Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I
 Chapter II
 Chapter III
 Chapter IV
 Chapter V
 Chapter VI
 Chapter VII
 Chapter VIII
 Chapter IX
 Chapter X
 Chapter XI
 Chapter XII

Title: Richard Schomburgk's Travels in British Guiana, 1840-1844.
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080954/00002
 Material Information
Title: Richard Schomburgk's Travels in British Guiana, 1840-1844.
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Schomburgk, Moritz Richard
Publisher: "Daily Chronicle" Office
Place of Publication: Georgetown, British Guiana
Publication Date: 1922-1923
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080954
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aaq9658 - LTUF
01903198 - OCLC
000143472 - AlephBibNum

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
        Preface 1
        Preface 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
        Table of Contents 3
        Table of Contents 4
        Table of Contents 5
        Table of Contents 6
    Chapter I
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 16a
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
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        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 32a
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
    Chapter II
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
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        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
    Chapter III
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
    Chapter IV
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
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        Page 116
        Page 117
    Chapter V
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 124a
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        Page 128a
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        Page 155
        Page 156
    Chapter VI
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 158a
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 160a
        Page 161
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        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
    Chapter VII
        Page 186
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 192a
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    Chapter VIII
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 224a
        Page 225
        Page 226
        Page 227
        Page 228
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    Chapter IX
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
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        Page 266a
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        Page 273
        Page 274
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        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
        Page 279
    Chapter X
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
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        Page 321
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        Page 325
        Page 326
    Chapter XI
        Page 327
        Page 328
        Page 329
        Page 330
        Page 331
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        Page 370a
        Page 371
    Chapter XII
        Page 372
        Page 373
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Full Text

-..2 A


....... ....




Translated and Edited, with Geographical and General Indices,
and Route Maps.


Formerly,, Commissioner of the Rupununi and Pomeroon Districts, British Guiana:
Chief Protector of Aboriginals, Queensland: Royal Commissioner to enquire
into the condition of the Natives of Western Australia, etc.








Carried out under the Commission of

Together with a Fauna and Flora of Guiana according to the
works of Johannes Miller, Ehrenberg, Erichson,
Klotesch, Troschel, Cabanis and others.

Including Illustrations and a Map of British Guiana


At the Publishing Hotlse of J. J. WEBER.


The friendly reception accorded the first volume of my Travels, a
labour that entailed sacrifices and troubles of every description,
necessitates the expression of my sincere thanks to the honourable sub-
Besides that, I feel forced to protect my publisher from the
reproach that might be levelled at him by the subscribers for the original
plan of the work having been exceeded, and the cost thereby increased.
While fully and gratefully recognizing the conspicuous merit which
several of our most famous learned men are deserving of in connection
with the technical portion of my book, I venture to submit that its en-
largement consequent on the thoroughness of their scientific investiga-
tions is quite as much in the interests of knowledge as in those of the
subscribers themselves.
At the same time, it is my bounden duty to. take upon myself the
entire responsibility of having enlarged the original scope of the work,
as well as to guard and absolve my publisher from every misunderstand-
ing: with the most unselfish readiness, he has paid every conceivable
attention to the general get-up of the volume.
For the reasons above given, it was found impossible to find space in
the second volume for that important portion of the work, the Fauna
and Flora of Guiana. Furthermore, the forms new to science
proved so much more numerous than could possibly have been anticipated
that I found myself forced to have this compilation of the Animals and
Plants issued in a third and separate volume.
Unfortunately, under these circumstances the Publisher, if only
on the chance of covering the considerable cost of the undertaking,
cannot help charging a moderate increase in price.
Although the Fauna is already set up in type, and only the Flora
still remains, I thought that the issue of the second volume ought
not to be postponed until the completion of the whole, which latter
the honourable subscribers can count upon being fixed by next Mid-
summer Day.

Berlin, March 1S48.



Departure from Piarra-Vegetation of the Savannahs on the
further side of the Pirara-Lake Tenturu-Whirlwinds
on the Savannah-Animal Life in the Savannah Dust-
Opening of the Pirara into the Mahu-Camp on the Pirara
-Sources of the Mahw,-Return of Mr. Fryer with the
sick man to Pirara-Meteorological Observations on the
Pirara-Savannah fire--Junction of the Mahu, with the


from top for thet
,, insert a full stop
,, bottom for surprise
,, ,, occupied
,, ,, direction
last line ,, Sclaginella
from top ,, gulleys
,, bottom ,, bess
,, ,, sheath
,, ,, make
last line insert a full stop

for OID
,, hass

read that
after tions
read sunrise
,, occupied
,, Selaginella
,, made
after black
read OLD
,, haas

granite flats-Tuarutu Range-Pyramid Rock Aikuwc-
Waterless mountain defile-River Manatiwau--Tuaruttu
Village-Hamlet's adventure-Mixture of negro and
Indian women-Skin-disease of the Indians-Granite rocks
Uruwai, Wapuna, and Curuschiwini--Departure from
Tuarutu-Ossotschlni Range-Bertholletia excelsa-Atta
cephalotes-Macusi ,settlement Maripa-The source of the
Watuwau-The different species of cat-tribe in Guiana--
Tuarutu-Ossotschuni Range-Bertholletia excelsa-Atta
Ateles paniscs .... .... .... .... 38- 73


Preparation for the return to Pirara-Geographical situation.,
of Maripa--Division of the Party-Departure from





18 from top



l'uarutu on the old rdad--Indian Fire-apparatus-Dasy-
pus giganteus-Dasypus villosus--Dicotyles labiatus and
its chase-Gulo barbarus-Embarkation on the Takutu-
Dicolytes torquatus-Arrival in Tenette-Mr. Fryer-
Meeting with the other party-Sources of the Rupukwnu
-Pinighette Range-Mamette Range-Harbingers of the
rainy season--Departure from Tenette-Calycophyllum
Stanleyanum-Use of the seeds of the Mimosa acacioides
-Honey bees-Return to Pirara-Transport of Provisions
from Georgetown-Return, thither of Petri and the boat 74- 86'
Setting-in of the Rainy Season--Swarming of, and gathering
the Termes destructor and Atta bephalotes-Phanaeus
Jasius and Mimas-Meteorological observations-Getting
the houses ready for the wet season-MUoisture of the tem-
perature and of the ground--Return of Hamlet to George-
town-Despatch of Hendrick and Reuter there-Enumera-
tion of the troublesome and dangerous animals ;that the
rainy season drives into the houses-Flora of the rainy
season at Pirara-Visit from, Brazilians-Blighted hopes
of a broken fast-Influence of the atmosphere on the lives
of the Indians-Youd's recall--f is departure for London
His death, and its consequences for Pirara-Treatment of
snake-bite by the Indians-Meteorological observations
from May to August-Return of Hendrick and Renter
from Georgetown-Recall of, the Military-Dismissal and
death of Reuter-Manatus americanus-Baru--Dmoli-
tion of Fort New Guinea-Another excursion to the
Canuiku Ranges-Coracina militaris ...... 87-117
Commencement of the Journey to Rorainma-Breeding Season
of Mycteria americana,-Mouth of the Virua, the Manu-
europa of the Maps-Banks of the Takutu--Friar Josd's
Fazenda-Mouth of the Cotinga-Camp ont western bank
of the Cotinga-Swarms of Butterflies-Pimnelodus Ara-
kaima-Delphinus amazonicus (?)-Taeniura motoro-
Crotophaga major-Visit of the Elite of Fort Sao
Joaquim to the Zuruma camp-River Warami--Warami
settlement-Hunting the Dicotyles torquatus and D.
labiatus-Immense bed of Infusoria-Tapir-hunting-
Commencement of the Cataracts-Rapids of Aratiari-
River Mawitzis-Rocis Maikang-Yepatori and Arawanna
-Cnidoscolus Cuteas-Junction of Zuruma with Cotinga
-Camp at their junction--Course of the Cotinga-
Mounts Piriwai and Maikang-pati--Piriwai Cataracts-



second series of Cataracts on Cotinga-Raypids of Panat-
sikameri---Natural Fountains-Foot of the Pacarainia
Range-Piatzang-Overland journey-Camp at the foot
of Morokai-Macusi settlement, Torong-Yauwise-Cele-
bration of 15th October-Canis cancrivorus .... .... 118-156

Departure from Torong-Yauwise-Mt. Tamungkang-Valley
of the Tapuring-Valley of the Tukere-Appearance of
Proteaceae and Ternstr6miaceae-Valley of the Muyang-
Country of the Arekunas-Yawangra Village-Humirida
Ranges-Elisabetha regia-Climbing Humirida,-Table-
land rof Humirida and its vegetation-Watershed of the
Orinoco-Mountain rlallf y of the ziuappi-Humeseta Vil-
lage-Valley of the Kukenamn-Mariamaru Falls-Bara-
pang settlement-RuBi-imerii-Zuaptipn Range-Wamara-
tipu and Eramatura Ranges-River Wararite .... .... 157-185
"Our Village'"-Manners and Customs of the Arekunas-
Meteorological observations-Flora and Fauna of the
Surroundings-Mountain-range Formation-Serekongs
-Ascent of Roradma--Effect of the bite of a Death-adder
-Sources of the Kukenam, Cotinga, Yuruani, Araparu,
Cako, Cama, Apauwanga-Flora of Mt. Rorainma-
Leiothamnus Elisabethae-Encholirium Augustae-
Meteorological observations-Return to Our Village 186-221

Departure from Our Village-Mt. Waranak-River Yawaira
-Carakitta settlement-Mt. Kinotaima-Travelling
Ants-Myiothera Teteyna and Colma-Phitys lencops-
River Warung-kaiti--Valley of the Haiowe-Ewaboes
settlement-Return to Torong-Yauvoise-Running down
the Falls and Rapids-Takutu---River Mona-River
Ororopi-Fort Sao Joaqwim,-A canthicus histrix-
Return to Pirara--Mesembrya ithemum guianense-
Bitter experiences in connection with my Abundant Col-
lections-Arrival of a Brna:iiin, Boundary Cormmission
at Sao Joaquim--Digging up Indian Skeletons-The rise
of the 1843 Comet over the Horizon of the Southern
Hemisphere .... .... ...... 222-245

Manners, Customs, Language of the Macusis as well as of
other Tribes-Van Heuvel concerning El: Dorado and
Lake Parima-The Amazons-Amazon Stones-Diseases
of the Macusis-Medicinal Properties of certain Plants



and their Application-A Trader's unfortunate Specula-
tion--My Brother's Return to Pirara-Tiedge's Return
to Georgetown-Results and Course of my Brother's
Journey from Our Village to Cuyuni--Junction of the
Kukenam and Yuruani-Caroni-Basin of the Cama-
Mt. Irutipu-River Cako-Basin of the Mazaruni-
River Annawai-Sources of the Canimang-Cutzi--Musa
paradisiaca in wild state-Kapoi-tipu and Warimatipu
Rocks-River Paruima-Kaurutipu Mountain Range-
Basin of the Cuyuni-Cara-utta Rocks-Junction of the
Carapu with the Wenamu---Sandstone Wall of Poinka-
watu-Immapara Cataract-Territory ofi the Akawais-
Junction of the Wenamu with the Cuyuni-Estuary of
the Ekruyeku--Ekreku Mountains-Indian Fishing .... 246-279
My Departure. from Pirara-Experiences at Wai-ipukari Inlet
-Remarks on the aiman --Start of the Expedition up
the Rupununi--Mouth of-Maurukla~mu-Curua S.ettlement
-Attalea speciosa-Aripai Settlem'ent-Cassicus persi-
cus and haemorrhus-Harpyia destructor-Burukutuau-
yari Peak-Kuiaraton Settlement-Small-pox-Curuayart
Falls-Ruru-ruru, T~edmitaF and Tlskutaraiepau-Mat-
ziendaua Mts.-Mouth of Ca tNau-uru---Paruauku
Pqrtage-Fryer's Cataract-Cuta-tarn a Fall, Corona of
the Portuguese--Sarata Fall-Sources of the Rupununi
-Landing-place of Watu-ticaba---Waruar--Watuticaba
Settlenment-Myroxylon Toluifera-The Last of the
Amaripa Tribe-Exticition of the 'Atoilais, Daurats,
Tarumas-The Woyawai-Separation of the Expedition
-My Return to Pirari--Colonel Matoz and his Deter-
mination of the Boundary Line-Departure front~ Pirara
-Running down the Cataracts of the Essdquibo-Wara-
puta-'-Mr. Pollert-Bartika Grove-The Nedw Penal
Settlement-Return to Georgetown .... .... 280-326

Journey to the Sources of the Pomeroon-Plantation Anna
Regina-H.abits of Callichthys coelatus-Tapacuma-
Arapiacro-Pomeroon---Kaari-mapo-Kuamuta Settle-
ment-The Bodelschwingia and the Hyla venulosa, its
Occupant-Psittacus madagascariensis-Mouthi of the
Suuru-Akupautari Settlement-Arraiw Settlement-
Traditions of the Caribs: their Habits and
Customs-Cazique Mahangrva-Effects )kof Clibadium
asperum-Cyphorhinus cantans-Return to Arraia--
Strychnos toaifera on the Sururu-Hunting Grab
on the Coast near the Pomeroon Mouth-Mouth of


the Morocco-Morocco Mission-Calyptranthes obtusa-
Warrau Dirges-Gulo allamanda-Basin of the Kam-
watta, Beara, etc.-Barama--Triplaris ,americana-
Akawai Settlement Pirisana-Carib Settlement Cariaou-
Podinema Teguixrin-Waini--Sandbank-Funeral Cere-
mony of the Arawaks, Family Rules, Marriage Rules-
Nyctipithecus trivirgatzus-Return to Georgctvwn .... 327---371
Return of my brother from the sources of the Corentyn-
Results of this Expedition-Taruma Settlements-Baro-
koto Indians-Maopityins or Frog Indians-Waterfall
of the Onoro--Basifn of 'the Amazon-Ca-ph4ivuin-
Settlement of the last pf the Maopityans-Mt. Karamiszin
-Cataracts of the Caphiwzin-Zururmata Indians-
Junction of the Wanamnu with the Caphiwuin-Kaphu--
Basin of the Wanamiu-Indian Hieroglyphics--Cataracts
of the Wanamun-Watershed between the A:mazon and
Corentyn-Pianogh ottos-Jun action of the Curuni with
the Cutarni Cataracts of : the Corjentyn-Waterfall
Frederick TVWlliiih IV.--Path of Don Francisco Jose
Rodrigues. Barata between the Corentyn and Ess'eqibo-
Return to Georgetoi,--E.r,,'-r.iotn up the D)emerara-
Floating grass-flats-Donacobins vociferans-Neetandra
Rodici-The Chain of Sandhills-Fauna, and Flora of the
Same-Golden Hill-aBends of the Demerara-Ka.shw'ma
.Hill.-T7-Vtur papa-Tributaries, of, the Demverara-
GCranite Maa.ses--Rapids-Ororun Mallal7i or Big Fall-
Topographical ann Sta.tisttIal Remarks condemning Bri-
tish CGuT na-Return to Europe .... .,.. .,, 72---409


Departure from Pirara--Vegetation of the Savannahs on the far-
ther side of the Pirara-Lake Venturu-Whirlwinds on the Savannah-
Animal life in the Savannah dust-Opening of the Pirara into the
Mahu-Camp pn the Pirara--Sources of the Mahu--Return of Mr.
Fryer with the sick man to Pirara--Meteorological Observations on the
Pirara-Savannah fire--Junction of the Mahu with the Takutu--Crax
tomentosa-Delphinus amazonicus-River Capaya---Camp at the moouth
of the Mucu-Mucu on the Takutu-Mouth of the Camu and Awarrimanni
-The first rapids of the Takutu-Mt. Curatawuiburi-Opisthocomus
cristatus-Banks of the Takutu with Agate and Chalcedony-Anas
moschata-Mouth of the Sawara-auuru-Route of Surgeon Hortsmann in
the year 1739-Mountain-system formation of the bed of the Takutu---
Hydrolycus scomberoides-Way of living of the Fish Otter-Scabunk
Cataract and River-Tabernaemontana Humboldtii-Tenette Village--
Cursato Mountain Range-Customs of the Wapisianas-Ibis oxryercus.

1. Awakening morn, 24th March, 1842, found us all busily engaged:
the village itself had become a heap of excited ants; old and young were
gathered around our house because it meant good-bye once more to
women and children. Though the bundles had been divided up amongst
their respective carriers the night before, there was still a lot to be done
in altering the packs before- he broad forehead bands could be fixed in
position. The Indian rarely carries a load on his shoulders, but almost
always with the help of the neck muscles. A broad band of bast with
the ends tied on to the two main-sticks of the pannier (Rute), is of just
such a length to allow of the load, resting on the back, being carried
by the head, while the middle of the supporting band pulls on the fore-
head, instead of two bands dragging on the shoulders as with us. Al-
ready by yesterday afternoon, the village showed up more lively than
usual, because in addition to the solid substitute for Paiwari which, like
our soup-tablets, had to be taken on the journey, each woman had to pre-
pare a number of delicacies etc. for her husband, to fill his. rouge-pot
afresh, in short to look after all the little trifles required on an Indian
excursion, and get everything packed in a water-tight little basket
(Pacara) plaited out of Calathea. If the trip lasts several, days the
ever-present Paiwari is also necessary: to do without his favourite drink
for longer than 24 hours would be a demand to which the native would
only submit with a growl. A few days before the house-master has to
leave, his wife bakes some fresh cassava bread; a portion of this is
chewed, while the remainder is kneaded with the chewed mass and
thickened manihot juice into a dough which is carefully preserved and
taken on the road. After four or five days, the fermentation process has
already taken place.. When the Indian wants to quench his ever active
thirst, he takes a small quantity of the mess, puts it into a calabash,
pours water on it and now stirs away until such time as it is all dissolved.



This substitute will keep at the very most for certainly fourteen days,
but by the end of that time it will have developed into a play-ground for
innumerable maggots. The thirsty soul accordingly takes care that no
such devolution shall take place..
2. But the real travelling gear consists of the beloved hammock, the
hunting bag mostly made of jaguar skin, bow, arrows, some fish-hooks,
the filled rouge-pot, glass and comb, the calabash, a small bundle of
tobacco leaves and some strips of the paper-like bast of Lecythis ollaria
Linn. in which he rolls his tobacco to smoke like a cigarette.
3. Although we knew that whenever he undertakes a journey of
several weeks' duration the Indian never leaves his wife at home, equally
trom motives ot jealousy, as for his own innate comfort, to which she has
to minister sufficiency in every respect, we had nevertheless made it
distinctly understood, when hiring the carriers and guides that, with the
exception of Bororeng and Aiyukante, a Macus wvho had been with my
brother on a previous journey and as a mighty Piai was held in consider.
able repute among the whole of the tribe, no one was to take his wife and
children with him. Our object was not to increase our party, already
numerous enough without these dependents.
4. .When Aiyukante, accompanied by his daught-er and Baru, his
second wife-torbe, a pretty long-haired girl ten years of age who
cherished a'deep-rooted objection to her future lord and master, appeared
in front of our house, he was nevertheless followed by some few Indians
Also with wives and children, ready equipped with bag and baggage for
the trip. If we really wanted to start, we would have to make the best of a
)ad job: to call these dependents back would mean the men following
suit. The poor creatures were loaded up not only with all their cooking
utensils, hammocks, etc., but also with large quantities of cassava meal,
although it was we who had to board them on the journey-because ab-
stinence from fresh cassava bread for longer than a couple of days is
yet another of an Indian palate's minor sorrows. The cassava meal is
tightly packed in spacious plaited baskets which are previously lined
with palm-leaves and at every camp so much taken out as will suffice
for some fresh bread for the husband, it being baked either on a stone or
equally as well in one of their empty pots. As the master, mistress and
children left their house, they were naturally followed by the whole crowd
of dogs that, with their insensate barking, were already intoning a
Jubileehymn on the journey in store, when fortunately the wishes of
their owners ran counter to their own, a fact of which they were soon to
be convinced by many a sound thrashing and repeated showers of stones.
5. After we had finally said good-bye to Mr. Youd, and the officers
who had come over from the fort, our party of forty-nine persons made
a move in Indian file, the. women forming the rearguard. The road
through the savannah, tending to.the westward, brought us after half-
an-hour's plenty of winding to the banks of the Pirara River, where it over-
flowed from Lake Amucu. The former, however, "was so dry that we
could wade through it without any trouble. The pretty clusters of
Hlicteres guazumaefolia shrub with their scarlet-red floral decorations




that grow in isolated places here in the neighbourhood of the Pirara soon
lay behind us. With the crossing of this river the rolling ground stretch-
ing towards the south completely disappeared.. Our course was a north-
westerly one. The change in surface formation was accompanied with
an alteration in soil. The clay that generally constitutes the substratum
lost its red colouring, while those rounded hiiny bits of qluartz and clay,
stained red-brown with oxide of iron, that had covered the undulating
savannah for miles and miles, were no longer visible. The ant-hills were
also entirely wanting in the plain. As the whole of this stretch lies
something like a hundred feet below Pirara Village it forms a lake,
Lake Amucu or Parima,* during the rainy season. In its vegetation
this flat corresponded entirely with what was already known to me,
except that the predominating Byrsonima verbascifolia covering the
savannah in all directions with its silvery felt-like leaves and yellow
blossoms at least caused uL break in the general uniformity: the latter, at
all events, had reached tffeir culminating point, owing to the.dry season
now coming to an end. Cyperaceae such as Cyperus amentaceus Rudge,
Isolepis jundiform's Huni'b. Bonp., I. capillaris Roem. et Schult.,
Hypolytrum pungens Vahl., Chlorideae and Festucaceae, in between
which one nevertheless found plenty Eriocauloneae, formed the usual
herbage-covering. Among the latter the Paepalanthus capillaceus
has a specially peculiar interest in that the Indian by burning off the
savannah apparently helps it to blossom. When the fire destroys all the
leaves the innumerable sweet-scented knob-like buds start developing
within the next two or three days from out of the thick, short, leafless,
blackened stalks: if the flowering season is over, then the leaves alone
appear. I have only in exceptionally rare cases found specimens which,
escaping the fire, possessed leaves and blossoms at one and the same time.
A species of grass, though I never saw it in flower, often covered entire
areas to the exclusion of others, and was specially interesting on account
of its name: the Macusi called it vannah and such flats vandai. Whether
the term Savannah might be derived from this word, I must of course leave
to etymologists to decide.t The ground was so cracked with the intense
heat that it was covered with a regular network of clefts over three to four
inches wide.
6. Our journey would have proved extremely monotonous today had
it not been lightened by the Canuku and Pacaraima Ranges in the south
and north respectively, combined with the innumerable blue blossoms of
Eichhornia azurea and Heteranthera limosa Vahl. that had gathered;
near the now almost waterless Lake Venturu and the large flocks of duck
which on our near approach rose from it with a piping cry. That the
'Anas viduata and brasiliensis had to supply a numerous contingent for
our next meal, it is unnecessary for mne to say. Besides these, an occa-
sional Cara-Cara eagle or two went careering around the dried-up swampy
ground, while small companies of Ibis albicollis Vieill enlivened' the

According to Sanson's map of 1656, Parime is the name given it by the Carib, but Ro-
ponowini by the laoyi (Ed.)
+ The word is derived from (the Spanish) Sabana, a cloth or large sheet'(Ed.)



dreary plain. On scaring the latter they let out their peculiar loud rolling
note. I have noticed these Ibis less often on the edges of swamps
than on dried-up swamp-beds, where one usually finds some six to eight
of them together. Myeteria, Ardea, Ciconia etc., which previously gave
life to such scenes had all taken their departure with the disappearing
water to the savannah streams.
7. Towards mid-day, undex a temperature of 1250 F. the effects of
the reflected solar rays were soon to be recognized not only in the atmos-
phere, that seemed to set everything dancing, but also in my own circular
tion. Occasional cooling currents of air out of which one passed again
into sultry hot layers only made the contrast all the more perceptible.
Peculiar and apparently new meteorological phenomena for me were the
many whirlwinds and consequent wind-spouts which, since the Rupununi
savannah, I never saw again in such numbers. Suddenly from out of a
spot amongst the dust and bush-leaves, etc., one sees a portion being
driven along over the flat in an apparently horizontal direction in a spiral
course until, its commencing area continuing to rise, it soon stands up
momentarily like a spiral column on the savannah over which it then
rushes; at the same time its lower portion becomes more and more trans-
parent, it divides itself midway and disappears without a trace. Appar.
ently the reason for these numerous wind-spouts lies in the inequality of
temperature in the atmospheric layers produced by the reflected solar
heat, and in the resultant currents of air passing, it is true, in parallel
yet in opposed directions. After little Lake Venturu, where the water
left remaining was hardly drinkable, we again did another eight or ten
miles without quenching our burning thirst, though the 1250 F.. was by
no means the maximum of the day's temperature, which was only reached
about three o'clock. The regular Indian file of the morning had long been
broken up; if one took a look back, the tired rear-guard followed those in
the lead at a wide interval, and many of them were actually beyond the
far-reaching horizon.
8. We started out with plenty of cheering, joking and good spirits,
but in proportion as the heat increased, the noisy voices became gradually
hushed. Wherever a miserable Ouratella threw its shadow, one noticed
one or other of the exhausted negroes and Germans hurrying to rest in
its pale shade. The Indians, however, even under their loads, were not
given to such weakness: they briskly forged ahead along the narrow path
and met all specific questions as to how far it still was to Pirara mouth,
the day's objective, with an adroitly turned countenance and the reply,
"A-minki, A-minki, Matti (Very far, very far, friend)," surely
not much comfort for people dead-tired and half-
perishing with thirst. Finally there appeared on the
horizon a row of trees in vibratory motion-it was the timliered
banks of the Pirara. Every bit of strength not yet wasted was hastily
gathered to make an end of the intolerable conditions, and rest our ex-
hausted limbs in the dusky shadows. The longed-for Eldorado was not
reached until four o'clock when we were at last able to fulfil the one
desire we cherished. An hour's rest in the dark shade of the green trees
so strengthened our weary limbs that at least the portion of our column


that had steadily kept ahead with the Indians, reached Pirara mouth.
Many of those left behind only came in late at night, while the remainder,
and this was the greater number of negroes and Germans, only arrived on
the following morning. We had done seventeen miles which, under a tem-
perature of 125-130' F. and over a savannah without any shelter, was
far from being so insignificant as it might seem.
9. The widely spreading branches and densely-foliaged top of a large
Mararen tree (Copaifera Jacquini Desf.) which stood at a short distance
from Pirara mouth, but quite close to its bank, and on the monstrous
trunk of which the numerous scars, old and new, showed how often its
gum had been taken possession of, while the ground cleared of all under-
growth indicated how generally it must have been used for a landing
stage-likewise promised us the wished-for shelter, and we immediately
picked it for our camp.
10. While Pirara was in possession of the Brazilians, there was active
communication between them and the people on the Rio Branco and Fort
Sao Joaquim: this was interrupted only during the dry sea-on owing to
the want of water in the Pirara, because at this time of the year the folk
on the Rio Branco cannot bring their big corials further than here.
11. To collect Mararen balsam the Indians hack a deep cut halfway
round the lower portion of the trunk, till it reaches down to the core. In
certain months, particularly February and March, the resinous sap flows
out in quantity and fills the cavity out of which it is drained from time
to time. We also found the cuts filled, and innumerable wasps and flies
collected around. Could the former, perhaps, be using the balsam as a
binding-material for their nests? Except for wounds and for anointing
the body and hair, the Indians do not use the balsam for anything fur-
ther, because all those devastating diseases in the healing of which it was
previously generally employed are still foreign to them: they only collect
it at the present time because it has become known as an article of barter
that is enquired for and easily obtained. In the immediate vicinity of our
camp several Tontelia trees equally interested me from the very first on
account of the rich colouring of their flowers. On subsequent investiga-
tion they turned out to be new species, and Tontelia guianensis Klotzsch
was my first find on the Pirara.. The opposite bank of the river rose
perpendicularly to a height of 20 to 30 feet.
12. Although during the course of the following day two small corials
were found by the Indians under the shrub along the riverside, they
seemed in such a miserable condition that we would not have trusted
even our less valuable baggage in them without previous substantial
repairs. These could be effected at our leisure as three days' rest at
least were required to see what effect the land transport had exercised
on both chronometers, which were kept in a small tin canister, that had
been carried by the most reliable of the Germans, one Reiter, by means
of a strap over his shoulder. The corials could consequently be repaired
by the time we made a fresh start, and as the Curatella americana on,
account of its crooked growth, supplied us with most excellent "knee"
timbers,' it was without any great trouble that we were able to give the
vessels the necessary stability, The uniformly croQoke branches of this



tree might be used with considerable advantage for the frames of mili-
tary saddles: it is generally met with throughout the savannahs and I
..firmly, believe that from those situate between the Rupununi and the
Rio Branco, the whole of the European Cavalry could be supplied. The
Macusi call the tree Curatakie, for it is particularly with its rough leaves
that a polish is given to the casing of their blow-guns (Cura).
13. Though the effect of the transport on the chronometers was
shown to be nil, and the corials were repaired, we were nevertheless
detained at camp through an unfortunate accident. Owing to their ripe
fruit the very many Cucurit (Maximilia regia) and Sawari palms hem-
ming in the banks proved a favourite resort for innumerable blue
'Araras. On the morning after our arrival I had shot several, with
which Hamlet had made a most delicious soup. Stockle and Petri, the
fourth German, having tasted the latter and finding plenty of good
cause to prepare a similar dish for themselves, both started off at once
,to. get the necessary ingredients.
14. They had not long disappeared among the trees when a shot
followed by a yell piercing our very marrow, bones, set the whole camp
,in commotion. All rushed tb the spot where we found Petri on the
ground rolling in blood, and Stockle, wringing and writhing his hands,
rushing round him. As we bent down over the poor devil we discovered
an extensive gun-shot wound on the lower side of the shoulder-blade.
Its situation naturally led us to the conclusion that Stickle must have
been the careless and silly marksman for which we immediately re-
proached him most bitterly; the latter, however, maintained that he
was blameless, that his gun was still loaded, that at the time of the shot
he was nowhere near Petri, that he had only come up when he heard the
cry for help, and that therefore he (Petri) must have shot himself. It
turned out to be so. Petri, wanting to creep through a thicket, had
dragged behind him his gun, which, as he assured us later, was un-
cocked, when the trigger was probably held fast by a creeper, forcibly
pulled, and so raised, the result being that the weapon was fired. After
Carrying him still unconscious to camp where, owing to the wound
in the back, it was impossible for him to lie In a hammock, we prepared
a staging with sticks thickly covered with grass, and on examining the
wound no one believed he would live till morning. iThe outer wound
was the size of a three-uennv piece which showed that the shot-lad n
barrel must have been fired at quit- close quarters: the shoulder-blade,
however, was smashed to pieces. Mr. Fryer. to whom gunshot wounds
were nothin!T strange, searched for everything in the medicinX-chest
that might give the sufferer relief of any description. The greatest
torment of all, however,-the frightful heat-unfortunately could not
be alleviated, for in spite of the thermometer being under the tent, and
this again shaded by the Mararen tree, it yet recorded about three
o'clock in the afternoon 970 to 1000 F.: its lowest reading at six in thd
morning was 730. Notwithstanding the continuously repeated douch-
ing, maggots had already developed in the wound three days later, and
tbe stench was almost unbearable, As, the patient fortunately with-



stood the traumatic fever, Mr. Fryer expressed the hope that the popr
fellow might still be saved.
15. It being impossible for us to remain here, and the sick man ultable
to follow us, a messenger was despatched to Mr. Youd on the'morning
after the' accident asking him to send eight Indians along to carry : the
unfortunate fellow over to Pirara. Mr. Fryer and Tiedge would aceom
pany him, and remain until their mutual help was no longer required.
Petri, however, was not for long the only wounded patient. For keeping
us in health during the insufferable heat the cooling waters of the Pirara
proved a very great blessing which unfortunately however only too soon
drove us to despair because one of our Indian boy-followers, while
swimming across the river, had a big bit of flesh bitten out of his foot by
a ravenous Pirai (Pygocentrus) : his awful screams, on receiving the
wound, made us at first fear that he had become the prey of a kaiman.
Fright and pain had given him such a shock that he could barely reach,
the shore. Considering the immense quantities of these terrible preda-
tory fish which the Pirara contains, and numbers of times we had bathed,
it was very lucky that no more of us had been bitten already. As there
was no pleasure in risking one's body amongst these villains, bathing
was naturally stopped, though it was hard to make the resolution. The
firm conviction that our expedition must meet with an unfortunate con-
clusion was henceforth the established belief of all the superstitious folk,
from Indians to Stockle inclusive.
16. After what had hitherto lieen the watering-place, the juicy and"
pleasantly sourish fruits of a Eugenia (Eugenia cauliflora De C.?) which
had quite the size and shape of a greengage, and were of a brown-red
colour, supplied us with an uncommonly refreshing drink, in the
preparation of which the Indians were our teachers: they called the fruit
Casami. We fonnd this species here for the first time: in the course of
our journey it was present in considerable quantity the whole way up the
Takutu, where it appeared most plentifully in between the rock-frag-
ments that cross the river so plentifully.
17.. The Mahu, rolling along with its coffee-brown waters between
the thickly hedged-in banks, was far more extensive than I imagined.
Its sources are on the northern slope of the Pacaraima Ranges, upon a
tableland over which it soon forms an imposing waterfall.- called the
Carona, to continue its course along the picturesque, although barren
valleys of the range. During the rainy season this river particularly
contributes in large measure to the flooding of the savannah when at the
same time the peculiar phenomenon comes to light that the waters of two
streams of absolutely different river systems join with one another.,
18. As a result of the present low water level in the Pirara near its
mouth, the brown surfaces of a number of larger and smaller boulders
of a coarse-grained quartz conglomerate, cemented with a ferruginous
clay became exposed and in isolated spots formed regular banks. Such
situations appeared to be the most favoured by the Eugenia mentioned
above, because one did not meet the former without the latter, Though

_ __



the flora in the environs showed no great variation* the little strawberry-
tasting fruit of the small Psidium turbiniflorum Marti, called Piriko by
the Indians, as well as that of the Eugenia, gave us a cordial that was
much sought after. The fruit of another species was of almost the same
size as Psidium pomiferum: its bushes are three to four feet high,-the
Indians called this one Cunang. Although we managed to collect so much
of the fruit, we only succeeded in finding one blossom to allow of our
identifying these two interesting species.

