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[this seraglio. The wives have the greatest respect
for their husbands, and generally give him the title
of huta^ or great. Besides female occupations, they
are obliged to employ themselves in many wliich
in civilized countries are considered as the pecu-
liar province of the men, according to the esta-
blished maxim of all barbarous nations, that the
weaker sex are born to labour, and the stronger to
make war and to command. Each of them is
obliged to present to her husband daily a dish
prepared by herself in her separate kitchen or
fire-place ; tor this reason the houses of the Arau-
canians have as many fires as there are women in-
habiting them; whence, in inquiring of any one
how many wives he has, they make use of the fol-
lowing phrase, as being the most polite, muri on-
thalgeimiy “ how many fires do you keep.” Each
wife is also obliged to furnish her husband yearly,
besides his necessary clothing, with one of those
cloaks already described, called ponchos, which
form one of the principal branches of the Arauca-
nian commerce.

26. Domestic employments . — The greatest at-
tention is paid by the women to the cleanliness of
their houses, which they sweep, as well as their
courts, several times in the course of a day ; and
whenever they make use of any utensil they im-
mediately wash it; their houses being so situated
as to be always readily supplied with an abund-
ance of running water. The same attention to
cleanliness is paid with regard to their persons :
they comb their heads twice a day, and once a
week wash them with a soap made from- the bark
of the quillai, which keeps the hair very clean, and
which is also much used by tlie Spaniards, espe-
cially those who live in the country. There is never
to be seen a spot of dirt on the clothes of an Arau-
canian woman. The men are likewise equally
fond of cleanliness; they never fail to comb their
heads every day, and are also accustonjcd fre-
quently to wash them. Bathing, as among the an-
cients, is in common use with these peo])le, who
think it necessary for the sake of preserving their
health and of strengthening their bodies ; and in
order to have it convenient, they are careful to j)lace
their houses on the banks of rivers. In warm wea-
ther they bathe themselves several times a day,
and it is rare, even in winter, that they do not batiie
themselves at least once a day: by means of tins
continued exercise they become excellent swim-
mers, and give wonderfulproofsof dexterity in this
art. They will swim for a great distance under
water, and in this manner cross their largest
livers, which renders them some of the be.st divers
in the world. The women are also fond of fre-


quent bathing, and for this purpose select the most
obscure solitary j)laces, at a great tiistance from the
nieu. Even on t!ie very day of the birth of a child,
they take the infant to the river and wash it, and
also themselves, and within a short time return to
their customary avocations, without experiencing
any inconvenience ; so true it is, that the human
constitution is not naturally delicate, but is rendered
so by our customs and living. Child-birth is with
them attended with little pain ; which must be at-
tributed to the strength of their constitutions ; for
a similar reason, the women of the lower classes in
Europe, according to the statement of Doctor
Bland, in the Pliilosophical Transactions, experi-
ence a more easy delivery than the ladies, and arc
less subject to sickness in consequence. Whether
directed by an impulse of simple nature, or actu-
ated by their solicitude to furnish strong men to
the state, they rear their children in a very dif-
ferent manner from rvhat is practised in civilized
countries. When they have washed them in run-
ning water, as has been already observed, they
neither swathe nor bandage them, but place them
in a hanging cradle, called chrgua, lined with soft
skins, where they merely cover them with a cloth,
and swing them from time to time by means of a
cord attached to the cradle, which leaves them
more at liberty to attend to their domestic con-
cerns. When their children begin to v/a!k, which
is very soon, they neither j)ut them into stays, nor
any other confined dress, but keep them loosely
clad, and let them go anywhere, and eatwhat they
please. Formed thus, as it were, by themselves,
they become well shaped and robust, and less sub-
ject to those infirmities that arc the consequence of
a tender and a delicate education. Indeed, the
maladies Avhich prevail among the Araucanians are
but few, and are for the most part reducible to in-
flammatory fevers, originating either from intem-
perance in drinking, or to the excessiv'e exercise
which they sometimes use. If (he phj'sical edu-
cation of the vVraucanian children is in a certain
degree laudable, tiie moral education which they
receive will not certainly meet with our entire ap-
probation. It is, nevertheless, conformable to the
ideas of that high-minded people respecting the
innate liberty of man, and such as may be ex-
pected from an uncivilized nation. Their fathers
are satisfied in insructing them in the use of arms,
and the management of horses, and in teaching
them to speak tiieir native language with elegance.
In other respects they leave them to do whatever
they please, and praise them whenever they see
them insolent, saying, that in this manner they
learn to become men. It is very unusual for them}
3 H

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