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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
CHEUELUS, or CHAVELOS, a barbarous nationof Indians of the country of Marañon, who inhabitthe woods bordeiing upon the river Aguarico, tothe e. and in the vicinity of the lakes. Theyarc warlike, of a cruel and treacherous nature, andin eternal enmity with their neighbours. M. de laMartiniere will have it, that the name Chavelos isderived from the French wovd chevezLV, the menand the women both allowing and encouraging thegrowth of their hair till it reaches down to thewaist ; supposing, forsooth, that these Indiansmust either have known French when they werediscovered, or that their discoverers, at all events,must have been French.
CHEURA, a river of the province and govern-ment of Esmeraldas in the kingdom of Quito.It runs w. ?z. e. and e. washing the country of theancient Esmeraldas Indians: it afterwards enterstheriver of its name on the e. side, in lat. 1° 23' n.
CHIA, a settlement of the corregimiento of Zi-paquira in the Nuevo Reyno de Granada; cele-brated in the time of the Indians for having beenthe title of the kings ox npas of Bogota; the in-vestiture of which dignity was always transferredwith the greatest possible solemnity. It is of a verycold temperature, although salutary ; and issituate on a beautiful plain, on the shore of theriver Bogota, four leagues to the n. of Santa F6.
CHIAMOTO. See Seyota.
CHIAPA, a province and alcaldia mayor of thekingdom of Guatemala ; bounded on the«. by theprovince of Tabasco, c. by that of Vera Paz, w.by that of Oaxaca of Nueva Espaha, and s. e. bythat 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 Marariegosin 1531 : is divided into districts or alcaldiasmayores^ which are those of Zoques, Chontales,Los Llanos, and Xiquipila ; is of a warm andmoist temperature, although it has some parts inwhich the cold predominates. Its woods aboundwith large trees of pine, cypress, cedar, and wal-nut; and of others of a resinous kind, from which
are extracted aromatic gums, balsams, and liquidamber, tacamaca, copal, &c. It produces also, inabundance, maize, swine, honey, cotton, cochi-neal, which is only made use of for the purposeof dyeing the cotton ; also cacao, and much pepperand achoie, or the heart-leaved bixa'; also vfiriouskinds of domestic and wild birds, especially par-rots, 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 theyprize highly, and then restoring it to liberty; itbeing a capital offence, according to their laws, todestroy it. The sheep, goats, and pigs, whichhave been brought from Europe, have multipledin this province in a most extraordinary manner ;so also have horses, which are of such an esteemedbreed, that the colts are taken from hence to Mex-ico, a distance of 500 miles. In the woods breedmany lions, leopards, tigers, and wild boars,a great number of snakes, some being 20 feet inlength, and others of a beautiful crimson colour,streaked with black and white. Tlie territory is,for the most part, rugged and mountainous, andwatered by different rivers : none of these, how-ever, are of any particular consideration, althoughthat which bears the name of this province is themedium by which the aforesaid productions arecarried to the other provinces ; and although thisprovince may be accounted comparatively poor,from being without mines of gold or silver, it isnevertheless of the greatest importance, as beingthe outwork or barrier to New Spain, from the fa-cility with which this kingdom might be enteredby the river Tabasco. The capital is the royalcity of Chiapa, situate on a delightful plain. Itis the head of a bishopric, erected in 1538; andhas for arms a shield, upon which arc two sierras,with a river passing between them : above theone 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 CharlesV. in 1535. The cathedral is very beautiful. Itcontains three convents of the order of St. Francis,La Merced, and St. Domingo ; a monastery ofnuns, and five hermitages. Its population isscanty and poor, and the principal commerce con-sists in cocoa-nuts, cotton, wool, sugar, cochineal,and other articles. Its nobility, although poor, arevery proud, as having descended from some an-cient families of the first nobility of Spain ; suchas those of Mendoza, Velasco, Cortes, &c. Thewomen suffer great debility at the stomach on ac-count of the excessive heat, ami they can never