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On this anniversary, the Hakluyt Society has completed the 
twelfth year of its existence, and the Council have the satis- 
faction to report that there has been a small increase in the 
number of Subscribers since the last General Meeting, 
and that the funds of the Society are in a prosperous con- 

Although there has been some unavoidable delay in the 
issue of books to Subscribers, owing to the difficult and 
laborious nature of the researches which are entailed upon 
the Editors, yet the Council are able to report that, in 
addition to the work which has already been issued during 
the present year, three others will follow in the course of the 
summer, which wnll meet the claims of Subscribers for 
volumes due, up to the date of the present Report. 

Since the last General Meeting, the following volume has 
been delivered to members : 

" Narrative of a Voyage to the "West Indies and Mexico 
in the years 1599-1602," by Samuel Champlain, translated 
from the original and unpublished manuscript by Alice 

The three volumes, which will be delivered to members 
during the summer, are already considerably advanced in the 
printer's hands, viz.: 

Early Indications of Australia ; a Collection of 
Documents showing the Early Discoveries of Australia to 

the time of Captain Cook. Edited by R. H. Major, Esq., of 
the British Museum, F.S.A. 

Expeditions into the Valley of the Amazons during 
the Sixteentli and Seventeenth Centuries: containing the 
journey of Gonzalo Pizarro, from the Royal Commentaries 
of Garcilasso Inca de la Vega; the Voyage of Francisco de 
Orrelana, from the General History of Herrera ; and the 
Voyage of Cristoval de Acuna, from an exceedingly scarce 
narrative written by himself in 1641. Edited and Translated 
by Clements R. Markham, Esq. 

A Collection of Documents Forming a Monograph 
of the Voyage of Henry Hudson. Edited by N. E. S. A. 
Hamilton, Esq., with an Introduction by George Asher, 
Esq., LL.D. 

In addition to the above works, three others have been 
undertaken by Editors, and are now in progress, viz. : 

Tjie Fifth Letter of Hernando Cortes: being that 
describing his Voyage to Honduras in 1525-6. To be trans- 
lated and edited by E. G. Squier, Esq. 

The Voyage of Vasco de Gama round the Cape of 
Good Hope in 1497 : now first translated from a cotempo- 
raneous manuscript, accompanied by other documents form- 
ing a monograph on the life of De Gama. To be translated 
and edited by Richard Garnett, Esq., of the British Museum. 

The Travels of Ludovico Vartema, in Syria, Arabia, 
Persia, and India, during the Sixteenth Century : to be 
translated and edited by Count Pepoli. 

These works will satisfy the just claims of Subscribers, up 
to the year 1860 ; but the Council have the additional grati- 
fication of being able to report that there is a prospect of 


securing the services of Editors lor four other works, wliich 
have been suggested to them for publication, viz. : 

The Discovery and Conquest of the Canary Islands by 
Jjetheucourt in 1402-25 ; the Embassy of Ruy Gonzalez de 
Ciavijo to the Court of Tamerlane in 1403 ; the Voyages of 
Mendana and Quiros in the South Seas ; and the narrative of 
the Voyage of the " Tyrant Aguirre" down the River of the 
Amazons, in 1560, by Fray Pedro Simon. 

Besides Sir Henry E-awlinson, K.C.B., who has accepted 
the appointment of H. M. Envoy to the Court of Teheran, 
the following five Members retire from the Council, viz. : 

The Eight Hon. Robert Lowe. 
Beriah Botfield, Esq. 
Lord Alfred S. Churchill. 
Count Lavradio. 
Lieutenant-General Fox. 

Of this number, the three last are recommended for re- 
election, and the names of the following gentlemen are pro- 
posed for election, viz. : 

The Right Hon. H. Labouchere. 

John Barrow, Esq., F.R.S. 

R. H. Major, Esq., F.S.A. 
The Council have further to report that Mr. Clements R. 
Markham has undertaken the duties of Honorary Secretary, 
which became vacant on the resignation of Mr. R. H. Major, 
who, in the long period during which he has occupied that 
position, has contributed so largely to the prosperity of the 

At the Meeting of the 15th of November, 1858, the Coun- 
cil " cordially reiterating the expression of the sentiments 
conveyed in the resolution of April, of their great regret at 


measure, on the prompt i)a>meut of the subscriptions, which are payable 
in advance on the 1st of January, and are received by Mb. Richards, 
37, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, who is the Society's agent 
for the delivery of its volumes. Post Office Orders should be drawn on 
the Charing Cross Post Office. 

It is especially requested, that all subscribers who shall not have received 
their volumes within a reasonable ]jeriod after the payment of their sub- 
scription, will notify the same to the Secretary. 

The Observations of Sir Kichard Hawkins, Knt. 

In his Voyage into the South Sen in 10'.i.3. rLifiriniLMl from the edition of Uii, and edited by 
Capt. C. K. DuiXKWATEn IIi-.tiiine, K.N., C.B. 

Select Letters of Columbus. 

With Original Documents relating to the Discoveuy of the New World. Translated and 
Edited by R. 11. M.\iur, Esq., of the r.riti^ih Museum. 

The Discoverie of the Empire of Guiana, 

l?v Siu VV.U.TER l'.\LEiiii, Knt. Edited, with ('oi.iou3 Explanatory Notes, and a Biographical 
Memoir, by Sir Kobert H. schomburok, Phil. D., etc. 

Sir Francis Drake Ms Voyage, 1595, 

Bv Thomas ;\IiYNARDE, together with the Spanish Aecdunt of Drake's Attack on Puerto Eico, 
edited from the Original JISS., by W. 1). Cooley, Esq. 

Narratives of Early Voyages 

Undertaken for the Discovery of a Passage to Cathaia and Ixdia, by the Northwest, with 

Selections from the Kecords of the worshipful Fellowship of the Merchants of London, trading 

into the East Indies; and from MSS. in the Library of the British Museum, now first 

published, by Thomas IIundall, Esq. 

The Historie of Travaile into Virginia Britannia, 

Expressing the Cosmographie and Commodities of the Country, together with the Manners 
and Customs of the people, gathered and observed as well by those who went first thither as 
collected by William Strachey, Gent, the first Secretary of the Colony; now first Edited from 
the original manuscript in tlie British Jlusenni, by It. It. Major, Esq., of the British Museum. 

Divers Voyages touching the Discovery of America, 

And the Islands adjacent, collected and published by Richard Hakluyt, Prebendary of 

Bristol, in the year 1582. Edited, with Notes and an Introduction, by John Winter Jones, 

Esq., of the 13ritish Museum. 

A Collection of Documents on Japan, 

With a Commentary, by Thomas Rundall, Esq. 

The Discovery and Conquest of Florida, 

By Don Ferdinando db Soto. Translated out of Portuguese, by Richard Ilakluyt; and 
Edited with Notes and an Introduction, by W. B. Rye, Esq., of the British Museum. 

Notes upon Kussia, 

Being a Translation from the Earliest Account uf that Country, entitled Rrrum Moscoviti- 
CAUt'M CoMMEiNTAUii. by the Baron Siyismuiid von Ilerberstein, Ambassador from the Court 
of (iermany to the Grand Prince Vasiley Ivanovieh, in the years 1517 and l.')2fl. Two Volumes. 
Translated, and Edited with Notes and an Introduction, by R. H. Ma.tor, Esq., of the 
British Museum. 

The Geography of Hudson's Bay. 

Being the Remarks of Cattain W. Coats, in many Voyages to that locality, between the years 

Kay and IT.Il. With an Appendix, containing E.xtracts from the Log of Capt Mtddleton on 

his Voyage for the discovery of the North-west Passage, in H.M.S. "Furnace", in 1741-2. 

Edited by John Barrow, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A. 

Three Voyages by the North-east, 

Towards Cathay and China, uiulertnUeu by the Dutch in tlu> years IhOA, 150.5, and 150G, with 
their Discovery of Spitzbergen. their residence often months in Nnvaya Zemlya,and their safe 
return in two open boats. By G errit be Veer. Edited by C. T. Beke, Esq., Ph.D., F.S.A. 

The History of the Great and Mighty Kingdom of China and the 
Situation Thereof. 
Compiled by the Pmire Juan Gonzalez dk JIkndhza. And now Reprinted from the F.arly 
Translation of K. Parke. Edited by Sru Gkouge T. Staunton, Bart. With an Introduc- 
tion by K. II. Major. Esq. 2 vols. 

The History of the Tartar Conquerors who Subdued China. 
From the French of the Pire D'Orleans, liltis. Tniuslated iiiul Edited by the Earl 
Eli.esmere. With au Introduction by 1!. il. Major, l-'.sq. 

The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, 
Being his next Voyage to that to Nombrc de Uios. Collated with an unpublished Manuscript 
of Francis Fletcher, Chaplain to the Expedition. With Ajipendicesillusu-ative of the same 

Voyage, and Introduction, by W. S. W. Vaijx, Esq., M.A. 

A Collection of Early Documents on Spitzbergen and Greenland, 

Consisting of: a translation liom the German of F. Martens important work on Spitzbergen, 
now very rare ; a translation from Isaac de la Peyreres Kelation de Groeuland, and a rare 
piece entitled " God's Power and Providence showed in the miraculous preservation and 
deliverance of eight Englishmen, left by mischance in Greenland, anno 1G30, nine moneths 
and twelve days, faithfully reported by Edward Pelham." Edited, with Notes, by 
Adam White, Esq., of the British Museum. 

The Voyage of Sir Henry Middleton to Bantam and the Maluco Islands. 

From the rare Edition of Icoij. Edited by P.olton Couney, Esq. 

Russia at the close of the Sixteenth Century. 

Comprising " The Russe Commonwealth'' by L)r. Giles Fletchek, and Sir Jerome Horsey's 

Travels, now first printed entire from his manuscript in the British iluseum. Edited by 

E. A. Bond, Esq., of the British JIuseum. 

The Travels of Girolamo Benzoni, in America, in 1542-56. 

Translated and edited by Admiral W. U. Smyth, F.IJ.S., F.S.A. 

India in the Fifteenth Century. 

Being a Collection of Narratives of Voyages to India in the century preceding the Portuguese 
discovery of the Cape of Good Hope; fioni Eatin, Persian, Russian, and Italian 
sources, now first translated into English. Edited, with an Introduction, by E. H. 
Major, Esq., F.S.A. 

Narrative of a Voyage to the "West Indies and Mexico 

In the Years 1-509-1602, with Mai s and Illustrations. By Sa.muel Chaiiplain. Translated 

from the original and unpublished Jlanuscript, with a Biographical Notice and Notes by 

Alice Wilmere. Edited by Norton Shaw. 

Expeditions into the Valley of the Amazons, 
During the Sixteenth and Seventeentli centuries : containing the Journey of Gonzalo 
Pizarro, from the Royal Commentaries of Garcilasso luca de la Vega ; the Voyage of 
Francisco de Orellana, from the General History of Herrera; and the Voyage of Cris- 
ToVAL DE AcuNA, from an exceedingly scarce narrative written by himself, in Itiil. Edited 
and translated by Clements R. Makkham, Esq. 

Other Works in Progress. 

Early Indications of Australia ; a Collection of Documents shewing the Early 

Discoveries of Australia to the time of Captain Cook. Edited by K. H. Major, Esq., 

of the British Museum, F.S.A. 
The Fifth Letter of Hernando Cortes, being that describing his Vojage to Honduras in 

152.5-6. To be Translated and Edited by C. G. Squier, Esq. 
A Collection of Documents forming a monograph of the Voj'ages of Henry HtiDSON. To be 

edited by N. E. S. A. Hamilton, Esq., of the British Museum, with an Introduction 

by Georoe Asher, Esq., LL.D. 
The Voyage of Vasco de Gama round the Cape of Good Hope in 149~, now first Translated 

from a cotemporaneous manuscript, accompanied by other documents forming a 

monograph on the life of De Gama. To be translated and edited by RiciiARn 

Garnett, Esq., of the British Museum. 
The Travels of Ludovico Vartema, in Syria, Arabia, Persia, and India, diu-ing the lUlh 

century; to be translated and edited by Count Pepoli. 

"Works suggested to the Council for Publication. 

The Discovery and Conquest of the Canary Islands, by Betheiicourt, in 1402-25; the Embassy 
of Kuy Gonzalez de Clavijo to the Court of Tamerlane in M03 ; the Voyages of 
Mendana and Quires in the South Seas ; and the Narrative of the Voyage of the 
" Tyiant Aguirre," down the River of the Amazons, in 1560. by Fray Pedro Simon. 

Laws of the Hakluyt Society. 

I. The object of tliis Society shall be to print, for distribution among its 
members, rare and valuable Voyages, Travels, Naval Expeditions, and other 
geographical records, from an early period to the beginning of the eighteenth 

II. The Annual Subscription shall be One Guinea, payable in advance 
on the 1st January. 

III. Each member of the Society, having paid his subscription, shall be 
entitled to a copy of every work produced by the Society, and to vote at the 
general meetings within the period subscribed for; and if he do not signify, 
before the close of the year, his wish to resign, he shall be considered as a 
member for the succeeding year. 

IV. The management of the Society's aflairs shall be vested in a Council 
consisting of twenty-one membei's, namely, a President, two Vice-Presidents, a 
Secretary, and seventeen ordinary members, to be elected annually; but vacan- 
cies occurring between the general meetings shall be filled up by the Council. 

V. A General Meeting of the Subscribers shall be held annually, on the 
first Thursday in Marcli. The Secretary's Report on the condition and 
proceedings of the Society sliall be llien read, and, along with the Auditor's 
Report, be submitted for approval, and finally, tlie Meeting shall proceed to 
elect the Council for the ensuing year. 

VI. At each Annual Election, six of the old Council shall retire; and a 
list of the proposed new Council shall be printed for the subscribers previous 
to the general meeting 

VII. The Council shall meet ordinarily on the 2nd Monday in every 
month, excepting August, September, and October, for the despatch of 
business, three forming a quorum, and the Chairman having a casting vote. 

VIII. Gentlemen preparing and editing works for the Society, shall 
receive twenty-five copies of such works respectively. 

IX. The number of copies printed of the Society's productions shall not 
exceed the estimated number of Subscribers ; so that after the second year, 
when the Society may be supposed to have reached its full growth, there shall 
be no extra copies. 

X. The Society shall appoint Local Secretaries throughout the kingdom, 
empowered to enrol members, transmit subscriptions, and otiierwise forward 
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spondents in the chief provincial towns, as will insure to subscribers residing 
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Rules for the Delivery of the Society's "Volumes. 

I. The Society's productions will be delivered without any charge, within 
three miles of the General Post Office. 

ir. They will be forwarded to any place beyond that limit, the Society 
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this case for any loss or damage. 

III. They will be delivered by the Society's agent, Mr. Thomas 
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written authority of subscribers to receive them. 

1\ . They will be sent to the Society's correspondents or agents in the 
principal towns throughout the kingdom; and care sliall be taken that the 
charge for carriage be as moderate ns possible. 



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Cljf |&a{ilu|)t ^oftftg. 






1539, 1540, 1639. 



AUTnoR (ir " cx;/.ro and i.ima. 

/ ! 




'^ (X- 

I. RlCinr.D^, or, GRKAT yUEF.N STREKT. 


SIR IJODKRTCK IiMPEY MURCHISON, G.C.St.S,, F.R.S., D.C.L., Coir. l\Icm. Inst, l-r 
lion. Mem. Imp. Acad. Sc. St. Petersburg, &e., &o., President. 

The marquis OF LANSDOWNK. ) 


Rear-admiral ('. R. DRINKWATKR RKTHUXK, C.R. ' 






Sir henry ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S. 



R. \V. GREY, Esq., M.P. 



His Excellency the COUNT DR LAVKAOK). 

Rt. Hon. JI. LARoUCHiail'.. 

li. H. MAJOR, Esq., F.S.A. 


rl.l'.MI':.NTS II. MAr,KHA:\l. i:sQ.. IIonoraky Secretary. 



