The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
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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
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another whose note resembles atrumpet. It aboundsin quadrupeds, as mules, horses, and cattle of thelarge and small kind, the antas, which is calledhere gran bestia^ (great beast), huanacos, vicunas,llamas, or native sheep, stags, bears, ant-eaters,wild bears, otters, tigers, mountain cats, visca-chas, (or large hares), large and small foxes, tor-toises, higuanos, and others ; all of which affordfood to tlie voracious Indians. In this provinceare also found many insects, such as scorpions,vipers, snakes of several kinds, some of two heads,and some with rattles, squirrels, mocamucas, am-palabas, or what are called in other countries owls,which are extremely deformed, and attract smallanimals to them by their screeching, quiriquinchosof various sorts, glow-worms, a great variety offlies and spiders, and of these a large kind veryvenomous, silk-worms, Avhich, if taken care of,would yield an abundance of silk, locusts, Avhichare eaten by the Indians both dry and fresh ; also ants,the beds of which are so deep as to render the roaddangerous for men and for horses to pass, theseinsects being of such an undaunted and trouble-some nature as often to attack a viper or locust inlarge bodies, and in some settlements to enter ahouse like a plundering army, devouring every in-sect and worm in their way, not leaving a singleeatable thing untouched ; scarcely shall these havefinished their operations, but they are succeeded byanother band, and indeed it is very liazardous todisturb them, since they bite very fiercely andcause much pain. This province has no mines,although it is said that formerly some were workedby the Indians ; some little time since, however,one of iron was discovered, when it was thought tohave been of gold. This extensive and pleasantcountry is inhabited by a multitude of infidel In-dians, of different nations and of various barbarouscustoms. It was casually discovered in 1586 byJuan de Banos, a native of Chuquisaca, a factorof the settlement of Yala ; he had an Indian slavewho used frequently to run away from his masterfor a time and return again, and who being askedonce whither he went, replied toChacu; this itAvas tliat led to its discovery, and to the subse-•quent attempts at several times made to conquerit; first by Martin de Ledesma, afterwards by.Tuan Manso, Don Pedro Lasarte, and lastly byD >11 Christoval de Sanabri, all of which were in-effectual. San Francisco Solano entered the coun-try, and succeeded in reducing some of the nativesto the Christian faith ; these, however, soon re-turned to their idolatry. The regulars of the com-pany of Jesuits likewise engaged themselves in thereduction of this country in 1587, the first of their
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preachers here being Father Alonzo Barzana,called the apostle of Peru ; they continued herefor a number of years, and during their stayfounded seven settlements. The inhabitants ofthe whole province are computed at 100,000.Catalogue of the nations which inhabit Chaco.
(Chaco, a large plain of the above province,in which Azara noticed a singular phenomenon,which he calls a large piece of pure iron, flexibleand malleable in the forge, but at the same timeso hard as not to be cut, though obedient to thefile. It contains about 468 cubic feet, and lieson the surface of the large plain of Chaco, on whichnot a single stone excepting this is to be found ;and what is still more curious, there is no volcanowithin 300 leagues, nor any iron mine to be heardof in that part of tho country.)
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COCO, a river of the province and governmentof Darien in the kingdom of Tierra Firme. Itrises in the mountains of the n. and enters the seaopposite the island of Las Palmas, and gives itsname to the territory of a Cacique, thus called.
COCOMERACHI, a settlement of the missionswhich were held by the regulars of the companyof Jesuits, in the province of Taraumara, andkingdom of Nueva Vizcaya. It is 40 leagues tothe w. s.zo. of the town 'And real of the mines ofChiguaga.
COCONUCO, See Cucunuco.
COCOS, some small islands of the Pacific orS. sea, lying close together, and divided by somenarrow channels. They abound in cocoa-trees,and from thence take their name. They are alsocalled Santa Cruz, from having been discoveredon the day of the invention of the cross. Theclimate here is pleasant, but the isles are unculti-vated and desert. Lat. 5° n.
COCUI, a settlement of the province and cor-regimiento of Tunja in the NueVo Reyno de Gra-nada ; situate at the foot of the sierra Nevada. Itis of a cold temperature, but abounds in all kindsof productions, and particularly in wheat, maize,barley, &c. It contains 700 white inhabitants,and 150 Indians. Thirty-two leagues from Tunja,and eight from the settlement of Chita.
COCUPAC, a city and headsettlement of the district of the alcaldia mayor ofValladolid in Nueva Espana, and of the bishopricof Mechoaean. Its situation is in a nook to the n.of the great lake. On the e. and ze. are two loftymountains, which form so many other entrances,the one to the 5. and the other to the n. Its tem-perature is rather cold than w'arm ; and althoughit does not want for fruits, it is but ill supplied withwater, the only stream it has not running morethan the distance of a stone’s throw before it entersa lake. The inhabitants are thus under the ne-cessity of supplying themselves by wells. Thepopulation of this city consists in 45 families ofSpaniards, 52 of Mustees and Mulattoes, and 150of Indians. They occupy themselves in the mak-ing of tiles or flags ; and the inferior order aremuleteers. It has a convent of the religious orderof St. Francis.
COD, a cape of the coast of New England andprovince of Massachusetts. It runs for many leaguestowards the sea, forming a large semicircle, andafterwards returning, forms the bay of Barnstable.[See Cape Cod, Barnstable, &c.]