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The papoose
Vol. I. No. 2. (January, 1903)

A Brazilian collection,   pp. 23-27


Page 27

The fact that these savages have considerable affection for
their children is manifested by the appearance of many toys
in the collection; among them being curious dolls made of the
roots of trees, miniature paddles and even small canoes exact
fac-similes of the larger barks made by burning out the trunk
of a tree and scouring the inside smooth with stone and sand.
The Xingu River is as long as the Ohio and the Mononga-
hela and is navigable 150 miles from its mouth. A recent
traveler in that region has reported the discovery of some
remarkable stones known among the Indians as the " Ita
Marca" or music stone from the fact that if one is struck
with another stone they will give a sound like brass and if
struck at a certain angle will sound like a great bell touched
lightly with the handle of a knife. These stones are en-
graved with pictures which have evidently been cut with a
granite point, and filled with red color which remains intact
today. The present inhabitants of that region know abso-
lutely nothing of the origin of these writings or their meaning.
The Juranas of the Xingu region have peculiar musical
chants, a few of which are here given. In these chants one
line is repeated many times before the singer begins the next.
The Chant of the Serpent
The serpent's tooth enters the back of the tapir,
The blood runs, the blood runs.
The Chant of the Cauata
I eat the fruit of the Capari,
I balance myself with my son upon my back,
The fruit is in my hand.
Still another tree animal is supposed to sing:
I drink the wine of the mombin and I am drunk,
I drink the wine of the cajou and I am not drunk.
In their religious dances, these tribes play a sort of a flute with the
nose.
Dr. Jose Bach recently reported the discovery of a
primitive telegraphic apparatus among the Catuquinaru In-
dians of the province of Amazonas. After considerable pur-
suasion he was able to obtain one of the instruments and
upon taking it apart found it to be composed of rubber, hide,
bone fragments, mica dust, resin, and sand arranged as a
drum :
These Indians live in little settlements lying at distances
about a mile apart north and south. The telegraphic instru-
ment, called by them " Cambarysu " is placed in the ground
in the lodge of the chief of each of the settlements. When
a message is to be transmitted throughout the tribe the head
of one community strikes the top of the instrument with his
club in accordance with some secret telegraphic code, and the
sound is transmitted through the earth to the next settlement
and is in that way repeated along the chain of settlements.
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