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Title: The Conquest of the River Plate (1535-1555)
Author: Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar, 16th cent., Schmidel, Ulrich
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Conquest of the River Plate (1535-1555)" ***

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  Transcriber's Note: Every attempt has been made to replicate the
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                          WORKS ISSUED BY

                        The Hakluyt Society.

                           THE CONQUEST


                          THE RIVER PLATE.


                           THE CONQUEST


                          THE RIVER PLATE



                        PLATA AND PARAGUAI.



                            DE VACA.



                  With Notes and an Introduction,


                       LUIS L. DOMINGUEZ,

                      ACADEMY OF HISTORY.

                   BURT FRANKLIN, PUBLISHER
                      NEW YORK, NEW YORK

                         Published by
                        BURT FRANKLIN
                     514 West 113th Street
                       New York 25, N. Y.

                    REPRINTED BY PERMISSION

                     PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

                     THE HAKLUYT SOCIETY.

  CLEMENTS R. MARKHAM, Esq., C.B., F.R.S., President.

  Major-General Sir HENRY RAWLINSON, K.C.B., D.C.L., LL.D., F.R.S.
  Associé Étranger de L'Institut de France, Vice-President.

  Lord ABERDARE, G.C.B., F.R.S., late Pres. R.G.S.

  JOHN BARROW, Esq., F.R.S., F.S.A.


  Rear-Admiral LINDESAY BRINE.

  ROBERT BROWN, Esq., M.A., Ph.D.



  R. H. MAJOR, Esq., F.S.A.


  Admiral Sir F. W. RICHARDS, K.C.B.


  ERNEST SATOW, Esq., C.M.G., Minister Resident in Uruguay.

  S. W. SILVER, Esq.


  Prof. E. B. TYLOR, D.C.L.

  Sir CHARLES WILSON, R.E., K.C.B., K.C.M.G., F.R.S., D.C.L., and LL.D.

  E. DELMAR MORGAN, Honorary Secretary.


  INTRODUCTION                                                      xiii

  BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                       xli

  VOYAGE OF ULRICH SCHMIDT                                             1


  CHAP. I.--Of the Commentaries of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca         95

  CHAP. II.--How we departed from the island of Cabo Verde            98

  CHAP. III.--Which treats of how the governor arrived with his
    armada at the island of Santa Catalina, in Brazil, and
    disembarked his troops there                                     100

  CHAP. IV.--How nine Christians came to the island                  101

  CHAP. V.--How the governor hastened his journey                    104

  CHAP. VI.--How the governor and his people advanced into the
    interior                                                         106

  CHAP. VII.--Which treats of what happened to the governor
    and his people in his journey, and of the nature of the land     108

  CHAP. VIII.--Of the troubles that the governor and his people
    underwent on their way, and of a kind of pine tree, and of the
    fruits of that land                                              112

  CHAP. IX.--How the governor and his people found themselves
    starving, and appeased their hunger with worms from reeds        114

  CHAP. X.--Of the fear the Indians had of the horses                117

  CHAP. XI.--How the governor navigated the river Yguazú in
    canoes, and how, in order to avoid a cataract of that river,
    he carried the canoes one league by hand                         119

  CHAP. XII.--Which treats of the rafts that were made to carry
    the sick                                                         122

  CHAP. XIII.--How the governor arrived at the Ascension, where
    the Spaniards lived whom he had come to relieve                  124

  CHAP. XIV.--How the Spaniards, left behind through sickness, on
    the river Pequiry, arrived at the town of Ascension              126

  CHAP. XV.--How the governor, wishing to re-people Buenos
    Ayres, sent reinforcements to those who had come there in
    the ship '_Capitana_'                                            127

  CHAP. XVI.--How the natives kill and eat their enemies             129

  CHAP. XVII.--Of the peace which the governor concluded with
    the Indian Agazes                                                131

  CHAP. XVIII.--Of the complaints addressed to the governor by
    the pobladores against the officers of His Majesty               134

  CHAP. XIX.--How the governor received complaints against the
    Indian Guaycurús                                                 135

  CHAP. XX.--How the governor informed himself concerning
    the complaint                                                    136

  CHAP. XXI.--How the governor and his people crossed the
    river, and how two Christians were drowned                       139

  CHAP. XXII.--How the spies, by order of the governor, went
    in search of the Guaycurús                                       140

  CHAP. XXIII.--How the governor, pursuing the enemy, was
    informed that he was marching in front                           142

  CHAP. XXIV.--Of a panic among the Spaniards and Indians,
    caused by a tiger                                                143

  CHAP. XXV.--How the governor and his people overtook the
    enemy                                                            145

  CHAP. XXVI.--How the governor pursued the enemy                    147

  CHAP. XXVII.--How the governor and all his people returned
    to the town of Ascension                                         149

  CHAP. XXVIII.--How the Indian Agazes broke the peace               150

  CHAP. XXIX.--How the governor set at liberty one of the
    captive Guaycurús, and sent him to summon his fellow tribesmen   152

  CHAP. XXX.--How the Guaycurús came and submitted to His
    Majesty                                                          153

  CHAP. XXXI.--How the governor, after making peace with the
    Guaycurús, delivered the prisoners to them                       154

  CHAP. XXXII.--How the Apirús came and made a treaty of
    peace and submitted                                              156

  CHAP. XXXIII.--Of the judgment passed on the Agazes by the
    advice of the monks, captains, and other officers of His
    Majesty                                                          158

  CHAP. XXXIV.--How the governor sent relief to Buenos Ayres         159

  CHAP. XXXV.--How the three Spaniards and the Indians returned
    from their reconnaissance                                        161

  CHAP. XXXVI.--How wood was prepared for the construction
    of two brigantines and one caravel                               162

  CHAP. XXXVII.--How the Indians came again and offered their
    services                                                         163

  CHAP. XXXVIII.--How the settlement of Ascension was burned         166

  CHAP. XXXIX.--How Domingo de Irala arrived                         167

  CHAP. XL.--What Gonzalo de Mendoza wrote                           170

  CHAP. XLI.--How the governor helped those who were with
    Gonzalo de Mendoza                                               172

  CHAP. XLII.--How four Christians died of their wounds
    during this war                                                  173

  CHAP. XLIII.--How the friars took to flight                        175

  CHAP. XLIV.--How the governor took four hundred men on his
    voyage of discovery                                              177

  CHAP. XLV.--How the governor left part of the provisions he
    had brought with him                                             179

  CHAP. XLVI.--How he stopped to speak with the natives of
    another port and land                                            180

  CHAP. XLVII.--How he sent for an interpreter to treat with
    the Payaguás                                                     182

  CHAP. XLVIII.--How the horses were embarked in the port            183

  CHAP. XLIX.--How Juan de Ayolas entered the port where he
    and his Christians were killed                                   185

  CHAP. L.--How the interpreter and those who had promised to
    come failed to do so                                             188

  CHAP. LI.--How the Guaxarapos spoke with the governor              192

  CHAP. LII.--How the Indians come and establish themselves on
    the shore of the river                                           193

  CHAP. LIII.--How they erected three crosses at the mouth of
    the river Yguatú                                                 196

  CHAP. LIV.--How the Indians of the port of Los Reyes cultivate
    the soil                                                         199

  CHAP. LV.--How the Indians of Garcia settled in this place         202

  CHAP. LVI.--How they spoke with the Chaneses                       203

  CHAP. LVII.--How the governor sent to find out the Indians of
    Garcia                                                           204

  CHAP. LVIII.--How the governor held a council with his officers
    and informed them of what was passing                            205

  CHAP. LIX.--How the governor sent an expedition to the Xarayes     207

  CHAP. LX.--How the interpreters came back from the Xarayes         212

  CHAP. LXI.--How the governor decided on entering the country       215

  CHAP. LXII.--How the governor arrived at the Rio Caliente          216

  CHAP. LXIII.--How the governor sent to discover the house
    which was further on                                             218

  CHAP. LXIV.--How the interpreter returned from the Indian
    habitation                                                       219

  CHAP. LXV.--How the governor and his people returned to the
    port of Los Reyes                                                221

  CHAP. LXVI.--How the Indians would have killed those who
    remained at the port of Los Reyes                                222

  CHAP. LXVII.--How the governor sent Captain Mendoza in
    search of provisions                                             223

  CHAP. LXVIII.--How he sent a brigantine to discover the river
    of the Xarayes with Captain de Ribera                            225

  CHAP. LXIX.--How Captain Francisco de Ribera returned from
    his exploration                                                  228

  CHAP. LXX.--How Captain Francisco de Ribera reported of his
    discovery                                                        229

  CHAP. LXXI.--How the governor sent for Gonzalo de Mendoza          233

  CHAP. LXXII.--How Hernando de Ribera returned from his
    exploration along the river                                      236

  CHAP. LXXIII.--What befell the governor and his people in
    the port of Los Reyes                                            237

  CHAP. LXXIV.--How the governor, having arrived with his
    people at the town of Ascension, was made a prisoner             239

  CHAP. LXXV.--How the population assembled before the house
    of Domingo de Irala                                              243

  CHAP. LXXVI.--Of the tumults and disturbances that took
    place in the country                                             245

  CHAP. LXXVII.--How the governor was kept in prison                 247

  CHAP. LXXVIII.--How the insurgents ravaged the land and
    took possession of the property of the inhabitants               249

  CHAP. LXXIX.--How the monks left the country                       250

  CHAP. LXXX.--How they tortured those who were not on
    their side                                                       252

  CHAP. LXXXI.--How they wished to kill a sheriff who had
    made them a requisition                                          253

  CHAP. LXXXII.--How the insurgents gave the Indians permission
    to eat human flesh                                               254

  CHAP. LXXXIII.--How the insurgents had to write to His
    Majesty and send him a report                                    256

  CHAP. LXXXIV.--How they gave arsenic three times to the
    governor during the voyage                                       259

  NARRATIVE OF HERNANDO DE RIBERA                                    263

  INDEX                                                              271


  Map of South America in the XVI Century.


  Page   1, title, _for_ Von Straubingen, _read_ of Straubing.
   "    15, line 27, _for_ lakes ix, _read_ lake six.
   "    16, last line, _for_ salnaischo, _read_ saluaischo.
   "    24, note, _for_ for mof, _read_ form of.
   "    32, line 15, _for_ St. Catherine, _read_ Sta. Catharina.
   "    43, note, _for_ Guaragos, _read_ Guarayos.
   "    80, line 4, _for_ Schmiedel, _read_ Schmidt.
   "    83, note, _for_ Uruguai, _read_ Uruguay.
   "   106, line 18, _for_ Estropiñan, _read_ Estopiñan.
   "   107, line 4, _for_ Estropiñan, _read_ Estopiñan.


I HAVE the pleasure to present to the Hakluyt Society, in the
accompanying volume, the first two historians who wrote on the conquest
of the Rio de la Plata, which took place in the reign of Charles V, King
of Spain and Emperor of Germany.

The first of these was a German, a native of Straubing, in Bavaria,
whose name was Ulrich Schmidt. The second was a Spaniard, native of
Jerez de la Frontera in Andalusia, named Alvar Nuñez, better known by
the surname which he took from his mother, Doña Teresa Cabeza de Vaca.
This Alvar Nuñez was a grandson of Don Pedro Vera, who, in the time of
Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholics, undertook to conquer the Canary
Islands at his own cost. As his means, however, were insufficient for so
great an enterprise, he borrowed money of a Moorish banker upon pledge.
The security given by this inhuman father consisted of his two sons, the
younger of whom was the father of Alvar Nuñez; and this transaction,
characteristic of a soldier in those semi-barbarous times, seemed to
presage the singular adventures in which the son of the latter was
destined to take part.

Of the German's lineage nothing is known. I believe him to have been an
obscure individual, servant or agent, like the modern _commis voyageurs_
or commercial travellers, for one of the wealthy houses of commerce
established at Seville in the time of the Emperor, and concerning which
I shall have something to say by-and-by.

Both the German adventurer as well as the Andalusian cavalier gave their
names to the narratives of what happened to them in America, in the two
books published together in the present volume.

       *       *       *       *       *

Twelve years after the discovery of the river Plate in 1516, by Juan
Diaz de Solis, two Spanish expeditions explored its shores. One of these
had been sent out by the Emperor to India, under the orders of Sebastian
Cabot, and the other, under the command of the pilot Diego Garcia, to
take possession of that river. Cabot altered his course and went up the
Paraná till he arrived at the Rio Paraguai in 1527, and Garcia made the
same voyage the following year. Both these navigators shortly afterwards
returned to Spain, having only left a small colony at Sancti Spiritus,
in the neighbourhood of the present city of Rosario, which was soon
transferred to Iguape, on the Atlantic coast, very near the limit fixed,
by the treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, between the possessions of Spain
and Portugal.

When Cabot returned to Spain in 1530, and told of the pieces of silver
he had seen among the Indians of the Chaco, the King of Portugal sent
Martin Affonso de Souza to establish himself in the extreme south of his
possessions in Brazil; and this Portuguese captain, after examining
the coast of the ocean as far as the entrance of the Rio de la Plata,
founded at the close of the year 1531, in the island of San Vicente, the
first regular colony on that coast where now stands the little city of

The vicinity of these two rival colonies--the much smaller Spanish one
of Iguape, and the stronger Portuguese one in San Vicente--endangered
the peaceful and tranquil possession of those lands; and for this
reason the Spanish Government resolved on sending immediately a formal
expedition which should permanently occupy the north of the territory
belonging to it, according to the above-mentioned treaty, on that coast.
This expedition was placed under the orders of the first Adelantado
and Captain-General of the province of Rio de la Plata, Don Pedro de

With him sailed a ship belonging to some Flemish merchants established
in Seville, and in this vessel went their servant, or agent, one Ulrich
Schmidt, a native of Bavaria, whom the Spaniards called Schmidel, a
name which was Latinized, according to the custom of that time, into
Uldericus Faber.

This Bavarian remained in the province of the Rio de la Plata some
twenty years, taking an active, though obscure, part in the events of
the Spanish conquest of that part of America. In December 1552, he
returned to his native country, visiting Seville in September of the
following year, and Antwerp in January 1554. Thirteen years afterwards
there appeared in Germany, in a collection of voyages published at
Frankfort-on-Maine by Sebastian Franck, a narrative of Schmidt's voyage
under the following title:

"Warhafftige und liebliche Beschreibung etlicher fürnemen Indianischen
Landschafften und Insulen, die vormals in keiner Chronicken gedacht, und
erstlich in der schiffart Ulrici Schmidts von Straubingen, mit grosser
gefahr erkündigt, und von ihm selber auffs fleissigst beschrieben und

This is the book translated into English, for the first time, from
the original German, and now published by the Hakluyt Society. It is
unnecessary for me to say that the translation is not my work.

The historical period embraced by the voyage of Schmidt extends from
1535 to 1552, and refers to the governorship of Don Pedro de Mendoza,
of his successor, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, and to the principal part
taken in the events of that period by Captain Domingo Martinez de Irala,
under whose orders the author of the narrative continually served.
Irala, actuated by personal ambition, defeated the plans of Mendoza,
deserted Buenos Ayres, abandoned his second in command in the Chaco,
occasioning his death and that of all those who had accompanied him
across that great desert to the confines of Peru, and, when the
second Adelantado, Alvar Nuñez, arrived, opposed him by intrigues and
conspiracy till he contrived to depose and send him in chains to Spain,
under the insidious and calumnious accusation of having committed all
sorts of crimes.

Alvar Nuñez, after waiting judgment for eight years, was acquitted, and
recompensed by the king, and to justify himself before the world he
published a narrative of the events that had happened to him during his
term of office, viz., from 1541 to 1544.

