Page:First Voyage Round the World.djvu/122

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44
DESCRIPTION OF BRAZIL.

we felt greater heat, as much as when we were on the equinoctial line.

The said country of Verzin is very abundant in all good things, and is larger than France, Spain, and Italy together. It is one of the countries which the King of Portugal has conquered [acquired]. Its inhabitants are not Christians, and adore nothing, but live according to the usage of nature, rather bestially than otherwise. Some of these people live a hundred, or a hundred and twenty, or a hundred and forty years, and more; they go naked, both men and women. Their dwellings are houses that are rather long, and which they call "boy"; they sleep upon cotton nets, which they call, in their language, "amache." These nets are fastened to large timbers from one end of their house to the other. They make the fire to warm themselves right under their bed. It is to be known that in each of these houses, which they call "boy," there dwells a family of a hundred persons, who make a great noise. In this place they have boats, which are made of a tree, all in one piece, which they call "canoo." These are not made with iron instruments, for they have not got any, but with stones, like pebbles, and with these they plane[1] and dig out these boats. Into these thirty or forty men enter, and their oars are made like iron shovels: and those who row these oars are black people, quite naked and shaven, and look like enemies of hell. The men and women of this said place are well made in their bodies. They eat the flesh of their enemies, not as good meat, but because they have adopted this custom. Now this custom arose as follows: an old woman of this place of Verzin had an only son, who was killed by his enemies, and, some days afterwards, the friends of this woman captured one of the said enemies who had put her son to death, and brought him to where she was. Immediately the said old woman, seeing the

  1. Rabotent.