ExrEDiTiox OF GoNZALo PiZARKo 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 Voyage of Francisco l>e Okkllana down the river of 
the Amazons, a.d. 1.540-1, translated from the sixth decade 
of Antonio de Herrera's " General History of the Western 

New Discovery of the Great River of the Amazons, 
by Father Cristoval de Acmla, a.d. 1639, translated from the 
Spanish edition of 1641. 

List of the Principal Tribes in the Valley of the 
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."^ 

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,^ 

^ Varones Illustres del Nuevo Mundo, by Don F. Pizarro y 
Orellana, which contains an eulogistic life of Gonzalo Pizarro. 
* When Gonzalo Pizarro entered Ciizco, 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 expedition of Gonzalo Pizarro. Herrera 
held the post of historiographer of the Indies for 
many years, during the reigns of Philip II and Phihp 
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 Huarlna 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 | 
su edad mejor." — Com. Real., ii, lib. v, cajJ. 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 Andes to 
the eastward of the city of Cuzco, and descended into 
the great tropical forests of CoUa-huaya ; where they 
discovered rivers, the sands of which were full of 
gold.^ 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 ;^ 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 

• Don Manuel Guaycocliea, 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. 

* Comm. Real., ii, lib. iii, cap. 19. "La provincia de Colla- 
huaya, donde sacaron muy mucho oro finisimo, de viento y quatro 
((uilutcs, y hoy se saca-todaviu, 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 seo^'ch 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 on 
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 ;^ 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.^ 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 
iboth sides, was killed. The wild Indians, called 

* M. Rodriguez, lib. vi, cap. iv, p. 384. 

^ 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- 
'conian tribes as being descended from them, namely, the Cinga- 
'juchuscas, Campas, Comavas, Cunivas, Pirras, Jibitos, Panos, 
and Chunchos. 


Chimchos, 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 Canete, 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 whkjh even that age 
of wonderful adventures can furnish. 

The enterprize was organized, by order of the 
Marquis of Cailete, 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 

^ Lieutenant Gibbon, U.S.N., in 1852, reached the banks of th( 
Purus ; and, in 1853, 1 followed the course of the Tono as far as its 
junction with tliat 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 Madrc de Dios. — 
Commcrcio, 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.^ 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. "^ 

' The Hiiallaya. 

^ Sexta NoticHi de las Conquistos de Tierra Firme, cap. i, p. 402. 


The 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.^ The expedition descended the 
river Huallaga, entered the Maraiion, 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 

' 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 tlie Motilones or Lamistas Lidians was annexed to the 
jurisdiction of Chachapoyas. 


mistress, a beautiful widow, named Inez de Ali- 
en za. 

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 oif a village called Machiparo.^ 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 Oilate, 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 

^ Near the mouth of the river Putumayu. See pages 27 and 29 
of this volume. 


wound received Avhen 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 Doiia Inez, was made chief 
magistrate, and the piratical crew were christened 
Marailones 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, Acuna, 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} It is addressed to " King Philip, 
native of Spain, son of Charles the invincible," and 
continues : — 

" I, Lope de Aguirre, thy vassal, a christian of 
poor but noble parents, and native of the town of 
On ate 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. AYe 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 Caiiete, 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 

^ Humboldt, Reise, iii, p./220. 


on to say, — " We navigated for eleven months, till 
w^e 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 Marafiones 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 Pena, and entirely defeated. ^ 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 Marailones. 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 down the 
river of Amazons, and his information appears to have 
been derived from some person who was actually in 
the expedition.^ 

' The poet Ercilla, then on his way home from Chile, was pre- 
sent at this battle. 

^ I have not dwelt at any lenfjfth 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 Chncu," that extensive region in 
the extreme south of the valley of the Amazons, 
where the tributaries of the river Madeira, as well as 
those of the Paraguay, take their rise.^ 

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 Halduyt 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. 

• " 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 pnr 
Pedro Lozano, Cordova, 1733. 


small villages, and amounting to about thirty thou- 
sand men, besides women and cliildren. 

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 
bao^rage 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. "^ 

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 Andes, and fearlessly mingled with the wild 
Indians, preaching and baptizing. 

San Francisco Solano was the first Christian mis- 
sionary who entered the Gran Chacu. ^ In 1589 
Padre Juan Fonte, accompanied only by a boy to 

^ 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 Oropcsa. 

^ Lozano, p. 108. Solano is one of the four Peruvian saints. 
The others arc San Toribio do Mogrovejo, third archbishop of 
Lima ; San Martin de Porns, 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 Ecclesise". 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".^ 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.^ But previous to this single- 
handed attempt of the fearless Jesuit, some steps had 

^ 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. 

■ 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 Canete 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 tlie same name. This cavalier was succeeded 
in the command of these forests by his brother, Don 
Gil Ramirez Davalos, in 1558; an ofRcer 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 Rio-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.^ A small fort had long been es- 

^ Jaen, in 1549, had been founded by Don Diego Paloma, on 
whom the government of tlie district, near the river Chinchipe, had 
been conferred by La Gasca. 

^ The course of the Maranon, as far as the ponyu 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 Maraiion ; 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 Marafion and passing the 
dangerous Pongo de Manseriche,^ 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.^ 

' Pongo. A rapid or narrow place in a river, from the Quichua 
word puncu, a gate or door. 

• 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.^ 

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. 

' Acuna, No. 47, p. 91, of this vohime. 


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 16^1, the Franciscan father Felipe de 
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.^ In 1636 another Franciscan, named 
Jeronimo Ximenes, departed from Tarma, and, de- 
scended by difficult and dangerous roads to the Cerro 
de la Sal,^ 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 YUescas, with 
two lay-brothers, explored the river Perene, and even 
reached the banks of the Ucayali, but they were all 

' Castelnau, iv, cap. liii, p. 416; Poeppig, Eeise m Peru, und 
aiif deni Amazonensirome, ii, p. 246. 

- 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 Manoel 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. 

. 'Rie principal expeditions, undertaken to explore 
the vast valley of the Amazons, from the days of 
Gonzalo Pizarro to the year 1635 have thus been 
briefly reviewed; and we now come to those events 
which led to the voyage of Acufia. 

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,^ 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 m.ighty 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. 

Acuila, who 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."— Acufia, 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. Acufia'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. 

Acufia's work, entitled El Nuevo Descubrimiento 
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 Acufia's book, and forgetting 
that Texeira and all his ofiicers knew quite as much 
about the Amazons as the Spanish priest, ordered 


every copy of the work to be immediately and effect- 
tiially 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 un 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,^ 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.^ 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 

' Two vols., 12mo., Paris, 1682; "par M. de Gomberville de 
r Academie Frangoise, avec une dissertation sur la riviere des Ama- 
zones pour servir de preface." 

' Manuel Rodriguez gives Texeira's certificate, and Acuvia'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.^ 

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 
cave 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 Acuila. 

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 

' His companion, Artieda, returned to Quito, b}- way of Cartha- _ 
gena, in 1643; where he advocated the establishment of missions 
on the IMaranon. — Manuel Rodriguez, lib. ii, cap. xv, p. 151. 


Maynas, a territory including the shores of the Upper 
Maraaon, Santiago, Pastaza, Huallaga, and Ucayali.^ 

The Jesuit fathers, who had arrived at Borja in 
1638, 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 Nuestra Sefiora 
de Jeberos," in 1640.^ 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. 

^ " The echoes of their sermons resounded, through those de- 
sert wilds." — M. Rodriguez, lib. iii, cap. ii, p. 162. 

- Jeberos, in the time of Spanish power, was the most important 
town of Amazonas. The most distinguished men of Spain came 
out to fill the post of " Intendente General" of Jeberos, and the 
natives still remember the name of Seilor 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 colleg6«»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. — 
Ileruldo de Lima, September 13th, 1855. 


As a geographical discoverer, the most distin- 
guished worthy of the first missionary epoch of the 
Marafion, 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 Marafion 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 Acuiia 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 Marafion 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.^ 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 days, 
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 

^ 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 Maraiion. 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. ^ 

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 llaymundo de Santa Cruz, 
met with a violent death, as the welcome reward of 
their exertions. 

' M. llodrigucZ; p. 270. 


In 16.^8 Father Cueva extended the labours of tlie 
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 Marafion, 
Pastaza, Huallas^a, Lower Marafion, and Ucayali ; 
and between ,1640 and 1682 no less than thirty- 
three villages^ T&£xe established by the missionaries. 
This period is known as the first missionary 
epoch. ^ 

'- 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- 
fion y Amazonas. Historia de los descubrimientos, entradas, y 
reduccion de naciones, por el Padre Manuel Rodriguez, de la Corn- 
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' 
follows : — 

Padre Cueva. Padre Camacho, of Sj^ain. 

„ Cujia (a Sardinian). „ Lucero, of Pasto. 

,, Perez, of Talavera. 
,, Figueroa, of Popayan. 
,, Santa Cruz, the first who 
learnt the Cocoma language. 
,, Majano, of Guayaquil, 
and thirteen others. 

Suarez, of Carthagena. 
Navarro, a Spaniard. 
Hurtado, of Panama. 
Durango, of Naples. 
De Cases, 


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 Ricter 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 1684:. 
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, he 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 
PirroSj^ who treacherously murdered him.^ 

Samuel Frit;& was also a native of Bohemia, and 
commenced his labors amongst the Indians of the 
Marailon 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.^ 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 

^ In the German they are called Schibaren; but, I suppose, from 
the resemblance in the name, that the tribe of Jeberos must be 

^ 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. 

^ It is published in the Reise- Beschreihinge7i, 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 hy 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.^ 

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 Ricter 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 

' Letter from Wilhelm dc Tres, dated Cucn(;a, June 1st, 1731. 
Ilclse-Bcschreihungen, vol. iv, No. 561 ; xiv, p. Gl. 


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 missionaries^ 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 Marailon. 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.^ 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 

' 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 Deubler, who died 1770, aged 80. 

- 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. — Heraldo de Lima, 1854. 


placed under the Bishop of Quito ; and, at the com- 
mencement of the present century they were four- 
teen in number.^ 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. 

' 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 Marafion, 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 
Heraldo de Lima, September 14th, 1855. 

Dr. Villavicencio, who was governor of Canelos 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. 


The enterprizcs 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 Jose^ 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, 

' 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,"^ 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.^ In 1670, missions were 

^ 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 ofl" 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. Coff"ee, 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. 

- The letters of Father Girbal were published in a Peruvian 
periodical called the Mercurio Peruana, in 1791-92. His accounts 
of the co\intries which he explored, of the manners and customs of 
the Indians, and of his own adventures, are most interesting. In 
No. 150 of the Mercurio 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 Andes, where Sorata and 
lUimani 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.^ 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 Duefias, 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 are now four mission villages on the Ucayali. 

^ Sec the list, at the end of the volume. 

" Rciac BcachriebiDic/cn, 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,^ 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, 

* 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 arc of one story, 
and are roofed with tiles, which extend over the side walks, and 
are 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 slioltcr from rain or cold. Otlicr 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- 
Hies. 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 Christianitv.^ 

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."^ 

The Moxos missions continued to flourish, after the 

' " Account of the Life and Deatli of Father Cj'prian 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 Edijiantes, 
Paris, 1713. Also translated into German in the Reise-Beschrei- 
hungen, No. 112; with a map of the Moxos Missions, and of the 
courses of the Beni and Mamore rivers, copied from one which 
was drawn by the Jesuits of Peru. It is headed " Mission bei den 
Moschen durch die Jesuiter von Peru." 


murder of their benefactor. The churches in their 
villages were large, well built, and richly ornamented; 
as the Spaniards of Peru sent them costly presents, 
and the Indians themselves soon became expert in 
carving and painting. In 1737 the Portuguese se- 
cured the territory now called Matto Grosso, on the 
borders of Moxos, and built a fort, called Beira, on 
the Itenez, which river, by the treaty of 1777, became 
the boundary between the Spanish and Portuguese do- 
minions. When the Jesuits were expelled, other priests 
were sent to take charge of the Moxos Indians; and, 
at the end of the last century, they were a thriving, 
industrious people ; famous as carpenters, weavers, 
and agriculturists. In the list of tribes at the end of 
this volume, I have added a few further particulars 
respecting the Moxos Indians, 

While the good and faithful priests were thus sa- 
crificing all their hopes in this world, and usually 
meeting with a violent death in the valley of the 
Amazons, many restless spirits, in the Viceroyalty of 
Peru, still dreamed of the stories of El Dorado.- It 
was remembered that a great flight of Inca Indians 
had taken place soon after the conquest, and it was 
generally believed that they had established a rich 
Empire, called Paytiti, in the forests many leagues to 
the eastward of Cuzco; while the Empire of Enim was 
said to exist somewhere in the valley of the Ucayali, 

These fables were very generally credited during 
the seventeenth century, and were the exciting cause " 
of many strange adventures. In 1659, a crazy Spanish 
soldier, named Pedro Bohorques, who had served in 


Chili, introduced himself amongst the Colchaqiiies, 
an Indian tribe of Tucuman, and declared himself 
to be an Inca. It seems that he had heard the 
legend respecting the rich and powerful city of Pay- 
titi, or Yurac-huasi, (white-house) which he believed 
to be near the mouth of the Iluallaga ; and he 
adopted this means of inducing the Indians to submit 
to him, as their chief. 

Several Colchaquies, whom he created nobles of his 
court, followed him in a long expedition in search of 
Paytiti. He descended the Huallaga, and lived 
amongst the Pelados Indians until 1665 ; but was 
eventually captured by the Spanish authorities, and 
executed at Lima in 1667. 

In spite of the failure of Bohorques, many people 
continued to believe that a great nation existed some- 
where in the valley of the Amazons, and that their 
capital was Paytiti. In 1670, a number of Spaniards 
in Lima, led by Don Benito de Rivera, a very rich 
cavalier, started on an expedition to search for this 
fabulous city, and penetrated into the plains of Moxos, 
from Chuquisaca ; but they returned, after enduring 
many hardships, without having seen anything, save 
vast forests and wild Indians. A Jesuit who accom- 
panied the expedition, says that " the soldiers, instead 
of finding gold, found only hardships, sickness, and 
death ; while the people, who accompanied us from 
Chuquisaca, attributed our not finding the court of 
Paytiti, to the sorcery of the Indians." ^ 

It seems, however, not wholly impossible that the 

^ M. Rodriyue.:, lib. vi, cap. iv, p. 384. 



legend of Paytiti may have been founded on facts ; 
and Velasco expressly says that the Inca Indians 
who fled with Tupac Amaru into the forests, founded 
the nation of ChunchusT] In 1681 Father Lucero 
reported that, at a distance of thirty days navigation 
from Laguna, on the Huallaga, he had ascended a 
large river which comes from the vicinity of Cuzco, 
and had communicated with five small Indian tribes, 
called Manamabobos, Campas, Pirros, Remos, and 
Unibueses, who numbered about ten thousand souls. 
The Pirros told him that they had intercourse with a 
great nation, called Curiveos, which had a descendant 
of the Incas for its king. Lucero added that he him- 
self had seen plates, half- moons, and ear-rings of 
gold, which were brought from that nation. ^ 

Still more authentic news, respecting Paytiti, was 
obtained by the good father Baraza, the mission- 
ary of Moxos, when he visited the Baures Indians in 
1702. These people lived on the banks of the river 
Itenez, in villages built on hills, and fortified by palli- 
sades, with loopholes for their archers. The largest 
building in the village, called Manacicas^ was their 
temple and banqueting house. They used sliields of 
plaited cane, covered with feathers, their women 
were decently clad, and they were governed by heredi- 
tary rulers called Aramas. A neighbouring tribe, 
called Cayubabas, resembled tlie Baures in every re- 
spect, except that their supreme chief was also high 
priest, and his title was Paytiti.^ 

' JSI. liodrHjucz, lib. vi, cap. iv, p. 387. 