19. As there was nothing for the Indians to do in the enforced inter-
yal they daily followed their love of hunting, and never returned home
without a rich harvest in deer, large birds, like Mycteria, the Glutton
.(Sawiwi of the Macusi) and ducks. One of the Mycteria with its wings
outstretched measured 7 feet 2 inches. When the bird is still young, its
flesh is very like beef, and Hamlet prepared such excellent cuts from the
breast that they could hardly be distinguished from "beef-steaks," but
with older birds other chewing organs and muscles than ours
were certainly necessary for masticating it. The thick bush
at the riverside re-echoed every morning and evening with the
lovely yet mournful song of the beautiful trupial which I saw
here for the first time in a wild state. It is only found within the
hemmed-in brushwood of the banks of the savannah streams, and accord-
ing to the statement of the Indians most frequently on the Mahu, Pirara
and Takutu. It hangs its bag-like nest, which is built of the finest blades
of grass, on arborescent bushes that grow on the edge of the savannah.
In Georgetown it is generally valued for its lovely note, and is eagerly
bought by the colonists from the Indians who bring it down only to die
prematurely on account of its apparent inability to endure close confine-
ment. Although I found this bird tame in almost every settlement on the
journey, it nevertheless had perfect freedom to fly wherever it liked. In
Georgetown, the average price for a trupial, as the colonists term it, is
five dollars. Our Macusis call it Murumuruta, and the Brazilians, the
Guiana Nightingale. Another light brown bird which I also found here
for the first time was the Furnarius leucopus Sw. : it also lives
in the brushwood on the banks of the savannah streams. Shortly
before sunrise and sunset its clear piping voice re-echoed throughout the
scrub, for which reason it served from now onwards as the Reveille for
break of day and commencement of work. The garrulous "Q'est-ce-que-
dit" was just as plentiful. This genus, with its so inmnerous species,
seems to be spread over the whole of Guiana; the Macusis call it Sette-
qui. Tfhe pirais in the Pirara were just as abundant as the electric
eels which were caught in quantities on the hook: as soon as one of the
latter took the bait, it was immediately felt by the shock, on account of the
instantaneous electrical discharge, that gave rise to many a comic scene.

'*-Liania inoana Aubl.., Kleeteres .puazumnafoli, Sida linfolia Cav., Pavonimapeciosa Humb.
Kunth., P. caneellat" Cav., Melochiafatoiculata Benth., M. medis.aefolia Benth., Tihouchina aspera,
Mimosa eamporum Benth., Neptunia polyphylla Benth., Rhynoanthera acuminata Benth., Miconia
fallax DeC,


20. A week after the unfortunate accident the eight Indians that we
had asked for arrived, and as the traumatic fever had run its course, Mr..
Fryer thought that he, with the patient, could undertake the journey to
Pirara.. Mr. Youd's letter to my brother of course regarded the misad-
venture as the direct punishment of Heaven for breaking the third Comr
mandment: because it was a Sunday on which Petri had gone out hunm.
ing with Stockle, and I also. It was on the 2nd of April that Mr. Fryer
and the sufferer, for whom a comfortable stretcher had been prepared,
left our camp in company with Tiedge and Hamlet, who had suddenly
fallen sick. From the time that our little Indian Cumeru got bitten,
everybody could foresee that Hamlet would be ill, extremely ill, on the
day that poor Petri was to leave. The latter's bad luck had stimulated
Hamlet's superstition, confirmed by Cumeru's mishap with the pirai, that
the evil spirits were resolved upon our destruction and that it would be
madness to defy the warning voice that had spoken loudly enough. When
he found that my brother, inspired by criminal obstinacy, was determined
upon continuing the journey in spite of the evil omens, he feigned sick-
ness to save himself from the general ruin: however little we were at first
inclined to believe in its genuineness we nevertheless finally gave wal
and let the superstitious rogue return to Pirara in view of the fact that
Mr. Fryer had no one to cook for him during his stay there.
21. To avoid the oppressive heat of the day, the party started off at
3 o'clock in the morning. Sympathetically, and deeply moved, we took
leave of our poor countryman but gave Hamlet an awful fright by sud-
denly calling nim back; no longer able to hide his joy he was just then
following the stretcher beaming with smiles. Its effect upon the scamp
was so powerful that anxiety sweated out of every pore, and there at the
very spot we had checked him he remained for several minutes shivering
and speechless, until we again at length gave him permission to desert us.
22. We also struck camp on the same day. The two small corials
manned by two paddles lodged the instruments, a portion of the bag-
gage as well as poor Cumeru, who was at yet unable to us3 his foot. and
could not by any means be prevailed upon to return to Pirara.
23. The thermometrical observations taken at the mouth, during our
stay between 27th March and the 2nd April, 1842, gave the following
mean results:-


6 a.m. 9 a.m. 12 noon. 3 p.m. 6 p.m. Max. Min.

75.72 88.13 91.82 94.92 86.07 98, 73

According to both chronometers the geographical longitude of Pirara
village was 15' 30" (in arc) W.
24. After crossing the Pi.rara and climbing the steep bank opposite
with difficulty and trouble, we continued our journey in a south-westerly
direction over a monotonously level savannah towards the junction of
the Mahu with the Takutu, We had not followed this course long before


we..recognized in the South-East innumerable columns of smoke, the
sure indications of a savannah fire, and the Indians anxiously urged us
to hurry on because the conflagration would probably be rolling up to us.
At first we ridiculed their fears that appeared so improbable, but by the
next quarter of an hour our smiling countenance had changed into one
of the most bitter seriousness. The danger increased with every minute
and soon the awful knowledge dawned upon us that we could not escape
it. Look in whichever direction we might, we could nowhere discern
any darker coloration in the grassy flats, the site of a swamp; we could
nowhere distinguish one of the oases.. But we already recognized the
column of fire itself that, fanned by an upspringing South-East wind,
was rushing headlong towards us, and we distinctly heard the smashing
and roaring of the spluttering herbage, when the sharp eyes of the In-
dians discovered some small rises ahead, that were only sparsely covered
with low grass, and thither we hurried blindly, so as to let the unre-
strained element rage past. Half a minute later, and a terrible death
would have been our lot. With wildly beating hearts we saw the sea of
fire that had already encompassed us, rolling up like a gust of wind,
the glowing flames scorching our faces and forcing us to turn our backs,
and await the awful psychological moment in the resignation of despair.
The blazing breath of flame shot up towards me-two glowing arms of
fire glided round the bottom of the hill to junction again ahead in a wav-
ine mass, at which I stared with an inward shudder, until it gradually
withdrew-we were saved! The flames had, it is true, singed the short
grass along the hill-side, but had not met sufficient fuel to permit of our
horrible fears becoming terrible realities. Whole crowds of greedy birds of
prev, like hungry jackals, circled around and alongside the column of fire
and gave chase to the half-burTt snakes and lizarld that were escaping
from the unfettered element. When with the rapidity of lightning they
swooped down on the nrev 'dercridcl. an for a moment disanneared
among the wreaths of smoke, if looked as though they wanted to immo-
late themselves in fire.
25. The deafening noise soon subsided, while the black clouds still
indicated the devastating course the fire was taking: as the South-East
wind that was still blowing covered us with the light ashes over
which we were now treading we soon became regular chimney-
sweeps. That the Indians possessed infinitely more stoical equanimity
than we did, was again demonstrated here: while the terror of the sus-
pense still weighed upon us like an oppressive nightmare for a consider-
able time afterwards, they were already on the road with smiling coun-
tenances and continuous witticisms over the change which the ashes had
made in our appearance. And yet at every step the torment of thirst
increased and with every breath the mucous membrane of the mouth and
nose became completely covered with the fine charcoal-dust.
26. After more than an hour-long trip, we finally saw a thickly
wooded fringe starting up ahead, to which the siren voice of the waters
of the Mahu was soon joined. With double-quick stride we hastened on,
to moisten our dried-up mouths, to quench our scorching thirst, and free
our bodies from the unpleasant ashy.dust that covered them. The yearn-



ed-for objective was soon reached, but our agony was in no sense relieved,
for here we stood deluded upon the 25 to 30 ft. high precipitous banks
and gazed down on the bewitchingly smiling water, without being able to
reach it. After following the stream for something like half-an-hour we
at last found a spot where with the help of some tree-roots growing close
to the bank there was a chance of overcoming the difficulty that had hith-
erto been tantalizing us. Regardless of danger everybody tried to satisfy
his maddened greed as quickly as possible, and we were soon refreshing
ourselves with the clear coffee-brown water. Strengthened and revived
we endeavoured to climb the bank which was certainly infinitely more
difficult than coming down it.
27. The goal of to-day's journey, the mouth of the Mahu, still lay
before us, and we swiftly sped along. Several swampy places,. that we
had to wade through, were thickly covered with the glorious Mauritw
burdened with their huge often 5 to 6 feet long fruit-tufts. Although the
fruits, dropping here and there as they become ripe, are greedily eaten
not only by Indians but by several quadrupeds, the Psittacus maka-
vuanna Linn. must be extra fond of them, because we rarely met a group
of these palms on which numerous flocks of these brilliant
birds were not settled, they being very generally. accustomed to nest in
the holes bored in the trunks by the woodpeckers. At every group of
palms we reached, the deep silence, which is especially noticeable in the
tropics at midday when most of the animals remain quiet in the shadows,
was broken by a peculiar rolling sound, that spread as a warning note on
all sides, when the numerous swarms would rise, and screaming and
shrieking fly round the trees. The green colour of the feathers only rarely
betrayed the parrots to the eye searching for them among the similarly
tinted palm-fronds. Besides noisy birds, a second but silent resident
of the Mauritia is to be seen here, the Vanilla palmarum Lindl. It is
strange that this orchid is present on no other palm except the Mauritia.
It always roots on the base of the leaf stalks, between which some humus
collects, while its tendrils hang down the smooth grey trunk. Now and
again I found it also on granite ljoulders where it grows in the crevices
filled with earth.
28. Towards 4 o'clock we reached our destination, the junction of
the Mahu with the Takutu. Like other savannah rivers, their banks are
clothed with a thick vegetation, for which reason their immediate sur-
Sroundings contrast so forcibly with the more sterile plains. This forest
fringe that took us half-an-hour to cross before reaching the river itself,
consisted partly of lofty trees, partly of a dense arboreal brushwood
stretching from the banks right down to the water-edge over which it
hung to shade the water quietly gliding along. Up above, this scrub
wood was so thick that it only here and there let a passionate solar ray
kiss its mother Earth. The larger trees belonged mostly to the Cordiaceae,
Malpighiaceae, and Mirmosae. The first genus was represented chiefly by
Cordia tetraphylla Aubl. that interesting tree which the Colonists, on
account of its broad flat depressed top, call the "Table tree." As the
limbs all branch off at a right angle, the tree at a dis'anoe has really
quite the appearance of a huge rolun table, Just as the Psittacus makif-


vtuanna chooses the Mauritia for its breeding place, so do the Caussicus
persicus and C. cristatus particularly prefer the isolated standing Cordia
from which to hang their purse-shaped nests, that naturally assist in
making the tree look still more extraordinary than it already is.
29. Just as plentiful as the Cordia tetraphylla was an arborescent
Malpighia the ripe orange-coloured berries of which covered the whole
ground, where they were eagerly gathered by our Indians; by no manner
of means could we discover the "sweet-tooth" they found in them. More
beautiful in its form and branch-structure however seemed to me a
Mimosa with bright grey trunk and fine feathery vivid green leaves.
Unfortunately we found no blossoms on either of these very interesting
30. A somewhat cleaner spot on the left bank of the Mahu offered
us a convenient camping ground. It was some hours aftelP our arrival
that both boats put in an appearance. As the Mahu had coffee-brown
water, and the Takutu a greenish-blue one-which again reminded me
very forcibly of the pleasant waters of my native Rhine, except that the
eye searched in vain for the proud battlements of the old feudal castles
and simply found an immense yellow plain--so here also, as in the case of
the Essequibo and the Rupununi, the dividing line of the waters of both
streams only disappeared after a long stretch. At the junction of their
two sides, the breadth of the Mahu amounted to 263 yards, and that of
the Takutu to 192, which might easily lead us to assume that the latter
is a tributary of the former. The Wapisianas and Atorais, who occupy
its basin, call it Butu-auuru: our Macusis called the Mahu Ireng. As
the geographical latitude of the junction of both streams had not yet been
determined, it was necessary to remain here until the sky should permit
of taking astronomical observations. Owing to this delay my love for
the chase found plenty of scope on account of the numerous Psittacini
that were met with. The Cucurit and Sawari palms sheltered the blue
macaws, the Malpighia laden with ripe fruit had its lovely sun-parrots
(Psittacus solstitialis Linn., Kessi-Kessi of the Indians), which I also saw .
here for the first time, while the broad forest belt proved a favourite
resort of the beautiful Hokko-hen (Orax tomentosa Spix, Ourax eirythro-
rhjinchus Sw., Pauituima of the Indians). As the glorious metallic-lus-
tred bird is found only in the forested banks of the savannah streams
the Colonists call it the Savannah Powis.
31. According to the circum-meridian altitude of the Southern
Cross, the mouth of the Mahu is situate in 3 35' 8" lat. N.. This beau-
tiful constellation is generally regarded by the Indians as the abode of
the Spirit of the Savannah, just as they also wanted us to believe that
the moment it reaches the zenith, the fact is notified to them by the
deep wailing note of the Pauituimas. We had always disavowedly laughed
at this assurance. For although the statement had once previously been
really confirmed, and the Cross happened to have reached its zenith at
the very time that the bird usually sounds its hollow melancholy note,
namely, at 4 o'clock in the morning, we could not in this one particular
case be quite satisfied with its corroboration. But on the 4th April, the
alpha of the Cross had just reached its meridian at 25 minutes past 11 at


night when at the same moment the hollow note of the Pauituimas sound,
ed through the still air: in the course of a quarter of an hour, quiet
reigned around our environs. As we had never head the bird at such an
hour of night, the statement appeared so vivid and striking in this in-
stance that all doubts as to the extraordinary fact were dispelled.*
32. The sky, during our stay at the junction, was for the most part
clouded, and this, coupled with the fresh east wind, contributed a good
deal in mitigating the heat to which we were certainly much exposed
owing to a 2,600 ft. long sandbank in the immediate neighbourhood of
the camp. Already by the evening of our arrival my attention was
several times drawn to the number of large dolphins emerging above the
water. Not rarely from six to eight appeared in pairs skimming around
on the surface as quick as arrows, or else constantly bobbing up and
down, when they would not only raise their pointed snouts out of the
water, but mostly a large portion of their seven to eight foot long body,
With uplifted heads and a loud noise that much resembled the
snorting of a horse they expelled through the spout-
holes in the form of fine drizzling rain the water they had gulped into
their muzzles: it lent unusual charm to the quiet landscape. I never
noticed this particular species expelling water in spouts as is the case
with the others. Unfortunately we had no harpoon to secure one of
these interesting creatures, and all the many attempts at killing them
by bullet proved unavailing. Except in the Takutu and the Zuruma I
have never found them in any other Guiana river: they do not even seem
to travel up the Mahu. According to the characters observable during
their transitory appearance, they must be Delphinus amazonicus Mart.,
which could easily have found their way through the Rio Negro, Rio
Branco and the Takutu. They appeared to be especially numerous dur-
ing the rainy season and immediately after, when the raised mass of
water still covered the rapids. They must be particularly fond of the
lake-like spots where the two rivers joined; at least, this is what we
believed ourselves entitled to conclude considering the large number
met in the neighbourhood of the functionsn of the Zuruma and Virua with
the Takutu. Above the connection of the Mahu. they had entirely disap-
33. On one of our trips to the opposite side of the Taliutu, the
siarp-discerning eyes of an Indian had found a corial hidden among the
hushes on the bank: by virtue of the elasticity of human conscience our
conceptions of Mine and Thine had widened out a bit, and, as a result, it
was welcomed as a lucky discovery and substantial repairs undertaken
at the spots where damaged. Although the clear waters enticed us so
invitingly to bathe, the fear of the piratical pirai made us resist the temp-
fation, no one daring to immerse any portion of his body even for a
momentary cooling.. That the thieves must have been collected here in

Arawaks and Warraus believe that the Southern Cross represents the Powis (Craz sp.), the
nearer pointer to it being the Indian just about to let fly his arrow, the farther one indicating
his companion With a fire-stick running up behind. See Roth' Anitnismt and Yolk-Lore"
Etc. (Ed.)


really large numbers was'shown by the quantity that the Indians caught
on the hook. At the same time, another equally interesting fish- fre-
quently topk the bait, the Pimelodus ifsigais Jard., a creature that is
particularly noticeable owing to its external conformation because the
second dorsal fin reaches from the tail to the first dorsal one so that the
first- pair of float fins are of considerable size. When thrown out- of the
water, it often survives for more than half an hour outside its own 'ele
ment: its food consists of small fish, its flesh is undoubtedly one of the
most dainty morsels, and-it is caught up to 18 inches in length.
34. As on the Rupununi, I also found on the sandbank mentioned
above, the Desmanthus covered with its parasite, the Loranthus guian-
ensis. The opposite bank of the Mahu was regularly bordered with lofty
trees of the Mimosa Schomburgkii Benth., the white florescence of which
covered the dark and delicate feathery foliage like a veil. The therno-
metrical observations, from 3rd to 5th April gave the following results :


1842 6 a m. 9 a.m. 12 noon 8 p.m. 6 p.m. Remarks

8td to 5th oA little driz-
April. 72.50 80.12 89.12 89.43 82.50 zlingrain
April. ling rain

35. According to the natural dividing line, the Takutu from its
source to the mouth of the Zuruma was regarded as a portion of the south-
ern boundary between British Guiana and Brazil, and the name Victoria
Regina with date was therefore cut into a Mimosa (Sect. 298), the
species of which it was impossible to determine on account of the want of
flowers: the Queen was then proclaimed Mistress over the area with
every prescribed formality.
36. On the 16th April we resumed our journey: the baggage was for
the most part packed in the three corials in which Mr. Goodall and my-
self also took our places, while my brother and the others proceeded
overland along the bank. With his party he crossed the shallow spot
in the Takutu about half an hour's distance from our camp which the
Brazilians had used as a ford during their connection with Pirara, and
those on foot were soon lost to sight: we travelling by corials instead,
made but extremely slow progress on account of the low water.
37. In respect to the forest of great lofty trees, the hemming-in of
the banks of the Takutu corresponded entirely with that of the Mahu:
now and again the bambu (Guadua latifolia) replaced the arborescent
scrub. Though the corials were at first always confronted with water
sufficient for us to pole them along in, this soon failed us in the bulk
on account of the numerous sand banks over which we were forced to drag'
them: for this reason we reached the camp several hours later than those
on foot, where to the joy of our hungry stomachs we found the filled-up
meat-pots ready emptied into the dishes. The huntsmen had killed a deer
and Hamlet's substitute, Adams, likewise a black, had done everything
to make us forget his temporary loss.


38. The camp had been pitched on the left bank of the Takutu at
the month of the small stream Macupara, the name given it by the Macusi
after a tree that grows plentifully along its banks.. Judging from the
apple-like fruit, it is Aublet's iMacoucco guianensis (Ilex Macocou
Pers.) In the course of the day, we passed the mouth of the Manari,
that empties itself into the right bank of the Takutu. At the spots
where the Savannah came into direct contact with the bed of the Takutu,
the banks consisted mostly of 40 to 50 ft. high perpendicular walls and
were generally composed of a ferruginous conglomerate of clay and
ground-down quartz fragments, covered with only a two-inch thick layer
of mould. The Macusis called these steep banks Iperaghiri.
39. Again to-day there presented itself the spectacle, somewhat com-
mon of-late, of a burning savannah, that every time reminded me of
those awful moments when fire threatened me with death-except that
the fairy-like play of colours which the setting sun produced on the
whirling clouds of smoke developed a new hitherto imperceptible charm
in the rushing destructive mass of flame.
40. As the journey on foot was not so well adapted for a view of the
river-bed, my brother took his place next morning in one of the corials.
After passing a small rapid, that could really only have been noticeable
at low water, the vegetation along both banks became always more
diverse, always more delightful. The month of April appears to be the
commencement of the blossoming season of the interior, whether the
rainy season has already set in or not. I has been many times main-
tained that the vegetation only wants a few days' rain before it begins
to carry on anew: the banks of the Takutu however belie this statement
in the most forcible manner because March month and the whole of April
up to date had passed without almost a drop of rain and yet the river
banks were in many places covered with a carpet of flowers. As in my
native country, when at this time of year the blackthorn, still without
leaves, is covered with snowy blossoms, so also here we came across white
masses of flower on leafless bushes of several species of Erythroxylon,
e.g., E. rufum and the new species E. squarrosum Klotzsch. Here and
there we found among them the large yellow blossoms of the likewise
still leafless Tecoma, that showed itself partly as tree, partly as arbores-
cent bush, often without leaves, often with them, but invariably flower-
bearing: here the dazzling rosy-edged white Gustavia, and there the corn-
flower blue 'Jacaranda spread their variegated nosegays over the glowing
white snow-field. Mimosae, Melastomaceae and a beautiful Ouphea
occupied the immediate edges of the banks, but towards the East the
dark masses of the highest elevations of the Canuku Ranges such as the
Iquari, Zemai, Ilamikipang, and Nappi enclosed the horizon as with a
wall. In the morning the river-bed was lying apparently in the direction
of the South: towards mid-day, however, it turned suddenly towards the
East, so that the western portion of the Canuku Range came gradually
more into view.. It was a lovely picture, so delightful that with its fresh-
ness and continued change it made us forget all the troubles and worries
to which the shallow stream and t*e recently-started plague of sandflies
had given rise. From now on down, the coarse-grained ferruginous clay

1k ^l'ET'y BARU AND THE iiAiTLb-SiNA^kE.

conglomerate covered the river bottom in isolated places with huge bould,
ers. In the sharp bend towards the East, the Capaya (Carica Papaya),
which is as big as the Pirara, opened on to the left bank. Not far from its
mouth there rose several sandstone banks rich in clay, the first evidences
of the formation met with for a long time past, the smooth upper surfaces
of which exhibited several impressions, probably of isopods. The stone
showed a number of partly rounded, partly rectangular excavations often
with a diameter of from 6 to 8 inches. We had pitched camp on the
right bank about an hour's journey above the mouth of a small stream,
the Mucumucu, that has its source on the Quariwaka (Cloud Mountain)
one of the highest elevations of the Canuku Range, for the purpose of
spending a few days while waiting for Mr. Fryer whom we had arranged
to meet here as soon as Petri's condition should allow of his leaving
him: at the same time the halt was necessary to allow of our sending
several Indians to the Macusis living in the ranges to induce them to
bring cassava bread and other provisions in exchange for trade. While
our natives were yet busily engaged in clearing the camping ground, we
were all startled by a sudden shriek from pretty Baru, who was just
about slinging her hammock a little distance apart when she was checked
by a large rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus Daud.) that with upraised
head was making ready to spring. It was killed lbfore it could carry out
its intentions: the rattle was copaposed of seven rings.
41. While our stay here was utilised by my brother in determining
trigonometrically the height of Ilamikipang which by a cursory calcula-
tion turned out to be 2,500 feet, I spent my time collecting plants on the
forested river border and adjoining savannah. The former likewise
consisted here of Cucurit and Sawari palms, Erythroxylon, Tecoma,
Mimosa, Jacaranda and Byrsonima among which latter a new species,
Byrsonima tenuifolia Klotzsch, which had as yet put forth no leaves,
amazed me by the beauty of its peach-coloured blossoms. On the edge
of the savannah there bloomed in particular a! lowly Calathea with
yellow flowers with which was intimately associated a thickly crowded
streak of delicate Hypoxis breviscapa Humb. Bonp., its similarly colour-
ed floriage reminding me strongly of the Ornithogalunm luteum Linn. of
my native country. The Byrsonima verbascifolia seemed to have forced
all the remaining genera and species out of the savannah, because only
now and again could one see some low bush of Byrsonima crassifolia
emerging from out of its thick felt. In many places big boulders of a
erruginous conglomerate alternating with huge white ant-hills raised
themselves above the low lying vegetation, while alongside them giant
Cactus for the most part stretched out their prickly arms and lent some-
thing of a change to the otherwise uniformly dreary savannah picture.
42. The quantity of deer procured by our men on their hunting trips
In the savannah, and the large number of scaled denizens of the deep
brought by the fishermen into camp, clearly indicated that the former
must be just as abundant as the latter. Among the fish my attention was
particularly directed to several Pirai '(Pygocentrus) on account of their
dull black colouring and anomalous pigmentation of iris which was also
black-and surrounded with a golden yellow ring. One of them measured"



1 foot 5 inches and was 8 inches thick: probably it is only a variety of
Pygocentrus niger. Unfortunately the small size of my spirit-container
did not permit of my taking a specimen with me. The tasty Colite of the
Arawaks, Corutto of the Makusis (Platystoma tigrinumn) was brought to
us in extraordinary quantities. One of them weighing 16i lb. measured
2 feet 11 inches in length and 1 foot 8 inches in circumference. For me,
independently of its generally tasty flesh, it was always an extremely
welcome dish, because except for its few ribs it hardly possesses any
bones: a property that is worth double to a hungry stomach.
43. The cooking pots of our Indians did not come off the fire during
our stay in camp: when one of these was emptied, it soon returned re-
filled to the burning wood-stack. Here I first learnt what an Indian,
when the will corresponds with the supply, can do in the eating line.
On several occasions I saw them collected round the pot 3 or 4 times
within 5 to 6 hours, consuming the last feed with the same zest that they
started with.
44. As the real meal-time fell mostly between sunset and sunrise,
the women, who had nothing to do during the course of the day, hurried
into the forested borders of the River to collect the ripe fruits of the
Mauritia or Psidium as well as other edible products which they would
then consume lying in their hammocks, and so while the time away.
45. Already on the second day after our arrival, a quantity of pro-
visions, cassava as well as yams, plantains, and potatoes were brought
to us from the Indians living at the foot of Ilamikipang. The sellers were
my old friends from Curata-kin village, where I had been present at the
preparation of Urari. One of the boys brought me an armadillo
(Dasypus villosus Des.) which he had surprised on his way across
the savannah. To prevent its escape I tied a string fast to its foot, but
hardly had we left it unnoticed than in a short time, through the unusual
muscular strength of the front claws, it had buried itself so deep in the
hard ground, that it was already out of sight. Although we could still
seize the hind-feet, the Indians who tried their luck nevertheless did not
succeed in pulling the animal out; it seemed so tightly jammed against
'the walls of the excavation that they might have brought out the torn-off
hind foot before they extracted its owner. So as not to torment the
anxious creature any further, I gave it its liberty, an act with which my
helpers did not appear to be at all in agreement, because with it one of
'*heir most favourite tit-bits had escaped them. The rapidity with which
the armadillo buries itself in the ground especially when scentihfi an
enemy in the neighbourhood has often aroused my astonishment since:
three minutes, even when the ground is not hole, is sufficient for it to
hide. During the digging it scratches the ground loose with its fore-
claws and scrapes it back with the hind ones in such a way that the
tunnel is at the same time closed.
46. The wailing and whistling of a bird that could be heard in the
thickets, equally as well during the course of the day as at night had
already aroused my curiosity the very first hour after pitching camp
without my even succeeding in seeing it, for it always kept quiet as.
soon as it noticed the rifle. It was only by claiming the help of an

B 2.


