it is
always covered with snow. The Cordilleras thus serve to
temper the heat which, according to St. Augustine, neces-
1 The intrepid missionaries, named Cujia and Cueva, who reached
Borja, in Maynas, on the Gth of February, 1G38. (See )



sarily renders these lands of the torrid zone uninhabitable :
but with this cooling process, they become the most tem-
perate and agreeable of all the countries which have been
This river of Napo flows from its source, between great
masses of rock, and is not navigable until it reaches the port
where the citizens of Archidona have established the hamlet
for their Indians. Here it becomes more humane, and less war-
like, and consents to bear a few ordinary canoes on its shoul-
ders, conveying provisions ; but, from this point, for four or
five leagues, it does not forget its former fury, until it unites
with the river Coca. The united stream has great depth,
and becomes tranquil, offering a good passage for larger
vessels. This is the junction of rivers where Francisco de
Orellana, writh his party, built the barque with which he
navigated this river of the Amazons.
Here they killed Captain Palacios.
Forty-seven leagues from this union of waters, on the south
side, is Anete, the settlement which captain Juan de Palacios
made, who was killed by the natives, as I said before : and
eighteen leagues from Anete, on the north side, is the mouth
of the river Aguarico, well known, both for its unhealthy
climate, and for the gold which is found in it; from which
it also takes the name of the ” golden river.”1 At both sides
of its mouth, the great province of the Encabellados com-
mences ; which, extending in a northerly direction for more
than one hundred and eighty leagues, and always having
the advantage of the waters which the great river of Ama-
1 The Aguarico takes its rise iu the Cayambe mountains, and forms
the boundary between the modern Republics of Ecuador and New
Granada. It is famous for its productive gold wTashing. Report of
Kenor I’illaricencio.


zons spreads into wide lakes ; has, from the first receipt of
information respecting it. excited ardent desires to subject
the whole to the jurisdiction of Quito. Several expeditions
were made with this object, but the last, under captain Juan
de Palacios, met with a disastrous termination, as we have
before seen.
Province of the Encabellados. Here the Portuguese fleet remained.
In this province, at the mouth of the river of the Enca-
bellados, which is twenty leagues below that of Aguarico,
forty soldiers of the Portuguese expedition, with more than
three hundred Indian friends, whom they brought in their
company, remained for a space of eleven months. Though
at first they were on friendly terms with the natives of the
country, and received the necessary supplies from them;
such confidence did not long endure in the breasts of those
who were yet influenced by the rage which led them to shed
the blood of a Spanish captain; and as they also sought
vengeance against the present invaders, they rebelled with
slight cause, and, killing three of our Indians, placed them-
selves in an attitude to defend their persons and lands. The
Portuguese were not idle ; and being far from long-suffering,
and still less accustomed to such liberties from Indians, they
desired to commence the work of punishment presently.
They took up their arms, and, with their usual vigour, fell
upon them in such sort that, with few deaths, they collected
more than sixty persons alive, and kept them prisoners until
some being dead, and others escaped, not one was left. The
Portuguese squadron was now placed in such a position that
if they wished to eat, they must .seek food from the hands of
the enemy, or perish. They determined to make forays into
the country, and forcibly rid themselves of their difficulty.
Some entered the forest, others remained behind, and both



one and the other party did not cease to be molested by the
enemy, who continued to do them all the mischief in their
power. They attacked their vessels, destroying some, and
breaking up those which were most frail; nor was this the
least damage that was received from them; for they also
attacked our friendly Indians in the forests, beheading those
who fell into their hands; though the Portuguese payed
them with three times the number of their own lives, for one
of ours,—a slight chastisement compared with those which
the Portuguese are accustomed to inflict in similar cases.
The first Spaniard who discovered the Encabellados,1
called them by that name because of the long hair, worn both
by men and women, which in some instances reached below
the knees. Their arms are darts, their habitations are straw
huts, and their food the same as other tribes on the river.
They are continually at war with the surrounding tribes,
which are the Sehos, Becabas, Tamas, and Humos. To the
south of this province of the Encabellados, are the Auziras,
Yurusunes, Zaparas,2 and Yquiios, whose territory is inclosed
between the rivers Napo and Curaray, down to the point
where they unite in one, which is forty leagues from the
river of the Encabellados, and almost in 2° of latitude.
The river Tumburagua.
Eighty leagues from the Curaray, on the same side, the
famous river Tumburagua empties itself; which, as I said
before, descends from Maynas, with the name of Maranon.
It makes itself respected by the river of Amazons, insomuch
that with its united force it forms for itself a mouth of more
than a league in breadth, by which it enters to kiss the hand
of the greater river, paying it not only the ordinary tribute
of its waters, but another very abundant one of many kinds
1 This was Father Rafael Ferrer, in 1G08. See ante, p. 52 (note).
2 See list of Indian tribes, at the end of the volume.



of fish, which were not known in the Amazons, until it reaches
the mouth of this river.1
Province of the Aguas.
Sixty leagues below the Tumburagua, commences the best
and broadest province of any that we met with on this
great river, which is that of the Aguas, commonly called
Omaguas. This province is more than two hundred leagues
long, with settlements so close together, that one is scarcely
lost sight of when another comes in view. Its breadth
seems to be small, not more than that of the river; and in
the islands, which are numerous and some very large, the
Indians have their dwelling places. Considering that all
these islands are peopled, or at least cultivated, by these
natives, it may be imagined how numerous the Indians are
who support themselves from so plentiful a country.
This tribe is the most intelligent and best governed of any
on the river. They owe these advantages to those who
were living peacefully, not many years ago, in the govern-
ment of Quijos ; who, having been ill-treated, descended the
river until they met with the great body of their nation,
and, introducing amongst them some of the things they had
learned amongst the Spaniards, the tribe became somewhat
more civilized. They all go about decently clothed, both men
and women; and the latter, from the quantity of cotton they
cultivate, weave not only the cloths they require themselves,
but much more, which serves as an article of barter with the
neighbouring nations, who have good reason to value the
work of such cunning weavers. They make very beautiful
1 It is necessary to explain here that this river of Tumburagua (or
Maranon) is really the main stream of the Amazons ; and that the
stream which Acuna called by that name, is merely the lower part of
the Napo.



cloths, not only woven in different colours, but also painted
with great skill. These Indians are so obedient to their prin-
cipal chiefs, that a single word is sufficient to make them per-
form whatever they are ordered to do. They all have flattened
heads, which causes ugliness in the men, but the women
conceal it better with their abundant tresses. The custom
of flattening their heads is so confirmed amongst them, that
when the children are born they are placed in a press, a small
board being secured on the forehead, and another one at the
back of the head, so large as to serve as a cradle, and to re-
ceive the whole of the body of the new-born infant. The child
is placed with its back upon the larger board, and secured so
tightly to the other one, that the back and front of the head
become as flat as the palm of the hand; and, as these tighten-
ings have the effect of making the head increase at the sides, it
becomes deformed in such a way, that it looks more like an
ill-shaped Bishop’s mitre, than the head of a human being.
These Aguas are engaged in constant wars on both sides
of the river, with strange tribes. On the south, among others,
with the Carinas, who are so numerous, that not only are
they able to defend themselves on the side of the river,
against the infinite numbers of the Aguas, but at the same
time they keep up a war against the other nations, who are
continually attacking them from inland. On the north side,
these Aguas have for adversaries a tribe called Ticunas,
who, according to good authority, are not less numerous or
less brave than the Carinas, for they also wage wars against
their neighbours inland.

Iloio they use the slaves they capture.
These Aguas supply the slaves they capture in their battles
with everything they want, becoming so fond of them that



they eat with them out of one plate, and are much annoyed
if asked to sell them, a thing which we saw by experience
on many occasions. When we arrived at a village of these
Indians, they received us not only peacefully, but with
dances and signs of great joy; they offered all they had, for our
support, with great liberality ; they cheerfully gave us woven
cloths, treating with us also for the hire of those canoes,
which are to them as fleet horses, in which they travel; but
on naming their slaves, and asking them to sell them, ” hoc
opus hie labor est ” here was the point of disagreement; here
was the subject which made them sorrowful; then appeared
arrangements for concealing them, and then it was that they
managed to place them out of our reach.
These are sure signs that they value their slaves more,
and feel the sale of them more, than all the rest of the things
they possess. Let no one say that their dislike to selling these
Indians, their slaves, arises from a desire to eat them in
their drinking bouts, which, though a common saying, has
very little foundation, being invented by the Portuguese to
give a colour to their injustice.
As far as this nation is concerned, I inquired of two
Indians who had come up with these same Portuguese, and
were natives of Para. They had been taken prisoners by these
Aguas, with whom they lived for eight months, and whom
they accompanied in some of their wars (a time long enough
to judge of their habits). These men assured me that they
had never seen them eat their slaves. What they did with
the principal and most valiant prisoners was, to kill them
in their festivals and general meetings, dreading that they
might do them greater injury if they preserved their lives :
and, having thrown the bodies into the river, they pre-
served the heads as trophies in their houses, which were
those which we often met with throughout the voyage.
I do not wish to deny that there is a race of cannibals on
this river, who, on occasions, do not feel disgust at eating



human flesh ; that which I wish to persuade my readers is,
that the flesh of Indians is not to be found in every public
meat market, as those declare who, on pretence of preventing
like cruelty, make slaves of those Indians who arc born

Of a cold district, in ivhich loheat might be grown.
At a distance of a hundred leagues, (a little more or less),
from the first settlements of these Aguas (which are 3° from
the equator), in about the centre of this wide province, we
reached a village where we remained three days, and it was
so cold that even those who were born and bred in the
coldest parts of Spain, found it necessary to put on additional
clothes. Such a sudden change of temperature surprised me,
and, having asked the natives if it was an extraordinary thing
in their village, they assured me that it was not so, but that
every year for a space of three moons (for it is thus that they
count), which is the same as to say three months, they
experienced this cold weather, which, according to their
account, was in June, July and August. But as I was not
yet quite satisfied with their account, I desired, with more
accuracy, to investigate the cause of such penetrating cold ;
and I found that there was a great sierra situated on the
south side (inland), whence during all those three months
the winds blow, which are frozen by the snow with which the
sierra is covered, and which are the cause of this cold in the
surrounding country. This being the fact, there can be no
doubt that very good wheat might be grown in this place, as
well as all the other seeds and fruits which the district of Quito
produces, though situated under the equinoctial line ; where
similar winds, passing across snowy mountains, produce the
like marvellous effects.



The river Putumayo, and of the nations on its hanks, and on the
hanks of the river Yetau.
Sixteen leagues from these villages, on the north side, is
the mouth of the great river Putumayo, well known in the
province of Popayan, for being so mighty a river, that,
before emptying itself into the Amazons, it receives thirty
other great rivers. The natives, in that country, call it the
Xza. It descends from the Cordilleras of Pasto, in the new
kingdom of Granada ; contains much gold; and, as we are
told, its banks are well peopled with Infidels: for which reason
the Spaniards who descended it a few years ago, retired with
some haste. The names of the tribes who inhabit its banks
are the Yurunas, Guaraicus, Yacariguaras, Parias, Ziyus,
Atuais, Cimas, and those who, nearer its sources, people this
river on both sides, like sovereign lords, are the Omaguas,
whom the Aguas of the islands call Omaguasyete, or true
Fifty leagues from the mouth of the Putumayo, on the op-
posite side, we came to the mouth of a fine and powerful river,
which, rising in the neighbourhood of Cuzco, empties itself
into the Amazons in 3° 30’ of latitude. The natives call it
Yetau,1 and it is very famous among them as well for its
riches, as for the multitude of nations which live near it,
such as the Tipunas, Guanarus, Ozuanas, Moruas, Kaunas,
Conomomas, Marianas, and lastly, those who live near the
Spaniards of Peru, namely, the Omaguas, said to be a people
very rich in gold, which they hang in plates from their ears
and noses; and, unless I am deceived, according to what I read
in the history of the tyrant Lope de Aguirre, this was the pro-
vince of Omaguas, to discover which Pedro de Ursua was sent
1 Jutay. Castelnau says it is navigable for upwards of five hundred
and forty miles.


by the viceroy of Peru, on account of the many notices which
fame had published respecting its riches. The reason of
their not finding this province arose from their entering the
river by a branch which comes out into the Amazons some
leagues lower down, and these nations remained so high
up that it was impossible to reach them, owing to the
danger caused by the impetuosity of the current, but chiefly
on account of the little zeal displayed by the vacillating
This river of Yetau is very abundantly supplied with fish
and game, and, according to the accounts of the Indians who
inhabit its banks, it is easily navigable, being of sufficient
depth, and the current moderate.

End of the province of the Aguas ; and of the river of Cuzco.
Following the course of our principal river, after fourteen
leagues, wre reached the last settlement of this extensive
province of the Aguas, which ends at a very populous
village, with warlike inhabitants, being the first force which,
in this direction, is prepared to resist the onslaught of their
enemies. From this place, for a space of fifty-four leagues,
no Indians people the banks of the river; for their villages are
out of sight, some distance inland, in dense thickets, whence
they come forth to seek for anything they require. These
Indians are, on the north side, the Curis and Guayrabas, and
on the south, the Cachiguards, and Tucuriys. But though,
as I said, we were unable to get a sight of these people, we
came to the mouth of a river Avhich may be properly called
the river of Cuzco; for, according to an account of the voyage
of Francisco de Orellana, which I saw, its source is near
the same eity of Cuzco. It flows into the Amazons in 5° of
latitude, and twenty-four leagues from the last village of the



Aguas. The natives call it Yurua.1 Its banks are well
peopled with tribes; those on the right banks, on entering
it, being the same as those of whom I spoke, as inhabiting
the banks of the Yetau. They are isolated between the two
rivers. This is the river by which Pedro de Ursua de-
scended from Peru, if my imagination does not deceive me.2
A province where they find gold.
Twenty-eight leagues below the river Yurua, on the same
(that is the south) side, in a land full of deep ravines, com-
mences the populous tribe of Curuziraris, who extend, always
along the banks, for a distance of about eighty leagues, with
settlements so close together, that one was scarcely passed
before, within four hours, we came upon others; while some-
times, for the space of half a day at a time, we did not lose
sight of their villages. Most of these we found to be uninha-
bited, as the Indians had received false news that we came des-
troying, killing, and making prisoners ; and they had retired
into the forests. These Indians are more ingenious than any
others on the river. They do not display less order and
civilization, both in the quantity of provisions they possess,
and in the ornaments of their houses than any other tribe on
the river. They find in the ravines near their dwellings,
very good clay for all kinds of hardware, and taking advan-
tage of it, they have large potteries, where they make earthen
jars, pots, ovens in which they make their flour, pans, pip-
kins, and even well formed frying pans. All this diligence
is caused by the traffic with the other tribes, who, forced by
.necessity, (as these things are not made in their country),
1 Jurua. Castelnau says it may be ascended for seven hundred and
eighty miles.
2 Ursua descended by the river Huallaga. The Jurua rises many
leagues north of the city of Cuzco. The true ” river of Cuzco” is the


come for large cargoes of them, giving, in exchange, other
things which are wanted by the Curuziraris.
The Portuguese, in ascending the river, called the first
village of these Indians they came to, ” the toicn of gold”,
having found and procured some there, which the Indians
had in small plates, hanging from their ears and noses. This
gold was tested in Quito, and found to be twenty-one carats.
As the natives saw the desire of the soldiers, and how much
they coveted the gold, they were diligent in procuring more
of these little plates, and soon collected all they had. We
found the truth of this in returning, for, though we saw
many Indians, only one brought a very small earring of gold,
which I obtained by barter.
Mines of gold.
In the ascent of the expedition, they were unable to make
certain of anything respecting what they met with on this
river, because they did not know the language by means of
which they might make an investigation ; and if the Portu-
guese thought they understood anything, it was only by means
of signs, which were so uncertain, that each one might apply
any meaning to them, that happened to enter his own mind.
All this ceased on the return voyage, as it pleased our Lord to
favour the expedition, by supplying it with good linguists,
through which all things were ascertained, which are con-
tained in this narrative.
That which they said to me respecting the mines whence
this gold is taken, is what I shall here relate.
Opposite this village, a little higher up, on the north side,
is the mouth of a river called Yurupazi, ascending which,
and crossing a certain district by land, in three days another
river is reached called Yupura, by which the Yquiari is en-
tered, called also ‘ the river of gold\ Here, at the foot of



a hill, the natives get a great quantity ; and this gold is all
in grains and lumps of a good size; so that by heating it,
they make plates, which, as I said before, they hang to their
ears and noses. The natives who communicate with those
who extract the gold, are called Managiis, and those who
live on the river and work at the mine, are called Yumaguaris,
which means ” extracters of metal”, for yuma is a ” metal”,
and guaris ” those who extract”. They give every kind of
metal this name of yuma ; and thus they called all the
tools, hatchets, mattocks, and knives we had, by this same
word yuma.
The entrance to these mines seems difficult, on account of
the obstacles on the rivers, and the necessity of opening a
road by land ; so that I was not satisfied until I had disco-
vered another much easier one, of which I shall speak
They make holes in their ears and noses.
These savages all go naked, both men and women, their
wealth only supplying them with small ornaments, with
which they adorn their ears and noses, by piercing holes
through them. They affect these holes in the ears so much,
that many have them to cover the whole of the lower part
whence the earrings are hung. These holes are ordinarily
filled with a bundle of leaves.
Opposite all these settlements, the land is flat, and so shut
in by other rivers, branches of the Caqueta, that great lakes
are formed many leagues long, extending until, mingling
with the Rio Negro, they unite with the main stream. Islands
are thus formed, which are peopled by many tribes, but
that which is the largest and most populous, is the island of



Entrance to the mines of gold.
Fourteen leagues from the village which we called i golden’,
on the north side, is the mouth of the river Jupura, and this is
the most certain and direct entrance, to reach the hill which
so liberally offers its treasures. The mouth of the Jupura is
in 2° 80′ of latitude; as also is a village which is situated
four leagues lower down on the south side, near a great
ravine, and at the mouth of a large and clear river which the
natives call Tafi.1 It has a great multitude of infidels on its
banks, called Pagitanas. All this territory, as I said, for a
distance of eighty leagues, is occupied by the nation of
Curuziraris. It is very high, with beautiful plains and
pasture for sheep, groves not very thick, many lakes, and a
promise of many and great advantages to those who may
settle in it.
The golden lake.
Twenty-six leagues from the river Tafi, another river called
the Catua, falls into the Amazons, forming a great lake of clear
water at its mouth.2 Its sources are many leagues inland on
the south side, and its banks are as thickly peopled with
barbarians, as the other rivers.
If indeed there be any advantage in a multitude of different
tribes, that advantage is possessed by another river, called
1 Tefie, or Egas. The town of Egas, in the Brazilian territory, is at
the mouth of the Teff6, on the margin of a lake. It now has a popula-
tion of about a thousand souls ; and there is a thriving trade here, be-
tween Peru on the one side, and Para, at the mouth of the Amazons, on
the other.
2 The lake of Catua, is half way between the mouths of the rivers
Teffe and Coari.



the Araganatuba, six leagues lower down, on the north side,
which communicates with the Yupura. These tribes are
called the Yaguanais, Macunas, Mapiarus, Aguaynaus,
Huirunas, Mariruas, Yamoraas, Terarits, Siguiyas, Guana-
puris, Pirds, Mopitirus, Yguaranis, Aturiaris, Masipias,
Guayacaris, Anduras, Caguaraiis, Maraymumas, and Gu-
anibis. Among these tribes, (who all speak different lan-
guages), according to information from the new kingdom of
Granada, is the desired c golden lake which keeps all the
spirited youths in Peru in a state of unrest. I do not affirm
this positively, but some day it may please God to deliver us
from our iTncertainty.
As there is a river which comes from the north, twenty-
six leagues from the Araganatuba, with the same name, it is
necessary to state that they are both the same river, which
empties itself into the Amazons by two mouths. Twenty-
two leagues from this last branch, the territory of the popu-
lous and rich tribe of Curuziraris, inhabitants of the best
soil that we met with in the whole course of this great river,
comes to an end.
The province of Yorimun.
Two leagues lower down commences the territory of
the most warlike and renowned tribe on the river of the
Amazons, who, on the passage up, daunted the whole
Portuguese expedition. It is that of Yoriman. It is on the
south side, occupying not only the main land, but also a
great nvAmber of the islands; and, though it is little more
than sixty leagues long, yet the islands and main land are
used to such advantage, and are so covered with people, that
in no other part did we see so many savages collected
These Indians are usually handsomer and better made



than any others. They go naked, and gave us proofs of their
valour, by coming and going amongst us with confidence.
Every day more than two hundred canoes came, full of
women and children, with fruit, fish, flour, and other things,
which they exchanged for glass beads, needles, and knives.
The first village of this province is situated at the mouth of
a limpid river, which seems to be very large, judging from
the great force with which it enters the Amazons. It no
doubt, like all the rest, has innumerable tribes on its banks,
whose names we did not ascertain, as we passed the mouth
without stopping.
;1 village more than a league in length.
Twenty-two leagues from the first settlement of Yoriman,
is the site of the largest village that we met with on the
whole river, its houses covering a length of more than a
league and a half. A single family does not live in one
house, as is usually the case in Spain, but the smallest num-
ber that are contained under one roof are four or five, and
very often more, from which circumstance the great number
of people in this village may be imagined. These Indians
remained peacefully in their houses, giving us all the sup-
plies that were required by our forces. We remained here
five days, and got on board, as ship’s stores, upwards of five
hundred bushels ffanegas J of mandioc flour, which lasted
during the rest of the voyage. We continued onwards, occa-
sionally touching at the villages of Indians of the same nation.
But the place where the greatest numbers of them are congre-
gated together, is thirty leagues lower down, in a large
island, near an arm which the great river forms in going in
search of another, which approaches to pay it tribute; and
on the banks of this new guest there are so many natives,
that, with reason, though it only be on account of their num-
bers, they are feared and respected by all the others.