' History of Brazil, vol. iii, from Hervas, and the Almanaque dc 


'J'jie testimony of Bavaza and Lucero, added to the 
voice of universal tradition from the time of the con- 
quest to the present day, unite to strengthen the 
probability that the Incas actually did succeed in 
prolonging their civilization, apart from Spanish con- 
tamination, in the vast plains to the eastward of the 
Andes, for one or two centuries after the time of 
Pizarro. The same story was told to me, when I was 
on the shores of the Purus in 1853, and my informant^ 
pointed to the forests which stretclied away to the 
horizon, at the same time describing a lake, on the 
banks of which Ynti (the Peruvian Deity) still found 
adorers. It is a pleasant reflection that this story may 
possibly be true. 

The empire of Paytiti was, at all events, fully 
believed in, during the year 1740, when a native of 
Guamanga, named Juan Santos, descended into the 
forests near Tarma, declared himself to be an Inca, 
adopted the name of Atahualpa, induced the Chunchos 
Indians to join him, and commenced a war of exter- 
mination against the Spaniards, He received a sup- 
ply of arms from the Portuguese, who had advanced 
as f\ir as the mouth of the Yavari, destroyed many of 

Limn. Mr. Southey adds ; " Here then is the* grccit Paytiti, v.hom 
the early conquerors supposed to have succeeded to tlie Inca's 
treasures, and to have founded a rich empire in the centre of the 
continent. Their more improved customs were, in reality, the 
wreck of Peruvian civilization." This will, perhaps, be considered 
a hasty conclusion; but it is certain that the Incas extended their 
conquests eastward, as far as the Itenez. 

' Don Ramon Ordonez, proprietor of the farm of TiU Cueva, in 
the '' moutaua" of Puucartambo. 


the missions, and frequently defeated the Spaniards 
who were sent against him. Thus the empire of 
Paytiti, in the valley of the Amazons, became a terri- 
ble reality to the Spanish government. 

In 1745 the Count of Superunda, Viceroy of Peru, 
was reduced to sending an envoy to the Chunchos to 
sue for peace, for which service a Jesuit named Carlos 
Pastoriza was chosen. He was well received at the 
court of the Chuncho chief, and reported that the in- 
surgent army was full of Europeans and Negroes. The 
pretended Inca declared his reverence for the Pope, 
and his enmity to Spain, agreeing, however, to make 
peace ; and Pastoriza was dismissed, with a firm belief 
that all the forces of Peru would not suffice to reduce 
the Chunchos. They became less formidable after the 
death of Juan Santos ; but there can be no doubt that 
tliis disastrous insurrection assisted in raising the 
power of the Portuguese, on the ruins of the mission 
of the Marailon. 

The third motive for exploring the valley of the 
Amazons has been the pursuit of commercial advan- 
tages ; but, in this field, the Portuguese have far out- 
stripped the Spaniards, both in energy and in the 
success of their undertakings. 

In 1640, when Portugal became independent, the 
Portuguese claimed the whole course of the Amazons, 
up to the mouth of the Napo, on the ground that 
Texeira had ascended the river up to that point : 
ignoring the facts that Texeira was then a Spanish sub- 
ject, and thatOrellana, Aguirre,and the two Franciscan 
monks had previously discovered the whole course of 


the Amazons. The Portngucsc commenced hostilities 
by attacking the Omaguas, and other peaceful Indians, 
burning their villages, and carrying their women and 
children away, to sell as slaves. Thousands of unfor- 
tunate people were thus treated, and for a century 
the Portuguese continued to perpetrate similar atro- 
cities. Meanwhile, even at this early period, petty 
traders of that nation pushed their way up many of 
the Amazonian tributaries, exchanging manufactured 
goods with the Indians, for sarsaparilla, copaiba, 
gums, resins, wax, and other articles. 

The treaty of San Ildefonso, signed between Spain 
and Portugal in 1777, established the following bound- 
ary between their possessions in South America. 

" From the mouth of the Igurey the line shall fol- 
low that river up to its source. Thence a straight 
line shall be drawn to the nearest river which falls 
into the Paraguay on its eastern side, which will pro- 
bably be the Corrientes. The line shall follow that 
river to the Paraguay, and ascend the latter river to 
the swamps which form its source, crossing these 
swamps in a straight line to the mouth of the Jaurii. 
From the mouth of the Jauru, the line shall go in a 
straight line to the eastern banks of the Itenez. It 
shall then descend the Itenez and Madeira to a point 
equally distant from the junction of the Mamore and 
Beni, and the mouth of the Madeira. Thence in a 
straight line to the river Yavari, descending that 
stream to the Maranon. The line shall then descend 
the Maranon to the mouth of the Japura."^ 

' It was agreed, by the contracting parties, that commissioners 


The Portuguese thus secured to themselves the 
lion's share of the valley of the Amazons ; and the 
Spaniards never attempted, with any degree of energy, 
to improve the commercial advantages of that rich 
and fertile portion which they retained. 

They formed small farms on the eastern slopes of 
the Cordilleras, for the cultivation of sugar, cocoa, 
coca leaves, and fruits, which, however, never ex- 
tended far into the plains ; they established gold wash- 
ings on some of the smaller tributaries ; and they em- 
ployed Indians to collect bark and sarsaparilla in the 
forests ; but beyond this, they never attempted to 
turn the boundless capabilities of the Amazonian 
valley to any profitable account, nor to establish com- 
mercial intercourse on its enormous navigable rivers. 
Yet the natives of Peru and Quito were fully alive 
to the advantages which would be gained by the 
navigation of the Amazons ; and the brilliant antici- 
pations of old Father Acuila were repeated, in 1791, 
by the authors of the 3Iercurio Pcruano^, in the fol- 
lowing words : — 

" Who can calculate the advantages which would 
result to the state, if, together with religion, corn- 
should be sent out to arrange the position of this boundary line. 
The Spanish commissioner, Don Antonia Alvarez Sotomayor, ac- 
cordingly arrived at Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and waited long for 
his Portuguese colleague. Indeed, he waited so long that he actu- 
ally died of extreme old age in 1835, and the other commissioner 
never arrived. The Portuguese never sent one, thus showing their 
disposition to evade the treaty. — Dalencc, Bosquejo estadistico de 

' Merciirio Peruana, No. 77, p. 85 (September 29th, 1791). 


merce and navigation might be introduced into those 
rivers ^. The discovery of America caused a general 
revohition in the system of the arts, and even of the 
sciences. The civilization of El Dorado, of Enim, 
and of Paytiti, would enhance the colours which em- 
bellished the picture of South America." 

" San Joaquim de Omaguas, at the confluence of 
the Ucayali^ and Maranon, would then become a 

' The Ucayali is the longest, and one of the most important of 
the affluents of the Amazons. It flows through a country of inex- 
haustible fertility, and is navigable for a distance of one thousand 
and forty miles from its mouth, three thousand three hundred and 
sixty miles from the mouth of the Amazons. It is formed by three 
great tributaries, the Vilcamayu, Ajmrimac, and Pachitea. The 
river first takes the name of Ucayali, at the junction of the two 
former of these tributaries. Only three men of scientific attain- 
ments, namely, Smyth, Castelnau, and Herndon, have as yet navi- 
gated the Ucayali. In 1835 General Miller examined the valley 
of Santa Anna, through which the Vilcamayu flows, with a view 
to the establishment of a military colony. In 1846 Castelnau left 
Echarate, in the valley of Santa Anna, (one hundred and twenty 
miles from Cuzco), and reached Sarayacu, on the Ucayali, in forty- 
four days, after suff'ering innumerable hardships. From Echarate, 
for one hundred and eighty miles, the Vilcamayu is obstructed by 
many cascades and rapids, where it is necessary to unload the 
canoes, and drag them through the forests ; but, after that distance, 
the river is free from obstructions of this nature. Yet there are 
still several rapids where the river only has a depth of three feet ; 
but two hundred and seventy miles lower down, the strait known 
as the Vuelta del Diablo is reached, a dangerous passage, blocked 
up by heavy trunks of trees, against which the current dashes with 
great violence. The Vuelta is seven hundred and seventy miles 
from the mouth of the Ucayali, and for this distance the river is 
navigable for steamers. It averages a breadth of half a mile, a 
depth of three fathoms and a half, with a current running three 



mart like ancient Tyre, at whose ports arrived the 
ships and productions of the whole world. By the 
river of the Amazons would enter the vessels of 
North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. By the 
Pastaza and Maranon, the city of Quito would send 
her cloths and statues. By the Huallaga^ and Mayru,^ 
Lima would contribute her delicious oils, taken from 
the shady olives which beautify the coasts of the 
Pacific ocean. By the Apurimac would be conveyed 
the paintings and sugars of Cuzco, and the gold of 
Caravaya. By the Beni would come the productions 
of Moxos, and all the riches of Paytiti. Rendered 
opulent by her commerce, Omagua, formerly regard- 
ed as the capital of the Empire of El Dorado, would 

knots an hour ; while the wind is constantly blowing up the course 
of the stream. The fall of the river is about 0.8 of a foot per mile. 
The mission village of Sarayacu is four hundred and ninety-five 
miles from the Vuelta del Diablo, and two hundred and seventy- 
five miles from the mouth of the Ucayali. The town of Nauta is 
situated at the confluence of the Maranon and Ucayali, where the 
former river is at least three-quarters of a mile across. 

^ The Huallaga rises in the mountains above Huanuco. The 
canoe navigation commences at Tingo Maria, eighty miles from 
the city of Huanuco. Thence to Chasuta is a distance of three 
hundred and twenty-five miles, taking seventy-four working hours 
to descend it, and falling '^ {'^-^j feet per mile. From Chasuta to 
its mouth the river is navigable for vessels drawing five feet, at 
the lowest stage, a distance of two hundred and eighty-five miles ; 
the descent taking sixty-eight hours, and falling 1 ^-^jj per mile. 
The difference between the times of ascent and descent is about 
three to one. Laguna is twenty-five miles from the mouth of the 
Huallaga. The mouth is three huiulred and fifty yards wide ; the 
Amazons, at the junction, five hundred. — Ilcrndon, p. 179. 

^ The Mayru is an afliuent of the Pachitea, which falls into the 


cease to belie the ideas of her splendour, which were 
then entertained. 

" The city of Huanuco, situated between the points 
of embarkation on the Huallaga and the Mayru, 
might enjoy the same advantages. 

" The revolution which this new commerce will 
cause in the system of navigation, will be followed by 
an equal revolution in the sciences. The philosopher 
will have to contemplate the channels opened by the 
hands of nature, in the midst of the formidable Cor- 
dilleras of the Andes. With admiration history will 
relate that, in Ferrol, vessels were constructed which 
had to navigate on the summits of the Andes, passing 
over a plain, to an elevation of two thousand fathoms 
above the surface of the ocean. All will appear .... 
the idea is enchanting ; — the reality will be the work 
of time." 

The reality has indeed been the work of time ! 

Yet from the time when the above words were 
written to the present day, there has been a slowly yet 
constantly increasing traffic on the Amazons, and its 
affluents. When the yoke of Spain was thrown off 
in Peru, the event was hailed as the harbinger of a 
great era in the progress of the Amazonian provinces. 
Vain hope ! So dreamed the enthusiastic Acuiia two 
liundred years ago. When lieutenants Maw and 
Smyth passed down the Amazons, the former thirty 
years since, there were, however, evident symptoms 
of the first early pulsations of life and commerce 
through the extensive regions, covering more than 
two millions, three hundred thousand square miles, 


which form the basin of the Amazons. Petty traders, 
the pioneers of a stirring future, were then busy, each 
in his little traffic. One man came from a village 
forty days journey up the Rio Negro, bringing a 
cargo of grass hammocks to Barra, another came to the 
same place, with a cargo of hats which he had con- 
ve}'vd from Quito down the Napo and Marafion ; 
while numbers of canoes were passing down the vari- 
ous tributaries into the Amazons, laden with sarsa- 
parilla, and other valuable products ; and returning 
with European and American manufactured goods.^ 

But since that date an immense stride in advance 
has been taken. In 1857 there were eight steamers 
plying on the bosom of the Amazons, carrying pas- 
sengers, and bearing up and down a ceaseless ebb and 
flow of commerce.^ 

' Wallace says that about a thousand pounds' worth of Euro- 
pean goods enter the Uaupes, a tributary of the Rio Negro, every 
year : consisting chiefly of axes, cutlasses, knives, fish hooks, 
arrow heads, mirrors, beads, and cotton cloths : which are ex- 
changed for sarsaparilla, pitch, string, hammocks, Indian stools, 
baskets, feather ornaments, etc. — Wallace, p. 502; Edwards, p. 

^ A treaty respecting the navigation of the Amazons, was signed 
between Brazil and Peru, on the 23rd of October, 1851, The 
Yavari was fixed as the boundary between the two nations. All 
merchandize crossing the frontier was exempted from duty. The 
two governments agreed to grant aid to a steam navigation com- 
pany. In August 1852, the Brazilian government gave the exclu- 
sive privilege of navigation for thirty years, to Ireneo de Souza, a 
Brazilian. Don Manuel Tirado, the Peruvian minister, also ob- 
tained a grant of two hundred thousand dollars from Congress in 
1853, towards the exploration by steamboats of the Peruvian tribu- 


The fourth and last object which has attracted ad- 
venturous travellers to the valley of the Amazons, has 
been a desh*e to advance the interests of science, and 
geographical discovery. 

The first expedition of this kind was that which 
left Paris in 1735, to measure the arc of a degree 
near Quito, and so discover the true shape of che 
earth. It consisted of M.M. De la Condamine, 

taries. In April 1853 the Peruvian government decreed that the 
vessels of all nations, having treaties with Peru, might ascend the 
Amazons as far as Nauta, at the mouth of the Ucayali ; but the 
Brazilians refused to allow this. The Peruvian decree of April 
1853 conceded the power to hold land, and other advantages, to 
all emigrants. — Mcniora7iclwn by Don Manuel Tirado, dated Octo- 
ber 30th, 1855 : sent to me by Don Felipe Barreda, of Lima. 

In 1857 the Brazilian Company had eight steamers on the river 
Amazons, and two new boats were expected. The names of those 
actually running were the Tapajoz, Rio Negro, Marajo, Monarca, 
Cameta, Tahatinga, Solhnoes, City Bay. 

There is a weekly packet from Para to Barra, on the Rio Negro. 
The Marajo runs every two months from Barra to Nanta ; the 
Monarca runs from Barra, up the Rio Negro, to the mouth of 
the Branco. The Solimoes is for the river Tapajos, the Cameta 
makes monthly trips from Para to Cameta, on the Tocantins. All 
these steamers have more business than they can do, they pay well, 
and are very good boats. 

The Peruvians bought two steamers at New York, named the 
Tirado (one hundred and ten feet long) and Huallaya (ninety feet 
long), which arrived safely at Nauta. The Huallaya has never 
moved from Nauta since, and is rotting. The Tirado has made a 
few trips up the river, and, on one occasion, Mr. Nesbitt, the 
American engineer, took her up the Huallaga, as far as Chasuta, 
three thousand five hundred miles from the sea. In 1857 the 
American engineers went home ; and, I believe, both the steamers 
are now rottin"; at Nauta. 