Indian that I managed to secure it. It was the smallest of owl hitherto
known to me, Strix passerinoides Ter. Like all remaining owls, it
perches quietly in a dark shady spot in the thickest bush and almost con-
tinuously strikes its really quite peculiar note of lamentation at regular
47. According to the statements of the Indians visiting us, the next
settlement lay 4 days' journey up the stream, indeed, in close proxi-
mity to the Cursato Range, where the district of the Wapisiana com-
mences: the overland journey shortens it bv a day. My brother got these
latter to inform the people who had been following the river-bank of the
Takutn to wait for us there. According to the observations taken, our
camp lay in 30 20' 37" lat N., while the thermometrical (Fahr.) records
gave the following mean results:-

1842 6a m. a.m. Noon. 8p.m. 6p.m. Remarks.

8th to ky mostly clouded: a
10th 74.57 79.67 86.17 91.17 84.84 strong N.N. & E. wind was
April I blowing at the same time,

Throughout the day, the wind almost regularly blew out of the
N.N.E. till it apparently died away towards sunset; it sprang up again
regularly after 8 o'clock of an evening in the West, and then turned
towards N.N.E.
48. As up to to-day, the 11th April, we had received no news from
Fryer we struck camp and resumed our journey up the River. Huge
glassy-surfaced boulders of ferruginous conglomerate heaped one on top
of the other covered whole areas here, as on the Rupununi, (and accord-
ing to my brother's accounts), Rewa and Quitaro. The loud barking and
yelping of a dog that seemed to follow us continuously along the bank,
naturally aroused our curiosity, when the cause itself appeared at the
waterside, jumped in, and swam after us. Forced to surmise that he be-
longed to the Indians, who had brought us provisions and who were
accompanied by a large number of dogs, we did not want to take bim into
the boat: but he bravely swam behind, and as soon as he got tired, turned
to the bank, where, barking and yelping he again ran after us. When
we landed towards evening he was immediately at our side, licked cur
hands, wagged his tail and jumped around in the most friendly fashion.
Had his appearance not already betrayed his Portuguese descent, this
friendliness towards strangers would have established it. Having fol-
lowed us so indefatigably we took him under our protection, only to
regret it sufficiently enough afterwards, because he was absolutely no
hunting dog, and only too often frightened the game away with his bark-
ing. Want of space in the boats forced him next morning to continue his
journey on foot along the bank.
49. In the course of our journey to-day we passed the mouths of
the Camu and Awarrimani: the former has its source on the slope of
the Ilamikipang. Beyond the junction of the Awarrimani we reached


the first of the Takutu rapids, which, however, was so insignificant that
we were able to pass over without stopping. Some miles farther up, on
the same bank as the Awarrimani, is the mouth of the small river
Maripa-out6 which also has its source on the western spur of the Canukl
Range. The nearer we got to the Canuku Range, the more numerous
were the bends in the Takutu and the more difficult became our passage.
The mighty heights of Cumucumu, the Cerro d'Eldorado or Cerro
Ucucuamo of Santos' diary, the Acacuamo of Caulin, divide the waters
of the Rupununi from those of the Takutu. The former has broken
through the mountain-chain. The latter, however, after receiving the
Mahu, makes a sharp bend from its south-easterly and subsequent west-
erly course towards the S.W. to the Rio Branco, although after its
junction with the Mahu it really no longer deserves its name: the Mahu
at all events in the course of its continued south-westerly course ought
to be regarded as the main stream, a view already held, according to
Alexander von Humboldt, by Nicholas Hortsmann, the first European
traveller to visit these districts.
50.. The western extremity of the Canuku Range ends in the 2,000
ft. high Curatawuiburi: the southern spurs are far more of the nature
of mountains divided and isolated from one another by savannahs than
a connected chain.
51.. The closer we reached Curatawuiburi, the shallower became the
water, and the greater our troubles, because we often had to empty our
boats several times a day, and drag them over the sandbanks: on these
occasions our persistent four-footed friend would always after a short
while come and join us again with the liveliest signs of satisfaction. At
one such spot full of sweat and sorrow my attention was forcibly drawn
to a strikingly loud screeching and scratching that came from out of
the wooded waterside. As I cautiously neared the spot I saw an
immense crowd of large birds in front of me: they were Tufted Hens;
Opisthocomus cristatus Ill., the Stink-birds of the Colonists. Although
the former name, on account of the long head-feathers is sufficiently
distinctive, the creole term nevertheless emphasises with still greater
propriety one of their most predominant peculiarities, for without seeing
them, one becomes notified of their presence even at a fair distance away,
and even then not in the pleasantest of manners. The smell is so dis-
agreeable that even the Indians, in spite of the abundant flesh, will not
eat the bird under any consideration. The swarm certainly numbered
hundreds: some were sunning themselves, others were hunting round
in the bushrs, and others again were rising from off the ground: it
appeared to be the pairing season. A shot from my gun into the merry
crowd killed several at once. When the bird raises its head, it has quit,
a proud appearance. Amonw the older birds, the long tail feathers had
their tips as well as their filaments rubbed away, a demonstration that
they commonly run about on the ground to search for food, when the
long tail-feathers come into contact with it. The stink very much re-
sembles that of fresh horse dung, and is at the same time so intense that
even the skin retains it for years. Except at this spot, I never found the
bird again.


52. The ever-increasing number of sand banks were made up partly
of drift sand, partly of rubble formed of a coarse or fine-grained quartz
with exquisitely beautiful chalcedony pebbles of a white or yellow colour:
equally plentiful were large pieces of so-called fortification agate, as
well as melaphyr below that, out of which material the chalcedony peb-
bles arise. But however interesting their geological ingredients
naturally were, the resulting effects of their presence proved equally
unpleasant and troublesome for us when, towards two o'clock in the
afternoon, they rendered a temperature of from 126 to 130 F. almost
unbearable. At last we had to get out of the corials altogether and con
tinue our way under great difficulties: we had to drag the boats behind
us over the increasing 100 to 120 foot wide sandbanks stretching like
dunes towards one or other of the banks, over ground that towards 3
o'clock reached a temperature of 110 F. and that owing to its glare
and glittering whiteness, blinded and inflamed one's eyes. And yet this
was not the worst trouble in comparison with the legions of sandflies,
for we had no means of protecting ourselves from their terrible on-
slaughts on face and hands owing to our being almost all the time en-
gaged in shoving corials over sandbanks. The effects of the sun-burn
soon appeared because even to-day every one of us Europeans looked
as if feet, hands and face had been wrapped in Spanish fly-plaster: the
large straw hat had been unable to prevent our faces being blistered.
Even my brother whose skin had already been used to this temperature
for years was not spared. The pain caused by these heat-blisters is
double that of any other burn: ears, nose and neck were the parts mostly
troubled. and I believe that on the Takutu journey they were skinned
From 6 to P times. When in the course of draqJing the corials along we
had to wade in water, and came to a snot somewhat shallower than usual
where our 'tucked-un trousers left onr legs partly exposed,O these, also
became covered with blisters in a twinkling. Only the Tudians suffered
nothing. and thev laughed wlh' o w7 complained. In sTite of this so-to-
sneak red-hbo soil, some Pfdirm.n bushes as well as many a Mimonna.
Te f(nsmnth7,I. l~p'erimbe-like 'Boraginea and Convolvinlrs gained their

53. We had never before longed so sincerely for the coming evening
breeze as we did this very painful day. for it not only fanned our burning
faces cool. but also drove away the legions of sandflies. the bites of which
proved all the more troublesome as we did not dare scratch our wounded
necks or faces.
54. Although a number of Mycteria, Ciconia, Ardea, Ibis, Tanta-
lus, Anas, and even the beautiful Orinoco goose (Anas jubatus SpixV
put in their appearance along with the sandbanks, all taste for hunting
Was lost owing to the sufferings we endured. That a large number ot
water-fowl must migrate to other better-watered districts during the
middle of the dry season was evident from these crowds of birds which
though still numerous were nevertheless small as compared with the
swarms met at Lake Amucu, and from which were missing a large
number of species that I had already became acquainted with there.
Although the Glutton-bird remains on the savannah swamps in innu-


nerable flocks not only during the rainy season, but even long after,
its nest is nevertheless absolutely unknown. On enquiring the reason
the Indians told me each time, "The bird flies far, far away"-at the
same time pointing to the South-"he breeds there, and long afterwards
returns to the savannah with the young." Though one must not
always give absolute credit to the statements of the Indian-because
owing to his natural wit he only too quickly gets to learn what the trav-
eller wishes to hear, and accordingly either dishes up in plenty what
suits the latter's curiosity, or at least presents it in drapery woven from
the thin deceitful threads of false and unfounded natural appearances
and a whole fabric of superstitions-the statement nevertheless in this
case, judging from our own experience, did have a sufficient basis of
truth. For on many occasions and throughout the long periods we spent
in the savannahs of the Rio Branco, Takutu and Rupununi, as well as
in the areas situated to the east and north of them, we came across the
bird in the wet season of the year everywhere and frequently, yet we
never found its nest, though judging from the creature's size, it must
be fairly conspicuous and striking to the eye. We have also made the
same remarks in the case of the Ciconia maguari while we found the
nests of the Mycteria plentiful on the large trees of the hemmed-in
borders and forest oases on the Mahu, Takutu and Cotinga.
55. The ugly Matamata turtle, which we had not seen since the
Essequibo, was fairly plentiful here. It usually dug itself into the sand
at the edge of the water, so that the surface of the latter lay about 2
fingers' breadth above it, where it seemed to lurk motionless for its prey:
it allowed itself to be caught just as quietly, but this was certainly only
rarely done because, besides its beastly look, it emits a loathsome stench.
Though among the quadrupeds we now and again saw tapirs they were
so continually on their guard that they were already making off for
the dim distance. The water-haas proved less shy. I often found 6 to
8 of them together always forming a line in the middle of which the
young were to be seen. But unless we killed it outright the wounded
animal every time escaped us by immediately rushing into the water,
the neighbourhood of which it seldom left, and where we waited in vain
for its return: only when the Indians shot one with the poisoned arrow
was our patience now and again rewarded.
56. On 13th April we reached the first important Rapid, formed
by a bank of metamorphic greywacke-slate* crossing the river at 561'
W. : in isolated places it showed large quantities of granite, while in
others this was entirely wanting. Rapid soon followed Rapid, which.
however were no longer composed of the greywacke-slate, but of innu-
merable granite and gneiss boulders, that traversed the stream partly
as isolated masses, partly as closely-opposed rocks. Our torments and
troubles could only just have reached their culminating point because the
unloading and hauling of the corials had now to be tacked on to the
labours hitherto performed by us: these boats had often to be emptied

No mention of greywacke-slate is made in other accounts. (E.E.W.)


more than once daily and, in spite of their trifling size, the difficulty
of dragging them over was doubled by the fact that the spaces, through
which the small amount of water poured, were at most only from 2 to
4 feet wide. When we did manage to overcome such a rocky obstacle,
the water banked up behind it did certainly afford us an opportunity
for taking a rest: but for how long did this last? After three or four
hundred strokes with the paddle, a fresh barrier was already there to
block the way again.
57. In spite of our manifest sufferings and sorrows it was fortunate
our stomachs did not have to starve; we were not only handsomely sup-
plied with bread, but the river also offered our huntsmen and fishers
a most abundant harvest. The rocky crossings teemed with beautiful
and tasty muscovy ducks (Anas moschata). It is undoubtedly the wild
progenitor of the muscovy-ducks so plentiful in our larger fowl-yards.
It seems to have received its common designation from the mistaken idea
that it was imported from Russia. As Azara found it even in Paraguay,
it would seem to be distributed all over South America. I cannot rightly
understand how it has acquired its specific name of moschata because
there is no trace whatever of a musk smell. During the oppressive heat
at midday and afternoon the birds generally pick a shady spot on the
river sides or on the sandbanks: morning and evening they search for
their food which consists of fish, snails, algae and other water-plants.
The male is considerably larger than the female. They build their nests
partly in hollow trees on the banks, partly, as people assured us, on the
Mauritia flexuosa, especially in swamps, where immediately the young
come out of the egg the old mother has to take them in her beak down
to the water. Whether the last statement is a fact, well, I will leave it at
that: I have never seen it myself. That the birds sleep by night only
upon high trees, and always fly to such big ones when scared during
the day, I have regularly had opportunities )f learning from my own
experience. Even those which, during the day, remain in the swamps,
fly at sunset to the forest cases or river banks to sleep there on the lofty
trees. Their flight is uncommonly swift and always accompanied,
especially on rising, with a loud and hollow noise, something like that
of our partridges when rising. In May, as in September, we found young
that were being carefully watched over by their mother. On the slightest/
danger the latter at once rushes them to the thickest scrub, out of which
she entices them with a special call as soon as it is over. The pairing
season appears to give rise to the most sanguinary encounters amongst
the males: at least, we found at these times large areas strewn over with
feathers. If the duck is not mortally wounded, and there is any thicket
close by, it mostly escapes the huntsman, because it immediately slinks
off in such a way that even the Indians do not always succeed in finding
it. Still more plentiful however than the ducks were the blue Macaws.
On approaching the trees where they perched, they rose in pairs with a
deafening screech and, making an awful row, circled around us. The
male and female in most cases sat chattering together all the while in
a peculiar knurring tone: when a deadly shot happened to knock one
of them over, the other would fly around the tree and branch uttering a

A tE4fiEViER ANbD NO QuIxxE.

wailing sound, return to the spot, and look in vain for the vanished.
partner. This fond affection between the-two appears to be peculiar
to the whole genus. It is strange that the companies of both species of
Araras, A. mnacao and A. ararauna, should keep strongly apart from one
another: I cannot call to mind a single instance where one species was seen
in the neighbourhood of the other. Prince von Neuwied regarded this
alleged segregation as a myth -my brother and myself have to make
the statement as the result of several years' experience. Besides the
savannah Hokko-hen (Crax'tomentosa) the Crax alector was also fre-
quently shot along the edge of the banks. It is remarkable that during
this month both species emit a strong onioI like odour which permeates
the flesh to which it gives an extremely piquant taste. It is highly
probable that certain kinds of seeds or fruits which reach maturity this
month are the cause of it, although the contents forthcoming in the
crops of the dead birds furnished no explanation (Sec. 1,009). As we
found such a plentiful supply of wild fowl here, it was natural that we
did not trouble about the equally large numbers of tough Penelope
paraca that enlivened every bambu-bush on the embankment with their
sharp pheasant-like call.
58. For the past week I had been attacked with occasional bouts of
ague-fever which unfortunately I could not stifle at their onset because
Mr. Fryer had forgotten to put the quinine in the medicine-chest when
he left it behind with us on his return to Pirara. To-day this unwelcome
visitor notified me of its actual presence to a fairly reasonable degree
and I had to thank our forgetfulness for having to carry fever round
with me over the whole Takutu trip, only succeeding in getting rid of
it after we got back to Pirara. From an astronomical observation our
camp since the 12th April was found to be situate in 30 12' 51" Lat. N..
and 26.6 miles west from Pirara.
59. The stream maintained its rocky character also on the following
day; indeed it actually increased to such an extent, that isolated bould-
ers now reaching a height of from 20 to 30 feet. piled above and below
one another, were lying scattered around in the river-bed. Mt. Curata-
wuiburi lay N. 730 E. from us: it also appeared to be the main direction
of this granite layer. And though our troubles' were accordingly many
times worse than yesterday's, the aggravated misery of the sand-flies
'(sandfliege) kept pace with them. Just as in autumn sometimes a cold
current of air unexpectedly penetrates the moisture-saturated atmos-
phere and produces a sudden mist, we often found ourselves enveloped
in a like cloud of flies. The blood-thirsty creatures then suddenly
started attacking us in swarms, and driving their strong short sucking
snouts into our skins so as to cause much pain that every moment became
worse, the wretches finally filled themselves full. While they suck, the
skin rises like a half globular swelling, becomes suffused with moisture
that, mingling with the blood when the insect has flown away, dries up
after a while, and produces the red spot which as I have already noted,
'(Vol. I. 777) is visible for several days before falling off. So long as
the bites remain isolated the irritation is always bearable but when
these harpies come in such swarms as they did here, they are apt to cadiS


not only inflammation but also regular abscesses. They could not how-
ever be more numerous than they were, so what wonder then that our
faces already wounded and blistered by sunburn assumed an even more
shocking appearance to-day. A cool current of air now and again took
pity on us in the course of the forenoon and scared the hungry merciless
swarms away for at least minutes at a time: though in the afternoon this
also disappeared and the oppressive heat increased to such an extent
'that the thermometer recorded a temperature of 1080 F. in the shade.
Beating off, "shoo"-ing away, in short, every attempt at ridding our-
selves of the pest remained fruitless, and with a truly despairing resig-
nation we yielded to the inevitable.
60. During the afternoon we passed on the right bank the mouth
of the small stream Sawara-auuru. Sawara is, as I have already re-
marked, the Indian name for Astrocaryum Jauari, and auuru is the
name for river in the Wapisiana language.. By means of this stream
and an insignificant portage, one can reach the Rupununi in 3 days.
This path has an historical importance in that, according to Alexander
von Humboldt, it was the road taken by Surgeon Hortsmann in 1739
when he left Demerara to search for the gold and diamond mines in the
interior, and was also the route followed, according to the same
authority, by Francisco Jos6 Rodriguez Barata when in 1793 he twice
had to take despatches from ParA to Surinam. The Indians and Bra-
zilians still use it, especially in the rainy season. The spread of the
granite and gneiss beds continually ran from S. 100 E. to S. 10 W..
The gneiss almost generally shewed a black colour, and only now and
then did it appear more yellowish. Here and there we again found those
metamorphic slates with quartz-veins while other banks consisted of
a weathered mica-schist, yellow jasper, and coarse and fine-grained
61. There was a similar glut of fish as there was of sand-flies
on the appearance of these rocky bars: amongst the former the beautiful
Arowana (Osteoglossum bicirrhosum) already mentioned was extremely
welcome. .There was little difficulty in catching them in these stony
labyrinths because we had only to close off the spaces between several of
the rocks, when the Indians slashed away with their cutlasses at the
fish that were shut off, or else shot them with their arrows, if the par-
ticular spots did not permit of the butchery. A number of Pirapoco or
Morowai (Xiphostonma Cuvieri) were associated with the Arowana and
like them always swim on the surface. Their pretty variegated scaly
dress takes on a uniform brown colour when they are removed from the
water.. I found here for the first time the Hydrolycus sconmberoides
Miill. Trosch., the Patha of the Macusi, provided with two teeth 3 to 4
inches long, which seem, especially to like the rocky spots of the savannah
rivers. Quite as astonishing to me as their teeth, was their muscular
strength, which was rendered particularly noticeable by their swimming
here and there for quite a time with the six foot long arrow that had
transfixed them. The two powerful teeth, bent somewhat inwards, lie
in the lower jaw and, when the fish shuts its mouth, slide each into a
round hole situate in the upper one. The flesh is indeed not tasteless,


but so full of, bones that a hungry stomach would rather try something
else. Its food consists of small fish which it swallows whole. Like the
Pirai it often in its greed cuts through the fishing-line with its sharp
bite. The teeth mentioned give the fish a curious appearance wherein
according to my experience it is only surpassed by the- armour-plated
Hypostomus* which was also represented here by several
species.. As they remained for the most part at a constant depth
in the crevices between the rocky boulders the Indians dived in to pull
them out of their lurking spots where, as their captors maintained, they
can be heard making a peculiar noise. The Sudis gigas also put in an
appearance again in the deeper places.
62. Where the savannah reached right onto the bank, this gener-
ally fell away in 15 to 20 ft. high abrupt walls. Among the Curatella
I also noticed here and there the Bowdichia major Mart. which though
lowly was overstrewn with blue blossoms, several Malpighiae as well as
certain Leguminosae, particularly Clitoria Linn. (Vezillaria Hoffmsg.)
that at least lent to these sterile flats a somewhat more lively appearance
than that offered by the savannahs of the Mahu and Pirara. At all
events, what with the grass having been burnt and already replaced by
young growth, this green carpet helped in large measure to reconcile me
once more to the monotonous flats.
63. We had likewise noticed that besides the ordinary Kaiman, the
Takutu also harbours a smaller species (Champs8 vallifrons Natt.)
called Kaikutschi by the Indians, the flesh of which, next that of the
Iguana, is considered to be a very great delicacy. Late in the afternoon
we were yet to witness a highly interesting fight. Qn the farther side
of the first rubbleabank mentioned above, the river lay before us in a
deep and smooth stretch through which the corials were again able, after
a long interval, to make their way without hindrance. Seeing an un.
usual movement in the water straight ahead, and but a short distance
away, we made our Indians pull quicker so as to get close to the spot
as fast as they could. A huge Kaiman had just seized a Kaikutschi at
its middle so that head and tail projected on either side of its awful
jaws. The fight was furious and extremely interesting but all efforts
of the weaker creature remained fruitless against the mettle and greed
of the stronger. Both now disappeared and only the ripples of the other-
wise calm and peaceful surface indicated that a struggle for life and
death was taking place below: after some minutes they emerged, and
whipping the water with their tails splashed it away in all directions:
the result however was soon no longer doubtful: the powers and efforts
of the Kaikutschi ceased: we paddled closer: on the Kaiman noticing us
he dived under, but as he could not swallow his prey in the water he
bobbed up some distance away and swam to a small sandbank where he
immediately commenced his meal.
64.. Just as the less obstructed water-way considerably lightened
our day's labours, so on the 14th a cloudy sky and a 'cooling wind from

*The imdri of the Macusis. (Ed.)


the'E. by S. proved our most welcome companion since starting the jour,
ney: at 11 o'clock the thermometer was 90" F. In the course of the day
we again passed a huge 50 to 60 ft. high bank of quartz-rubble which
was cemented by a ferruginous clay into immense conglomerate boulders.
As the sandbanks proved likewise plentiful on the other side of this
huge rocky reef, the river thus resuming its original character, the
rest of the party busied themselves in dragging the corials over while I
hurried ahead with the gun to search for duck along the shaded spots
on the banks, and make sure. of a tasty meal for the evening. The clear
water allowed of my watching the funny antics of a couple of sting-rays
that were just then enveloping themselves in the sandy bottom close
inshore, and this so claimed my attention that I forgot everything
around and near me, until I was suddenly roused out of my reveries by
a deep snarling and growling. Judging from my experience on the
Canuku Range, it could only bd a jaguar, and on glancing up, dismayed
and appalled, I actually saw an immense beast- some ten to twelve paces
in front of me. ,There he was at the water-edge, his eyes sparkling and
rolling, his tail touching the ground; very likely he must just then have
come for a drink from out the thick scrub bordering the stream. He
was probably 'quite as much disgusted at my presence as I was frightened
at his: for I must admit being so much upset at first by the unpleasant
encounter that I returned his fixed and fiery gaze with a scowl equally
ferocious. Are you going to shoot? was my first thought.-No!-for but
one of the two barrels is loaded, and that only with duck-shot. What
are ycu going to do then? Bear away backwards, always keeping the
enemy distinctly in view. No sooner thought than done; so without
turning my eyes from off the huge creature that was
showing his immense teeth, and not giving a single
thought to where my crab's march might lead, I made my way back..
,The'jaguar remained still, continued to stare, to hiss and to snarl until
he suddenly disappeared from sight in a bend of the river, when I now
"right-about wheeled," and hastened back to the boat as hard as I
could pelt. When we returned with guns and bullets, he had withdrawn
into the bush, where we did not succeed in finding him. The fright was
Snot insignificant, for the consciousness of having no weapon at all suit-
able for such an enemy is more paralysing than the greatest danger that
one may be prepared for.
65. We found deeper water again some way above the ominous sand-
tlank. Six otters seemed as if they wanted to contest our right to it,
because they continued swimming around with their peculiar snorting
and barking, at the same time raising their bodies half-way out of the
water, and exposing their terrible sets of teeth. They came so close to
the corials that the Indians were able to hit at them with
their paddles-but the next moment they would dive and reappear
directly with renewed fury. This activity led me to believe that their
young were in the neighbourhood, because although before and si.ce
they always approached to within a certain distance of our boat with
that angry barking of theirs, they never made a regular attack on us as
they did in this case. One of them got wounded here, but immediately

Fs ~--rl--- n---~---*;---------- ------ ------ ----- ----~---I----- I-r _-_- _1~1--~11._.1 _. ----_rr- ___r_~l-


dived: the water became tinged with blood, but the animal did not show
itself again. If we surprised them whilst gorging their spoil on the
banks or on one of the rocky boulders they rushed to water down the
former as quick as thought but nevertheless on such occasion one beHind
the other, or else jumped into it from the latter one after another. They
very generally have a fixed spot where they devour their prey, the en-
virous of which are absolutely pestilential owing to the remnants left
behind, including head, tail and bones. The smaller species generally
hunt in companies of from eight to ten. SwiAmming in a cross-line
against the current they suddenly dive, continue their progress under
water for ten minutes or so, seize by the belly any fish passing above
them, and drag it to their feeding-ground where they leave it, and imme-
diately hurry back to the water and resume the pillage. It is only when
a quantity has been gathered that the members of the company commence
on the common meal. The Indians turn this peculiarity to their own
advantage: they sneak warily into the proximity of such places, wait
quietly by, until the otters have deposited their booty, and remove it as
soon as they return to the water. Otters will seize the largest fish, even
the Sudis gigas, and often drag 12 to 15 lb. weight to the bank. My
brother was witness on the Corentyne when an otter of the smaller species
that had dragged a 12-lb.. Haimara (Macrodon trahira. Mill., Erythri-
nus macrodon Agas.) up a boulder-rock, absolutely declined being inter-
rupted gnawing away at it by the shouts of his accompanying Indians:
only when some of the latter jumped into the boat and paddled towards
the creature did it surrender its spoil. The feeding-grounds just men-
tioned are recognisable in addition to the pestilential stench of their
surroundings, by the deeply excavated pathway leading to them. Otters
take up their quarters in holes along the banks. The young appeal : to
remain a fairly good time under the protection of their parents. When
danger threatens, the mother seizes the young in her mouth and springs
into the water: when it is past, she appears once more on the surface
snorting angrily. Nevertheless the Indians know how to outwit the old
ones, and manage to steal their young, taming them so that they may
run after them like dogs. They feed them with fish, flesh and fruits.
The skin of the larger species is dark mouse-drab on the belly, on the
back almost black, the head also mouse-drab: the breast shows a milk-
white spot. The snout is short, and possesses a strong "beard": the
feet are just as uncommonly short. The peculiar bristly hair is thick:
the woolly pelt on the other hand is uncommonly fine and of a lighter
colour. The length of the smaller species amounts to upwards of 4
feet, of which the tail takes up from 13 to 14 inches. Their colour passes
from clear mouse-drab rather to reddish. The belly is white, like that
of the breast-spot also found on it. In their habits they correspond
entirely with the former except that they do not, like them, live in pairs,
but in companies. It would seem to me, that the head is comparatively
broader. The Arawaks call them Assiero, the Caribs Avari-
puya, the Tarumas Carangneh, the Warraus Etopu (smaller species)
and Itscha-keya (larger sp.). On the coastal rivers, especially in the
Demerara, there is yet present the Bank-otter (Pterura Sambachii).