The river of Giants.
Ten leagues from the above place the province of Yori-
man ends, and two leagues further on, on the south side, is
the mouth of the famous river which the Indians call Cuch-
iguard.1 It is navigable. Although there are rocks in some
places, it has plenty of fish, a great number of turtle,and abun-
dance of maize and mandioc, and all things requisite for facili-
tating the entrance of an expedition. This river is peopled by
various nations, which, beginning at the mouth and going
upwards, are as follows. The Cuchiguaras, who have the
same name as the river, the Cumayaris, Guaquiaris, Cuyari-
yayanas, Cur neurits, Quatausis, Mutuants, and finally there
are the Curigueres, who, according to the information of
those who had seen them, and who offered to guide us to
their country, are giants of sixteen palms in height, very
brave, going naked, and having great plates of gold in their
ears and noses. To reach their villages, it takes two months
continual travelling from the mouth of the Cuchiguara.
From this river, along the south side of the Amazons,
wander the Caripunds, and Zurinas, the most skilful races
on the whole river at working with their hands, without
more tools than those which I have mentioned above. They
make seats formed in the shape of animals, with such skill,
and so well arranged for placing the body in a comfortable
position, that nothing could be imagined more ingenious and
commodious. They also make estolicas, which are their
arms, of very handsome wands, so dexterously that they are
sought after with good reason by the other tribes. What
is more, they carve, from a rough log of wood, small idols so
like nature, that many of our sculptors would do well to
1 The Purus. This magnificent navigable river, which rises in the
mountains cast of Cuzco, has never yet been explored.



take a lesson from them. These manufactures not only serve
for their own use, but are also of great profit, as articles of
exchange with other tribes ; for procuring all that they re-

The river Basururii, and its tribes.
Thirty-two leagues from the mouth of the river Cuchiguara
there is another, on the north side, called by the natives
Basururu ; which divides the land into great lakes, where
there are many islands, which are peopled by numerous
tribes. The land is high, and never inundated by the many
floods which take place; very productive both in maize,
mandioc, and fruit, as well as in flesh and fish; so that the
natives are well off for food, and multiply rapidly.
In general they call all the natives who inhabit this broad
region, Carabuyanas ; but, more precisely, the tribes into
which they are divided, are as follows :—the Caraguanas,
Pocoanas, Vr ay arts, Masucaruanas, Quereriis, Cotocarianas,
Moacaranas, Ororupianas, Quinarupianas, Tuinamaynas,
Araguanaynas, Mariguyanas, Yaribarus, Yarucaguacas,
Cumaruruayanas, and Curuanaris. These Indians use bows
and arrows, and some of them have iron tools, such as axes,
knives, and mattocks. On asking them carefully, through
their language, whence these things came, they answered
that they bought them of those Indians who, in this direction,
are nearer the sea, and that these received them from some
white men like ourselves, who use the same arms, swords,
and arquebusses, and who dwell on the sea coast. They
added that these white men could only be distinguished from
ourselves by their hair, which is all yellow. These are suffi-
cient signs that they are the Hollanders, who have possession
of the mouth of the Bio Dulce or Felipe. These Hollanders



in 1638. landed their forces in Guiana, in the jurisdiction of
the new kingdom of Granada, and not only got possession of
the settlement, but the affair was so sudden that our people
were unable to take away the most holy sacrament, which re-
mained captive in the hands of its enemies. As they knew
how much this capture was valued amongst catholics, they
hoped for a large ransom for it. When we left those parts,
the Spaniards were preparing some good companies of
soldiers, who, with Christian zeal, were ready to give their
lives to rescue their Lord, with whose favour they will doubt-
less attain their worthy desires.
The Rio Negro.
Not quite thirty good leagues below the Basururu, like-
wise on the north side, in 4° of latitude, there comes forth
to meet the Amazons, the largest and most beautiful river
which, in the space of more than thirteen hundred leagues,
does it homage. It appears that it comes to recognize
another larger one, though it is so powerful that its mouth
is a league and a half broad ■} and though the Amazons opens
its arms with all its force, the new river does not wish to
become subject to it, without receiving some marks of re-
spect ; and it thus masters one half of the whole Amazons,
accompanying it for more than twelve leagues, so that the
waters of the two can be clearly distinguished from each
At last the Amazons, not permitting so much superiority,
forces it to mingle with its own turbulent waves, and recog-
nize for a master, the river which it desired to make a vassal.
The Portuguese, with good reason, called this great river
the Rio Negro, because at its mouth, and for many leagues
1 The mouth of the Rio Negro is really not above a mile across. The
river is navigable for large vessels for a distance of four hundred miles.



higher up, its great depth and the clearness of the water,
coming from lakes at the sides, make its waves appear as
black as if they really were so, whereas in reality they are
clear as crystal.
The early part of its course is from west to east, though
it winds so much that its course is frequently changed.
For many leagues before entering the Amazons its course
is again from wrest to east. The natives who inhabit it
call the river Curiguacuru, while the Tuphiambas, of whom
we shall speak presently, give it the name of Vr-una, which
in their language is as much as to say ” black water “:
as likewise they call the Amazons, in this country, Parana-
guazu, which signifies ‘great river ‘, to distinguish it from
the other smaller yet still very large one which they call
Parana-miri or ‘ small river’, and which empties itself on
the south side, a league above the Rio Negro. It is said to
be thickly peopled by different tribes, the last of which use
hats, a sure sign that they are in the neighbourhood of the
Spaniards of Peru.
Those who inhabit the banks of the Rio Negro are very
numerous; that is to say,—the Canizuaris,Aguayras, Yacu-
ucaraes, Cahuayapitis, Manacurus, Yanmas, Guanamas,
Carapanaaris, Guarianacagaas, Azcrabaris, Curupaiabas,
and Guaranaquazanas, who people a branch which this river
throws off, whence, according to my information, it comes
out in the Rio Grande, at whose mouth, in the north sea,
are the Hollanders.1
All these tribes use bowrs and arrows, and many of them
tip their weapons with poison. The land near this river is
elevated, and has good soil which, if under cultivation, would
produce any fruits, even those of Europe in some parts.
There are many good pastures, covered with excellent grass,
sufficient to afford grazing ground for innumerable flocks.
1 Acuna here alludes to the Cassiipuari, which unites the Rio Negro
with the Orinoco.



The land produces large trees of good timber, of a kind fit
for vessels, or for buildings ; which latter may he con-
structed not only of timber, but also of very good stone,
in which this spot abounds. The banks of the river
abound in all kinds of game. It is true that the fish are
not so plentiful as in the Amazons, because the water is so
clear, though in the lakes inland they may always be secured
in abundance.
At its mouth there are good positions for a fortress, and
plenty of stones to build it, with which the entrance may be
defended against an enemy, who may desire to pass from
this river to the Amazons.1
I am of opinion that, not at this point, but many leagues
further inland, on the branch which joins the Rio Grande,
(the river which I before alluded to as falling into the ocean),
is the place where it would be most advisable to place
all defensive works ; by which the passage into this new
world, which the covetous will doubtless attempt some day,
would be entirely closed to the enemy. I do not hesitate
to affirm, that the Rio Grande, into which this branch of the
Rio Negro empties itself, is either the Dulce or the Felipe,
though I much incline, according to good information, to
believe it to be the latter, as this is the first considerable river
that enters the sea for some leagues north of the Cabo del
Norte f but that which I can most confidently affirm is that,
under no circumstances, can it be the Orinoco, whose princi-
pal moxtth is opposite the island of Trinidad, one hundred
leagues from the place where the river Felipe enters the
sea, by which Lope de Aguirre came out; and surely if he
navigated it, any one else may enter where he has once
opened a road.
1 The present Brazilian town of Barra is built on elevated ground on
the left bank of the Rio Negro, about seven miles from its mouth. It is
fourteen hundred and seventy-five feet above the level of the sea.
2 The eape on the northern side of the principal mouth of the Amazons.



The Portuguese try to enter the Rio Negro.
On the 12th of October, 1639, the Portuguese fleet, on
the return voyage, was stationed at the mouth of the Rio
Negro ; when the soldiers, considering that they were now, as
it were, on the threshold of their homes; and, turning their
eyes, not over their gains, which amounted to nothing, but
over the losses which they had suffered in the space of more
than two years, during which this discovery had lasted; while
the services done to his Majesty were, on the other hand,
neither small nor incomplete, in effecting these conquests :
bethought them that they had received no remuneration for
the countries which, on similar occasions, they had watered
with their blood; and that they were now consumed and
dying of hunger, and were unable to look forward to any
one who was able to reward them.
They determined to bring the captain to agree to their
desire, persuading him that now their poverty obliged them
to seek some remedy ; and that the notices of the number
of slaves, possessed by the natives up the Rio Negro, offered
the occasion close at hand. He should not, they said, per-
mit it to pass without taking some advantage of it, but
should give orders for the people to follow this route, so
that, with the numerous slaves that they would obtain from
this river, even if they brought nothing else, they would be
well received by the people of Para. On the other hand,
without this, they would doubtless be held very cheap, in
having passed so many different nations, and so many slaves,
and yet come back with empty hands; the more so, as there
are men in those parts who, at the doors of their own houses,
know how to make slaves serve them.
The Capitan Mayor gave signs that he would let them
have their will, he being one and they were many, and thus



he promised that they should set sail, as the wind was abaft,
and favourable for the course they wished to take. They
were all overjoyed with this determination, and no one
promised himself less than a great number of slaves; those
who dissented were almost alone, while the other party
amounted to three hundred.
This resolution might have given me great concern, had I
not known the noble nature of our chief, and had I not been
very sure that he would follow, in the first place, what was best
for the service of both Majesties. With this assurance, after
having said mass, I went apart with my companion, desirous
by every means to thwart intentions which were so disastrous,
and we drew up the following paper.
Injunction made lo the army.
We, the fathers Cristoval de Acuna and Andres de Ar~
tieda, priests of the company of Jesus, are persons whom our
Lord the King (by a Royal Order issued through his Royal
Audience of the city of San Francisco de Quito, in the king-
dom of Peru, on the 24th day of the month of January of
this present year of 1639) ordered and charged to accom-
pany this Portuguese expedition down all this great river
of the Amazons, now discovered; to take as clear notes
as we were able of the tribes which inhabit its banks, of
the rivers which join it, and of other things; that the Royal
Council of the Indies may have a full report of this enter-
prize ; and having done this, to go on to Spain with the
greatest dispatch possible, to give an account of all to His
Majesty; without any person having authority to impede
the execution of the above instructions.
This will be seen more at large in the Royal Order which
we have in our possession, and which, if necessary, we are



ready to show to all, as we have done to some of the prin-
cipal officers of this army.
At present, we understand through the conversation of
many persons, and by the sails which have been got ready
for the navigation, that the captain Pedro Texeira and
the other captains and officers of this expedition (in whose
company we came, by order of His Majesty), intend to delay
the voyage by entering the Rio Negro, in the mouth of
which river we now are, with the design of bartering for
slaves, to convey them to their estates in Para and Maranon ;
as is their custom in all the expeditions which they make
from the said Para, among the natives who inhabit the coun-
tries adjacent. As, in this, much time must necessarily be
wasted, and as many other inconveniences will arise: in
order to discharge the duty entrusted to us, and to clear
ourselves before the royal person of His Majesty; in his
name, speaking with proper deference, we require captain
Pedro Texeira, colonel Benito Rodriguez de Olivcra, major
Felipe de Matos, captains Pedro de Acosta and Pedro Bayon,
and the other officers, who are now in command of the forces
at the mouth of the said Rio Negro, to consider that His
Majesty has notice, through his Royal Audience of the city
of Quito, and through his Viceroy of Peru, of the dispatch of
our persons with the above ends in view, and of the short
time in which they hoped we should reach the royal pre-
sence ; for, according to the word of captain Pedro Texeira,
and many others of his company, the said Royal Audience
of Quito wras assured that we should be in Para within two
months and a half, while in six days from this time it will
be eight months since we left Quito, and we are yet six hun-
dred leagues from Para.1 This delaymaybe the cause of many
and great disasters, such as the delay to His Majesty’s service
in the fortification of this river, which has been an object of
his desires for so many years, and concerning which it is
1 Barra tie Rio Negro is one thousand miles from Para.



hoped we shall shortly be able to convey information; mean-
while the enemy may get possession of the principal en-
trances, from which much damage to the crown will result.
At the same time such good and gallant officers as are now
here, will doubtless cause great damage, by this delay, to
the fortress of Para; for, if the enemy should arrive, they
being absent, its loss would be inevitable. The Indians
of this Rio Negro, into which it is intended to enter, arc, in
the opinion of all, a very warlike race and able to do us
much harm with their bows and poisoned arrows, while,
considering the small number of the friendly Indians with
us, many of whom are sick, others mere boys without ex-
perience in vrar, and all unwilling to join in this foray ; the
total loss of the whole army may be the result ; besides, as
the Indians have no wish to go, it may be that they will
escape from us, as most of them came from Para, and are
now almost at the doors of their homes.
Here we may add that the slaves, whom it is intended to
get, cannot be taken without much difficulty to a good con-
science, (except such as may be necessary as interpreters),
because this land is new, and though there are Cedillas of
His Majesty (as it is said), for getting slaves, this only ap-
plies to the jurisdiction around Para and Maranon, and
according to the other rules laid down, those of this river
are not knowm to belong to that jurisdiction. In case none
of the above reasons should have any force, and the end of
this undertaking should be attained, that is the procuring of
a great quantity of slaves : these very men, owing to our
small force to guard them and defend ourselves, may be the
total ruin and destruction of us all. For all these reasons,
and many others which might be urged respecting the detri-
ment the enterprize will occasion to both Majesties, divine
and human, and the prejudice to the salvation of such a
vast number of souls, as are in this river :—Once again we
repeat our requisition to the said captain Pedro Texeira, the



major, captains, and officers of this expedition, that, not
giving way to delays which will he disadvantageous to the
service of God and His Majesty, they do, with all dispatch,
arrange so that we may continue our voyage to Para, and pass
from thence to Spain, to complete the ends of our mission:
moreover such dispatch may be useful, and as such held as
good service by His Majesty, to the salvation of so many
souls as have been discovered in this new world, and who
now lie miserable in the shadow of death.
And if this be not sufficient to induce all to continue the
voyage without delay; we require again, on the strength of
the Royal Order which we have with us, that captain Pedro
Texeira, and the other officers of the army, shall give and
supply us with all things necessary to protect our persons,
and permit us to continue our voyage without delay, which,
though there be danger from enemies, we will risk, to ac-
complish that which His Majesty has commanded us in his
Royal Order : and, in case our requisition should not be
heeded, we protest against all the evils and inconveniences
which may follow from this delay, and we will give an ac-
count of it to the Royal Council of the Indies, and to the
royal person of the King our Lord, according to our orders;
and finally, for the safety of our persons, and as evidence
that we desire to comply effectually with our orders; we beg
that the notary appointed to this expedition, may give us
his testimony of all that.is contained in this our requisition,
and of the answer we may receive.
The voyage is continued; and of the rive)’ Madeira.
Having drawn up this paper, and communicated with the
Capitan Mayor; he was rejoiced to have us on his side, and,
acknowledging the force of our reasons, he ordered the sails
lo be taken in at once, the preparations to be discontinued,


and everything to be got ready to leave the mouth of the
Rio Negro on the following day, so as to continue our voy-
age down the river of the Amazons.
This we did, and after forty-four leagues we came to the
great river of Madeira, so called by the Portuguese, on ac-
count of the quantity of large timber which was floating
down it, when they passed; but its real name among the
natives is Cayari. Its mouth is on the south side of the
Amazons, and according to the information we received, it is
formed of two great rivers which unite some leagues inland ;
by which, according to good accounts, and according to the
statements of the Tupinambas, who descended by it, there
is a shorter route than by any other way, to the rivers which
are nearest to the province of Potosi.1
Of the tribes of this river, which are numerous, the first
are named Zurinas and Cayanas, after which follow the
Vrurihaus, Anamaris, Guatinnmas, Curanaris, Erepunacas,
and Ahacatis. From the mouth of this river, along the
banks of the Amazons, are the Zapucayas, and Vrubutingas,
who are very cunning workers in wood. Beyond these follow
the Guaranaguacas, Maraguas, Quimaus, Burais, Punouys,
Oreguatus, Aperas, and others whose names I was unable
to ascertain with certainty.
The great Island of the Tupinambas.
Twenty-eight leagues from the mouth of this river, always
continuing 011 the south side, is a beautiful island which is
sixty leagues in length, and consequently more than one
hundred in circumference. It is entirely peopled by the
valiant Tupinambas, a people of the Brazilian conquest,
from the territory of Pernambuco. Many years ago they
1 The Madeira is navigable by means of its tributaries, the Mamore
and Beni, into the centre of Bolivia. Lieutenant Gibbon, U.S.N.,
descended it in 1852.



