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to the sources of the Rio Blanco. What a difference between the figure, physiognomy, and physical constitution of these Caribs*, who ought to be accounted one of the most robust nations on the face of the earth, and are not to be confounded with the degenerate Zambos, formerly called Caribs in the island St. Vincent, and the squat bodies of the Chayma Indians of the province of Cumana! What a difference of form between the Indians of Tlascala and the Lipans and Chichimecs of the northern part of Mexico!
The Indians of New Spain have a more swarthy complexion than the inhabitants of the warmest climates of South America. This fact is so much the more remarkable, as in the race of Caucasus, which may be also called the European Arab race, the people of the south have not so fair a skin as those of the north. Though many of the Asiatic nations who inundated Europe in the sixth century had a very dark complexion, it appears, however, that the shades of colour observable among the white race are less owing to their origin or mixture than to the local influence of the climate. This influence appears to have almost no effect on the
* The great nation of the Caribs, or Caraibs, who, after having exterminated the Cabres, conquered a considerable part of South America, extended in the 16th century from the equator to the Virgin Islands. The few families who existed in our times in the Caribbee Islands, recently transported by the English, were a mixture of true Caribs and negros.
Americans and negros. These races, in which there is an abundant deposition of carburetted hydrogen in the corpus mucosum or reticulatum of Malpighi, resist in a singular manner the impressions of the ambienti air. The negros of the mountains of Upper Guinea are not less black than those who live on the coast. There are, no doubt, tribes of a colour by no means deep among the Indians of the new continent, whose complexion approaches to that of the Arabs or Moors. We found the people of the Rio Negro swarthier than those of the Lower Orinoco, and yet the banks of the first of these rivers enjoy a much cooler climate than the more northern regions. In the forests of Guiana, especially near the sources of the Orinoco, are several tribes of a whitish complexion, the Guaicas, Guajaribs, and Arigues, of whom several robust individuals, exhibiting no symptom of the asthenical malady which characterises albinos, have the appearance of true Mestizoes. Yet these tribes have never mingled with Europeans, and are surrounded with other tribes of a dark brown hue. The Indians in the torrid zone who inhabit the most elevated plains of the Cordillera of the Andes, and those who under the 45° of south latitude live by fishing among the islands of the archipelago of Chonos, have as coppery a complexion as those who under a burning climate cultivate bananas in the narrowest and deepest vallies of the equinoxial region. . We must add, that the Indians of the
mountains are clothed, and were so long before the conquest, while the aborigines who wander over the plains go quite naked, and are consequently always exposed to the perpendicular rays of the sun. I could never observe that in the same individual those parts of the body which were covered were less dark than those in contact with a warm and humid air. We every where perceive that the colour of the American depends very little on the local position in which we see him. The Mexicans, as we have already observed, are more swarthy than the Indians of Quito and New Gre. nada, who inhabit a climate completely analogous; and we even see that the tribes dispersed to the north of the Rio Gila are less brown than those in the neighbourhood of the kingdom of Guatimala. This deep colour continues to the coast nearest to Asia. But under the 5 +° 10' of north latitude, at Cloakbay, in the midst of copper coloured Indians with small long eyes, there is a tribe with large eyes, European features, and a skin less dark than that of our peasantry. All these facts tend to prove that notwithstanding the variety of cli. mates and elevations inhabited by the different races of men, nature never deviates from the model of which she made selection thousands of years ago. .
My observations on the innate colour of the aborigines differ in part from the assertions of Michikinakoua, the celebrated chief of the Miamis, called by the Anglo-American's little crook-back (Petite-Tortue), who communicated so much valuable information to M. Volney. He asserted o that the children of the Canada Indians were born as white as Europeans; that the adults are darkened by the sun, and the grease and the juices of herbs with which they rub their skin; and that that part of the waist of the females which is perpetually covered is always white*.” I have never seen the Canada nations of which the chief of the Miamis speaks ; but I can affirm that in Peru, Quito, on the coast of Caraccas, the banks of the Orinoco, and in Mexico, the children are never born white, and that the Indian Caciques, who enjoy a certain degree of ease in their circumstances, and who remain clothed in the interior of their houses, have all the parts of their body (with the exception of the hollow of their hand and the sole of their foot) of the same brownish red or coppery colour t.
* Volney, Tablcau du climot et du Sol des Etats-Unis, vol. ii. p. 435.
+ This account of little crook-back is partly confirmed by Father Gumilla, who says that the Indians remain white for several days after they are born, with the exception of a small spot, acia la parte posterior de la cintura, of an obscure coloar. I have seen and examined that spot, says he, repeatedly. “Al nacer aquellos niños son blancos por algunos dias. Nacen los Indiecillos con una mancha acia la parte posterior de la cintura, de color obscuro, con viso de entre morado y pardo, la qual se va desvaneciendo, al passo que la criatura va perdiendo el color
The Mexicans, particularly those of the Aztec and Otomite race, have more beard than I ever saw in any other Indians of South America. Almost all the Indians in the neighbourhood of the capital wear small mustachios; and his is even a mark of the tributary cast. These mustachios, which modern travellers have also found among the inhabitants of the north-west coast of America, are so much the more curious, as celebrated naturalists have left the question undetermined, whether the Americans have naturally no beard and no hair on the rest of their bodies, or whether they pluck them carefully out. Without entering here into physiological details, I can affirm that the Indians who inhabit the torrid zone of South America have generally some beard ; and that this beard increases when they shave themselves, of which we have seen examples in the missions of the capuchins of Caripe, where the Indian sextons wish to resemble the monks their masters. But many individuals are born entirely without beard or hair on their bodies.
M. de Galeano, in the account of the last Spanish expedition to the Straits of Magellan *,
blanco, y adquiriendo el suyo natural. Esta seila ò mancha es cierta, y cosa que tengo výsta, y examinada repetidas veces: su tamaño es poco mas, ò menos del espacio que occupa un peso duro de nueva fabrica. -Gumilla, Orinoco illustrado. Vol. i. p. 82. Trans.
* Viaje al Estrecho de Magellanes, p. 331. !