66. Our camp to-day, situate in 3 1' lat. N. on the left bank of
the Takutu, was enclosed with innumerable bushes of the Eugenia that
we had already found at Pirara: here also the delicate branches bent
under the weight of their fruit. The Outea acaciaefolia Benth. with its
beautiful feather-like leaves was likewise present in large quantity.
67. That the condition of our naturally very frail vessels should
daily be getting worse became more and more patent, and was not at all
to be wondered at considering how they had been continually dragged
across sandbanks or hauled over granite ridges and rubble dams. For
the last two days, as soon as each of the corials got into deep water, a
man was constantly kept employed bailing out the invading water.
The Great Fall of Scabunk, the biggest we had as yet met, proved a
considerable obstacle next day. It has received its name from the little
river Scabunk, which, from the Eastward, joins the Takutu at the foot
of the cataract. Catu-auuru as the Wapisianas call it, means the same
thing as Scabunk-out6 (Sandy Riher), in view of the immense sandbanks
at its edge. We had already hauled two of our corials successfully over
the rocky barriers, when an accident put a stop to our journey for the
68. Among the many fish peculiar to the Takutu, the Sting-ray of
the Colonists, owing to its nun)bers, occupies one of the foremost places
As I mentioned previously it shovels its flat body in such a way into the
sand or mud that only the eyes are free, whereby even in the clearest
water it escapes the view of a person wading by: should the latter now
unfortunately tread upon or disturb one of these cunning creatures, it
whips out its tail and strikes vigorously at the mischief-maker. The tail
is provided with a bony saw-like jagged double-edged spine and gives
rise not only to very critical convulsions, but can even cause death. Our
Indians, knowing their dangerous enemy, always prodded the water
immediately ahead with a paddle or stick as soon as they had dragged
or pushed the corials over a bank. In spite of this precaution, one of
our boat-hands, the Arekuna Indian Awacaipu, was nevertheless wounded
twice on the instep by one of these fish. Directly the poor fellow got
stuck, he staggered on to the sandbank where he collapsed and, biting
his lips with the raging agony, rolled about in the sand: yet no tears
flowed from his eyes, no cry passed his lips. While still engaged trying
to alleviate his sufferings as much as we could, our attention was dis-
tracted by a loud shriek to long-suffering Cumeru who had been so dan-
gerously bitten by a pirai at the mouth of the Pirara and whose injury
was still not healed-a second wound had just been inflicted close to the
first one on the same foot. The boy had so far not acquired the firmness
of character requisite to repress, like Awacaipu, the expression of his
pain: with a piercing cry of suffering, he threw himself about on the
ground, dug his face and head into the sand, and even bit into it. I have
never seen an epileptic suffering from convulsions to such an extent.
Although Awacaipu had been wounded on the instep, and Cumeri on
the sole of the foot, both nevertheless felt the greatest pain in the pri-
vates, the neighbourhood of the heart and under the arm-pit. Though
the fits were already apparently bad enough for the Arekuna, they took


on such a serious turn with the boy that we were forced to believe the
worst. After getting the wounds sucked out, we tied ligatures, used a
wash of laudanum, and then applied continuous mollifying poultices of
cassava bread. The symptoms had very much resemblance to those accom-
panying snake-bite.. It is impossible that this absolute nervous break-
down can proceed from the mere wounding alone; very probably it must
be ascribed to the poison combined with it. A powerful and lusty labourer
who, shortly before our departure from Demerara, was stuck by a sting
ray on Zeelandia Estate died in the most awful convulsions. The Indians
utilise the saw-like spines as arrow-tips, and as lancets for blood-letting.
69. Where the water had somewhat washed away the sandbanks a
white gravel was exposed in several places. The spread of the compact
craggy masses was S. 200 E., in connection with which the rocks showed
a number of veins of different formation, about two feet wide, which
ran through the strata N. 600 E.: quartz veins in plenty also pushed their
way through the body of the range in E. 15 S. Mt. Mariwette or Taquiara
raises its head about 2 miles distant from the left or western shore; its
height is some 2 to 300 feef.
70. Although the sufferings of our patients had somewhat subsided on
the following day they were still quite unable to use their feet, on which'
account we had to bring them along in the corials. We continued our jour-
ney under the difficulties hitherto met with until the growing number of
rapids and cataracts increased them to such an extent as to make us
almost despair of contesting them further. Huge granite and gneiss
boulders often 40 to 50 feet in diameter, blocked the river almost step
by step.
71. After engineering the great Curucuku Cataract with extreme
difficulty and just when we were sweating ourselves in dragging the
corials over the next-following Falls of Matzipao through a three-foot
wide crevice, the only watercourse which it presented, we heard human
voices in the bush alongside the bank: to our undisguised joy, Sororeng
soon stood before us in company with a huge muscular but phantastically
dressed Indian whose noble and fearless features would have done credit
to the proudest Roman. His wonderful feather head-dress was made
from the snow-white feathers of the South American Eagte (fTa rpiin
destructor Tem.) which, like ostrich plumes, hung in beautP'ul arches
over a forehead-band composed of green parrot feathers. The septum of
the nose was bored and in the opening swung a beaten-out and highly
polished piece of money: in the ear-holes. also pierced, he wore rounded
six-inch long little sticks of "letter-wood" (Brosimum Aubletii) which
were decorated at the one end with variegated feather-bunches. ~The
beautiful powerful figure, the fantastic decoration and the won-
derful black shiny hair hanging a long way over the shoulders was some-
thing so striking that I gazed at the man for a considerable time in sur-
prise: it was a Wapisiana.
72. According to Sororeng's account the overland party had already
reached the Wapisiana settlement of Tenette in the neighbourhood of
the Cursato Range on the third day after their departure. Upset by
our protracted absence the brave fellow had made up his mind t.o come


and find us, which happened sooner than he expected, because the village
was. only a three hours' journey from here. This information roused us
all to a state of the happiest excitement, which was certainly somewhat
discounted on learning that on account of a failure in the crops the pro-
vision fields were in so miserable a condition that several of the inhabi-
tants were already on the road, while those remaining were for the most
part forced to satisfy themselves with palm fruits instead of with cassava
73. The .idea of following the river farther by corial had already
been abandoned yesterday, and Sororeng's information, that we only had
to do another three hours before reaching Tenette, stopped all further
delay in carrying out our resolution. The great Cataract, now certainly
without water, showed on its summit a regular plateau of granite with
unusually large and numerously embedded masses of quartz,
while it was also dashed with transparent quartz-veins like the
stone with similar ones that we had already noticed at Scabunk (Sect. 69).
74. Half a mile above Dabaru Falls we reached the longed-for landing
place of Tenette, in the neighbourhood of Cocoya, the great Cataract that
is formed from the mountains rising .on both banks; Mt. Wawat on the
western, and Mt. Tatat on the eastern. The river also becomes narrowed
here through a confusion of granite and gneiss rocks. Both mountains
are of trifling height. So that our things might be got to the village by
the following morning, Sororeng went there direct, to bring not only
our own people but also some of the Wapisianas to help transport them.
We ourselves commenced discharging, and found that the water, in spite
of the continued bailing, had unfortunately made its way through certain
spots in the damaged corials, and had rendered several articles useless.
75. Early morning already brought us some of our people and some
of the villagers: the loads were divided and the journey commenced.
A fair-sized hill, rising by itself in the savannah to the south-east of us
immediately attracted our attention: it was the small Mt. Tenette, after
which'the Wapisianas had named their settlement situate on its south-
eastern slope. A woodland flat at its base, stretching half way up the
hill, gave it an unusually pleasing appearance. The interest that the
varying flora* had already aroused in me on our way through the soPe-
what swampy savannah was specially increased by a glorious hyacinth-
like scent that a stronger current of air would now and again convey to
us from the still seemingly distant wooded hill. The closer we approach-
ed, the more was the air impregnated with the lovely Terfume, and the
greater was my curiosity aroused as to its source, which was soon to
welcome me in several trees of medium heiAht covered with numerous
white blossoms. Like the scent, the flowers have extraordinarily grea,
resemblance to our simple white hyacinth. On closer examination. T
recornised it as a new sneezes Af Tahernaemn.ntana, and named it after
Alexander voni Humboldt T. Hum~ oldtii Schomb. The tree is diti.T-

Bowdifhia major Mart., Butt.neria divricata Benth., Lieania pendula Benth., Clidp ia
campestris Benth., Cap7ha antisyplilitiea Humb. Ronp., Elr7chaatops earolinianus Willd.,
melQocia melissaefolia Benth., M. fascieulata Benth., X lanceolcfa I~nth., 4yenia tamoretosa Linn.


guishable not only by its glorious sweet-smelling blossoms, but especially
on account of its beautiful large glossy dark foliage, and is unquestion-
ably one of the loveliest ornamental trees of the tropics. A thick border
of Agave vivipara Linn. enclosing the forest edge and forming with it'
huge floral candelabra a regular abattis over which the Tabernaemon-
tana inclined its white-blossomed limbs lent a really fairy-like charm
to the whole. If though up to now only the lovely flank of the little
forest had given us a smile, one of its trees that towered close to the
village pathway offered a surprise that made all of us at once express
astonishment. It was a real giant of a Bombax globosaum Aubl. and
notwithstanding it was but 120 ft. high, its immense branches ex-
tended over a space of 129 feet. At twelve inches from the ground, the
circumference of the trunk scaled 57 ft., and the breadth of one of its
buttresses at the root-neck measured 81 feet. The Macusis called the tree
76. After we had cut through this interesting little bit of forest
filled with wonders of vegetation we saw the basket bee-hive like, dome-
shaped houses of the village rising above the lowly Curatella and blue-
blossomed Bowdichia. On entering, we noticed a black figururrryuing
towards us:-it was Hamlet \who, just arrived, was bringing the news
that Mr. Fryer had still been unable to leave poor Petri; having soon
recovered from his sham sickness, he had been despatched to reassure as
about the former's long absence. Still more gratifying was a quantity
of rice that this gentleman had forwarded at the same time by the two
Indians who had shown his messenger the road: a gift that, owing to the
scarcity prevailing, was doubly welcome.
77. The settlement consisted of seven round dome-shaped houses of
30 to 40 feet. diameter and averaging 40 to 50 feet in height. The en-
trance, the only opening, was closed at night-fall with a sort of door
made of palm-leaves. As with other tribes several families occupied a
hut, inside of which the occupants were peacefully sequestered without
their relative portions being separated off by partition walls. The area
assigned to each family was distinguished by some stones, constituting
a hearth, and three or four cross-beams, fastened with rope-vine to the
upright supporting posts at about seven or eight feet from the ground,
upon which were slung the hammocks and where the bows, arrows and
..lowpipes of the respective house-masters were laid: the latter's hunt-
ing trophies were fastened one above the other to the uprights. An enor-
mous hollowed-out tree-trunk painted in Indian style, that served as a
bowl in times of festivity and might certainly hold 300 'quarts, occupied
the central portion of the large houses. The \same noble presence that
astonished us in Sororeng's companion, likewise characterized the re-
maining villagers. All were fine, slim people with well-bred peculiar
features and large Roman or Greek noses, on account of which they
compared to very great advantage with the more mulatto-like type of
Warraus, Macusis and Arawaks; not only in their whole physiognomy.
but also in general build of body, they generally favoured rather a devel-
opment towards the North American tribes. The women, who regarded
us strangers in naively bashful astonishment, possessed the same quali-


ties except Zhat their vigour and musculature appeared to be much more
delicately moulded. I had already enjoyed many an opportunity for
admiring the hair of Indian women, but I had never yet seen it in such
length and profusion as possessed by the Wapisianas. They generally
had it nicely smoothed, tidied up and greased with palm oil: falling
over the shoulders, it reached to the calves in many cases. The men
almost always cut theirs short. In the perforated nasal septum they
(mien) wore polished smooth and flattened-out. silver or copper coins,
and in the perforated under lip either a small cylinder or sort of bell
made of bone. In their clothing, the men and women corresponded with
other tribes, in that it consisted only of a lap-cloth. There was more
difference, however, in their language which had much resemblance to
that of the Paiiixanas of the Rio Branco: its utterance, and intona-
tion of hard and sharp words reminded me forcibly of Jews.
78. The endemic skin disease that appears to be hereditary amongst
the South American tribes, was also indigenous here. As yet we had not
found a tribe with which we had come in contact, free from it, while all
others of whom we had got to learn, were affected with it.*
79. We were less surprised at Goodall's keen fondness for his art
S being so firid by the really lovely features and beautiful figures of the
women and girls as to want to transfer them instantly to his sketch-
book than we were at the infinitely naive maidenly coliduct of the origin-
als, who, on account of the ignorance'of the actions and scrutinizing
gaze of the artist were placed in such embarrassment and restlessness
that the blushes which shame called to their cheeks were even noticeable
through their brown complexions. After the first upset was overcome,
(oodall, as we expected, met with further difficulties, because before he
was aware of it the pretty creatures had disappeared and it was only
after making many a present that we succeeded in persuading them to
submit once more in the presence of their husbands or mothers to thE
artist's critical contemplation. But still more interesting was it for
the observer to follow the inward struggle between natural shame and
curiosity. When Goodall looked down on his drawing-paper, the eye-
halls of the originals rolled in its direction; but what a shock they
received on finding themselves caught on their stealthy errand either by
us or by the artist suddenly glancing up! Although the men apparently
felt flattered by this portraiture, we could prevail as little upon them
as upon the women, to look straight at their own likenesses; their friends,
on'the other hand regarded the pictures with evident interest.
80. Polygamy is also indigenous amongst them, if not as prevalent
as it is amongst the Warraus and Arawaks.
R1. Jfidging from the quantity of hunting trophies, which included
the dorsal carapaces of several turtle, and the large number of beautiful
dogs, the Wapisianas must be as equally passionate of hunting, as they
are of smoking. They also roll the tobacco-leaves in the inner bark-

Probably impetiginous conditions, not hereditary, bit due to the uncleanly surroundings




sheath of the Kakaralli (Lecythis ollaria) and smoke them like cigars:
they mostly blow the smoke through the nose.
82. As we wanted to resume our journey onwards on foot, and my
brother was anxious to undertake the trigonometrical survey of the
junction of the Canuku with the Cursato Range as well as that of the
isolated mountain groups through which we were later on to take our
course, we spent several days here. I accordingly made use of the oppor-
tunity in examining the interesting Tenette Hill more carefully from a
botanical point of view. It lay north-west from the village, rose 124 feet
'above the savannah, its top, except for some miserable Curatella bushes,
being almost devoid of all vegetation. Before reaching the real summit,
I came upon two apparently large platforms covered with considerable
granite slabs amongst which a quantity of Agave, Cereus and Melocactus
flourished. In very close association with these stone flats Plumeria,
Polygala, especially P. Timoutou Aubl. and P. monticola Humb. Bonp,
Myrtaceae, Melostamaceae and Malpighiaceae sprouted between the gran-
ite boulders strewn one over the other in wild disorder. Besides these
just mentioned, the luxuriant little forest contained another interesting
tree for me that I had indeed seen oftener in the forest-oases extending
to the south-ward from Pirara, but had never met with in flower. Oui
attention had been drawn right at the very outset not only to its beauti
ful dark orange wood, out of which the Brazilians had mainly built the
church and homestead, but particularly also to its curious large-winged
seeds. Judging from its flowers it was a new species of Ormosia, and
received the name of Ormosia histiophylla Klotzsch. As the really
beautiful timber, very like mahogany, on account of its deep orange
colour that almost blends over into a red, takes on a most glorious polish,
it would, at all events, if exported, be appreciated as a furniture wood, to
which purpose the Brazilians, who call it "Poa da rainka," already apply
it. The view from the top was delightful. The picturesque Canuku Range
stretched from W.N.W. to E.,S.E., while the Saeraeri, 30-40 miles in
circumference, visible with its three fairly deep-saddled conical summits,
and a number of other isolated hills, rose out of the savannah about 18-
20 miles away towards the N.E. The mountains of the Moon, the Kai-
irite of the Wapisianas, limited the horizon in the S.W., while in
N.WN the Mariwette stretched its head into the hazy layers of atmos-
phere. The Cursato, Ursato, or Cussato as the many tribes call the
Range, which rose in the S.E. close to my point of observation, is only of
ordinary extent. Its long axis extending from N. to S. amounts to hardly
five miles, and its highest point in 20 47' lat. N. is not 3,000 feet above the
level of the Takutu. Like the Canuku, the Cursato Range is thickly
wooded, except that it is devoid of those steep granite cliffs and
columns that lend the former such a picturesque and romantic character.
Towards the S.E. from Cursato, Mt. Duruau appears: and following
it is Mt. Manoa, the contour of which, according to the statement of th3
Indians, represents the figure of an ant-bear, and hence the name, but I,
unfortunately, had to assure my companions that my imagination was
too thick and dry to recognize this.

_ i I --=- -


83. Fever had now taken complete hold of me and notified its pres.
ence every three days in such a manner, as even to arouse the pity of the
village Piai-man who during one of the attacks came of his own accord
up to my hammock, blew into my face, kept on muttering some unintel-
ligible words between his lips and then started blowing upon me again.
Though the circumstances under which I was labouring were not condu-
cive to make me laugh, the inclination finally reached such a pitch,
that I could no longer restrain myself. Insulted and angered, the sym-
pathetic physician turned away, and on the following day, when the
fever was still shaking me up, told all his wards that it was my punish.
ment for having ridiculed his yesterday's incantations.
84. The weariness which the troublesome presence of the fever
would have otherwise entailed while lying in my hammock, was dissi-
pated by the strange and funny antics of a young ant-bear (Myrmeco-
phaga jubata Linn.). Our huntsmen, on the day after our arrival, had
brought him home from the savannah, where they had found him in com-
pany with his mother, but had managed to secure him before making his
escape on her rescuing shoulders. For the first two days he was uncom-
MI:only wild, and only rarely ventured from the darkest lurking-place of
the house. Should anyone approach, he immediately took up the defen-
sive, but in such a manner that caution was necessary even for the
bolder ones. While he squatted and pressed the left fore-foot into the
ground, he let out at the disturber so powerfully with his right that every
blow with his long hard claws would certainly have torn away a not
inconsiderable piece of flesh. Were he attacked from behind, he altered
his position as quick as thought, and should it happen to be from all
sides he threw himself on his back and hit out with both fore-feet, all the
time making an ill-tempered and angry noise that was very like the
growling of a little pup. Often enough this was mingled with the loud
outcry of the young hunting dogs whose friendly intention of playing
with their new companion would be followed by the most piteous sounds
from the little stranger. Were he to seize one of them, the latter could
only be released with the combined help of several Indians from the
deadly embrace in which he clasped the obtrusive offender with his
crossed fore-paws. As the ant-bear has neither hole nor habitation
wherein to have a sleep, it seems that Nature has supplied him with
the long-haired tail as cover from the cooler night and from rain; our
little prisoner, at any rate, put it to this use. When he lay down to sleep,
he either drew all his four feet together underneath his 'belly, or else he
assumed the position of a sleeping dog, and spread the tail only over his
head and fore-part of the body. It was astonishing to me how his entire
body always felt ice cold. When quiet reigned in the house, he raised
his pointed snout, sniffed a few times in the air around, got up and ran
about the place when' his trunk-like nozzle almost touched the ground.
If he got close to a dog or some other object, he immediately squatted on
his hind feet, stuck his nose in the air, sniffed and investigated in all
quarters, and then growled and groused until he finally moved off again
on his original track. As a result of all my observations, but particularly
from the fact that he frequently ran up against articles that stood in his


way, I was plainly convinced that his sense of sight must be uncommonly
weak. His growling was never more vexed than when he really did hit
against an object. This species must be able to climb equally as well as
the smaller ant-eater Myrnmecophaga tetradactyla, for our prisoner not
only undertook excursions on level ground, but also extended them to
the house-posts and walls, up which he clambered with the greatest ease.
Were he quiet for a while, he suddenly raised himself on his hind legs,
like bears do, sniffed around in the air, and then, if he found nothing
suspicious, lay down again. A waterish fluid constantly trickled from
the snout and nose. It was only extremely rarely that I saw him
drink. We fed him with termites which the Indians gathered in the
savannah. The rapidity with which he stuck his long sticky tongue into
the heap, covered it with insects, and withdrew it, set me wondering as
to how so large an animal could satisfy his hunger with such small fry.
At the same time that he swallowed the ants he engulfed a large quantity
of the building material of the nest. Just as readily as he devoured the
termites he gorged fish chopped up fine. My brother, on his previous
journey, had for a long time fed the young specimens with the latter.
As we intended returning to Tenette after discovering the source of the
Takntu, I left my prisoner here to be looked after, with the idea of tak-
ing him with me to Pirara and Demerara, and despatching him later on
to Berlin. Unfortunately I found him dead on our return: the Indians
had probably let him starve.
85. Having denied the ant-bear teeth for weapons, Nature has sup-
plied him with a not less dangerous means of defence in huge claws and
extraordinary muscular strength of fore-feet. Even infighting with the
jaguar he will often come off victor, and the Indians assured us that
they had not only found the carnivore by itself with ripped-up body,
but also both combatants dead at the same time. The hunter will never
approach an ant-bear shot with the poisoned arrow until he is convinced
of the venom having exercised its full powers.* fThe female throws
annually but one cub which, when a few days old, she carries on her
back, whither also, in times of danger, the little chap makes its escape.
The youngster accompanies its mother usually for a year, when it is
supplanted by a new arrival and is then free to roam.
86. As is known, the ant-bear saunters along on the outer side of
the soles of the fore-feet with the claws drawn together underneath; he
does not retract them like the cat-tribe, and hence cannot run flat-footed.
At the root of the tongue are the two large glands that supply it with
the viscid liquid mentioned (Sect. 84). While in a fluid state this secre-
tion is extraordinarily sticky, but when dry it can be. rubbed to powder
between the fingers.
87. The big house that received us being still occupied by its owners,
the observation of their ways and doings supplied me with plenty of
variety during my sickness. In their manner of living the Wapisianas
differ hardly at all from the other tribes with which I had become

See the story of Tiger and Anteater in Roth's Animism and Folk-lore, etc. (Ed.)


acquainted. Waking of a morning, the husband got up, stood in front
of the door, where he stretched, flexed and rubbed his limbs several
times, and then went to a distance to satisfy his natural wants: in this
latter respect men and women show extraordinary shame, for it is never
performed in the presence of others, and they cover everything up with
earth, like cats. This done, he returns to the house, squats at the fire,
and without saying one word to his people, tries to keep it going, roasts
some fruit or eats the breakfast put before him by the women, and then
hurries off either to the chase or goes fishing; in the meantime the
women smooth and anoint their own and children's hair, paint their
bodies, and, undertaking other household duties, then hurry off to the
field and into the forest to search for fruit: the former, however, owing
to the bad harvest, offered them little or nothing. In cotton-spinning
they were just as expert.as the Macusis.
88. Though the .Wapisianas appeared so clean as regards their bodies,
each family nevertheless seemed to regard the cleaning of the house
as a trouble that it would rather avoid, the dust and dirt having collected
in regular heaps. The unpleasantness of the situation was increased by
the four or five fires that were never extinguished, while the smoke,
seeking in vain an exit through the door, slowly crept towards the vaulted
roof in many a complicated spiral: it became so troublesome that my
eyes were bathed in a constant flow of tears. To this was still to be
added the insufferable barking of the many half-starved dogs that broke
out on every occasion when any of our people entered the house, the
shrieking of innumerable parrots, as well as of other tame birds, and
the numberless swarms of blood-thirsty fleas, for which my presence in
the hammock seemed to exercise a special attraction.
S89. Several Hokko-hens (Craxt omentosa) openly exercised their
sovereignty over the other tame poultry, their oppressive sway reducing
the fowls, the Psophia and Penelope, to a state of fear and subjection.
that was truly ridiculous. It was not enough for the latter to accommo-
date themselves to their capricious wills by day, but even with incoming
night they did aot dare perch where the former wanted to roost.
90. .The fruits of Melicocca bijuga (Macu of the Macusis), Genipa
Marianae Rich, and Genipa edulis Rich, which were just then ripe, had
to make up for the want of cassava. That of the first is appreciated in
Georgetown, where the tree is cultivated under the name of Marmolada-
box; the Wapisianas call it Umpa.
91. 'There is still another bird here, the fbis owycercus Spix., the
Tah-rong or Tah-rah of the Macusis and Wapisianas, which, like the
parrot, proclaims the break of day. Every morning at dawn two pairs
of them: that had settled in the neighbourhood of the village, struck
their shrill protracted rattling note which resembles the syllables
Tah-rong. They fly in couples from tree to tree, and the female never
leaves the side of her mate: where the latter flies she follows, both return-
ing of an evening at the one time, with the same unpleasant cry, to their
resting place, a Mauritia palm. When the male is shot, the hen, like the
Arara, invariably returns to the spot where she last saw him. The


metallic plumage together with the orange-coloured waxy skin of its bill,
and the ring round the eyes, give the bird a lovely appearance. I found
this Ibis only in the environs of Tenette, and nowhere else.
92. To the south-west of the settlement, not far removed from it,
there stretched a considerable swamp, the water of which at a distance
was hidden by the thick vegetation, particularly the Mauritia in a most
flourishing condition. I found trunks here from 100 to 120 feet high up
to the spot from where the huge fan-like fronds began to spread. The
Wild Plantain of the Colonists (Ravenala guianensis) ran the proud
palms closely in height: then followed Cannaceae, Ferns, and Zingi-
be'raceae which were hemmed in at the water side with a flowered border
of Rhynchanthera grandiflora DeC., Microlicia bivalvis DeC., M. brevi-
folia DeC., and (a new species) M. heterophylla Klotzsch. Along the
swamp edge were numbers of holes which the Indians had excavated with
the object of allowing the water necessary for their daily requirements
to filter through. Of course this commodity wa. not to be regarded with
critical eye unless one wanted to spoil one's appetite entirely.
93. On the first day of our arrival I had already made an interest.
ing find in the little forest on the hill with a specimen of the beautiful
moth, Noctua (Erebus) Agrippina, 10 inches with wings extended, and
the only specimen I came across on the whole journey.
94. We were astonished at discovering a salt among the Wapisianas
which we learnt on enquiry was obtained in the savannah: it was uncom-
monly tart. On collecting it the mass is similar to our peat-earth,
which only subsequently under repeated washing, takes on a .white
95. The Takutu had hitherto rendered our journey so distressing
that we would gladly have avoided its help in the transport of our things,
but under those circumstances a large portion of our baggage would have
to have been left behind in Tenette, because the village no longer shel-
tered the number of male inhabitants requisite for their removal. Accord-
ingly what was not absolutely necessary was left here.
96. The mean of the thermometrical (Fahr.)' observations deter-
mined during our stay at Tenette was:-

1842 6 a.m. 9 a.m. 12 noon 3 p.m. 6 p.m.

16th to 75.87 79.83 87.63 90.10 81.33
23rd April

fThe observations were taken in one of the houses open on all sides,
where the thermometer was protected from reflected solar rays,


Departure from Tenette-Bulimus haemastomus-Orthalicus gallinus-
0. undatus-""Descimentos" of the Brazilians-Auuru-paru Settle-
ment-Mt. Kuipaiti-Savannah deer-River Curati-Guidiwau-
Mt. Wurucokua-River Watuwau-Kai-irite or Mountains of the
Mooi.q-Extraordinary granite flats-Tuarutt Range-Pyramid
Rock Aikuwe-Waterless mountain defile-River Manatiwau-
Tuarutu Village-Hamlet's adventure-Misxture of negro and In-
dian women-Skin-disease of the Indians-Granite Rocks Uruwai,
Wapuna and Curuschiwini-Departure from Tuarutu-Ossotschuni
Range-Bertholletia excelsa-Atta cephalotes-Macusi settlement
Maripa-The source of the Watuwau-The. different species of cat-
tribe in Guiana-Ampelis pompadora-Sources of the Takutu: its
basin-Ateles paniscus.
97. At break of day on the 23rd of April we blft Tenette which is
situate in 2 49' 40" Lat. N., and 590 48" 29" Long. W., and lies 13 miles
west of Pirara. My shoes through the frequent bathing in the waters of
the Takutu, where I did not dare remove them for fear of sting-rays, had
got into a state that precluded all further use on a land journey. I had
to employ a writing-pad, and that apparently brought me into direct con-
tact with Mother Earth. There was no shoemaker and I accordingly
found myself obliged to walk in sandals like the Indians. This determina-
tion was more easily resolved upon than carried into effect, because the
web of my toes, like the skin and muscle-covering of the tendon Achilles
still possessed its German sensibility. The sandals are made from the
split leaf-stalks of Mauritia and are generally worn by the Indians of the
savannahs and of the ranges because the innumerable sharp and pointed
quartz fragments that cover both would otherwise cut up and stick into
their feet. Upon similar ground surface, a sole like this certainly lasts
hardly 2 to 3 days, but then every palm, supplies a new one. To fasten
it to the feet, there are strings made from Bromelia karatas fibre on both
sides, which, drawn through between the big and second toes, are slung
over the heel and round the leg, and tied together over the instep. At first
jogging along with this simple substitute for a shoe was all very well,
but then limping soon began, and half an hour later the blood was running
between the toes and down the heel, where owing to the continuous fric-
tion, the strings had rubbed their way in. As the wounds could never heal,
the time taken to form collosities proved to. be weeks of real tribulation
and martyrdom-but needs must when the devil drives: it was impossi-
ble to make a change and I had to. bow to the inevitable..
98. After following a South-Westerly course from Tenette over the
savannah we reached the mouth of the Cursorari, a small stream, and
with it, the Takutu again. Innumerable trees and bushes of the lovely
Elisabetha coccinea Schomb. overstrewn with their brilliant red flowers
closed in and regularly enveloped the banks of the insignificant water-
course. lTe trees were covered at one and the same time with buds, blos-


soms and pods: it was particularly due to their red velvety carpel that
the latter lent the tree an extremely interesting appearance. A small
corial that was found here, carried us across the Takutu, to where, oppo-
site the Cursorari, a tiny river ended its course, when we took a more
southerly direction towards Mount Auuru-paru, which, tapering out into
a spur, rose some distance ahead. On the very savannah that we crossed,
flats of scattered Curatella and Bowdichia continually alternated with
thickly-timbered oases. Were one to approach such an oasis, that mostly
has a circumference of from 1 to 6, often more, miles, the altered charac-
ter of the vegetation would indicate its proximity, without it even
being yet seen. The isolated Cnratclla and Bowdichia trees become
more numerous, while here and there a shrub of Rubiaceae, Compositae,
or Melastomaceae mingles itself in amongst them, but still one cannot
say whether it is the savannah or forest vegetation that predominates:
the doubt is completely dispelled, however, as soon as the Solanumwn
Apeiba, HelicA.eres, Mimosa, Bauhinia, Peltogyne, Melastoma, a&uvagesia,
and Wedelia bordered around with Agare and Cactus, meet one's gaze,
and the cooling atmosphere intimates to the heated skin and dried-up
tongue, the presence of the densely leaved- Myrtaceae, Lecythideae,
Laurineae, Leguminosac, and Euphorbiaccac. If the flat that such an
oasis occupies is swampy, then it is the palm family and Heliconia,that
are in the ascendant. The soil of these oases naturally varies, Itke its
vegetation, completely from that of the savannah, and generally consists
of a rich marshy bottom, often also of a hard clay mixed with sand and
decayed vegetable matter. In the course of the forenoon we crossed the
small river Totowau that flows here into the Takutu from the westward.
99. We made haste to reach the thickly timbered oasis before a dull
black thunderstorm that was gathering should burst, but instead of
seeing our wishes fulfilled, the sluice-gates of Heaven already commenced
to open. The .oasis consisted almost only of Palms, Zingiberaceae,
cannaceae and Musaceae, the leaves of which furnished the grandest
covering for our baggage that the Indians had as quickly as possible
collected into heaps. Two or three leaves of the Ravenala guianensis
furnished us with most excellent umbrellas, upon which the rain,
pouring down in torrents, made fairly noisy music. The tempest raged
for several hours, and however trying the circumstances naturally were,
they nevertheless had many a comic side in connection with the silent
naked groups who, cuddling up together, their teeth chattering with
cold and holding huge leaves aloft, were squatted around. When the
rain finally ceased we continued our journey across the oasis in spite of
being wetted through and through, and were not a little surprised on
emerging from it, to find one of the most pleasant hilly-landscapes
stretching away ahead, but the pleasure was sadly marred by a bad attack
of fever. From now on the wooded tracts merged more and more
towards one another, while the savannah flats diminished. Exhausted',
we reached by afternoon a forest, the tropical fulness of which so sur-
prised me, that though I was wearied with the fever, and tortured with
the sandals it nevertheless drew my attention from off all my bitterly
experienced sufferings. Huge-leaved palms, together with giant


