The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
ALACLATZALA, a branch of the head settlement of the district of S. Luis, of the coast and alcaldia mayor of TIapa in Nueva España. It contains 125 Indian families, and is one league from the settlement of Quanzoquitengo.
ALACRANES, some islands, or rather some hidden rocks, of the N. sea, in the bay of Mexico, opposite the coast of Yucatan. Those who navigate these parts are accustomed to pass round beyond them for fear of venturing amongst them, although there are some good cliannels among them, and withgood soundings. They are for the most part barren, producing nothing beyond a herb called moron, -And deficient in fresh water ; neither do they produce any animal except the mole, which is found here in prodigious numbers. There are, however, a quantity of birds, of three distinct sorts, each forming a community of itself, and entirely separated from the other two ; and it has been observed, that if one party may have fixed upon any place for building their nests, the others never think of disturbing them, or driving them from it ; but the noise these birds make is so great, that one cannot pass near them without suffering considerably from their united clamours.
[ALADAS, a parish situate about 14; leagues s. e, of Corrientes, in Lat. 28° 15' 20" s. Long. 58° SO' e».]
ALAMILLOS, a settlement of the province of Taraumara and kingdom of Nueva Vizcaya ; one of the missions which belonged to the religious of St Francis. It is close to the town and real of the mines of Santa Eulalia.
ALAMOS, Real de Los, Real de Los, a settlement and real of the mines of the province of Sinaloa in Nueva España. It is situate s. e. of the Sierra Madre, and surrounded by rich silver mines, which would produce abundantly but for want of labourers. There are in its district five estates that are fertile in maize, French beans, and sugarcane. The spiritual concerns of all these parts
are under the direction of a curate, whose jurisdiction extends as far as the river Mayo, which flows down from the sierra. It is 20 leagues distant from the town of Tuerte, and between these lies the valley of Maquipo. [Population 7900 souls]
Alamos, with the dedicatory title of S. Jorge, a town of the province and captainship of Para in Brazil, founded by Jorge del Alamo, who gave it his name, in a place called La Vigia. It has a magnificent parish church, with the title of Nuestra Senora de Nazareth, with a large and good fort, and well furnished with artillery. Also, at the distance of a league and an half from the settlement, is a house of charity belonging to the religious order of the Capuchins of La Piedad.
Alamos, another of the missions belonging to the abolished society of Jesuits, in the province of Taraumara and kingdom of Nueva Vizcaya. It is 27 leagues s. w. and a quarter of a league s. of the real of the mines and town of S. Felipe de Chiguaga.
Alangasi, a river of the above corregimiento, and rising in the desert mountain of Sincholagua ; over it there is a large bridge, composed of a single arch, but so strong, that when, in 1660, a part of the mountain fell upon it, and precipitated one half of it into the stream, the other half still remained firm and immoveable. This bridge is built of mud and stone.
ALANGI, Santiago de, a city and head settlement of the district of the province of Chiriqui and government of Santiago de Veragua, in the kingdom of Tierra Firme. It is small, but abounding in fruits and cattle ; in which a regular trade is carried on for supplying the city of Panama. This trade consists principally in pigs.
a settlement founded seven leag'ues from the place called the Puerto, but in 16GS they tied, all of them, to the mountains, although in the same year they returned back again to the settlement.
CHIRIGUANA, a large settlement of the province and government of Santa Marta in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada. It is of an hot temperature, and the territory is level, fertile, and beautiful. It has besides the parish church a convent or house of entertainment of the religious order of St. Francis.
CHIRIGUANOS, a country and nation of the infidel Indians of the province and government of Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Peru, from whence it lies 20 leagues to thes. It is bounded on the e. by the province of Tomina, and s. e. by that of Chuquisaca ; is composed of different settlements, each governed by its captain or cazique, subject, in a certain degree, to the above government. These people, though they refuse to adopt the Catholic religion, are in perfect amity with the Spaniards, trading with them in wax, cotton, and maize. This nation, by the incursions which tliey made, used at first to give frequent alarm to the province, and once had the address to capture the city of Chiquisaca. The Inca Yupanqui endeavoured in vain to subdue them, and neither he nor the Spaniards could avail aught with them ■until they were reduced by the missionaries, the regulars of the extinguished company of the Jesuits ; since that time they have been stedfast in supporting the Spaniards against the other infidels, serving them as a barrier, and having for their own line of defence the river Guapay. They are very valorous, but inconstant and faithless ; they are descended from the nations which are found to the e. of Paraguay ; and fled from thence, to the number of 4000, ^hen avoiding the threatened chastisement of the Portuguese, who were about to inflict condign punishment on them for having treacherously murdered the Captain Alexo Garcia in the time of the King Don Juan 111. of Portugal. They were foi'merly cannibals, and used to fatten their prisoners that these might become better fare ; but their intercourse and trade with the Spaniards has caused them by degrees to forget this barbarous practice, and even to give them a disgust at their savage neighbours, who still continue in the same practices. They are at the present day so greatly increased in numbers, that they are one of the most numerous nations of America ; are besides very neat and clean ; and it is not uncommon for them to rush out of their dwellings in the middle of the night to plunge and wash themselves in a river in the most severe seasons ; their wives too.
immediately after parturition, invariably do the same, and on their return lay themselves on a heap of sand, which they have for this purpose in the house; but the husband immediately takes to his bed, and being covered all over with very large leaves, refuses to take any other nourishment than a little broth made of maize ; it being an incorrigible error of belief amongst them that these ceremonies will be the cause of making their children bold and warlike. They have shewn great power and address in their combats with our troops when these first endeavoured to enter their territories, and they threw themselves in such an agile and undaunted manner upon our fire-arms that it was found necessary, on our part, to insert in the rants a lance-man between every two fusileers : the v are, moreover, so extremely nimble that it is impossible to take them prisoners but by surprise.
CHIRIQUI, a district of the province and government of Santiago de Veragua in the kingdom of Tierra Firme, the last district of this province ; dividing the government from that of Guatemala, and touching upon the province of Costarica. It is of limited extent ; the country is mountainous, and its climate hot and unhealthy, surrounded on all sides by infidel Indians. Here are bred numbers of mules, which are carried to be sold at Panama and Guatemala ; upon the coast of the S. sea are found crabs which distil a purple colour used for dyeing cotton, which, although it may fade a little, can never be entirely eradicated. They have plenty of swine, and some vegetable productions ; with which they carry on a trade, now fallen much to decay, with the city of Panama. The capital is Santiago de Alanje.
Same name, a river of the above province (Santiago de Veragua), which rises in the mountains on the s. and enters the sea, serving as limits to that province, and dividing it from that of Costarica in the kingdom of Guatemala.