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


C A R I B E.

It was formerly a very rich tract of land, si-tuate on the shore of the river Cazanare, a streamwhich crosses and stops the pass into the coun-try and for this reason there was a consider-able establishment formed here by persons whobelonged to tlie curacy of Santa Rosa de Chire.Its temperature is hot, but it is very fertile, andabounds in productions, which serve to provide forthe other settlements belonging to the same mis-sions : at present it is under the care of the reli-gious order of St. Domingo.

CARIBANA, a large country, at the presentday called Guayana Maritania, or Nueva Anda-iucia Austral. It extends from the mouth of theriver Orinoco to the mouth of the Marahon ; com-prehends the Dutch colonies of Esquibo, Surinam,and Berbice, and the French colony of Cayenne.It takes its name from the Caribes Indians, whoinhabit it, and who are very fierce and cruel,although upon amicable terms with the Dutch.Nearly the whole of this province is uncultivated,full of woods and mountains, but watered bymany rivers, all of which run for the most partfrom s. to e. and empty themselves into the sea ;although some flow from s. ton. and enter the Ori-noco. The climate, though warm and humid, ishealthy ; the productions, and the source of itscommerce, are sugar-cane, some cacao, wild wax,and incense. The coast, inhabited by Europeans,forms the greater part of this tract of country, ofwhich an account will be found under the respec-tive articles.

Caribana, a port on the coast of Tierra Firme,in the province and government of Darien, at theentrance of the gulf of Uraba.

CARIBE, a small port of the coast of TierraFirme, in the province and government of Vene-zuela, to the w. of cape Codera.

Caribe, Caribbee, or Charaibes, someislands close upon the shore of the province andgovernment of Cumana, near the cape of TresPuntas. [The Caribbee islands in the West In-dies extend in a semicircular form from the islandof Porto Rico, the easternmost of the Antilles, tothe coast of S. America. The sea, thus inclosedby the main land and the isles, is called the Ca-ribbean sea; and its great channel leads n. zo. tothe head of the gulf of Mexico through the sea ofHonduras. The chief of these islands are, SantaCruz, Sombuca, Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Bar-tholomew, Barbuda, Saba, St. Eustatia, St. Chris-topher, Nevis, Antigua, Montserrat, Guadalupe,Dcseada, Mariagalante, Dominica, Martinica,St. Vincent, Barbadoes, and Grenada. These areagain classed into Windward and Leeward isles bv

seamen, with regard to the usual courses of shipsfrom Old Spain or the Canaries to Cartagenaor New Spain and Porto Bello. The geographi-caltablesand maps class them into Great and LittleAntilles ; and authors vary much concerning thislast distinction. See Antilles. The Charaibesor Caribbecs were the ancient natives of the Wind-ward islands ; hence many geographers confine theterm to these isles only. Most of these were an-ciently possessed by a nation of cannibals, the ter-ror of the mild anti inotfensive inhabitants of His-paniola, who frequently expressed to Columbustheir dread of these fierce invaders. Thus, whenthese islands were afterwards discovered by thatgreat man, they were denominated Charibbeanisles. The insular Charaibs are supposed to beimmediately descended from the Galibis Indians,or Charaibes of S. America. An ingenious andlearned attempt to trace back the origin of the Ca-ribes to some emigrants from the ancient hemis-phere may be found in Bryan Edwards ; and itis to the valuable work of this author that we areindebted for the following illustrations of the man-ners and customs of this people. — The Caribesare avowedly of a fierce spirit and warlike dispo-sition. Historians have not failed to notice theseamong the most distinguishable of their qualities.Dr. Robertson, in Note X Cl II. to the first vol. ofhisHistory of America, quotes from a MS. Historyof Ferdinand and Isabella, Avrittenby Andrew Ber-naldes, the cotemporary and friend of Columbus,the folloAving instance of the bravery of the Caribes :A canoe with four men, two Avomen, and a boy, un-expectedly fell in with Columbus’s fleet. A Spanish,bark with 25 men was sent to take them; and the fleet,in the mean time, cut off their communication withthe shore. Instead of giving way to despair, theCaribes seized their arms with imdauntcd resolu-tion, and began the attack, wounding several ofthe Spaniards, although they had targets as wellas other defensive armour ; and even after thecanoe was overset, it was with no little difficultyand danger that some of them Avere secured, asthey continued to defend themselves, and to usetheir bows with great dexterity while swimmingin the sea. Herrera has recorded the same anec-dote. Restless, enterprising, and ardent, it wouldseem they considered war as the chief end of theircreation, and the rest of the human race as theirnatural prey ; for they devoured, without re-morse, the bodies of such of their enemies (themen at least) as fell into their hands. Indeed,there is no circumstance in the history of mankindbetter attested than the universal prevalence ofthese practices among them. Columbus was not]

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much incommoded by mosquitos ; so that its po-pulation is much reduced, and those that remainapply themselves to the cultivation of sugar-canes,maize, yucas^ and plantains.