This record, the first published on the conquest of the Rio de la Plata
and Paraguai, appeared in Valladolid in 1555, under the general title
"_Relacion y Comentarios de Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, de lo acaecido
en las dos jornadas que hizo à las Indias_." The _Relacion_ refers to
his adventures in Florida, and was first published in 1542,[1] while
the _Comentarios_ appeared as a second part of the new edition of
his voyages under the title just mentioned. This is the second book
contained in the present volume.

  [1] This part has been translated into English by Buckingham Smith,
  and published in Washington in 1851.

The _Voyage_ of Ulrich Schmidt, and the _Commentaries_ of Alvar Nuñez,
are, as it were, the flint and steel which, when struck together,
produce light.

The work of Schmidt, which in nearly all its details is in manifest
contradiction to that of Alvar Nuñez, was published twelve years after
the _Commentaries_, and was apparently written expressly to refute them,
taking up the defence of Domingo de Irala, who is the principal figure
of the picture, and whose seditious and immoral conduct had been
denounced by Alvar Nuñez. The Hakluyt Society, in bringing together
these two contemporary records of the Spanish conquest, leaves the
reader to pass his own judgment on the issues raised.

This Society had published in 1874 another narrative, similar to that of
Ulrich Schmidt, relating to the same historical period, the voyage of
Hans Stade, also a German adventurer, who visited the southern coast of
Brazil shortly after the sedition against Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca
in Paraguai. Though edited with notes and explanations by the gallant
Captain, afterwards Sir Richard Burton,[2] these have not thrown
the necessary light to show the motive of Stade's voyage, nor other
circumstances essential to form a clear and precise idea how this other
German adventurer is entitled to a place in the history of the Province
of the Rio de la Plata as well as in that of the conquest of Brazil.

  [2] Sir Richard Burton died in Trieste on the 20th October last, while
  holding the office of H.B.M. Consul.

When Alvar Nuñez returned a prisoner to Spain, the king appointed
another Adelantado to replace him and continue the Spanish colonisation
from which he had been so violently severed. This new governor of the
Rio de la Plata was Don Juan de Sanabria, who died before starting on
the voyage, and only after many difficulties his son, Don Diego, sailed
from San Lucar de Barrameda in 1549 with three ships. In one of these
Hans Stade embarked, on conditions identical with those under which
Ulrich Schmidt had gone to America with Don Pedro de Mendoza. The armada
of Sanabria was dispersed on the voyage; its chief arrived at the
Antilles, and only two of the ships reached their destination.

Sanabria, just like Alvar Nuñez, bore the king's orders to establish
himself in the ports of the Atlantic coast, in proximity with the
Portuguese colony of San Vicente, to take possession of the island of
Santa Catalina, to found in its neighbourhood a colony on the border
of the sea, in order to penetrate thence by land, crossing the whole
province of Guaira, or Paraná, till he arrived at Paraguai.

The enterprise of Sanabria was, however, very unfortunate. The
colonists, when their resources failed them, divided. A considerable
number took refuge in the colony of San Vicente, impelled by necessity,
and seduced by the Portuguese governor, Thomé de Souza. Hans Stade went
with these, and as he understood something of gunnery, abandoned the
Spaniards, and entered the Portuguese service as an artilleryman, when
his chiefs and companions returned to Spanish territory and founded the
colony of San Francisco, in 26° 20′ of south latitude.

The first seventeen chapters of Stade's book refer to his stay in
the province of Sanabria; the remainder to the time he passed in San
Vicente, and his captivity among the Tupis who inhabited the surrounding

These three books are, as it were, fragments of the history of the first
few years of the conquest of one part of South America. The series,
arranged chronologically, is as follows:--

  1. _The Voyage of Ulrich Schmidt_, from 1534 to 1554;

  2. _The Commentaries of Alvar Nuñez_, from 1541 to 1544;

  3. _The Captivity of Hans Stade_, from 1547 to 1554.

The special merit of these three works is that their authors were
eye-witnesses and actors in the events they narrate.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has seemed to me interesting and necessary to add to this volume an
ethnographical map, which shows what were the indigenous tribes which
occupied the country described by Schmidt, and the places in which the
Guaraní family lived in that part of the province of Rio de la Plata,
colonised in those days by the Spaniards. This map also shows, for
the first time in the history of cartography, the demarcation of this
same province entrusted by the King of Spain to his Adelantados, or
governors, and the route opened by Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca on his
journey from the island of Santa Catalina to Asuncion, on the Paraguai.

       *       *       *       *       *

The name of Rio de la Plata, given by the King of Spain to a territory
so vast, and differing so widely now from what it was at the time of
the conquest, creates some confusion and uncertainty in the mind of
the reader of the events of that period. This can only be removed by
a map which shows clearly what territories were held by the Spanish
and Portuguese by virtue of the treaty of Tordesillas. Those who are
cognisant of it are but few in number. When speaking or writing of the
conquest of America, it is generally believed that the only title upon
which were based the conquests of Spain and Portugal was the famous
Papal Bull of partition of the Ocean, of 1493. Few modern authors take
into consideration that this Bull was amended, upon the petition of the
King of Portugal, by the above-mentioned treaty, signed by both Powers
in 1494, augmenting the portion assigned to the Portuguese in the
partition made between them of the continent of America. The arc of
meridian fixed by this treaty as a dividing line, which gave rise,
owing to the ignorance of that age, to so many diplomatic congresses
and interminable controversies, may now be traced by any student of
elementary mathematics. This line is shown on the accompanying map, and
runs along the meridian of 47° 32′ 56″ west of Greenwich. The coast of
the South American continent between the equator and the vicinity of the
Tropic of Capricorn describes a great curve, closed on the west by the
aforesaid dividing line, which enters the sea a little south of San
Vicente, or Santos. West of this line were the Spanish possessions. A
clear understanding on this point removes the confusion occurring at the
present day, when the situation of affairs has undergone so marked a
change, and explains how it is that Don Pedro de Mendoza, Alvar Nuñez,
and Hans Stade remained at points of the coast called of Brazil,
mentioned by those travellers; and how Alvar Nuñez, without leaving the
province under his jurisdiction and command, marched through Spanish
territory, from Santa Catalina, across the whole of Guaira, or province
of Paraná, to Asuncion on the Paraguai. The name "Brazil", or "tierra
del Brasil", at that time referred only to the part of the continent
producing the dyewood so-called. Nearly two centuries later the
Portuguese advanced towards the south, and the name "Brazil" then
covered the new possessions they were acquiring, thus introducing the
confusion to which I have referred.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Voyage of Schmidt_ went through several editions, all incorrect,
and rendered more so by the so-called elucidations and notes by their
early editors. It was translated and published in Latin, English,
Spanish, and other languages. These translations, however, were not
made directly from the German, in which it was written, and thus the
inaccuracies contained in the original were increased as they were
turned into other idioms by persons who had no knowledge of the history,
nor the slightest notion of the language spoken by the natives of

The first translation was done into Latin by Professor Gotard Arthus,
for Theodore de Bry's _Collection of Voyages_, 1597; and when Levinus
Hulsius prepared his collection, in 1599, he found so many defects in
it, that, instead of adopting it, he preferred translating it afresh.
This version, in which there are many alterations and suppressions of
the original text, must in justice be described as not less defective
than the preceding one, without, however, being quite so bad. The Latin
version of Hulsius served for the subsequent translations into modern
languages--for instance, for that inserted by Purchas in his _Pilgrims_.

From the same collection of Hulsius the work of Schmidt was translated
from Latin into Spanish by Dr. Andreas Gonzalez de Barcia, and published
with his insignificant and incorrect notes in Madrid, 1737, in his
_Coleccion de Historiadores Primitivos de las Indias Occidentales_. This
is the version reproduced at Buenos Ayres a century later by Don Pedro
de Angelis, compiler and editor of the manuscripts of the Argentine
canon, Don Saturnino Segurola.

The translation now published by the Hakluyt Society, done directly from
the original German, has the merit of presenting the work genuine and
entire as it left the author's hands. And as he was led into many errors
of fact, proper names, geography, and chronology, the Society has
done me the honour to ask me to explain them by notes and this brief

       *       *       *       *       *

The expedition of Don Pedro de Mendoza to the Rio de la Plata, and all
the events referred to by Ulrich Schmidt, belong to the epoch of Charles
V, Emperor of Germany and King of Spain. Although he was the son of a
Spanish prince, this monarch was born at Ghent, and had been educated
by Flemings. His ministers, his counsellors, the bankers who supplied
him with the funds for his wars, were Flemings. Great was the favour
enjoyed in Spain and Portugal by those very wealthy bankers and
merchants, Fugger and Welzer of Augsburg, and Erasmus Schetzen of
Antwerp. The first two had opened branches of their business at Seville,
the centre at that time of trade with America, and the third had done
the same at Lisbon, the metropolis of the Portuguese colonies in the
Indies. The house of Erasmus Schetzen, as Hans Stade tells us, had sugar
factories in the recently colonised captaincy of San Vicente, since
converted into the province of San Pablo. One of his agents, Peter
Rosel, had established himself there, and had acquired, in the name of
Erasmus, the great factory established by the grantee, Captain-Major
Martin Affonso de Souza, together with other partners.[3] Charles V had
made a gift of the whole province of Caracas to the bankers Welzer, and
the affairs of the Fuggers were so vast that the family name was adopted
into the Castilian vernacular as _fucar_, explained by the dictionary of
the language to signify a person of great wealth.

  [3] Fray Gaspar da Madre de Deos, _Memorias para a historia da
  Capitania de S. Vicente_, 1797.

Charles V had inaugurated his reign by showing his partiality for the
Flemings, by whom he was surrounded, bestowing on the Baron de la
Bresa, his counsellor and majordomo mayor, the first contract for the
exclusive privilege of introducing negro slaves into the West Indies,
against the advice of his Spanish counsellors, who rejected the project
of the famous protector of the Indians, Bartholomé de las Casas.[4]
These favours shown to the Flemings gave rise to that picturesque phrase
of Pedro Martyr de Anghiera, that the Flemings had gone with Charles V
to Spain to destroy the vine after having gathered the vintage.[5]

  [4] Antonio de Herrera, _Historia General de los Hechos de los
  Castellanos, etc._, Década 2, Libro 2, cap. 20; Quintana, _Vida de
  las Casas_.

  [5] P. Martyr, _Opus Epistolarum_, carta 703.

This explains how the Spanish Government, exclusive and jealous of all
foreign interference in its affairs in the Indies, allowed Germans and
Flemings, with their vessels, their merchandise, and their men, to take
part in such considerable numbers in the expedition of Don Pedro de
Mendoza. The Flemings were at that time as much Charles's subjects as
the Spaniards, and the owners of the ships in which Schmidt and his
countrymen sailed, were bankers--allies and favourites of the young

It appears that Schmidt was not enlisted among the soldiers of Mendoza,
but came as an _employé_ of the house of Welzer and Niedhart, who owned
the vessel which took him. Its factor was the Fleming Heinrich Paine,
and it was manned by eighty Germans. The cargo was destined to exchange
for the silver which Sebastian Cabot, after his recent voyage of
discovery, had made it believed in Spain, abounded among the Indians he
had encountered on the Paraguai. The Rio de Solis then took the name of
Rio de la Plata, and it was this magic word that raised the desires of
so many in Spain to take part in the expedition of Don Pedro de Mendoza,
that it was necessary to close the lists of applicants and hasten the
departure of the armada, in order to calm the fever of emigration which
prevailed on this occasion among persons desirous of making their
fortunes rapidly. This expedition, as the historian Fernandez de Oviedo,
who saw it sail from Seville, expressed it, "was a company fit to make a
goodly show in Cæsar's army and in any part of the world."

Don Pedro de Mendoza began by establishing himself in the port of Los
Patos, at the southern extremity of the island of Santa Catalina, which
was included in his jurisdiction, as may be seen on the accompanying
map. He then passed to the Rio de la Plata, and, on the 11th June 1535,
laid the foundations of the city of Santa Maria de Buenos Aires. Soon
afterwards he nominated as his second in command his intimate friend,
Juan de Ayolas, and sent him with a detachment to explore the Rio
Paraná, and open a road by means of this river to the Pacific Ocean,
which was the advance or front limit of his province.

The brigantines, or little feluccas in which the explorer Ayolas set
forth, were under the orders of the Biscayan, Domingo Martinez de Irala,
and in his company went Schmidt, but it is unknown in what character.
In his book he acquaints us with the events that happened to that
expedition, and all those in which he took part, almost always in the
company of his captain, Irala, with whose fortunes he linked his own
from the beginning. Our only authority for this statement is the
adventurer himself who has given his name to the book. I know of no
document mentioning Schmidt, nor is he noticed by the chronicler
Francisco Lopez de Gomara, by his successor, Antonio de Herrera, in his
history of the Indies, or by Ruy Diaz de Guzman, himself born on the
Paraguai, a grandson of Domingo Martinez de Irala, or, finally, by Alvar
Nuñez in his _Commentaries_.

Schmidt relates that he was present at the foundation of Buenos Aires
and its desertion six years afterwards, by order of Irala, who possessed
himself of the command after the deaths of Don Pedro de Mendoza and his
lieutenant Ayolas. Schmidt was also present at the events which took
place during the governorship of the second Adelantado, Alvar Nuñez
Cabeza de Vaca, from 1541 to 1544. He assisted at his violent overthrow
and deportation under the direction of Irala, made all the journeys of
exploration which, starting from Asuncion, ascended the Rio Paraguai to
Matto Grosso, and explored all the country of the Cheriguanos, now known
by the name of Moxos and Chiquitos, to the confines of Peru. He remained
with Irala till the arrival on the Atlantic coast of the expedition of
the Adelantado Sanabria, with whom Hans Stade sailed to America.

At the end of twenty years of travels and strange adventures, of combats
with Indians, of anarchy, poverty, and disorder among the conquerors of
Paraguai, when Domingo de Irala, by force of audacity and machiavelism,
had definitely possessed himself of the government of this unfortunate
colony, obtaining, a short while afterwards, the royal title of
Governor, his faithful and inseparable companion Schmidt received a
letter from the banker Niedhart, transmitted to him from Seville by the
agent there of the wealthy Fugger, in which he begged him to return to
Antwerp. Schmidt obtained leave of absence from his chief, set out on
his journey, with six deserters and twenty of his Indian slaves, by the
rivers Paraguai and Paraná to the river Iguazú, and thence crossed the
province of Guaira by the route opened by Alvar Nuñez, arriving at the
Portuguese colony of San Vicente. Here he met with the agent of Erasmus
Schetzen, who gave him a passage to Lisbon in a vessel belonging to
his principal, which was laden with a cargo of sugar and brazil wood.
Schmidt landed at Antwerp on the 25th January 1554, as I have already

Hans Stade was a prisoner of the Tapiis, or Tupis, in the immediate
vicinity of San Vicente, when Schmidt passed that way on his homeward
journey, and only succeeded in obtaining his liberty one year later,
embarking at Rio de Janeiro on one of the French ships which trafficked
with the Indians occupying that magnificent bay. His adventures during
his captivity were published at Marburg in 1557. It is very strange,
therefore, that Schmidt should not make the slightest mention of his
countryman, though he also was acquainted with Peter Rosel, agent of
Erasmus Schetzen, in the Portuguese colony. It would seem most natural
that they should have spoken on the misfortunes that had befallen Stade,
and on the various fruitless efforts made to rescue him from captivity,
and as to the means to be employed in order to restore him to his
country. Not a word of all this do we find in Schmidt's narrative.