Ravenalas that with their mighty canopied covering shut off every
fruitful solar ray from Mother Earth, shaded innumerable Musaceae,
VGannaceae, Piperaceae, Orchidea and mouldering fungi: with all of them
the succulent leaves and stalks, as well as the abnormal colouring gave
more or less indication of an avoidance of light in the course of their
development. Both on the edge and within the oasis itself I found
several examples of the lovely glutton-snail (Bulimus haemastomus Lam.)
which I never came across again in Guiana. Judging from the purple
red border and lip of its shell, it belongs indisputably to one of the most
beautiful snails in the Colony. In the oasis I had already ferreted out
from the tree-trunks several specimens of Orthalicus gallina Sultana
Beck., and 0. undatus Beck. I have met with both species right through
British Guiana: the animal of the former was often so. big, that it could
no longer withdraw into its shell.
100. After continuing on our way for some time through the forest
and its wet musty atmosphere, we came upon a fairly extensive cassava
field, the welcome manifestation of a settlement that could not be too
far off, and which we in fact soon discovered on a small hummock as a
dreary spot where fire had taken place. The formerly happy village of
five houses had been visited by a Brazilian Descimento (Plave
Expedition), surprised at night, and set on fire, with the object of
carrying its inhabitants-men and women, old .people and youngsters-
into slavery. Only one of the 5 buildings was still in a tolerably habitable
condition. While with inward indignation in the midst of this obvious
testimony of human wickedness, we were regarding all the misery that
European Culture had brought to the peaceful hearths of fellow brothers
entitled to the same rights as ourselves, and each of us was picturing to
himself, from the confusion in which shattered cooking utensils, broken
weapons and half-charred firebrands lay scattered around, the scene
that only the tranquilly murmuring trees had been witness of, several
Macusis came out of the house that still managed to provide shelter
from the storm. It was a family from the Rio Branco who wanted to
spend the night here, and amongst whom my brother recognized to his
great joy two of his former companions on his trip to the sources of the
Orinoco. The pleasure over this unexpected meeting was, however, all
the greater because on that occasion he had been forced to leave one of
them sick unto death at a settlement on the banks of the Kundanama:
on recovering, the patient had covered a distance of more than 300 miles
by himself to reach his own village again.
101. After we had rested a few hours at this scene of devastation and
barbarism, and my brother had presented his old friend with several
trifles, we resumed our journey, notwithstanding the lateness of the
hour, in order if possible to reach the village that lay, according to what
the guide said, at the foot of Auuru-paru: we succeeded in doing so
just before sunset. The settlement consisted of a large house with 10
occupants, the majority of them old people: on entering, I came across
the oldest Indian woman I have ever seen. Lying undressed in her
hammock, her snow-white but still abundant hair covered her crumpled
shoulders, though her whole figure was more like a skeleton covered with


loose dependent folds of skin, than that of a really living person. The
fearful ugliness which is usually characteristic of old age in tropical.
climes was so repulsive in this particular case, that I instantly turned
back into the open air. Weak as she was, curiosity did not permit of
her staying in her hammock, for hardly had I left the house when the.
walking skeleton, led by an imbecile boy, whom I had not previously
noticed, appeared at the entrance and gazed in wonder on the first
Paranaghieris who had visited the settlement. The absolutely animal
appearance of her companion, from out of whose open mouth the tongue
hung over his chin, and the silly fixed vacant look which he bestowed
alternately on the old woman and upon us, made the already naturally
repulsive figure yet more hideous. My brother, notwithstanding his
many years' residence, could only call to mind one other example of such
advanced age among the Indians.
102. Imbeciles are treated with special respect and dread, because
it is a general conviction that these poor creatures are in intimate rela-
tions with the beneficent Spirit, and it is for this reason that their
words and actions are regarded as utterances of supernatural significance
(Gottheit). Except for one young andYpretty woman who smilingly
brought us some honey (mapa) in a gourd, for which she was presented
to her inexpressible delight with some glass beads, all the present
inhabitants, as already stated, consisted of old people: Sororeng, however,
was soon to root out two more young mien who just then happened to be
hunting in the neighboring forest. To, notify them that strangers
had come onto their property, we fired two shots. The fright which
this produced on the reasoning as well as irrational occupants plainly
showed us that the weapon with its message was equally unknown to
both. The wild shrieking of the old woman, of the imbecile boy, and of
the tame parrots, fowls, etc., already roosting on the roof and neighbour-
ing trees, together with the frightened notes of the wild birds rising in
troops over the tree-tops, combined to form such an inferno of noise that
we were struck with surprise, and believed nothing else than that the
whole world around us had gone mad. After half an hour's time we
saw both men with troubled faces, come running over the savannah to
the house: they probably believed that the shooting meant destruction
and murder.
103. The hopes that the luxurious cassava field had raised were at
once dispelled by the statement that the roots were not yet ripe and
consequently unfit to be made into bread: the numerous savannah deer,
however proved a productive source from which to supply the gaps in
the provisions. In order therefore to make the balance last for at least
a few days, it was decided to spend the morrow here and send the men
out hunting at break of dawn. After the friendly young woman had had a
long talk with her husband, one of the two men whom our shots had
fetched out of the forest, and had shewn him in the most striking fashion
her delight at the beads she was holding in front of her, at the same
time dropping a clear hint as to the treasures still in our possession, he
suddenly made up Ifis.mind that she was to bake some cassava for us on


the morrow: hut he would have to go and look at the field before making
a distinct promise about it.
104. The disagreeable piping and chirruping of millions of Cicadae
(Cicada gross and C. manifera), enough to split one's ears to pieces,
scared us at sunrise out of our deep sleep. While our best hunters,
accompanied by the two young men, lost themselves in the savannah
scrub, I ventured with Goodall to pay another visit to the Old People's
Hospital, and make a more careful inspection round the place than T
did yesterday. With the exception of one or two of the old women, who
were squatting below the hammocks of their equally old men, where
they were keeping the fires burning or warming a small pot with the
remains of their yesterday's meal, all were still lying abed. Just as
the unexpected sight of the old woman had scared me away yesterday,
that of a not very much less aged man almost did the same thing to-day:
his abnormally swollen body showed clearly enough that he was
afflicted to a considerable degree with dropsy or some other liver-
complaint. The imbecile boy who was squatting below the latter's
hammock, stared vacantly into the glowing ashes of a small fire and
casting his dull but timM gaze upon me, disappeared with the rapidity
of a frightened deer into the darkest corner of the dwelling, when the
sick man's aged wife who was sitting near him attracted our attention.
A newlyVplaited broad straw-hat, probably of Brazilian manufacture,
that had got here out of its course, by what particular trade-route
goodness only knows, was all the more noticeable as my own happened
to be in a very bad way. The proposition I made that he should sell it to
me was more readily agreed to than Goodall's offer to buy his thick
hair-girdle (Matupa): this was hanging close to the hat, and by its
bulk bore witness to the erstwhile valour and virile courage of the owner.
To part with the hat was not even hard on the old man, and
our bargain was soon completed. It turned out to be a very
different matter, however, with the beloved Matupa, at the sight
of which the moribund vital sparks seemed to draw forlorn fuel, and
all Goodall's powers of persuasion accordingly proved fruitless.
The alteration in the apathetic features of the woman, on seeing the
glittering beads caused the would- be buyer to alter his plan and address
the spouse, who, dazed with vanity, now tried to convince her husband
that she indeed wanted the beads while he had no further use for the
Matupa. Still, the parting was too hard, and sadly gazing at the girdle
out and in, he shook his head, kept hi. wife in suspense, and told her
to hang it up in its old place: the disappointed woman peevishly did so,
at the same time returning Goodall the beads already received. The
determined purchaser thereupon added a few other knick-knacks to the
beads with the result that the capitulations between man and wife were
immediately renewed: these ended by the sick man letting the Matupa
be taken down, having it placed in his hand, pressing it to his face, and
then giving it to his wife who, absolutely radiant with joy, handed it over
to Goodall. Without so much as glancing at the articles which his
wife had received and was holding in front of him, the invalid turned on
his back, and hid his face in the folds of his hammock.


105. In the course of the forenoon we climbed the bleak top of
Kuipaiti, which we had already seen from Tenette. Kuipaiti appears to
be the collective term for all hills constituting blocks of ranges covered
with but scanty vegetation, because we met this name in connection with
a large number of other mountains. The base of the hill consisted of
granite and gneiss: a more than 1,000 ft. long stone mound about 50 to
60 feet in height stretched away from its southwesterly slope. The view
from the top which belonged to a more recent formation was delightful
and much more extensive than that from Tenette. The summit might
be about 500 ft. above the savannah. The Mountains of the Moon, the
Kai-irite of the Wapisianas, towered up towards the South-West, while
the distant Canuku Range stretched like a dark band along the northern
horizon that was here and there torn by dark niasses of cloud apparently
resting on its back, while the Takutu, hemmed in with green bushes and
giant trees meandered in thousands of bends through the savannah to our
feet and received the waters of the Curati in the South West. After- a
short absence the hunters who had been sent out returned to camp at the
same time as we did: they were heavily laden, seven lovely deer being
the magnificent result of their efforts. All hands were now busily
occupied. Boucans for smoking were set up over there, the deer were
disembowelled and cut up over here: and within scarcely an hour and
a half a portion of the booty, that only shortly before was sporting in
the grass, had been already devoured. The entrails, but particularly the
paunch, seemed a great tit-bit to the Indians, for they always ate these
portions first. The women were certainly not too very particular about
cleaning them, and their request for us to join them as guests fell upon
deaf ears, particularly as we were not without meat when they were
enjoying their favourite dish. The Makusis call the savannah deer
Waiking, the Colonists Begu. To all appearances it forms the connecting
link as it were between two species. It is constantly found alone, very
rarely in company and then always only from three to at most five
individuals together on the savannah. The female must throw her young
in March or April because we found amongst our lot four specimens
very advanced in pregnancy: but as I have killed deer in a similar con-
dition during September or October, they must either throw twice a year,
or else they are not usually limited to any fixed breeding season. The
deer is never present in the forests. As the savannah has but little, or
hardly any, scrub along which the hunter can sneak onto the deer, it is
extremely interesting to watch hinm on the chase. As soon as the crea-
ture is noticed and bends down to graze, he is on the move, creeps
forward like a cat, keeping the animal continually in view, however,
and instantly remains as immovable as a statue when it raises its
head again. Nothing can tire his patience in approaching to within
arrow or gunshot by this means, even should two or three hours be
necessary for the purpose, and when about 100 paces close to the
inoffensive creature, the call of the buck is imitated by him in the
-cleverest manner. The deer is all attention, pricks up its ears,
stamps its forefeet and, whether or not owing to some deficiency in
keenness of sight or scent, it at any rate cominences circling round the

I 1


hunter in narrower and narrower turns until, when within 20 paces, it
falls a sure victim to the gun or more certain arrow. The uninterested
spectator must think it something supernatural to see the hunter lying
immovable in the grass, and the deer gradually closing in. It never fell
to our lot to kill venison in this manner. Besides the species above
mentioned, Guiana yet possesses the Cervus rufus Ill,: the horn of the
male has no branches. It lives isolated in the forest, or comes out into
the savannah along the forest borders, the mother leading the white
spotted young with her. These deer are specially attacked with gad-flies,
their whole body being covered with the larva of the insect, while the
wood-bobs (Imotes) prove no less troublesomIe to them. Our hunters
often brought to the house animals with head and neck so absolutely
covered with the latter, that its loathsomeness made a meal off the animal
impossible. The third species is the Cervus singplicicornis ? Ill. which
also lives only in the forest and is particularly plentiful on the coast,
where of a morning or evening it usually visits the estates bordering on
the virgin jungle, and is there shot: its flesh is tasty and is considered
a great delicacy in Georgetown. The fourth and smallest species is
known under the name of Wilibisiri (Cervus huiLilis?) : its home is also
in the dense forest.
106. On my way back from Kuipaiti I found in the scrub several
interesting beetles, amongst which a stag-horn with long antennae, that
carried little black and white tufts, particularly delighted me. Already
taking it for a new species which, from the correspondence of the
colouring of the tufts with that of the Prussian national colours, I had
hoped to call "borussica," it turned out to have been previously figured
though not yet described in d'Orbigny's travels under the name of
Cosmisoma formosa. Buprestis gigantea flew in large numbers from,
tree to tree-it is a beetle specially snared by the Indians because its
metallic-glistening wing covers are used as necklaces and similar decora-
tions. The way in which the timber on the overturned and mouldering
trunks was bored to shreds showed that Passalus and Galandra were
abundant here: both are tit-bits with the Indians, who eat them raw.
107. The inspection of the cassava field on the part of the young
man could not have been without results because his youthful wife
brought us really many cassava cakes in the evening.
108. With early morn we packed our smoked deer in baskets and
took our departure. At first we crossed the pathless savannah, but
then turned towards Mt. Wurucokua that rose a good distance away to
the southward. The savannah became more and more pleasant, the sur-
roundings brighter: the forested mountain-tops bobbed up on all sides
close to and ahead of us, till we finally had to wade the river Curati
because many did not dare cross on the dizzy passage-way over the
natural bridge formed by an overturned tree. In conjunction with the
Guidiwau and a short portage, the Curati forms an excellent waterway
with the Rio Branco. On.the other side of the Curati we traversed a
stretch of soft rolling ground which our guides called Wariweh. The
burnt ruins of a settlement were prominent on one of these hills, but
we could not learn whether this was also the work of the Brazilians,


The height at which the village stood offered a charmling view, and
from the overturned clay walls, upon which we ate our breakfast and
which told us that their occupants had been Makusis, because Wapisianas
only build bee-hive shaped houses out of palm-leaves, we noticed that the
wooded range of hills extended 1i miles from N.N.E. to S.S.W. A number
of Capsicum bushes, loaded with red and yellow fruits, had escaped the
ravages of the fire, and proved a welcome find for our companions.
109. A number of isolated mountains of which Wurucokua and
Wayawatiku were the highest faded away towards E.S.E.: these more
important elevations were only sparsely forested, but their slopes on
the other hand were covered with large quantities of rocky fragments
amongst which the tropical winter had rinsed a number of waterways
where several small tributaries of the Watuwau had their source. As in
the case of Kuipaiti a rubble dam extended from Wurucokua S. 600 E.
for about a nile down into the savannah, above which the mountain itself
rose some 1,500 feet. After a further march of half an hour, we again
came upon a rise formed of hardened clay in which a number of angular
fragments were imbedded, its upper surface being covered with huge
granite boulders undergoing decomposition.
110. Mt. Piritate constitutes the outpost of the Wurucokua, Waya-
watiku and Wakuroite mountain group.' Along its eastern slope another
group stretches to the southward towards the Tua,rutu and Ossotschuni
as well as a south-westerly one towards the Kai-irite. Ranges, absolutely
corresponding in their formation, like the Pauisette, Rhati, Duruau and
Pinighette, ran from North to South at a distance of some 5 miles from
the bed on the right bank of the Takutu.
111. In the afternoon we reached a low savannah where we had
to wade through a number of swamps, the water and mud of which
often reached to above our waists. In these marshes the Mauritia forms
regular forests that are tenanted by immense swarms of Araras and
small species of parrot. Though I had often come across such numbers
of them and had got my ears split with their irritating noise, the endless
charm unfolded by their brilliant plumage when flying along in pairs at
an insignificant height, never lost its attraction for me.
112. I do not know for what reason, but it was quite the general
thing to find numbers of hum nocks in such a morass in the course of
which one had always to try and jump from one to the other. But woe
to the poor fellow who springs too short-a mud bath up to the arms, or
deeper still, is the inevitable result,while the laughter of the whole
company enjoying another's ndsfortune is the reward for his false reckon-
ing or frail powers of jumping. The next thing to attract our attention
were whole heaps of deer and jabiru bones, without our being able to
account how they got here. Even if .one admitted the possibility of some
carnivore having chosen this swamp as lurking place, and overpowering
the thirsty deer as they came to quench their thirst, it was still not so
easy to explain how the jabiru could have been seized unawares. Not
far from here, a party of carrion-crows had just settled down to pick


the bones of a deer, while from a neighboring tree the Vulture King,
already crammed with the best of the carcass, looked on in indolent
113. The swampy grass flat was here and there broken by small patches
of bush, and covered with the white blossoms of Hippeastruin Solandri-
florum, Herb. carried 2 to 3 blossoms 10iin. long and 6 in. wide: as with all Amaryllidea
the leaves appear only after the flower. Morning and evening they
spread a lovely perfume. The Macusis called it Manasero: the
Wapisianas, Guatappu. As to orchids, I found the glorious Epistephiumn
parviflorum Lindl. and Cleistes rose Lindl. especially in the neighbour-
hood of the patches of scrub.
114. I was extremely interested in a small owl which I had already
noticed for several days past: in its way of living it particularly differed
from all other members of the family in that unlike them, it did not
commence its predatory work at nightfall, but carried on the business by
day. It left the ground but rarely and ducked as soon as it saw us
approach, to fly a little way while we passed, and then settle on the
ground again, when it always made a piping noise. Only rarely does it
come within gun-shot because even at a considerable distance it always
keeps its possible enemy in view, and is artful at dodging his'gaze. It
is the Strix cunicularia Linn., the same species met with on the prairies
of the western portion of the United States, where it especially enlivens
the colonies of prairie dogs: it builds its nest in their lurking holes at the
same time living in association with the rattle-snake. From what our
Indians told us, it nests out here in the spaces and holes that are often
to be seen at the bottom of an ant-hill: the rattle-snake is just as keen on
these excavations on account of the animal heat derivable from the
myriads of little insect-folk.
115. On resuming our course over the savannah we met these owls
to-day in greater numbers than ever. Directly they noticed us, they
'stretched their necks up, their big eyes glittering in the sun like stars,
and then ducked until they believed they recognized a favourable
opportunity for flight. The very many goatsuckers which we saw during
this day's journey over the savannah likewise played the same trick.
116. The wariness of the goatsucker, which leads the Indians to
assert that this bird has another pair of eyes on its back, and the
smartness it displayed in frustrating our attempts at catching it,
afforded a lot of sport until our attention was once more drawn to
something else, the foaming and roaring Watuwau. The river was
about 150 yards broad, and derived its name from the identical
Wapisiana term for carrion-crow. Although it suffered from the same
dearth of water as the Takutu, and hardly reached to our waists, its
passage, owing to the uncommonly strong current and numerously
scattered granite boulders of all shapes and sizes, was of the most
difficult nature, especially for m\e, because I had just been suddenly
attacked with a violent attack of fever and was so thoroughly shaken up
that we had to halt some hours on the opposite bank, before I could get
along again. The savannah was also' here covered with small angular


quartz fragments as well as with larger blocks: this made walking
particularly painful for me with my feet wounded by the rubbing of
the sandals.
117. On reaching the crest of Aruatimau, a hill about 100 ft. high,
also covered with large quartz and granite boulders, the beautiful moun-
tain-panorama of Kai-irite lay in really fairy-like magnificence before us.
From: the half-moon shaped contour of its ridge, the Wapisianas call the
mountain-chain Kai-irite (Kaira, the moon), the Brazilians, Serra da
Luna. This supernatural splendour, as in the case of son(e of the moun-
tain-masses of the Canuku and Pacaraima Ranges, is due to the moisture
precipitated on the cold quartz, and to the solar rays reflected at a par-
ticular angle, with the result that as soon as the sun reaches a certain
height, the crags commIence casting their intensely white sparkling lustre
a distance of from 30 to. 60 miles: nevertheless, as the position of the sun
varies, this always happens only at definite times. Thus one of the Paca-
raima crags only shines from' May to August, because, previously and
subsequently the rays do not strike its damp surface at the angle neces-
sary to reflect them to the degree required. The Curassawaka and Quari-
waka Crags in the Canuku also possess similar situations where the
quartz shines, but the Kai-irite surpasses them; all by far. Though situate
near the Rio Branco, this mountain range is as little known to the
Brazilians as it is to the Indians. The former regard it as the district
for the wildest and cruellest Indians, and avoid its neighbourhood for
fear of its people: the latter however believe it to be the meeting-place
and playground for all evil spirits, and shun its proximity through fear
of a bad reception from them. TThe range extends from N. to S.E., but has
no connection with those of the upper Essequibo.. The highest point
of the range rises to 3,100 feet.
118. When the trigonomitrical measurements were completed, we
climbed down the hill and stepped upon a narrow forested mountain
valley the right hand side of which was formed of a 900-ft. high pyra-
midal mountain, called Aruatintiku (Tiger Mountain) by the Wapisi-
anas. In spite of our companions' assertions that many a jaguar must be
lurking here, we pitched tent at its foot, for we were more tired and
thirsty than we had ever been since the Mahu. The mountain is timbered
up to the top, from which a bare pointed crag yet rises above the dark
mass of foliage. The hills on the left are only 'of moderate height.
119. Some small hollows filled with thick bluish milky water were
insufficient to quench our thirst or fill the pots for boiling. Fortunately,
the Indians found several Melicocca trees, the fruits of which supplied
what the cavities denied. A furious storm that broke about midnight in
the S.W. blustered with such force and fury through the narrow valley,,
that we were momentarily afraid of being struck by some uprooted tree.
Thirst drove us out of our hammocks already before daybreak and started
us on the day's trip. The way soon led over the Tahaiitiku, detached
groups of hills that form a fairly regular semi-circle, and are connected
with the western spur of the Aruatintiku. Here also the bases of the
isolated eminences were thickly timbered, while their tips ended in rugged
and bleak rocky pinnacles. A beautiful blossoming tree-like Cassia lent


the valley forestation an uncommonly lovely and varied colour. Soon
afterwards the savannah became more stony, the scattered quartz and
granite boulders gradually increased in height and circumference, and
developed finally into regular rocks until intersected by Muruwit, the
small mountain chain, with turret-like or columnar craggy tops that rises
independently in the savannah. The'most westerly of this chain, over
which our road led, is a solid piece of granite from 4 to 500 feet high:
the Wapisianas called it, like all bare mountaintops, Kuipaiti. The gigan-
tic crag, with perpendicular cliffs on its three sides, and a quantity of
Cereus, Melocactus, Agave, Tillandsia and Orchidea, especially Epiden-
drum, Monachanthus, Cyrtopodium Andersonii and individual Gesneria,
which found sufficient nourishment in the rocky clefts, constituted a truly
marvellous picture: owing to a regularly encircling palisade of huge grey
Cereus surrounding the base of the dark stony mass it assunied an ex-
tremely characteristic appearance. This barricade only beautified itself
at night in holiday attire with its lovely fairy-like white blossoms, often
a foot long, but which then filled the entire atmosphere with their scent,
only to close and never again to open before the sun had completed the
first quarter of its course. It was solely the beautiful red apple-like
fruit that broke somewhat the sonibre monotony of this abatis, and offered
our parched palates the relief that otherwise one might have sought the
neighbourhood in vain for, because its presence is considered the surest
sign of a completely waterless surrounding. As my brother was anxious
to climb the top from the only accessible side for the purpose of some
measurements, we others hurried on beforehand in the direction of a
thick scrub rising out of the open plain on the horizon: water must be
there. The scorching heat had so increased our longing for a drop of the
fluid element, that the prospect of its discovery in that dark bush, hardly
permitted my talking note of the lovely blue carpet which the dainty
1Tins americana Aubl. in this and that spot spread over the savannah:
here and there was a change of white patches in the luxuriant blue flats
which almost promised us with certainty the fulfilment of our hopes, al-
though it was several times upset by other tracts that were regularly plas-
tered over with a-half to two-foot high granite slabs. Although the
Xiris could not make mne stop in the race for the tempting bush, I never-
tlleless remained standing astonished at the first of these curious natural
pavements, which spread over an area about 200 feet wide. Without one
piece lying over another, the eye gazed upon a complete stone floor,
where slab was laid to slab, in between which here luxuriant Rhexia and
Melastoma, and there Clusia, Euphorbia, Peperomia, Gesneria or Til-
landsia formed a regular, though in their mesh, an irregular, network.
Where these intervals happened to be somewhat larger we were faced
by innumerable Melocactus with their fearful long "pimplers" and ashen
grey upper surfaces, surrounded by their innumerable progeny: and yet
our burning thirst irresistibly drove us on to the dark scrub, and I was
moreover suffering from a raging attack of fever. It was no good staying
here. Ruled by this one thought, I was paying no attention to the path-
way, when a pain in the sole of my foot, that seemed to pierce the very


marrow and forced me to give a shriek, suddenly checked our haste. I
had trodden on a Melocactus, the three-inch long spines of which had
stuck into my foot through the sandal, and had broken off there. Sup-
ported on the shoulders of a couple of Indians I limped, bleeding, to the
scrub where we not only found our hopes fulfilled but where I managed
to get the broken-off prickle-ends cut out and have the wounds washed.
The burning pain in the foot together with a recrudescence of the fever,
twice as bad as before, forced me to sling my hammock in the shade be-
tween two trees, so as to pull ndyself together a bit before my brother's
arrival. In the meantime he had found a pretty Helicteres on the top of
Kuipaiti: it was a new species, Helicteres glaber Schomb.
120. What with my thirst, the bout of fever, and pain in the sole
of my foot, I was so weakened that I could hardly jog along when we
resumed our journey to-day, and it was rather a case of being dragged
than going by myself. Added to this was the troublesome charcoal dust
from the burning savannah which the Indians can never omit firing when
they leave a rendezvous. The sea of flame, strongly fanned by an easterly
wind, was being driven ahead in the direction we had to follow: a dense
cluster of forest far afield had barred its further progress which was
recognized from the fixed columns of smoke that rose from' its edges.
121. After crossing the oasis, and a small stream meandering through
it in thousands of bends, we once more came upon the open savannah
and at the same time onto a practically continuous marshy soil where
the abundance of water proved almost as tormenting as the scarcity of it
had done in the fore noon. Swanmp followed swamp, and all to be waded
when the water would often reach up to our arms. On such occasions
the hardened fitness of our Indians took us completely by surprise. When
after meeting with a longer and drier interval, we again met with swampy
spots, it was a case of our companions just wading in and through the
water without a stop, dripping with perspiration under the weight of
their loads. Had we, after every crossing, wanted to change our truly
simple clothing which consisted of but a shirt and linen trousers, we
should have required another wardrobe than what we carried with us.
122. The dead silence that reigned, not only among our party, but
also over the whole surroundings, was suddenly interrupted by a loud
and distant barking: it came from a wooded hill on the slope of which
rose an irregular mass of granite, but our eyes were unable to discover
its source. As our companions rightly concluded that where dogs
barked, men must also be present, they commenced shouting: everything
remained silent and nothing living let itself be seen. The vanguard
doubled their pace, climbed the crag and made their way through a thick
border of Agave vivipara which had forced its candelabrum-like flower-
stalks high into the air, and closely adjoined the brushwood, when the
foremost of them soon discovered an old Indian on a rocky bank between
the Agaves. He was carrying a bow and arrow in his hand, and watched
our movements with indifference. After exchanging a few words with
our Indians he turned in the direction of a dense scrub when-after
calling in a loud voice-the brushwood parted and there came into view
a frail young woman leading a pretty boy by the hand; she was followed,


not long after, by a powerful young Indian, also armed with bow and
arrows, and several beautiful dogs accompanying him..
123. The hunting party had already recognized us a long way off
but owing to our wearing large straw hats, had taken us for Brazilians:
realising that their presence had been betrayed by the irrepressible
barking of the dogs, the young couple, together with their boy, had with-
drawn to a safe hiding-place. The old man, whose great age protected
him from slavery, remained behind to prevent, by his presence, the
supposed man-hunters making a more diligent search of the forest, or
if necessary to signal those in hiding to take further flight.
124. They had come from Tuarutu village, the provisional end of
our journey, situate in the similarly named ranges now not so very far
distant, where deer are not to be found: they had extended their trip to
hunt these animals in the savannah up here. They had left their village
three days before.
125. A terrible thunderstorm that burst over our heads about mid-
night with such fury that any mpre sleep was absolutely out of the
question, unfortunately broke the rest that we had all longed for after
so tiring a march. The rain poured down in such torrents upon our
tent that although we had spread it under densely leaved trees, the
thickly oiled cover could not stand the strain. All the elements were in
an uproar: the unfettered tempest blustered and flustered through the
encompassing forest where its angered howl was every now and again
deadened by the bursting of the claps of thunder or by the dull boom of
some giant tree crashing to earth in the near or remote distance. It was
this that made us shudder inwardly, because, owing to the truly Egyptian
darkness which was only momentarily cleft by a flash of lightning, we
were constantly afraid of one of the huge trees close by being uprooted,
and crushing us the next instant under its weight. However strained
the effort was to remain in our hammocks during this upheaval of the
elements, this absolutely passive resolution was nevertheless the only
means of escaping the dangers everywhere threatening, at least in so far
that they did not strike the little spot that we actually occupied. Their
poor Indians, who had made no provision for such weather, were far
worse off than ourselves, because, not having built any temporary huts,
they had just slung their hammocks between the trees, from which the
raging storm had driven them under our tent where, packed like
herrings, resting on their heels, their teeth clattering with cold, they
squatted on the ground, to be brilliantly illumined by the lightning at
one moment, and to disappear out of sight the next.
126. Finally came the morning that we had long anxiously awaited,
and all measures were immediately taken for resuming the journey: the
Indian family had already left unnoticed, for we sought them in vain
at break of day, and were consequently forced, without their guidance,
to wade through the low-lying savannah which the violent downpour of
rain had changed into a regular lake. With the cool temperature of
the early morning the more than two-hour long passage across, during
which the water often came over our knees, was far from pleasant:
Except for a new species of Oncidium which, with its yellow blossom-


stalks showed up above the surface in isolated places, the low-lying
vegetation was completely covered.
127. Soon after getting over the watery savannah, we entered the
wooded Tuarutu Range just as we struck a small defile leading to the
dense virgin forest in between mountains from 4 to 500ft. high, which
in the distance were overtopped by a still higher chain. The path became
more and more stony and impassable until it finally disappeared
altogether, when it came into view again on some small stony patches
of savannah which, from, now onwards, alternated with the thick
primeval forest, almost without a .break.
128. Our negroes and mulattoes received the strictest orders to keep
more together and particularly with the advance guard of the procession,
because in between the craggy remnants and through the trackless
forest, it was only too easy to lose one's way. In many places we had
finally to employ hands as well as feet at one and the same time to get
over the granite boulders that often formed regular zones and barricades.
It was the wildest and most romantic scenery I had yet seen: a landscape
of infinite charm, which in its constant change from phantastic rocky
ridges, that towered here over the rank foliage like cyclopean' buildings,
to the loveliest meadow valleys, fixed one's attention with some super-
natural influence. The brown figures with their loads climbed the
sombre masses like ants: they vanished now between the crevices and
fissures, to reappear soon after like miners out of a shaft. At last a
huge pyramid that at a distance of about two miles on our left rose far
and away above its surroundings attracted the notice of every member of
our party; the Wapisianas called it Aikuwe, and my brother imagined
himself transported close to the banks of the Quitaro where an exactly
similarly shaped rocky crag, the Ataraipu (Devil's Rock) gazes grim
and gloomy over its foaming and cataract-broken waters. The forest,
which intersected the wild stretches of savannah, grew finally so thick
that even the scorching rays of the mid-day sun proved incapable of
penetrating the tree-tops that were so tightly interlaced in, and bound
up with, one another by vine-rope. While a lesser quantity of rocky chips
-angular, sharp, and pointed-made the path easier to tread, it was
covered instead with huge tree-roots which by continually being knocked
up against, only caused my sandal-strings to cut deeper into the inter-
digital spaces, so that with every fresh blow the pain caused me to make
a most deceptive spring and raise a scream. What would I have given
if by some magic I could have raised a pair of shoes or boots, or something
at least that would have enabled my limbs to accustom themselves to the
stilt-like pace of the Indians. With these generally prosaic obstacles,
were yet associated here and there the barricades of up-rooted trees,
which yesterday's and previous storms had heaped atop of one another,
as well as the huge beds of dried pimpler-palmi fronds (Astrocaryum,
Bactris), the spines of which I felt at every step, with the result that
my feet also got wounded elsewhere than on the heels. For the first time,
the Indianis were the object of 1iy envy: the' brown figures slipped
between the trees and over all these obstructions like shadows, without
the blood running off their feet, or getting their hands and arm' torn