were subjected, and fled from the severity with which the
Portuguese treated them. So great a number left their
homes, that eighty-four villages, where they lived, were left
uninhabited at one time, there was not a single creature left,
out of the whole number, that did not accompany them in
their flight. They kept skirting along the Cordilleras which,
coming from the Straits of Magellan, run along the whole
of America, and they crossed all the rivers which send their
tribute to the ocean in that direction. At length some of
them reached the Spanish frontiers of Peru, where there
were settlers, near the head waters of the river Madeira.
They remained with them some time, but, by reason of a
Spaniard having flogged one of them for killing a cow, they,
taking advantage of the river, all descended by its current,
and finally reached the island wdiich they now inhabit.
These Indians speak the ” lingoa geral” of Brazil, which
also prevails amongst nearly all the tribes of the Para and
Maranon conquests. They say that there was such a multi-
tude of fugitives, that it was impossible to support them all,
and they divided over distant tracks, (at least nine hundred
leagues across), some peopling one land, some another ; so
that all these Cordilleras must doubtless be full of them.
They are a people very valiant in war, and so they showed
themselves when they reached those districts which they now
inhabit; for though they were without comparison greatly
inferior in numbers to the natives of this river, yet they
attacked them with such force, that they subjected all those
with whom they made war, and entire tribes were obliged
to leave their homes, and to seek others in strange lands,
from fear of the Tupinambas. These Indians use bows and
arrows with dexterity. They are noble hearted and of good
ancestry, as almost all those now living are sons or grandsons
of the first settlers, though they are now becoming addicted
to meanness and robbery, like the surrounding tribes; with
whose blood they arc mixed. They treated us all with great



kindness, giving indications that they may soon be reduced
to live among the friendly Indians of Para; a thing which
will undoubtedly be of much use in conquering all the
other tribes of this river, for there is no tribe that will not
surrender, at the very name of the Tupinambas.
Information given by the Tupinambas.
From these Tupinambas Indians ; as a more intelligent
race, and because we did not require interpreters, they
speaking the e( lingoa Geral” ,l which many of the Portuguese
know well, having been born and bred in these parts ; we
received some information which I will repeat, for, they
being a people who have overrun and subdued all the neigh-
bourhood, can speak with certainty.
They say that near their settlement, on the south side,
there live, among others, two nations, one of dwarfs as small
as little children, whom they call Guagazis / the other of
people wTho all have their feet turned the wrong way, so
that a person who did not know them, in following
their footsteps, would always walk away from them: they
call them Mutayas, and they are tributary to these Tupin-
1 The basis of the Lingoa Geral of the tribes on the Amazons is the
Guarani language of Paraguay. It is called Tupi by the natives, and
(with the exception of the Malay, and the Athabascan dialect) is the
most widely extended language in the world; reaching from the Rio
Negro to the Rio de la Plata, and from Rio de Janeiro to the sources of
the Madeira.
The Guarani was learned by the Jesuits in Paraguay, and the Tupi
by the Portuguese traders of the Amazons ; and the two combined to
form a sort of Tupi-Guarani (or ” Lingua Franca”) dialect, known as
the Lingoa Geral. The languages of the Cocomas, Omaguas, and the
Indians of the Napo, are also offshoots of the Guarani.— Wallace, p. 531,
2 Castelnau mentions a tribe of dwarfs on the river Jurua, produced
by a mixture of Indians and monkeys.



ambas, having to cut clown the trees with stone hatchets,
when their masters wish to cultivate the earth. They make
these hatchets with great skill, and are continually employed
in manufacturing them.
On the opposite or northern shore, they say that there are
seven well peopled provinces, adjoining each other; but as
the tribes who inhabit them are not worth much, and only
live on fruits and little animals of the woods, without ever
making war on their neighbours, the Tupinambas take no
notice of them. They also say that they have been at peace,
with a tribe which borders on these Indians, for a long
time, having commerce with them, and each one exchang-
ing what his country most abounds in. The chief commodity
required by the Tupinambas is salt, which their friends bring
to trade with, saying that it comes from a country not far
from their own. This is a thing which, if true, would be of
great importance in the conquest and settlement of this river.
Even if it is not found here, it has been discovered in great
abundance near a large river which descends from Peru;
where, in the year 1687,1 being then in the city of Lima, two
men, having casually gone from those parts to a certain district,
and descended one of the rivers which falls into this large
one, came upon a great hill, entirely composed of salt.1 The
settlers have the monopoly of this salt, by which they have
become rich and opulent, from the payments made by pur-
chasers who come from a distance. Nor is it a new thing for
the Cordilleras of Peru to have hills of excellent rock salt;
indeed this is a cause of expense, for the salt has to be
broken out by bars of steel, in lumps so large as to weigh
five or six arrobas2 each.
1 This is the Cerro de la Sal, in the forests to the eastward of Tarma,
in Peru. In 1636 Father Jeronimo Ximenes, a Franciscan, built a
chapel on this hill ; but he was murdered on the river Perene, by the
wild Indians in 1637.
2 One arroba=twenty-five pounds.



This province of Tupinambas is seventy-six leagues in
length, and ends in a fine village situated in the same parallel
as the first village of the Aguas, of which we have already
made mention, namely, in 8° of latitude.
They give information respecting the Amazons.
The discourse of these Tupinambas confirmed the in-
formation, which we had heard throughout this river, of
the famous Amazons, from whom it took its name, and
it is not known by any other, but only by this, to all
cosmographers who have treated of it up to this time. It
would be very strange that, without good grounds, it should
have usurped the name of the river of the Amazons, and
that it should desire to become famous, with no other title
than a usurped one : nor is it credible that this great
river, possessing so much glory at hand, should only desire
to glorify itself by a name to which it has no title. This is
an ordinary meanness with those who, not caring to obtain
the honour they desire by their own merits, acquire it by
falsehood. But the proofs of the existence of the province
of Amazons on this river are so numerous, and so strong,
that it would be a want of common faith not to give them
credit. I do not treat of the important information which,
by order of the Royal Audience, was collected from the
natives during many years, concerning all which the banks
of this river contained; one of the principal reports being
that there was a province inhabited by female warriors, who
lived alone without men, with whom they associated only at
certain times; that they lived in villages, cultivating the
land, and obtaining by the work of their hands all that was
necessary for their support. Neither do I make mention of
those reports which were received from some Indians, and
particularly from an Indian woman, in the city of Pasto,



who said that she had herself been in the country which
was peopled by these women, and her account entirely agreed
with all that had been previously reported.
I will only dwell upon that which I heard with my own
ears, and carefully investigated, from the time that we en-
tered this river. There is no saying more common than that
these women inhabit a province on the river, and it is not
credible that a lie could have been spread throughout so
many languages, and so many nations, with such an appear-
ance of truth. But the place where we obtained most in-
formation respecting the position of the province of these
women, their customs, the Indians with whom they com-
municate, and the roads by which their country may be en-
tered, was in the last village of the Tupinambas.
River of the Amazons.
Thirty-seven leagues from this village, and lower down
the river, on the north side, is the mouth of that of the Ama-
zons, which is known among the natives by the name of
Cunuris. This river takes the name of the first Indians who
live on its banks, next to whom follow the Ajiantos, who
speak the11 lingoa geral” of Brazil. Next come the Taguaus,
and the last, being those who communicate and traffic with
the Amazons themselves, are the Guacards.
These manlike women have their abodes in great forests,
and on lofty hills, amongst which, that which rises above the
rest, and is therefore beaten by the winds for its pride, with
most violence, so that it is bare and clear of vegetation, is
called Yacamiaba. The Amazons are women of great valour,
and they have always preserved themselves without the
ordinary intercourse with men; and even when these, by agree-
ment, come every year to their land, they receive them with



arms in their hands, such as bows and arrows, which they
brandish about for some time, until they are satisfied that the
Indians come with peaceful intentions. They then drop their
arms and go down to the canoes of their guests, where each
one chooses the hammock that is nearest at hand (these being
the beds in which they sleep); they then take them to their
houses, and, hanging them in a place where their owners
will know7 them, they receive the Indians as guests for a
few days. After this the Indians return to their own coun-
try, repeating these visits every year at the same season.
The daughters who are born from this intercourse are pre-
served and brought up by the Amazons themselves, as they
are destined to inherit their valour, and the customs of the
nation, but it is not so certain what they do with the sons.
An Indian, who had gone with his father to this country
when very young, stated that the boys were given to their
fathers, when they returned in the following year. But others,
and this account appears to be most probable, as it is most
general, say that when the Amazons find that a baby is a
male, they kill it. Time will discover the truth, and if these
are the Amazons made famous by historians, there are trea-
sures shut up in their territory, which would enrich the
whole world. The mouth of this river, on which the Ama-
zons live, is in 2^° of latitude.1
1 This story of the existence of a race of Amazons is also believed by
MM. de la Condamine and Humboldt. Sir R. Schomburgk, though he
says that all the Caribs believe in the existence of a tribe of Amazons,
treats the whole thing as a fable. Wallace suggests that Orellana and
others might have mistaken the young men, with long hair, eardrops,
and-necklaces, for female warriors.
Mr. Southey, in his History of Brazil, discusses the whole question,
and decides, with Acuna, Condamine, and Humboldt, in favour of the
probability of their existence.



The narrrowest part of the river.
Passing the mouth of this river, where the Amazons live, and
descending the great stream for twenty-four leagues, another
moderate sized river empties itself on the north side, called
Vrixamina,1 which comes out at that port where, as I before
said, this great river narrows to a breadth of little more than
a quarter of a league. Here a convenient position is pre-
sented, for planting two fortresses on each side, which would
not only impede the passage of an enemy, but would also
serve as custom houses, where all things might be registered,
which were sent down this river of the Amazons, from Peru.
From this point, which is more than three hundred and
sixty leagues from the sea, we began to feel the tides, dis-
cerning the ebb and flow every day, though not so clearly as
we did a few leagues lower down.
River and tribe of the Tapajosos.
Forty leagues from this narrow part, on the south side,
is the mouth of the great and beautiful river of the Tapa-
josos, taking the name from the tribe who live 011 its banks,
which are well peopled with savages, living in a good land
full of abundant supplies. These Tapajosos are a brave race,
and are much feared by the surrounding nations, because
they use so strong a poison in their arrows, that if once blood
is drawn, death is sure to follow. For this reason the Por-
tuguese themselves avoided any intercourse with them for
some time, desiring to draw them into friendly relations.
However, they received us very well, and lodged us toge-
ther in one of their villages, containing more than five hun-
dred families, where they never ceased all day from barter-
1 This is the Trombetas of modern maps.



ing fowls, ducks, hammocks, fish, flour, fruit, and other
things, with such confidence that women and children did
not avoid us ; offering, if we would leave our lands, and
come to settle there, to receive and serve us peacefully all
their lives.
Oppression of the Portuguese.
The humble offers of these Tapajosos did not satisfy a set
of people so selfish as are those of these conquests, who only
undertake difficult enterprizes from a covetous desire to
obtain slaves, for which object the Tapajosos were placed in
a convenient position. Suspecting that this nation had many
slaves in their service, they treated them as rebels, and came
to attack them. This was going on when we arrived at the
fort of Destierro, where the people were assembled for this
inhuman work, and though, by the best means I could, I
tried, as I could not stop them, at least to induce them to
wait until they had received new orders from the King; and
the Sargente Mayor and chief of all, who was Benito Maciel,
son of the governor, gave me his word that he would not
proceed writh his intended work, until he had heard from
his father; yet I had scarcely turned my back, when, with
as many troops as he could get, in a launch with a piece of
artillery, and other smaller vessels, he fell upon the Indians
suddenly with harsh war, when they desired peace. They sur-
rendered, however, with good will, as they had always offer-
ed to do, and submitted to all the Portuguese desired. The
latter ordered them to deliver up all their poisoned arrows,
which were the weapons they most dreaded. The unfor-
tunate Indians obeyed at once ; and, when they were dis-
armed, the Portuguese collected them together like sheep, in
a strong enclosure, with a sufficient guard over them. They
then let loose the friendly Indians, each one of them being



an unchained devil for mischief, and in a short time they
had gutted the village, without leaving a thing in it, and, as
I was told by an eye-witness, cruelly abused the wives and
daughters of the unfortunate captives, before their very eyes.
Such acts were committed, that my informer, who is a veteran
in these conquests, declared he would have left off buying
slaves, and even have given the value of those he possessed,
not to have beheld them.
The cruelty of the Portuguese, excited by the desire of
these slaves, did not cease until they had obtained them.
They threatened the captive Indians with fresh outrages if
they did not produce their slaves, assuring them that if they
obeyed, they should not only be free, but be treated with
friendship, and supplied with tools and linen cloths, which
they should receive in exchange.
What could the unfortunates do ? themselves prisoners,
their arms taken, their homes pillaged, their wives and chil-
dren ill-treated; but yield to everything their oppressors
desired ? They offered to give up a thousand slaves whom,
when they were attacked, they had placed in concealment;
and not being able to find more than two hundred, they
collected them and delivered them up, giving their words
that the remainder should be found, and even offered their
own children as slaves.
All these were sent down to Maranon and Para, and I saw
them myself. The Portuguese, delighted with their cap-
tures, presently prepared for others on a larger scale, in
another region more inland, where doubtless the cruelties
will be greater, because fewer persons of valour accompany
the expedition, to superintend the conduct of the rest. Thus
the river is now in such a disturbed state that when your
Majesty desires to restore peace, there will be much diffi-
culty, though, if it had been in the state I left it, that object
might have been effected with very little trouble.
Such are the conquests of Para, such the method by which



they are retained, and such the most just cause for which the
conquerors are forced to endure so much suffering, without
having even a loaf of bread to eat. If it were not for the
services they have performed for both Majesties divine and
human, in bravely resisting the Dutch enemy whom they
have vanquished several times in this land, our Lord would
have destroyed them utterly.
Returning, however, to the subject of the Tapajosos, and
to the famous river which bathes the shores of their country ;
I must relate that it is of such depth, from the mouth to a
distance of many leagues, that in times past an English ship
of great burden ascended it, those people intending to make a
settlement in this province, and to prepare harvests of tobacco.
They offered the natives advantageous terms, but the latter
suddenly attacked the English and would accept no other,
than the killing of all the strangers they could get into their
hands, and the seizure of their arms, which they retain to
to this day. They forced them to depart from the land much
quicker than they had come, the people who remained in the
ship declining another similar encounter, (which would have
destroyed them all), by making sail.1
1 The English appear to have made several attempts to settle on the
banks of the Amazons. ■ In 1G15 Caldeira, the Portuguese founder of
Para, was informed by the Indians, that there was a colony of English,
with their wives and children, one hundred and fifty leagues up the
river ; and both Dutch and English continually sent vessels to those
parts, to form settlements for cultivating tobacco. In 1630 the English
endeavoured to settle on the island of Tocujos, and about two hundred
fortified themselves on the island of Felipe, at the mouth of the Amazons.
Coelho, the governor of Para, sent a force against them under Jacome
de Noronha, who massacred them all, and razed their fort. Another
English party, under one Roger Frere, was overpowered and cut to
pieces by Coelho’s son. The Portuguese perpetrated atrocious cruelties
on these occasions.



At a distance of a little more than forty leagues from the
mouth of this river of the Tapajosos, is that of Curupatuba,
which is on the north side of the Amazons, and gives a name
to the first settlement or village which the Portuguese hold
in peace, and subject to their crown. This river does not
appear to be very large, but is rich in treasures, if the na-
tives did not deceive us. They affirm that, after ascending by
this river, which they call Yriquiriqui, for six days, a great
quantity of gold is found, which they gather on the shores
of a small rivulet, which bathes the skirts of a moderate
sized hill, called Yaguaracu. They also say that near this
hill there is another place, the name of which is Picuru j
whence they have often taken another metal, harder than
gold and of a white colour, which is doubtless silver, and of
which they formerly made axes and knives, but finding they
were no use, and that they were soon notched, they made no
more of them. In the same district there are two hills, the
one, according to the signs made by the Indians, being of
sulphur ; while of the other, which is called Paraguaxo,
they assured us, that when the sun shone on it, and also at
night, it glitters so as to appear enamelled with rich jewels,
while from time to time it resounds with great noises, a cer-
tain sign that stones of much value arc enclosed within it.
The river Ginipape.
The river Ginipape, according to common report, does not
promise less treasure. It falls into the river of Amazons on
the north side, sixty leagues below the village of Curupatuba.
The Indians say so much of the quantities of gold that might



be collected on its banks, that, if all they say is true, this
river would leave the most famous in Peru far behind. The
territory bathed by this river belongs to the captaincy of
Benito Maciel the father, governor of Maranon, a province
which is larger than all Spain put together, and there are
many notices of mines in it. The greater part of it consists of
good soil, fit to produce more fruits and other provisions than
any other part of this immense river of the Amazons.
All this territory, on the north side, contains vast provinces
of Indians, and, what is of more consequence, it encloses,
within its jurisdiction, the famous and extensive land of
Tucuju, so much coveted, and so often occupied, though to
their own damage, by the Dutch enemies, who, recognizing
in it the greatest advantages in the world for enriching its
inhabitants, are never able to forget it. It is not only suit-
able for great harvests of tobacco, capable of sustaining,
better than any of the other discoveries, numerous sugar
estates, and of producing all kinds of provisions ; but. it also
has excellent plains, which would supply pasture for in-
numerable flocks and herds.
In this captaincy, six leagues from the mouth of the Gini-
pape, there is a fort belonging to the Portuguese, which they
call “El Destierro”, with a garrison of thirty soldiers and some
pieces of artillery, which are useless for defending the river,
but merely serve to keep up the authority of the captaincy,
and to awe the vanquished Indians. Benito Maciel aban-
doned this fort, with the consent of the governor of Curupa,
which is thirty-six leagues lower down, and where he was
established for many years in a very good position ] as the
ships of the enemy usually come to reconnoitre, in that
The river Taranaiba.
Ten leagues below the river Ginipape, on the south side,



is the mouth of a very beautiful and mighty river, two
leagues in breadth. The natives call it Paranaiba, and there
are some settlements of friendly Indians on its banks, who,
making a treaty with the Portuguese on their first arrival,
still obey their orders. More in the interior there are many
other tribes, of whom we did not obtain any satisfactory
Of the river Pacaxa.
Two leagues below the river Ginipape, the river of the
Amazons begins to divide itself into great arms, which form
a multitude of islands, continuing down to the place where it
discharges itself into the ocean. All these islands are peo-
pled by different tribes, speaking various dialects, though
most of them understand the ” lingoa Geral “. These In-
dians are so numerous that it would be necessary to write
a new history, to describe them fully. I will, however, enu-
merate some of the best known, such as the Tapuyas, Anaxi-
ases, Mayanases, Engaibas, Bocas, Juanes, and the valiant
Pacaxds, who have their habitations on the banks of the
river from wdiich they take their name, which empties itself
into the Amazons eighty leagues from the Paranaiba, and
on the same side. These islands are so full, both of vil-
lages and inhabitants, according to the Portuguese, that no
other part of the river is equal to them.
The settlement of Conmutd.
Forty leagues from the Pacaxa is situated the village of
Conmuta, which, in times past, was very famous in these
conquests, as much for the number of its inhabitants, as
for being the place where they usually collected their