       *       *       *       *       *

The voyage of Ulrich Schmidt to the Rio de la Plata was published, as we
have seen, at Frankfort-on-Maine in 1567, in the collection of Sebastian
Franck, wherein also appeared for the second time that of Stade, side by
side with his countryman Schmidt's. This proves the interest taken in
these narratives of travel in those days of theological controversies
and religious wars, when the French Protestants were trying to set foot
in Brazil, while Villegaignon, under the protection of Coligny, was
taking possession of the port of Rio de Janeiro, one year after the
abdication of Charles V and the accession to the throne of the sombre
Philip II, whose tyranny became very soon insupportable in the Low
Countries, which fell under his dominion by inheritance from his

The publication of these travels answered to the propaganda against
Spain and the religious principles her soldiers were taking to the
New World. The work of Stade had been written by Dr. Johann Dryandri,
Professor of the University of Marburg, the centre of the ideas of
Luther. That of Schmidt was adopted and published by his countryman,
Sebastian Franck, who was a vehement Anabaptist, and by the Flemings de
Bry and his friend Hulsius, one of the most active advocates of Church
Reform, expelled from Ghent, his native place, by decree of the King of
Spain during the most critical period of the struggle maintained by the
Flemings for their national independence and their religious beliefs.[6]

  [6] J. Asher, _Bibliographical Essay on the Collection of Voyages and
  Travels edited and printed by Levinus Hulsius_.

In those times there existed no periodical press or newspaper. The
Spanish Government did not expose to the criticism of the world its
colonial policy; silence was its inviolable rule. Availing himself of
the right of his own defence, the Adelantado, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de
Vaca, deposed and accused by Irala and his party, had published, as
we have seen, the narrative of his Government of the Rio de la Plata.
Immediately afterwards there appeared in Germany the book of Ulrich
Schmidt, containing the charges against Alvar Nuñez and the defence
of the conduct of his enemy. These conquerors of Paraguai accused one
another of disgraceful immorality and incapacity for the enterprize
entrusted to them by the King. Ambition, as we gather from these
books, overcame in them all feelings of honour and duty; and violence,
sedition, perfidy, and bloodshed, were the means by which they sought
to attain their ends.

The publication of these recriminations in Protestant Europe, which
looked on with fear at the growth of the power of Spain by her conquests
in the Indies, was a natural incentive to those who groaned under
her yoke. Having no periodical press, they availed themselves of the
narratives of voyages, which were awakening curiosity with respect to
countries that had fallen under her dominion. Everything for them was
new and wonderful. The unknown races, their primitive customs, their
savage life, their nakedness, their arms and food, the virgin nature and
splendid vegetation of the tropics, the fruits and new animals, the
game and fish, differing from those in the old world, all excited the
imagination, and, at the same time, opened a vast field for censure, and
for inciting the multitude against the enemy who was taking possession
with such admirable ease of the new lands which raised the enthusiasm of
the first discoverer to such a pitch that he believed they had contained
the earthly Paradise.

How could they help devouring with avidity "the veritable historie
and description of a country belonging to the wild, naked, savage,
man-eating people", narrated by Hans Stade, who had been their captive?
How could they fail to be interested in "the true and agreeable
description of some Indian lands and islands which have not been
recorded in former chronicles", by one who, like Schmidt, had first
explored them "amid great danger"?

It seems to me impossible that in the class of people to which Schmidt
and Stade belonged, there should have been found men capable of writing
narratives, though of scant literary merit. The art of writing was very
uncommon in the middle of the sixteenth century. We know by whom Stade's
work was prepared; but we have not the same information with regard to
that of Schmidt, though there can be no doubt that both were written,
not by those who appear as their authors, but by more learned persons,
enemies to the Spanish Government,[7] upon data recorded, badly or well,
by the adventurers themselves, and from what they heard from their
travelling companions.

  [7] Navarrete, _Coleccion de los Viajes y descubrimientos que hicieron
  por mar los Españoles desde fines del Siglo XV_. Introduccion;
  Ilustracion 9.

The memory cannot retain for a long time names, and especially foreign
names, and details of events happening in the midst of grave anxieties
and dangers. For this reason Schmidt and Stade, who could not have taken
notes at the time, ran into such great errors, that it is impossible
to correct them with accuracy. The Castilian language is difficult to
pronounce for men of Northern Europe, and much more is this the case
with the Guaraní, which abounds with vowels and inarticulate sounds,
with an accent at times guttural, at others nasal, or both combined. The
Spanish Jesuit missionaries found themselves obliged to invent signs to
represent these sounds. Nevertheless, there are words which, although
pronounced in accordance with these signs, are now unintelligible to the

It seems to me beyond all doubt that Guaraní was the general language of
the whole of America to the east of the Cordillera of the Andes, from
the sea of the Antilles to the extreme south of the continent. There
were various dialects, as might be expected in a language without a
literature, spoken by tribes living apart and hostile to one another.
Traces of it occur north of the Amazon, as well as in the pampas of
Argentina, and especially in Paraguai and in Guaira, the chief centre
of the race in the days of the Spanish conquest. In Paraguai and its
immediate vicinity the tongue spoken is nearly as pure as in the time
of the Spanish missionaries Anchieta and Ruiz de Montoya, who wrote the
vocabulary, and tried to adapt the language to grammatical principles
and rules.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the numerous notes I have placed at the foot of the pages, I have
corrected the errors of Guaraní nomenclature committed by Schmidt,
whenever they bear some resemblance to the true names of tribes and
places referred to. Some errors were noticed by L. Hulsius (or Hulse) in
1599, who indicated those of well-known places and names, which in the
first German edition appeared disfigured. For instance, "Demerieffe"
for "Tenerife", and "Petrus Manchossa" for "Don Pedro de Mendoza". But
neither Hulsius nor the other editors could correct them accurately,
because they did not know a single word of the language of the natives,
nor of that of their Spanish conquerors. These errors are still greater
in the Latin version from which the Spanish and other translations were

The errors of Schmidt went so far in names of persons that he did not
write correctly those of his chiefs, not even that of Domingo Martinez
de Irala, under whose immediate orders he served for twenty years.
Schmidt repeatedly insists on naming him Martino Domingo de Eyollas.
Another of his chiefs was Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, whom he always
names Abernunzo Cabessa de Bacha. The most curious thing is, that the
editors who attempted to correct these errors, were not free from
similar faults; even M. Camus,[8] who, in correcting that of Cabeza
de Vaca, rendered it by Alvare Nugnez Cabera di Vacha; and M. Ternaux
Compans, who supposed the settlement named "Duechkamin" by Schmidt,
to be Tucuman,[9] because he did not know that neither the city nor
the province of this name were founded at the moment to which he is

  [8] _Mémoire sur la Collection des Grands et Petits Voyages_, par A.
  G. Camus, 1802.

  [9] _Voyages, Relations et Mémoires originaux pour servir à l'histoire
  de la découverte de l'Amérique, etc._, vol. v.

I believe that in my notes I have removed all these blunders, leaving
some of them as they are, because they are incomprehensible and have no
importance for history or geography.

In all this, and in chronology, the work of Schmidt is extremely
defective, so much so, that I am unable to understand how the Spanish
geographer Azara, recommending the merits of this adventurer, should
have affirmed the following enormity in his _Voyages dans l'Amérique
Méridionale_:--"Je fais grand cas de ce petit ouvrage, à cause de son
impartialité et de l'exactitude des distances et des situations, choses
en quoi personne ne l'égale."[10] I do not accept this judgment, and in
my notes and observations the reader will see if I have good reason for
differing from Azara, whose merits I recognise, as I also know his grave

  [10] _Voyages dans l'Amérique Méridionale_, par Don Felix Azara;
  Paris, 1809; Introduction, p. 20.

Azara is one of the few who deny that the country was inhabited by
a multitude of various nations, as many writers have asserted, and
nevertheless enumerates and describes no less than thirty-two nations
and more than fifty tribes. I maintain there was only one nation, the
Guaraní; and in the province of La Plata, described by Alvar Nuñez
and by Schmidt, the Guaranís were divided into twenty-one tribes, who
differed only in their habits, or their arms, or in the nature of
the country inhabited by them. These are the tribes entered on my
ethnographical map. The others, mentioned by the writers in question,
would be merely unimportant groups, designated by the name of their
chief, or by some nickname applied to them by their neighbours or
enemies. The tribes I record are the following: Quîrandís, Chanás,
Charuas, Yarós, Arechanés, Minhuános, Timbús, Tobas, Mocobís or Mbocoys,
Abipones, Agaces, Mepenes, Mbaiás, Payaguás, Guaicurús, Cheriguanos,
Xarayos, Itatines, Guatós, Cariyós, Tapiis; all these are Guaranís. I do
not treat of the other principal tribes, situated in the interior of the
country between Paraná and the Andes, because they do not concern the
narratives of Schmidt and Alvar Nuñez.

       *       *       *       *       *

To the errors of Schmidt in nomenclature and distances must be added
others of fact, doubtless more important. These also are rectified
in the notes, which the reader will find in the corresponding place.
In these, however, I have not touched on the subject of cannibalism
attributed to the natives, because this deserves separate treatment

I believe there is not a single author of history and travel, at the
time of the conquest of America, who has not admitted the assertion,
and repeated it, that the natives were _anthropophagi_. Even the name
_cannibals_ was invented in the early years of the conquest. When
Christopher Columbus established himself in Hayti, he asked the feeble,
unarmed, and hospitable Indians he found there, for some information
concerning other islands and their inhabitants, and they informed him
that further on there were perverse men who made war upon them to rob
and enslave them. These Indians of Hayti gave the name of _Carib_ and
_Caniba_ to the islands inhabited by their enemies, called _Caribes_.

Columbus says, in the unique autograph document that is known concerning
his first voyage of discovery,[11] that these Indians are held in all
the islands to be very fierce, and that they eat _live flesh_ (_carne
viva_). He considers them, however, on the whole, equal to the others.
This is the first origin of the tale of cannibalism, for the letter of
Columbus, in which this statement is made, was immediately translated
into Latin and published at Rome, and in this translation the Spanish
words, _comer carne viva_, were interpreted by the Latin phrase, _carne
humana vescuntur_. Long afterwards (from 1527 to 1559) the celebrated
Bartholomé de las Casas wrote his _Historia de las Indias_, in which
he gave an abstract of the journal of Columbus' first voyage. In his
summary, Las Casas relates what Columbus says, amplifying, correcting,
or abridging, as he found convenient; and there the great discoverer
appears repeatedly speaking of Indians who ate human flesh.

  [11] Letter of the Admiral Christopher Columbus to Luis de Santángel,
  Contador Mayor de los Reyes Catholicos. (Navarrete _Coleccion de
  Viages_, tomo i, p. 167.) An identical letter was addressed by
  Columbus to the Contador Rafael Sanchez.

This alteration of the text of the letter of Columbus was repeated by
the conquistadores and missionaries to justify the enslaving of
the Indians and the horrible cruelty with which they were treated,
commending in this way their perils and their labours in the military
and spiritual conquest.

Cannibalism, under its name of _Anthropophagy_, originated with the
fable of Polyphemus, and I am convinced that it is a calumny spread
abroad from the time of Saint Jerome, when this brutality was attributed
to the Scotch, down to the present day, when it is asserted that there
are cannibals in Oceania and Africa.

I do not say this in defence of the Indians, but for the honour of
human nature, not so bad as the creative genius of poets and authors of
fiction have supposed it to be. That barbarous Indians are treacherous;
that when they slay their enemies they will tear them to pieces and burn
them, is beyond dispute. But that they will eat their flesh is a slander
and a despicable falsehood founded on interested motives. I have yet to
find the man who will tell me in good faith he has seen the Indians eat
human flesh. Schmidt does not say it, nor does Alvar Nuñez, nor any
other of the historians of America, though all repeat the tale; and
there are some who, even at the present day, believe that the Fuegians,
those unhappy savages of the extreme south of the continent, are

In my new historical work, shortly to be given to the press, I shall
treat of this interesting subject more at large; for the present I limit
myself to the denial of a deed which I could only credit were I to see
it with my own eyes.

These tales of cannibals and of Amazons, of giants and of pygmies, met
with by certain travellers in unknown countries, are the brilliant
spangles wherewith to dazzle the eyes of the vulgar anxious for marvels,
and disposed to believe that in other parts there are men with tails,
and women warriors who live without men, and monsters which have only
existed in mythology and in fable.

       *       *       *       *       *

I hope the readers of this Introduction, and of the notes, will be
indulgent with respect to style, bearing in mind that what they read is
a translation from the Spanish language in which I write.

I cannot terminate without giving my thanks to Mr. E. Delmar Morgan,
Honorary Secretary of the Hakluyt Society, for the active co-operation
he has afforded me in the preparation of this work.

                                                  LUIS L. DOMINGUEZ.

  16, _Kensington Palace Gardens_,
    _London, November_ 1890.




ULRICH SCHMIDT'S voyage to the River Plate was published for the first
time, in a Collection of Voyages, edited by the booksellers, Sebastian
Franck and Sigismund Feyerabend, in the middle of the 16th century, at
Frankfort-on-Main. The title of this collection is:

    "Warhafftige Beschreibunge aller theil der Welt, darinn nicht allein
    etliche alte Landtschafften, Königreich, Provinzen, Insulen, auch
    fürnehme Stedt und Märckte (so denn allen Welt-beschreibern bekant
    seind), mit fleiss beschrieben werden, sondern auch sehr viel neuwe,
    so zu vnsern zeiten zu Wasser durch vil sorgliche und vormals
    vngebrauchte Schiffarten erfunden seyn, welche im andern disem
    nachfolgenden Buch von Schiffarten genañt auss rechtem grundt der
    Cosmography vnd Geometry erfunden, angezeigt werden. Dessgleichen
    auch etwas von New gefundenen Welten, vnd aller darinn gelegenen
    Völcker, ihrer Religion vnd Glaubens sachen, ihrem Regiment,
    Pollicey, Gewerb, handtierung vnd andern gebreuchen mehr, etc.,
    auss etlichen glaubwirdigen (fürnehmer Scribenten) Büchern mit
    grosse mühe vnd arbeyt, etc.

    "Durch Sebastian Franck von Wörd, zum ersten an tag geben, jetst
    aber mit sondern fleiss auff ein neuwes vbersehen, vnd in ein
    wolgeformtes Handtbuch verfasset. Anno MDLXVII."

The book of Schmidt appeared in the second part of this collection under
the following title:

    "Warhafftige vnd liebliche Beschreibung etlicher fürnemen
    Indianischen Landtschafften vnd Insulen, die vormals in keiner
    Chronicken gedacht, vnd erstlich in der Schiffart Vlrici Schmidts
    von Straubingen, mit grosser gefahr erkündigt, vnd von ihm selber
    auffs fleissigst beschrieben vnd dargethan."

The next edition was published, in 1599, by de Bry in his great
collection known as _Grands et Petits Voyages_, which appeared in German
and Latin. The Latin title is:

    "Collectiones Peregrinationum in Indiam Occidentalem et in Indiam
    Orientalem 25 partibus comprehensæ a Theodoro, Joann Theodoro de
    Bry, et à Math. Merian publicatæ. Francofurti et Oppenheimii, De Bry
    et Merian, 1590, 1634. Americæ Pars VII.--_Schmidel_, Verissima et
    jucundissima descriptio præcipuarum quarundam Indiæ regionum et
    Insularum, quæ quidem nullis ante hæc tempora visæ cognitæque iam
    primum ab Vlrico Fabro Straubingensi, multo cum periculo inuentæ
    et ab eodem summa diligentia consignatæ fuerunt, ex germanico in
    latinum sermonem conuersa, autore M. Gotardo Arthvs Dantiscano.
    Illustrata verò pulcherrimis imaginibus, et in lucem emissa, studio
    et opera Theodorici de Bry piæ memoriæ, relictæ viduæ et filiorum.
    Anno Christi M.D.XCIX."