COLONCHE, a small settlement of Indians,of the district and jurisdiction of Santa Elena,in the government of Guayaquil, and kingdomof Quito ; situate on the s. shore of a river,from whence it takes its name, in lat. 1° 56' s.The said river rises in the mountains of thedistrict, and enters the S. sea, opposite the islandof La Plata.

Colonche, a small island of the S. sea, nearthe coast of the province and government of Gua-yaquil.

COLONIES OF THE English. See thearticles Virginia, Carolina, New England,New York, Jersey, Massachusetts, RhodeIsland, Pennsylvania, Nova Scotia ; of theJ3utch, see Surinam, Berbice, Corentin,CuRAZAo ; of the Portuguese, San Gabriel;of the French, Cayenne, St. Domingo, Mar-tinique; of the Danes, St. Thomas. (See gene-ral Tables of Dominions, &c. in the introductorymatter.)

COLOPO, a large river of the province andgovernment of Esmeraldas in the kingdom ofQuito. It runs from s. e. to n. w. at an almostequal distance between the rivers Esmeraldas andVerde, and runs into the S. sea, in the bay of SanMateo, in lat. 58' n.

COLOR, Cabo de, a cape on the coast of theprovince and captainship of Sergipé in Brazil. Itlies between the rivers Real and Ponica.

COLORADA, Punta, a point on the coast ofthe N. sea, and in the province and governmentof Venezuela, to the e. of the cape San Roman.

COLORADA, a river of tlie jurisdiction andalcaldta mayor of Penonomé, in the governmentof Panama, and kingdom of Tierra Firme. It risesin the mountains to the s. and enters the Pacificnear the settlement of Anton.

COLORADO, a settlement of the provinceand government of Tucumán, in the district andjurisdiction of the city of Salta, and s. s. e. of thesame.

Colorado, a settlement of the province and go-vernment of Santa Marta in the kingdom of TierraFirme; situate on the shore of the river of its name.

Colorado, a river of the province and corre-^imiento of Cuyo in the kingdom of Chile. Itrises in its cordillera, to the n. runs e. and spendsitself in various lakes, on account of the level oftlie country. The geographer Cruz errs in makingit enter the river Maipo.

Colorado, another, a large river of the pro-:vince and government of Sonora in NuevaEspana.

Colorado, another, a small river of the pro-vince and government of Santa Marta in thekingdom of Tierra Firme, which enters the greatriver Magdalena before you come to the townof Tamalameque.

Colorado, another, in the province and go-vernment of Louisiana, near the road wliich leadsto Mexico. It runs s. e. in a very large stream,and enters the sea in the bay of San Bernardo.

Colorado, a cape or point of land of the s.coast of St. Domingo, in the part possessed bythe French, between the bays of Tondo and Puer. .

Colorado, a mountain of the province andgovernment of Tucumán, on the shore of the riverSalado, and to the s. of the settlement of Nuestra'Sefiora de Buenas Costumbres. ;

COLORADOS, a barbarous nation of Indians,of the province and corregimiento of Tacunga inthe kingdom of Quito, who inhabit some moun-,tains of the same name, very craggy and rugged,abounding in animals and wild beasts, such asbears, lions, tigers, deer, squirrels, monkeys, andmarmosets. These Indians, although the greaterpart of them are reduced to the Catholic faith bythe extinguished company of the Jesuits, aregiven to superstition ; they are divided into twoparts, the one called the Colorados of Angamarca,since tlieir principal settlement bears this title, andthe other the Colorados of St. Domingo ; they now,belong to the province and government of Esme-raklas, and live retired in the woods, and upon thebanks of the rivers Toachi and Quininay, wherethe missionaries of the religion of St. Domingo ofQuito exercise their apostolical zeal. The princi-pal settlement of this place, being situate on the w.shore, is called St. Domingo. The commerce ofthese Indians, and by which they subsist, is incarrying to Guayaquil, the province by whichthey are bounded , w dod for making canoes and rafts,sugar-canes, achiote, and agi pepper, and bring-ing back in exchange cattle, fish, soap, and othernecessary eft'ects.

COLOSO, a settlement of the province andgovernment ©f Cartagena ; situate on the shore ofthe river Pechelin, to the s. s. w. of the townof Maria, to the jurisdiction^of which it apper-tains.

COLOTLAN, a settlement and head settlementof the alcaldia mayor of Mextitlan in Nueva Es-pana. It contains 240 families of Indians, and isthree leagues to the w. of its capital.