Godin, Bouguer, and Jussieu ; and when their work 
was completed, in 1739, De la Condamine started from 
Jaen, and navigated the whole course of the river of 
Amazons, to its mouth at Para.^ 

Since the time of Condamine, many scientific men 
of various European nations, have visited the valley 
of the Amazons. In 1787 the editors of the "Flora 
Peruviana," Ruiz and Pavon,^ visited the valley of 

^ M. Godin, the colleague of Condamine, being ordered to 
Cayenne in 1745, was obliged to leave his wife at Quito. After 
waiting many years, and his letters having failed to reach her, 
Madame Godin heard a rumour that a party had been sent to meet 
her on the Upper Maraiion. She, therefore, determined to under- 
take the voyage down the Amazons, with two children, three ser- 
vant girls, and her brother. They passed over the Cordilleras, 
and descended the river Pastaza without much difficulty ; but, at 
the village where they expected to find the party which was be- 
lieved to have come to meet them, all the inhabitants had died of 
small-pox, but two. Madame Godin had no canoe-men, nor guides, 
and her canoe was full of water. Finally, the canoe sank, and 
they attempted to make their way on foot, without map or com- 
pass. They all died of fatigue, except Madame Godin herself, 
who, unable to bury her eight dead companions, took her brother's 
boots and pushed bravely on, during nine days of wretchedness 
and nights of horror. On the ninth day she was taken into a 
canoe by a party of Indians. They conveyed her to one of the 
mission villages on the Marahon, whence, after a long delay, she 
was at length taken down the river of Amazons to Para ; and 
joined her husband at Cayenne, after a separation of nineteen 

^ In 1778 Don Jose Pavon, Don Hipolito Ruiz, and M. Dombcy 
were sent on a botanical expedition to Peru, by Charles III, and 
their labours produced that most valuable work the Flora Peru- 
viana. Ruiz is often called the Linnaeus of Peru. Poeppig tells 
us that from the time of Ruiz and Pavon to the date of his own 


the Huallaga : in 1799 Thadeus Haenke explored the 
valleys of the Beni and Mamore : in 1827 lieutenant 
Maw, R.N. descended the Huallaga, and Amazons, 
to Para: in 1832 Poeppig performed the same jour- 
ney: in 1835 Lieutenant Smyth, R.N. descended the 
Huallaga, crossed over the Pampa del Sacramento, 
and sailed down the Ucayali and Amazons: in 1847 
Count Castelnau left Cuzco, and descended the whole 
course of the Ucayali and Amazons : in 1852 Lieu- 
tenant Herndon, U.S.N., followed in the footsteps of 
Smyth, while his colleague, Lieutenant Gibbon, U.S.N, 
penetrated to the sources of the Purus, and descended 
the rivers Mamore and Madeira : and, finally, Dr. Vil- 
lavicencio published the results of his exploring jour- 
neys, along the banks of the Napo, in 1858. From 
Para Dr. Von Martins, in 1820, examined part of the 
courses of the Amazons, and Japura ; and Von Spix 
ascended the Amazons, as far as Tabatinga, in the 
same year. Prince Adalbert of Prussia ascended 
the Xingu ; and Edwards and Wallace the Hio 
Negro. Numbers of botanists and zoologists, French, 
German, and English, have also traversed these ex- 
tensive regions, and several are at this moment en- 
gaged in exploring the forests of the Amazonian 

The energy and talent of these dauntless men of 
science has added immensely to our stock of know- 
ledge. Yet much remains to be done. There is still 
a broad field for geographical discovery in the basin 

travels in 1829-30, no botanist had visited the valley of Huanuco, 
and the banks of the Upper Huallaga. 


of the Amazons. The courses of the Jurua, Jutay, 
Teffe, Coari, and Yavari, — rivers which in Europe 
would be considered of the first magnitude, — are en- 
tirely unknown to geographers : and the great Purus, 
one of the largest secondary rivers in the world, 
remains quite unexplored, save for a short distance 
from its mouth, by Brazilian traders. 

There is, there must be, a bright future for this 
great country, which Providence has blessed so 
wonderfully, but which man has so wilfully neglected. 
The mind is almost bewildered in the endeavour to 
grasp within its compass, a due conception of the 
stupendous proportions of that grand river which 
flows so majestically through the most fertile of soils, 
and receives tributaries whose sources are thousands 
of miles distant from each other, on either side :^ and 
one naturally flies from the tension of intellect, conse- 
quent on the study of its physical features, to dwell 
with pleasure on the picture of the great future which 
must be in store for the broad basin of the Amazons, 
when many nations will people its banks, and a con- 
stant flow of commerce will add fresh interest to its 
ceaseless tide. 

^ Every stream and river in South America, east of the Andes, 
from 4° north to 20° south, falls into the Amazons. The area 
drained by the Amazons, and its affluents (without counting the 
valley of the Tocantins, which is as large as that of the Ohio), is 
two millions three hundred thousand square miles; and the mighty 
queen of rivers sends five hundred and fifty thousand cubic feet of 
w^ater per second, through the narrows of Obidos. The Amazons, 
and its tributaries, include forty-five thousand miles of navigable 
water communication. Sucli are the stupendous proportions of 
this gigantic river system. 


Nothing can be more likely to conduce to this, 
than the thorough examination of those splendid navi- 
gable rivers which form its chief affluents, and some 
of the most important of which are still so little known 
to geographers. In no other part of the world is 
there a grander field for geographical discovery and 
research, and in no other part would the labours of 
the explorer be more richly repaid. 

But while we are engaged in contemplating the 
unlimited commercial advantages, and the vast fields 
for scientific research, which are off'ered by the valley 
of the Amazons ; it should not be forgotten that 
the most interesting, and by far the most impor- 
tant portion of the subject is undoubtedly the former 
history, present condition, and future prospects of 
those aboriginal tribes, who wander through its track- 
less forests. 

This is not the place to enter fully upon an enquiry 
of such magnitude ; but a few remarks respecting 
the tribes of the Amazonian valley will serve to illus- 
trate an alphabetical list of all those that are men- 
tioned in this volume, with brief accounts of many of 
them, which I have prepared, and placed at the end 
of Acuiia's voyage, in the hope that it may prove 
useful for purposes of reference. 

The most striking facts connected with this portion 
of the American race are the immense number of 
tribes and sections of tribes into which they are di- 
vided, and the extraordinary number of dialects 
which have sprung from these innumerable divisions. 
Von Martins has enumerated more than two hundred 


and fifty distinct tribes in Brazil alone ; Acuna learnt 
the names of one hundred and fifty in his voyage 
down the great river ; and in the whole Amazonian 
valley there are probably not less than seven hundred ; 
while Mariano Rivero tells us that these tribes speak 
more than two hundred and eighty different lan- 
guages.^ Yet it appears probable that all these lan- 
guages, and consequently all the tribes in which they 
are spoken, may be traced up to two, or at most to 
three original sources. This would lead us to the 
conclusion that at some very remote period two or 
three united and powerful nations occupied the coun- 
try which is now tenanted by their descendants, split 
up into isolated tribes. 

The causes which led to this disintegration of na- 
tions, and confusion of tongues, can never be known 
to us ; but it would seem that they must have been 
in operation for many ages, before so complete and 
deplorable a disruption of all the bonds of society 
could have taken place. Inexplicable as this pheno- 
menon must appear, it certainly points to one inevit- 
able result, namely the entire disappearance of the 
whole race, at no very distant period, unless prompt 

^ Dobrizhoffer says : " The multitude and variety of tongues, 
spoken in Paraguay alone, exceeds alike belief and calculation. 
Nor should you imagine that they vary only in dialect. Most of 
them are radically different. Truly admirable is their varied struc- 
ture ; and I have often affirmed that the variety and artful con- 
struction of languages should be reckoned amongst the other 
arguments, to prove the existence of an eternal God." — Abipores, ii, 
p. 157. 


and vigorous steps are taken to prevent it. I will 
presently shew that even now there are noble hearts 
in South America, which warm towards these chil- 
dren of the forests. 

The innumerable Amazonian tribes may all, appa- 
rently, be traced up to three parent stems, — the Tupi 
or Guarani, the Omagua, and the Pano ; to which 
must be added the tribes descended from Inca In- 
dians, to whom the name of Quichua may be ap- 

The Tupi races extend from the borders of Guiana 
to the Eio de la Plata, and from the mouth of the 
Amazons to beyond the Rio Negro ; but they are 
split up into countless petty tribes, which wander 
through the forests and navigate the rivers in search 
of food, holding little communication with each other," 
without religion, and without hope. " They have 
skins of a copper or brown colour of various shades, 
jet black straight hair, black eyes, and little or no 
beard. In many of both sexes the most perfect 
regularity of features exists, and there are numbers 
who in colour alone differ from a good-looking Euro- 
pean. Their figures are generally superb, and the 
developement of the chest is splendid."^ The Oma- 
guas, remarkable for their strange custom of flatten- 
ing the head, were formerly considered to be the most 
civilized and intellectual of all the Amazonian In- 
dians ; and it seems probable that they originally 
sprung from the Tupis. The Pano race includes all 
the tribes on the Ucayali, Huallaga, and Upper 

' Wallace, p. 478. 


Maranon : the Conibos, Sencis, E.emos, Casliibos, 
Setebos, and other tribes, all speaking a dialect of 
the Pano language. The Antis, Chunchos, and some 
others, are said to be descended from Inca Indians 
who fled from the tyranny of the Spanish conquerors.^ 

Though the numerous tribes may be thus traced up to 
two, or at most to three original sources ; yet many 
of them are now radically different, not only in lan- 
guage, but in habits, and in physical appearance. 
The Mayorunas, Cashibos, and Remos of the Ucayali 
are fierce and untameable, wandering in the forests, 
and attacking all strangers. The Panes, Conibos, 
Cocomas, and Omaguas, on the contrary, willingly 
settle in the mission villages, and are fond of naviga- 
ting the rivers, and trading with their neighbours. 
The Remos^ have round faces and narrow eyes like 
the Chinese ; while the Cholones^ of the Huallaga 
resemble the North American Indians in their liio:h 
cheek bones, and fine aquiline noses. 

It would be vain to attempt to account for these 
differences ; as it is clear that all the tribes derive 
their origin from one or two parent stocks, and that 
the varieties of disposition, and even of physical ap- 
pearance, have arisen from local or accidental causes 
acting during a course of ages. The history of this 
section of the human race is very melancholy ; and 
previous efforts, to civilize and humanize these In- 
dian tribes (not even excepting the admirable and 

^ These tribes, however, speak a totally different language from 
the Quichua of the Incas. 

- Smyth. ' Poepjjuj. 


persevering labours of the Jesuits and Franciscans), 
have proved fruitless, so far, at least, as any perma- 
nent result is concerned. 

Yet the wild liunters and fishers of the Amazons 
possess many fine and even noble qualities. Is it 
absolutely certain that they must perish from the 
earth ! Must we inevitably behold the enactment of 
the well known wicked theory, that " they must be 
improved off the face of creation !" It is to be hoped 
that efforts may yet be made to try how far the Ama- 
zonian Indians are capable of improvement. The 
land belongs to them, and the first thought should 
be for their benefit. If they could be collected in 
villages on the banks of the rivers, as has already 
been done at Sarayacu, Santa Catalina, and Tierra 
Blanca on the Ucayali ; and at several points along 
the courses of the Huallaga, Napo, and Maranon, 
without being led into drunken habits, hopes might 
still be entertained of preserving the race from anni- 
hilation.^ If, too, such men as the late Father Plaza, 
the apostle of the Ucayali, or as Bovo Revello, the 
true-hearted and devoted missionary of the Purus, 
could be found to superintend these villages, then 
the future of the aboriginal race would be full of 

Men of this stamp are still to be found in Peru, 
whose hearts are full of love for their Amazonian 
fellow-countrymen ; and at the head of them may be 
placed Don Pedro Ruiz, the excellent bishop of Cha- 

' The Cashlbos, on the Pachitea, even in their wikl state, arc 
said to be increasing in numbers. — Herndon''s Voyage. 


chapoyas, whose diocese extends over all the wide 
region which is watered by the Maranon, and its 
Peruvian tributaries. He thus concludes an eloquent 
appeal to the government at Lima, for assistance in 
his diocese: — ^ 

" If, on account of my insignificance, you will not 
listen to me ; hear me for the sake of the nation's 
honour, in the name of justice to the Indians, to 
whom you owe so much ; who carry your burdens, 
who conduct you in canoes on the rivers, who live 
buried in mines for you, who fight your battles, and 
who contribute to your revenue. I consider myself 
the born defender and advocate of Amazonas ; and 
in the name of twenty-three thousand Christians on 
the banks of the Marailon, the Huallaga, and the 
Ucayali ; in the name also of those wild and naked 
savages who people the vast forests, I persist in my 
just agitation to obtain money for the priests, and 
funds for the missions." This conviction of the 
rights of the aboriginal races is not confined to the 
priests. Colonel Espinosa, an officer in the Peru- 
vian army, expresses himself in still stronger terms. 
" Unjust men !" he exclaims, addressing his country- 
men, " now that you have lost so great a part of your 
Indian brethren, treat with some consideration those 
who arc left ;'"^ and he goes on to advocate their 
cause with great eloquence. 

While such feelings exist amongst educated men 

' Commercio, September 1855. 

- Diccionario Rejjuh/i'cano, pp. 609-21 ; alluding to a recent 
epidemic, which liad carried off great numbers of Indiauci. 


in Pern, need \\e despair of the preservation of the 
Amazonian Indians from destruction 1 

While men who have it in their power to effect 
great and lasting good, are actually bestirring them- 
selves in the right direction, despair for the destiny 
of the Indian tribes is not justified by the circum- 
stances. It is yet possible that the fierce and naked 
hunters, now fast diminishing in numbers, may be- 
come thriving and happy agriculturists, increasing, 
peopling the fertile districts which are now unin- 
habited, and humanizing each other by the influence 
of social and domestic ties. 

Yet the other side of the picture is that which 
gains most credit amongst the philosophers of Europe, 
and it has thus been depicted by the learned German 
traveller Von Martins : — 

" The present and future condition of this race of 
men is a monstrous and tragical drama, such as no 
fiction of the poet ever yet presented to our contem- 
plation. A whole race of men is wasting away before 
the eyes of its commiserating contemporaries; no 
power of philosophy or Christianity can arrest its 
proudly gloomy progress towards a certain and utter 
destruction. From its ruins there arises, in the most 
motley combination, a new and reckless generation, 
anxious to estrange their newly acquired country 
from its former masters. The east brings blood and 
blessings ; social union and order ; industry, science, 
and religion; but with selfish views, only for itself; 
for itself it erects a new world ; while the race of 
men, which was once here the master, is fleeting away 
like a phantom, from the circle of existence." 


On the conquerors must rest the whole responsibi- 
lity of the destruction of the Red race. If the leading 
men of South America, of the present day, adopt 
the example of Acuna, instead of that of Gonzalo 
PizaiTO, the dark picture thus sketched out by Von 
Martins may never become a reality. Let them, by 
all means, give every encouragement to commerce, 
and geographical discovery. Let them invite steam- 
ers to navigate their splendid fluvial highways. Let 
them promote the establishment of profitable estates 
along the banks of their rivers. Let them use every 
means to develope the inexhaustible resources of their 
magnificent country. But, at the same time, let them 
not forget their duties to the ancient owners of the 
soil : and let the rights and interests of the Indians 
receive a due share of attention at their hands. 






A.D. 1539-42. 








A.D. 1539-42. 






. I. 

Gonzalo Pizarro sets out to conquer the land of Cinnamon. 

In the year 1539 the Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro, being 
in the city of Cuzco, received tidings that beyond the city 
of Quito, and beyond the limits of the empire formerly 
ruled by the Incas, there was a wide region where cinnamon 
grew ;^ and he determined to send his brother, Gonzalo 
Pizarro, that he might conquer such another land as the 
Marquis himself had found, and become governor of it. 

Having consulted with those in whom he could confide, 
the marquis therefore handed over the government of Quito 
to his brother, in order that the people of that city might 
supply him with all things that he might require, for from 
thence he would have to make his entrance into the land of 
Cinnamon, Avhich is east of the city of Quito. 

With this object in view he sent for his brother, who was 
then in Charcas, arranging the affairs of that territory. 

Gonzalo Pizarro soon arrived in Cuzco, and having ar- 
ranged the projected conquest of the land of Cinnamon with 
his brother, the Marquis Don Francisco, he set out ; thus 
accepting the adventure with a stout heart, regarding it as 
an opportunity of proving his valour, by deeds worthy of 
his former fame. 

^ Canelos, or the land of Cinnamon, was first discovered by Captain 
Gk)nzalez Diaz de Pineda in the year 15.36. 


He levied more than, two hundred soldiers in Cuzco, one 
hundred cavalry, and the rest infiintry, at a cost of sixty 
thousand ducats ; and inarched to Quito, a distance of five 
hundred leagues, where Pedro de Puelles was governor. 
On the road he had encounters with the Indians, and was 
so hard pressed at Huanuco that his brother, the marquis, 
sent him assistance under Francisco de Chaves. 

