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Wild Amazonia

Nature volume 96, pages 678680 (17 February 1916) | Download Citation



THE author, whilst fretting on the Active List owing to ill-health contracted in the interior of East Africa, happened to read Wallace's classical “Travels on the Amazon,” with the result that he left England in the month of April, 1908, reaching Manaos by the end of May. His serious work began in the middle of August at Encanto, the place of “enchantment,” now by irony of fate of Putumayo fame. Thence he disappeared for some months in the wilderness, roaming over some 40,000 square miles of that no man's land claimed by Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. His company was composed as follows:— Above all, John Brown, a Barbados negro, as personal servant, who proved himself a very good choice; eight Indian carriers who were changed often, mostly because they ran away; two half-castes, rubber-collectors who attached themselves to the party for some time; and eight Rationales or semi-civilised Indians, with three women, and armed with Winchesters. It is customary, in most Latin-American countries, to distinguish as “reasonables” those Indians who have been broken in to the white man's ways; other tribes are bravos, reduzidos, and maneos, i.e., still wild, broken, or tame.

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