vessels, when they were about to make an inroad. But now
there are left neither people, all having removed to other
lands, nor profusions, there being no one to cultivate the
ground, nor anything besides the ancient site, and a few na-
tives. It is a good position, and, with its pleasant climate
and beautiful view, seems to drink in loveliness, and offers
advantages to any one wishing to settle there.
The river of the Tocantins.
Near Conmuta is the mouth of the river of the Tocan-
tins, which has the name of being rich, and apparently
with reason, though no one has seen its treasure, except
a Frenchman, who, when these coasts were peopled with
settlers, loaded ships with the earth which he took from
its banks, to take advantage of its riches in his own land,
without ever daring to shew his treasures to the barba-
rians who inhabit that country, fearing that if they should
find out its real value, they would doubtless defend it
with their arms, that they might not be dispossessed of
such riches. Certain Portuguese soldiers, with a priest in
their company, arrived in search of new conquests at the
sources of this river, by skirting the Cordilleras; and, wishing
to navigate its downward course to the end, they fell into the
hands of the Tocantins; in whose possession, not many years
ago, the chalice was found with which the good father said
mass to them, in their journeys.
Thirty leagues from Conmuta is the site of the fortress of
Gran Para, peopled and governed by the Portuguese. Here
there is a Capitan Mayor, who is superior to all the officers



of this captaincy, and to whom all the ot’ier captains of
infantry, who usually assist with their companies for the
defence of this place, are subject; while they, as well as the
Capitan Mayor, obey the governor of Maranon, who resides
more than one hundred and thirty leagues off, on the
coast of Brazil. From this arrangement great inconvenience
arises in Para ; and if this river were peopled, the pro-
vince would necessarily remain lord of it, as one who holds
in his hand the key of all. Though it is true that, in
the opinion of many, the site on which it is now built is
not the best that could have been chosen ; it would be easy,
if this discovery should be followed up, to remove it to the
Island of the Sun, fourteen leagues nearer the sea, a place on
which every one has his eye, owing to the conveniences
it offers for human life, both on account of the fertility and
capability of the soil to sustain people, and for the conveni-
ence of vessels anchoring off it. Vessels can lie in a cove, safe
from all danger, as long as they may desire; and when they
get under weigh, with the first high tide, they would be left
clear of all the arms of the river, which make these ports
dangerous ; and this is no small advantage.
This island is more than ten leagues round, with good
water, plenty of fish both from sea and river, a great multi-
tude of crabs, the ordinary food of the poor people ; and it is
now the principal place to which the people of Para usually
resort, to hunt the beasts which are necessary for their sus-
The river of the Amazons enters the sea.
Twenty leagues from the Island of the Sun, under the
equinoctial line, spread out into eighty-four mouths, having
the Zaparara on the south side, and the north cape opposite ;
the largest sea of fresh water, that has been discovered,


empties itself into the ocean ; the most powerful river in the
whole world, the phoenix of rivers, the true Maranon so
longed for and never attained by the people of Peru, the
ancient Orellana, and to sum up all at once, the great river
of the Amazons.
After having bathed with its waters a distance of thirteen
hundred and fifty-six leagues of longitude, after sustaining
on its banks an infinite number of barbarous tribes, after
fertilizing vast territories, and after having passed through
the centre of Peru, and, like a principal channel, collected
the largest and richest of all its affluents, it renders its tribute
to the ocean.
Such is the sum of the new discovery of this great river,
which excludes no one from its vast treasures, but rewards
all who wish to take advantage of them. To the poor it
offers sustenance, to the labourer a reward for his work, to
the merchant employment, to the soldier opportunities to
display his valour, to the rich an increase to his wealth, to
the noble honours, to the powerful estates, and to the King
himself a new empire.
But those who are most interested in this discovery, are
the zealous men who seek the honour of God, and the good
of souls ; for a great multitude of them are here waiting
for faithful ministers of the Holy Gospel, that, by its bright-
ness, they may dispel the shadow of death in which these
miserable people have lain for so long a time. No one need
excuse himself from this undertaking, for there is a field
for all; this new vineyard will always require fresh and
zealous labourers to cultivate it, until it is made entirely
subject to the keys of the Roman church.
For this object our great and catholic King, Philip IV,
whom may God preserve many happy years, will doubtless
assist in the support of these ministers, with the liberality
which distinguishes him in temporal things; while His Holi-
ness our very holy father Urban VIII, as present father and



head of the church, will show himself no less liberal and
benignant in spiritual things : holding it to be a great
saying that in his time a wide door was opened,
to bring into the fold of the church, at
one time, more numerous and more
populous nations, than have
been met with since the
first discovery of



A.D. 1641.
Cristoval de Acuna, a priest of the company of Jesus, who
proceeded, by order of your Majesty, to the discovery of the
great river of the Amazons; always anxious for the greater
increase of your royal crown, and fearful that less favourable
circumstances, seen at our own doors, may strangle and impede
the advance of your gracious service : declares that though
it is true that the principal opening of that newly-discovered
world, by which it might most easily be entered, to enjoy
the advantages and the rich fruits which it freely offers, is
the mouth where the river empties itself into the ocean, which
is now subject to the Portuguese,and therefore less suitable, at
present,to be used; yet this ought not to induce your Majesty,
either to desist from, or to delay the occupation of this
great river, seeing that with greater ease, and much less ex-
pense, it may be entered by the province of Quito, in the
kingdom of Peru, by the same road that he and his compan-
ions descended it. By this means good service will doubt-
less be done for God our Lord, and for your Majesty; and
many inconveniences will be got rid of;….. This
may easily be effected, without great expense to the royal


treasury, by merely sending an order to the Audience of
Quito, to organize expeditions to the rivers which drain their
province, composed of some of the many persons who are
ready to undertake these conquests, solely for the sake of
the advantages to be gained; such as the charge over
Indians, the acquirement of land, of offices, and the like. At
the same time the spiritual part should be committed to
priests of the company of Jesus, to have charge of the con-
version and education of the Indians ; their institution being
for these objects, and they having no small title to this parti-
cular discovery. For their sons have not only dispelled, at
the price of much labour and treasure, the shades from a
new and extensive empire, which, bathed by this great river,
offers increased riches to the royal crown of your Majesty;
but they have also acquired the right of possession, for the last
forty years, through the blood of the good father Rafael Fer-
rer, who was killed by the natives, to whom he preached, near
the sources of this river. Continuing the possession of this
right, the fathers of the company, some years ago, began to
instruct the natives on the Santiago de las Montanas, and the
other rivers of this new conquest; but to proceed with this
work it will be necessary to send new labourers from
Europe to this province of Quito, to aid them in so plentiful a
Doubtless your Majesty will grant aid, with your unfail-
ing piety, and with the liberality which the extreme neces-
sity of these numerous tribes requires :—from which will
result the following advantages.
First, and that which is always in the christian bosom of
your Majesty, it will give, without further delay, a begin-
ning to the conversion of a new world of infidels, who no\f
lie miserable in the shadow of death ; a work of such service
to God, that none could be offered which would please Him
more, and such that it will of necessity establish the perpe-
tuity of the crown of your Majesty.



SecoJid. It will save the great outlay which must be
made, if these conquests were undertaken, as was intended,
by the mouth of the river; in conveying soldiers, sup-
plying vessels, collecting arms and ammunition, and pro-
viding all requisites to form new settlements, which will
doubtless be numerous. All these things will be avoided,
if this conquest is commenced by way of Quito, seeing that
those to whom it would be entrusted, would cheerfully
incur the expense ; and would only require, for the religious
work, labourers and apt ministers of the gospel, whom your
Majesty would send from Spain,—considering the extreme
want of them, in those parts.
Third. Your Majesty will at length enjoy and possess the
territory which all the Kings your predecessors, from the
time of the emperor Charles V (the worthy great grandfather
of your Majesty), have desired, and, with no small outlay and
diligence, have attempted to subject to the royal crown. For
this purpose, in the year 1549, the same emperor Charles V
ordered three ships, with the necessary men and stores, to
be given to Francisco de Orellana, that he might take posses-
sion of this great river of the Amazons (which the same
man had navigated nine years before), with a view to the
many advantages which were expected from the enter-
prize: but misery, and the death of nearly all the sol-
diers, forced them to retreat to Margarita, having been re-
duced to one small vessel. Here, owing to this mischance,
ended the hopes of the good which would have accrued to
Spain, if they had met with better fortune. Your Majesty,
from the beginning of your reign,—and may it last many
most happy years,—has committed the execution of this dis-
covery to various persons, as is shown by the royal orders,
drawn up with this object, in the years 1621, 26, and 34.
That of 1621, was dispatched to the Royal Audience
of Quito, that they might arrange the conditions on which
the said discovery might be undertaken, with Sargente



Mayor Vincente dc Reyes Villalobos, captain general and
governor, at that time, of Quijos, in the jurisdiction of
Quito; but it never took effect, as a successor arrived to
supersede him. That of 1626 was sent to Benito Maciel, the
father,1 a native of Portugal, that he might commence the
discovery by way of the provinces of Maranon, and Gran
Para, which are at the mouth of this river, but this also came
to nothing, as he was ordered to go to the war of Pernambuco.
That of 1634 was sent to Francisco Coello de Caravallo, a
Portuguese, and then governor of Maranon and Para, with
express orders that, with all dispatch, he should send trust-
worthy persons, and if necessary he should go himself, to
commence, by those parts, the discovery which was so much
desired : but neither did this take effect. Now, however,
your desires will be happily gratified, and henceforth
greater benefits will each day be seen to arise, from that
which our ardent desires promise.
Fourth. By this means the door will be opened, so that
those in Peru can send down their treasures by the current
of this river, and pay the same duties which they now con-
tribute to your Majesty’s revenue at Carthagena, while they
will avoid the risk of pirates, who almost always frequent
those parts.
Fifth. It will impede the communication and intercourse
which the Portuguese, in the mouth of this river, desire so
much to establish with those of their nation in Pern, which
in these times would be very prejudicial. They would in
no wise dare to attempt this, if they presently became aware
that their evil intentions had been anticipated, and that the
entrances were occupied. That the Portuguese of this coast
of Maranon and Para intend to attempt this communication,
I ean positively affirm, and, having heard it discussed among
them many times, I can assert it to be an undoubted fact.
1 As distinguished from Maciel, the son, who rivalled his father, in
atrocious cruelty to the unhappy Indians.



Sixth. In reducing to obedience to your Majesty, the
principal tribes of this river, and especially those who in-
habit its banks and islands, who are very warlike, and
would valorously assist those whom they had once acknow-
ledged as their masters, there would be little or no resist-
ance, owing to the many wars which they continually wage
amongst themselves ; so that one being made subject, the
others would be easily reduced. Thus, by descending the
river, all others who, with bad titles, now possess its banks,
may be driven out at its mouth; and the very rich fruits, and
that which we hope from them, which only requires to be
seen to be enjoyed, may be secured by this road. In this
manner, as we hope, a bridle will shortly be put on the
insolence of the Portuguese, and they will be driven from
the mouth of this river, from which place they now prose-
cute their conquests. This project having been already com-
menced by the way of Quito, it will thus be made more
easy, and will necessitate less outlay, to bring it to a suc-
cessful termination.
Seventh. It ought here to be noticed particularly, that
the Indians in all Peru, and in almost all the discovered
country, especially where there are mines, or other im-
portant works, which depend on their personal labour, are
rapidly diminishing, as we are able to affirm, who have
been in those parts ; and each day they decrease in such a
way that, in a few years, they will be extinct, or at least so
reduced, that the many interests which depend on their
existence will suffer great damage. Your Majesty assuredly
ought to interfere in time, and remedy this evil, by every
possible means, which those cannot but apprehend who
take deep interest in the conquest and conversion of this
new world, where the natives who inhabit it are so numer-
ous, that they might people afresh the uninhabited parts of
Peru. If they could be subjected to the yoke of the holy
Evangelists, and, with a general peace, the continual wars



which are now consuming them might cease, they would
increase in such a way that, breaking the narrow limits
which now enclose them, they would spread themselves
over wider kingdoms. When, by their means alone, the
mines, and the other riches, which the fertility of the soil
offers in those countries, are made productive; another new
Peru would be ready for occupation, and with greater faci-
lity than was found in the first conquest.
Eighth. If the Portuguese who are in the mouth of this
river (which may be fairly presumed, from their small
amount of Christianity, and less of loyalty) should desire, with
the aid of some warlike tribes which are subject to them, to
penetrate by the river as far as Peru, or the new kingdom
of Granada ; though it is true that in some parts they would
meet with resistance, yet in many others there would be
very little, as there are few people in the towns; and, in
short, these disloyal vassals of your Majesty would pil-
lage those lands, and cause very great damage. If, on
the other hand, the people of Brazil, united with the Hol-
landers, should attempt the like audacity, it is clear that
much care is required to oppose them. The Hollanders
have desired possession of these countries for many years ;
and it is quite certain that they covet the lordship of this
great river, as Juan Laeth,1 a Dutch author, did not hesitate
to publish in a book entitled Utriusque America?, which
appeared in the year 1638. In the 16th book, 15th chapter,
are these words :—” Verum tamen, tan hi (scilicet Angli et
Hiberni) quam nostri (scilicet Belgi) a Portugalis, e Para
venientibus, in opinato oppressi et fugati, non leve damnum
fuerunt perpessi ad quod referciendum et acceptas injurias
1 John de Laeth was also the author of a little book, in Latin, called
Hispania, sive de Regis Hispanice Regnis et opibus Commentarhis;”
published in 1629, and dedicated to Sir Edward Powell, Bart., contain-
ing a full description of Spain and its dependencies, of Portugal, and of
the Royal families and peerages of both countries.



vindicandas majori conatu ct viribus, institutum repetere, et
urgere fatigant.”
And in the same book, 2nd chapter, he says :—” Post
annum autem 1615 Portugali ad Paraeripam, qui sine dubio
hujus niagni fluminis ramus est, cccperunt incolere, ut ante
diximus, et animum ad ceetera forte adjicient, nisi ab Anglis
et Belgis nostris impediantur.”
From these passages it is clear, that the reason the Hol-
landers have not attempted the conquest of this great river
of the Amazons, is because they had not the power, and not
because they wanted the desire, and the knowledge of how
much there was to gain in its execution. Your Majesty
should prevent such great damage, which this your faithful
subject…../ and not permit the possibility of some day
having to lament over losses, in that land which now offers
increasing advantages.
Finally, if in future the passages to this great river are
subjected and explored, and the entrances which lead to
them from all parts of Peru are discovered ; and if it is found
how much these countries will enrich Spain ; I shall glory
in having done one of the greatest and most advantageous
services to your Majesty, that a subject could hope to do ;
by which not only will a great sum of money be saved, which
is unavoidably expended, while the passage by way of Panama
and Carthagena continues to be used, but which would be
economized by this route (which is by water, and with the
help of the currents would be very easy) ; but also (which is
a thing of more importance), it will secure your Majesty’s
fleets from the fear of pirates, and will place your treasure in
safety, at least until it reaches Para : whence in twenty-four
days, on the high sea, galleons built on the same river may
at all times reach Spain. Moreover an enemy could not
watch the entrance, because the coast of Para is such that

1 Illegible.



ships, outside the river, cannot resist the force of the current
for two days together.
Thus the continual anxiety which is every day caused, by
the long and dangerous voyage by way of Carthagena, would
cease to exist.
All these things might be remedied, Sire, by the proposals
contained in this Memorial; to which I will only add, that
the chief part of the success of this undertaking depends on
the celerity of its execution : and if I can be of any use in
furthering it, I shall always be at the feet of your Majesty.




THE following alphabetical list is intended to contain every tribe
on the main stream of the great river of the Amazons, and on its
Penman and Ecuadorian tributaries, including all that are men-
tioned in this volume ; and, to that extent, I believe it to be nearly
complete. A great number of tribes, inhabiting the ” Gran Chacu,”
and the banks of the Brazilian rivers, will also be found; and many
hundreds which wander along the banks of the Tapajos, Xingu,
Tocantins, and other great Brazilian streams, might have been added,
had they been connected with the subject of the present volume.
I have inserted short notices of the more important tribes, taken
from various sources; and a few words of explanation will make
this list, which I trust will be found useful for purposes of refer-
ence in connexion with the voyages of Orellana and Acuna, suffi-
ciently clear.
It is essential, in the first place, to pay attention to the date
when each authority wrote ; because many of the names of tribes
may since have disappeared, either from their having been changed,
or from the tribe having merged into some other larger tribe, or
from its having entirely disappeared, and become extinct. For
this purpose the following list of authorities, referred to in the list,
with the time when each wrote, will be necessary :




Garcilasso de la Vega ( ” Commentaries Reales ” ), 1G09-1G.
Antonio de Herrera (“Hist. General de las Indias,” etc.), 1601-15.
Cristoval de Acuna ( ” Nuevo Descubrimiento del Rio de las
Amazonas), 1639.
Manuel Rodriguez ( ” Amazonas y Maranon”), 1684.
Samuel Fritz’s Map, published at Quito, 1707.
Stocklein’s Reise-Beschreibungen, 1726.
Lozano’s Descripcion del ” Gran Chacu”, 1733.
La Condamine’s Voyage, 1737.
Ribeiro, ( ” from Southey’s History of Brazil, vol. iii.”), 1/74.
Dobrizhoffer’s History of the Abipones, 1784.
Velasco’s Historia del Reino de Quito, 1789.
“Mercurio Peruano”, 1791-95.
Von Martius and Spix, Voyage up the Amazons, 1820.
Maw’s Voyage down the Huallaga and Amazons, 1827.
Poeppig’s Voyage down the Huallaga, 1830.
Smyth’s Journey from Lima to Para, 1835.
General Miller’s Journeys to Sta. Anna and Paucartambo, 1835.
Castlenau’s expedition, 1847.
Herndon’s and Gibbon’s ” Valley of the Amazon”, 1852.
Wallace’s Travels on the Amazon and Rio Negro, 1853.
Villavicencio’s Geografia del Ecuador, 1858,

Commercio de Lima

Heraldo de Lima J
Velasco has given the fullest list of Indians of the Maranon mis-
sions ; and he divided the period during which the wild tribes were
preached to by the Jesuits, into three missionary epochs,—namely

1st, from 1638 to 1683 ;
2nd, from 1683 to 1727;
3rd, from 1727 to 1768.

