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Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.

Page 209

zonian rivers, but we were obliged to cut down everything that was not absolutely indispensable.
  Before leaving we prepared for shipment back to the museum some of the bigger skins, and also some of the weapons and utensils of the Indians, which Kermit had collected. These included woven fillets, and fillets made of macaw feathers, for use in the dances; woven belts; a gourd in which the sacred drink is offered to the god Enoerey; wickerwork baskets; flutes or pipes; anklet ratles; hammocks; a belt of the kind used by the women in carrying the babies, with the weaving-frame. All these were Parecís articles. He also secured from the Nhambiquaras wickerwork baskets of a different type and bows and arrows. The bows were seven feet long and the arrows five feet. There were blunt-headed arrows for birds, arrows with long, sharp wooden blades for tapir, deer, and other mammals; and the poisoned wararrows, with sharp barbs, poison-coated and bound on by fine thongs, and with a long, hollow wooden guard to slip over the entire point and protect it until the time came to use it. When people talk glibly of “idle” savages they ignore the immense labor entailed by many of their industries, and the really extraordinary amount of work they accomplish by the skilful use of their primitive and ineffective tools.
  It was not until early in the afternoon that we started into the “sertão,”  1 as Brazilians call the wilderness. We drove with us a herd of oxen for food. After going about fifteen miles we camped beside the swampy headwaters