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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
finger, but of so hard a texture, that, when split, they cut exactly like a knife. These Indians speak the Tchicachan language, and with the other nations are in alliance against the Iroquees.
ABERCORN, a town of the province and colony of New Georgia, on the shore of the river Savannah, near where it enters the sea, and at a league's distance from the city of this name. [It is about 30 miles from the sea, 5 miles from Ebenezer, and 13 N W of Savannah.]
ABIDE, mountains, or serrania, of the province and government of Cartagena. They run from W to N E from near the large river of Magdalena to the province of Chocó, and the S. Sea. Their limits and extent are not known, but they are 20 leagues wide, and were discovered by Capt. Francisco Cesar in 1536; he being the first who penetrated into them, after a labour of 10 months, in which time he had to undergo the most extreme privations and excessive perils ; not that these exceeded the hardships which were endured by the licentiate Badillo, who entered upon its conquest with a fine army.
ABIGIRAS, a settlement of Indians, one of the missions, or a reduction, which belonged to the regular order of the Jesuits, in the province and government of Mainas, of the kingdom of Quito ; founded in the year 1665, by the father Lorenzo Lucero, on the shore of the river Curarari, 30 leagues from its mouth, and 240 from Quito.
[ABINGDON, a town at the head of the tide waters of Bush river, Harford county, Maryland, 12 miles SW from Havre-de-Grace, and 20 NE from Baltimore. Cokesbury college, instituted by the methodists in 1785, is in this town. Lat. 39° 27' 30" N Long. 76° 20' 35" W.]
[another, the chief town of Washington county, Virginia, contained but about 20 houses in 1788, and in 1796 upwards of 150. It is about 145 miles from Campbell's station, near Holston; 260 from Richmond in Virginia, in a direct line, and 310 as the road runs, bearing a little to the S of W Lat. 36° 41' 30" N Long. 81° 59' W.]
Abipi, a small settlement of the jurisdiction of Muzo, and corregimiento of Tunja, in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada. It is of a hot temperature, producing some wheat, maize, yucas, plantains, and canes ; it has been celebrated for its rich mines of emeralds, which are, however, at present abandoned from want of water; it is nearly three leagues distant from the large mine of Itoco.
ABIPONES, a nation of barbarous Indians, of the province and government of Tucuman, inhabiting the S shores of the river Bermejo. Their number once exceeded 100000; but they are certainly at present much reduced. They go naked, except that the women cover themselves with little skins, prettily ornamented, which they call queyapi. They are very good swimmers, of a lofty and robust stature, and well featured: but they paint their faces and the rest of their body, and are very much given to war, which they carry on chiefly against such as come either to hunt or to fish upon their territory. Their victims they have a custom of sticking upon lofty poles, as a landmark, or by way of intimidation to their enemies. From their infancy they cut and scarify their bodies, to make themselves hardy. When their country is inundated, which happens in the five winter months, they retire to live in the islands, or upon the tops of trees: they have some slight notion of agriculture, but they live by fishing, and the produce of the chase, holding in the highest estimation the flesh of tigers, which they divide among their relations, as a sort of precious relic or dainty ; also asserting that it has the properties of infusing strength and valour. They have no knowledge either of God, of law, or of policy; but they believe in the immortality of the soul, and that there is a land of consummate bliss, where they shall dance and divert themselves after their death. When a man dies, his widow observes a state of celibacy, and fasts a year, which consists in an abstinence from fish: this period being fulfilled, an assembly run out to meet her, and inform her that her husband has given her leave to marry. The women occupy themselves in spinning and sewing hides; the men are idlers, and the boys run about the whole day in exercising their strength. The men are much addicted to drunkenness, and then the women are accustomed to conceal their husband's weapons, for fear of being killed. They do not rear more than two or three children, killing all above this number.
Abisca, an extensive province of the kingdom of Peru, to the E of the Cordillera of the Andes, between the rivers Yetau and Amarumago, and to the S of Cuzco. It is little known, consisting entirely of woods, rivers, and lakes; and hither many barbarous nations of Indians have retired, selecting for their dwelling places the few plains which belong to the province. The Emperor Yupanqui endeavoured to make it subservient to his controul, but without success: the same disappointment awaited Pedro de Andia in his attempt to subjugate it in the year 1538.