like mine. So as to keep, if not in sight, at least within sound of these
fleet-footed guides, we signalled a lusty shout from time to time: this
continued to be answered from front and behind, till the replies of the
stragglers, dying away in almost inaudible tones, proved to us that the
orders given to the negroes and mulattoes had not been obeyed.
129. After following up the long narrow pass for a while we again
climbed a hill, the slopes of which were covered with a still greater
number, if that were possible, of huge granite boulders, between and
over which we continued our way in a serpentine course. Many of these
boulders were decked with Orchidea, Agave, and Cactus, but most
frequently with Cyrtopodium Andersonii, .2.ho,.1ii ,',rl 7. in marginata,
Cattleya superba, Marillaria, Brassavola and Vanilla. I had never seen
the Cattleya again since the Rupununi. Bushes of Cassia and Eugenia
had shot up wherever a little vegetable-mould had collected: they
apparently seemed to grow out of the mass of stone. On reaching the
summit, there opened out once more at our feet a stony stretch of
savannah, at the end of which rose a giant Ficus that spread its huge-
horizontal limbs far into the space around: these were sustained by
innumerable supports formed from its aerial roots which, after reaching
down to earth around the whole circumference of its foliaged roof, had
here taken root again. Though the leafy covering, already from' a
distance, gives this immense tree with its supports-in which it mostly
resembles the Banyan (Ficii. india) of Ceylon-a naturally very
characteristic appearance, it was the case here to a still more marked
degree, because immediately behind it there towered a huge mass of
granite which, perhaps li miles in circumference, rose at least to a
height of 300 feet: and over this we had to go. Upon the many scattered
boulders under the cooling shade of the Ficus we gave our tired limbs
the rest of which they stood so much in need; at the same time, before
climbing this stone-wall, we had to await the stragglers at least till
they reached the ridge of the hill behind, where we saw them by little
and little, one at a time, clumsily bobbing up into view.
130. If climbing up the huge rocky mass called for unusual
care, quite three times as much was required in slithering
down, for only by that term could one describe its descent on
the opposite side. Cereus, Melocactus, Agave and here and there
the low bush of Desmanthus, as well as several Clusia and Cassia
bedecked the hill. Arrived at the base of its opposite edge we
found ourselves once more in a new basin surrounded by crags and
rocks, over which our guides, who took the direction from individual
rocky summits and ridges, led the way partly through small
dense woodland, partly across considerable stretches of savannah.
It .was only these open savannahs that afforded us a panoramic view of
our wildly romantic. surroundings. I have never since met with more
bizarre rocky masses, nor again with valleys or hills that could in the
slightest degree compare. with those, included in our journey of to-day.
Though on previous occasions I had perforce smiled at the wealth of
imagination displayed by the Indians, and bewailed my northern materi-


alism, when they pointed out a human being in this rock here, and some
animal or other in that one there, I nevertheless now fancied that I had
been transported to.a veritable fairyland where the world turned into
stone was passionately awaiting the wizard's wand for deliverance so as
to resume undisturbed once more the active life that a mysterious spell
had brought to a sudden stop. The summits of the collective circle of
hills ran out into bleak masses of granite, gneiss, and quartz, of the
most peculiar shapes, whilst the quartz, on account of the reflected solar
rays over the dark foliage of the valley, shed a lustre that only increased
the illusion still further. It was not long before the thought of losing
oneself in this rocky labyrinth gave me an uncanny shudder, and yet one
of our negroes, the silliest of them all, Hamlet, was already finding him-
self in this awful plight.
131. Since leaving the savannah lake we had not seen another drop
of water, though to be sure the rocks and sunbeams had raised our thirst
to fainting-pitch. Added to my troubles, a violent attack of fever forced
us to halt, the Indians being in the meantime instructed to disperse
over the neighbourhood and find if they could some swamp or babbling
brook. With how intense a longing I especially watched for each of these
scouts to step out of the brushwood can only be appreciated by one who
knows what it is to suffer from "intermittent" to a very high degree, and
yearns in vain for a drink wherewith to cool his absolutely parched
mouth and guns, after a journey of six hours' duration over red-hot
rock and under a scorching sun. But one after another returned without
having found a drop. Sonmp at least of the panting stragglers now put
in an appearance, and, like ourselves, anxiously awaited the return of
the remaining Indians who had been sent out to explore,-but these
brought with them nothing but some ripe fruits of the Cucurit palm
(Marimilia regia). This certainly possesses a somewhat sweetish sap,
but gives rise to an unpleasant itching which, soon after eating, only
still further increases the pangs of thirst and yet we ate them so as
just to moisten the panting leaden tongue and dried-up mouth.
132. Although the full complement of negroes, as well as of the
others, was always wanting, we still had no real cause for alarm, and as
the waiting only prolonged our agony, we once more silently jogged
along. The forest that we now traversed ever became more dense, the
trees more gigantic, and soon the many deep sighs that spread from the
foremost mian to the next, and so on, showed that we had again reached
the dried-up bed of a torrent. Directly we knew that water had previ-
ously been present here, we scattered ourselves above and below the bed,
to find perhaps a little moisture still left in some rocky recess: but the
signal agreed upon was never forthcoming, and as one after the other
came back, the slow rustle of the foliage scattered in the channel over
which each one trod, notified those of us who, owing to failing strength,
were the first to return to the starting point, that they also had not been
successful. After several vainless repetitions of these trips we despaired
of the river beds that were to follow. I did not care what happened now:
how the Indians in this forest could follow the direction of our track, had'
no interest for me. With blunted senses and no will of my own I stag-


gered along behind the man in front, dominated with but the one and
only idea of recognizing the word "Tuna (Water)" in every unusual
133. And yet this lethargy was to be suddenly dispelled in a rather
unpleasant manner. The path having become more and more impassable
and blocked, the Indians who happened to be in front were obliged from
now onwards to clear away with axe and cutlass so much as would allow
of those behind creeping their way through. Several sudden cries of pain,
a dull buzzing in my ears, and the complete scattering of the procession
strained my relaxed senses to the extent of letting me convince myself
of the reason for the mad rush, as well as for taking part in it. While the
brushwood was being cut, several nests, the size of one's head, of a large
wasp (Marimbonta), had fallen to the ground: their occupants, now
really furious, were dropping upon and following us. Wildly screaming,
and down-turned faces covered with their hands, the Indians vanished
into the scrub, but the oft repeated yells of distress indicated plainly
enough that many had been overtaken by the angered creatures, as was
proved by the thickly-swollen faces when the pursuit was over. To avoid
such. a wasps' nest even the Indian does not shun making a considerable
134. A number of paths through the thicket suddenly revived our
hopes-afresh. Men must be living in the neighbourhood, streams must be
close by: for otherwise, why so many roads to cross ours in all direc-
tions? The earnest warning of the Indians striding ahead, not to take
any of these misleading tracks, but always to follow the man ahead,
again destroyed our sanguine spirits-they were the pads of tapirs and
bush-hogs. The deception was all the nmpre pardonable for us Europeans
because the hard ground allowed of no actual impression, and it was
really only the practised eye of an Indian that could differentiate
between such a pad and the right road. Woe be to him who follows these
misleading tracks: he may travel for days, for weeks, without meeting a
house or human being, unless hunger and thirst kill him beforehand.
135. We might have thus covered a stretch of about a mile in the
impenetrable forest, when I heard a distant voice-I stood rooted to the
spot, and listened,-when the words "'Tuna, Tuna," struck my anxiously
attentive ear. Delighted and overjoyed, I repeated them in as loud a
voice as was left to nme, and rushing ahead as fast as possible to the object
of our desire, I soon stood with truly feverish excitement in the bed of
the small stream Manatiwau where certainly no running water, but
several darkly coloured pools were to be seen. What worried me, what
worried all of us, were the swarms of frogs which, with their fore-feet
leisurely outstretched, were swimming about on the surface and, fright-
ened by the noise, were ducking down into the swampy bottom where they
dug themselves into the mud, and puddled the water still worse than it
naturally was. To us, the water was as nectar in which we rapturously
dipped our cassava to take the first bite for the day, because the tor-
menting thirst, dried mouth, and parched gums had rendered the swal-
lowing of dry bread impossible. It was a feast for the gods, during the
enjoyment of which all the worries and troubles that we had endured,


and all remembrance of the sufferings that we had overcome were for-
gotten, while the possibility that perhaps next day similar anxieties might
be awaiting us, lay still further from our thoughts. We could find no
better place to await the stragglers. Hardly had these noticed our happy
contented faces, than they received a new hold on life, hurried up in
quick time, and after stilling their greed, camped, close at hand with
similar satisfaction. The Indians threw down their loads, and in spite
of our remonstrances jumped into the middle of the pool, both feet
together, so as to secure, in addition to the quenching of their thirst, a
refreshing bath for their burning limbs, in consequence of which the
water became certainly more muddy for those who were to follow.
136. The little stream Manatiwau during the rainy season pours
its waters into the Warinmiwau, this in turn falling into the Takutu.
After taking a rest of at least a couple of hours, during which several
of the stragglers had pulled up to us, we found Hendrick, Hamlet and
two Indians still missing: but as both the former were known to be
the worst walkers, we thought they must have prevailed upon the Indians
by means of some promise or other to lag behind and show them the way,
as had already several times proved to be the case, when they would often
arrive in camp several hours after us. We accordingly took our depar-
ture with a view to reaching, if possible, iluarutu which must still be
an hour distant: we left Sororeng behind to wait for the belated ones
and inform them to that effect.
137. After we had once more come up to and crossed the open hilly
savannah which was likewise enclosed nere by mountains and thick
forest, we again climbed one of the hills, the sides and summit of which
were regularly covered with quartz and granite fragments as well as
with a quantity of brown iron-stone in sizes varying from small to coarse
shot-grains, comparable with bean-ore. We had not yet come across this
form of brown iron-stone in such quantity. Next to these small fragments
came huge boulders of a gTained quartz which on the outside were coloured
a deep red by the ferruginous clay just as we had previously met it in
the form, of hardened ,concretions on the savannahs of the Mahu. But
what gave us still greater pleasure to-day was the sight of the two big
houses of Tfuarutu that from the top of this hill we recognized on a
second one ahead: we were not long in reaching them.
138. The mostly-aged occupants of both houses had already been
informed of our coming by the family that had gone off beforehand, and
received us with the far from comforting yet frank acknowledgment that
we could only get a few supplies here as they themselves were also almost*
suffering from want, but that things might prove better in the neigh-
bouring settlements.
139. As our stock of provisions had come to an end, the gaps had to be
again filled, and a few days to be spent here. A small dale with a wooded
oasis, not far from both houses, was chosen for our camp, and we had
just pitched our tents when Hendrick arrived with the two Indians, but
without Hamlet, whom they thought had already reached here. From
what he told us it appeared that Hamlet must have lost himself in the
forest behind the solid mass of granite, probably on one of the tapir or


bush-hog pads (Sect. 134). Hendrick had already early in the day
sprained his foot by striking it against the root of a tree, and although
thereby forced to take repeated rest, had kept up the pace with us so far
as the pain possibly permitted. But the climbing of the huge rock had
so exhausted him and increased his sufferings that he was obliged to
take a long spell on the platform where Hanmet with the two Indians
pulled up. Hendrick asked the latter to remain with him, which they
did, while Hamlet expressed his intention cf proceeding slowly on, as
otherwise he might reach camp too late to prepare the supper. Hendrick
followed after a while with the two Indians and reached the Manatiwau
to find Sororeng who enquired for Hanlmet: then only did Hendrick
remember having heard a voice calling a little before dark which sounded
to him just like that of a human being, but according to what the Indians
told him, belonged to some animal or bird. Nothing further could be done
that evening.
140. At break of day (April 28th) Sororeng, without Hamlet, came
in from the banks of the Manatiwau: he maintained that the lost one
must be miles away from us, because otherwise he would have heard and
followed the shots Sororeng had fired all the night through. Everybody
was now summoned to go search for the unfortunate fellow, and after
much persuasion, coupled with the promise of several glasses of rum, we
finally succeeded in prevailing upon ten of the Indians to stifle their
antipathy to the negro-whom, convinced of his having been long ago
devoured by a jaguar, they were of opinion there was no necessity for
further worrying over-and to take their departure with St6ckle in the
lead. The latter received strict orders to fire a gun every quarter of an
hour, and midst laughter and shaking of heads they made a start.
141. The news of our arrival had spread over the neighbourhood just
as quickly as had been the case in other places, for already in the course
of the forenoon a long file of Indians moved up to our camp to interview
and greet the first white people who had visited the district. Heading
the procession strode a tall figure whose body, with the exception of the
abundantly painted legs and arms, was wrapped in a piece of coloured
cotton which, through goodness only knows what channel, had been
driven out of its course here in the way of trade. The hair was combed
back and a mass of roucon pasted over the forehead, into which was
stick the white down of the hokko hen. Following him and carrying a
sort of stool, came another dressed-up Indian with whom was associated
a whole host of others, their bodies thickly painted all over, and then
the women who brought up the train. On arriving at our tent, the chief
commenced his salutation ceremony which as usual consisted of his
moving the flat hand three times up and down close to our faces without
touching them!, and on its completion gravely took his seat upon the
stool that in the meantime had been placed in position, and listened to
the accounts which the others brought him concerning our business: for
he seemed to consider it beneath his dignity to become personally
acquainted with us and our belongings. The description of objects that
were beyond the intelligence of these primitive people, and that had been
seen to-day for the first time, appeared to be somewhat perplexing. At



any rate, the chief's countenance assumed a vexed character, the conver-
sation became more animated, the reporters were obliged to return again
and again to the article, and re-examine it carefully with a view to sup-
plying a more accurate account:-finally it appeared that either his
patience had come to an end or else his curiosity had been so aroused by
what he had been told that he could no longer keep his seat. He got up
and subjected everything, particularly the cooking apparatus which we
had set up in a special kitchen, to his own personal scrutiny, and when
Sororeng explained its use to hinm his astonishment reached its limit.
Our forks also proved a source of great surprise, which was still further
increased when Sororeng demonstrated their practical use. During the
course of the day this party cf people was followed by yet others, who
also reviewed every single article in detail. Amongst the last to come
our attention was particularly drawn, especially on account of his pecu-
liar growth of hair, to a half-Indian (Capoucre) whose father was Negro,
and mother Indian. The hair had taken on half the character of the father
and half that of the mother, and consequently had reached neither the
complete curled woolly hair of the negro, nor the smooth one of the
Indian, but rose stiff in the air, half curled and half straight, and gave
the head in addition to its prodigious size, an extremely striking appear-
ance. As regards build of body, the half-breed had the advantage over
the Indian not only in thickness and size, but especially in a more com-
pact, more powerful musculature: his colour was a mixture of brown
and black. In British Guiana we only met a few of such individuals:
they must be all the more numerous in Surinam where the runaway
slaves have repeatedly married with Carib women.
142. We found the lichen-like skin-disease indigenous also among
the Wapisianas and in those who were present we saw several troubled
with it to a fairly great extent. In isolated cases not only the breast and
face, but even the extremities were covered with white scaly lichens,
which gave them an extremely curious, in a way repulsive appearance:
if I might use the expression, the disease looked like mould turned upside
down. According to all the information gleaned, it is the skin of the
Indians that seems to be the organ most sensitive and liable to catch
most diseases. My brother also discovered here an old acquaintance from
Fort Sao Joaquim, whom he had met there as a slave in 1837, but who
had subsequently and successfully seized a favourable opportunity for
143. Late in the evening Stickle returned to. camp with his party but
no Harndlet, without, as we well discovered, having made much of a search'
for him. The Indians, who knew St6ckle's firmness of character, after
fairly quickly convincing him that the negro niist have been long ago
torn to pieces by a jaguar, had then peacefully laid down to sleep away
the time till evening.
144. Through this unpardonable neglect our anxiety over the
poor wretch naturally continued to increase, and every effort was
now required to save him, if that were still possible. Accordingly,
for the night, large heaps of wood were piled up on the hill-top and set
fire to, so that Hamlet/s attention, were he still alive, might be


attracted- to the light that was spreading far and wide. A thunder-
storm having again burst at midnight, all the Indians in the neighbour-
hood were summoned next morning to lend us assistance in our search
for the wanderer who was probably already half dead with terror. The pro-
mises we made, for only then did they show themselves ready to help
search for the Negro, gathered some 20 around; with the result that, in-
cluding our own people, we now formed a crowd of 50 men, divided into
three parties: one of them, my brother leading, returned the.way we came,
another, accompanied by Mr. Goodall, took a path more to the northward,
while I, with the third, struck a line in a southerly direction. It was
arranged that we were to continue firing a shot at short intervals so as
to draw Hamlet's attention to the help that was approaching.
145. IThe two other parties were soon lost to sight, and the sound
of the firing became weaker and weaker until it finally faded away
altogether. With their nodding and laughing my Indians meant to
infer that the Negro was not even worth the powder, that would be
better spent in hunting tapir, hokko hens, etc: indeed, there were times
when I had to exert every effort of persuasion and the whole of my
energies to prevent them turning back. IThis general detestation of the
Negro by the Indians is remarkable, especially as it is not limited to
particular localities, but is said to be spread in an equal degree through-
out Brazil, Chili, and Peru.
146. After wading across swamps, creeping through brushwood,
climbing up hill and down dale, scrambling over rocks, and neglecting
nothing that could let the lost mhan kRow that we were trying our
best, I found myself forced about sundown, when I was again attacked
with a sharp bout of fever, to turn back. However stubborn the Indians
showed themselves to be, they nevertheless applied their entire acumen
later on, in learning whether the tracks discovered,-they were certainly
quite unnoticeable by me-belonged to Hamlet, i.e., to those of a Negro:
"Here's the footprint of an Indian; this is an Indian womnian's; one who
did not belong to our village passed along here"-yet the words so keenly
awaited, "This is the Negro's" were never uttered. The discernment
of the Indians in picking up foot-tracks indeed borders upon the marvel-
lous. In damp grass I could have made a bet that I would distinguish
the footprints of a European, a Negro, and an Indian from one another,
but to be able to recognize and classify them even upon rocks seemed to
me to be almost second-sight.
147. It was fairly dark by now when we got back to camp, where
we found Mr. Goodall already arrived without his having discovered
the slightest trace of the wanderer. Half an hour later a loud noise
indicated the return of the third, but at the same time successful,
party. My brother, about six miles back, had found the poor devil in a
most pitiable condition. .The former had given up all hope of success,
and was about making again for the settlement when one of the Indians
heard a distant call, which they followed and so found tracks and Hamlet
as well. Fright and exhaustion had worked such a powerful effect upon
him that m(y brother at first thought he had gone mad, his absolutely
incoherent phrases rapidly alternating with intense crying and most


extravagant laughter. When they met him he was carrying a half-eaten
land-tortoise on his shoulders, hitherto his greatest antipathy, so as
probably to keep the remainder for his next meal. How often, when
dishing up a tortoise, had he solemInly assured us that he would rather
die of starvation, than eat a particle of the flesh, but up to then he had
not learnt from experience the old adage that Necessity knows no law:
and yet she had even forced him to eat the hated meat raw. Being still
too weak to-day to return to canip with the party, several of the people
werE left behind to bring him into the village next morning.
148. When he did arrive on the following day, I was terribly
shocked at his appearance. In the trembling, ever momentarily startled,
corpse-like figure that could hardly stand without support, and with its
wildly troubled looks, Hamlet, the ever smirking Hamlet, was no longer to
be recognized: the distress that had been retained up to yesterday was still
noticeable, and it was only on the day after when his naturally weak
mind had recovered somewhat of its balance, that he told us bit by bit
the story of his sufferings. After passing Hendrick and the two Indians,
he had gone into the forest, and continued following what appeared to be
the right track until, struck by the deep silence, he wondered why he had
not caught up with any of those ahead. He stopped where he was to
wait for the rear-guard, but this never came-he turned back to go and
meet them, but they were not to be found. And when at last, towards
evening, he struck the rock Without discovering even a trace of those
he had left there, he was forced to the awful conclusion that he was lost:
every call for help remained unheeded. Fear of wild animals and evil
spirits, whose victim he already felt himself doomed to be, robbed him
of the last vestiges of sense, and yelling wildly, he had broken through
the brush and underwood and finally reached the original starting-place
again. It was only on the second day that he had experienced a nagging
hunger which he stilled with mushrooms until, in the course of his
circling peregrinations, he discovered the tortoise. He had not had a
wink of sleep for three days and two nights, and on the last one had
prayed to his dead mother's ghost to save him. On the second day he
had certainly heard the shooting and had run in the direction indicated
when the signals suddenly ceased-Stockle and company had settled
down to sleep-and he had given himself up as hopelessly lost until, on
the third day, the renewed firing acquainted him that people were still on
the search. He had now gathered all his strength for one supreme
effort, had hurried towards the spot where the shots were fired, and too
exhausted to proceed further had then by calling and shouting, given
signs of his existence, wheii he was fortunately found.
149. Owing to his weakened physical condition it was out of
the question for him to accompany us on the remainder of the journey.
In spite, however, of our solemn assurance to pick him up again on our
return from the sources of the Takutu, his fright had been strung to such
a pitch, that our sympathetic suggestions had to be substituted by per-
emptory orders before he would submit to his terrible fate, for that was
the light in which he regarded his having to stay behind.

'MIGHT-Y GkAtI~tt RockS.

150. Tuarutfu village lay in 2 7' 3" Lat. N. and 59 46' Long. W.:
the highest point of the range of the same name, in which we now found
ourselves, rose 1,800 feet over the Takutu. Some other important moun-
tains in the neighbourhood reached a height of 1,000 to 1,150 feet. The
chain stretches to a length of close upoh 10 miles without, however, form-
ing a linear range: it consists rather of an irregular mass of isolated
mountains and hills encircling larger savannah flats thet are generally
strewn with rough granite fragments. Through such savannah flats and
scattered elevations from 150 to 200 feet high the Tuarutu Range junc-
tions with that of the Ossotschuni, about 11 miles in length running
from N.E. to S.W. The steep masses of granite that were mentioned
as having already astonished us so much on the Tuarutu (Sect. 128, etc.)
appeared on the Ossotschuni Range in still mightier propor-
tions Uruwai, Wapuna or Wahuma and Curischiwini
Share granite collossi rising from 1,500 to 1,800 feet
which, by virtue of the illumination due to the sun's rays being reflected
from the huge quartz-veins bounding through them, form a really
magic contrast with the dark gloomy granite crags and at the same time
lend the forests at their bases a more than supernatural charm. Accord
ing to what the Wapisianas said, tobacco must be growing wild on Mount
Uruwai. Southward from the Ossotschuni dense virgin forest extended
to the distant horizon, while the ranges of the Essequebo limited them in
the distant azure towards the S.S.E.
151. From the information that could be gathered here concerning
the sources of the Takutu, we would be reaching a Macusi settlement
within a couple of days in the neighbourhood of which they ought to be
found. By the 2nd May we were so far victualled as to allow of our
resuming the journey, having also received a promise to find on our
return sufficient provisions to take us to Pirara. Hamlet burst into tears
when we took leave and the expedition, headed by an Indian from
Tuarutu as guide, made a move in the direction of the Ossotschuni Range.
After crossing many a craggy hill on which grew numbers of Orchids
like Cyrtopodium, Monachanthus and Oncidium, we reached the river
Turerucata-kurin, where the abundance of water however by no means
corresponded with the length of name. It 'pours itself into the Ossots-
chuni which takes its rise in the similarly-named range that we left lying
on our right, to follow its slope a distance of about two miles: in this
connection a high pyramidal mass of granite served as finger-post to our
guides. Exhausted and panting for a drink, Taramtibawau, a small
stream that bickered wildly over huge granite slabs, and sallied in and
out between them, offered us copious refreshment in the afternoon. After
a short rest we started again and soon climbed some heights called by
the Wapisianas Wawacunaba, from the summit of which we enjoyed a
most lovely view over the savannahs and towards S.E. onto Mount Vin-
daua, whilst towering behind them we recognized the huge bodies of the
Wanguwai and Amneu Ranges in the neighbourhood of the confluence
of the Yuawauri or Cassikityu with the upper Essequebo. Further to-
wards the. East there rose a mass of mountains equally as high as the
Wanguwai which the Indians called Uassari, and in which my brother


identified the identical range that Alexander von Hulmboldt mentions in
the sixth volume of his Travels. What with the trigonometrical measure-
ments carried out, Alexander von Humboldt's determination differed
from that of my brother by 40 miles too much to the North: the latter
fixed its situation in 1 40' Lat N.
152. The Wawacunaba crags showed themselves unusually crystal-
line, while huge light-brown boulders and slabs of mnica lay scattered
around upon the savannah. I have already reported that the Indians
take the mica for gold or silver(Brata.)
153. It was soon afterwards that we came upon a forest which in fact
surpassed everything that I had previously seen: tropical plant-life
seemed to have shed over it the whole fulness of her glory to an extent
which even the most skilful pen might only approximately succeed in
describing. Palms, Zingiberaceae, Cannaceae, Musaceae, and ferns con-
stituted the rank mass of forest. Thick clusters of Astrocaryum, Des-
moncus, Bactris, Euterpe, Max~rmiliana and Acrocomia often alternated
with large stretches of wild-plantain (Ravenala guianensis and Phena-
cospermnum guianense Endl.) that mostly reached a height of 40 to 50
feet, until collecting together again, the former were to be seen scattered
about and towering over the others with their proud fronds. The noisy
rattle caused by the seed falling on the huge leaves of the Ravenala
showed how busily the innumerable parrots were engaged in satisfying
their hunger with the ripe palm fruits: it nevertheless sounded as if a
hail-storm had burst over the spot. The ground, consisting of a stiff clay
mixed with sand, Was wrapped in a thick covering of Arum, Canna, and
fern such as Trichomanes, Lygodium, Aneimia, Mertensia, IAdiantum
and Davallia. A loud cry of "Snake, snake," and a shot immediately fol-
lowing, warned us that it was doubly necessary to be on our guard. On
reaching the spot, the stricken reptile was still writhing in its blood,
and the first glance at its huge fangs showed that it had to be regarded
as one of the most poisonous: it measured five feet and had a blackish
colour. The Indians exhibited the greatest fear and a strange terror of
their enemy even when dead. Although I had never before seen a speci-
men, I was unable to preserve it, on account of my not having any spirits.
154. At a small creek that was slowly nmeandering its way through
the fairy forest we pitched our camp under a huge Carolinea which gave
rise to plenty of noise the whole night through by dropping the contents
of its burst seed-capsules over our tent cover. The opposite bank con-
sisted of so dense a barricade of bambu (Guadua latifolia), that it would
have opposed an impenetrable obstacle to the escape of even the larger
155. Next morning we continued our journey along the Ossotschuni
Ranges, where we followed a beaten track which after a two hours march
led to an abandoned settlement: its three large bee-hive shaped houses
were situate on a rise. The loosened soil in the centre of the largest build-
ing explained the reason that had led the residents to leave their blessed
hearth and home-it was the grave of their chief, as the Wapisianas
told us.


156. The still structurally complete condition of the houses showed
that the occupants had left them but a short time before, and yet the
provisionfield was so weed-grown that Mimosa, Solanum and Cordia had
already stifled the Manihot: only a few Musa paradisiaca and sapientum
with broad torn leaves to disappear shortly in their turn, still overtopped
the rank growth. A palm growing thickly in clusters on the edge of a
small oasis, attracted my attention: it was my first specimen of the
beautiful and delicate Mauritia aculeata Humb. Bonp. Notwithstanding
that my brother on his previous journeys had met with it frequently on
the banks of the Rio Negro, it was also the first that he had seen in
British Guiana. Although the M. aculeata neither in height nor girth
approaches the M. flewuosa, it nevertheless possesses the graceful growth
peculiar to this genus, which makes it one of the grandest ornaments of
the tropical landscape. The Wapisianas called it Urukusch. The oasis
that now opened its way to us was formed almost exclusively of Bactris,
Astrocaryum and Maximiliana, interspersed with an occasional big foli-
age-tree, amongst which I recognized to my great joy the giant Juvia or
Brazil-nut (Bertholletia excelsa Humnb. Bonp.). The huge trunk,
straight as a thread, rose on an average 80 or 90 feet before it gave off its
first branches, from out of the midst of which it continued to rise another
50 to 60 feet. An immense quantity of opened seed-capsules from, 16 to
18 inches in circumference, robbed of their contents, were scattered
around. Each of these cases contains from 16 to 18 triangular seeds
known commercially as Brazil or Para-nut, but they generally lose a
great deal of their lovely taste on the journey. At the time of maturity
when the lids of the capsules burst and the ripe seeds fall the site of
these imposing trees is not alone the place of meeting for Indians, but is
also the playground for a number of rodents, bush-hogs and monkeys.
The nut is a tit-bit just as much in request by the latter as by the former.
This is especially the case with the monkeys who will inve ;t such a tree
in whole troops: stories are even told to the effect that when, on account
of the size, they cannot bite open the rocky hard case that often drops
unopened, they will hammer it with stones in order to extract the nuts
desired. The cunning creatures have certainly not yet brought their
deductions to such a pitch of perfection, but they do indeed leave the
opening of those seed-capsules that are beyond the powers of their own
dental system, to the care of other animals, particularly the Aguti
(Dasyprocta Aguti) and Laba (Coelogenys Paca), as well as to the bush-
hogs (Dicotyles labiatus and D. torquatus) from under whose very trot-
ters, as soon as a hole is made, they steal the hard-earned prize, to rush
with it up the nearest tree and there devour the proceeds in peace. If the
trick does not succeed with the capsule as a whole, it certainly comes off
with scattered nuts. From enquiries made, the Bertholletia seems to
prefer a stony soil, and to be seldom present higher than 1,500 nor lower
than 400 feet above the sea level: its geographical distribution must be
fairly extensive, for according to our present and mly brother's previous
experiences, it stretches along the plains between 570 and 680 Long. W.
and between 6' Lat. S. and 40 Lat. N.


