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The geographical and historical dictionary of America and the West Indies [volume 1]
[into two or three points, which they call that/, andspecify the number by saying, epu thoy-gei tnn enpiaxin, “ what I am going to say is divided intotv\o points.” They employ in their oratory se-veral kinds of style, but the most esteemed is therachidugiin, a word equivalent to academic.
19. /befry.— Their poets are called gempin,lords of speech. This expressive name is well ap-]died to them, since, possessing that strong enthu-siasm excited by passions undebilitated by the re-straints and refinements of civil life, they follow noother rules in their compositions than the impulseof their imaginations. Of course, their poetry ge-nerally contains strong and lively images, boldfigures, frequent allusions and similitudes, noveland forcible expressions, and possesses the art ofmoving and interesting the heart by exciting itssensibility. Every thing in it is metaphorical andanimated, and allegory is, if we may use the ex-pression, its very soul or essence. The principalsubject of the songs of the Araucanians is the ex-ploits of their heroes. Their verses are composedmostly in stanzas of eight or eleven syllables, ameasure which appears most agreeable to the hu-man ear. They are blank, but occasionally arhyme is introduced, according to the taste orcaprice of the poet.
20. Medical The Araucanians have three
kinds of physicians, the anipives, the vi/eus, andthe machis. The ampixes, a word equivalent toempirics, are the best. They employ in their curesonly simples, arc skilful herbalists, and have somevery good ideas of the pulse, and the other diagnos-tics. The vileus correspond to the regular piiy-sicians. Their principal theory is, that all conta-gious disorders proceed from insects, an opinionheld by many yjhysicians in Europe. For thisreason, they generally give to epidemics the nameof cut am pirn, that is to sny, vermiculous disorders,or diseases of worms. The machis are a supersti-tious class, that are to be met with among all thesavage nations of both continents. They maintaintliat all serious disorders proceed from witchcraft,and pretend to cure them by supernatural means,for which reason they are employed in desperatecases, when the exertions of the ampixes or thevileus are ineffectual. Their mode of cure is de-nominated machitun, and consists in the followingidle ceremonies, which are always performed in thenight. The room of the sick person is lighted witha great number of torches; .and in a corner of it,among several branches of laurel, is placed a largebough of cinnamon, to which is suspended themagical drum ; near it is a sheep ready for sacri-fice, The machi directs the women who are pre-
sent to sing with a loud voice a doleful song, ac-companied with the sound of some little drums,which they beat at the same time. In the meanwhile he fumigates three times with tobacco smokethe branch of cinnamon, the sheep, the singers, andthe sick person. After this ceremony he kills thesheep, takes out the heart, and after sucking theblood, fixes it upon the branch of cinnamon. Henext approaches the patient, and by certain charmspretends to open his belly to discover the poisonwhich has been given him by the pretended sor-cerer. He then takes the magical drum, which hebeats in concert to a song sung by himself and thewomen, who follow him round the room in proces-sion ; when, all at once, he falls to the ground likea maniac, making frightful gesticulations and hor-rible contortions of his body, sometimes wildlyopening his eyes, then shutting them, appearinglike one possessed of an evil spirit. During thisfarcical scene, the relations of the sick interrogatethe machi upon the cause of the malady. To thesequestions the fanatical impostor replies in such amanner as he believes best calculated to promotethe deception, either by naming, as the cause ofthe malady, some person of whom he wishes to berevenged, or expressing himself doubtfully as tothe success of his incantations. In this mannerthese diabolical mountebanks become very fre-quently the cause of horrible murders ; as the re-lations of the sick, supposing the accusation true,put to death without pity those accused of thesepractices, and sometimes involve in their revengethe whole family, should they not be strong enoughto resist their violence. But these malicious fo-menters of discord are careful never to accuse theprincipal families. The machis, though not in-vested with the sacerdotal character, like the ph^'si-cians of most other savage nations, greatly resem-ble in their impostures the shamanis of Kamschatka,the woAArs of Africa, and the piachis of Orenoque,whose tricks are accurately described by the Abbe(lili, in his History of the Orinokians. Thesephysicians, notwithstanding the different systemsthey pursue, sometimes meet to satisfy the solici-tude or the vanity of the relations of the sick ; buttheir consultations, which are called thauman,have generally the same issue as those of the physi-cians of Europe. They have besides these otherkinds of professors of medicine. The first, whomay be styled surgeons, are skilful in replacing dis-locations, in repairing fractures, and in curingwounds and ulcers : they are calletl gutarve,possess real merit, and often perform wonderfulcures. But this is by no means the case with theothers, called cupove, from the verb cupon, to ana-]
C U Q
llio Naipi to Cartagena. The same way offersthe advantage of a very quick communication be-tween Cadiz and Lima. Instead of dispatchingcouriers by Cartagena, Santa Fe, and Quito, orby Buenos Ayres and Mendoza, good quick-sail-ing packet-boats might be sent from Cupica toPeru. If this plan were carried into execution,the viceroy of Lima would have no longer to waitfive or six months for the orders of his court. Be-sides, the environs of the bay of Cupica aboundswith excellent timber fit to be carried to Lima.We might almost say that the ground betweenCupica and the mouth of the Atrato is the onlypart of all America in which the chain of theAndes is entirely broken.]
CUQUIO, the alcaldia mayor and jurisdictionof Nueva Espana, in the kingdom of Nueva Ga-licia, and bishopric of Guadalaxara ; is one of themost civilized and fertile, abounding in fruits andseeds, and being of a mild temperature. It iswatered by three rivers, which are the Verde onthe e. the Mesquital on the w. and the Rio Grandeon the s. in which last the two former becomeunited.
The capital is the settlement of its name, in-habited by a large population of Indians, some
[CURA, with the surname of St. Louis de, issituate in a valley formed by mountains of a verygrotesque appearance ; those on the s. w. side arecapped with rocks. The valley is, however, fer-tile, and covered with produce, but the greaterpart of the property consists in animals. Thetemperature is warm and dry ; the soil is a reddishclay, which is extremely muddy in the rainy sea-sons ; the water is not limpid, although it is whole-some. The inhabitants are 4000, governed bya cabildo. In the church is an image of our Ladyof Valencianosy the claim to which was long asubject of dispute between the curate of Cura andthat of Sebastian de los Reynos ; and after a SO yearscontest, it was ordered by the bishop Don Fran-cisco de Ibarro to be returned to this place, whenit was received in a most triumphant manner. Thiscity is in lat. 10° 2' ; twenty-two leagues s. xo. ofCaracas, and eight leagues s. e, of the lake ofValencia.]
CURACOA, or Curazao, an island of theN. sea, one of the Smaller Antilles ; situate nearthe coast of the province and government of Vene-zuela. It is 30 miles long, and 10 broad, and is theonly island of any consideration possessed by theDutch in America. It was settled in 1527, by theEmperor Charles V. as a property upon theliouse ofJuan de Ampues ; is fertile, and abounds in sugarand tobacco, large and small cattle, also in very goodsaline grounds, by which the other islands are pro-vided : but its principal commerce is in a contra-band trade carried on with the coasts of TierraFirme ; on which account its storehouses are filledwith articles of every description imaginable.Formerly its ports were seldom without vessels ofCartagena and Portobelo, which were employedn the Negro trade, bringing home annually froiu1000 to 15,000 Negroes, with various other ar-ticles of merchandise, although this branch ofcom-merce has, from the time that it was taken up bythe English, greatly declined. On the s. part of