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Indians of Guiana and Venezuela

The tribes who inhabit the wilderness between the Amazon and the seacoast settlements at the north, upon the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic, have been classified as belonging to the same family with the aboriginal inhabitants of Brazil. The race has been denominated the “Brasilio Guaarani,” and has been divided into the nations of Guarani, Caribs, Tupi, and Botocudos. The Arawaks. First Seen By Columbus In Guiana one of the most prominent tribes is that of the Arawaks. These people inhabit a great extent of country directly back of the narrow strip of cultivated seacoast. Nearly the whole of their territory is a savage wilderness, in which the traveler in vain seeks for any evidence of progress, or any tokens of former civilization and prosperity. A few rude figures, marked upon the rocks in certain localities, are the only records of the numberless generations, which have passed away, leaving their descendants precisely in the situation of those who preceded them, and as hopeless or careless of improvement. The Arawaks were the first natives seen by Columbus, upon the occasion of his discovery of the continent of South America, in the summer of 1498. Entry Into The Gulf Of Paria The first land made was the island of Trinidad, at the mouth of the great river Orinoco. No Indians were seen upon the island by a party sent on shore, although unmistakable tokens of a recent and hasty retreat were visible. As the vessels approached the Serpent s Mouth, (the southern entrance to the gulf of Paria,) twenty-five of the natives made their appearance in a canoe. To the astonishment...

Aborigines of Mexico

The kingdoms of New Spain, as Central America and the adjoining country were first called, presented a far different aspect, when first discovered by Europeans, from that of the vast and inhospitable wilderness at the North and East. Instead of an unbroken forest, thinly inhabited by roving savages, here were seen large and well-built cities, a people of gentler mood and more refined manners, and an advancement in the useful arts which removed the inhabitants as far from their rude neighbors, in the scale of civilization, as they themselves were excelled by the nations of Europe. When first discovered and explored by Europeans, Mexico was a kingdom of great extent and power. Montezuma, chronicled as the eleventh, in regular succession, of the Aztec monarchs, held supreme authority. His dominions extended from near the isthmus of Darien, to the undefined country of the Ottomies and Chichimecas, rude nations living in a barbarous state among the mountains of the North. His name signified ” the surly (or grave) Prince,” a title justified by the solemn and ceremonious homage, which he constantly exacted. “When the Spaniards first appeared on the coast, the natural terror excited by such unheard-of conquerors was infinitely heightened by divers portents and omens, which the magicians and necromancers of the king construed as warnings of great and disastrous revolutions. This occasioned that strange, weak, and vacillating policy, which, as we shall hereafter see, he adopted towards Cortez. Comets, conflagrations, overflows, monsters, dreams, and visions, were constantly brought to the notice of the royal council, and inferences were drawn there from as to the wisest course to be pursued....

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