First edition, Frankfort, 1599; and second edition (three plates printed
in the text), 1625.

The title of the German abridged edition of de Bry's collection is:

    "America, das ist Erfindung vnd Offenbahrung der Newen Weldt,
    deroselbigen Völcker Gestalt, Sitten, Gebräuch, Policey vnd
    Gottesdienst, in dreissig vornehmtste Schiffahrten kürtzlich vnd
    ordentlich zusammen gefasset vnd mit seinen Marginalien vnd Register
    erkläret: Durch M. Philippum Zieglerum von Würzburg, E.C. Vnd vber
    die Vorigen mit vielen newen vnd nothwendigen Landtaffeln vnd
    Kupfferstücken auffs schönste gezieret, vnd in Truck gegeben von
    Johan-Theodoro de Bry, Buchhandlern vnd Bürgern zu Oppenheim.
    Gedruct zu Franckfurt am Mayn, durch Nicolaum Hoffmann.
                                                      Anno MDCXVII."

In 1598 Levinus Hulsius had begun to publish his great collection of
voyages, entitled:

    "Sammlung von 26 schiffahrten in verschiedene fremde Länder durch
    Lev. Hulsium und einige andere aus dem Holländischen ins Deutsche
    übersetz und mit allerhand Anmerkungen versehen."

                       Frankfort, Nurnberg, Oppenheim and Hanover,
                                      1598 to 1660.

Schmidt's voyage appeared in this collection, in 1599, under this title:

    "Warhafftige Historien Einer Wunderbaren Schiffart, welche Vlrich
    Schmidel von Straubing, von _anno_ 1534 biss _anno_ 1554, _in
    Americam_ oder Newenwelt bey _Brasilia_ und _Rio della Plata_
    gethan. Was er in diesen Neuntsehen Jahren aussgestanden vnd was
    für seltsame Wunderbare Länder vnd Leuter gesehen: durch ermelten
    Schmidel selbs beschrieben, an jetst aber an Tag geben mit
    Verbesserung vnd Corrigierung der Stätt, Länder vnd Flussnamen,
    dessgleichen mit einer nothwendigen Landtaffel, Figuren vnd anderer
    mehr Erklerung, gezieret Durch Levinvm Hulsivm. _Noribergæ, Impensis
    L. H._ 1599."

This book was reprinted by Hulsius in 1602 at Nurnberg, and in 1612 at

There are 16 plates in the British Museum copy, but the map and two
plates are missing. In this edition, dedicated to Johann Philip, Bishop
of Bamberg, the following epilogue occurs: "And so after the lapse of
twenty years, through the special grace and providence of Almighty God,
I have returned to the place whence I set out; but meanwhiles I have in
my peregrination of these Indian nations experienced no little danger to
body and life, great hunger and misery, care and anxiety, sufficiently
made known and set forth in this historical narrative. I say therefore
let praise, honour and thanks be given to Almighty God who has helped
me to come back once more so happily to the place whence I full twenty
years before had started."

And in the Latin edition of this same collection, a new version of
Schmidt's book was published under this title:

    "Vera historia admirandæ cujusdam navigationis quam Huldericus
    Schmidel, Straubiugensis, ab anno 1534 usque ad annum 1554 in
    Americam vel novum mundum justa Brasiliam et Rio della Plata
    confecit, quid per hoce annos 19 sustinuerit, quam varias et quam
    mirandas regiones at homines viderit. Ab ipso Schmidelio Germanice
    descripta: nunc vero, emendatis et correctis urbium, regionum et
    fluminum, nominibus, Adjecta etiam tabula geographica, figuris et
    aliis notationibus quibusdam in hanc formam reducta. Noribergæ,
    1599. Impensis Levini Hulsii."  4to.

In 1707 a Dutch translation was published at Leyden in the collection of
the bookseller Van der Aa, entitled:

    "Naaukeurige versameling der gedenk-waardigste Reysen na Oost en
    West-Indien, mitsgaders andere Gewesten gedaan; Zedert Jaarhet 1535
    tot 1541, _Te Leyden, door Pieter van der Aa_, 1706-7."  Fol. and
    small 8vo.

Schmidt's voyage appears in vol. 48 of the smaller edition under this

    "Gedenkwaardige Scheeps-Togten na Rio de la Plata in't Zuyderdeel
    van America, en Verscheydene andere voorname Americaanische
    Landschoppen, verrigt onder der Spaanschen Admiraal Pedro de
    Mendoza, Anno 1535, en de Volgende Jaren.... Bescheven door Ulrich
    Schmidt van Straubingen.... Nu aldeerst uyt't Hoogduytsch vertaald."

The first edition in the Spanish language of the book of Schmidt
appeared in the first volume of the collection entitled: _Historiadores
primitivos de las Indias Occidentales, que juntó, tradujo en parte,
y sacó á luz, ilustrados con eruditas notas y copiosos indices, Don
Andreas Gonzalez de Barcia_. 3 vol., fol., Madrid, 1749. It is entitled:

    "Historia y descubrimiento del Rio de la Plata y Paraguay."
    (Translated from the Latin edition of Hulsius.)

This version of Barcia was reprinted, with all his notes, in the third
volume of the _Coleccion de obras y documentos relativos á la Historia
antigua y moderna de las provincias del Rio de la Plata, ilustrados con
notas y disertaciones_, by Pedro de Angelis.--Buenos Aires, 1835-37. 6
vols., fol. The title of Schmidt's book in this collection is:

    "Viaje al Rio de la Plata y Paraguay, por Ulderico Schmidel," 1836.

A French translation of the Latin edition of Hulsius was published
in 1837 in the collection entitled _Voyages, Relations et Mémoires
originaux pour servir à l'histoire de la découverte de l'Amérique,
publiés pour la première fois en français_, par H.
Ternaux-Compans.--Paris, 1837-41, 20 vols., 8vo.

The work of Schmidt is in the first volume, under this title:

    "Histoire véritable d'un voyage curieux fait par Ulrich Schmidel, de
    Straubing, dans l'Amérique ou le Nouveau Monde, par le Brésil, et le
    Rio de la Plata, depuis l'année 1534 jusqu'en 1554, ou l'on verra
    tout ce qu'il a souffert pendant ces dix-neuf ans, et la description
    des pays et des peuples extraordinaires qu'il a visités. Ouvrage
    écrit par lui-même, et publié de nouveau après corrections des noms
    de villes, de pays et de rivières."



THE first edition of this important narrative of the Adelantado Alvar
Nuñez was published at Valladolid in 1555, in one small 4to. volume,
together with his account of his travels and shipwrecks in Florida,
which had been edited some years before. The general title of this book

    "La relacion y comentarios del gobernador Alvar Nuñez Cabeça de
    Vaca, de lo acaecido en las dos jornadas que hizo á las Indias."
    Valladolid, 1555. 1 vol. Small 4to.

The second part of this book is entitled:

    "Comentarios de Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, por Pedro Hernandez,
    escribano del Adelantado."

The second edition of the _Comentarios_ is in the second volume of
_Historiadores Primitivos_, by Barcia. Madrid, 1749.

The third edition is in the _Biblioteca de Autores Españoles_, by
Rivadeneyra, vol. 22. Madrid, 1863.

Ternaux-Compans published a translation into French in the third volume
of his _Voyages et Relations_. Paris, 1837-41.

                                                            L. L. D.


The dividing line between Spanish and Portuguese territories in the
accompanying map differs only in one-and-a-half or two degrees of
longitude from that drawn by M. Adolpho de Varnhagen in his _Historia
Geral do Brazil_. The question about the present boundary of those
territories has been settled by modern treaties.

It must also be remarked that the boundaries of the ancient _Province
of Rio de la Plata_, in 1534, were very soon modified by the Spanish
Government, who did the same thing by the four other Provinces into
which the Continent of South America south of the equator was divided
in that year.

                                                            L. L. D.


An ethnographical map.

Showing also the boundary line between the Colonies of Spain and
Portugal, in accordance with the Treaty signed at Tordesillas in 1494,
the route of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, and the places inhabited by
the Guaraní Tribes mentioned by Ulrich Schmidt in his Voyage.

                     LUIS L. DOMINGUEZ.

                       LONDON 1890.]

[Illustration: (leaf decoration)]

  A true and agreeable description of some principal Indian
     lands and islands, which have not been recorded in
        former chronicles, but have now been first
            explored amid great danger during
               the voyage of ULRICH SCHMIDT
                  of Straubing, and most
                    carefully described
                          by him.

[Illustration: (insect decoration)]

[Illustration: (floral vine decoration)]

  A true and agreeable description of some principal Indian
     lands and islands, which have not been recorded in
        former chronicles, but have now been first
            explored amid great danger during
               the voyage of ULRICH SCHMIDT
                  OF STRAUBING, and most
                    carefully described
                          by him.

IN the first place, when setting forth from Antorff,[12] I came in
fourteen days to Hispania, to a town called Calles,[13] to which one
reckons four hundred miles by sea. I saw before that town a balena, or
whale, thirty-five paces long, out of which thirty tuns--of the capacity
of herring tuns--of fat had been extracted.

  [12] Antwerp.

  [13] Cadiz.

Near the said town of Calles there were fourteen great ships, well
provided with all ammunitions and necessaries, which intended to voyage
to Riodellaplata[14] in India. Also there were two thousand five
hundred Spaniards and one hundred and fifty Germans, Netherlanders, and
Saxons.[15] And our chief captain was called Petrus Manchossa.[16]

  [14] Rio de la Plata.

  [15] Antonio de Herrera (_Historia General de los Hechos de los
  Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Oceano_, Madrid,
  1601-1616, viii, 5), who is the official authority, says that Don
  Pedro de Mendoza's expedition was composed of 800 men, very good and
  distinguished people, and eleven ships. Others state that there were
  1,500 and 1,700 men. Schmidt alone states the number as 2,650. By his
  contract with the Government, Mendoza was bound to take with him one
  thousand men in two voyages.

  [16] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

Among these fourteen ships, one belonged to Messrs. Sebastian Neidhart
and Jacob Welser, from Nürnberg, who had sent their factor, Heinrich
Paeime, with merchandise to Riodellaplata. With these and others, as
Germans and Netherlanders, about eighty men, armed with arquebuses and
muskets, I went to Riodellaplata.

As we were now come there,[17] we set out from Sibylla[18] with the said
gentlemen and the chief captain, in the aforesaid year, on the day of
S. Bartholomew, and came to a town in Spain called S. Lucas[19] which is
twenty miles' distance from Sibylla. There we were compelled, on account
of much blustering winds, to stay till the first of September of the
year before-named (1534).

  [17] _i.e._, to Spain.

  [18] Seville.

  [19] San Lucar.

And when we departed from there we fell in with three islands, which lie
near to one another, the first of which is called Demerieff, the other
Kumero, the third Palman,[20] and from the town of S. Lucas to these
islands there is a space of about twenty miles.[21] At these islands the
ships parted company. These islands belong to their Imperial Majesties,
and are inhabited only by Spaniards, with their wives and children. And
there sugar is made. We came with three ships to Palman, and remained
there for four weeks, replenishing our store of victual.

  [20] Teneriffe, Gomera, and Palma, three of the Canary Islands.

  [21] From San Lucar to the Canary Islands there are about 500 English

But afterwards our chief captain, Petrus Manchossa, being at a distance
of eight to nine miles from us, and having commanded us to make sail, we
having on board our ship our captain's cousin, Jörg Manchossa,[22]
who had fallen in love with the daughter of a burgher of Palma, and
inasmuch as we were going to leave on the following day, the said Jörg
Manchossa went ashore that very night, at twelve o'clock, with twelve of
his good companions, and brought secretly with them, out of the island
Palma, the said burgher's daughter and her maid-servant, with all their
clothes and jewels, and money also, and came aboard again, but secretly,
to the intent that neither our captain, nor the aforesaid agent, nor
anybody else on the ship might know aught about it; only the watch saw
them, for it was about midnight. And as we were intending to depart
from there in the morning, and were only about two or three miles away,
a mighty wind sprang up, so that we needs must turn back to the same
harbour, where we were lying before. When we there cast anchor, our
captain, the aforesaid Heinrich Paine, would go aland in a small vessel,
which is called pat or podell (_bote_). And as he went, and was about
to land, there were awaiting him more than thirty men, armed with
arquebuses, spears, and halberds with the intention of taking him, the
said Heinrich Paine. At the same time one of his crew besought him not
to land, but to return to the ship, which advice the captain would have
gladly followed, but that he could not, seeing that the men on land
had come too near to him in another little ship, which they had in
readiness; however, he escaped at length in another ship which was near
the land. When the armed men saw that the others did not fire upon, nor
could take the captain Heinrich Paine, they caused the town of Palma to
sound the alarm, swiftly loaded two great guns, and fired four shots at
our ship (which lay not far off from the land). With the first shot they
breached our earthen pot, which was on the poop and full of fresh water,
whereby five or six pails of water were lost. Secondly, they shot in
pieces also the mizzen, that is, the hindmost mast nearest the stern.
Thirdly, they shot in the waist of the ship a big hole whereby a man was
struck and killed. But with the fourth shot they missed us.

  [22] Jorge de Mendoza. No known document mentions this Jorge de
  Mendoza, nor the rape alluded to by Schmidt. It is not likely that a
  relative of the chief of the expedition should have been on board a
  Flemish ship which was not under his immediate command.

There was also another captain, whose ship was lying by our side, and
who intended to sail for Nova Hispania, in Mechseckheim[23]; he was on
shore with one hundred and fifty men, who, when he knew of our quarrel,
made peace between us and those of the town, on condition that Jörg
Manchossa[24] and the burgher's daughter and her maid-servant should
certainly be delivered into their hands.

  [23] Mexico.

  [24] Jorge de Mendoza.

Then the stadthalter, and the judge, our captain, and the captain
spoken of above, came aboard our ship, intending to make prisoners Jörg
Manchossa and his paramour.[25] Thereupon he answered them that she was
his wife, and she did not show herself in another light and they soon
got married; the father, however, was very sorry and anxious, and our
ship was through them badly treated by the firing at it. After all this,
we left Jörg Manchossa and his wife ashore, for our captain would not
have them any longer on board his ship.

  [25] In orig.: "Bulschafft," lit. love intrigue.

Now we again made ready our ship, and sailed to an island or land, the
name whereof is S. Jacob, or, in Spanish, Sancte Augo (Santiago); there
is a town belonging to the King of Portugal; the Portuguese entertain
that town, and the Blackamoors are their subjects: this town is at a
distance of three hundred miles from the said Island Palman, from which
we sailed.[26] We remained there five days, and again furnished our
ship with new and fresh victual, as bread, meat, water, and all that
necessity demands at sea. The whole fleet, namely, fourteen ships, were
now once more together. We then went again to sea and sailed for two
whole months, and then arrived at an island wherein there was nothing
else than birds, in such quantities that we killed them with sticks.
Here we lay three days. This island is entirely uninhabited; it is in
length and breadth about six miles either way, and is distant from the
above-mentioned island, _S. Augo_, whence we sailed, fifteen hundred
miles. In this sea there are flying-fishes and other marvellous great
fishes of the balena kind, and great fishes called _schaubhut_, for that
they wear on their heads a large trencher, with which they may become
dangerous in fighting with other fishes; it is a wondrous great and evil
fish. There are also other fishes which have on their backs a knife of
whalebone, and are called in the Spanish tongue _Peschespate_,[27] and
furthermore, other fishes which have on their backs a saw of whalebone,
and are also evil fishes; their name is _Peschedeferre_,[28] and also
there are several other rare fishes whose form, size, and other features
I cannot at this time describe.