This includes a period of one hundred and thirty years ; and I
have, therefore, thought it of importance to notice during which of
these epochs any tribe, mentioned by Velasco, was preached to by
the missionaries ; as the names of many of them have now dis-
The references to Orellana and Acuna, refer to the pages of this



Many of the larger tribes, extending their wanderings over vast
tracts of country, are divided into numerous branches, each with a
distinct name; and I have inserted the branches into the list, with
a reference to their parent tribes.
ABACUS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
rivers Napo, and Maranon j marked on Fritz’s map (1707),
near the banks of the Napo. They were preached to between
1638 and 1683, and they murdered Father Pedro Suarez in 1667.
They wander in the forests to the south of the Encabellados (which
see). M. Rodriguez ; Velasco ; Acuna, p. 94 ; Fritz’s map.
At the present day, the Avijiras are met with on the south side
of the Napo, near its mouth. They have the same language and
customs as the Iquitos. They live by fishing, and the chace.
Villavicencio, p. 173.
ABIPONES, of CALLAGAES, a large tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”;
on the banks of the Paraguay, Bermejo, and Rio Grande (the latter
being a tributary of the Mamore). I have therefore included these
Indians, and several other tribes of the Chacu, in this list of Indian
tribes of the Amazonian valley.
The Abipones have no fixed abode, nor any boundaries ; they
roam extensively in every direction. In the seventeenth century
their homes were on the northern shore of the river Bermejo; but
they removed to avoid the war carried on by the Spaniards of
Salta, against the Indians of the Chacu; and settled in a valley
further to the south. At the beginning of this century their wan-
derings extended from the Bermejo to the Paraguay ; whence they
made frequent desolating incursions into the country settled by the
Spaniards. They are well formed, and have handsome features,
black eyes, and aquiline noses. In symmetry of shape they yield
to no other nation in America. They have thick, raven black hair,
and no beards. As soon as they wake in the morning, the Abi-
ponian women, sitting on the ground, dress, twist, and tie their
husbands’ hair. They pluck out their hair from the forehead to
the crown of the head, accounting this baldness as a religious mark
of their nation. The women have their faces, breasts, and arms
covered with black figures of various shapes ; thorns being used



as pencils, and ashes mixed with blood, for paint. The Abipones
also pierce their lips and ears.
They are taught to swim before they can walk, and no little
child is without his bow and arrow. They live on game, generally
roasted. In Dobrizhoffer’s time they did not number more than
five thousand people; having been thinned by intestine feuds,
small-pox, and the cruelty of mothers towards their offspring.
They are subdivided into hordes, each commanded by a chief
called ” Nelareyrat”; but these chiefs have little authority, except
in time of war.
DobrizhofFer devotes two chapters to a very interesting account
of the language of the Abipones.
Their chief weapons are the bow and spear, the latter of great
length; which they fix at the threshold of their huts. Their bow
strings are made of the entrails of foxes; and their quivers are
made of rushes, adorned with woollen threads of various colours.
Their arrows are made of wood, and sometimes of bone. In battle
they use a kind of armour, made of the hide of a tapir, over which
a jaguar skin is sewn. Their victories are celebrated by songs,
dancing, and drinking parties. In 1641 they first became pos-
sessed of horses, and were soon very dexterous in the manage-
ment of them. The Jesuits established some mission villages
amongst these Indians. Dobrizhoffer’s Abipones.
The Abipones are excellent swimmers, of tall stature, and they
paint their faces and bodies, and hang rings on their lower lips.
For five months in the year, when the floods are out, they live
on islands, or even in trees. When a mother is brought to bed
with a child, the father also takes to his bed for some days. They
do not bring up more than two children in a family, the others
being killed to save trouble. Lozano, p. 90.
ABIRAS (see Abigiras).
ACAMORIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
ACANEOS. A branch of the Aguaricos (which see).
ACHOTTARIS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
ACHUALES. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.
AGAPICOS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.



AGOYAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano.
N AGUANOS. A tribe of the Huallaga, and Maranon. The men
have beards, and are very fierce; the women have fair hair, like
Flemings. M. Rodriguez.
AGUAXACOS. A branch of the Chepeos (which see). M. Rodri-
guez ; Velasco.
N AGUARICOS. A tribe on a river of the same name, a tributary
of the Napo. Velasco.
AGUARUNAS. A powerful and encroaching modern tribe, on
the Maranon. Hcraldo de Lima.
AGUAS. (Same as Omaguas.)
AGUAYRAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110.
AGUILOTES. A tribe of ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano.
AICOKES. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco.
• AISUAEIS. A tribe of the Maranon, 1683-1727. Velasco.
AJUANAS or CHAMICURAS, a tribe of the Pampa del Sacra-
mento, living one day’s journey east of Laguna ; in a large village
called Chamicura. Smyth, p. 204.
AEABOXOS. A branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco.
AJIAJUACAS. A tribe of the Ucayali, next to the Remos (which
see), and extending as far as the Vuelta del Diablo. They have
been repeatedly converted to Christianity, but have more than
once murdered their priests, and returned to their barbarous state.
From their apparently quiet and docile manner, the missionaries
conceived great hopes of them, but they found themselves most
cruelly deceived. They are short and have beards. They are
hunters, and live in the interior, seldom coming down to the river.
Smyth, p. 232; Herndon, p. 199.
AJIAOXAS, a branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco.
AMAZOXS, a tribe of female warriors. Orellana, p. 34; Acuha,
p. 122.
AJIULALAES, a tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p. 51.
ANAXIASES, a tribe of the Pacaxa river. Acuna, p. 130.
ANAMARIS, a tribe of the Madeira river. Acuna, p. 117.



ANCUTERES. A branch of the Encabellados (which see) Velasco.
ANDOAS. A tribe of the Maranon, (see Muratos). Preached
to from 1683 to 1727. They are placed, on Fritz’s map (1707)
between the rivers Pastaza and Tigre. According to Villavicencio
they are a branch of the Zaparos. There is a small village, called
Andoas, on the Pastaza. Velasco, Samuel Fritz, Villavicencio.
ANDUKAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105.
AXGUTERAS. A tribe on the east bank of the Napo, below the
junction of the Aguarico, according to Villaviencio, a branch of the
Putumaijus. They cultivate the ground. Villavicencio.
ANJENGUACAS. A branch of the Campas (which see). Velasco.
ANTIS. A great and powerful tribe, in the forests east of Cuzco ;
especially in and near the valleys of Santa Anna and Laris. They
are mentioned in the ancient Incarial Drama of Ollantay; and the
eastern division of the Empire of the Incas was called, after them,
Anti-suyu. G. de la Vega, lib. ii, cap. ii.
They are the same as the Campas. They are renowned for their
ferocity, and are said to be cannibals. They wear a long robe,
secured round the waist, with a hole for the head, and two others
for the arms. Their long hair hangs down over their shoulders,
and the beak of the toucan, or a bunch of feathers, is suspended
as an ornament round their necks. Their arms consist of clubs,
bows and arrows.
The Antis or Campas, arc identical with, or closely allied to the
C/ianchos (which see). They wander in the forests, about the head
waters of the Ucayali, and its tributaries. Castelnau, iv. p,
The Antis have good features, and pleasant countenances. They
live in huts, and wear a cotton robe, reaching to the heels. They
occupy the banks of the Ucayali, forty leagues below Santa Anna.
General Miller, R. G. S. Journal, vi.
ANTIVES. A branch of the Futumayus, (which see) Velasco.
AOJIAGUAS. Same as the Omaguas, (which see) Orellana, p. 27.
Ai’ANxos. The second tribe, from the mouth of the river
Cunuris, the head waters of which were said to be occupied by the
Amazons. Acuha, p. 122.



APARIA. An Indian chief, in whose territory Orellana built his
brigantine. The Spaniards left the village of Aparia on the 4th of
April, and reached the mouth of the Putumayu on the 12th of
Ma}’, going down stream. Aparia was possibly the name of a tribe,
but I have not met with it elsewhere. Orellana, p. 27.
ArERAs. A tribe of the Amazons, below the mouth of the
Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
APIACAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”. Lozano.
ARAGUANAYNAS, (see Carabayanas).
ARAYCUS, (see Uaraycus).
ARAZAS. A branch of the Simigaes, (which see) Velasco.
ARDAS. A branch of Yameos (which see) between the rivers
Napo and Nanay. Velasco, Villavicencio.
AREKAIXAS. A tribe on the Rio Negro; and on the upper
waters of some of its tributaries. They make war against other
tribes, to obtain prisoners, for food. In their religious ideas they
resemble the Uaupes (see Uaupfo). Wallace, p. 508.
ARIQUENAS ; according to Von Spix, a tribe of the Putumayu ;
probably the same as the Arekainas. Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1136.
ARUBAQUIS. Marked on Fritz’s map (1707) near the north side
of the Amazons, and below the mouth of the Rio Negro.
ATAGUATES. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez, Velasco.
ATTJAIS. A tribe on the Putumayu. Acuna, p. 99.
ATURIARIS. A tribe on the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105.
AUNARES. A branch of the Ugiaras (which see) Velasco.
AUXIRAS or AVIJIRAS (see Abigiras).
AVANATEOS. A tribe marked on Fritz’s map (1707) between
the rivers Ucayali and Yavari.
AVIJIRAS, (see Abigiras).
AYACARES. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco.
BARBUDOS (see Mayorunas).
BAURES. A tribe near the Itenez, to the eastward of the terri-
tory of the Moxos Baraza, in ” Reise Beschreibungen.’1”



BECABAS. A tribe on the Napo, a branch of the Ayuaricos
(which see), Acuna, p. 94., Velasco.
BETOCUROS. A branch of the Papaguas, (which see) Velasco.
BILELAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”. Lozano.
BLANCOS. A branch of the Iquitos. Velasco.
BOCAS. A tribe on the river Pacaxa. Acuna, p. 130.
BVRAIS. A tribe on the Amazons, below the mouth of the
Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
BUSQUIPANES. (see Capanahuas).
CACHICXJARAS. A tribe on the south side of the Amazons,
evidently the same as the Cuchiguaras. Acuna, p. 55.
CAGUARAUS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p.105.
CAHUACHES. A branch of the Jeveros (which see). Velasco.
CAHUAMARES, (same as the Cahuaches).
CAHUAYAPITIS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110.
CALLISECAS, (see Cashibos).
CAMAVOS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 1683
and 1727. Velasco.
CAMBEBAS, (see Omaguas).
CAMPAS, (see Antis). They are said by Velasco to be descended
from Inca Indians. They are marked on Fritz’s map (1707) near
the head waters of the Ucayali.
CAMPEVAS, (see Omaguas).
CAN AM ARIES. A tribe of the river Jurua. Spix u. Martins,
iii, p. 1183.
CANIZUARIS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110.
CAPANAHUAS. A tribe on the Ucayali, between the Sends and
the Mayorunas, with whom they are always at war. They go
quite naked, and are said to be a bold race; but they have no
canoes, and are not numerous, consequently not much feared.
Dr. Girbal made two unsuccessful expeditions from Sarayacu,
in search of them, in the early part of 1793. They are marked on



Fritz’s map (1797) between the rivers Ucayali and Yavari. Mcr-
cnrio Peruano, 1794, No. 331 ; Smyth, p. 225; Fritz’s map.
CARABUYANAS. A tribe of the Amazons, below the mouth of
the Basururu, a branch of the Japura. They are divided into the
following branches :—
Caraguanas Quererus Quinarupianas Yaribarus
Pocoanas Cotocarianas Tuinamaynas Yarucaguacas
Vrayaris Moacaranas Araguanaynas Cumaruruayanas
Masucaruanas Qrorupianas Mariguyanas Curuanaris.
They used the bow and arrow, and had iron tools obtained from
other tribes, who communicated with the Dutch in Guiana. Acuna,
p. 108.
CARAGUANAS (see Carabuyanas).
CARAPACHES (see Cashibos).
CARAPANAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro, and a branch of the
larger tribe of Uauph (which see). Acuna, p. 110.
CARCANAS. A race of dwarfs on the Jurua. Castelnau. (See
CARIPUNAS. A tribe on the Madeira, near the falls. They
swell themselves out by eating earth, but are otherwise strong and
healthy. The men wear beads of hard wood round their necks,
and bands tight round the arms and ankles. They are not numer-
ous. (See the account of them, given by Acuna.) Acuna, p. 107 ;
Gibbon, p. 295. According to Spix, they are met with on the
river Jurua, iii, p. 1183.
A chief of this name is mentioned by Orellana, near the mouth
of the Amazons. Orellana, p. 36. Marked in Fritz’s map (1707)
on the Rio Branco.
west side of the Ucayali, as far as the head waters of the rivers
Pisqui and Aguatya. In 1651 Father Cavallero resided some
time in their country, but the priests left there by him were mur-
dered. In 1661 they drove Father Tineo away, and in 1704 they
killed and ate Father Geronimo de los Rios. In 1741 they joined
Juan Santos, and destroyed all the missions of the Cerro de la Sal.



No one dare venture among them; and they live scattered about
in the forests, like wild beasts. The greatest number of them
live on the Pachitea, which they navigate on rafts. They are said
to be cannibals. The men have beards, and wear long frocks.
The women go naked till they are married, when they wear a waist
cloth. The men are very dexterous in hunting. When one of
them is pursuing the chase in the woods, and hears another hunter
imitating the cry of an animal, he immediately makes the same
cry to entice him nearer, and, if he is of another tribe, kills him if
he can, and eats him. They are in a state of deadly hostility with
all their neighbours. They have large houses, and live in the
interior during the rainy season; but in the dry time they resort
to the banks of the rivers. Their weapons are clubs, lances, bows,
and arrows. Smyth, Herndon.
CATAUXIS. A tribe on the river Purus, sixteen to thirty days
voyage up. They have houses, sleep in hammocks, and cultivate
mandioc. They go naked, wearing a ring of twisted hair on their
arms and legs. They use bows and poisoned arrows. Their
canoes are made of the bark of a tree. They eat forest game,
tapirs, monkeys, and birds; and they are cannibals, eating Indians
of other tribes. Acuna, p. 107, who calls them Quatausis ; Wal-
lace, p. 515.
CATAUUIXIS. A tribe of the river Jurua, according to Von
Spix. Evidently the same as the Catauxis. Spix und Martins,
iii, p. 1183.
CATUQUINAS. A tribe of the river Jurua. They use the blow-
pipe and poisoned arrows, as well as bows and arrows, and live
on snakes, fish, and monkeys. Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1184.
CAUANAS. A race of dwarfs on the river Jurua, only four or
five spans high. One of them was seen by Von Spix at Para.
Spix, iii, p. 1183 (see Carcanas).
CAUXANAS. A tribe between the Iza and Japura; who are said
to kill all their first-born children. They eat alligators. Wallace,
p. 511 j Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1185.
CAYANAS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
CAYUHABAS. A tribe to the eastward of the Moxos (which sec).



Their chief was named ” Paytiti.” Baraza; Reise Beschreibun-
CIIAIS. A branch of the Chepeos (which see). Velasco.
CHAMICURAS (see Ajuanas).
CHAPAS. A branch of the Roamaynas (which see). They
wander along the banks of the Pastaza river, between that river
and the Morona. M.Rodriguez; Velasco; Villavicencio”s Map.
CHAVELOS. A branch of the Aguaricos (which see). Velasco.
CHAYAYITAS. Indians of the Upper Maranon, of the first mis-
sionary epoch (1638-83). Chayavitas is a village containing about
three hundred and twenty inhabitants. M. Rodriguez ; Velasco.
CIIEPENAGUAS. A branch of the Chepeos (which see). Velasco.
CHEPEOS. A numerous tribe of the Maraiion, of the first mis-
sionary epoch. M. Rodriguez ; Velasco.
CHICHAS OREJONES. A tribe of the ” Gran Chaeu.” They
are met with between the Chiriguanas and Guaycurus; in a very
inaccessible country. They dress in cloth made from llama wool,
and are said to work in silver mines. The Incas employed them
in this work; and it seems probable that they composed one of
the Milimaes, or colonies of the Incas. They live peaceably with
another tribe of Indians, called Churumalas. They cultivate the
land, and come down to the river Bermejo, to fish; but are very
careful to prevent the Spaniards from discovering a road into their
country. They are called Orejones, because they are believed to
be descended from the Orejones nobles del Cusco, ” officers of the
Inearial court.” Lozano, pp. 72-3.
CHIQTJITOS. A numerous tribe in the province of Santa Cruz
de la Sierra, in Bolivia ; and between the head waters of the rivers
Mamore and Itenez. They are considered as minors by the Boli-
vian government; and they cultivate cotton, and sugar eane. Their
produce is sold for the benefit of the community, and a fund is
formed for the relief of the infirm and aged. They speak seven*
different languages, called tapacuraca, napeca, paunaca, paiconeca,
quitemoca, jurucariquia, and moncoca, which is the common lan-
guage of the Chiquitos. The word Chiquilo means small or little ;
a name which was given to these Indians by the early Spaniards



for the following reason. When they first invaded this country,
the Indians fled into the forests ; and the Spaniards came to their
abandoned huts, where the doorways were so exceedingly low, that
the Indians who inhabited them were supposed to be dwarfs.
Their houses are built of adobes, and thatched with coarse grass.
For manufacturing sugar, they fabricate their own copper boilers ;
and they understand several trades. They also weave ponchos
and hammocks, and make straw hats. They are very fond of
singing and dancing, and seldom quarrel amongst themselves.
They are a peaceful race. When he takes a fancy to wear striped
trousers, the Chiquito Indian plants a row of white and a row of
yellow cotton. Should he wish for blue, he adds a row of indigo.
The heart-leaved bixa grows wild around him, the vanilla bean
scents the doorway of his hut, while the coffee and chocolate trees
shade it. Castelnau, iii, p. 217; Gibbon, p. 164.
CHIRIGUANAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”, nearest to the
confines of Peru ; speaking the Guarani language, and supposed
to be a branch of that wide spread nation. When Inca Yupanqui
conquered them, they were indiscriminate cannibals; and in 1571
they repulsed an invasion of Spaniards, led by the viceroy Toledo
in person. G. de la Vega ; Lozano ; Dobrizhoffer.
CHIRIFUJSTOS. A tribe, on the head waters of the Curaray.
Villavicencios’s map.
CHOLONES. A tribe of the Huallaga, on the left bank. They
were first met with by the Franciscans in 1676, in the forests near
the Huallaga, who established them in mission villages.
They are now found in the mission villages of Monzon, Uchiza,
Tocache, and Pachiza, on the Huallaga. Their skin is a dark
brown, they have shiny black hair, and scarcely ony beard ; nose
arched, and check bones high. They consider themselves great
doctors, and are very superstitious. They are proud, perverse, and
fond of a wild life; but are possessed of courage, and great self-
possession in danger. They are good-tempered, cheerful, and
They use the blow gun, called by the Spaniards cerbatana, by
the Portuguese gravatana, and by the Indians pnettna. It is made
of a long straight piece of the wood of the Chonta palm ; about



eight feet long, and two inches in diameter, near the mouth end,
tapering to half an inch at the extremity. The arrow is made of
any light wood, about a foot long. A marksman will kill a small
bird at thirty or forty paces, with the pucuna. Mercuric- Peruano,
No. 51 ; Poeppig Reise, ii, p. 320; Ilerndon, p. 138-9.
CIIUDAVINAS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). Velasco.
CHUFIAS. A branch of the Aguaricos (which see). Velasco.
CHUNCHOS. A numerous and formidable group of tribes, in
the forests to the eastward of Cuzco, and Tarma : first reduced to
subjection by the Inca Yupanqui. They are said, by Velasco, to
be descended from Inca Indians.
Those to the eastward of Cuzco are divided into three branch
tribes, the Iluachipagris, Tuyuneris, and Sirineyris. They call
their chiefs ” Huayris”. General Miller, in 1835, saw a chief of
the Huachipayris, and some of his tribe, in the plains of Paucar-
tambo, where the great river Purus takes its rise. Their hut was
well built, on a rising ground, wall six feet high, with a good
pointed straw roof. The chief was about five feet ten inches in
height, well made, of a good cast of features, and a jovial dis-
position. These Indians are afraid to be in utter darkness, at any
time, for fear of evil spirits. They cultivate corn, yucas, plantains,
and pineapples. They live in long huts, twenty people in each,
and wander for leagues through the matted forests, in search of
game. They have no religion whatever, and bury their dead in
the huts. They are fierce, cruel, and untameable.
The Chunchos of the forests of Tarma are quite independent,
very fierce, and formidable. G. de la Vega, i, lib. vii, cap. xiv;
Velasco; General Miller, R. G. S. Journal, vi, p. 182; Van
Tsc/iudi, p. 466; Gibbon, p. 51 ; MarkJtani’s ” Cuzco and Lima”.
CHUNIPIES. A tribe of the “Gran Chacu”; between the Rio
Grande, and the Bermejo. They are said to be descended from
Spaniards, and are very peaceful and courteous ; and, besides food
obtained from hunting and fishing, they cultivate maize. They go
quite naked ; and are constantly at war with the Tobas and Moco-
vies, but live in friendship with four other tribes, who appear to be
of the same origin, and who resemble each other closely, namely