COLOTLIPAN, a settlement of the head set-

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shoal of rock, Vfliich runs into the sea at the en-trance of the river Maranan, in the same pro-vince.

CUMAIPI, a small river of the country of LasAmazonas, or part of Guayana possessed by thePortuguese. It runs c. under the equinoctial line,and enl^ers tlie Marailon, at its mouth or entranceinto the sea.

CUMANA, a province and government of S.America, called also Nueva Andalucia ; though,properly sj)eaking, the latter is only a part of Cu-inana, which contains in it also other provinces.It extends 76 geographical leagues from e. to w.from the point of Piedra, the oriental extremity ofTierra Firme, on the coast of Paria, and greatmouth of Drago, as far as the mouth of the riverUnare, the deep ravines of which form, as it Avere,limits to the w. between this province and that ofVenezuela; the waters of the aforesaid river run-ning for a great distance towards the serramaor settlement of Pariguan ; from wliich point theline of division is undecided as far as the riverOrinoco, 20 leagues to the s. From the w. to is 270 leagues, namely, from the sea-coast to thegreat river or country of Las Amazonas, the terri-tory of which is divided by the renowned riverOrinoco. On the e. it is terminated by the sea,which surrounds the coast of Paria, the gulfTriste, the mouths of the Orinoco, the riverEsquivo and Cayenne ; on the s. no. it is boundedby the Nuevo Reyno de Granada, which extendsits limits as far as the river Orinoco, being dividedby this river from Guayana. It is a continued ser-Tanitty running along the whole coast from e. to w.being nine or 10 leagues wide ; and although it isnot without some llanos or extensive plains, theseare but little known, and are entirely impassable,owing to the swamps and lakes caused by the in-undations of the rivers which flow down from thesierra. The sierra, in that part which looks to then. is barren, and in the vicinities of the coast thesoil is impregnated with nitre, and is unfruitful.The temperature is healthy but cold, especially atnight. The most common productions of this pro-vince are maize, which serves as bread, supplyingthe want of wheat, ^uca root, of which anotherkind of bread is made, cosabe, plantains, and otherfruits and pulse peculiar to America ; also cacao,although with great scarcity, and only in the n.part ; and sugar-canes, which are only cultivatedin a sufficient degree to supply the sugar consumedhere. It has some cattle ; and although there aremeans of breeding and feeding many herds, thenatives choose rather to supply themselves from


the neighbouring province of Barcelona, notwith-standing the difficulty of bringing them hither oversucli rugged and almost impassable roads. Tliewhole of the coast yields an immense abundance offish, also of shell fish of various kinds, and of themost delicate flavour. Of these the consumjitiouis very great, and a great proportion of them aresalted, and carried to the inland parts ; and to theprovince of Venezuela alone upwards of 6000quintals yearly. It has several convenient and se-cure ports and bays, and indeed the whole coast iscovered with them, as the sea is here remarkablycalm, and peculiarly so in the celebrated gulf ofCariaco, as also in the gulfs of the lake of Obispo,Juanantar, and Gurintar. It has many very abun-dant saline grounds, so much so, that the wholecoast may be looked upon as forming one ; sincein any part of it as many might be established aswere necessary ; and this without mentioning thatcelebrated one of Araya, and those of the gulfTriste, between the settlements of Iraca and Soro,and the Sal Negra, (Black Salt), used only by theIndians. In this province there are only threerivers of consideration, that of Cariaco, of Cumana,and of Guarapiche : the others which flow downfrom the serrama are of little note, and incorporatethemselves with the former before they arrive inthe valley. Its jurisdiction contains six settle-ments belonging to the Spaniards, seven belongingto the Indians, 13 to the missions supported bythe Aragonese Capuchin fathers, and 16 belong-ing to the regular clergy. [From the river Unareto'the city of Cumana, the soil is very fertile.From the Araya to the distance of between 20 and25 leagues, more to the e. the coast is dry, sandy,and unfruitful. The soil is an inexhaustible mineboth of marine and mineral salt. That which isnear the Orinoco is fit only for grazing, and this isthe use to which it is put. It is here that all thepens of the province are kept. All the rest of thiscountry is admirably fertile. The prairies, thevalleys, the hills, proclaim by their verdure and bythe description of the produce, that nature has de-posited here the most active principles of vegetablelife. The most precious trees, the mahogany, theBrazil and Campechy woods, grow even up to thecoast of Paria ; and there are found here manyrare and agreeable birds. In the interior of the go-vernment of Cumana are mountains, some of Avhichare very high : the highest is the Tumeriquiri,which is 936 fathoms above the surface of the sea.The cavern of Guacharo, so famous among the In-dians, is in this mountain. It is immense, andserves as an habitation for thousands of night birds, 14 B 2

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