  [26] All distances given by Schmidt are erroneous, and it is
  astonishing that Don Felix de Azara, a geographer, should have written
  to the contrary. By the distance given in miles between Palma, one of
  the Canary Islands, and St. Iago, one of the Cape Verd Islands, it may
  be seen that Schmidt's miles are more properly _Castilian leagues_ of
  17½ in a geographical degree, the legal measure of distance in his

  [27] Peje-espada, or sword-fish.

  [28] Peces-sierras.

Afterwards we sailed from this island to another, named Riogenea,[29] at
a distance of five hundred miles from the former, belonging to the King
of Portugal; this is the island Riogenea in India, and the Indians
are called Toppis.[30] We lay there about fourteen days. There Petrus
Manchossa,[31] our chief captain, ordered Hans Ossorig,[32] as his sworn
brother, to take the command over us in his stead, forasmuch as he was
always melancholy, weak, and ill. But he, Hans Ossorig, very soon was
belied and ill-spoken of to Petrus Manchossa, his sworn brother, even
as though he had in his mind to cause a mutiny among the people against
Petrus Manchossa, the chief captain. Thereupon he, Petrus Manchossa,
ordered four other captains, named Johann Eyollas, Johan Salleisser,
Jörg Luchsam,[33] and Lazarum Salvaischo,[34] that the aforesaid Johan
Ossorig should be killed with a dagger or otherwise put to death, and
should be exposed in the midst of the place as a traitor; and besides
he ordered and proclaimed to the effect that no one should dare to pity
Ossorig, for that he himself, whoever he might be, would meet with no
better fate. Yet Ossorig was treated wrongly, God Almighty knows it, and
may He be merciful to him, for he was a pious, fair-dealing, and valiant
warrior, and kept well all the warriors.

  [29] The discoverers were Spaniards, and this is proved by the name
  _Rio de Henero_, as the word _Enero_ was spelt in the sixteenth
  century. The _h_ was at the time aspirated (especially by the natives
  of Andalusia), and hence the name became corrupted into _Jenero_,
  changed afterwards into _Janeiro_ by the Portuguese.

  [30] Tupys.

  [31] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

  [32] Juan Osorio.

  [33] Juan de Ayolas, Juan Salazar, and Jorge Lujan.

  [34] If this name is rightly spelt, it may be one of the Flemish
  who took part in the expedition. In Barcia's Spanish translation,
  Salvaischo is interpreted as Salazar; but there is no mention in any
  document of a Lazaro Salazar.

From there we sailed to Riodellaplata, and came into a river[35] called
Paranau Wassu,[36] which is in width at its mouth, where one leaves the
sea,[37] twenty-four miles. And from Riogenea to this river there is the
space of five hundred miles. There we came to a haven, the name whereof
is S. Gabriel, and there, in the said river Paranau, we anchored the
fourteen ships.

  [35] In orig.: "süss fliessend wasser."

  [36] Parana Guazú.

  [37] Between Cape Santa Maria and Cape San Antonio there are 188
  English geographical miles.

As we were constrained to ride at a gunshot's distance from shore with
the great ships, our chief captain, Petrus Manchossa[38] ordered to
set the people ashore in the small ships, which are for that purpose
intended, and are, therefore, called pat or podel.

  [38] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

So by the grace of God we arrived at Riodellaplata, Anno 1535, and found
there an Indian place inhabited by about two thousand people, named
Zechurias,[39] who have nothing to eat but fish and meat. These, on
our arrival did leave the place, and fled away with their wives and
children, so that we could not find them. This Indian people go quite
naked, the women having only their privities covered, from the navel to
the knees, with a small piece of cotton cloth.

  [39] Charúas.

Now the captain, Petrus Manchossa, commanded to bring the people into
the ships again, and to convey them to the other side of the Paranau,
where it is not broader than eight miles.[40]

  [40] From the Island of San Gabriel to the place where Buenos Ayres
  was founded there are 29 English miles.

There we built a new town and called it _Bonas Aeieres_, that is, in
German, _Guter Wind_.

We also brought from Hispania on board the fourteen ships seventy-two
horses and mares.

Here, also, we found a place inhabited by Indian folk, named
Carendies,[41] numbering about three thousand people, including wives
and children, and they were clothed in the same way as the Zechurias,
from the navel to the knees. They brought us fish and meat to eat. These
Carendies have no houses, but wander about, as do the Gipsies with us at
home, and in summer they oftentimes travel upwards of thirty miles on
dry land without finding a single drop of water to drink.

  [41] Quirandis.

And when they meet with deer or other wild beasts, (when they have
killed them) they drink their blood. Also if they find a root, called
Cardes,[42] they eat it to slack their thirst. This--namely, that they
drink blood--only happens because they cannot have any water, and that
they might peradventure die of thirst.

  [42] Cardo, _i.e._, thistles.

These Carendies brought us daily their provision of fish and meat to our
camp, and did so for a fortnight, and they did only fail once to come to
us. So our captain, Peter Manchossa,[43] sent to them, the Carendies,
a judge, named Johan Pabon, with two foot-soldiers, for they were at a
distance of four miles from our camp. When they came near to them, they
were all three beaten black and blue, and were then sent back again
to our camp. Petrus Manchossa, our captain, hearing of this from the
judge's report (who for this cause raised a tumult about it in our
camp), sent Diego Manchossa, his own brother, against them with three
hundred foot-soldiers and thirty well-armed mounted men, of whom I also
was one, straightway charging us to kill or take prisoners all these
Indian Carendies and to take possession of their settlement. But when
we came near them there were now some four thousand men, for they had
assembled all their friends. And when we were about to attack them, they
defended themselves in such a way that we had that very day our hands
full. They also killed our commander, Diego Manchossa, and six noblemen.
Of our foot-soldiers and mounted men over twenty were slain, and on
their side about one thousand. Thus did they defend themselves valiantly
against us, so that indeed we felt it.

  [43] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

The said Carendies[44] use for their defence hand-bows and tardes[45]
which are made in the shape of half-pikes, and the head of them is made
out of flint-stone, like a flash; they have also bullets made out of
stone with a long piece of string attached to them, of the size of our
leaden bullets at home in Germany.

  [44] Quirandis.

  [45] Darts.

They throw such bullets round the feet of a horse or a deer, causing it
to fall; it is also with these bullets that they killed our commander
and the noblemen, as I have seen it done myself, but the foot-soldiers
were killed by the aforesaid tardes.

Thus God Almighty graciously gave us the victory, and allowed us to
take possession of their place; but we did not take prisoner any of the
Indians, and their wives and children also fled away from the place
before we attacked them.[46] At this place of theirs we found nothing
but furrier-work made from marten or so-called otter; also much fish,
fish meal, and fish fat. There we remained three days and then returned
to our camp, leaving on the spot one hundred of our men, in order that
they might fish with the Indians' nets for the providing of our folk,
because there was there very good fishing.

  [46] This fight with the Quirandis took place at a few miles' distance
  from Buenos Ayres, on the banks of the river which since then is
  called _de la Matanza_.

Every one received only six half-ounces of wheaten flour a day, and one
fish every third day. The fishing lasted for two months, and if one
would eat a fish over and above one's allowance, one had to go four
miles for it.

And when we returned again to our camp, our folk were divided into those
who were to be soldiers, and the others workers, so as to have all of
them employed. And a town was built there, and an earthern wall, half
a pike high, around it, and inside of it a strong house for our chief
captain. The town wall was three foot broad, but that which was built
to-day fell to pieces the day after, for the people had nothing to eat,
and were starved with hunger, so that they suffered great poverty, and
it became so bad that the horses could not go. Yea, finally, there was
such want and misery for hunger's sake, that there were neither rats,
nor mice, nor snakes to still the great dreadful hunger and unspeakable
poverty, and shoes and leather were resorted to for eating and
everything else.

It happened that three Spaniards stole a horse, and ate it secretly,
but when it was known, they were imprisoned and interrogated under the
torture. Whereupon, as soon as they admitted their guilt, they were
sentenced to death by the gallows, and all three were hanged.

Immediately afterwards, at night, three other Spaniards came to the
gallows to the three hanging men, and hacked off their thighs and pieces
of their flesh, and took them home to still their hunger.

A Spaniard also ate his brother, who died in the city of Bonas

  [47] All this is exaggerated and incredible, though accepted as true
  by the pseudo-poet, Barco Centenera, in his _Argentina_ poem.

Now our chief captain, Petrus Manchossa,[48] saw that he could not any
longer keep his men there, so he ordered and took counsel with his head
men that four little ships (called Parchkadienes[49]) should be made
ready, which must he rowed, and three more yet smaller ones, which are
called podell or patt.

  [48] Pedro de Mendoza.

  [49] Brigantines.

And when these seven little vessels were ready and equipped, our
chief captain ordered all the people to assemble, and sent George
Lauchstein[50] with three hundred and fifty armed men up the river
Paranau in order to find out the Indians and so obtain victual and
provisions. But as soon as the Indians were aware of us, they wrought
us the most abominable piece of knavery, by burning and destroying all
their victual and provisions and their villages, and then all took to
flight; in consequence whereof we had nothing to eat but three ounces
of bread a day. One half of our people died during this voyage through
hunger, therefore we had to return again to the said place, where was
our chief captain.

  [50] George Lujan.

Petrus Manchossa desired to have a relation from George Lauchstein, our
commander, as to the circumstances of our voyage, why so few of them had
returned, since they had only been absent for five months. To whom our
commander answered thus: the people died for hunger, since the Indians
burnt all the provisions, and then took to flight, as has been related

After all this we remained still another month together in great poverty
in the town of Bonas Aeieres, until the ships were prepared.

At this time the Indians came in great power and force, as many as
twenty-three thousand men, against us and our town Bonas Aeieres. There
were four nations of them, namely, Carendies, Zechurias, Zechuas, and
Diembus.[51] They all meant to go about to destroy us all. But God
Almighty preserved the greater part of us, therefore praise and thanks
be to Him always and everlastingly, for on our side not more than about
thirty men, including commanders and ensign, were slain.

  [51] Quirandis, Charúas, and Timbus.

And when they first came to our town, Bonas Aeieres, and attacked us,
some of them tried to storm the place, others shot fiery arrows at our
houses, which, being covered with straw (only the house of our chief
captain, covered with tiles, excepted), were set on fire, and so the
whole town was burnt down. Their arrows are made out of cane, and carry
fire on their points.

They have also a kind of wood, out of which they also make arrows,
which, being lighted and shot off, do not extinguish, but also set fire
to all houses made out of straw.

Moreover they burnt down four great ships which were half-a-mile distant
from us on the river. The people who were there, and who had no guns,
hearing such great tumult of the Indians, fled out of these four ships
into three others which were not far from these, and did contain cannon.

But seeing the four ships burning that were lighted by the Indians,
the Christians set themselves on defence and fired at the Indians, who
becoming aware of this, and hearing the firing, soon departed from
thence and left the Christians alone. All this happened on St. John's
Day, Anno 1535.

All this having thus happened, our people had to return into the ships
again, and Petrus Manchossa,[52] our chief captain, gave the command to
Johann Eyollas,[53] and put him in his place to be our commander and
rule us. But when Eyollas mustered the people, he found no more than
five hundred and sixty men who were yet alive, out of two thousand five
hundred, the others being dead and having been starved for hunger. God
Almighty be gracious and merciful to them and to us. Amen.

  [52] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

  [53] Juan de Ayolas.

Johann Eyollas, our commander, now ordered eight small ships,
Parchkadienes and Podells, to be made ready, and took with him on these
ships four hundred men out of the five hundred and sixty, leaving the
others, namely, one hundred and sixty men, in the four great ships to
guard them, and he gave them a commander, named Johann Romero, and left
them victual for one year, so that each soldier might have four ounces
of bread or flour daily; he who wanted more was at liberty to find it.

When all this had been done and arranged as here described, Johann
Eyollas[53] and the four hundred men sailed with the Parchkadienes and
the Podells[54] up the river Paranau, and Petrus Manchossa,[52] our chief
captain, sailed with us, and in two months' time we reached the Indians,
at a distance of eighty-four miles. These people are called Tyembus[55];
they wear on either nostril a small star, made out of white and blue
stones. The men are tall of stature and erect, but the women, on the
contrary, young and old, are very deformed, having all the lower part of
their faces scratched, and always bloody. These people have nothing else
to eat, and have all their lives through lived upon nothing else but
fish and meat. They are reckoned to be fifteen thousand strong, or more.
And when we came to about four miles' distance from this people they
took notice of us, and came to meet us in sign of peace, with over four
hundred canoes, in each of which were sixteen men.

  [54] Brigantines and boats.

  [55] Timbus.

Such a skiff is made out of a single tree, eighty feet long and three
feet wide, and must be rowed as the fishermen's boats in Germany, only
that the oars are not bound with iron.

When we met them on the water, our commander, Johann Eyollas, presented
the chief of the Tyembus Indians, Zchera Wassu,[56] with a shirt, a red
cap, a hatchet, and several other things. After this, Zchera Wassu went
with us to their place, and gave us there fish and meat in abundance.

  [56] Chera Guazú.

But if this said journey of ours had lasted ten more days, we would
all have died of hunger, for even without that, fifty men out of four
hundred who came in the ships had already died on this journey. But in
this danger God mercifully helped us, be He praised and thanked for it.

In this said place we abode four years, but our chief captain, Petrus
Manchossa,[57] who was full of infirmities, and was unable to move his
hands or his feet, and who had spent during this voyage forty thousand
ducats of his own in cash, could not remain any longer with us, and he
sailed off in two small Parchkadienes to Bonas Aeieres to the four great
ships, and took two of them with fifty men and sailed for Hispania. But
when he was come nearly half-way, the hand of the Almighty so smote him
that he died miserably. May God be merciful to him!

  [57] Pedro de Mendoza.

But before his departure he had promised us to send two other ships
to Riodellaplata, as soon as he himself or the ships should arrive in
Spain, and this was faithfully laid down in his will. Accordingly, when
the two ships arrived in Spain, and the councillors of His Imperial
Majesty were informed of this, they speedily, in the name of His
Majesty, sent two ships with people, provisions, and merchandise, and
all necessaries, to Riodellaplata.

The commander of these two ships was called Alvanzo Gabrero,[58] who
brought with him also about two hundred Spaniards and provisions for two
years. He arrived at Bonas Aeieres (where the two other ships had been
left) in the year 1539, with one hundred and sixty men.

  [58] Alonso Cabrera.

The said commander, Alvanzo Gabrero, having come to the island Thiembus,
to our chief, Johann Eyollas,[59] they ordered a ship to be sent to
Spain, according to the will and order of the councillors of His
Imperial Majesty, in order to report to them how all things were
situated there in that country.

  [59] Juan de Ayolas.

Then Johann Eyollas, our chief captain, held a council with Alvanzo
Gabrero and Martin Domingo Eyolla,[60] and some other of his officers,
and it was resolved to muster the men. And this being done, it was found
that, together with those who had come from Spain, there were five
hundred and fifty men. Of these they took four hundred men to
themselves, leaving the other one hundred and fifty men at Thiembus,
because there were not enough ships. They gave these men a commander,
named Carolus Doberim,[61] who had been for some time page of His
Imperial Majesty.

  [60] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

  [61] Carlos Dubrin.

After this had been resolved, they sailed with these four hundred men
in eight small Parchkadienes up the river Paranau, in order to seek
out another river, called Parabor,[62] where the Carios live, who have
Turkish corn and a root named Mandeochade,[63] and other roots such
as padades[64] and mandeoch parpie, mandioch mandapore, etc. The root
padades resembles an apple, and has the same taste. Mandeoch parpie
have the taste of chestnuts. Wine is made from mandepore,[65] and the
Indians drink it. These Carios have fish and meat and great sheep,
as big as mules. They also have wild boar, ostriches, and other wild
beasts; also very many hens and geese.