15r. Next to the palms and Bortholletia, this same forest still fur-
ther interested me on account of a huge colony of Cuschi ants that crossed
our path in a one-foot broad continuous column on its way to a mound
several hundred feet in circumference and six feet high. A poor Ber-
tholletia had been chosen as the field for destruction. Thousands were
busily occupied in bringing the little round chips bitten off the leaves
down to the foot of the tree, where they were taken from' them by others,
that now Carried them to the nest.
158. On the other side of the forest we once more came upon open
savannah, climbed over isolated dome-like hills, strewn with quartz
fragments and huge slabs of nmica and, after clambering down the slope
of a timbered height upon which a 120rft. high Ficus attracted our
attention, finally reached the Macusi village of Maripa, consisting of two
houses situate in the adjacent plain. Although a pack of really furious
dogs, which was continually being increased by newcomers, tried to
contest our right to approach, and all the tame poultry, with a
cacophonous cackling, were scattering in the wildest confusion, the blows
aimed by the wonien finally made a passage for us possible. During this
scene the chief of the settlement, Tuma-Tuma, the stoutest Indian I had
ever seen, was lying quietly in his hammock in a small open house, and
regarding our arrival with the greatest indifference imaginable: he calmly
continued puffing his cigar, even after we were all collected round his
dwelling, and amused himself with the blue smioke-clouds that he.was
blowing into the air in curls. To rouse him out of this apathy, Sororeng
went and notified him of the object of our journey and of our presence:
the usual "Ahem" was the only effect produced by this bit of news, and
the barely interrupted smoke-rings gaily whirled from out of his mouth
once more. We had never yet been treated by any chief with such
persistent disrespect and indifference, although we were the first
Paranaghieris to have visited the settlement.
159. While still annoyed over the fat chief's stoic equanimity, our
attention was drawn to a sickly-looking, thinner and younger man who
had just emerged from' one of the houses in an extremely ridiculous
costume. A scarlet red night-cap was drawn over the pale lean face as
far down as the eyes, while a spotted shirt concealed the upper part
of the body, and a pair of linen trousers that had once been white, and
only reached down to the calves, covered the lower extremities so far as
its shortness permitted. After staring at us for a moment he came and
greeted us in the manner peculiar to the Macusis. He was a relative
of the corpulent chief and one of the most celebrated dog-trainers from
whom the Indians far and near bought their hunting-dogs: it was by
this means that he had come into possession of the costume described.
The number of villagers amounted to twenty; that of the dogs to at least
160. As the chief's indifference did not in any way seen to melt,
the most sensible thing we thought we could do was to treat him in
similar fashion: there was no difficulty in this because both the sickly
fellow and the whole of the female population received us most friendly.
Without taking any further notice of Tuma-Tuma we pitched our camp


on the lowland bordering on the two houses, where the Watuwau, that
we had crossed as a raging current, now wended its course as an insigni-
ficant stream some few yards wide. The source of the Watuwau is to
be found 6 miles further south. We had hardly completed fixing up our
quarters before the inhabitants of the next settlement came up
with their chief in the lead, to mee the Paranaghieri of whose advent they
had already been advised in the morning by a Wapisiana from Tuarutu
who had not begrudged himself a two-days' march to give his friends
the important news. The two dignitaries, our stoical TumarTuma and the
ruler just arrived, formed the greatest contrast possible in body and
temperament, for which reason we heartily welcomed the latter, terrible
as his withered dried-up naked one-eyed figure appeared, and paid him
every imaginable attention. He kindly offered to bring us as much
cassava bread as we wanted by the early morning, and also. to accompany
us to the sources of the Takutu which he had visited only a short while
before. So far as could be judged from' outward appearances the
courtesy which we showed the good-natured one-eyed chap did not in the
slightest degree arouse the envy of the comfortable well-nourished
sluggard: as he received us, so he treated us during the whole day,
coldly and contemptuously. 'nit when next morning the neighboring
Indians, who had arrived laden with food-provisions for which they
had been richly rewarded, hurried up to the village, with the greatest
glee and truly childish triumph, to show their presents and things,
Tumia-Tuma's coldness and apathy came to an end-for to our great
surprise we suddenly saw him coming down the rise with several .of his
Indians and women towards our camp and enter our tent, where he
regarded every object that met his gaze, with the most strained
attention. A compass seemed especially to prove a puzzler, and excited
his whole curiosity. When he finally satisfied himself that every effort
to give the needle another direction was fruitless, he put it back in its
place with a shake of the head, looked upon us wonderingly, and frori
now on proved to be the mist agreeable goodtempered fellow that one
could possibly wish for. His abominable behaviour seemed to have been
less due to his own natural character than to the hitherto continually
cherished distrust of our real intentions.
161. Previous attacks of fever as well as a fresh and a severer one
had so exhausted me that on the following morning I was prevented
accompanying the party to the sources of the Takutu; a similar lot befell
Hendrick, whose twisted foot was so, swollen that he could not leave his
hammock at all and was accordingly obliged to keep me company.
162. On the 5th May, the remainder took their departure in company
with the one-eyed chieftain, and it was left to us to while away the
time until they returned as best we could.. This I found fairly easy
with the curious and wild capers of a young tiger-cat which one of the
Indians had caught some few days before, and had tied up with a string
in one of the houses. Unfortunately the creature was still too young
to allow of my distinguishing whether it was Felis pardalis or Prince von
Neuwied's Felis macroura.
163. From the number of jaguar and tiger cat skins, but especially
from the number of teeth which the women as well as children wear


round their necks as talismans, these animals must be fairly plentiful in
the neighbourhood of Maripa. Only a few days before, close to the
village, a jaguar had been killed: the canines testified to its huge size,
for they were 31 inches long and had a circumference of 3 inches at the
root. The Indians told us the strangest stories about the daring and
rapacity of the jaguars of the Tuarutu and Vindaua Ranges, according
to which they even attack men up there; this did not appear to me to be
specially far-fetched because both ranges hardly shelter any deer, and
the bordering savannahs graze no wild cattle-herds, which are only met
again 100 miles further to the north, so that the blood-thirsty animals
are limited to but smaller quadrupeds such as agutis, labas, and
164. I have already mentioned that the Indians make their hunting-
bags almost always out of jaguar and tiger-cat skins. Although on
certain occasions I saw hundreds of Indians assembled it only very-rarely
happened that amongst their hunting-bags or on the skins forthcoming
in their settlements, I found two or three entirely corresponding with
one another in pattern: the ground-colour of the pelt of some was more
russet, of others more pale greyishh), and others again more brownish:
the size of the rings also varied, according as some were more or less
complete, nearer or farther apart, here lighter or darker, there distinctly
or lightly dotted in the centre: indeed, the variation of pattern proceeds
to such an extent that only rarely does one side of an animal correspond
in exact pattern with the other. I accordingly consider it not unin-
teresting to record here the notes and observations made by my brother
and myself during the course of our travels in connection with the
cat tribe, without thereby entering into too detailed a descrip-
tion. Azara has given an excellent account of the life-history of the
cats in general. Guiana possesses only two really mTain types,
represented on the one hand by the jaguar (Felis onca) and on the other
by the puma (Felis concolor), of which the former at all events is the
stronger, the more bloodthirsty, and at the same time the larger. In
the course of my brother's former trip there was found in the savannah
on the bank of the Padauiri, a tributary of the Rio Negro, a jaguar skele-
ton which, inclusive of the tail, measured 9 feet long. Although in British
Guiana alone, there are present eight spotted and five spotless cats which
are not only dubbed with special names by the Indians but differ essen-
tially in the colouring of the skin, their many differences in the markings
might be regarded rather as varieties than as true indications of species.
Unfortunately we were unable to investigate by means of a complete
specimen each single one of the 13 differentiated by the Indians: of the
larger number we managed to see only the skins and even these were in
a mutilated condition.
165. As I have already stated the jaguar (Fells onca Linn.), the tiger
of the Colonists, Taikusi of the Macusi is the most rapacious and conse-
quently the most dangerous enemy of the cattlerherds, sheep-flocks and
piggeries. We found it with but slight change of colour from the coast
to the equator.
166. An essentially different variety of it or species s(?) is the
turtle-tiger of the Colonists. Its marking is almost always black, the


ground-colour of the pelt more dark-yellow-brownish, its build indeed
powerful, but yet somewhat smaller than the Felis onca. Although it
causes serious damage among the herds on the farms, its favourite food
nevertheless seems to be turtle: this it waylays on the sandbanks, places
its claw on top, and now very skilfully bites out a round hole along the
line of junction between the back and front shields, through which it
then pulls out the flesh with its fore-paws. The Waracaba-Arowa* of the
Arawaks (Waracaba is the name given to the Trumpet-bird, Psophia
crepitans, and Arowa means a tiger) must, according to what they say,
be very wild and bloodthirsty and only met in the thicket forests: it has
received its name from the peculiar colouring of its breast which is said
to exactly resemble that of the feathers of the Psophia. The Abouya-
'Arowa or Pekari-tiger of the Arawaks is for its size an unusually power-
ful creature. Its length does not exceed 4 feet, of which 16 to 18 in.
include the tail. The ground-colour is a dark yellow-brown, along which
from the back to the tail there run long black stripes that enclose a some-
what darker patch than the ground-colour. The sides of the animal as
well as the remaining portions are covered with irregular spots. The
tail is considerably shorter than that of the others. It is very frequently
present on the coast where it commits plenty of damage, particularly on
the sheep and pigs. It is probably Felis pardalis Linn. The Laba-arowa
is the size of a wild cat: the groun'd-colour of the skin is light brown, and
the spotting much larger than in all the others. These spend the greater
portion of the night visiting the fowl-roosts of the estates' owners, more
often on the coast than in the interior. As I have already stated, Laba
is what the Indians call the Coelogenys paca which this creature is said
chiefly to hunt. The cat that the Indians call Agutilarowa is probably
only a variety of it: its pelt has the same ground-colour: its marking only
varies from that of the Laba-arowa in that it is not only smaller, but
is particularly also closer. It has received its name from the Aguti,
which, like the former whiskered animal, it is especially fond of devour-
ing. It is probably Fellis macroura Neuwied.
167. The Indians give the name of rat-tiger to two considerably
smaller species. Their ground-colour corresponds entirely with that of
our young deer whilst that of the head and neighbourhood of the shoul-
ders is dotted alternately round and oblong. The tail is white and ringed
with black. They hardly attain the size of our tame cats, and their prey
seems to consist entirely of birds. Both are present only in the thickest
forest. They stand close to Felis tigrina Linn. With the Felis concolor
(Puma) the Indians distinguish the Wawula-Arowa from the Soaso-
ranna-Arowa: the former is met with as much in the forests
of the coast as on the savannah, the latter only on the
savannahs of the interior. The Wawula-arowa (Felis concolor) is
already so well known that it requires no further description. So far as
strength is concerned it is in no sense inferior to the jaguar, and a trust-
worthy plantation owner assured us that he had shot one which was
at the very time engaged in dragging a mule, that it had suddenly fallen
upon, across a plantation-trench about half-filled with water, and up the

This Waracaba Tiger is a myth. See Roth's Animism and Folklore, etc., p. 367 (Ed.)


hill bordering on it. Like the jaguar, the puma appears to have a special
fondness for dogs which it waylays in every kind of manner, but should
it however be pursued by them, it immediately seeks safety up a tree,
where it can usually be shot without any danger. Equally greedy of prey
it follows the troops of Pekari and with sure spring suddenly attacks
the stragglers, but takes good care not to direct its attentions on the
middle of the' troop, because it would have to pay for such a criminal
undertaking with its life. The female throws two young every time:
dark spots can already be distinguished on them.
168. The Wilibisiri-Arowa is also an unspotted cat which never-
theless is described as very rare. Its colour is given as light grey,
approaching to white on the body and breast, just as the tail is said not
to have the black tip of the puma. The Indians, as already mentioned,
call the smallest species of deer present in Guiana, the Wilibisiri, and it
is this one that the tiger in question particularly hunts for. It is pro-
bably Felis unicolor?
169. The Hacca-Arowa of the Indians (Felis Yaguarundi) which I
often came across is somewhat larger than our house-cat: its colour is a
dark grey-black which on the belly passes into a mouse-coloured grey.
The tail has also no rings. It receives its name from the glutton (Gulo
barbarous the hacca of the Arawaks which it resembles in its colouring.
170. Still more feared than the ordinary jaguar and puma is the
black jaguar, the black tiger of the Colonists. Whether it is only a
variety of the ordinary Felis onca I must leave to the decision of zoolo-
gists: according to my conviction, however, it is to be regarded as more
than such, as a distinct species, since it is distinguished not only by its
absolutely different colouring, but particularly also by size both from
the puma as well as from the jaguar. The brilliant black velvet-like
shade and the still blacker complete pattern which one can only see, how-
ever, when the light falls at a particular angle on the pelt, makes it one
of the most beautiful skins that can be found. The animal must be
exceedingly rare because during the whole of mty stay among the Indians,
I only found two skins but never saw the cat itself. The one pelt was
on the Morocco, where the animal had been killed by an Indian in the
neighbourhood of the mission,* the second at Fort Sao Joaquim; but
on both occasions they were so mutilated by the cutting off of the feet,
that they were of no use for definite determination. Judging from the
intervening distance at which the animal in both cases had been killed,
it must be distributed from the coast to the equator. On the Demerara
it is said to be not rare: there the Indians call it Maipuri-Arowa because
it is specially fond of waylaying the tapir. Its tail is considerably longer
than that of the ordinary jaguar: in its formation of skull it seems rather
to approximate the puma. The Indians are not as much afraid of all the
others put together as they are of the black one alone, because it will
attack human beings by day or night just as blood-thirstily as it will the
Tapir and cattle. According to all accounts the Felis onca and F. con-

About eight years ago I saw two black tiger-cubs at Warramuri Mission, Moruca River.
They were but a week or two old, and had been found within the roots of a Mora tree that
the Indians had been felling : they only survived a few days. (Ed.)


color are more common on the coast than in the interior, and hardly a
year passes in which 20 or 30 are not caught in large traps and killed.
The amount of cattle-breeding that is carried on, particularly by the
estates and farms between the Essequebo and Berbice, seems to have
been especially instrumental in bringing the animals here. When once
they have fixed their lair in the neighbourhood of such a homestead, sel-
dom a night passes but they go and rob the herds. They usually suck the
blood out of the dead beast and eat some 10 to 15 lbs. from the breast or
neck, either leaving the remainder where it is or dragging it into the
neighboring brush-wood: only the most dire necessity will bring them
back to what is left. In spite of the many fires which the cattle-owners
may light during the night around the fences, these do not by any means
succeed in keeping them away.
171. The construction of the traps mentioned above entirely corre-
sponds with those used by us for catching rats or martens. It consists
of a large box the thick boarded covering and similar flooring of which is
clamped on all four sides with strong iron bars, and has at the one end
a drop-door which is held up by means of a trigger-board. Within (and
at the other end of) the box is a compartment divided off from the main
chamber by strong iron bars, in which a sheep or goat is enclosed, and
the trap then set in a somewhat out-of-the-way part of the estate. When
the jaguar or puma creeps through the drop-door into the box to secure
the bait and treads on the trigger-board, the door drops behind it and
the thief is caught. By this means our friend, van Giinthern, on Planta-
tion Greenwich Park, had in the one year outwitted four animals, one of
which nevertheless managed to break down the thumb-thick iron bars,
during the course of the night and so get away. The fury of the ensnared
beast, its roaring, and its frantic fight for freedom, are said to have
something truly horrible about them: it is usually shot in the trap.
Shortly before my departure for Europe a bold young Vaqueiro (cow
boy) 18 years of age on one of the farms in the neighbourhood of the
Demfrara had on horseback lassoed and strangled a jaguar that had
approached the herd in the daytime. The brave deed was the daily topic
of conversation for weeks, and as this was the second animal he had
killed within a short period, he received a handsome reward from the
172. I have already mentioned that the jaguar often fetches the dogs
from out of the centre of a circle of Indians or out of the homesteads,
and also the surprising fact that as soon as it is pursued and hunted by
a pack of them, it makes its escape up the first convenient obliquely-
slanting tree where it mostly becomes an easy prey for the huntsman.
Bu't if the shot misses or if the jaguar is but slightly wounded, it
certainly turns with overwhelming fury upon its pursuer, who now can
only save himself by some other means or by cold-blooded presence of
mind. On my trip up the Demerara I met a Negro who on such an
occasion had lost not only his right hand, but a considerable portion of
his shouldelmuscles. He had gone hunting in company with an Indian
and his three dogs, The dogs drove a jaguar out of its lair, which
finally took refuge on a half-uprooted tree. Barking loudly, the dogs
surrounded it, the Negro approached to within about 18 paces, fired his



weapon, and wounded the furious beast, but not mortally, when with a
couple of springs the maimed creature caught up to the unfortunate
huntsman, stuck its paws into his shoulders, and next minute would have
torn his neck to pieces. To ward off the awful moment, the unfortunate
sportsman must just then have unconsciously driven his right hand down
into the bloodl-thirsty animal's jaws, because when he again recovered
his senses, there lay the cat in its death-rattle, with his hand close by.
At the psychological moment, the accompanying Indian had reached the
scene of strife and stuck his long cutlass into the beast's heart, without
however being able to prevent it in its death-struggle biting out from the
already unconscious Negro the whole of the shoulder flesh into which
it had fastened its claws. We were furnished with several accounts of
the jaguar attacking people of its own accord. Thus, one of my brother's
carriers on his previous journey still bore on his breast the scars caused
by one of these animals' teeth: the Indian while yet a boy was proceeding
to the cassava-field with his grandmother when the jaguar, rushing out
of the thicket seized him by the breast and was dragging him off when it
was stopped by the spirited old grandmother who, attacking it with her
cutlass, gave it such a silrprise that it let the boy drop, and took
to flight.*
173. Except during the period when the female has her young, the
jaguar does not seem to possess any particular lair, but rambles about
everywhere. On seeing people, when unaccompanied by dogs, it never
takes to flight, but proceeds at a quiet pace, during which it now and
again turns round. It is only when its pursuers are too close upon its
heels, and their number appears likely to overcome its powers, that it
takes on a short trot. It swims over the widest rivers with the greatest
ease with its tail exposed and bent above the surface, so that it can be
recognized already from a fair distance off: when it now climbs the bank,
before making a start overland, it shakes the water off its back just like
our dogs do. When circling round a camp or cattle-pen, it is always
with a continual purring: not until hunting at night for its prey, does
it set up a frightful roar, that booms through the whole forest. Not
only Indians, but also the most trustworthy Colonists have assured us
that they have been witnesses of fights between kaimans and jaguars,
combats that one had hitherto always regarded as myths. From what
we were told, the jaguar only succumbs in such a battle, which com-
mences always on land, when its claws get wedged into the belly-plates
of its opponent, whereupon the latter usually drags it into the near
water and drowns it.
174. It was on his previous expeditions that my brother first
became acquainted by personal experience with the almost inconceivable
boldness of the jaguar. While staying at Curassawaka, a Carib
village on the Rupununi, the suspicious purring just mentioned and the
awful roar during the course of the night indicated the presence of one
of these animals. My brother's tent was pitched about 100 paces from
the houses of the Indians. One of his sluts had a pup that was missing

Oaes are on record where a jaguar has run off with infant children. (Ed.)


in the morning, and soon after a hammock that had been washed and
placed in the tent disappeared, and so on each following night another
piece, a cloth or a cooking utensil was gone. Suspicion naturally fell on
the Indians, in spite of their assurance that the jaguar was the thief.
All attempts at scaring away the author of the mighty row proved in
vain. The robberies soon extended to the tents of his three European
companions, and suspicion was still further aroused against the villagers.
The ferocious howl of the animal had naturally made the company
cautious and my brother, while working in his tent late at night after
a recent robbery, had kept two loaded pistols at his side. He just
happened to look up from what he was doing, when he saw in front of
him something that he could not quite make out, owing to the hammock
having been already slung: he accordingly held up the light only to
recognize the jaguar standing four paces ahead calmly gazing into his
eyes, but before he had time to seize the pistol his troublesome visitor
had disappeared. Next night he was awakened from sleep by an animal
that was just about creeping under his hammock and brushing its back
up against his: thinking it was one of his dogs, he gave it a sound slap-
he did not hit the dog, but the jaguar which, with a growl, made a spring
through the tent-wall. In the morning a general hunt was organised in
the course of which, not the disturber of the peace, but !certainly the
stolen goods, down to a table-cloth, were found scattered through the
brushwood. What prompted the animal to these extraordinary robberies
it would be hard to say, because up to the present the magpie's lust for
theft has never yet been observed in this genus. Our second cook,
Adams, played a part in a similar visit during the journey to
the Sources of the Corentyne. In that case a loud cry of distress woke
the whole camp out of their slunibers when the distractedly yelling cook
told them that, unable to fall asleep he was lying awake in his hammock,
when suddenly a large dark object which he soon recognized to be an
animal, approached his bed and sniffed him from top to toe. Stiff with
horror he lay in his hammock as if dead until a pair of glowing eyes
approached his face: with that the spell was broken, and shrieking for
help he had jumped out of his hammock. The jaguar had disappeared,
but the tracks left behind betrayed its presence.
175. As the Museum possessed a collection of Guiana quad-
rupeds and economy was essential, I received instructions on my
departure from Berlin not to prepare and despatch any of the larger
representatives: I now regret having obeyed the order and not having
forwarded the varieties mentioned, because on my return I looked
around for some of them in vain.
176. The number of baskets with Brazil nuts that I found in the
houses at Maripa shewed how plentiful the Bertholletia excelsa must be
in the Vindaua Ranges.
177. The fever permitting of my making a short excursion to the
neighboring village, I wended my way there in company with some
Indians through forest and over savannah where the Mauritia flexuosa
reached a height of 100 ft. and the Mauritia aculeata certainly one of
50 ft. The small thick clusters and fan-like fronds of the latter, owing


to several yellow, and bluish concentric stripes at their centres,
presented an unusually lovely colouring. The forest consisted for the
most part of huge species of Ficus, the fruits of which had just then
reached maturity. Fern, Rapatea, Alpinia, Calathea and Canna spread
over the ground. A number of brilliantly ornamental birds Ampelis
pompadora, called by the Indians Wallababa from the sound of their
husky note, were perched upon the Ficus trees so that within a few
minutes we had already secured five specimens. However abundantly
the Ampelis Cotinga Iinn., A. cocrulea Ter., A. Cayana Linn., and
A. pompadora Linn., are met with in Guiana, particularly on the
Demerara, especially in November up to the middle of January, when the
fruits and seeds of the different species of Ficus, Brosinum and Psidium
reach maturity, they nevertheless suddenly disappear out of the forests
from March until the end of October, when they are once more to be seen
at the commencement of November: the anomaly of their presence here
(in March) was therefore all the more extraordinary to me. That the
above species of Ampelis are only met with in British Guiana as
migrants seems to follow among other things from the fact that one finds
on their first appearance every transition in plumage and age but never
quite young birds: the latter cannot probably as yet undertake the
journey owing to the weakness of their flight-muscles, or else during their
first year of life subsist on food not to be got here. During the whole of
my four years' stay birds of such tender age were just as rarely seen by
me as were their nests known to the Indians and backwoodsmen, and yet
these latter are the most excellent empirical naturalists that are to be
found anywhere: indeed, I must explain that I never considered any of my
observations and experiences concerning animal life valid, and never re-
corded them here unless they corresponded with those of these people.
The accounts of the Indians are far from being as absolutely trustworthy
as the statements of the grey-haired backwoodsmen, but according to the
assurances of both, who were in agreement, the species of Amnpelis cited
must betake themselves to Cayenne and spend the breeding season there.
It was surprising to me that, with regard to their breeding, I could learn
just as little concerning the genera Chasmarhynchus, Procnias and the
species Ampelis carnifex although the latter remains here the whole year
178. At the settlement of the one-eyed chief who, with the largest
portion of the male inhabitants, had gone ahead with my brother, the
women left behind had the greatest difficulty in protecting me from the
ferocious dogs. When finally their blows had quietened some and driven
off others of the raging pack, I was able to enter the old man's large
roomy and cleanly house the walls of which were built of tree bark in-
stead of clay. Both hunting and household implements were hung up
and put away with a love of order and care that I had never yet observed
among the Indians. The whole female population was engaged in spin-
ning cotton, but I exerted myself in vain when I tried to seduce them
into selling the prettily carved weapons of their absent husbands.
179. After a short visit we turned to another village the two new
bee-hive houses of which had already smilingly invited is in the dis-


tance from above the low-lying Curatella and Bowdichia trees, while the
laughter and joking in the larger of them showed that we had arrived
under felicitous auspices. The male occupants, squatting and quite
happy, encircled several large earthen vessels filled with paiwari and
were handing round perhaps for the hundredth but certainly many a
time, in conjunction with the calabashes, all the articles of trade that
they had received in exchange for their provisions the day before. The
women were busy stringing their glass beads. My Indians had naturally
immediately taken up their places in the circle, and plied the -cups as
diligently as possible, while all I did was to examine the household imple-
ments. After an hour's rest, during which they threatened to drown me
in paiwari, we made our way back to Maripa which we nevertheless
reached before sundown.
180. By mid day of the 7th May the party had already returned from
the sources of the Takutu which my brother found to be in 1 5' Lat. N.,
19 geographical miles west of Pirara. From its source onwards the
Takutu flows towards N.E., receives in 10 55' a tributary, about the
same size as the main stream, coming down from Vinidaua, and then
strikes a course towards N.W., to run through an extensive savannah
which is here and there occupied by forest, until, on the further side of
the Tuarutu Range and to the eastward it is joined by the waters of the
Watuwau. From there onwards it cuts through sterile E savannah flats
already mentioned where its tributary streams consist only of small rivu-
lets, until the Mahu forces its way into it in 3 35' Lat. 'J. and 24 miles
westward of Pirara whence, merged now together, they make their way
towards the south-west, receive the Zuruma or Cotinga on the right bank,
and finally in 3 1' 46" Lat. N., some hundred yards ibove Fort Sao
Joaquim, junction with the Rio Branco. Its whole stretch, according to
my brother's calculations, might amount to some 200 miles: during the
last fifty it takes a regular backward course while turning towards the
Rio Branco from N: to S.W.
181. The journey to its source was attended with the greatest diffi-
culties because it led all the time through pathless forest. All the river-
beds the party crossed were without water, until after a four and twenty
hours' march they were able to quench their thirst in the waters of the
Takutu. Its bed was still 10 to 12 feet wide here and consisted of a num,
her of connected pools containing almost blackish water, a colour that it
only first lost when it flowed through the ochreous and clayey savannahs.
Owing to the tint, the Wapisianas call it Buti-vanura or Black Water.
After following the banks several miles farther up, the party struck the
source of the river itself in a thicket of wild bambu and trees reaching
to the skies.
182. One of the Indians of the party brought back a dead Couata
monkey (Ateles paniscus, Geoff.) that he had killed out of a troop in the
neighbourhood of Maripa.. It is unquestionably one of the ugliest of
apes and the huntsman having, immediately after arrival, singed it with
a view to supper, I was so struck with its resemblance to a negro child,
that I had to turn away from the meal so as not to re-awake antipathies


that I had scarcely managed to suppress. The Indians' statement that
these monkeys when pursued, break off dried twigs and sling them at
their pursuers, was confirmed by Mr. Goodall who took part in the chase.
The Ateles paniscus is limited to certain localities only. One finds them
mostly in companies of 16 to 20: often also in a lesser number. I never
noticed them on the ground but always only on the highest trees. When
exposed to the full rays of the sun, they lie at full length stretched out
on the branches, to bathe themselves in it. This loathsome monkey uses
its tail in all its movements and when pursued, escapes with consider-
able rapidity, but it does less springing than the others.


Preparations for the return to Pirara-Geographical situation of Maripa
-Division of the Party-Departure from Tuarutu on the old road-
Indian Fire-apparatus-Dasypus gigantesus-Dasypus villosus-
Dicotyles labiatus and its chase-Gulo barbarus-Enmbarkation on
the Takutut-Dicotyles torquatus-Arrival in Tenette-Mr. Fryer-
Meeting with the other party-Sources of the Rupununi-Pinighette
Range-Mamette Range-Harbingers of the rainy season-Depar-
ture from Tenette-Calycophyllum Stanleyanum-Use of the seeds
of the Mimosa acacioides-Honey bees-Return to Pirara-Trans-
port of Provisions from Georgetown-Return thither of Petri and
the boat.

183. The object of the expedition being attained, nothing stood in
the way of our immediate return had not my brother wanted to deter-
mine the geographical situation of Maripa, which was soon fixed as 10 54'
37" lat..N., and 590 45' long. W.
184. Hendrick's foot was unfortunately not sufficiently recovered to
allow of his coming along with us, for which reason we found ourselves
forced to leave him: behind until his cure was completed. So that he
should want for nothing, and could later on hire guides for his return
to Pirara, we.fuipplied him with an adequate 'quantity of "trade." On
the evening before bur departure, the red-capped young Indian who had
gone out to hunt jaguar, brought in a Kairuni (Dicotyles labiatus) that
was infinitely more acceptable than the biggest feline, because for some
days past our food had consisted of nothing but vegetables. To render
the flesh palatable he had, immediately after killing the beast, cut out
the peculiar dorsal gland which secretes a strong offensive smelling fluid.
The meat differs both in appearance as well as in taste from that of our
pigs. What was left over from supper we smoked during the night. Kair
means evil-smelling among the Macusi, and hence the name Kairuni.
185. The one-eyed chief, who had become strongly attached to us,
or rather to our articles of trade, as well as several of his subordinates
and residents of Maripa, offered their services to us as carriers to
Tenette: these we gladly accepted because we had to take with us our
supplies of cassava bread from Maripa and Tuarutu, since we could ex-
pect nothing in Tenette.
186. When we left, our party numbered 50 people and a pack of 25
dogs. In no settlement had I yet found so many and such lovely dogs
as in Maripa. The most beautiful of all, however, was Tewanau that was
swapped by the red-capped Indian for a gun. It stood 1 ft. 11 in.'high,
and measured from snout to tail-tip 4 ft. 3 in., of which 1 ft. alone in-
cluded the tail. It was a pity that the lovely creature was castrated, but
the Tarumas like the Brazilians customarily do this with their dogs.
The little tiger-cat was carried by one of the Indians in a sort of cage.


