The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
C H A
C H A
Brocal de la Mina de, a settlement of theprovince and corregimiento of Angaraes in Peru ;finnexed to the curacy of Santa Barbara.
CHACMA, or Chamaca, a valley of the pro-vince of Cuzco and kingdom of Peru, near thecoast of the S. sea. It was well peopled in formertimes, and abounds now in sugar-cane, from whichsugar is made. It was conquered and united tothe empire by Huaina Capac, thirteenth Emperor.
CHACO, a province of the kingdom of Peru,called the Gran Chaco, is an extensive country ;having as its boundary to the e. the river Para-guay, and being bounded on the [n.e. by the pro-vince of the Chiquitos Indians ; on the n. by thatof Santa Cruz de la Sierra ; on the zo. it touchesupon the provinces of Mizque, Tomina, Porna-bamba, Pilaya, Paspaya, Tarija, and Tucuman.On the s. it extends as far as the jurisdiction of thegovernment of Buenos Ayres, which is its farthestlimits. Towards the n. it is 150 leagues widefrom e. to w. and 250 leagues long from n. to s. ;but to make these distances, it requires manymonths, owing to the unevenness and roughness ofthe territory. It is called Chaco, or, with morepropriety, Chacu, which, in the Quechuan lan-guage, signifies junta, or company, from the cir-cumstance of its having been formed of Indians ofseveral countries, who had fled from the conquer-ing arms of the Incas, and afterwards from thoseof the Spaniards. Towards the w. it has someserraniasj which are branches of the cordilhrn ;where, on account of their immense height, thecold is very great ; but in the low grounds, whichare for the most part plains, the temperature is hot.It is full of thick woods, and in many parts isswampy and wet ; particularly in the part lyingtowards the e. on the road to Paraguay. In thewet season, which lasts from the month of Novem-ber to April, the rivers leave their beds and formvarious lakes, some of which dry up, and someremain. This province has some rivers of note ;such are the Salado and the Bermejo ; is one of themost fertile provinces in America, and would, ifit were cultivated, afford, in the greatest abun-dance, those productions wnich are now thrownaway upon the infinite number of barbarous na-
tions who inhabit it. It produces a great varietyof fine woods and fruit-trees; such as walnuts andnuts, although different from those of Europe, butwhich arc extremely well tasted ; beautiful cedars ;quebrachos^ thus called on account of their hard-ness ; guqyacanes, carob-trees, balsams, marias,palms, some of which are more than 30 yards inheight; almonds, cacaos, ceihas, whicli are verylarge trees, bearing in the pods a remarkable softwool, used for quilts, since it cannot be spun ; cot-ton-trees, mistoles, of the heart of which the In-dians make darts and cimeters ; myrrh, sarzafraz-trees, bark, and others, which have the interiorbark so delicate and white as occasionally to serveinstead of writing paper; others there are, whicli,at one or two yards up their stems, form a kind ofbarrel or pipe, and being of a very tough bark,are accustomed to be ripped open by the Indians,and thus serve as vessels, in which these keep theirliquor called chieha ; it is from this that theywhimsically call this plant palo borracho, ordrunken tree. In this province are found alsocanes for walking sticks, as fine as those of Asia ;and in the trunks of trees, in holes of the rocksand below the ground, are quantities of honey andwax wrought by bees, of which there are reckonedto be more than 12 sorts : some of the wax, besidesbeing transparent, is extremely fragrant and deli-cious to the taste, whilst some is so sour as to re-semble the juice of boiled lemons. One sort ofthese bees fabricate, with great skill, excellenthives of mud upon the branches of trees, and ofthe shape of a decanter, which are so hard thatthey will not break in falling down upon theground ; they, morever, are filled Avith exquisitewax and Avell-flavoured honey. The fruit-treeswhich this province produces, are oranges, cedars,lemons, apples, pears, melocotones^ (or peaches en-grafted on quinces), figs, nuts, prunes, and olives,also passion-floAvers ; all of which have beenbrought hither from the city of Santiago de Gua-dalcazar. Here are palms Avhich have cups con-taining 25 kernels each, differing only slightlyfrom the palms of Europe by having a flavour ofthe cocoa, and being somewhat larger. Here isalso a plant called chahuar, having prickles likethe savine, of which are made threads similar tohemp, for the manufacture of nets, bags, and somesorts of coarse garments : its root serves as food forthe Indians, as do also yucas, potatoes, and others.It has an innumerable quantity of birds, namely,Avild pigeons, ducks, herons, mountain-peacocks’pheasants, crows, condors, partridges, falcons,SAvans, periguanas, ostriches, parrots, and onekind of bird which exactly imitates an organ, and