  [62] Paraguai.

  [63] Manioc.

  [64] Yams, or sweet potatoes.

  [65] Mandioca or algarroba.

So then departing from the haven of Bonesperanso[66] with the said eight
Parchkadienes vessels, we reached the first day, after a voyage of four
miles, a nation called Curanda,[67] who abstain from fish and meat, and
number over twelve thousand men, all of whom are fit for war. These
people resemble the Thiembus spoken of before; they have little stones
on their noses, and the men are tall, but the women are hideous; young
as well as old have their faces scratched and always bloody. They are
clothed like the Thiembus, from the navel to the knee with a small
cotton cloth, as was described before. These Indians have great plenty
of otter skins; also many canoes or skiffs. They liberally parted
with us their fish, meat, and skins. We gave them in exchange glasses,
paternosters, looking-glasses, combs, knives, and fish-hooks. We
remained there two days, and then they gave us two Carios who were their
captives, to show us the way, and help us with the language.

  [66] Buena Esperanza, also called Corpus Christi, was the name given
  by Don Pedro de Mendoza, says Herrera, to the settlement founded by
  him four old Spanish leagues below the abandoned fort of Sebastian

  [67] Coronda.

Sailing further we came afterwards to another people called
Gulgaises,[68] who number forty thousand men of war and abstain from
fish and meat. These have also two little stars on their noses; they are
situated thirty miles from the Curandas,[69] and speak the same language
as the Thiembus[70] and Curandas. They dwell on a lake six miles long
and four miles wide, on the left side of the river Paranau.[71] We
stayed four days among them, and these men imparted to us of their
poverty and we did the like by them.

  [68] Guaicurús.

  [69] Quirandis.

  [70] Timbús.

  [71] Paraná.

From thence we sailed further, and during eighteen days we did not find
any people; then we came to a river flowing inland. And there we found a
great multitude of people, called Machkuerendas.[72] These eat nothing
but fish and a little meat, number over eighteen thousand men of war,
and have many canoes or skiffs.

  [72] Perhaps _Mocoretás_. But the Indians living in those parts were
  the Agazes and Abipones. The Timbus and Corondas were the same folk.

They received us well, after their manner, sharing with us of their
poverty; they live on the other side, _i.e._, the right side of the
Paranaw, speak a different language from the former, wear also two
little stars (stones) on their nose, are tall and of a good proportion;
but their women are as hideous as those before spoken of; and they are
distant sixty-seven miles from the Gulgaises.[73]

  [73] Guaicurús.

After having lived among them for four days, we found on the land a
marvellous great and monstrous snake five and twenty foot long, and
as thick as a man, black and yellow in colour, which we fired at and
killed. The Indians marvelled much at seeing such a snake, for they
never before had seen such a large one. This snake, so they told us, had
done much harm to them, for when they were bathing this snake was also
in the water and it would coil its tail around one of them, taking him
under water and devouring him there, so that oftentimes the Indians did
not know what had become of him. I myself carefully measured the length
and thickness of this snake, which the Indians cut up in pieces and
carried home with them, and having boiled and roasted it, did afterwards
eat thereof.

From thence we sailed up the river Paranaw for four days' journey, and
came to a people called Zchemiaisch Saluaischo,[74] who are small and
thick set, and eat nothing but fish and honey. These people, both men
and women, young and old, go about absolutely naked as they came into
the world, so that they have neither linen nor anything else to cover
their privities.

  [74] It is impossible even to guess at what the author means by these
  words, which are not _Guaraní_.

They make war against the Machkuerendas. The flesh they eat consists
of deer, wild swine, ostriches, and rabbits, which resemble rats, but
without tails. This people is at a distance of sixteen miles from the
Machkuerendas, and we made that journey in four days. We only passed the
night among them, for they themselves had nothing to eat. They are just
like our highwaymen or street-robbers at home.

They dwell about twenty miles away from the water, to the intent that
their enemies might not easily fall upon them. But at this time they
had come to the water five days before we did, in order to fish and
to provide themselves because they were about to make war against the
Machkuerendas. They number two thousand men.

We departed thence and came to a people called Mapennis,[75] who number
ten thousand men. These people dwell scattered here and there in that
country, extending for the space of forty miles either way. Yet they can
all be gathered together either on land or water in two days time. They
had more canoes or skiffs than any other people we had seen hitherto,
and in one such canoe they can carry as many as twenty persons.

  [75] Mepenes.

This people received us on the river in a hostile and war-like manner,
with five hundred canoes, but with little profit to themselves from us,
for we slew a goodly number of them with our guns, they having never in
their lives before seen either a gun or a Christian.

But when we came to their houses, we could prevail nothing against them,
seeing that they were a whole mile distant from the river Paranon[76]
where our ships lay; and all their villages were surrounded with deep
water from the lake, so that we could do them no harm, nor take anything
from them, except that we took two hundred and fifty canoes, which we
burnt and destroyed. Neither did we dare to go too far from our ships,
for we feared that they might attack the ships from another side,
therefore we returned. The Mapennis only fight upon the water, and
are distant from the Zchemias Saluaischo, from whom we last came,
ninety-five miles.

  [76] Paraná.

From thence we sailed in eight days to a river called the Parabor[77]
which we ascended and found there a numerous people named
Kueremagbas,[78] having nothing to eat but fish and meat and St. John's
bread,[79] or the herb fenugreek, from which also they make wine.[80]
This people was very kind to us, and gave us every thing of which we
were in need. They are very tall, both men and women.

  [77] Paraguai.

  [78] These Indians are the Mbaiás.

  [79] Algarroba, the seed of the carob tree.

  [80] The vegetable from which they made wine was not the fenugreek,
  but the carrot-bean (Prosopis dulcis mimosa).

The men pierce a little hole in their nose, in which they insert for
ornament a small parrot's feather. The women have long blue stripes on
their cheeks which remain all their lives through, and their privities
are covered with a small piece of cotton cloth from the navel to the
knees. From the Mapennis[81] to these Kueremagbas are forty miles; we
remained three days among them.

  [81] Mepenes.

Departing thence we came to another people called Aygais,[82] who
also live on fish and meat. They are tall and erect. The women are
nice-looking, painted, and have their privities covered in the same
manner as explained before.

  [82] Agazes.

When we came to them, they put themselves on their defence, and wished
to make war against us by not allowing us to pass through. Finding this
to be the case, and that there was no help for it, we put our trust in
God, and then made our preparations to attack them by land and water;
we fought them and killed a great number--fifteen of our men also being
slain. God be merciful to them.

These Aygais are the best warriors that can be found on the water, but
they are not so good at fighting on land. Before fighting, they caused
their wives and children to flee to a place of safety, and concealed
their provisions and other things. What happened to them at the last you
will presently hear. Their place is near a river called Jepedij,[83] on
the other side of the Parabor. It takes its source in the mountains of
Peru, near a town named Duechkamin.[84] From the Kueremagbas to the
Aygais there are thirty miles.

  [83] Ipiti, the name of this river, signifies "red" in the Guaraní
  language; hence the Spaniards called it Rio Bermejo (Red River).

  [84] Neither at the time of Schmidt, nor afterwards, was there at the
  head of the Bermejo a people called Duechkamin. This may, perhaps,
  refer to Tomina, because, though this town is not situated within
  the system of the river Bermejo, it is not far from it, and this
  circumstance may have led Schmidt into error. M. Ternaux says in his
  _Collection_ that this town can be no other than Tucuman, but this
  proves his incompetency in this matter, as Tucuman was founded many
  years after Schmidt's voyage to the River Plate.

Departing from these Aygais we came to a people named Carios, fifty
miles distant from the Aygais. There, by God's grace, we found plenty
of Turkish corn and mandeochade, padades, mandeochparpij, mandepore,
manduris, wacheku, etc. They have also fish and meat, deer, wild boar,
ostriches, Indian sheep, rabbits, hens and geese, also plenty of honey,
of which they make wine; and there is much cotton in the land.

These Carios have a large country, nearly three hundred miles in length
and breadth; they are men of short stature, and more able to endure work
and labour than the other natives.

The men have a little hole in their lips in which they put yellow
crystals, called in their language Parabor,[85] two spans long and of
the thickness of a quill or reed.

  [85] _Parabor._ In Barcia's Spanish translation this word thus written
  by Schmidt was changed into _tembetá_, which was the one used by the
  Tapijs (Tupis). Both are Guaraní words, and they represent the same
  thing; but _parabog_, or rather _paraog_, is more picturesque and
  accurate. It means a cover in various colours.

This people, men and women, young and old, go completely naked as God
created them. Among these Indians, the father sells his daughter, the
husband his wife if she does not please him, and the brother sells or
exchanges his sister. A woman costs a shirt or a bread knife, or a small
hoe, or some other thing of that kind.

These Carios also eat man's flesh if they can get it. For when they make
prisoners in war, male or female, they fatten them as we do swine in
Germany. But if the woman be somewhat young and good-looking, they keep
her for a year or so, and if during that time she does not live after
their desires, they put her to death and eat her, making a solemn
banquet[86] of it, and oftentimes this is combined with a marriage. Only
old persons are put to work until they die.

  [86] In orig.: "Pancket."

These Carios undertake longer journeys than any nation in the country of
the Riodellaplata. They are wonderful warriors on land. Their villages
or towns are situate on hills upon the river Paraboe[87]; formerly their
city was called Lambere.[88]

  [87] Paraguai.

  [88] Lambaré.

Their town is made with two wooden palisades, each piece of timber being
the thickness of a man. And one palisade is separated from the other by
a space of twelve feet; the posts are driven down into the earth, six
feet deep, and are above the earth nearly as high as one may reach with
a sword.

They have also their forts. And at a distance of fifteen feet from this
town wall they made pits as deep as the height of three men, one over
the other, and put into them (but not above ground) lances of hard wood,
with points like that of a needle; and they covered these pits with
straw and small gravel, strewing a little earth and grass between, to
the intent that when we Christians pursued them, or assaulted their
town, we should have fallen blindly into these pitfalls. But at length
they digged so many pits that they themselves fell into them.

For when our chief captain Johann Eijollas[89] commanded all our people,
except sixty men who were left in the Parchkadienes[90] to guard them,
and marched them in good order against their town Lambere, the Carios
descried our approach at a gunshot distance, and they numbered forty
thousand men armed with bows and arquebuses, and they begged us to go
back to our Parchkadienes; if we did so, they would provide us with
victuals and other necessaries, but if not they would act as our
enemies. But it did not suit us nor our chief captain to do this, for
the country and the people pleased us very well, as did also their food,
for we had not seen nor eaten better bread during the last four years,
fish and meat having been our only sustenance.

  [89] Juan de Ayolas.

  [90] Brigantines.

So the Carios took their bows and guns and received us therewith, and
told us that we were welcome, but we refused to do them any harm. On the
contrary, we told them for the third time to keep the peace, and that
we wished to be their friends. But they did not take any notice of our
words, because they had not yet tried our bows and guns. And when we
came near them we fired at them, so that they heard it, and saw their
people fall to the ground, although they saw not any bullet or arrow
or aught else but a hole in their body; and they wondered and were
frightened, and soon all took to flight, and fell one upon another like
dogs. So they hastened to shelter themselves in their town, after two
hundred of them had fallen into the above-mentioned pits.

Afterwards we Christians came to their town and assaulted it, but they
resisted as well as they could for three days. Not being able to hold
out any longer, and fearing besides for their wives and children whom
they had with them in the town, they prayed for mercy, promising that
they would do anything for us if only we would spare their lives. Also
they gave to our commander, Johann Eijollas, six women, the eldest of
whom was only eighteen years old.

They also gave him six deer and other wild beasts, and besought us to
remain with them, and they gave to every soldier two women to wait on
him, and to wash and cook for him. Besides which they gave us food and
all the necessaries of life; so that peace was then concluded between us
and our enemies.

After that the Carios were compelled to build us a great house of stone,
earth, and wood, in order that if in the meanwhile they were to revolt
against us we Christians might have a place of refuge in which to defend

We took this town on the feast of the Assumption, in the year 1539, and
therefore it is called Noster Signora desumsion.[91]

  [91] Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion. Schmidt's chronology is often
  mistaken. Lambaré, with its population, was taken by Juan de Ayolas on
  the 15th of August 1536. Asuncion was founded in the following year by
  Juan de Salazar.

In this skirmish sixteen men fell on our side, and we abode there two
months. These Carios are distant from the Aygais[92] thirty miles,
and from the island Bone Speranso, _i.e._, Good Hope, where the
Thijembus[93] live, about three hundred and fifty-five miles.[94]

  [92] Agazes.

  [93] Timbus.

  [94] Buena Esperanza was situated about lat. S. 32° 33′; Asuncion is
  in 25° 17′.

And so we made a covenant with the Carios, they agreeing and promising
to make war along with us, and to aid us with eight thousand men against
the Aygais.

After our chief captain had decided all this, he took three hundred
Spaniards and these Carios, and went down the river, and afterwards by
land for thirty miles, to a place where the aforesaid Aygais live, of
whom and of their treatment of us we have spoken.

We found them at the same place where we had left them, and we fell upon
them by surprise in their houses while they were asleep, between three
and four o'clock in the morning, for the Carios had sought them out and
watched them, and we killed everybody, young and old, for it is the
custom of the Carios, when they make war and are victorious, to kill all
without any mercy or pity whatsoever.

We took also more than five hundred canoes or skiffs, and we burnt down
all the villages we found, and wrought very much damage besides. Four
months afterwards, some Aygais[95], who had not taken part in this
skirmish, because they were not then at home, came and asked for mercy,
and our commander was obliged to grant it them by order of H. I.
Majesty, who gave orders to pardon every Indian up to the third time,
but if one of them brake the peace for the third time he should become
a prisoner for life or a slave.

  [95] Agazes.

After that we continued for six months in this town, Noster Signora
Desumsion, in German "Unser Frawen Himmelfahrt", and had a good rest.

Then our commander Johann Eijollas[96] inquired of the Carios about a
people called Peijembas,[97] and they answered: it was from this town
Desumsion to the Peijembas[97] one hundred miles distance up the river

  [96] Juan de Ayolas.

  [97] Payaguás.

  [98] Paraguai.

Our commander then asked the Carios how the Peijembas[97] lived, and
what provisions they had, and from what they abstained; also what kind
of people they were, and of their habits. Their answer was, that the
Peijembas[99] had nothing else but fish and meat, and also St. John's
bread and fenugreek.[100] From this fenugreek they make flour which they
eat with their fish; they also make wine of it, and this wine is as
sweet as mead in Germany.

  [99] Payaguás, _vide supra_, p. 15.

  [100] Algarroba.

Our chief captain Johann Eijollas having heard all this from the Carios,
ordered them to load five ships with provisions of Turkish corn and
other things which were in the country; this had to be done in two
months' time, and by that time he and his men would also equip
themselves, and in the first place go to the Peijembas,[99] and
afterwards to a people called Carch Karaisch, and the Carios promised
to be always obedient, and to fulfil in all particulars the captain's

All things having now been arranged, and the ships provided with
victual, our commander ordered all the people to assemble, and out of
the four hundred men, took three hundred well armed; and the remaining
one hundred were left in the aforesaid town Vardellesse,[101] _i.e._
Noster Signora Desumsion, where the said Carios live. And then we went
up the river and found at a distance of five miles from these Carios a
village on the river Paraboe. The people here brought to us Christians,
victual, in the shape of fish, meat, hens, geese, Indian sheep, and

  [101] _Vardellesse_ must be a Germanized form of the Spanish word
  _Fortaleza_ (fortress).

