The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
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.