Freed from this danger, and from others of less import- 
ance, Gonzalo Pizarro reached Quito ;^ and having shewn 
his commission from the marquis to Pedro dc Puelles, the 
latter at once resigned the government. Gonzalo then made 
all the necessary preparations for the expedition, and added 
one hundred soldiers to his force, making a total of three 
hundred and forty ; one hundred and fifty cavalry, and the 
rest infantry.^ He also took with him more than four thou- 
sand Indians, laden with arms, supplies, and all things 
requisite for the service, such as iron, hatchets, knives, 
ropes, hempen cords, and large nails ; likewise nearly four 
thousand head of swine, and a flock of llamas, the latter 
carrying part of the baggage. 

Gonzalo Pizarro left Pedro de Puelles in Quito as his 
deputy,^ and after having put the afl^'airs of that city in 
order, he set out on Christmas day, 1539. He marched 
with perfect success, and well supplied with provisions by 
the Indians, until he reached the limits of the ancient 
empire of the Incas. He then entered a province called 

As Francisco Lopez de Gomara and Agustin de Zarate 

•* On his road, he passed through Piura and Guayaquil. — Herrei'a. 

^ He appointed Don Antonio de Ribera to be master of the camp, and 
Don Juan de Acosta to be " Alferez General." Ribera led the vanguard. 
— Herrera. 

^ Gonzalo also ordered Don Francisco de Orellana to take charge of 
the Port of Guayaquil, and he accordingly assumed the government of 
that new settlement ; but, soon afterwards, Gonzalo sent for Orellana to 
accompany his expedition. — Herrera, Hist. Gen. ; Velasco, Hist, de Quito. 


agree well together, describing the occurrences nearly in 
the same words, and as I have heard many of those who 
were with Gonzalo Pizarro relate their adventures, I M-ill 
describe the facts, sometimes making use of one authority, 
and sometimes of the other. ^ 

In this province of Quijos, which is north of Quito, many 
warlike Indians sallied forth against Gonzalo ; but when 
they beheld the multitude of Spaniards and horses, they 
quickly retired, and were seen no more. A few days after- 
wards there was such an earthquake, that many houses, in 
the village where Gonzalo's party were resting, were thrown 
down. 2 The earth opened in many places ; there was 
lightning and thunder, insomuch that the Spaniards were 
much astonished : at the same time such torrents of rain 
fell, that they were surprised at the difference between that 
land and Peru. After suffering these inconveniences for forty 
or fifty days, they commenced the passage of the snowy 
Cordillera, where the snow fell in such quantities, and 
it was so cold, that many Indians were frozen to death, 
because they were so lightly clad. The Spaniards, to es- 

^ Garcilasso might well have rested his authority on his own informa- 
tion, obtained from the companions of Gonzalo ; for Gomara, who wrote 
a history of the Indies, never visited the New World, and was notoriously 
careless in collecting his materials, as Garcilasso himself has told us ; 
and Zarate, during his brief residence in Lima as a financial commis- 
sioner, could not have had the same opportunities of obtaining informa- 
tion as were possessed by Garcilasso. 

Cieza de Leon has also written an account of the expedition of Gon- 
zalo Pizarro, in his Cronica del Peru, and his authority is more valuable 
than either of the preceding historians, as he actually accompanied 
La Gasca in his campaign against Gonzalo, and commenced the com- 
pilation of his narrative during his stay in Peru, 1540-50. 

I have compared the accounts of Gomara, Zarate, and Cieza de Leon, 
with that of Garcilasso de la Vega, without finding any further informa- 
tion respecting this expedition ; but Herrera, in his General History of 
the Indies, gives several additional particulars, which I have added in 

^ Zarate says five hundred. Veiasco adds that this place was at the 
foot of the volcano of Pichinch?. 


cape from the cold and snow of that inclement region, left 
the swine and provisions behind them, intending to seek 
some Indian village. But things turned out contrary to 
their hopes, for, having passed the cordillera, they were 
much in want of provisions, as the land they came to was 
uninhabited. They made haste to pass through it, and 
arrived at a province and village called Sumaco, on the 
skirts of a volcano, where they obtained food.^ But, during 
two months, it did not cease to rain for a single day; so 
that the Spaniards received great injury, and much of their 
clathing became rotten. 

[Ill this province, called Sumaco, which is on the equi- 
noctial line, or very near it, the trees, which they call cinna- 
mon, grow, and of which the Spaniards were in search. 
They are very tall, with large leaves, like a laurel ; and the 
fruit grows in clusters, and resembles an acorn. Many of 
these trees grow wild in the forests, and yield fruits ; but 
they are not so good as those which the Indians get from 
the trees, which they plant and cultivate for their own use, 
and for that of their neighbours, but not for the people of 
Peru. The latter never wish for any other condiment than 
their uchu, which the Spaniards call aji, and in Europe 

^ Herrera calls it the valley of Zumaque, thirty leagues from Quito ; 
and says that Orellana here joined the expedition, and was appointed 
lieutenant-general by Gonzalo. 

Gonzalo Pizarro, unfortunately for himself and his men, chose the 
most difficult route into the forests of Quijos ; a route by which Texeira, 
a century later, also reached Quito from the river Napo, by way of Paya- 
mino and Baeza. Dr. Jameson, in 1857, and other modern travellers, 
have usually chosen another road to the Napo, by Archidona, which is 
shorter and less difficult. Dr. Jameson left Quito on January ISth, 
1857, and reached the port of Napo, sixteen miles from Archidona, on the 
13th of February. The voyage from the fort to the river Amazons takes 
fifteen days, the return voyage three months. Dr. Jameson left Archi- 
dona on the 1st of Mav, and reached Quito on the 14th of the same 

* Herrera describes the cinnamon trees to be like olives, with large pods. 



The hardships which Uonzalo Pizarro and his followers suffered ; and 
how they made a hridge of icood, and a hrigantine to 2mss to the 
great river. 

In SumacOj and its neighbourhood, the Spaniards found 
that the Indians went naked, without any clothes ; the 
women having a little cloth in front for the sake of modesty. 
They go naked because the country is so hot, and it rains 
so much that clothes would become rotten, as we have before 

In Sumaco, Gonzalo Pizarro left behind the greater part 
of his men ; and taking with him the most active, he went in 
search of a road, if any could be found, to pass onwards ; 
because all the country they had as yet traversed, which was 
nearly one hundred leagues, was dense forest, where in many 
parts they had to open a road by main force, and with the 
blows of hatchets. The Indians, whom they took as gviides, 
deceived them, and led them through uninhabited wilds, 
where they suflfered from hunger, and were obliged to feed 
on herbs, roots, and wild fruits.^ 

Suffering these hardships, and others which can be more 
easily imagined than described, they arrived at a province 
called Cuca, where they found supplies. The chief received 
them well, and gave them food.^' Near this place a great 

The cinnamon tree attains a height of about thirty feet. It belongs 
to the natural order Lauraceaj. 

^ When Gonzalo Pizarro did not receive the answers he wished re- 
specting the country in his front, he ordered the Indians to be tortured ; 
burning some alive, and causing others to be torn to pieces by his dogs. 
The misfortunes which finally overtook this cruel though fearless savage 
were a just retribution for his manifold atrocities. 

^ Herrera says that the cacique of Coca told lies, and said all that the 
Spaniards could wish respecting the country in their front, for fear of 
being treated in the same way as the people of Sumaco. 


river passes, \vh]<"h is supposed to be the largest of those 
streams, which unite to form tiiat river which some call the 
Orellana, and others the Maraiion.^ 

Here they waited nearly two months for the Spaniards 
who were left at Suraaco. 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 

' 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." — Rejwrt of Bon Ma-nuel Villaviccncio. 


on the other side, though few in number, defended the pass 
bravcl3^ 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 arquebusses, and killed a 
few, and the rest retired about two hundred paces, asto- 
nished at so strange a sight. They were terrified at the 
braver)^ 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 difliculty placed the 
first beam, and with help of it, as many more as were 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 see 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 hrigantine, and proceeds to 
Spain to oltain a grant of his discovert/. His death. 

They put all their gold on board 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.^ 
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 and 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. 
I ts 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 day 
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 Gotizalo, to reach Spain, 
and obtain that government for himself. 

Many of his crew objected to this, suspecting hia 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 he 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. — liejwri of Villavicencio; Journey of Dr. Jamesotf. 


not Ibllow him, he would leave him behind, like Hevnan 
Sanchez de Vargas. That he might suffer a more cruel 
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 fierce, 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.^ They journeyed on with the hope that 
their brigantine would soon succour them with food, to pre- 
serve them from the hunger which they suflfered, 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 
Plernan Sanchez de Vargas, who, with the constancy of a 

^ Gonzalo seut Captain Mercadillo 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 raanihot), with which he returned. A Spaniard 
named Villarejo went mad, and many others fell sick and died from 
eating these roots. — Ilerrera. 


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. 


Oonzalo Pizarro, having passed through incredible hardshijjs, departs 
from the land of Cinnamon. 

GoNZALO PiZARRO, and his party, struggled with many 
obstacles in the shape of mighty rivers, and morasses which 

^ 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 awa3\ 
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 
Ilibcra. — 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 difiiculties 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 
liaked. 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. 

Tlie 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, wouhl not receive what was given 
to them. 

The city of Quito, which (on account of the wars of Don 
Diego de Ahnagro) 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 Avhat 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 M'ho 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. 



Gonzalo Pizarro enters Qaito. 

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 vjhich 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 canoes. 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 came 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 Castillo, 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 Caspar 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 beeu 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.^ 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 M'ere much 
pleased, and invited Orellana to come and see their chief, 

^ 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 Castillo ; all which the 
Indians listened to with much attention. Aparia inquired 
if he had seen the Amazons, whom in his language they call 
Coniapuyara, 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 ; 
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. OreHana 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,^ which is thickly peopled, and ruled by 
another chief named Aomagua.- One morning they dis- 
covered a number of canoes, full of Avarlike Indians, with 

^ 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/ 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, namSid 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 wished 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 
dc ]\Icdina, and Pedro de Ampudia. 

' 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-bows, 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.^ 

^ Ribeiro, 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 
Avith 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 hy 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 was 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 Machiparo. — Souihey's Brazil. (See Juris, in 
the list of Indian tribes at the end of the yolume.) 


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 W'as 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. When 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 day 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 oif a village Avhere 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. ^ They saw many small 
villages, and entered one where they found quantities of fish, 
^ 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 Avear, 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 " the Province of 
the gibbets." Paved roads issued from this village, with 
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. 

AVith 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. Orellana 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 afiinns 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.^ 

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. 

^ This encoTinter with the Amazons appears to have taken plaee near 
the mouth of the river Tromhretas. 



End of the discover i/ 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 Caspar 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 ai'quebusses and cross-bows stopped tlieir 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 Caripuna,^ 

^ 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 fails of that river. — Acuha ; Gibbon, p. 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 brigantines 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 
huy, hutj ; at other times, M-hen 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 Logrofio, 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 
Biscay an, struck one of their chiefs, on which the piraguas 
retired, and left the brigantines. 


Concludes the discovery of the rii'er of Orellana, and the captain enters 
the sea, and reaches the island of Ciibagua. 

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 M^ell 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 JChristians were obliged to 
retreat to their vessels ; of which one had sunk, and tlie 
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 afioat, 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. 


God led them through the mouth of the Dragon,' and at the 
end of two days after getting ovit of that prison,' 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. 

^ The strait at the north end of the gulf of Paria, separating the 
island of Trinidad from the main land. 

^ 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 


By Father Cristoval de Acuna, 

a Priest of the Company of Jesus, and 

Censor of the Supreme General Inqviisition. 

Which was made hij order of 

His Majesty in the year 


from the Province of Quito, in the kingdom of Peru. 


to the most excellent Lord the 
Count Duke of Olivarez. 

^' I.H.S.'^ i 

By Permission. In Madrid, in the Royal Press, 
in the year 1 64 1. 


^i^S^ HERE are horn, oh curious reader, in affairs 
'^ of great moment, two brothers — namely, Novelty 
and Unbelief, u-Jiich appear to be the ticins of 
one birth : and icliile admiration is excited by 
what is neic, at the same time credit is endangered. Though 
it is true that natural curiosity inclines us to desire the knoio- 
ledge of new things ; uncertainty respecting their accuracy 
deprives them of that higher degree of pleasure which they 
would undoubtedly afford, if, persuaded of their truth, all 
the perplexity caused by doubt could be dispelled. Desirous, 
then, to bring before the view of all, the neio discovery 
of the great river of the Amazons {ichich I undertook by 
order of his Majesty, as you will presently see) / and 
7vishing that, though my story is novel, it should 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 neio 
tvorld, 7ieiv nations, neio countries, new occupations, neio 
modes of life, and, to say all in one word, a river of sweet 
water navigated for more than one thousand three hundred 
leagues, all, fro7n its sources to its mouth, full of new things: 
the second, by placing before your eyes the obligations of my 
position, as a p^riest of the company of Jesus, as a deputy of 
his 31ajesty, and in other capacities, which it neither signi- 
fies to you to knoiv, nor to me to repeat; and if, icith all this, 
I can persxiade you that I have succeeded in what I laboured 
for with some care, I shall be rewarded. Noio hear what 
sworn testimony gives credit to my narralice. . 


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 my arms, in this city 
of Para, the 3rd of March, 1640. 

(Signed J Pedro Texeira, 

( 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 
b€ given to you, and each one of you ; and I hold it good 
that you, the said fathers Cristoval de Acuiia, 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 Avhich 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 Acuiia, that, in compliance with 
the wishes of the said President and Judges, and in confor- 
mity wdth 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 perform 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 2-lth day of January, 1639. 


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 f Secretary J. 




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.^ 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 1540, in a frail vessel, with a few compan- 

1 Velasco {Historia 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 Verds 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 do 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 was killed through 
the treason of the tyrant Lope de Aguirre .; who, raising 

beholding a sea of fresh water, having asked " Hac mare an non 1" 
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.^ 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 desu*es of his successor, Alonzo de Miranda, were 
checked by death : which also attacked General Jose de 

^ In 1551 the Marquis of Canete, 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 Cuenga, succeeded him. He established the settle- 
ments of Baeza (between the Maspa and Vermejo) 1558 ; Maspa (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 Malclonado, 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,^ 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 be 
satisfied until he had seen an affair which he so much desired, 
carried into execution. Though all the ways and means which 

^ In 1618 Benito Maciel was appointed to command a force to operate 
against the Tupinambas Indians. He commenced a career of devasta- 
tion and murder, amongst the Indians round 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. — 
Souther's Brazil. 

Of all the savages, who were employed in the Portuguese conquests, 
Benito Maciel 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 msco 
de Coello de Caravallo, who was then Governor of Maraiion 
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 monies of the order of San Francisco navigate this 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,^ by order of their 

^ In 1635 they entered the province of Suciimbios, 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 
theix 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 Kafael Ferrer, in reward for 
thedoctrine which hehad taught them.^ 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. 

^ 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, 1C03, 
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 1608. In 1611 some traitors followed him in 
one of his journeys, watched him while ho 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"., j). 136. 


amongst the natives for several months, when some returned 
to their convent at Quito, and others remained with the few 
soldiers who 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 monks 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 Maraiion, where the Governor 
was Jacome Reymundo de Norona, 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 joersons 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. ^ 

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 Texeira^ 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. 

^ The monks returned to Quito with Texeira, where the Franciscans 
were astonished at seeing their lost brethren still alive. — Velasco. 

^ 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 Tocuyos, 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 comraences his voyage.^ 

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, 

^ 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 Avhat 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 Encahellados. 

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 Encahellados, 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 be 
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 Royal Audience decided on doing nothing, without 
first reporting all to the Viceroy of Peru, who at that time 
was the Count of Chinchon.^ He, having first consulted 

^ Velasco says that the Viceroy in question was Marquis of Mancera (fif- 
teenth viceroy); but he was mistaken. The Count of Chincjj.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 Acuha 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 Acuiia, 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 eifectcd on this 
occasion, Linnteus 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 Avould 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 AvhoUy frustrated, so disposing things 
that, though he did not go, his brother, Padre Cristoval de 
Acuiia, a priest of the company of Jesus, went in his place. 