Coming at last near a village of the Carios, which is called
Weybingen,[102] and is at a distance of eighty miles from Noster Signora
Desumsion, we took from them victual and other things which we could
obtain from them.

  [102] There is no village of that name in Paraguai.

From there we came to a mountain called S. Fernando, which resembles
the Bagenberg; there we found the said Peijembas, who are at twelve
miles distance from Weybingen, and they met us peaceably, and received
us with false hearts, as we shall see hereafter.

They took us into their houses and gave us fish and meat and also
fenugreek, and so we abode there for nine days.

Then our commander sent to ask their chief if they knew a folk named
Carchkareisso.[103] He replied that they knew nothing indeed of such a
people but what they had heard of them by report, and that they dwelt
far away in the country, and that they had much gold and silver, but
that they (the Peijembas) had never seen any of them.

  [103] Guaycurús.

They also told us that these Carchkareisso[103] were wise men, like as
we Christians are, and that they had plenty of victuals, such as Turkish
corn, manioc, manduis, padades, wachekew, mandeochparpü, mandeochade,
mandepare,[104] etc., and several other roots, the flesh of Indian sheep
called amne,[105] an animal resembling a donkey, but that it has feet
like kine and a thick and coarse skin, and that they had plenty also of
deer, rabbits, geese, and hens; but that none of the Peijembas[106] as
has been said, had ever seen all this, but only knew it by report of
others. But we found afterwards how things were situated.

  [104] Manduvis, potatoes, papas, etc.

  [105] Anta, or tapir.

  [106] Payaguás.

Having learned all this, our chief commander required to have some
Peijembas to go with him into that country, whereupon they readily
offered themselves, and presently their chief appointed three hundred
Peijembas to accompany us to carry our victual and other necessaries.
Our commander ordered these people to prepare themselves, for he would
be starting in four days, and of the five ships he ordered three to
sail, and on the other two he left fifty men of us Christians, whom
he ordered to wait there during his five months' absence, and that if
within that space of time he returned not unto us, that we should go
back with these two vessels to Noster Signora Desumsion. But it so
happened that we abode among these Peijembas for six months, and never
heard anything in the meanwhile of our commander Johann Eijolla,[107]
and we grew short of victual, so that we were compelled to return with
our temporary commander Martin Domingo Eijolla[108] to the town Signora,
according to the orders of our chief commander.

  [107] Juan de Ayolas.

  [108] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

How our chief commander Johann Eijollas made his voyage shall be
presently recorded.

First, when he departed from the Peijembas,[109] he came to a folk named
Naperus,[110] who are on friendly terms with the Peijembas; they have
nothing but fish and flesh, and are a people of considerable numbers.
Our commander took with him some of these Naperus to show him the way,
for they were to pass through divers countries, and many nations,
with great difficulty and penury of all things, and meet with much
resistance; so much so that nearly one-half of the Christians died
during this voyage. Finally, when he had come to a people called the
Peijssennas,[111] he could not go any further, but was compelled to turn
back again with all his people except three sick Spaniards, whom he left
among the Peijssennas.

  [109] This word Peiembas is not Guaraní. It must be the _Payaguás_,
  one of the tribes occupying the right bank of the river Paraguay, to
  which Schmidt refers here, or perhaps the _Mbaiàs_, the tribe adjacent
  to them.

  [110] Yaperús, a tribe of the Payaguás.

  [111] The Peyssennas are the same as the Peiembas. I believe the
  author is referring to the Payaguás.

Our chief commander therefore, Johann Eijollas being _salvo mendo_,
_i.e._ in good health, had come back with his men to the Naperus, where
he stayed until the third day, because the men were faint and overtired
with the journey, and because they had no further supplies.

But the Naperus, understanding this, resolved with the Peijembas, and
made an agreement with them to the effect, that they would kill and
make away with the chief commander Johann Eijollas and all his men, and
they did so afterwards, for when Johann Eijollas was going with his
Christians from the Naperus to the Peijembas, and had gone about
half-way, they were attacked unawares, and with loud cries by the
Naperus and their allies the Peijembas, who fell upon them like mad
dogs, as they were passing through a forest; and they were mercilessly
and miserably slaughtered, sick and faint Christians as they were,
including their commander Johann Eijollas,[112] so that not one of them
escaped. God have mercy on their souls!

  [112] Juan de Ayolas.

Now as we fifty men had gone to the town Noster Signora Desumsion, and
were waiting there for our commander Johann Eijollas and our soldiers,
to know how things had gone, we heard tidings from an Indian who had
been a slave to the late Johann Eijollas, and had been brought by him
from the Peijssennas, and who had escaped because of his knowledge
of the language. But although this man told us minutely all that had
happened from beginning to end, we would not believe him.

And having remained during a whole year in the above-named town, Noster
Signora, we were unable to gather any certain information as to how it
had fared with our soldiers; only the Carios told our commander Martin
Domingo Eijolla[113] that the general report was, that our Christians
had all perished at the hands of the Peijembas.[114] But we would not
yet believe it until we should hear from a Peijemba himself that it
was true. After two months the Carios brought to our commander, Martin
Domingo Eijolla, two Peijembas whom they had taken captive. These
Peijembas being asked if they had really slain them all, denied it most
emphatically, and said that our chief commander and his men were not yet
gone away from their land.

  [113] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

  [114] Payaguás. These were the Indians who killed Juan de Ayolas
  and all his people, according to Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca in his
  _Comentarios_, _infra_, and Ruy Diaz de Guzman in _La Argentina_; also
  Herrera, _Década_, v, libro 7, capitulo 5.

Our commander then obtained permission from the judge and the
provost-marshal that the two prisoners should be put to the torture
in order that they might tell the truth; and by his order they were
tormented in such a manner that they were compelled to confess that they
had killed the Christians and their chief.

In consequence thereof our commander Martin Domingo Eijolla had them
judged, and ordered the two Peijembas to be tied to a tree around which
a great fire was made in order to burn them.

Meanwhile it seemed good to us Christians to elect Martin Domingo
Eijolla for our chief commander (especially because he had behaved so
well against the war-people), until H. I. Majesty should give further

Then Martin Eijolla ordered to prepare four parchkadienes,[115] and
taking one hundred and fifty soldiers, the others being left in the
aforesaid town of Noster Signora, he gave us to understand that he would
gather together the other people who had been left among the Peijembas
for reasons before mentioned,[116] and the one hundred and sixty
Spaniards left at Bonas Aeieres[117] in the two ships, and bring them
to the town Noster Signora Desumsion. Then he, Martin Domingo Eijolla,
departed with these four brigantines down the rivers Parabol and

  [115] Brigantines.

  [116] On account of sickness, _cf. ante_, p. 26.

  [117] Buenos Ayres.

  [118] Paraguai and Parana.

Now before we came to the Thijembas,[119] it was resolved by the
Christians who waited there for us, namely, by a captain named
Franciscus Ruis, and Johann Paban, a priest, and a secretary named
Johann Ernandus,[120] governors of the Christians, that they would kill
the chief of the Thijembus, and certain other Indians, and they verily
performed this impious and mischievous deed, and put from life to death
the Indians who had rendered them for so long a time so many services
before we came down there with Martin Domingo Eijolla.

  [119] Timbus.

  [120] These names are Francisco Ruiz Galan, Juan Pavon and Juan
  Hernandez; Juan Pavon was not a clergyman, but an alcalde.

And when we arrived at these Thijembus and Christians, our commander
was alarmed at this murder and at the flight of the Thijembus.[119] But
he could do nothing, and therefore he left victuals in the castle of
Corpus Christi, also our twenty men, with a commander named Antonius
Manchossa,[121] and gave strict orders that he should not trust the
Indians in any way, but that he should keep strict watch by day and
by night, and if it happened that the Indians should come back and be
friendly with him, that he should deal courteously with them, and give
them all tokens of friendship, yet to be on his guard and beware lest
any misfortune should happen to them or to other Christians.

  [121] Antonio de Mendoza.

Now our commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla,[122] took down with him those
three persons who were the authors of the manslaughter, namely Francisco
Ruis, the priest Johann Paban, and Ernandus, the secretary. And when
they were about to take their journey and depart from us, a chief
of the Thijembus, named Zeicho Lijemii,[123] came; this one was the
Christians' friend, who showed good-will towards them, but from a false
and treacherous heart (as will be seen hereafter) said falsely that he
must pretend to be on good terms with the Indians, for the sake of wife,
children, and friends. And he engaged with our commander to take all the
Christians with him down the river, because the whole country was up
in arms against them to kill them or drive them out. To whom our chief
commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla answered, that he would soon be back,
that his people were strong enough to resist the Indians, and added,
that he, Zeiche Lijemii should come over to the Christians, with wife,
children, and friends, and with all his folk; and Zeiche Lijemii replied
that he would do so.

  [122] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

  [123] This is not a Guaraní name; it is undoubtedly an error on the
  part of the author.

Then our chief commander sailed down the river, leaving us at Corpus
Christi. About eight days afterwards, the aforesaid Indian Zeicho
Lijemii sent one of his brothers, named Suelapa,[124] treacherously, and
requested our commander, Antonius Manchossa, to place at his disposal
six Christians armed with guns and other weapons, for he wished to bring
his household with his family to us, and henceforth live among us, and
he remarked withal that he feared the Thijembus, and that without such
help, he could scarcely hope to bring his things out in safety. He
showed himself in such a way as though he would bring us victual and all
sorts of necessaries, but that was all knavery and deception.

  [124] Not a Guaraní name.

Our commander not only promised him six men, but gave him fifty well
armed Spaniards, and ordered these fifty men to be watchful and on their
guard, in order that they might not suffer any harm at the hands of the

It was not more than half a mile distance from us Christians to
these Thijembus, and when our fifty men came to their settlement, the
Thijembus came out to them, and gave them a Judas kiss, and brought them
fish and meat to eat.

Now when the Christians began to fall to their meat, these Thijembus,
with their allies who were hidden in the houses and in the fields,
suddenly fell upon them, and so consecrated the banquet with them, that
not a man of them escaped alive, but one lad called Kalderon.[125] God
be merciful to them and to us all. Amen.

  [125] Calderon.

Afterwards they set upon us with ten thousand men or more, and besieged
us, and thought they would vanquish us, but that did not happen, God
be praised! although they stayed fourteen days before our place, and
attacked us day and night.

They had this time long spears or javelins, which they had learnt how
to make from the Christians, with which they drave at us and defended

And it happened on that same day that the Indians attacked us by night
with all their force, and burnt down our houses, that our commander,
Antonius Manchossa,[126] armed with a two-handed sword ran out of a gate
near which some Indians lay in ambush so that they could not be seen;
and the Indians thrust him through with their spears, so that he
presently fell down dead without uttering a word. God's mercy be with
him! Now the Indians could not remain any longer because they had
nothing to eat, so they broke up half their camp and departed.

  [126] Antonio de Mendoza.

After this two brigantines laden with provisions and other necessaries
came to us from Bonas Aeieres[127] sent by our commander, Martin Domingo
Eijolla,[128] in order that we might maintain ourselves where we were
until the said commander's arrival, which cheered us very much indeed.
But those who came with the two ships were very sorrowful for the
Christians that were slain. We therefore determined by a common council,
and found it best to abide no longer in the village of Corpus Christi
near these Thijembus, but we went all of us down the river and came to
Bonas Aeieres to our commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla. He was much
shocked and very angry about the slaughter of the people, and doubtful
how to consult what he should first do, seeing that victual and other
necessary things failed us.

  [127] Buenos Ayres.

  [128] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

But after we had stayed for five days at Bonas Aeieres, a ship called a
_Carabelle_,[129] came from Spain, and brought us fresh tidings to wit,
that a ship had arrived at St. Catharina, whose captain was called
Albernunzo Gabrero,[130] and he had brought with him two hundred
soldiers from Spain.

  [129] Caravela.

  [130] Alonso Cabrera.

As soon as our commander had heard these tidings, he ordered one of the
two lesser ships, which was called a galleon, to be made ready; and sent
it along with the first to Sta. Catharina in Priesiell,[131] which is
thirty miles[132] from Bonas Aeieres, and appointed for it a commander
named Conssaillo Manchossa,[133] to govern the ship, and he charged him,
when he arrived with his ship at St. Catherina in Priesiell, to load
her with provisions, namely rice, manioc, and other things as he should
think fit.

  [131] Brazil.

  [132] From Buenos Ayres to the Island of Santa Catalina there are
  600 miles. Santa Catalina did not then belong to Brazil, but to the
  Gobernacion del Rio de la Plata (Government of the River Plate),
  belonging to the Spanish Crown. Schmidt could not have been ignorant
  of this, since he had been there with the expedition of Don Pedro de

  [133] Gonzalo Mendoza.

This commander, Conssaillo Manchossa, asked Martin Domingo Eijolla for
six trusty soldiers, whom he could rely upon; and they were promised
him. So he took me and six Spaniards, and also twenty more soldiers and

Departing from Bonas Aeieres, we came in a month's time to St.
Catharina, and finding the above-mentioned ship which had arrived from
Spain, and the commander, Albernunzo Gabrero, with all his men, we were
greatly rejoiced, and stayed there for two months, loading our ship
with rice, manioc, and Turkish corn, so full that we could not take any

Then having sailed with both ships and the commander, Albernunzo
Gabrero, and all his people from S. Catharina towards Bonas Aeieres in
India, we arrived at twenty miles from the river Paranaw Wassu.[134]
This river is forty miles wide at its mouth, and has the same width for
eighty miles, until one reaches a harbour called S. Gabriel, where the
river (Parana) has a width of eight miles.

  [134] In early times this river was called Rio de Solis, and
  afterwards also Paraná Guazú. Its mouth, as we have before stated
  (_supra_, p. 6), is 188 miles wide between Capes Santa Maria and San
  Antonio. The width of the Paraná proper, where it empties into the
  Plate, at the end of the Delta, is twenty-five miles, between the
  island of Martin Garcia and Point San Fernando.

Having arrived as before said, to within twenty miles of this river, on
All Saints' eve, the two ships approached at night close to one another,
and the one spoke the other, asking if we were in the river Paranaw; our
seaman said we were in that river, but the other one said we were at a
distance of twenty miles from it.

For when two, three, or more ships sail in company, they always come
together at sunset, and ask one another how long they have sailed day
and night, and what wind they intend taking at night, in order that they
may not separate from one another.

After this our skipper again addressed the master of the other ship,
asking if he would follow him, but the other said that it was already
night, and he would therefore stand out to sea till next morning, and
would not make the land by night; this skipper was indeed somewhat wiser
than ours as the event afterwards proved.

While our ship continued on its way that night, having parted company
with the other, great storm-winds arose at sea, so that we saw the land
by twelve or one o'clock, before we could anchor.

And when the ship had touched the ground, we having notwithstanding a
full mile to make in order to reach land, knew of no other counsel save
to appeal to God Almighty that He might be merciful and take pity on
us. That same hour our ship was broken into many thousand pieces, and
fifteen of our men and six Indians were drowned. Some taking hold of
large pieces of timber swam out, and I with five of my companions
escaped on the mast. But of the fifteen drowned we could not find one.
God bless them and us all. Amen.

We had afterwards to go on foot one hundred miles,[135] having lost all
our clothes and victual, and had to sustain ourselves with such roots
and fruits as we could find in the fields, until we came to the haven
called S. Gabriel, where we found the aforesaid ship with her captain,
which had arrived there thirty days before us.

