Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
friendly, good-naturedat least superficiallyand very inquisitive. In feasting, the long reeds thrust through holes in their lips did not seem to bother them, and they laughed at the suggestion of removing them; evidently to have done so would have been rather bad mannerslike using a knife as an aid in eating ice-cream. They held two or three dances, and we were again struck by the rhythm and weird, haunting melody of their chanting. After supper they danced beside the camp-fire; and finally, to their delight, most of the members of our own party, Americans and Brazilians, enthusiastically joined the dance, while the colonel and I furnished an appreciative and applauding audience. Next morning, when we were awakened by the chattering and screaming of the numerous macaws, parrots, and parakeets, we found that nearly all the Indians, men and women, were gathered outside the tent. As far as clothing was concerned, they were in the condition of Adam and Eve before the fall. One of the women carried a little squirrel monkey. She put it up the big tree some distance from the tents; and when she called, it came scampering to her across the grass, ran up her, and clung to her neck. They would have liked to pilfer; but as they had no clothes it was difficult for them to conceal anything. One of the women was observed to take a fork; but as she did not possess a rag of clothing of any kind all she did do was to try to bury the fork in the sand and then sit on it; and it was reclaimed without difficulty. One or two of the children wore necklaces and bracelets made of the polished wood of the tucum palm, and of the molars of small rodents.
Next days march led us across a hilly country of good