187. With plenty of noise and still more barking, the expedition finally
made a move, while the fat chief, Tuma-Tuma, calmly remained in his
hammock smoking a cigarette. At noon on the following day we reached
Tuarutu settlement once more and no one expressed greater delight over
it than Hamlet who had again given himself up as forgotten and lost.
The effects of his agony of fright had still left such marked traces on his
previously smug countenance that none of his former acquaintances would
have recognized him in his present condition.
188. The inhabitants of Tuarutu and its surrounding country having
received word, had baked such a quantity of bread that we could decide
upon continuing our journey onwards already by the following day, 12th
May, but this had to be done in two parties. My fever of late had been
attacking me daily as badly as ever and the nearest, i.e., our old, road to
Tenette was the better for me in my weakened condition. My brother, on
the other hand, wanted to cross the Takutu, and to return with Goodall
along the eastern bank. In the afternoon I visited yet another settle-
ment where I found the inhabitants at meal: they were devouring a
Kaiman tail which, however, did not at all manage to whet my appetite.
Among the people feasting was a deaf mute, a powerful man of between
25 to 30 years of age, who, while we were as yet hardly near the circle,
quickly rose and somewhat clumsily tried to hide several of the weapons
in a corner of the house, a procedure which was unintelligible to us until
Sororeng gave the explanation asked for. By some means or another he
must have got to learn that we were very keen on bartering for these
articles: and rather than be tempted now to prove untrue to his beloved
weapons for the sake of a knife or something of the sort that might be
offered, he had considered it more advisable to put them out of sight.
As an attempt at compensation for having made the deal for them im-
possible, he tendered a large supply of tobacco (Cawai) for barter. The
preparation of tobacco is quite a simple matter for the Indians, for they
just collect the larger leaves, hang them up separately for a few days in
the shade of the house, and when they commence to become yellow, lay
them lengthways together in liundles as thick as one's fist which they
then tie.up tight with bast-fibre.
189. On the following morning I left with Hamlet and several In-
dians, whereupon the other party also took their departure. Hamlet, who
now persistently kept second or third place in the row, at once recog-
nised the spot where he had got off the track, and, showed it to us with a
most miserable look on his face.
190. On the 13th May, we reached the crag where we had met th(
hunting party from Tuarutu, and a had bout of fever forced me to choose
it for a camp:-but when it came to lighting the fire, it turned out that
Hamlet had left the last of the tinder-boxes at yesterday's camp. It waa
only the assurance of the Indians to help us quickly out of the difficulty,
that could save Hamlet from many a sullen frown, for this was now the
third or fourth box that through his carelessness had been left behind. I
had already often enough heard that the Indians could light a fire with-
out steel or stone, but the opportunity had always been wanting, of learn-
ing it by experience. Just as we take our tinder-boxes with us,. so did
our companions carry two "fire-sticks" with them. One of these pieces



was about the breadth of a man's finger and six inches in length: at about
an inch from its extremity and bored through it was a conical hole into
which the tip of the other piece, a rounded pencil, exactly fitted about
half-way down. After the stick is laid on the ground and some tinder is
placed under the opening, an Indian holds the piece of wood firmly in
position there whilst another seizes the pencil (with its tip in the conical
aperture) between the open palms of both hands, and quickly twirls it
backwards and forwards, at the same time exerting a downward pressure
on it: in the course of half a minute the so-called ant) tinder placed below,
catches fire. The tinder comes from, the fibre-felt with which several
species of ant line their burrows, and is obtained by them from a Melos-
tomacea. The Indians always carry it about with them in a closed piece
of bambu. Although we Europeans, as well as the mulattoes and negroes,
often attempted to make fire by this method, our efforts nevertheless
proved in vain, however much we twirled. The two pieces of wood, as I
noticed later, were always cut from Apeiba glabra Aubl.
191. The flames of our fire had hardly begun to blaze, when the atten-
tion of our Indians was drawn to a noise in the bush close by. Bows and
arrows were immediately picked up, and three or four sneaked warily onto
the spot. I myself crept just as cautiously behind them though before I
could make out the object in the thick Mimosa bushes from which the noise
proceeded I already heard the twang of the bow-strings and the treble
note of the escaping animal. The big commotion in the brush-wood, led
me to believe that the game would break away where I was, which indeed
proved to be the case. It was a giant armadillo that, pierced by two
arrows, was exerting its supreme efforts in forcing a way through the
thick scrub which the arrows repeatedly prevented it from doing. The
call of the hunters quickly brought those left behind at the fire to our
assistance when the terrified animal was surrounded and soon killed by
blows with our clubs. It was the rare Dasypus giganteus Desm. Its
length, including the tail, amounted to 5ft., its height 21 ft., and it
weighed from 80 to 100 pounds. The armour consisted of irregular plates:
the growth of hair on the body appeared sparse and thin: the claws were
very powerful and long.. The Macusis called it Maourairma, the
Wapisianas on the other hand Manura. In the course of a quarter of an
hour it was stewing, already cut up in pieces, on pointed sticks over the
fire, which blazed in bright flames owing to the trickling over of the fat.
The taste of the flesh is very like that of a young sucking pig: unfortun-
ately the violent bout of fever had so spoilt all my appetite that I could
hardly enjoy a morsel of the unexpected dainty. My companions were
still busy on their tasty meal when the sharp eyes of a Wapisiana again
noticed something alive moving about in the savannah below: he quickly
ran to the spot and soon returned carrying another but smaller armadillo
by the tail. It was Dasypus villosus Desm. According to the statements
of the Indians this species is particularly distinguished by a peculiar
growth of hair that covers not only the body but also the plates on the
back, is solely present in the savannahs, an'd for the most part lives on
carrion for which reason it is not eaten by them, a characteristic that is
ascribed only to this one species amongst the seven met with in Guiana.
In some of the festival songs of the Wapisianas and Macusis, the Yassi,

BUsH-110-6iO o0 THE lTUN.

as they call it, plays a prominent part, while nearly every refrain ends
with the words: "And when I am dead, put me in the savannah, and the
Yassi will come and bury me." A similar song according to Martius is
customary among the Indians of the Rio Negro.

192. On the third day, half perishing from thirst, and myself dead
tired, we reached our old night quarters on Mt. Aruatihtiku (Tiger Moun'-
tain) where we at least hoped still to find as much water as would quench
our burning thirst, which in my case was increased to real torture on
account of the fever-heat-yet even the very last drop had dried up.
Half desperate I threw myself into my hammock while the others hur-
ried away in search of the longed-for element, but after a two-hour tor-
menting wait, the last one returned without having found any. Necessity
and pain then first led me to think of digging holes with cutlasses in
places where water previously lay, by which means so much dirty and
marshy fluid was collected by and by, that after straining it through a
cloth we could at least moisten our parched mouths and relieve our agony.
193. On the following morning as we were crossing one of the woody
oases, I heard in the distance a peculiar noise exactly resembling the
sound of horses on the gallop, and which appeared to be conding closer
and closer. Shouting "Poinka," the Indians got ready with their guns
and bows, and awaited the oncoming of the disturbers of the peace, which
soon turned out to be a huge pack of Kairuni (Dicotyles labiatus). As
soon as it caught sight of us it stopped a moment in its wild course, made
a noise similar to the grunting of our pigs, and prepared now for flight.
With an awful clattering and gnashing of teeth, the troop rushed along
in front of us. Astonished and chained to the spot by the extraordinary
intermezzo on this otherwise peaceful journey of ours, I had at the first
go-off forgotten all about shooting, and hearing no shot fired by my com-
panions, was just about to rectify the omission, when the Indian stand-
ing next to me drew my weapon away, which only served to increase my-
astonishment still more: but the riddle was soon to be solved. When
the major portion of the pack had passed by, and the stragglers were com-
ing along, the guns and bows were brought into requisition, with the
result that we secured four animals. Curiously enough our dogs kept
just as quiet as we did, during the "march-past," and had lain down on
the ground.
194. The Indians told me now that shooting into the middle of a pack
was attended with the greatest danger owing to the animals then scat-
tering themselves in all directions and in such a rout ripping to pieces
and destroying with their tusks every, object that comes in their way.
Hamlet who, quivering and quaking, stood close to me, while the angry
mob was tearing past, corroborated this statement by mentioning that
his father had lost his life in the same way, having met his death from
the wound received from a Kairuni after shooting into the middle of
such an escaping crowd. If the stragglers are fired on, the main body
continues unconcernedly on its course. When cutting up the quarry we
found two sows far advanced in pregnancy, each with one young one.


195. To prevent the meat from spoiling, we exerted our utmost to
reach the Wapisiana settlement at the foot of the Auuru-paru (Range).
Shortly before entering, and in a small oasis our dogs started a glutton
which they drove into the savannah, but from which it escaped as.quickly
as possible back into the oasis, and there into a-hollow tree, where it was
nevertheless killed by its pursuers. It was Gulo -barbarus, a completely
full-grown specimen. The length from tip of snout to root of tail
amounted to 21 ft.: the tail itself measured 111 inches. The white-grey
head, as well as the yellowish-white patches on the breast, stood out in
'marked contrast with the brilliant black colouring of the rest of the pelt.
As in the fox, there are two glands on its seat that contain a sickly-
smelling moisture. I subsequently found tamed gluttons amongst the
Indians. Their usual food consists of, rats, mice, birds, insects, fruits,
and honey: they lie in wait for the first mentioned just as our cats do.
They are excellent climbers, and clamber up the highest trees to plunder
birds' nests or to search for honey, and always climb down head first.
They mostly go on the prowl during the day-time and sleep the night
in hollow trees where they are said to litter three young. When pursued
or irritated they raise up on end the hair of the tail. The Macusis called
them Maikong, but the Arawaks Hacca. By 5 o'clock we had' reached
the wished-for settlement, whose aged occupants we once more found
in their hammocks. The old man afflicted with dropsy, was still alive it
is true, but judging from the lifeless eyes and difficulty in breathing,
seemed to be only a few steps from the grave. His wife was squatting on
the ground near the hammock and the imbecile boy at the fire under the
deathbed: the latter, on noticing me enter, uttered some inarticulate
sounds and rushed again to the darkest corner of the house. To recall
the younger residents who were not present, I fired off my gun, produc-
ing thereby a faithful repetition of the previous state of uproar, and in
the course of quarter of an hour they came in: during the interval our
companions had already requisitioned the smoking-frames (boucans)
that had been left from our previous stay. We had just exchanged reci-
procal greetings when a loud shout drew both the young men and some of
our party back again into the savannah. I was too exhausted to follow,
although the word "Poinka" promised another performance of the Kai-
runi chase. The hunters soon brought in two animals, one of which I also
found to be a sow pregnant with a full-grown youngster: June and July
would seem to be the time when they drop. The superabundance of meat
so unexpectedly falling to our lot naturally prevented the Indians from
thinking at all about their hammocks or of sleep.
196. While we were just about to strike camp on the following mbrn-
ing, the young Indian was telling me that if I wanted to travel down the
Takutu to Tenette, he could hire me for the purpose a corial that was
large enough to carry not only myself and two paddles, but also a part
of our baggage. My exhausted condition made the proposition very wel-
come: the others of the party would follow the road along the banks.
After half-an-hour's march in a north-easterly direction we reached the
Takutu. The bed of the river here was regularly filled up with granite
boulders, between which the water forced its way through 3 to 4 ft. broad


channels, so that one could cross on this rocky dam to the opposite bank
with dry feet. We found the promised corial so cranky and full of holes
that I now, wanted to change my mind, but active hands soon bailed out
the water that had poured in, tried to prevent further inrush by stopping
up the holes, and packed in the luggage. After the land-party had disap-
peared in the brushwood on the further shore, we floated our vessel.
Although we struck no further rocks, I only too soon regretted having
trusted myself to the frail craft, for the water shortly forced its way in
to such an extent, while the two Indians were fully occupied with the
paddles, that I could hardly bail it out quick enough. What embittered
my perseverance still more, was the daily attack of fever that shook me
up so badly during the tiresome efforts at bailing, that I was hardly con-
scious when we finally reached the mouth of the Cursorari, where we
found the land-party already camped in the shade. They were engaged
in cutting up a Tayassu (Dicotyles torquatus) which they had shot a
little while before. This species never lives in large packs, but in the
majority of cases is only present in pairs, it being one of those rare cases
when one finds six to eight gathered in one spot.
197. The inrushing water having soaked several of my packages,
their contents had first to be dried in the sun, before we could proceed
on our way to Tenette. This was soon done, and exhausted with the fever,
I now tottered towards the longed-for village. Already in the distance
my attention had been drawn to a man amusing himself at shooting wAith
a bow. I sobn recognized Mr. Fryer skipping gaily along towards us, but
who, when three paces off, stopped short with a puzzled air, he being
hardly able to make me out, a mere skeleton, fatigued and emaciated by
fever. Fryer was just as surprised at my appearance as I was depressed
over the negative reply I received to the first question I asked as to
whether he had any quinine.
198. Our friend, who had left Petri out of danger at Pirara, had been
in Tenette for the past eight days, and as the residents could not accu-
rately advise him as to our route, was determined to wait for us here
where, as the luggage left behind indicated, we would have to return. To
the enquiry about quinine, there naturally followed others concerning
our friends in Pirara who at the time we left were daily expecting the
arrival of a supply of provisions from Georgetown, to all of which I re-
ceived more satisfactory answers than the first. A special pleasure was
still in store for me. My feet, like my whole person, owing to 200 miles
covered in sandals, had got into so desperate a state as to awaken Fryer's
entire sympathies with the result that he gladly and willingly offered me
the snare pair of shoes that he had brought from Pirara.
199. In order that we might find everything comfortable on our
arrival at Pirara, Fryer made his way back there on the following
morning. Next day brought us also the other party. From Tuarutu on,
they had continued their course through wooded savannahs, reached
Takutu towards evening, and crossed its approximately 80ft. wide dry
bed on the large granite and gneiss boulders which actually filled it.
200. On the following day they traversed the highest elevation
between the Rupununi and the Takutu, a spot about 150 feet above the
level of both: the Rupununi lay 6 miles, and the Takutu 12 miles distant



from it. In the afternoon they reached in a N. 560 E. direction the
Wapisiana village Cau-urua situate 2 28' 25" lat. N.
201. As the bed of the Rupununi lay but 11 miles from here in an
E.N.Easterly direction, my brother went and found the river to be
already a considerable stream with blackish coloured water, the sources
of which, according to the Indians' statements, are distant a day's
journey from there on a savannah in between a group of Mauritia palms.
After the experiences we had had both on the Takutu, the Rupununi,
the Demerara, and Barimna, in connection with the colouration of the
water at their sources, almost all the rivers of Guiana seem to possess
this striking peculiarity, and it is therefore only to be expected that this
will also be established in the case of those of the Orinoco. Alexander
von Humboldt limits this strange phenomenon to the stretch of land
between the fifth north and the second south parallels of latitude, but
the water at the sources of the Barima although they lie much more
northerly are nevertheless just as black as those of the Takutu and
202. On the 14th, after traversing the little stream Cau-urua and a
trackless savannah, they crossed the Canaru River, the waters of which
led to the Rupununi and reached a settlement situate on the slope of the
Pinighette Range. The highest point of the Range running out into a
pyramid, rose to some 900 feet. On the following morning they followed
the valley watered by the Paiwu-yau, that courses between the Pinighette
and Mamette Range, leaving Duruau,-some 2,500 ft. high, from which
a complete cluster of hills, divided only by small passes, led in a west
by-north direction towards the Cursato Range-about a mile towards N.
150 E. Equally exhausted, as we had been, they finally arrived at
Tenette on the 16th.
203. For the past 14 days the sky had periodically shown itself
clouded, but the clear blue was now suddenly changed to a uniform
grey, a sure sign of the approaching rainy season, which this year had
been remarkably long in coming. The daily temperature from 16th to
18th May was at 6 a.m. 730.25: at 9 a.mi. 78.17: at noon 850, at
3 p.m. 880.33 and at 6 p.m. 800.33. On the 17th the first thunder-
storm with heavy rain broke over Tenette.
204. During our absence, the Takutu had continued to dry up with
the result that on the 18th May we had to make our way on foot to Pirara
whither the Indians from Tuarutu accompanied us to have a look at the
black soldiers. After a fatiguing march under the most violent rain-
showers we finally reached the bank of the River Scabunk or Catu-auurn
where we spent the night in a wooded oasis, and only after several fruit-
less attempts, succeeded in making fire to dry our clothes that had got
wetted through. But previously to reaching the oasis our attention had
been attracted to a number of 50-60 ft. high trees which appeared to be
completely enveloped in a dark rose-blossomed covering:-they were not
blossoms, however, but bracts which lent the tree this beautiful appear-
ance. On the Rupununi we subsequently found the tree in blossom: it
was a new Calycophyllum that was named C. Stanleyanum. Its lovely
coloured bracts, in the massif of which the green leaves disappear almost

A NATIv@ -OPIam.

without a trace, make of the tree one of the grandest ornatane.ts. in a
tropical landscape. A botanical exhibit, equally interesting for mn, was
a large number of trees of the Mimosa acacioides Benth., the Parica or
Paricarama of the Indians: the British Guiana aborigines apply its seeds
to the same purpose as the Otomacs and Guajibos of the Orinoco put the
beans of Acacia Niopo Humb. Bonp., and as Asiatic peoples use opium.
They pound the beans to a fine powder, burn it and inhale the smoke or
else rub it into the eyes and ears. Either method soon puts them into a
drunken and ecstatic condition lasting several hours, in its extreme
degree bordering on madness, that is succeeded by a stage of great ex-
haustion and drowsiness.
205. Next morning, under a clear sky, we continued our way through
the trackless savannah with the Takutu lying about 2 miles away on our
left. Our course was directed to the western spur of the Canuku Range..
During the afternoon we crossed the Sawara-auuru which, owing to its
being so considerably swollen from yesterday's rains, could only be effect-
ed after overcoming the many difficulties placed in our way by the num-
ber of rounded quartz and granite boulders. The day was not yet suffi-
ciently advanced to allow of our pitching camp just yet, and we therefore
continued to push along: certainly, to our subsequent keen regret
because, in spite of the showers of the day before, we searched for water
in vain. We were so often deceived, particularly by a li to 2 ft. high light
green and bluish grass swaying in the breeze that is generally present
in swampy situations, is spread over large areas, and exactly simulates
a wavy water-surface, that we had already despaired of satisfying our
cravings, when our patience was nevertheless rewarded by a pool, con-
taining a liquid of almost thickened consistency, close to the foot of Cura-
tawuiburi, on the western spur of the Canuku Range.
206. Thankful to find this darkish fluid, we pitched our camp under
some Curatella and Bowdichia trees. Where the pool was still a bit deep,
it was regularly crammed with a tasty fish, the Erythrinus unitaeniatus
which thus became the easy victims of our companions. To this very wel-
come dish, I soon added a second dainty, namely a large quantity of
honey. Several bees that' were buzzing around had led the ever attentive
Indians to make careful search of the neighboring Curatella and Bow-
dichia trees, and a loud shout soon indicated that their efforts had not
been in vain. These interesting honey-bees fix their often 2 to 3 ft. long
nests which in substance and internal structure correspond fairly well
with those of our wasps, to the branches of the trees. The cells within
this paper building likewise consist of six-sided paper-like prisms and
contain the larvae and the honey. The latter differs in its intense sweet,
ness from the acidulous kind of the small stingless bee which builds its
nest in hollow trees. The body of the about four-tenth inch-long insect is
dark brown and thickly haired: its under-wings are black with rust-
coloured edges, and the sting is extremely painful. The Macusis called
the bee Wampang: the Wapisianas Camuiba. Our companions tied bun-
dles of dried grass to a pole, set them alight, and held them under the
nests so that the dangerous owners might be driven off by the smoke,
The larvae were just as great a delicacy to the Indians ag the honey wa


to us. In April and May the cells seem to be mostly filled with honey.
The stingless bee already mentioned builds its nest in hollow trees and
collects wax at the same time. The often six-inch-long funne-shaped
entrance to the nest is formed of a mixture of wax and clay. The black
wax, the colour of which cannot be removed by any manipulation what-
ever, is used by the Indians as a covering for their hunting quivers
(Muyeh) and for lights. The Macusis called this species Mapa.
r 207. The following morning was to greet us once more with one of
those fairylike tropical landscapes, to which the eye of the Northerner
clings at first with so much wonder, until finally his dumb transport
finds expression in exclamations of surprise. In the middle of a distant
savannah ahead of us there rose to a height of about 150 ft. a sparsely
wooded isolated hill with innumerable white spots sparkling through its
dark and refreshingly verdant carpeting. Huge granite boulders
hemmed in its base, along which our way led, covered the slopes and
crowned its top, while in between them hundreds of Agave vivipara, alter-
nating with isolated forest trees, shot up their blossom-bedecked candel-
abra-like flower-stalks: some of these were often 40 to 50 ft. high, and
mostly two feet thick below. We had lain ourselves down with a view to
appreciating the beauty of this fairy structure to its fullest extent, when
fever again attacked me and only allowed of our resuming, the journey
after some hours' delay.
S208. After travelling round the western spur of the thickly forested
C'anuku Range we followed the northern slope to a distance of from
one to two miles through- thick Palm, Musacea, Zingiberacea and
Cannacea-woodlands, crossed the little stream Maripa-out6 that received
its name from the innumerable quantity of Maximilia regia bordering its
edges, the Macusis calling the fruit Maripa, when we came upon a small
savannah where, in the midst of the most luxuriant growth we saw the
sombwr charred ruins of a demolished village that openly bewailed, a
Brazilian slaveraid. On our right and far beyond the dark mass of vege-
tation,,rose the-steep rocky crags of Ilamikipang and recalled to memory
the happy moments that I spent there. Dense forest soon enveloped us
once more uhtil we struck a second village, where my brother had spent
several days in 1838, and which since then the Brazilians had apparently
razed to the ground. In the evening we reached Curatu-kiu, where in the
meantime changes had also taken place. In vain I sought for the hut of
the old chap who prepared the poison: a fresh fire-place and the heaped-
up mound within showed where the bones df the most celebrated poison-
mixer of the Macusis were resting. Instead of the previous tidiness that
distinguished his feared laboratory, there now reigned the greatest dis-
order: funnels, pots, and supplies of Urari bark lay scattered higgledy-
piggledy, and with his death the spell surrounding the spot seemed to
have departed, for without fear or fright, old and young passed in and
out of the building, now used for a different purpose: we silently hung up
our hammocks inside for the night.'
209. Intent on still reaching Pirata in the day, we set out on the
following morning well before dawn, because 28 miles uider a tropical
sam constitute an Ulnusual and extremely fatiguing walk, On their Other



side of the isolated building where I had spent the night on my journey
to Ilamikipang, we came upon a savannah absolutely bare of bush and
trees and, at several spots, even devoid of every trace of
vegetation. It almost seemed as if Sun and Thirst wanted us to experi-
ence once more the pangs with which they had so frequently afflicted us
during this same trip. Towards noon, the thermometer registered 124
F. a temperature all the more oppressive considering that our path for a
long while led continuously over sharply-pointed and hot quartz and con-
glomerate fragments, we searching in vain for the comforting sight of
water. The Indians hurried to every depression that showed itself in the
ordinarily level surface, but on each occasion returned weary and dis-
heartened: even the bed of the Nappi showed nothing but innumerable
empty shells of the Ampullaria guianensis. Finally, in a depression in
the channel of the Quay6 we came across a dirty, thick, green, muddy
mass of stuff that had been fouled by animals and birds, and at the same
time seemed the favourite resort of a number of frogs and toads, for which
reason we had first of all to strain the fluid through a towel:-but even
then it was too bitter to drink and just as we could not even moisten our
mouths with it so also did the dogs draw back when they went to get their
fill. The sight of some houses on a hill to the eastward, allowed of our
raising no objections to a circuit of several hours and a pathway through
6-8 ft. high sedge-like grass:-for water must of course be there. But
even before reaching them, our burning thirst was satisfied. At the foot
of the hill on which the settlement was situate, the villagers had dug
several deep holes which, even if sparsely, contained the water yearned
for. Everybody eagerly bailed at the cooling drink: the dogs were not
to be restrained either by their master's voice or by sticks, but jumped
straight into the pits and quenched their own thirst before we could allay
210. In the huts we found a solitary but friendly house-wife who
immediately set before us fresh cassava-bread and pepper-pot filled with
the tasty flesh of the Hokko-hen. The men had gone to Pirara to assist
with the transport of the baggage which the army-boat had brought up
from Georgetown. All drudgeries of the day were forgotten with these
welcome tidings, our very letters from home were now awaiting us, in
short everything that soul and bodv longed for. With an hour's rest we
were again upon the road, to spend the night at Aworra village, for our
feet refused us further service. We had traversed to-day a distance of 20
miles over an open savannah under a temperature of 1200 F.
211. As several of our companions belonged to Awarra, our arrival
caused the most genuine excitement, old and young coming along to wel-
come their dependents: full of smiles and cup in hand, the women hurried
to their long-absent husbands, the latter not moving so much as a muscle
of their features. Taciturn and unconcerned, they took the calabashes
which, after emptying, they returned without so much as a word or hand-
shake: just as silently they discharged their loads out of which the ham-
mock was straightway rolled. Slung in its old place, the inexorable lord
and master threw himself into it and regarded with indifference the wife's
face beaming with happiness, and the noisy kiddies capering around their


daddy, now returned and resting. In spite of this apparent want of
warmth the husband's and father's heart beats within just as warmly as
with us, but Pride prompts the Indian-who, when free from observa-
tion is as capable of indulging in these feelings as extravagantly as any
European-to strive against exposing them in the presence of strangers
How often, later on, have I not been the unnoticed witness of such a
scene! So long as any of us was in the neighbourhood of the house when
such a return took place, the husband had neither a word for his Wife
nor for his joyous children:-Yor the latter, at best, a reproachful look
that they were not masters of their feelings. The men enter the houses
quietly, throw themselves in their hammocks, take the calabash which the
wife brings them, reply to her query "Have you come," at most with a
"I am here," and only when we were at a distance and the drink had
effected its purpose, did they relate the adventurous happenings on their
212. Several men had also hastened from Awarra to Pirara to assist
in the transport of the stores to the Station. The 22nd May was a Sunday,
and so as to get to Pirara before the commencement of Divine Service,
the rising sun found us already half way on the journey. Towards eight
o'clock we reached the great oases that stretching south of Pirara were
still hiding it from our view, and had hardly made our way through and
shouted our hearty and joyous "Welcome" to the friendly village as well
as to the Fort, when twenty cannon shots roared at us in return. The
people had noticed us from there as soon as we emerged, and by this
salute wanted us to recognize how glad they were at our return. The
noisy greeting changed hitherto 'quiet Pirara into an excited ant hill, and
soon Mr. Youd and Fryer welcomed us to the village which had become
quite changed during our absence. The number of occupants like the
houses had increased in equal proportion, and, good gracious! almost
the whole female portion of them came to meet us with a clean outfit and
with hair neatly combed and plaited. What the late Mrs. Youd had
previously taught the buckwomen in the neighbourhood, was not
forgotten, the print brought by Mr. Youd was quickly made into clothes,
and the broad many-pleated sdkirt reaching from hip to knee uncommonly
enhanced the natural charm of the young and mostly beautiful figures.
The pullers who had come with the provision boat from Georgetown lent
a good deal besides to the unusual liveliness.
213. In the midst of the first welcome's rejoicings a fresh attack of
fever drove me to the medicine chest with a view to overthrowing its
hitherto unquestionable mastery by a dose of 18 grains of quinine. Poor
Petri, with his arm in a sling, also came to greet us: he still appeared
miserable enough. The wound continued open, and as complete healing
was out of the question up here, it was decided that he should return to
Georgetown with the military boat and stay in Hospital until recovered
and cured.
214. We had been exactly two months away from Pirara, and had
traversed over 500 miles, but in spite of the unusual heat and exertion,
no one had been really sick except Petri and myself with my 32 attacks


of fever: besides this, except for one thermometer, none of the astronomi-
cal instruments had suffered damage.
215. Hardly had we taken possession of our dwelling when the whole
body of officers, increased by one through the arrival of a young doctor,
now came along and greeting us with a hearty handshake delivered a
whole packet of letters from home and newspapers from Georgetown.
Mr. Bolby, the new surgeon, was of course unable to answer our enquiries
concerning this or that person in town, because immediately after his
arrival in the capital he had been obliged to leave it again and accompany
the commissariat forces to Pirara. Our friends from the Fort had all
the more news to give us but amongst it little that was pleasant: worse
than everything else was the information that the Brazilians were
making active preparations to wash out the disgrace offered them by our
taking possession of Pirara. The Militia of the Rio Negro and Rio
Branco were already called up, two regiments of the regular
troops were on the march here from Para, and the garrison of Fort
Sao Joaquim was by this time strengthened by the forces from the
nearest fortress on the Rio Negro. Although the Commandant of
Fort Sao Joaquim during our absence had expressed his friendly
intentions on the occasion of many a visit, and duly continued to
carry on undisturbed his profitable trade in cattle, provisions, and
ethnological specimens-especially in feather ornaments from the
Mundrucus, Guinaus, and Pauixanas living on the Parima and Rio
Branco-this could nevertheless not last much longer because the
oncoming military forces would soon raise an insurmountable barrier in
the way of amicable relations. Friar Jose dos Santos Innocentes not
only continued the alluring traffic with the enemy in his own person, but
carried it on even more actively through his amanruensis Aberisto,-and
could anyone blame the poor devils? Captain Antonio de Barros Leal,
.as he complained to the officers, had received no pay for four years, his
garrison at the Fort for three years, and poor Father Jose nothing for
ten years. What wonder then that they willingly seized the opportunity
of emptying the full pockets of the enemy. Unfortunately the poor
Commandant was shortly after charged in Para by a low lot of sub-
ordinate officers with having sold the enemy not only horses and cows but
also provisions: the loss of his captaincy followed. Notwithstanding that
our black heroes were inspired with the best of courage, and after subse-
quently seeing and learning to know the woeful figures of the Brazilian
military, I was convinced that each of our Negroes could try concinsions
with any four of them.
216. After the officers had left, we ravenously fell upon our letters
and spent real hours of joy and pleasure in reading them over and over
again. We certainly had to proceed more cautiously with the perusal
of the newspapers, because the long monotonous rainy season of three
months' duration was near at hand, and an economical distribution of
the already stale news was accordingly all the more advisable.
217. The Fort greeted the morning of 24th May, the birthday of
Queen Victoria, with a salvo of artillery. All its own and Pirara's flags

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