The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
CHEUELUS, or CHAVELOS, a barbarous nation of Indians of the country of Marañon, who inhabit the woods bordeiing upon the river Aguarico, to the e. and in the vicinity of the lakes. They arc warlike, of a cruel and treacherous nature, and in eternal enmity with their neighbours. M. de la Martiniere will have it, that the name Chavelos is derived from the French wovd chevezLV, the men and the women both allowing and encouraging the growth of their hair till it reaches down to the waist ; supposing, forsooth, that these Indians must either have known French when they were discovered, or that their discoverers, at all events, must have been French.
CHEURA, a river of the province and government of Esmeraldas in the kingdom of Quito. It runs w. ?z. e. and e. washing the country of the ancient Esmeraldas Indians: it afterwards entersthe river of its name on the e. side, in lat. 1° 23' n.
CHIA, a settlement of the corregimiento of Zipaquira in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada; celebrated in the time of the Indians for having been the title of the kings ox npas of Bogota; the investiture of which dignity was always transferred with the greatest possible solemnity. It is of a very cold temperature, although salutary ; and is situate on a beautiful plain, on the shore of the river Bogota, four leagues to the n. of Santa F6.
CHIAMOTO. See Seyota.
CHIAPA, a province and alcaldia mayor of the kingdom of Guatemala ; bounded on the«. by the province of Tabasco, c. by that of Vera Paz, w. by that of Oaxaca of Nueva Espaha, and s. e. by that of Soconusco. It extends 85 leagues from e. to w. and is nearly 30 across at its widest part. It was conquered by Captain Diego Marariegos in 1531 : is divided into districts or alcaldias mayores^ which are those of Zoques, Chontales, Los Llanos, and Xiquipila ; is of a warm and moist temperature, although it has some parts in which the cold predominates. Its woods abound with large trees of pine, cypress, cedar, and walnut; and of others of a resinous kind, from which
are extracted aromatic gums, balsams, and liquid amber, tacamaca, copal, &c. It produces also, in abundance, maize, swine, honey, cotton, cochineal, which is only made use of for the purpose of dyeing the cotton ; also cacao, and much pepper and achoie, or the heart-leaved bixa'; also vfirious kinds of domestic and wild birds, especially parrots, which are very beautiful and highly esteemed ; a small bird, called tolo, less than a young pigeon, with green wings ; this is caught by the Indians, who pluck from its tail some feathers, Avhich they prize highly, and then restoring it to liberty; it being a capital offence, according to their laws, to destroy it. The sheep, goats, and pigs, which have been brought from Europe, have multipled in this province in a most extraordinary manner ; so also have horses, which are of such an esteemed breed, that the colts are taken from hence to Mexico, a distance of 500 miles. In the woods breed many lions, leopards, tigers, and wild boars, a great number of snakes, some being 20 feet in length, and others of a beautiful crimson colour, streaked with black and white. Tlie territory is, for the most part, rugged and mountainous, and watered by different rivers : none of these, however, are of any particular consideration, although that which bears the name of this province is the medium by which the aforesaid productions are carried to the other provinces ; and although this province may be accounted comparatively poor, from being without mines of gold or silver, it is nevertheless of the greatest importance, as being the outwork or barrier to New Spain, from the facility with which this kingdom might be entered by the river Tabasco. The capital is the royal city of Chiapa, situate on a delightful plain. It is the head of a bishopric, erected in 1538; and has for arms a shield, upon which arc two sierras, with a river passing between them : above the one is a golden castle, with a lion rampant upon it ; and above the other a green palm, bearing fruit, and another lion, the whole being upon a red field. These arms were granted by the Emperor Charles V. in 1535. The cathedral is very beautiful. It contains three convents of the order of St. Francis, La Merced, and St. Domingo ; a monastery of nuns, and five hermitages. Its population is scanty and poor, and the principal commerce consists in cocoa-nuts, cotton, wool, sugar, cochineal, and other articles. Its nobility, although poor, are very proud, as having descended from some ancient families of the first nobility of Spain ; such as those of Mendoza, Velasco, Cortes, &c. The women suffer great debility at the stomach on account of the excessive heat, ami they can never