The Royal Audience names Pedro Cristoval de Ac una for this 

The Licentiate Suarez de Poago, Fiscal of the Poyal 
Chancellery of Quito, seeing that the Portuguese expedition 
was about to depart, considered, like a faithful minister of 
His Majesty, that it wovdd 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 account 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,^ 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 

^ 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 1 739. The President was also governor of the province. 
— Clloa, i, p. 2.56 ; 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 Avrite. 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,^ 

" Terra suis contenta 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 
Marafion. This latter error is so firmly established, that the 
city of kings boasts that the Cordilleras of Huanuco,^ 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 

^ Pharsalia, book viii. 

^ 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,^ 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." 


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 

^ Or Japura. 

^ 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 two, 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 the Jesuit Father Samuel Fritz, who, in Lis 
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, on 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 hrazas^ in the main channel ; 
above the E,io 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. 

Islands, their fertility and ])roducts. 

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 

^ 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 wMch 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.^ 

^ 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 uji ; 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 Avines 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 Avith which they accompany their bread and 

Avine 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 Avhich, though Avild, are of a very 

pleasant taste. There are also many other diflerent kinds of 

fruits, all proper to tropical climates. They have likeAvise 

nourishing roots such as the potatoe, the yuca mansa^ Avhich 

takes place. On the drinking day the women kindle fires round the 
jars, and serve out the warm liquor in half gourds. — Southeij'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, garas, criadillas de tierra} 
and others which, either roasted or boiled, are not only 
palatable, but also very nutritious. 


21te fish of this river, and of the Pegehuey. 

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 pegehuey,^ 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. 

^ This is the manatee or vaca marina, a kind of porpoise, frequently 
eight feet long, which abounds in the Amazons, and its affluents. " Pege''' 
or " pexe,'' a fish, and "^ziey," 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 hovj 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 inclosure 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 hy 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 
to-morrow . 


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 
timbo, 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 ccdl^^arague, 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.^ 

Game of the forest, and birds on Schick they feed. 
It may be that these Indians now and then become tired 
^ 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 daiitas^ 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 Indians breed 
domestic foAvls 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 Avhere 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 bestia.'' 


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 diflferent 
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 
caiiafistula, 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 are 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. 


Tiviher and materials for shi2Js. 

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 pahnas 
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 
uruca^ 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,^ 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. 

^ 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 all 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 J.eJbaros, 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 I'ichest country in the world; if the 
Tocantins are so famous for their gokl 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 mail} 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 diiFerent 
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 Lidians 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 pegehuetj. 

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 comimmication are by v-ater, 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 cu.tting 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 
pahno 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 well as those 
of fine steel. Nearly all the tribes possess cotton, some 


more, 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 
bows of their canoes, in which they place their hopes of 
victory; and when they go out fishing, they take the idol which 
is charged with 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 
warlike 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 power 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 avc 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 ^ho 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 want 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.^ 

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- 
insT 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 

^ The sorcerers of the Tupi Indians, at the mouth of the Amazons, 
were called iKiyes. 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 ivays 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 IVIicoa, 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.^ 

^ According to other authorities his name was Francisco Perez de 


The second entrance to this river, on the nofthern side, 
is hy the city of Paste, 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 
tliirty leagues from the port of Napo. By this same road, 
starting, as I said, from the city of Paste 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 doAvn, 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 fieet ap- 
proached the j-urisdiction of Quito. This river empties itself 
between the rivers Napo and Coca, at that point which is 

Quesada. lie explored the territory to the eastward of Popayau iu 
\^61, and was appointed governor of the eountry 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.^ 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- 

^ The gold washiDgs of the river Napo are still famous ; and gold is 
also obtained in the sands of most of its tributaries. — Report of SeTtor 

^ 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.^ This river unites 
with the main stream of the Amazons, two hundred and 
thirty leagues from the port of Napo. 


T/ie 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- 

^ The intrepid missionaries, named Cujia and Cueva, wlio reached 
Borja, in Maynas, on the Gth of February, 1G38. (See Introduction.) 


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, with 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. "^ At both sides 
of its mouth, the great province of the Encahellados 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- 

^ The Aguarico takes its rise in the Cayambe mountains, and forms 
the boundary between the modern Republics of Ecuador and New 
Granada. It is famous for its productive gold washing. Report of 
iSehor Villavicencio. 



zons spreads into wide lakes ; has, Irom 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 Encahellados. Here the Portucjuese fleet remained. 

In this province, at the mouth of the river of the Enca- 
hellados, 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,^ 
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, Becahas, Tamas, and Rumos. To the 
south of this province of the Encdbellados, are the Auxiras, 
Yumsuties, Zaparas,^ and Yquitos, 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 Encahellados , and almost in 2° of latitude. 

The river Tuinluragua. 

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 

* This was Father Rafael Ferrer, in 1608. See ante, p. 52 (note). 
^ 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. ^ 


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 
Omagicas. 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, w^hich 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 

^ It is necessary to explain here that this river of Tumburagua (or 
Mai-aiion) 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, Avhich 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 Curinas, 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 Curinas, for they also wage wars against 
their neiuhbours inland. 


IIoio 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 are born 


Of a cold district, in tohich wheat might be groxon. 

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 snon^y mountains, produce the 
like marvellous cflTects. 



The river Piitumayo, and of the nations on its hanks, and on the 
banks of the river Yctaib. 

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, Guaraiciis, Yacarigiiat'as, Parias, Ziijus, 
Atuais, Cunas, 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,^ 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, Giianariis, Ozuanas, Mortias, Ncmnas, 
Conomomas, Marianas, and lastly, those who live near the 
Spaniards of Peru, namely, the Omaguas, said to be a people 
ver}' 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 jiro- 
vince of Omaguas, to discover which Pedro de Ursua was sent 

^ 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 sufiicient 
depth, and the current moderate. 


End of the province of the Aguas ; and of the river of Ctizco. 

Following the course of our prhicipai river, after fourteen 
leagues, we 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 Cachiguarcis, 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 which 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 city of Cuzco. It flows into the Amazons in 5° of 
latitude, and twenty-four leagues from the last village of the 


Agtias. The natives call it Yurua.^ 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 Yetaii. 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 nie.^ 


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 
jiecessity, (as these things are not made in their country), 

1 Jurua. Castelnau says it may be ascended for seven hundred and 
eighty miles. 

^ Ursua descended by the river Ilaallaga. 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 toion of goliV , 
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 viUage, 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 gokl is all 
in grains and lumps of a good size ; so that by beating 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 Ave 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 afiect 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 ' 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° 30' 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.^ It has a great multitude of infidels on its 
banks, called Paguanas. All this territory, as I said, for a 
distance of eighty leagues, is occupied by the nation of 
Curtiziraris. 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,- 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 

^ Teffe, or Egas. The town of Egas, in the Brazilian territory, is at 
the mouth of the TeflF6, 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 
Tefe and Coari. 


the Araganatiiba, six leagues lower down, on the north side, 
Mhich communicates with the Yupura. These tribes are 
called the Yaguajiais, Macunas, Mapiarks, Aguaynaus, 
Huinmas, Mariruas, Yamoruas, Terariis, Siguiyas, Guana- 
pnris, Ph'ds, Mopitirus, Yguaratiis, Aturiaris, Masipias, 
Guayacaris, Anduras, Caguaraus, Maraymumas , and Gu- 
omhis. Among these tribes, (who all speak different lan- 
guages), according to information from the new kingdom of 
Granada, is the desired ' golden lake ', which keeps all the 
spirited youths in Peru in a state of unrest. I do not affirm 
this positivel}^, but some day it may please God to deliver us 
from our uncertainty. 

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 Yorimaii. 

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 number 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 x'Vmazons. It no 
doubt, like all the rest, has innumerable tribes oir its banks, 
whose names we did not ascertain, as we passed the mouth 
without stopping. 


A 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 Avere required by our forces. We remained here 
five days, and got on board, as ship's stores, upwards of five 
hundred bushels ffanegasj 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 Cucli- 
iguarti} 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, Curucurus, Qiiatausis, Mutuanis, and finally there 
are the Curigucres, 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 

' The Ftirus. This inagnificeut navigable river, Avhich rises iu 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 Basururn, 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 oflT 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, Vrayaris, Masucaruanas , Quererus, Cotocarianas , 
Moacaranas, Ororupianas, Quinarupianas , Tuinamaynas , 
AraguanaynaSy Mariguycmas, 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 Rio 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 conies 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 Xegro, because at its mouth, and for many leagues 

^ The mouth of the Rio Negro is really not above a mile across. The 
river is navigable for lara;e 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 west to east. The natives who inhabit it 
call the river Curiguacuru, while the Tupinamhas, of whom 
we shall speak presently, give it the name of Vruna, which 
in their language is as much as to say " black water ": 
as likewise they call the Amazons, in this country, Parana- 
guazii, which signifies 'great river ', to distinguish it from 
the other smaller yet still very laige 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, Guarianacaguas, Azcrabaris, Curtipaiabas, 
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.^ 

All these tribes use bows 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. 

' Acufia here alludes to the Cassi(;[uiari, 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 be 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.^ 

I am of opinion that, not at this point, but many leagues 
further inland, on the branch which joins the Eio 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 Kio 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 ;~ but that which I can most confidently affirm is that, 
under no circumstances, can it be the Orinoco, whose princi- 
pal mouth 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. 

^ The cape 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 sokliers, 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 M'hich, 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 Avho, 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 to 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- 
prizc ; 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 Maraiion ; 
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 Olivera, major 
Felipe de Mates, 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 was 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.^ This delay may be 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 
^ Barra de Rio Nejjro is one thousand miles from Para. 


hoped wc shall shortly be able to convey information; mean- 
M'hilc 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, are, in 
the oj^inion of all, a very warlike race and able to do us 
much harm Avith 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 war, 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 known 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 be 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 Koyal 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 river 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 
to 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 Tupinamhds, 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.^ 

Of the tribes of this river, which are numerous, the first 
are named Zurinas and Cayanas, after which follow the 
Vrurihatis, Anamaris, Guatinutnas, Curafian's, Erepunacas, 
and Ahacatis. From the mouth of this river, along the 
banks of the Amazons, are the Zapucayas, and Vrubiitingas, 
who are very cunning workers in wood. Beyond these follow 
the Guaranaguacas , Maraguas, Quimaus, Burais, Punouys, 
Oregiiatus, Aperas, and others whose names I was unable 
to ascertain with certainty. 


The great Island of the Tupinambds. 

Twenty-eight leagues from the mouth of this river, always 
continuing on 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 Tupinambds, a people of the Brazilian conquest, 
from the territory of Pernambuco. Many years ago they 

^ The Madeira is navigable by means of its ti-ibutaries, 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 Avhich 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 which 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 Avar, 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 Tiqnnamhds. 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 
10 meanness and robbery, like the surrounding tribes ; with 
whose blood they are 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 Tupinambds. 


Information given hy the Tupinamiils. 

From these Tupinambds Indians ; as a more intelligent 
race, and because we did not require interpreters, they 
speaking the '^ lingoa GeraV^ ^ which many of the Portuguese 
knoAv 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 Guayazis / the other of 
people w4io 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 Mutaxjas, and they are tributary to these Tupin- 

^ The basis of the Lingoa Geral of the tribes on the Amazons is the 
Guarani language of Paraguay. It is called Tui)i 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 tradei's 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, 

^ Castelnau mentions a tribe of dwarfs on the river Jurua, produced 
by a mixture of Indians and monkeys. 


ambcis, 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 Tupinamhas 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 Tupinambds 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 1637, 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.^ 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 arrobaso each. 

^ This is the Cerro de la Sal, in the forests to the eastward of Tarma, 
in Peru. In 1636 Father Jeronimo Ximeues, a Franciscan, built a 
chapel on this hill ; but he was murdered on the river Perene, by the 
wild Indians in 1637. 

^ One arroba=twenty-five pounds. 


This province of Tupinamhds 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 3° of latitude. 


Tliey give information respecting the Amazo-ns. 

The discourse of these Tupinamhcls 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 oAvn 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 Tupinambds. 


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 Apantos, who 
speak the " 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 know 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 2i° of latitude.^ 

^ 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 moutli 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,^ 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 
Me 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 on its banks, 
Avhich 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 bartcr- 

^ This is the Tromheias of modcra maps. 


ing fowls, ducks, hammocks, fish, flour, fruit, and other 
things, with such confidence that women and children did 
not avoid us ; oifcring, 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 oflfers 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 with 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 Avill, as they had always offer- 
ed to do, and svibmitted 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 compressors 
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 Mararion 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.^ 

^ The English appear to have made several attempts to settle on the 
banks of the Amazons. In 1615 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 ; 
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 are enclosed within it. 

The river Ginipa'pe. 

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 JNIaraiion, 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 enrichina: 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 suj^ply j)asture 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 Paranaiha. 
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 Tapuxjas, Anaxi- 
ases, Mayanases, Engaibas, Bocas, Juanes, and the valiant 
Pacaxds, who have their habitations on the banks of the 
river from which 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 Conmutcl. 

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 proA isions, 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 ler 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 Maraiion, 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 Marauon so 
longed for and never attained by the people of Peru, the 
ancient Orcllana, 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, Avill 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 V.III, 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. 164L 

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 andimpede 
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 noM' 
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. 


Seco7id. It will save the great outlay which mvist 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 84. 

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 de 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,^ a native of Portugal, that he might commence the 
discovery by way of the provinces of Mararion, 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 Mararion 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 Peru, 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, 
1 can positively affirm, and, having heard it discussed among 
them many times, I can assert it to be an undoubted fact. 

^ As distinguished from Maciel, the son, who rivalled his father, in 
atrocious cruelty to the unhappy Indians. 


Sixfh. 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, wliere the natives who inhabit it are so numer- 
ous, that they might people afresh the uninhabited parts of 
I'eru. 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,^ a Dutch author, did not hesitate 
to publish in a book entitled Utriiisque American, which 
aj)peared in the year 1633. In the 16th book, loth chapter, 
are these words : — " Verum tamen, tan hi (scilicet Angli ct 
Hiberni) quani nostri (scilicet Belgi) a Portugalis, e Para 
venientibus, in opinato oppressi et fugati, non leve damnum 
fuerunt perpessi ad quod referciendum et acceptas injurias 

^ John de Laeth was also the author of a little book, in Latin, called 
Hispania, sive de Regis Hispanice Regnis et opihus Commentarms ;" 
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. 


vinclicandas inajori conatu et viribiis, institutum repetere, ct 
urgere fatigant." 

And in the same book, 2nd chapter, he says : — " Post 
annum autem 1615 Portugal! ad Parseripam, qui sine dubio 
hujus magni fluminis ramus est, coeperunt incolere, ut ante 
diximus, et aninium ad csetera 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. 

Finalli), 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 mvich 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 su.m 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 rivei' may 
at all times reach Spain. Moreover an enemy could not 
watch the entrance, because the coast of Para is such that 

1 Illegible. 

142 MEMOllIAI,, ETC. 

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 
Peruvian 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 ( " Commentarios Reales " ), 1C09-16. 

Antonio de HeiTera(" Hist. General de las Indias," etc.), 1601-15. 

Crlstoval 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. 

DobrlzhofFer's History of the Abipones, 1784. 

Velasco's Historia del Reino de Quito, 1789. 

"Mercurio Peruano", 1791-95. 

Von Martins 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 "1 , 

> modern newspapers. 

Heraldo de Lima -) 

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 Orcllana and Acuna, refer to the pages of this 


Many of the larger tribes, extending tlieir 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. 

Abacxis. a tribe of the river Madeira. Acutui, p. 117. 

^ Abigiras, Avijiras, Axjxiras, or Abiras. A tribe of the 
rivers Napo, and Maranon ; 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 Encahellados (which 
see). M. Rodriguez ; Velasco ; Acuiia, Tp. 94 ; Fritz's ma}). 

