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555

CUM

shoal of rock, Vfliich runs into the sea at the en-
trance of the river Maranan, in the same pro-
vince.

CUMAIPI, a small river of the country of Las
Amazonas
, or part of Guayana possessed by the
Portuguese. It runs c. under the equinoctial line,
and enl^ers tlie Marailon, at its mouth or entrance
into the sea.

CUMANA, a province and government of S.
America
, called also Nueva Andalucia ; though,
properly sj)eaking, the latter is only a part of Cu-
inana, which contains in it also other provinces.
It extends 76 geographical leagues from e. to w.
from the point of Piedra, the oriental extremity of
Tierra Firme, on the coast of Paria, and great
mouth of Drago, as far as the mouth of the river
Unare, the deep ravines of which form, as it Avere,
limits to the w. between this province and that of
Venezuela; the waters of the aforesaid river run-
ning for a great distance towards the serrama
or settlement of Pariguan ; from wliich point the
line of division is undecided as far as the river
Orinoco, 20 leagues to the s. From the w. to s.
it is 270 leagues, namely, from the sea-coast to the
great river or country of Las Amazonas, the terri-
tory of which is divided by the renowned river
Orinoco. On the e. it is terminated by the sea,
which surrounds the coast of Paria, the gulf
Triste, the mouths of the Orinoco, the river
Esquivo and Cayenne ; on the s. no. it is bounded
by the Nuevo Reyno de Granada, which extends
its limits as far as the river Orinoco, being divided
by this river from Guayana. It is a continued ser-
Tanitty running along the whole coast from e. to w.
being nine or 10 leagues wide ; and although it is
not without some llanos or extensive plains, these
are but little known, and are entirely impassable,
owing to the swamps and lakes caused by the in-
undations of the rivers which flow down from the
sierra. The sierra, in that part which looks to the
n. is barren, and in the vicinities of the coast the
soil is impregnated with nitre, and is unfruitful.
The temperature is healthy but cold, especially at
night. The most common productions of this pro-
vince are maize, which serves as bread, supplying
the want of wheat, ^uca root, of which another
kind of bread is made, cosabe, plantains, and other
fruits and pulse peculiar to America ; also cacao,
although with great scarcity, and only in the n.
part ; and sugar-canes, which are only cultivated
in a sufficient degree to supply the sugar consumed
here. It has some cattle ; and although there are
means of breeding and feeding many herds, the
natives choose rather to supply themselves from

ANA.

the neighbouring province of Barcelona, notwith-
standing the difficulty of bringing them hither over
sucli rugged and almost impassable roads. Tlie
whole of the coast yields an immense abundance of
fish, also of shell fish of various kinds, and of the
most delicate flavour. Of these the consumjitiou
is very great, and a great proportion of them are
salted, and carried to the inland parts ; and to the
province of Venezuela alone upwards of 6000
quintals yearly. It has several convenient and se-
cure ports and bays, and indeed the whole coast is
covered with them, as the sea is here remarkably
calm, and peculiarly so in the celebrated gulf of
Cariaco, as also in the gulfs of the lake of Obispo,
Juanantar, and Gurintar. It has many very abun-
dant saline grounds, so much so, that the whole
coast may be looked upon as forming one ; since
in any part of it as many might be established as
were necessary ; and this without mentioning that
celebrated one of Araya, and those of the gulf
Triste, between the settlements of Iraca and Soro,
and the Sal Negra, (Black Salt), used only by the
Indians. In this province there are only three
rivers of consideration, that of Cariaco, of Cumana,
and of Guarapiche : the others which flow down
from the serrama are of little note, and incorporate
themselves with the former before they arrive in
the valley. Its jurisdiction contains six settle-
ments belonging to the Spaniards, seven belonging
to the Indians, 13 to the missions supported by
the Aragonese Capuchin fathers, and 16 belong-
ing to the regular clergy. [From the river Unare
to'the city of Cumana, the soil is very fertile.
From the Araya to the distance of between 20 and
25 leagues, more to the e. the coast is dry, sandy,
and unfruitful. The soil is an inexhaustible mine
both of marine and mineral salt. That which is
near the Orinoco is fit only for grazing, and this is
the use to which it is put. It is here that all the
pens of the province are kept. All the rest of this
country is admirably fertile. The prairies, the
valleys, the hills, proclaim by their verdure and by
the description of the produce, that nature has de-
posited here the most active principles of vegetable
life. The most precious trees, the mahogany, the
Brazil and Campechy woods, grow even up to the
coast of Paria ; and there are found here many
rare and agreeable birds. In the interior of the go-
vernment of Cumana are mountains, some of Avhich
are very high : the highest is the Tumeriquiri,
which is 936 fathoms above the surface of the sea.
The cavern of Guacharo, so famous among the In-
dians, is in this mountain. It is immense, and
serves as an habitation for thousands of night birds, 1
4 B 2

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