the Tequetes, Guamalcas, Yucunampas, and Velelas. Lozano, p.
CHUNTAQUIROS (see Pirros).
CHURITUNAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). M. Rodri-
guez; Velasco.
CHUZCOS. A tribe of the Huallaga, established in a mission
village, by the Franciscan Father Lugando, in 1631. Mercurio
CINGACACHUSCAS. A tribe supposed to have been descended
from the Inca Indians ; now disappeared. Velasco.
CIURES. A tribe of the river Pastaza. M. Rodriguez.
COATA TUPUUJAS. A tribe of the river Jurua, reported to have
short tails. Von Spix, iii, p. 1183; Castelnau.
COBETJS (see Uaupes).
COCOMAS. A tribe of the Maranon and Lower Huallaga; of the
first missionary epoch, 1638-83. Their province was called, by
the missionaries, “La Gran Cocoma.” They built their huts
round a beautiful lake, near the mouth of the Huallaga, where
Father Lucero established a mission. In 1681 they were still in
the habit of eating their own dead relations, and grinding their
bones, to drink in their fermented liquors. They said ” that it
was better to be inside a friend, than to be swallowed up by the
black earth.” In 1830 they moved from Laguna to Nauta, at the
mouth of the Ueayali. They are bolder than most of the civilized
Indians, and carry on war with the savage Mayorunas. M. Rodri-
guez; Velasco; Poeppig Reise, ii, p. 449; Ilerndon, p. 195.
COCAMILEAS. A branch of the Cocomas, settled at Laguna, on
the Huallaga. They are lazy and drunken, but capital boatmen.
M. Rodriguez ; Herndon, p. 176.
COCRUNAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
COERUNAS. A tribe of the river Japura. They are, in general,
small, strong, and dark, with nothing agreeable in their faces.
Their language, spoken through their noses, sounds disagreeable.
Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1201.
COFANES. A tribe in the forests sixty leagues east of Quito,



on the head waters of the river Aguarico, near the foot of Mount
Cayam.be. They are much reduced in numbers, and have lost
their fierce character. They speak a harsh guttural language.
Velasco, iii, p. 136 ; Villavicencio, p. 173.
COHIDIAS (see Uaujies).
COHUMARES. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1727 and 1768. Velasco.
COLCHAQUIES. A tribe of Tucuman, and in the southern part
of the “Gran Chacu.” They resisted the invasions of the Span-
iards of Salta and Jujuy very bravely, and were not entirely sub-
dued until 1665. Lozano, p. 92; Dobrizhoffer.
COMACORIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
COMAYOS. A tribe, said by Velasco to be descended from the
Inca Indians; preached to between 1683 and 1727. Velasco.
CONAMBOS. A tribe on the head waters of the river Tigre.
Villavicencio’s map.
CONEJORIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
CONOMOMAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuna, p. 99; Von
Spix, iii, p. 1185.
CONIBOS or MAXOAS. A tribe of the Pampa del Sacramento,
and the banks of the Ucayali. It was first visited by missionaries,
between 1683 and 1727. In 1685 some Francisans descended the
Pachitea, and formed a mission amongst them, but the good Friars
were killed by the Cashibos Indians (which see). Father Pucter was
killed by the Conibos in 1695. At present most of them profess
Christianity, thanks to the labours of the indefatigable Fathers
Girbal and Plaza. They are quiet, tractable people.
They paint their faces in red and blue stripes, with silver rings
in their lips and noses. They are good boatmen and fishermen,
and are employed by the traders to collect salt fish, and sarsa-
parilla. Velasco ; Mercurio Peruano ; Castlenau ; Smyth, p. 235 ;
Ilerndon, p. 202-9.
They are marked on Fritz’s map (1707) on the east side of the


COPATASAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavi-
COROCOROS,—(see Uaupes)
CORONAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
v CORONADOS. A tribe of the river Pastaza. M.Rodriguez.
COTOCARIANAS, (see Carabtiyanas).
COUAS. (See Uaupes).
CUCIIIGUARAS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuna, p. 107 ;
Spix und Mar this, iii, p. 1175.
CUCHIVARAS. A tribe of the river Coari. Southey’s Brazil, iii.
CTJENUAS. A branch of the Camavos (which see). Velasco.
CUIRES. A branch of the Roamaynas (which see). Velasco.
CUIYACUS. A tribe of the river Aguarico. Villavicencio’s Map.
CUIYAYOS. A tribe between the Aguarico and Putumayu.
Villavicencio’s Map.
CUMARURUAYANAS (see Carabuyanus).
CUMAYARIS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuna, p. 107; Spix
und Martins, iii, p. 1175.
CUMBASINOS. A tribe of the Santa Catalina, in the Pampa del
Sacramento. Smyth, p. 204.
CUNAS. A tribe of the Putumayu. Acuna, p. 99.
CUNJIES. A branch of the Avijiras (which see). Velasco.
CUNURIS. A tribe living at the mouth of a river, up which the
Amazons are said to live. Acuna, p. 122.
CURANAS. A tribe of the Ucayali, said to be a branch of the
Campas (which see). Velasco.
CURANARIS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
CURARAYES. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villavi-
CURETUS. A tribe inhabiting the country between the rivers
Japura and Uaupes. They are short, but very strong, wear their
hair long, and paint their bodies. The men wear a girdle of



woollen thread, but the women go entirely naked. Their houses
are circular, with walls of thatch, and a high conical roof. They
reside in small villages, governed by a chief; and are long lived,
and peaceable. They cultivate maize and mandioc. They have
no idea of a Supreme Being. Their language is very guttural, and
difficult to understand, as they keep their teeth close together,
when speaking. A tribe, of the same name, is met with on the
river TefFe. Ribeiro; Von Martins, iii, p. 1222; Wallace, p. 509.
CUKIATES. A tribe marked on Fritz’s map (1707) between the
rivers Madeira and Tapajos.
CURIGUERES. A race of giants, on the Purus. Acuha, p. 107.
CURINAS. A tribe living south of the Omaguas. Acuna, p. 96;
Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1187.
Marked on Fritz’s map- (1707) between the rivers Yavari and
CURIS. A tribe of the river Amazons. Acuna, p. 100.
CURIVEOS. A tribe said to have been subject to the Gran
Paytiti. M. Rodriguez.
CURUANAKIS (see Carabuyanas).
CURUCURUS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuha, p. 107.
CURUPATABAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuha, p. 110.
CURUZIRARIS. A very populous tribe, on the south side of the
Amazons, twenty-eight leagues below the mouth of the Jurua.
Acuha, p. 101.
CUSABATAYES. A branch of the Manamabobos (which see).
CUSTINIABAS. A branch of Pirros (which see). Velasco.
CUTINANOS. A branch of the Jeberos. Father Cujia preached
to them in 1646. Velasco.
DESANNAS (see Uaape’s).
ENCABELLADOS. A tribe of the Napo, so called by Father
Rafael Ferrer, in 1600, from their long hair. They were prea-
ched to from 1727 to 1768. Marked on Fritz’s map (1707)
between the rivers Napo and Putumayu.



Villavicencio places them on the lower part of the Aguarico.
They are much reduced in numbers, and live chiefly on fish, and
the manatee. Acuha, p. 92-4 ; Velasco ; Villavicencio.
EREPUNACAS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
ENGAIBAS. A tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuha, p. 130.
ENJEYES. A branch of the Ituculcs (which see). Velasco.
ERITEYNES. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco.
FRASCAVINAS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). Velasco.
GAES. A tribe of the Maranon, with a language similar to that
of the Jeberos. In 1707 they killed Father Durango. Placed in
Fritz’s map, on the upper waters of the rivers Tigre and Pastaza.
M. Rodriguez ; Velasco.
GINORIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
GIS (see Uaupes).
GIVAROS (see Jeberos).
GUACARAS. A tribe living next to the race of Amazons, with
whom they had intercourse. Acuha, p. 122.
GUACHIS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”. Lozano.
GUAJAYOS. A tribe of the Marafion : preached to between
1727 and 1768. Velasco.
GUALAQUIZAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavi-
GUAMAECAS (see Chunipies).
GUANAS. A tribe of the “Gran Chacu”. Lozano.
GUANAMAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuha, p. 110.
GUANAPURIS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
GUANARUS. A tribe of the river Jutay : marked on Fritz’s
map (1707) between the rivers Jurua and Teffe. Acuha, p. 99.
GUANIBIS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
GUAQUIARIS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuha, p. 107.
GUARAICUS. A tribe of the Putumayu (see Uaraycus). Acuha,
p. 99.



GUARANACTJAZANAS. A tribe between the Rio Negro and the
Orinoco. Acuha, p. 110.
GUARANAGUACUS. A tribe of the Amazons, below the mouth
of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
GUARAYOS. A tribe, on the head waters of the Mamore, and
its tributaries. This tribe, and that of the Sirionos, are believed
to be descended from Spaniards, who, in former days, went into
the forests in search of the ” Gran Paytiti.” They are bearded and
florid, but also have some characteristics of their Indian maternal
ancestry. The Guarayos are kind and hospitable ; the Sirionos
fierce. Dalence. “Bosquejo estadistico de Bolivia.'”
GUARIANACAGUAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuha, p. 110.
GUASITAYAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1727 and 1768. Velasco.
GUATINUMAS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
GUAYABAS. A tribe on the north side of the Amazons. Acuha,
p. 100.
GUAYACARIS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
GUAYAZIS. A race of dwarfs, of whom credulous Acuiia
heard, from the Tupinambas Indians. Acuha, p. 119.
GUAYCURUS. A tribe of the “Gran Chaeu”; between the
rivers Pileomayu and Yaveviri. In the wet season their country is
so marshy, and full of swamps, that they cannot walk; and in the
dry season it is so parched up, that there is great scarcity of water.
It was found almost impossible to penetrate this territory; and
the Guaycurus remained independent, and made frequent attacks
on the Spaniards in Paraguay. They go quite naked, without
shame, but the women wear a short petticoat. Lozano gives a
long and interesting account of them. Lozano, p. 59-72.
GUAZAGAS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). Velasco.
GUENCOYAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1727 and 1768. Velasco.
GUEVAS. A tribe which was already extinct in Yelasco’s time.



HAGUETIS. A branch of the Manamabobos (which see).
HIBITOS. (See Jibitos).
HIMUETACAS. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco.
HUACIIIFAYRIS. (See Chunchos).
HUAHUATALES. A tribe marked on Fritz’s map (1767) near
the sources of the Yavari.
HUAIROUS. A tribe marked on Fritz’s map, between the rivers
Jurua and Teffe.
HTJAMBISAS. A fierce tribe of the Upper Maranon, and Santiago
rivers. In 1841 they drove all the civilized Indians from the
upper missions. In 1843 they murdered all the inhabitants of a
village called Santa Teresa, between the mouths of the Santiago
and Morona. They encroach more and more on the few settled
villages, which remain on the Upper Maranon. Heraldo de Lima,
Sept. 13th, 1855.
HUASIMOAS. A branch of the Iquitos del Nanay, preached to
between 1727 and 1768. Velasco.
HTJIRUNAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
HUMURANAS. A branch of the Maynas, preached to between
1727 and 1768. Velasco.
IBANOJIAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see.) Marked on
Fritz’s map (1707) between the rivers Teffe and Purus. Velasco.
IBITOS. (See Jibitos.) Herndon, p. 150.
‘ ICAHUATES. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1683 and 1727. Velasco.
ILURUS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see.) Velasco.
IMASCIIAHUAS. A branch of the Maynas. Velasco.
INCURIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
INUACAS. A branch of the Camavos (which see). Velasco.
IPAPUISAS. A branch of the Maynas, identical with the
Coronados (which see). Velasco.
In Los. A branch of the Piros (which see). Velasco.



IPECAS. (See Uaupes).
IQUITOS. An extensive tribe, divided into numerous branches ;
some living on the river Tigre, others on the Nanay. The latter
is a stream which flows into the Maranon, near Omaguas, and the
village of Iquitos is at its mouth. The Iquitos were preached to
between 1727 and 1768. Villavicencio places them on the east
side of the lower course of the Napo. Velasco. Villavicencio.
ISANNAS or PAPUNAUAS. A tribe on the river Isanna, a tri-
butary of the Rio Negro. They cut their hair; the women wear a
cloth, instead of being naked, and adorn themselves with bracelets.
Their huts are collected together in little scattered villages. They
bury their dead inside the huts, and mourn for them a long time,
but make no feast on the occasion. Wallace, p. 507-8.
ITREMAJORTS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see) Velasco.
ITUCALES. A tribe of the Upper Maranon. Velasco.
IZAS. A tribe believed to be extinct in Velasco’s time.
IZIBAS. A branch of the Itucales (which see). Velasco.
IZUHALIS. A branch of the Urarinas (which see). Velasco.
JACAMIS (see Uaupes).
JACARES. A tribe near the junction of the Beni and Mamore;
few in number, and scattered over the country. Quite savages.
Gibbon, p. 287-8.
JAMAMARIS. A tribe on the west side of the Purus, but living
some distance inland. There is no information concerning them,
except that, in their customs and appearance, they resemble the
Catauxis (which see). Wallace, p. 516.
JANUMAS A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
JAPUAS. A tribe of the Maranon; preached to between 1727
and 1768. Velasco.
JAUANAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
JAYVABUS. A branch of the Panos (which see). Velasco.
JEBEROS or JIVARAS. A tribe of the Upper Maranon, the
first fiuits of the Jesuit Missions. Velasco, who divides them into



three branches, says they are the most faithful, noble, and amiable
of all the tribes. Villavicencio divides them into ten branches, all
speaking the same language; which is sonorous, clear, and har-
monious, easy to learn, and energetic. The Jeberos wander in the
forests between the rivers Chinchipe and Pastaza, and on both
sides of the Maranon. The branch tribes are constantly at war
with each other, but they unite against a common enemy. On the
conquest of Peru, the Spaniards reduced these Indians, and
founded colonies in their country; but, in 1599, a general in-
surrection of the Jeberos destroyed all these settlements in one
day. The Jeberos have muscular bodies, small and very animated
black eyes, aquiline noses, and thin lips. Many have beards and
fair complexions, and it is said that this arises from the number of
Spanish women whom they captured, in the insurrection of 1599.
The Jeberos love liberty, and can tolerate no yoke ; they are
warlike, brave, and astute. They have fixed homes, cultivate
yucas, maize, frijoles, and plantains; and their women wear
cotton cloth. They live in well built huts, and sleep in standing
bed places, instead of hammocks. They are very jealous of their
women, and keep them apart. Their lances are made of the
chonta palm, the head being triangular, thirty or fifty inches long,
and ten to fifteen broad. They all take a strong emetic every
morning (an infusion of leaves of the gaayusa) for the sake of
getting rid of all undigested food, and being ready for the chace,
with an empty stomach. At each village they have a great drum
called tunduli, to call the warriors to arms, and it is repeated from
village to village, as a signal. Their hair hangs over their
shoulders, and they wear a helmet of bright feathers. When they
arc engaged in war, their faces and bodies are painted, but during
peace they wear breeches down to the knees, and a shirt without
In September, 1855, the Jeberos are reported to have destroyed
the ancient town of San Borja, and the villages of Sta. Teresa and
Santiago. Samuel Fritz’s map (1707); Velasco; Villavicencio,
pp. 169 and 375 ; Heraldo de Lima, September 1855.
JIBITOS. A tribe first met with by the Franciscans in 1676, in
the forests near the Huallaga, on the eastern borders of the pro-


vince of Caxamarquilla. They were converted, and settled in
villages on the western bank of the Huallaga. Their women wear
a dress of cotton, confined round the waist by a girdle. They
bathe in the river, for their health, very early in the morning.
They arc only distinguished from the Cholones by their dialect
(see Cholones). Mercurio Peruano, 1791, No. 51 ; Poeppig Reise.
They are less civilized than the Cholones, and paint their faces,
not with any fixed pattern, but each man according to his fancy;
using the blue of Huitoc, and the red ” Achote.” They are met
with on the Huallaga, at Tocache, and Lamasillo. Herndon, p. 150.
JUANAS. A tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuha, p. 130.
JUBIRIS. A tribe on the Purus. They are little known, but
their bodies are spotted and mottled like the Purupurus (which
see). Wallace, p. 516.
JUMAS. A tribe of the river Coari. Southey’s Brazil, vol. iii.
JUMANAS (see Ticunas).
JUEIS. Atribeof the Amazons, between the riverslca and Japura.
Many of them have settled on the Rio Negro. Their huts are
formed of a circle of poles, with others woven in, and a roof of
palm leaves in the shape of a dome.
The Juris are nearly related to the Passes (which see); and, in
former clays, they were undoubtedly one tribe. Their language,
manners, and customs are the same; but the Juris have broader
features and chests. In ancient times they were the most power-
ful tribe between the lea and Japura; but in 1820 their whole
number did not exceed two thousand. Von Martins, iii, p. 1235 ;
Von Sj)ix, iii, p. 1184.
The Juris tattoo in a circle round the mouth, and hence they
are called Juripixunas (black Juris). They are good servants for
canoe or agricultural work, and are the most skilful of all in the
use of the gravatdna or blow pipe. Wallace, p. 510.
In 1775 there was a settlement of Juris on the Japiira, near its
mouth, ruled by a chief called Machiparo, or Macupari. Southey,
vol. iii, p. 721 ; Orellana, p. 29, note.
Their hair is curled so closely as to resemble the African woolly
head. The women have both cheeks tattooed. Smyth, p. 278.



