535

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535

CRUZ.

CRUZ, Santa, de la Sierra, a province
and government of Peru, bounded n. by that of
Moxos, e. by tlie territory of the Chiquitos In
dians, s. by the infidel Chirigiianos and Chanaes
Indians, s, w. by the province of Tomina, and w.
by that of Mizqiie. it is an extensive plain, which
on the w. side is covered with Indian dwellings
and grazing farms, as far as the river called Grande
or Huapay. It extends 28 leagues s. as far as the
same river, 18 ra. as far as the foot of the cordillera,
and 24 n. being altogether covered with various es
tates, as indeed arc the parts on the other side of the
cordillera. It lies very low, and is free both from
the extreme cold and parching heat of the serra
mas, altliough the other provinces of this bishop
ric, which lie close by this province, are much
infested with the same variations of climate. It
is, however, of a hot aiul moist temperature, and
the country is mountainous ; on its plains are
found various kinds of wood, good for building,
and amongst the rest, a sort of palm, the heart of
which is used for making the frame works to win
dows of temples and houses, and it is generally
cut to the length of 1 1 feet ; there is another kind
of palm, which is called montaqui, the leaves of
which serve for covering the houses of the poor,
and the shoots or buds for making a very argree
able sallad ; the heart of the tree is reduced to a
flour, of wliich sweet cakes are made, and eaten
instead of bread, for in this province neither
wheat nor vines are cultivated, the climate being
unfavourable to both. It abounds in various
species of canes, which serve to bind together the
timbers of w hich the houses are constructed ; one
of these species is called huembe, with which bells,
though of great w'eight, are hung. In this pro
vince are all kinds of fruits, various birds, tigers,
bears, wild boars, deer, and other wild animals ;
amongst the fruits of the wild trees are some w'hich
grow, not upon the branches, but upon the trunk
itself; that which is called huaipuru resembles a
large cherry in colour and flavour, and this,
as well as others which are equally well tasted,
serve as food for an infinite variety of birds ; an
equal abundance of fish is likewise found in the
neighbouring rivers. Here is cultivated rice,
also maize, sugar-cane, j/ucas, camotes, See. and
some wild wax is found in the trunks of trees ; be
ing furnished by various kinds of bees. At the
distazice of 20 leagues to the s. of the capital, are
four settlements of Chiriguanos Indians, governed
by their own captains, but subject, in some mea
sure, to this government, from being in friendship
Avith it, and trading with the Spaniards in wax,
cotton, and maize. Hitherto its natives have been

averse to embracing the Catholic religion, but in
the incursions that have been made against us by
the barbarians, they have beeiTdver ready to lend
us their assistance, and in fact form for us an out
work of defence. In the aforesaid four settlements
are 500 Indians, ivho are skilled in the use of the
arrow and the lance, and are divided from the
other barbarians of the same nation by the river
Grande or Huapay. This river runs from Char
cas to thee, by the side of the province of Tomina,
and which, after making a bend in the figure of an
half-moon, on tlie e. side of the province of Santa
Cruz, enters the Marmore, first receiving another
river describing a similar course, and known by
the name of the Pirapiti. On the e. and on the
opposite side, are some settlements of Chanaes In
dians, the territory of whom is called Isofo. To
the s. andv. zso. towards the frontiers of Tarija, and
still further on, are very many settlements of the
infidel Chiriguanos Indians; and in the valley of
Ingre alone, which is eight leagues long, we find
26 ; and in some of these the religious Franciscan
order of the college of Tarija have succeeded in
making converts, though as yet in no consider
able numbers. These Indians are the most va
lorous, perfidious, and inconstant of all the na
tions lying to the e, of the river Paraguay ; 4000
of them once fled for fear of meeting chastisement
for their having traitorously put to death the Cap
tain Alexo Garcia, a Portuguese, in the time of
Don Juan III. king of Portugal; they were
cannibals, and used to fatten their prisoners before
they killed them for their banquets. Their trea
ties Avith the Spaniards, and the occasional visits
these have been obliged to pay them in their ter
ritories, havm induced them nearly to forget this
abominable practice ; but their innate cruelty still
exists, and particularly against the neighbouring
nations, upon Avhom they look down Avith the
greatest scorn ; they have increased much, and are
now one of the most numerous nations in America;
they are extremely cleanly, so much so that they
Avill go down to the rivers to Avash themselves even
at midnight, and in the coldest season. The Avomen
also, immediately after parturition, plunge them
selves into the Avater, and coming home, lay them
selves down upon a liltle mound of sand, Avhich,
for this purpose, they have in their houses. The
inhabitants of this province amount to 16,000, and
besides the capital, Avhich is San Lorenzo de la
Frontera, there are only the following settle
ments :

Porongo, Chilon,

Samaipata, Desposorios,

Valle Grazidc, Santa Ro>a,

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