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 Caz-lagaes, 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 centurj' 
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 Abijwnes. 

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." Lozmio. 

Aguanos. a tribe of the Huallaga, and Maranon. The men 
have beards, and are very fierce ; the women have fair hair, like 
Flemings. M. Hodn'fficez. 

Aguanacos. a branch of the CJiepeos (which see). M. Rodri- 
guez ; Velasco. 

^ Aguakicos. a tribe on a river of the same name, a tributary 
of the Napo. Velasco. 

Aguaeunas. a powerful and encroaching modern tribe, on 
the Maraiion. Heraldo de Lima. 

Aguas. (Same as Omaguas.) 

Agtjayras. 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. 

^ AisuARis. A tribe of the Maranon, 1683-1727. Velasco. 

Ajuanas or Chamicukas, 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. 

Alabonos. a branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco. 

Amajuacas. 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. 

Amaonas, a branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco. 

Amazons, a tribe of female warriors. Orellana, p. 34 ; Acuna, 
p. 122. 

Amulalaes, a tribe of the " Gran Chacu." Lozano, p. 51. 

Anaxiases, a tribe of the Pacaxa river. Acuua, p. 130. 

Anamaris, a tribe of the Madeira river. Acuna, p. 117. 


Ancuteres. a branch of the Encahellados (which see) Velasco. 

Andoas. a tribe of the Maraiion, (see 3Iurafos). 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 Zajmros. There is a small village, called 
Andoas, on the Pastaza. Velasco, Samuel Fritz, Villavicencio. 

Anduras. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

Anguteras. a tribe on the east bank of the Napo, below the 
junction of the Aguarico, according to V^illaviencio, a branch of the 
Putumayus. They cultivate the ground. Villavicencio. 

Anjenguacas. a branch of the Camjms (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. cle 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, are identical with, or closely allied to the 
Chunchos (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, Ii. G. S. Journal, vi. 

Antives. a branch of the Putumayus, (which see) Velasco. 

AoMAGUAS. Same as the Omaguas, (which see) Orellana, p. 27. 

Apantos. 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 
May, going down stream. Aparia was possibly the name of a tribe, 
but I have not met with it elsewhere. Orellana, p. 27. 

ArEKAs. A tribe of the Amazons, below the mouth of the 
Madeira. Aciwa, p. 117. 

Apiacas. a tribe of the " Gran Chacu". Lozano. 

Araguanaynas, (see Car ahay anas). 

Araycus, (see Uaraycus). 

Arazas. a branch of the Simigaes, (which see) Velasco. 

Ardas. a branch of Yamcos (which see) between the rivei'S 
Napo and Nanay. Velasco, Villavicencio. 

Arekainas. 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 Uaupes). Wallace, p. 508. 

Ariquenas ; according to Von Spix, a tribe of the Putumayu ; 
probably the same as the Arekainas. Spix imd Martms, iii, p. 1 136. 

Arubaquis. Marked on Fritz's map (1707) near the north side 
of the Amazons, and below the mouth of the Rio Negro. 

Atagitates. a tribe of the Maranon, preached to between 
1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez, Velasco. 

Atuais. 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. 

Atjxiras or Avijiras (see Ahigiras). 

AvANATEOs. A tribe marked on Fritz's map (1707) between 
the rivers Ucayali and Yavari. 

Avijiras, (see Abigiras). 

Ayacares. a branch of the /y?<«/05 (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 Reschreibungeti." 


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. 

BuRAis. A tribe on the Amazons, below the mouth of the 
Madeira. Acuna, p. 117. 

BusQUiPANES. (see Ca2}anahuas). 

Cachicuaras. a tribe on the south side of the Amazons, 
evidently the same as the Cuchiguaras. Acuna, p. 55. 

Cagitaraus. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, -^.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 Antt's). 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. 

Campeyas, (see Omaguas). 

Canamaries. a tribe of the river Jurua. Spix ti. Martius, 
iii, p. 1183. 

Canizuaris. a tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110. 

Capanahtjas. 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 tlie rivers Ucayali and Yavari. Mcr- 
curio Peruano, 1794, No. 381 ; 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 Curiianaris. 

They used the bow and arrow, and had iron tools obtained from 
other tribes, who communicated with the Dutch in Guiana. Acunu, 
p. 108. 

Caragtjanas (see Carabuyanas). 

Carap ACHES (see Cashihos). 

Cakapanas. a tribe of the Rio Negro, and a branch of the 
larger tribe of Uaupes (which see). Acuua, 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 Acuua.) 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. Orella7ia, -p. S6. Marked in Fritz's map (1707) 
on the Rio Branco. 

Cashibos, or Callisecas, or Carapaches. A tribe on the 
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 dc los Rios. In 1744 they joined 
.Juan Santos, and destroyed all the missions of the Ccrro 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 cat 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 Martius, 
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 Martius, 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. 
Sjrix, 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 ; Spix und Martius, iii, p. 1185. 

Cay AN AS. A tribe of the river Madeira. Actoui, p. 117. 

Cayujjabas. a tribe to the eastward of the Muxos (which see). 


Their chief was named " Paytiti." Baraza ; Reisc Beschreihun- 

Chais. a branch of the Chepeos (which see). Vclasco. 

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. 

Chatelos. a branch of the Agiiaricos (which see). Velasco. 

Chayavitas. 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. 

Chepenaguas. 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 Chacu." They 
are met with between the Chiriguanas and Guayciirus ; 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 Mitimaes, or colonies of the Incas. They live peaceably with 
another tribe of Indians, called C/inrumatas. 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 7iobles del Cusco, " officers of the 
Incarial court." Lozano, pp. 72-3. 

Chiquitos. 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 cane. 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* 
diff"erent languages, called tapacuraca, napeca, 2)aunaca, paiconeca, 
quitemoca, jurucariquia, and mo7icoca, which is the common lan- 
guage of the Chiquitos. The word Chiquito 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 wlio inhabited them were supposed to be dwarfs. 

Their houses are built of aduhes, 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. 

Chiripunos. 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 cheek 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 arc good-tempered, cheerful, and 

They use the blow gun, called by the Spaniards cerbatana, by 
the Portuguese gravatana, and by the Indians pucuna. 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, vvith the pucima. Mercurio Peruano, 
No. 51 ; Poeppig Reise, ii, p. 320 ; Hcrndon, p. 138-9. 

Chudavinas. a branch of the Andoas (which see). Velascn. 

Chufias. a branch of the Agimricos (which see). Velasco. 

Chxjnchos. 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 Huachipai/ris, Tuyimeris, and Sirineyris. They call 
their chiefs " Huayris". General Miller, in 1835, saw a chief of 
the Huachlpayris, 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 
Tsclmdi, p. 466 ; Gibbon, p. 51 ; Markhani' 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 Teqnetex, Giiamalcas, Yucunampas, and Velelas. Lozano, p. 

Chuntaquiros (see Pirros). 

Churitunas. a branch of the Jeberos (which see). AI. Rodri- 
(jnez ; 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. 
CoAXA TupuiJJAs. A tribe of the river Jurua, reported to have 
short tails. Von Spix, iii, p. 1183; Castelnau. 

CoBEXJS (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 Ucayali. They are bolder than most of the civilized 
Indians, and carry on war with the savage Mayorunas. M. Rodri- 
guez ; Velasco; Poeppig Rcise, ii, p. 449; Herndon, p. 195. 

CocAMiLLAS. A branch of the Cocomas, settled at Laguna, on 
tlie Huallaga. They are lazy and drunken, but capital boatmen. 
M. Rodriguez; Herndon, p. 176. 

CocRUNAs. A tribe of the river TefTe. 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 Mar tins, 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 
Cayambe. 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 Uaupes). 

CoHUMARES. A tribe of the Marafion, 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 ; DohrizJioffer. 

CoMACORis. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco. 

CoMAA'os. 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. 

CoKEJORis. A branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco. 

CoxoMOMAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuna, p. 99 ; Von 
Spix, iii, p. 1185. 

CoxiBos 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 CasA?5os Indians (which see). Father Ricter 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 lij^s 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 ; 
Herndon, p. 202-9. 

They are marked on Fritz's map (1707) on the east side of the 


CoPATASAS. A branch of the Jeheros (which see). Villavi- 

CoEOCOEOS, — (see Uaupesj 

CoEONAS. A tribe of the river TefFe. Ribeiro. 

V CoEONADOS. A tribe of the river Pas taza. M. Rodriguez. 

CoTOCAEiANAS, (see Car abuy anas). 

CoUAS. (See Uaupes). 

CucHiGUAEAS. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuna, p. 107 ; 
Spix und Martms, iii, p. 1175. 

CucHiVARAS. A tribe of the river Coari. Souihey's Brazil, iii. 

CuiJfUAS. A branch of the Camavos (which see). Velasco. 

CuiEES. A branch of the Roamaynas (which see). Velasco. 

CuiTACUS. A tribe of the river Aguarico. Villavicencio'' s Map. 

CuiYAYOs. A tribe between the Aguarico and Putumayu. 
Villavicencio' s Map. 

CuMAEUEUAYANAS (see Cavahuyanus). 

CuMAYAEis. A tribe of the river Purus. Aciiha, p. 107; Spix 
tind Martins, iii, p. 1175. 

CtJMBASiNOs. 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. 

CuNUEis. A tribe living at the mouth of a river, up which the 
Amazons are said to live. Acuna, p. 122. 

CuEANAS. A tribe of the Ucayali, said to be a branch of the 
Campas (which see). Velasco. 

CuEANAEis. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, \}. Wl . 

CuEAEAYES. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villavi- 

CuEETUS. 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 tliread, 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. Riheiro; Von Afar tins, iii, p. 1222; Wallace, p. 509. 

CuRiATEs. A tribe marked on Fritz's map (1707) between the 
rivers Madeira and Tapajos. 

CuRiGUEKES. A race of giants, on the Purus. Aciiha, p. 107. 

CuRiNAS. A tribe living south of the Omaguas. AcuJia, p. 96 ; 
Sptx und Mar this, 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. 

CuRiTANARis (see Carahuyanas). 

CxjRUCURtrs. A tribe of the river Purus. AcuJia, 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. 
Acuna, p. 101. 

CusABATAYES. A branch of the Manamahobos (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 UaiipSs). 

Encabeleados. 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 thorn on the lower part of the Aguarico. 
They are much reduced in numbers, and live chiefly on fish, and 
the manatee. Aciuia, p. 92-4 ; Velasco ; Villavicencio. 

Erepunacas. a tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, p. 117. 

Engaibas. a tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuna, p. 130. 

Enjeyes. a branch of the /^?<c«/es (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 
oiih.e Jeber OS. 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 XJaupes'). 

GiYAROS (see Jeberos), 

GuACARAS. A tribe living next to the race of Amazons, with 
whom they had intercourse. Acuna, p. 122. 

GuACHis. A tribe of the " Gran Chacu". Lozano. 

GuAJAYOS. A tribe of the Marailon : preached to between 
1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

GuALAQUiZAS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavi- 

GuAMALCAS (see Chunipies). 

Guanas. A tribe of the " Gran Chacu". Lozano. 

GuANAMAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110. 

GuANAPURis. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

GuANARUS. A tribe of the river Jutay : marked on Fritz's 
map (1707) between the rivers Jurua and TefFe. Acuna, p. 99. 

GuANiBis. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

GuAQUiARis. A tribe of the river Purus. Acuna, p. 107. 

GuARATCUS, A tribe of the Putumayu (see Uaraycus). Acuna, 
p. 99. 


GuARANACXiAZANAs. A tribe between the Rio Negro and the 
Orinoco. Acuua, p. 110. 

GuARANAGUACus. A tribe of the Amazons, below the mouth 
of the Madeira. Acurta, p. 117. 

GuARAYOS. A tribe, on the head waters of the Mamore, and 
its tributaries. This tribe, and that of the Siriofios, 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. Dalcnce, " Bosquejo estadistico de Bolivia^ 

GuARiANACAGUAS. A tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 110. 

GuAsiTAYAS. A tribe of the Marailon, preached to between 
1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

GuATiNUMAs. A tribe of the river Madeira. Acuna, p. 117. 

GuAYABAs. A tribe on the north side of the Amazons. Acuna, 
p. 100. 

GuAYACARis. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

GuAYAZis. A race of dwarfs, of whom credulous Acuna 
heard, from the Tupinambas Indians. Acuna, p. 119. 

GuAYCURUs. A tribe of the "Gran Chacu"; between the 
rivers Pilcomayu 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 Velasco's time. 


Haguetis. a branch of the Manamahohus (which see). 

HiBiTOS. (See Jibitos). 

HiMUETACAs. A branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco. 

HuACHiPAYRis. (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. 

HuAMBiSAs. A fierce tribe of the Upper Maraiion, 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. 

HuiRUNAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

HuMURANAS. A branch of the Maynas, preached to between 
1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

Ibanomas. 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 Maraiion, preached to between 
1683 and 1727. Velasco. 

Iluhus. a branch of the Jeberos (which see.) Velasco. 

Imaschahuas. a branch of the Maynas. Velasco. 

Incukis. a branch of the Simiyaes (which see). Velasco. 

In u AC AS. A branch of the Camavos (which see). Velasco. 

Ipapuisas. a branch of the Maynas, identical with the 
Coronados (which see). Velasco. 

Ipilos. a branch of the Piros (which see). Velasco. 


Ipecas. (See Uaitpes). 

^ 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 Marahon, 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. 

IsAXNAs 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. 

Itxjcales. a tribe of the Upper Maraiion. 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). 

Jacakes. 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. 

Japtjas. a tribe of the Maranon ; preached to between 1727 
and 1768. J^elasco. 

Jauanas. a tribe of the river Teffe. Ribeiro. 
Jawabus. a branch of the Panos (which see). Velasco. 

Jeberos or JiVARAS. A tribe of the Upper Maraiion, the 
first fruits 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 Maraiion. 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 (/uayusa) 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 
are 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 maj) (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 Periiano, 1791, No. 51; Poeppig Reise. 
They are less civilized than the Choloties, and paint their faces, 
not with any fixed pattern, but each man according to his fancy ; 
using the blue of Huitoc, and the red " Achate." They are met 
with on the Huallaga, at Tocache, and Lamasillo. Herndon, p. 150. 

JuANAs. A tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuna, p. 130. 

JiTBims. A tribe on the Purus. They are little known, but 
their bodies are spotted and mottled like the Purupuriis (which 
see). Wallace, p. 516. 

JuMAS. A tribe of the river Coari. Southey^s Brazil, vol. iii. 
Jtjmanas (see Ticunas). 

Juris. Atribeof the Amazons, between the rivers I^a 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 Jxiris are nearly related to the Passes (which see) ; and, in 
former days, they wer3 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 Iga and Japura; but in 1820 their whole 
number did not exceed two thousand. Von Martins, iii, p. 1235 ; 
Von Spix, 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 Japura, 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 rnild 
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. 

Lliquinos. a tribe on the head waters of the Curaray. 
Villavicencio' s map. 

LoGKONos. A tribe on the western side of the Morona. Villa- 
vicencio's map. 

LuiiEs. 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. Acwia, 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 anil fish roasted. They often attack tlie houses of other 
Indians, and murder all the inhabitants. They have wavy and 
almost curly hair. IVnllacc, p. 508. 

Maisames. a tribe between the Nanay and Napo. Villa- 
vicenciu^ s map. 

Manacukus. a tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuna, p. 40. 

Maxahuas. a tribe of the Ucaj'ali, living between that river 
and the Yavari; mentioned by Father Girbal, in 1793, as being 
met with near the Capanahuas. Mercurio Peruano. No. 381. 

Manamabobos. 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. Telascu. Mercurio 

Maxajiabuas. a branch of the Alanamabobos. They were 
preached to between 1683 and 1727. Velasco. 

Manaos. 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. Riheiro. Wallace. 

Manatinabas. a branch of the Pirros (which see). Velasco. 

Makagits. a tribe employed in procuring gold, near the 
river Amazons. Actma, p. 103. 