JUTIPOS. A tribe, preached to between 1683 and 1727. Velasco
says that the Manoas, Panos, and Pelados, are branches of the
Jutipos ; but this must be a mistake. Velasco.
LAMAS. Said to be extinct. Probably the same as the Lamistas.
LAMISTAS or MOTILONES. A tribe of the Huallaga, civilized
by the Franciscans in 1676. They are settled at Lamas, Moyo-
bamba, and Tarapoto. They are industrious, and are employed
chiefly in agriculture, and the preparation of cotton. They also
inhabit Chasuta; but there they have retained, to a great extent,
the mode of life of the wild hunting Indians. They are of a mild
disposition, and have polite friendly manners. Poeppig Reise.
LECOS. A tribe on the Tipuani, a tributary of the Beni; settled
in the mission villages of Mapiri and Guanay, where they are half
civilized. They have agreeable expressions, high foreheads, mouths
comparatively small, and horizontal eyes. Guanay was founded in
1802. Weddell, p. 453.
LLIQUTNOS. A tribe on the head waters of the Curaray.
Villavicencio’s map.
LOGRONOS. A tribe on the western side of the Morona. Villa-
vicencio”s ma]).
LULES. A tribe of the “Gran Chacu.” First visited by San
Francisco Solano, and afterwards by Father Alonzo de Barzana.
Their language is very deficient in words to express abstract ideas,
and they are described as a very savage race. Lozano, pp. 94
and 380.
Father Machoni, and other Jesuits, laboured amongst the Lules
Indians, between 1711 and 1729.
MACAGUAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
MACAVINAS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). Velasco.
MACUNAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Velasco.
MACUS. One of the lowest and most uncivilized tribes of the
Amazonian valley, inhabiting the forests near the Rio Negro.
They have no houses, and no clothing. They stitch up a few
leaves at night, to serve as a shed, if it rains. They make a most
deadly kind of poison to anoint their arrows. They eat all kinds


of birds and fish roasted. They often attack the houses of other
Indians, and murder all the inhabitants. They have wavy and
almost curly hair. Wallace, p. 508.
MAISAMES. A tribe between the Nanay and Napo. Villa-
vicenciu’s map.
MANACURUS. A tribe of the Iiio Negro. Acuha, p. 40.
MAXAIIUAS. A tribe of the Ucayali, living between that river
and the Yavari; mentioned by Father Girbal, in 1793, as being
met with near the Capanahuas. Mercurio Peruano. No. 381.
MAXAUABOBOS. A tribe of the Ucayali, visited by Father
Lucero in 1681. They are marked on Fritz’s map (1707) on the
east side of the Ucayali. M. Rodriguez. Velasco. Mercurio
MAXAJIABUAS. A branch of the Manamabobos. They were
preached to between 1683 and 1727. Velasco.
MAXAOS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Also met with on the
banks of the Rio Negro. The whole of them are now civilized,
and their blood mingles with that of some of the best families in
the province. Ribeiro. Wallace.
MAXATIXABAS. A branch of the Pirros (which see). Velasco.
MAXAGTJS. A tribe employed in procuring gold, near the
river Amazons. Acuha, p. 103.
MAXOAS. (See Conibos).
MAXTJES. A branch of the Campos (which see). Velasco.
MAPARIXAS. A tribe of the Upper Maranon, which joined the
Cocomas in their rebellion against the Missionaries in 1664.
M.Rodriguez; Velasco.
MAPARIS or MAPIARTJS. A tribe of the Araganatuba, accord-
ing to Acuha. Smyth mentions such a tribe in the ” Pampa del
Sacramento.” Acuha, p. 105; Smyth, p. 235.
MARAGUAS. A tribe on the river Amazons, below the mouth
of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
MARAXHAS (see Marianas).
MARAYXUMES. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.



MARIANAS or MARANHAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuha,
p. 99.
They wear small pieces of wood in their ears and lips, but are
not tattooed. The boring of the lips of a child is celebrated by a
feast. When a boy is twelve years old, the father cuts four lines
near his mouth, and he must then fast for five days. The elder
lads scourge themselves, with a small girdle, which operation is
considered as proving their manhood. Spix und Martius, iii, p. 1185.
MARIGUYANAS (see Carabuyanas).
MARIRUAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
MASAMAES. A branch of the Yameos (which see). Preached
to between 1727 and 1768. Velasco.
MASIFIAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
MASUCARUANAS (see Carabuyanas).
MATAGENES. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villavi-
MATAGUAYOS. A tribe of the “Gran Chacu”. Lozano, p. 51-
They occupy the country on the west bank of the river Bermejo,
for a space of eighty-two leagues in length. Their chief food is
fish, which they catch with nets, and with arrows. They are not
warlike, and have few horses. Their*dress is the skin of animals.
Mercurio Peruano, No. 583.
MAUTAS. A branch of the Zaparos, between the Nanay and
Napo. Villavicencio’s map.
MAYANASES. A tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuha, p. 130.
v MAY’NAS. A general name for tribes on the upper Maranon :
placed on Fritz’s map (1707) between the rivers Santiago and
Pastaza. Velasco.
MAYORUNAS or BARBUDOS. A tribe between the Ucayali,
Maranon, and Yavari. They have thick beards and white skins,
more like English than even Spaniards. They wander through the
forests, hunting, and do not go much to the rivers. Manuel Rodri-
guez; Velasco, iii, p. 108.



They are supposed to be descended from Spanish soldiers of
Ursua’s expedition. They have a strange and painful way of
pulling out their beards. They take two shells, which they use
as tweezers, and pull out the hairs one by one; making such
grimaces that the sight of it moves to laughter, and at the same
time to compassion. Mercurio Peruano, No. 76.
They are sometimes called Barbudos, and are very numerous.
They are of a light olive complexion, taller than most of the other
tribes, and go perfectly naked. They are very warlike, and are
in amity with no other tribe. They do not use bows and arrows,
but only spears, lances, clubs, and cerbatanas or blow pipes ; and
the poison they make is esteemed the most powerful of any. They
are well formed, the women particularly so in their hands and feet;
with rather straight noses, and small lips. They cut their hair in
a line across the forehead, and let it hang down their backs. Their
cleanliness is remarkable, a quality for which this tribe alone is
distinguished. Smyth, p. 223-4
Very little is known of this tribe, as they attack any person who
goes into their territory, and boatmen are careful not to encamp on
their side of the Ucayali. Ilerndon, p. 218.
MAZAXES. A tribe between the rivers Nanay and Napo. Villavi-
cencio’s map.
MIGUIANAS. A branch of the Yameos (which see) : they were
preached to between 1727 and 1768. Velasco.
MIRAXIIAS. A race of cannibals, between the rivers 19a and
Japura, in the neighbourhood of the Juris. Wallace, p. 510.
MIRITIS (see Uaupes).
MOACARAXAS (see Carabuyanas).
MOCHOVOS. A branch of the Pirros (which see). Velasco.
MOCOVIES or MOCOBTOS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu”. They
are a savage tribe, allied to the Tobas. In 1712 the Spaniards,
from Tucuman, invaded their country. They are an insolent and
turbulent race, very cruel, and given to rapine and robbery. They
possess horses. Lozano.
MOPITIRUS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
MORONAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which sec). Villavicencio.



MORUAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuha, p. 99.
MOTILONES. A tribe of the Huallaga, mentioned by Simon and
Velasco ; probably the same as the Lamistas (see Lamistas).
Moxos. A numerous tribe on the river Mamore. They sub-
mitted to the dominion of the Inca Yupanqui, more through
persuasion than by force. The Inca sent a colony into Moxos. In
1564, Don Diego Aleman started from La Paz, with a few
followers, in search of the gold of Moxos, but he was defeated by
the Indians, and taken prisoner. G. tie la Vega, ii, cap. 14 and 15.
During the inundations of the rivers, the Moxos live on rising
grounds, surrounded by the flood. When the dry season arrives,
the sun, acting on the stagnant waters, generates pestilence. The
climate is unhealthy. The Moxos are divided into twenty-nine
sub-tribes or branches, speaking thirteen different languages,
besides sundry dialects. Southeg’s Brazil, vol. iii.
Moxos is now a province of the Bolivian Department of Beni;
separated from Brazil, by the rivers Itenez and Madeira. Dalence,
Bosquejo de Bolivia.
The Moxos Indians are quite under the dominion of the
Bolivians. They are a grave, sedate, and thoughtful people; and
are fond of cultivating the soil. They have set aside the bow and
arrow, and have taken up the lasso, which they handle well. They
are civil, quiet, peaceable, and seldom quarrel amongst themselves.
The Bolivians treat them worse than slaves. The Moxos manu-
facture cotton, and are expert carpenters. The various tribes in
Moxos speak nine different languages. Gibbon, p. 235 ; See also
Introduction, p. xxxix.
MUEGAXOS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see) Villavicencio.
MUXDRUCTJS. One of the most powerful tribes on the Amazons,
and Tapajos. In 1788 they entirely vanquished their ancient
enemies the Muras (which see). Sout/icy’s Brazil, vol. iii.
When a Muudrucu is hopelessly ill, his friends kill him, and
children consider it a kindness to kill their parents, when they can
no longer enjoy hunting, dancing, and feasting. They are very
dirty. They are a broad chested, and very muscular people; with
broad, strongly developed, good natured, but rough features.



Their glossy black hair is exit close across the forehead, and the
whole body is tattooed in small lines. They are very warlike, and
are the Spartans among the Indians of North Brazil, as the
Guaycurus (which see) arc of the South. The Mundrucus are a
numerous tribe, numbering from twenty to forty thousand. Since
1803, they have been at peace with the Brazilians. There are
many Tupi words in their language, as well as many traits in their
manners, which make it likely that they once belonged to that
great family of tribes, which, some centuries ago, being split
up into hordes, appears to have spread over the whole of Brazil.
The Mundrucu, like the Tupi language, is not harsh, but is
pronounced with much modulation. The Mundrucus do not believe
in immortality. J’on Martius, iii, p. 1235.
The Mundrucus dwell on the river Tapajos, and extend far into
the interior, towards the rivers Madeira and Purus. They are a
very numerous tribe, and portions of them are now civilized.
Wallace, p. 479.
^ MUNICHES. A tribe of the Huallaga, preached to between
1638 and 1683. There is a village of the same name. M.
Rodriguez; Velasco; Mate, p. 141.
MuPAitiJs’As : supposed to be extinct. Velasco.
MUUAS. A powerful tribe on the Amazons, who were very
formidable to the Portuguese, at the time of Ribeiro’s tour of
inspection in 1775, and until they were vanquished by the
Mnndrucus, when they began to settle in the Portuguese villages.
They used a bow six feet long. Southey’s Brazil, iii, p. 723.
A populous tribe, partly civilized, about the months of the
Madeira and llio Negro; but in the interior, and up the river
Purus, many still live in a perfectly uncivilized state. They are
rather a tall race, with beards, and the hair of the head is slightly
crisp and wavy. They used to go naked, but now they all wear
trousers and shirts, and the women have petticoats. Their houses
are grouped together in small villages, and scarcely ever consist of
more than a roof supported on posts, without walls. They live on
fish, game, and fruit; and cultivate nothing. They have bows and
arrows, and spears, and construct very good canoes. Each village



has a Tashaua or Chief; the succession is hereditary, but the chief
has little power. They trade with the Brazilians, in sarsaparilla,
turtle oil, Brazil nuts, etc., in exchange for cotton goods, spear and
arrow heads, knives, etc. Wallace, p. 479 and 511-13.
They were all dressed decently, and the women wore calico
shirts. Gibbon, p. 306.
MURATOS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). They were
preached to between 1727 and 1768. They have lately been very
troublesome, and in September 1856 they pillaged and burnt the
villages of Santander and Andoas. They do not fight with bows
and arrows, but with iron lances, and a few muskets obtained
from Ecuador. Velasco; Commercio de Lima.
MURIATES. A tribe of the river Putumayu. Directly their
children are born they hide them in the depths of the forests, that
the moonlight may not cause them any harm. Von Spix, iii,
p. 1186.
MUSQUIMAS. A branch of the Urarinas (which see). Velasco.
MUTAYAS. A tribe whose feet are shipped with the toes point-
ing aft, according to the credulous Jesuit. Acuha, p. 119.
MUTUANIS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuha, p. 107.
NANERUAS. A branch of the Campas (which see). Velasco.
NAPEANOS. A branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco.
NAPOTOAS. A branch of the Simiyaes (which see). Velasco.
NAUNAS. A tribe of the river Jutay; marked on Fritz’s map
(1707) between the rivers Ucayali and Yavari. Acuha, p. 99.
NEGUAS. A branch of the Ayuaricos (which see). Velasco.
NEOCOYAS. A branch of the Encabellados (which see). Velasco.
NEPAS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
NERECAMUES. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco.
XESAIIUACAS. A branch of the Campas (which see). Velasco.
NEVAS. A branch of the Avijiras (which see). Velasco.
NUSHIXOS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villavicencio.
OAS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see); on the banks of



the Napo; preached to between 1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez;
OJOTAES. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p. 51.
OMAGUAS. Orellana mentions a chief named Aomagua at
Machiparo, near the mouth of the Putumayu river. Orellana,
p. 27.
The fabulous stories, respecting the wealth of the Omaguas,
led to the famous expedition of Ursua in 1560. Padre Simon, p.
402, et seq. Acuha, p. 48.
In 1645 the Jesuit missionaries arrived in their country, on the
banks of the river Maranon. “The Omaguas are the Phoenicians
of the river, for their dexterity in navigating. They are the most
noble of all the tribes ; their language is the most sweet and
copious ; and these facts indicate that they are the remains of
some great monarchy, which existed in ancient times.” After
eight years of labour, Father Cujia succeeded in collecting them
into villages. In 1687 Father Fritz came amongst them, and
established forty villages; and Father Michel lived amongst them
for twenty-seven years, until 1753. The Portuguese carried on
hostilities against these mission villages, and took many Omaguas
away for slaves. San Joachim de Omaguas, a village on the
Maranon, was the residence of the Vice Superior of the Missions.
Velasco, iii, p. 197, et seq.
Of all the savages who inhabit the banks of the Maranon, the
Omaguas are most civilized, notwithstanding their strange custom
of flattening their heads. La Condamine, p. 189.
From the Omaguas, the Portuguese first obtained the caout-
chouc or Indian rubber. In the Tupi language they are called
Cambebas, a name which, equally with Omaguas, signifies ” flat-
heads.” Sautheg’s Brazil, iii.
The Ouvidor Ribeiro, in his official progress in 1774, came to
the village of Olivenca, on the Maranon, thirteen leagues below
Tabatinga ; where he found the chief remnant of the Omaguas.
They were fairer and better shaped than the other Indians, and
were considered to be the most civilized and intelligent tribe. They
had left off the practice of flattening their heads.
Maw says, the Omaguas appeared to be more active and indus-



trious than the other Indians, and their huts were cleaner; Smyth,
that they appeared to be a finer race than any he had hitherto
seen ; and Herndon, that the number of inhabitants in the village
of San Joachim de Omaguas (in 1852) was about two hundred and
thirty-two. Maw, p. 185; Smyth, p. 259; Herndon, p. 218.
Von Spix calls the Omayuas by their Portuguese name of Cam-
hebas or Campevas. He says that they are very good natured and
honest, and that their language has many Tupi words in it. They,
like many other Amazonian tribes, have a custom of proving the
fortitude of the youths by scourging them, and of the maidens by
hanging them in a net, and smoking them. After a death the
family shut themselves up for a month, with continual howling;
and their neighbours support them by hunting. The dead are
buried in large earthen jars, beneath the floor of their huts. Spix
und Martins, iii, p. 1187.
OREGUATUS. A tribe on the south side of the Amazons, below
the mouth of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
OREJONES. A tribe on the north side of the mouth of the Napo,
so called from the practice of inserting a stick into the lobes of
their ears. Their language is guttural, nasal, and spoken with
great velocity. Their faces are very broad, with thick lips. They
are very fierce ; and trade with hammocks, poisons, and provisions,
in exchange for tools and trinkets. Villavicencio’s Geographia del
ORITOS. A tribe of the Napo, on the east side, and below the
mouth of the Aguarico. Villavicencio.
OROUPIANAS (see Varabuyanas).
ORYSTINESIS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.”
OTANAVIS. A branch of the Muniches (which see). Velasco.
OZUANAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuha, p. 99.
PACAXAS. A tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuha, p. 130.
PACHICTAS. A branch of the Manamabobos (which see).
PAMBADEQUES. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez.


PANAJOIUS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
PANATAGUAS. A tribe of the Huallaga, visited by Padre
Lugando in 1631. Mercurio Peruano.
PANOS. A tribe of the Huallaga, Maranon, and Ucayali. In
1670 Father Lucero collected some of them, in the village of Sant-
iago de la Laguna, near the mouth of the Huallaga. In 1830 they
joined the mission of Sarayacu, on the Ucayali. At Sarayacu they
wear a short frock, which reaches down to the waistband of the
trousers, dyed red or blue. Both sexes are very much addicted
to intoxication. Smyth and Castlenau say that the Panos, of
Sarayacu, belong to the tribe of Setebos (which see). When Smyth
was at Sarayacu, the population amounted to about two thousand.
Their canoes are thirty or forty feet long, and three to five feet
wide. Their manners are frank and natural, showing, without any
disguise, their affection or dislike, their pleasure or anger. They
have an easy courteous bearing, and seem to consider themselves
on a perfect equality with every body.
In the last century a missionary, among the Panos, found manu-
scripts written on a species of paper made of the leaves of the plan-
tain, containing, according to the statements of the Indians, a his-
tory of the events in the days of their ancestors. Smyth, p. 213 ;
Castelnau, iv, p. 378; Rivero, Antiq. Per. p. 102.
PAPAGUAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 1683
and 1727. Velasco.
PAPUNAUAS (see Isannas).
PARANAPURAS. A branch of the Chayavitas (which see).
Preached to between 1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez.
PARATOAS. A branch of the Encabellados (which see). Velasco.
PARRANOS. A branch of the 3 omeos (which see). Preached to
between 1727 and 1768. Velasco.
PASSES. The most numerous tribe on the river Japura. They
believe the sun to be stationary, and that the earth moves. They
call rivers the great blood vessels of the earth, and small streams
its veins. They pay great respect to their conjurors. Their dead
arc buried in circular graves.


The pleasing features and slight figures of the Passes, confirm
the opinion that they are the most beautiful Indians of this region.
Their whiter colour and finer build distinguishes them from their
neighbours. Their hands and feet are smaller than those of the
other Indians; their necks longer, and their appearance more
resembles the Caucasian type. Their features are agreeable, and
the women are sometimes beautiful; but the men are wanting in
the manly ornament of a beard. Their eyes are more open, finer,
and further from each other, than those of other Indians; the nose
finely formed and arched. The Passes have a tattooed mark,
beginning under the eyes, and continuing along the face to the
chin. The men cut the hair close, but the women wear it long.
They are very clean : the women usually wearing a shirt with short
arms, and the men a kind of cloak. The Passes are clever, gentle,
open, peaceful, and industrious. (See Juris). Von Spix, iii, p.
1186. Von Marlins, iii, p. 1201-3. Southei/’s Brazil, iii, p. 722.
PASTAZAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.
PASTIVAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 1727
and 1768. Velasco.
PAVAS or PEVAS. A branch of the Andoas, according to Ve-
lasco, preached to between 1727 and 1768. They are met with
between the rivers Napo and Putumayu. Velasco; Villavicencio’s
PATJTES. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.
PAYAGUAS. A tribe on the north side of the Napo, near its
mouth. Villavicencio.
PELADOS. A tribe of the Huallaga, preached to between 1683
and 1727. They are probably the same as the Jitipos (which see);
but are marked on Fritz’s map (1707) between the rivers Ucayali,
and Yavari. Velasco; Samuel Fritz; Introduction, p. xliii.
PEQUEYAS. A branch of the Encabellados (which see). Preached
to between 1727 and 1768. Velasco.
PEVAS. A tribe between the rivers Napo and Putumayu. Vii-
laviccncio’s map.
PINCHES. A branch of the Andoas, preached to between 1683



and 1727. Met with between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza.
Velasco ; Viliavicencio.
PINDOS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.
PIRAS (see Uaupis).
PIRROS or CHUNTAQTJIROS. A tribe of the Ucayali, preached
to between 1683 and 1727. They wander from place to place in
canoes, and are good boatmen and fishermen. They are employed
by traders to procure sarsaparilla, and make oil from the fat of the
manatee. They navigate nearly the whole length of the Ucayali,
and trade with the Antis (which see) within a short distance of
Cuzco. Velasco says that they are descended from the Inca Indians.
They are marked on Fritz’s map (1707), on the east side of the
Ucayali. Velasco ; Smyth ; General Miller ; Castelnau.
POCOANAS (see Carabuyanas).
PTTINAUS or MAFIARUS. A tribe in the centre of the Pampa
del Sacramento, near the northern part of it. Not numerous, and
rarely seen by the mission Indians. Smyth, p. 235.
PUNOUYS. A tribe on the south side of the Amazons, below
the mouth of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
PURTJFURUS. A tribe of the river Purus, from sixteen to thirty
days voyage up. They are almost all afflicted with a peculiar dis-
ease. The body is spotted with white and brown patches of irre-
gular size and shape. Men and women go perfectly naked ; and
their huts are very small and of the rudest construction. Their
canoes are flat bottomed, with upright sides ; mere square boxes,
quite unlike those of any other Indians. They use neither the
blow-pipe, nor bow and arrows, but have an instrument called
pallida,—apiece of wood, with a projection at the end, to secure
the base of a dart, the middle of which is held with the handle of
the palheta in the hand, and thus thrown as from a sling. They
have surprising dexterity in the use of this weapon, and readily
kill game and fish with it. They construct earthen pans for cook-
ing. In the wet season, when the beaches are flooded, they make
rafts of the trunks of trees bound together with creepers, and erect
their huts upon them, thus living till the waters subside again.
Their skin disease perhaps arises from sleeping naked on the sands,



without hammocks. Spix und Martins, iii, p. 1174 ; Castelnau;
Wallace, p. 514.
PUTTJMAYOS. A general name for the tribes of that river.
QUATAUSTS (see Catauxis). A tribe of the Purus. Acuha, p.
QUERERUS (see Carabuyanas).
QUILIYITAS. Supposed to be extinct in Velasco’s time.
QUIMAUS. A. tribe on the south side of the Amazon, below the
mouth of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.
QUINARUPIANAS (see Carabuyanas).
QUIRIVINAS. A branch of the Andoas (which see). Velasco.
REMOS. A tribe of the Ucayali, considered by Velasco as a
branch of the Campas. They are a numerous and courageous
race, and occupy a large tract of inland countiy, seldom coming
down to the river. They are very savage, and wage war against
all foreigners. They are fair, their faces rounder than those of
other tribes of the Ucayali, their eyes like Chinese, and their
stature very short. Velasco ; Smyth.
RIMACHUMAS. A branch of the Maynas. Velasco.
v ROAMATNAS. A tribe of the river Pastaza, preached to between
1638 and 1683. Marked on Fritz’s map (1707) between the
rivers Pastaza and Tigre. Villavicencio places them between the
Morona and Pastaza. Velasco ; M. Rodriyeuz ; Villavicencio.
ROTUNOS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villavicencio.
RUANABABAS A branch of the Ca?navos (which see) Velasco.
RUMOS. A tribe of the river Napo. Acuha, p. 94.
SENCIS. A bold, warlike, and generous tribe of the Ucayali,
inhabiting a hilly country N.E. of Sarayacu. They are on friendly
terms with the Indians of the missions, though not converted
themselves. Father Plaza was well received by them, and
describes them as the greatest warriors of the Ucayali. They
have bows and arrows, lances, clubs, and koivas (a short spear



pointed at one end, the other in the shape of a club, with stag’s
antlers fixed down its sides). They are agriculturists, and are very
industrious. Those who are idle are killed, as useless members of
society. They have knowledge of the properties of medicinal
herbs, and apply them with skill and success. They wear orna-
ments on the ears, nose, neck, and arms. They use canoes, and
live on fish during the dry season. Mercurio Peruano, No. 381;
Smyth, p. 225.
” I saw no difference in appearance between the Sends, and the
other tribes of the Ucayali.” Lieutenant Herndon seems inclined
to throw some doubt on the account given by Smyth, from inform-
ation supplied by Father Plaza. Herndon, p. 209.
SENOS. A tribe of the river Napo. Acuha, p. 94.
SEPATJNABAS. A branch of the Campas (which see). Velasco.
SETEBOS. A tribe of the Ucayali, living north of the Cashibos
(which see). They are said to be quiet, tractable, and well
disposed towards the Missions. Since 1651, the Franciscans have
occasionally visited them, but were generally murdered. Father
Girbal, when he founded Sarayacu, in 1792, induced some of them
to settle there. They trade up and down the Ucayali in canoes.
Mercurio Peruano, No. 51 ; Herndon.
SHIPIEOS. A tribe of the Ucayali, coupled with the Setebos,
by Smyth and Herndon. The Franciscans visited them from time
to time, since 1651. In 1736 they routed and almost destroyed
the Setebos in a bloody battle. In 1764 the good Franciscans
brought about a reconciliation. They were collected into a village
on the river Pisqui in 1764, by Father Fresneda, but in 1767, all
the Missionaries were massacred. After that fatal time, Father
Girbal was the first who visited them, in 1790. Mercurio Peruana,
No. 51.
SIIIRIPUXAS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villa-
vicencio, p. 171-3.
SIGUIYAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
SIMARROXES. A branch of the Maynas. Velasco.
SIMIGAES. A group of tribes living on the banks of the


Curaray and Tigre. They were preached to between 1683 and
1727. Velasco; Villavicencio; Fritz’s Map.
SIRINEYRIS (see Chunchos.)
SIRIONOS (see Guarayos.)
SOLIMOENS. A tribe on the Amazons, formerly powerful, from
which the Portuguese gave the name of the river.
SORIMOENS. A tribe of the rivers Teffe and Coari. In 1788
Ribeiro reported that the chief remains of this once numerous
tribe, was settled at the mouth of the Coari. They are probably
identical with the Solimoens. Southey’s Brazil, iii.
SUCHICHIS. A tribe supposed to be extinct, in the time of
Velasco. Velasco.
SUCUMBIOS. A tribe to the eastward of Quito. Velasco.
TABALOSOS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). M.
TAGUACUAS. A branch of the Manamabobos (which see).
TAGUATTS. A tribe dwelling on the river, up which the race of
Amazons were said to live. Acuha, p. 122.
TAMAS. A tribe of the river Napo. A branch of the Aguaricos
(which see.) Acuha, p. 94 ; Velasco.
TAMUANAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Southey’s Brazil, iii.
TAPAJOSOS. A tribe of the river Tapajos. Acuha, p. 124.
TAPURAS (see Uaupes.)
TAPUYAS. Ar-tribe of the river Pacaxa (see Tup is.) Acuha,
p. 130.
TASIAS. A branch of the Campas (which see) Velasco.
TARIANES (see Uaupes.)
TAXUS (see Uaupis.)
TAUNIES. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p. 75.
TENIMBUCAS (see Uaupes.)
TEQUEIES (see Chunipies.)


TERARUS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
TIASSUS (see Uaupes.)
TICUXAS or JUMAXAS. A tribe of the Maranon, neighbours of
the Omaguas, preached to between 1683 and 1727. They people
Tabatinga, the frontier Brazilian post on the Maranon. They go
naked, and have a tattooed oval round their mouths, which the
men wear broader than the women, and a line from the corners of
the mouth to the ears.
They believe in a good and an evil spirit, named Nanuloa and
Locazy. They fear the evil spirit, and believe of the good one
that, after death, he appears to eat fruit with the departed, and to
take them to his home. Their dead bodies are arranged, with the
extremities placed together, and the face towards the rising sun,
with broken weapons and fruit placed in the bosom; they are then
buried in a great earthen jar; and the ceremony is concluded by a
drinking festival.
Wives are obtained by presents to the parents, and it is said that
the chief has the “jus prima; noctis.” As soon as a child can sit
up, it is sprinkled with a decoction from certain leaves, and receives
the name of one of its forefathers.
Next to the Passes and Juris, the Ticunas are the best formed
Indians of this region. They are not so well built as the former,
though slighter than most of the tribes. Their faces are round,
nose thin and sharp, and expression generally good humoured and
gentle. Their disposition is open and honest. They are darker
than most of the Indians of the Maranon, and beardless. Velasco ;
Acuna, p. 96 ; Von Spix, iii, p. 1182 ; Von Martins, iii, p. 1206;
Castelnau ; Herndon, p. 234.
Tuucos (see Uaupes.)
TIXGAXESES. A tribe of the Huallaga, preached to by Father
Lugando in 1631. Possibly identical with the Cholones (which
see) Velasco; Mercurio Peruayw.
TIPUXAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acniia, p. 99.
TIPUTIXIS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see) according to
Velasco, but Villavicencio places them under the Zaparos. They



were visited by missionaries between 1727 and 1768. Velasco;
TIVILOS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). M. Rodriguez.
TOBAS. A savage tribe of the ” Gran Chacu,” on the banks of
the rivers Pilcomayu and Bermejo. Lozano, p. 51 ; Dobrizhoffer ;
Gibbon, p. 164.
TONOCOTES. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p. 51.
TOQUISTENESES. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p.
TREMAJORIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
TUCAEES. A tribe, between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza.
Villavicencio1s Map.
TUCANOS (see Uaupes.)
TUCUNDERAS (see Uaupes.)
TUCURIYS. A tribe living on the south side of the river
Amazons. Acuha, p. 100.
TUINAMAYNAS (see Carabuyanas.)
TULUMAYUS. A tribe on a river of the same name, a tributary
of the upper Huallaga. They were first visited by Father Lugando
in 1631. Mercurio Peruano.
TUPINAMBAS. A powerful Brazilian tribe, settled on a great
island, at the mouth of the Madeira, in the time of Acuna. Acuha,
p. 119.
Tuns. These Indians people Para, and the shores of the
lower Amazons. They have long been civilized, and the Bra-
zilians corruptly call them Tapuyas. They are stout, short, and
well made. They learn all trades quickly and well; and are a
quiet, good natured, inoffensive people. They form the crews of
most of the Para trading canoes. Wallace, p. 478.
TUPITIMIS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villa-
TUYUNERIS (see Chunchos.)
UAENAMBEUS or ” Humming Bird” Indians. A tribe on the



lower part of the Japura. They much resemble the Curctus
(which see), but are distinguished from other tribes by a small
blue mark on the upper lip. The women always wear a small
apron of bark. Wallace, p. 510.


A tribe of the river Coari. Southey, iii, from

UARAYCUS. A tribe of the river Jutay, and also on the
Amazons. To try the fortitude of their maidens, they hang them
in a net, in the roof of a hut, exposed to continual smoke, where
they fast as long as they can possibly bear it; and the youths are
flogged, for the same purpose. A youth must hunt and work for
his bride, to whom he is engaged from a child, long before he can
marry her. They burn their dead, and bury the ashes in their
huts (see Guai-aicus). Spix und Marlins, iii, p. 1187-90.
UAUPES. An extensive group of tribes, inhabiting the shores
of the river Uaupes, a tributary of the Rio Negro. Two of them,
the Piras and Carapanas, are mentioned by Acuna. Acuna, p. 105.
The other sub-divisions of the Uaupesare the

Ananas (pine apples)
Cobius (cannibals)
Piraiurus (fish’s
Pisas (net)
Tapuras (tapir)
Uaracus (fish)

Tucunderas (ant)
Jacamis (trumpeter)
Miriiis (palm)
Mucuras (opossum)
Taiassus (pig)
Tijucos (mud)
Arapassos (wood-

Tucanas (toucan)
Uacarras (heron)
Ipecas (duck)
Gis (axe)
Coua (wasp)
‘ Corocoro (green ibis)
Talus (armadillos)
Tenimbueas (ashes)

They are tall, stout, and well-formed. Hair jet black and
straight, worn in a long tail down the back, often to the thighs ;
very little beard; skin a light glossy brown. They are an agri-
cultural people, cultivating mandioc, sugar cane, yams, maize,
tobacco, and camotes. Their weapons are bows and arrows,
lances, clubs, and blow-pipes. They are great fishermen. Many
families live together in one house, a parallelogram one hundred



and fifteen feet long by seventy-five, and thirty feet high. The
roof is supported on fine cylindrical columns, formed of the trunks
of trees, smooth and straight. At the gable end is a large doorway,
eight feet high, with a palm mat to serve as a door. The fur-
niture consists of net hammocks, earthen pots, pitchers, and bas-
kets. Their canoes are all made of a single hollowed tree, often
forty feet long, paddles about three feet long, with an oval blade.
The men wear a cloth round the loins, but the women go quite
naked. The men use many ornaments, and a circlet of feathers
round the head. A cylindrical white quartz stone is invariably
carried on the breast, as a charm, suspended by a chain of black
seeds. The dead are buried inside the houses. Every house has
its Tushaua or chief, the office being hereditary. They have sor-
cerers called Payes, but do not believe in a God. Wallace, pp.
UATUPes. A tribe of the river Coari. Ribeiro.
* UCAYALES. A branch of the Omaguas (which see). M. Rodri-
J UCHTJCAS. A tribe between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza. Vil-
lavicencio’s Map.
UEREQTJENAS. A tribe on the river Isanna, a tributary of the
Rio Negro. They are said by Ribeiro (1775) to have Jewish
names, such as Jacob, David, Joab, etc. They are cannibals; and
use the quipus, for keeping their accounts. Southey’s Brazil, iii,
p. 723.
UGIARAS. A tribe of the Maranon, below the mouth of the
Huallaga. M. Rodriguez.
UMAUAS. A tribe of the river Japura ; who are said to be can-
nibals. Von Martins, iii, p. 1243.
UNOUMANAS. A branch of the Maynas. Velasco.
UNIBUESAS. A tribe of the Ucayali, visited by Father Lucero
in 1681, and also by other missionaries, between 1683 and 1727.
UNONOS. A branch of the Ugiaras (which see). Velasco.


UPANAS. A tribe on the east side of the river Morona. Villavi-
cencio1’s Map.
UPATANINABAS. A branch of the Pirros (which see). Velasco.
URARTNAS. A tribe of the Pastaza; preached to between 1727
and 17G8. Velasco.
URAYARIS (see Carabuyanas).
URUBATINGAS. A tribe on the south side of the Amazons,
below the mouth of the Madeira. Acuna, p. 117.
USPAS. A tribe supposed to be extinct, in the time of Velasco.
VELELAS, A tribe of the “Gran Chacu” (see Chimipies).
Lozano, p. 85.
XAMAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
XIMANAS. A tribe between the rivers Putumayu and Japura;
who kill their first-born children. They are esteemed for willing
industry. They burn the bones of their dead, and mingle the
ashes in their drink. Southey’s Brazil, iii, p. 722 ; Wallace, p.
YACARIGUARAS. A tribe of the river Putumayu. Acuha, p.
YACTJCARAES. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuha, p. 110.
YAGUAXAIS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
YAGUAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 1683
and 1727. In 1852 they had a village, below Omaguas. Velasco.
{Herndon, p. 226).
YAMEOS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 1683
and 1727. Marked on Fritz’s map, between the mouths of the
Tigre and Napo. Velasco.
YAMORUAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
YANMAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110.
YAPTJAS. A branch of the Encabellados (which see). Velasco.
YARAPOS. A branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco.
YARIBARUS (see Carabuyanas).



YARUCAGUACAS (see Carabuyanas).
YASHEOS. A branch of the Encabellados (which see). Velasco.
YASUNIES. A branch of the Zaparos; between the rivers
Curaray and Napo. Villavicencio.
YEQUEYOS. A branch of the Putumayus (which see.) Velasco.
YETES. A branch of the Putumayus (which see). Velasco.
YGUARANIS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105.
YNURIS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.
YcjUiTbs (see Iquitos).
YUCUNAS. A tribe living some distance up the river Japura.
The chief lives in a conical pyramid. Their shields are covered
with tapir skins. They have poisoned spears. They cultivate
mandioc, which they use in the form of tapioca. Southey’s Brazil,
iii, p. 721.
YUCUNAMPAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu” (see Chunipies).
Lozano, p. 85.
YUMAGUARIS. A tribe of Indians, near the river of Amazons,
who are employed in washing for gold. Acuha, p. 103.
YUPIUAS. A tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro.
YURACARES. A tribe in the Bolivian department of Bcni, along
the base of the Andes, in a province of which Chimore is the
capital. They are not numerous. Gibbon, p. 202.
YURIM AGUAS. A tribe of the Maranon, preached to between
1683 and 1727. The village of Yurimaguas is situated on the
Huallaga, above Laguna. It has about two hundred and fifty
inhabitants. Velasco; Ilerndon, p. 171.
YURUNAS. A tribe of the Putumayu. Acuha, p. 99.
YURUSUNES. A tribe of the Napo, living to the south of the
Encabellados (which see). Acuha, p. 94 ; Velasco.
YXISTENESES. A tribe of the “Gran Chacu.” Lozano, p. 51.
ZAMORAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio.
ZAPAS. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco.



ZAPAROS. A tribe of the river Napo; according to Velasco, a
branch of the tribe of the “Simigaes del Curaray,” but Villavi-
cencio considers them to be an important parent tribe. Acuna,
p. 94; J^clasco.
They are less numerous than the Jeberos, and wander between
the river Pastaza and Napo. Villavicencio divides them into ten
branches, all speaking the same language, which is copious, simple
in grammatical construction, somewhat nasal, and guttural. This
family of tribes is more pacific than that of Jeberos, but more
dexterous in hurling the lance. The Zaparos are docile, hospitable,
obliging, and ready to mix with Europeans. They are indolent,
live by the chace, and are clothed in the bark of a tree called
llanchama, beaten out. They cultivate a few maize, yuca, and
banana plantations. They live in small collections of huts, and
sleep in hammocks. Their physiognomy resembles that of the
Chinese : of short stature but robust, round faces, small angular
eyes, broad noses, thick lips, and little beard. Those who live by
fishing on the banks of the rivers are of a copper colour; but
those who live in the shade of the forests have whiter skins. The
women have agreeable expressive countenances, black, animated,
beautiful eyes, humane and sensible hearts, generous and hospit-
able dispositions. Polygamy is in general use. The Zaparos
believe that the souls of good and valorous men enter beautiful
birds, and feed on delicious fruits; while cowardly souls become
dirty reptiles. They also believe in a good and an evil spirit.
Villavicencio, pp. 171 and 370.
In war they use a spear made of the chonta palm, a blow pipe,
and poisoned arrows, wdiich they carry in bamboo tubes, slung
across their shoulders. Dr. Jameson’s Journey, 1857.
ZAPITALAGTJAS. A tribe of the ” Gran Chacu.” Lozano,
p. 51.
ZEOQUEYAS. A branch of the Papaguas (which see). 1’elasco.
ZEPAS. A branch of the Camavos (which see). Velasco.
ZEPUCAYAS. A tribe living on the Amazons, below the mouth
of the Madeira. Acuha, p. 117.



ZETJNAS. Supposed to have been extinct, in the time of Velasco.
ZIAS or ZIYUS. A tribe of the river Putumayu. Aculia,
p. 99.
ZIBITOS (see Jilitos).
ZUCOYAS (same as Zeoqueyas).
ZURINAS. A tribe on the banks of the Amazons, below the
mouth of the Purus. They are very expert in making comfortable
seats, and in carving images. Aciwa, p. 107.