Manoas. (See Conibos). 

Manues. a branch of the Campos (which see). Velasco. 

Maparixas. a tribe of the Upper Marafion, which joined the 
Cocomas in their rebellion against the Missionaries in 1664. 
M. Rodriguez ; Velasco. 

Mapakis or Mapiarus. A tribe of the Araganatuba, accord- 
ing to Acuiia. Smyth mentions such a tribe in the " Pampa del 
Sacramento." Acuna, p. 105; Smyth, p. 235. 

Makaguas. a tribe on the river Amazons, below the mouth 
of the Madeira. Acuna, p. 117. 

Maranhas (see Marianas). 

Maraymitmes. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuha, p. 105. 


Marianas or Maranhas. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuna, 
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 unci Martins, iii, p. 11 85. 

Mariguyanas (see Carabuyanas). 

Mariruas. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

Masamaes. a branch of the Yameos (which see). Preached 
to between 1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

Masipias. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, 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 Peruana, No. 583. 

Mautas. a branch of the Zaparos, between the Nanay and 
Napo. Villavicencid' s map. 

Mayanases. a tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuna, p. 130. 

Maynas. 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 tliat the sight of it moves to laughter, and at the same 
time to compassion. Mcrcurio 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. lierndon, p. 218. 

Mazanes. a tribe between the rivers Nanay and Napo. Villavi- 
cencio's map. 

MiGuiANAS. A branch of the Yaineos (which see) : they were 
preached to between 1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

MiRANHAS. A race of cannibals, between the rivers 19a and 
Japura, in the neighbourhood of the Juris. Wallace, p. 510. 

MiRiTis (see Uaupes). 

MoACAKANAS (see Car abuy anas). 

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 Jehcros (which sec). Vlllavi'ccucio. 


MoRUAs. A tribe of the river Jutay. Aciina, 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. de 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. Southet/'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 theni worse than slaves. The Moxos manu- 
facture cotton, and are expert carpenters. The various tribes in 
Moxos speak nine diff'erent languages. Gibbon, p. 235 ; See also 
Int7'oduction, p. xxxix. 

MuEGANOS. A branch of the Zaparos {which, see) Villavicencio. 

MuNDKUCUS. One of the most powerful tribes on the Amazons, 
and Tapajos. In 1788 they entirely vanquished their ancient 
enemies the Muras (which see). Southey's Brazil, vol. iii. 

When a Mundrucu 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 nafincd, hut roupli features. 


Their glossy black hair is cut 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) are 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 Tujii 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 JMundrucu, like the Tupi language, is not harsh, but is 
pronounced with much modulation. The Mundrucus do not believe 
in immortality. Von 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. 

'^ MtTNiCHES. A tribe of the Huallaga, preached to between 
1638 and 1683. There is a village of the same name. M. 
Rodriguez; Velasco ; J/«?r, p. 141. 

MuPARiNAS : supposed to be extinct. Velasco. 

MuRAS. 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. Southei/s Brazil, iii, p. 723. 

A populous tribe, partly civilized, about the mouths of the 
Madeira and Rio 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 \Vomen 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 ('hief ; 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. 

MuKATOs. 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. Felasco ; 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. Van 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. Acuna, p. 119. 

Mutuants. 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 Aguaricos (which see). Velasco. 

Xeocoyas. a branch of the Encahellados (which see). Velasco. 

Nepas. a branch of the Sinilgaes (which see). Velasco. 

Nerecamues. a branch of the Iquitos (which see). Velasco. 

Nesaiiuacas. a branch of the Cawjoas (which see). Velasco. 

Nevas. a branch of the Avijiras (which see). J'elasco. 

NusHiNOS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villaviccncio. 

Oas. A branch of the Simiyaes (which see); on ihe banks of 


theNapo; 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. Acuka, p. 48. 

In 1645 the Jesuit missionaries arrived in their country, on the 
banks of the river Marahon. " 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 Marahon, 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." Saufheg's Brazil, iii. 

The Ouvidor Ribeiro, in his official progress in 1774, came to 
the village of Olivenga, 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. Maiv, p. 185; Simjth, p. 259; Herndon, p. 218. 

Von Spix calls the Omaguas by their Portuguese name of Cam- 
lehas 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. Sjnx 
und Martins, iii, p. 1187. 

Oregttatus. a tribe on the south side of the Amazons, below 
the mouth of the Madeira. Acuna, 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. Villavicencw's Geographia del 

Oritos. a tribe of the Napo, on the east side, and below the 
mouth of the Aguarico. ViUavicencio. 

Oroupianas (see Varabuyanas). 

Orystinesis. a tribe of the " Gran Chacu." 

Otanatis. a branch of the Muniches (which see). Velasco. 

OztXANAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acuna, p. 99. 

Pacaxas. a tribe of the river Pacaxa. Acuna, p. 130. 

Pachictas. a branch of the Manamahobos (which see). 


Pambadeques. a tribe of the Maraiion, preached to between 
1638 and 1683. M. Rodriguez. 


Panajohis. a branch of the Simigaes (which see). J''elcisco. 

Panataguas. a tribe of the Huallaga, visited by Padre 
Lugando in 1631. Merctirio Peruano. 

Pangs. A tribe of the Huallaga, Marailon, and Ucayali. In 
1670 Father Lucei'o 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 Fanos, of 
Sarayacu, belong to the tribe of Setehos (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 Marahon, 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 ^ncffie/fcr/os (which see). Velasco. 

Pakranos. a branch of the Yameos (which see). Preached to 
between 1727 and 1768. Velasco. 

Passes. The most numerous tribe on the river Japura. They 
believe the svm to be stationary, and that the earth moves. They 
call rivers the great blood vessels of tlie 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 tlie Passes, confirm 
the opinion that thej' 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, ill, p. 
1186. Von Martius, ill, p. 1201-3. Soiithey' s Brazil, ill, p. 722. 

PastazA-S. a branch of the Jeheros (which see). Villavicencio. 

Pastivas. a tribe of the Maranon, jireached 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 

Patttes. A branch of the /e5e/-os (which see). Villavicencio. 

Payaguas. a tribe on the north side of the Napo, near its 
mouth. Villatncencio. 

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. Vil- 
lavicencio' s map. 

Pinches, A branch of the Andoas, preached to between 1683 


and 1727. Met with between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza. 
Velasco ; Villavicencio. 

PiNDOS. A branch of the Jeheros (which see). Villavicencio. 

PiKAs (see Uaujih). 

PiRROS or Chuntaquiros. 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 lengtli 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 Carahuyanas). 

PriNAUS 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. 

PuNOTjTS. A tribe on the south side of the Amazons, below 
the mouth of the Madeira. Aciina, p. 117. 

Pi'RUPURUs. A tribe of the river Purus, from sixteen to thirty 
days A'oyage 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 joerfectly 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 
palheta, — a piece of wood, with a pi'ojection 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. Sjnx unci Martins, iii, p. 1174 ; Castelnau ; 
Wallace, p. 514. 

PuTUMAYos. A general name for the tribes of that river. 

QuATAUSis (see Catauxls). A tribe of the Purus. Aciina, p. 

QuEKERUS (see Car abuy anas). 

QuiLiviTAS. Supposed to be extinct in Velasco's time. 

QuiMAxrs. A tribe on the south side of the Amazon, below the 
mouth of the Madeira. Aciina, p. 117. 

QuiNARUPiANAS (see Carabuyanas). 

QuiEiviNAS. 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 country, 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 J/«y?/«s. Velasco. 

RoAMAYNAS. 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. Rodrigeuz ; Villavicencio. 

Rotunds. 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. Acuna, 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 kowas (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. Tlicy 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. Acuna, p. 94. 

Sepaunabas. a branch of the Camjms (which see). Velasco. 

Setebos. a tribe of the Ucayali, living north of the Cashihos 
(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. 

Shipibos. 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 Peruano, 
No. 51. 

SiiiRiPUNAS. A branch of the Zaparos (which see). Villa- 
vicencio, p. 171-3. 

SiGUiYAS. A tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

SiMARKONES. 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 ; Friiz^s 3Iaj]. 

SmiNEyKis (see Chmichos.) 

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. Soufhey'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 Jeheros (which see). M. 

Tagua.cuas. a branch of the Manamahobos (which see). 

Tagxjaus. a tribe dwelling on the river, up which the race of 
Amazons were said to live. Aciuia, p. 122. 

Tamas. a tribe of the river Napo. A branch of the Aguaricos 
(which see.) Aciina, p. 94 ; Velasco. 

Tamuanas. a tribe of the river TeiFe. Soutkey^s Brazil, iii. 

Tapajosos. a tribe of the river Tapajos. AcuTia, p. 124. 

Tapuras (see Uaupes.) 

Tapuyas. Ar-tribe of the river Pacaxa (see Tiipis.) Acuna, 
p. 130. 

Tasias. a branch of the Ca/npas (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.) 


Tkrarus. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuu.a, p. 105. 
TiASsu.s (see Uaiipes.) 

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 Nanidoa 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 primse 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. 

Tijucos (see Uaiipes.) 

TiNGAXESES. A tribe of the Huallaga, preached to by Father 
Lugando in 1631. Possibly identical with the Cholones (which 
see) Velasco ; Mercurio Peruano. 

TiPUNAS. A tribe of the river Jutay. Acinia, p. 99. 

TiPUTiNis. A branch of the Jeheros (which see) according to 
Velasco, but Villavicencio places them under the Zaparos. They 


were visited by missionaries between 1727 and 1768. Velasco ; 

TiyiLOS. A branch of the Jeberos (which see). 31. Rodriguez. 

ToBAS. A savage tribe of the " Gran Chacu," on the banks of 
the rivers Pilcomayu and Bermejo. Lozano, p. 51 ; Dohrizhoffer ; 
Gibhon, p. 164. 

ToNocoTES. A tribe of the " Gran Chacu." Lozano, p. 51. 

ToauiSTENESEs. A tribe of the " Gran Chacu." Lozano, p. 

Tremajokis. a branch of the Siniic/aes (which see). Velasco. 

TucALES. A tribe, between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza. 
Villavicencio' s Map. 

TucANOs (see Uaupes.) 

TucTJNDERAs (see Uaupes.) 

TuouRiYS. A tribe living on the south side of the river 
Amazons. Acuha, p. 100. 

TuiNAMAYNAS (sec Carabuyanas.) 

TuLiTMATus. A tribe on a river of the same name, a tributary 
of the upper Huallaga. They were first visited by Father Lugando 
in 1631. Mer curio Peruana. 

TupiNAMBAS. A powerful Brazilian tribe, settled on a great 
island, at the mouth of the Madeira, in the time of Acuiia. Acuiia, 
p. 119. 

Tupis. These Indians people Para, and the shores of the 
lower Amazons. They have long been civilized, and the Bra- 
zilians corrujDtly 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. 

TxjpiTiMis. A branch of the Za2mros (which see). Villa- 

TuYUNERis (see C/ninchos.) 

Uaenambeus or " Humming Bird" Indians. A tribe on the 



lower part of llie Japura. They much resemble the Curetua 
(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 Gtiaraicus). Spix und Martins, 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, 
i\ie Piras and Carapanas, are mentioned by Acufia. Acuna, p. 105. 

The other sub-divisions of the Uaupesare the 



Ananas (pine apples) 

CoMus (cannibals) 

Piraiurus (fish's 

Pisas (net) 
Tapuras (tapir) 
Uaracus (fish) 

Tucunderas (ant) 
Jacamis (trumpeter) 
Miritis (palm) 

Muciiras (opossum) 
Taiassiis (pig) 
Tijucos (mud) 
Arapassos (wood- 

Tucanas (toucan) 
Uacarras (heron) 
Ipecas (duck) 
Gis (axe) 
Coua (wasp) 
Corocoro (green ibis) 
Tatus (armadillos) 
Teninihueas (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. 

Uatupcs. a tribe of the river Coari. Riheiro. 

■ UcAYAi/ES. A branch of the Omaguas (which see). M. Rodri- 

^ UcHXTCAS. A tribe between the rivers Tigre and Pastaza. Vil- 
lavicencio's Map. 

Uereqitenas. 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 Maraiion, below the mouth of the 
Huallaga. M. Rodriguez. 

Umatjas. a tribe of the river Japura ; who are said to be can- 
nibals. Von Martins, iii, p. 1243. 

Ungumanas. 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- 
cencio's Map. 

Upataninabas. a branch of the Pirros (which see). Velasco. 

Ueartnas. a tribe of the Pastaza; preached to between 1727 
and 1768. Velasco. 

Ukayaris (see Carahiiyanas). 

Urubatingas. a tribe on the south side of the Amazons, 
below the mouth of the Madeira. Acum, p. 117. 

UsPAS. A tribe supposed to be extinct, in the time of Velasco. 

Velelas, a tribe of the "Gran Chacu" (see Chunipies). 
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. Thej' are esteemed for willing 
industry. They burn the bones of their dead, and mingle the 
ashes in their drink. Southetfs Brazil, iii, p. 722 ; Wallace, p. 

Yacakiguaeas. a tribe of the river Putumayu. Acuna, p. 

Yacucakaes, a tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuiia, p. 110. 

Yaguanais. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Actma, -p. 105. 

Yagtjas. a tribe of the Maraiion, preached to between 1683 
and 1727. In 1852 they had a village, below Omaguas. Velasco. 
{Herndon, p. 226). 

Yameos. a tribe of the Maraiion, 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. Acuna, p. 105. 

Yanmas. a tribe of the Rio Negro. Acuiia, p. 110. 

Yapuas. a branch of the Eficabellados (which see). J^ckisco. 

Yarapos. a branch of the Yameos (which see). Velasco. 

Yaribarus (see Carabui/anas). 


YARUCAGUA.CAS (see Car abuy anas). 

Yasheos. a branch of the E7icahellados (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. 

Yguakanis. a tribe of the Araganatuba. Acuna, p. 105. 

Ynuris. a branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco. 

YQUiTbs (see Iquitos). 

YtrcuNAs. A tribe living some distance up the river Japura. 
The chief lives in a conical p)'ramid. Their shields are covered 
with tapir skins. They have poisoned spears. They cultivate 
mandioc, which they use in the form of tapioca. Southcy'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. Riheiro. 

YuBACARES. A tribe in the Bolivian department of Beni, along 
the base of the Andes, in a province of which Chimore is the 
capital. They are not numerous. Gibbon, p. 202. 

YuRiMAGUAS. 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; Herndon, p. 171. 

YxTRUNAS. A tribe of the Putumayu. Acuna, p. 99. 

YuRUSUNES. A tribe of the Napo, living to the south of tlic 
Encabellados (which see). Acuna, p. 94 ; Velasco. 

YxisTENESES. A tribe of the "Gran Chacu." Lozano, p. 51. 

Zamobas. a branch of the Jeberos (which see). Villavicencio. 

Zapas. a branch of the Simigaes (which see). Velasco. 


Zapaeos. a tribe of the river Napo ; according to Velasco, a 
branch of the tribe of the *' Simtgaes del Curaray,^^ but Villavi- 
cencio considers them to be an important parent tribe. Acuha, 
p. 94 ; Velasco. 

They are less numerous than the Jeheros, and wander between 
the river Pastaza and Napo. Villavicencio divides them into ten 
branches, all speaking the same language, Avhich is copious, simple 
in grammatical construction, somewhat nasal, and guttural. This 
family of tribes is more pacific than that of Jeheros, 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 
Uanchama, 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, which they cany in bamboo tubes, slung 
across their shoulders. Dr. Jameson's Journey, 1857. 

Zapitalaguas. a tribe of the " Gran ChacuJ'' Lozano, 
p. 51. 

Zeoqueyas. a branch of the Papayuns (which see). Velasco. 

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. 


Zeunas. Supposed to have been extinct, in the time of Velasco. 

ZiAS or ZiYUS. A tribe of the river Putumayu. Acuna, 
p. 99. 

ZiBiTOS (see Jibitos). 

ZucoYAS (same as Zeogueyas). 

ZuKiNAS. 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. Acum, p. 107. 




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