  [135] The distance which Schmidt and his companions would have had
  to walk, in a straight line between Cape Santa Maria, where it is
  probable that the shipwreck took place, and the island of San Gabriel,
  would have been 255 English miles.

When this mishap had been reported to our commander, Martino Domingo
Eijolla,[136] he and all his men were very sorry, for they thought we
had all perished, and they had already caused masses to be said for our

  [136] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

As soon as we had arrived at Bonas Aeieres,[137] our commander, Martin
Domingo Eijolla, ordered the captain of our ship and the pilot to come
before him; and if there had not been much intercession on behalf of the
pilot he would have been hanged. He was, however, condemned to stay for
four years on the bergentin ships.

  [137] Buenos Ayres.

All the people being together at Bonas Aeieres, our chief captain
ordered that the bergentin ships should be made ready, and that all the
soldiers should be in them together, and that they should burn the great
ships; preserving, however, the iron tackling. After this had been done,
we sailed once more up the river Paranaw, and came to the town Noster
Signora Desumsion, where we remained two years, waiting further orders
from H. I. Majesty.

Meanwhile, another chief commander named Albernunzo Cabessa de
Bacha,[138] came from Spain, appointed by H. I. Majesty, with four
hundred men and thirty horses, in four vessels, two of which were large
ships, and the other two Karabella.[139] These four ships arrived in
Brazil at the haven called Wiessay, or S. Catherina,[140] to seek
provision of victual, and when the commander had sent the two Karabella
to sail eight miles distance from that port to seek for victuals, such
a storm befell them that they were both compelled to remain at sea, and
they perished, being broken all to pieces, but the men escaped.[141]
When the chief captain heard of this, he durst not put to sea with the
other two ships; but, since they were unseaworthy, he had them broken
up, and came to us in haste by land to Riodellaplata, to the town Noster
Signora desumsion, on the river Paraboe, and brought not more than three
hundred out of the four hundred men with him, the remainder having died
of hunger and disease.[142]

  [138] Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca.

  [139] Caravels.

  [140] Mbiaçá or Santa Catalina. Mbiaçá was the name of the country
  opposite the island, and at Schmidt's time it was not Brazil, but
  a part of the Government of the River Plate. That is why Barcia's
  Spanish translation says that Alvar Nuñez arrived in Brazil _and_
  Santa Catalina, which is perfectly correct.

  [141] Cabeza de Vaca does not say that the two ships were wrecked, but
  that they had to put back to S. Catherina on account of bad weather.
  Cf. his _Comentarios_, _infra_.

  [142] When the Emperor was made acquainted of Don Pedro de Mendoza's
  death, he appointed another Adelantado to take his place, in case the
  Lieutenant-Governor whom Mendoza had left there had died too. The new
  Adelantado was Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, famous for his shipwrecks
  and adventures in Florida. Alvar Nuñez sailed from Spain in November
  1540. He brought with him orders to take possession of the sea-coast
  belonging to Spain, south of the Portuguese Capitania de San Vicente.
  He first took possession of the ports of Cananea, San Francisco, and
  Santa Catalina, all pertaining to Spain. This island was given to
  the Adelantado as a personal gift for the term of twelve years, on
  condition of maintaining its possession and keeping there the Indians
  who inhabited it. Alvar Nuñez stopped there several months. In May
  1541 he sent out some of his people to Buenos Ayres in one of his
  ships; but storms forced them to return to the island. The wrecks
  mentioned by Schmidt did not occur. Towards the end of the same year,
  Alvar Nuñez with half his people and twenty-six horses started by
  land for Asuncion, and he gave the name of Province of Vera to the
  territory of Guaira (now the Brazilian Province of Paraná), which
  belonged to his Gobernacion. He marched across the province, taking
  possession of it on behalf of Spain, and arrived at Asuncion on the
  11th of March 1542, after a painful journey of four months and a half.
  The other half of Alvar Nuñez's people, under the command of his
  nephew, Pedro Estopiñan, went by sea to Buenos Ayres, and found the
  town of Don Pedro de Mendoza abandoned and the houses burnt by order
  of the ambitious Irala.

This Commander was eight whole months on his way, for the distance is
reckoned to be five hundred miles from Noster Signora desumsion to this
place or harbour of S. Catherina.

He also brought with him from Spain his commission from H. I. Majesty,
and required that Martin Domingo Eijolla[143] should yield up the whole
government to him, and that all the men should be obedient to him in
every respect. The commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla, and all the people
declared they were ready to obey, but with this understanding, that he,
Cabessa de Bacha, should show and lay before them some document to
prove that he had received from His Imperial Majesty such powers and

  [143] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

But this the whole assembly could not obtain from him; only the priests
and two or three of the captains affirmed it, that Albernunzo Cabessa de
Bacha ruled and commanded; but we shall see hereafter how things went
with him.

Now, this said Albernunzo Cabessa passed all the people in review,
and found that there were eight hundred men. At the same time he made
friendship with Martino Domingo Eijolla, and they became sworn brothers,
so that he, Martino Domingo Eijolla, no less than before commanded the

After this review he, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha, ordered nine
Bergentines to be prepared, that he might sail up the river Paraboe
as far as he could. But at the same time, and before the ships were
made ready, he sent out three Bergentines with one hundred and fifteen
soldiers, to go as far as they could, in order to find Indians who had
manioc and Turkish corn. He appointed them two captains, named Anthonius
Gabrero and Diego Tabellino. They came first to a people called
Surukufers,[144] who had Turkish corn, manioc, and other roots, such
as mandues, which resemble hazel-nuts, and also fish and meat.

  [144] Samacosis, says the Spanish translator, in Barcia's Collection.
  But the Indians in those parts were the Itatis and Guaycurús,
  generally known as the Cheriguanos. (Cf. _infra_, p. 40.)

The men wear in their lips a great blue stone, like a draughtsman, and
the women have their privities covered.

Among these people we left our ships, and with them some of our
companions to guard them, and went thence into the country. After four
days' journey we came to a village, occupied by the Carios, who were
about three thousand men strong, of whom we inquired diligently of the
state of that country, and we received honest and peaceable answers from
them. Returning thence, we again came back to our ships, and going down
the river of Paraboe, we came to a nation called the Achkeres. Here we
found a letter from our chief captain, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha,
to the effect that we should hang the chief of these Indians, named
Achkere.[145] Our commander at once complied with this order, out of
which afterwards a great war broke out, as will be seen hereafter.

  [145] Aracaré, according to Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, in the
  _Comentarios_, by Pero Hernandez, secretary to the Adelantado,
  Valladolid, 1555. (See _infra_.)

Now, when this had happened, to wit, that the above-mentioned Indian
had come by his death in this way, we returned down the river to Noster
Signora desumsion, and told our commander, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha,
what we had done and seen during this voyage. Then he asked the chief
Indian who was in the town Noster Signora,[146] that he should appoint
him two thousand Indians who should go with us up the river.

  [146] La Asuncion.

The Indians promised to be willing and obedient, and added that our
commander should first of all think well about it before going into that
country,[147] because the whole of it belonged to Dabere,[148] a chief
of the Carios, who was prepared to come out in full force against the
Christians. For this Dabere, they said, was Achkere's brother, whom the
Christians hanged, and therefore he intended to avenge his brother's
death. So our commander had to refrain from this voyage, and prepare
himself to go to war against his enemies. He then ordered his sworn
brother, Martino Domingo Eijolla,[149] to take four hundred Christians
and two thousand Indians, and go against this Dabere and the Carios, and
either drive them out of the whole country or utterly destroy them.
The said Eijolla faithfully followed this mandate, and went with these
people out of the city Noster Signora, and advanced towards the enemy,
having first warned them on behalf of H. I. Majesty.

  [147] In orig.: "auss dem Landt"; in the Latin version: "in illam
  regionem", and this appears the better reading.

  [148] Tabaré.

  [149] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

But this Dabere, little regarding the warning, would admit no treaty of
peace; for he had gathered a considerable number of people together, and
his settlements were very strongly fenced with palisadoes, which means
wooden walls[150]; and compassed about with three such walls and many
wide pits whereof we have already spoken; but we had found all this out
before. So we stood still quietly with our army till the fourth day
before we proclaimed war against them; the fourth day in the morning,
three hours before daybreak, we fell upon the place, slaying all that we
found there, and we captured many women, preserving them from slaughter,
which was a great help to us afterwards.

  [150] _I.e._, stockades.

In this assault sixteen Christians were slain, and many of us wounded
and hurt. Also many of our Indians perished; but they did not gain very
much from us, for on their side more than three thousand were slain.

Not very long after Dabere came with his people to ask for mercy, and
that we should give him back his wives and children; then he and his
people would serve the Christians and obey them. Our commander was
compelled by H. I. Majesty to grant them that.

After this peace had been concluded, we again went down the river
Paraboe[151] to our chief commander, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha,[152]
and we told him how all had happened.

  [151] Paraguai.

  [152] Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca.

Then he thought of making his intended voyage, and he asked of Dabere,
who was now satisfied, two thousand armed Indians to go with him; and
they were willing, and promised to be always obedient. He also commanded
the Carios to load the nine little Bergentin ships.[153] All this being
done, he took five hundred Christians out of the eight hundred, and he
left the remaining three hundred in the town Noster Signora desumsion,
and appointed as their commander Johann Salleisser.[154]

  [153] Brigantines.

  [154] Juan Salazar.

He then sailed up the river Paraboe with this army of five hundred
Christians and two thousand Indians.

The Carios had eighty-three canoes, and we Christians had nine Bergentin
ships, in every one of which there were two horses; but the horses
were conveyed overland one hundred miles, and we went by water unto a
mountain called S. Fernando,[155] where the horses were shipped, and
then we came to our enemies, the Peijembus,[156] but they did not wait
for us, but soon fled away with their wives and children, having first
burnt down their houses. After this we travelled together for one
hundred miles, and found no people all that way, till at length we came
to a nation named the Bachereos,[157] who live on fish and meat. It is a
numerous people, who inhabit a large country over one hundred miles in
extent, and they have also many canoes. Their women have their privities
covered. They would not speak with us, but fled away from us. Afterwards
we came to another people called Surukusis, where the three aforesaid
ships were.[158] They were at ninety miles distance from the Baschereos,
and they received us in a friendly way; each of them has his own
lodging, with his wife and children; the men have a rounded piece of
wood like draughts, hanging at the end of their ears. The women wear a
grey stone of crystal, thick and long as a finger, in their lips; they
are nice-looking, and go about quite naked. They have also plenty
of Turkish corn, manioc, manduis, padades, etc., fish and meat in
abundance; it is a great people.

  [155] Cf. _ante_, p. 24.

  [156] Payaguás.

  [157] Xaráyos, or Guarayos.

  [158] Cf. _ante_, p. 37.

Our commander asked them about a people named Carchkareos,[159] and also
about the Carios. They could not give information about the Carchkareos,
but they said that the Carios were with them in their houses; but it was
not true.

  [159] Charcas.

Having learned this, our commander ordered us to prepare ourselves in
order to go further into the country. He appointed one hundred and fifty
men to stay with the ships, to whom he gave provision for two years. And
he took the three hundred and fifty Christians and the eighteen horses,
and the two thousand Indians or Carios who went out with us from Noster
Signora desumsion, and marched into the country; but he did not do much,
because he was not the right sort of man. Besides, all the officers and
soldiers hated him for his perverse and rigorous carriage towards the
men. We travelled eighteen days' journey without seeing either Carios
or any other people; and food also failing us, our commander was again
obliged to return with us to the ships. And when we turned back he sent
out a Spaniard, named Franciscus Riefere,[160] with ten other armed
Spaniards, and ordered them to go forward ten days' journey, and if in
that time they should not find any other people, they should return to
us to the ships, where we would wait for them.

  [160] Francisco de Ribera.

It happened that they found a populous nation of Indians, who had plenty
of Turkish corn, manioc, and other roots. But the Spaniards durst not
show themselves, but returned to us, and told it to our chief captain.
He was very desirous to have gone into that country, but was hindered by
waters[161] that he could not proceed. He therefore ordered a ship to be
furnished, wherein he put eighty men, and gave us Ernando Rieffere[162]
for our captain, and sent us up the river Paraboe to discover the nation
named Scherues,[163] and ordered that we should go two days' journey
into the interior of the country and no farther, and then report to him
of that land and its inhabitants.

  [161] Floods.

  [162] Hernando de Ribera.

  [163] Xarayes; cf. Hernando de Ribera's narrative, _infra_.

So departing, on the first day we came on the other side of the country
to a people named Surukusis, who live in an island[164] which is thirty
miles wide, and encompassed by the river Paraboe; they eat manioc,
maize, manduis, padades, mandepore, parpii, Bachkeku, and other roots;
also fish and meat. The men and women are like the above-mentioned
Surukusis in face and figure. We remained one day among them, and the
second day we set off again. Ten canoes of these Indians accompanied
us and showed us our way, and twice a day they hunted wild beasts and
fished to supply us with food. After six days' journey we came to a
people called Achkeres. They are very numerous, men and women, are
big and tall, the like whereof were not to be seen in the whole
Riodellaplata. These Achkeres are three miles distance from the
aforesaid Surukusis; they have nothing to eat but fish and meat; the
women have their privities covered. Among these Achkeres[165] we
remained one day, and then the above-mentioned Surukusis returned with
their ten canoes to their village. Afterwards our commander, Ernando
Riefere[166] asked the Achkeres to show us the way to the Scherues, and
they were willing to do so, and came with eight canoes out of their
place with us, and twice every day fished and hunted, so that we should
have plenty to eat. The reason why they are called Achkeres, is as

  [164] This island was called Isla del Paraiso (Paradise Island) by the
  Spaniards. The Indians living there were the Itatis.

  [165] _Yacaré_ is the name, in the Guaraní language, of the amphibious
  animals similar to the crocodile, to which Schmidt alludes hereafter.
  But there never was a tribe of that name; perhaps it was the name of a

  [166] Hernando de Ribera.

Achkarus is a fish which has a hard skin all over, so that it cannot be
wounded with a knife, nor can one shoot it with an Indian dart. It is a
big fish, which does great harm to other fishes. Its eggs, which it lays
at about two or three paces from the water's edge, have the taste of
musk and are good for eating; the tail is the best part, though the
whole fish is harmless; it lives always in the water. In our Germany
that fish is reckoned to be noxious and even venomous, and is called
a crocodile. And it is said, that if one looks at that fish, and even
more, if the fish breathes upon any one, that person must by all means
die; which is not according to truth, for man must also die without
that, and nothing is more certain.

Further it is said that if such a fish is found in a well, there is no
other means to kill it than to show it a mirror, in order that it may
look at itself therein; it must then die from the sight of its own
atrocious face.

But all these sayings are fables, and nothing else, for I should have
died a hundred times if it had been true, having caught and eaten over
three thousand of these fishes myself, and I would not have written so
much about this fish if I had not had such good reason for it.

The ninth day after our departure we came to the Scherues,[167] who are
reckoned to be thirty-six miles distant from the Achkeres. This nation
is very populous, but these were not the genuine people among whom the
king lives. These Scherues to whom we now came wear a moustache, and
have a wooden ring in the tips of their ears, and the ear is folded
round the wooden ring in a wonderful manner. The men have also a large
blue crystal in their lips of the shape and size of a draughtsman. And
they are painted blue on their bodies from the head to the knees so as
to give them the appearance of wearing breeches.

  [167] Xarayos. These and the Itatis were the Indians living near the
  island of Paraiso, on the left bank of the river Paraguai. According
  to the best authorities the right name for this tribe is _Guarayos_.

But the women are painted otherwise, blue from the breast to the
privities, and so artistically, that one could not soon find a painter
to do it so well. They are absolutely naked, and are beautiful after
their manner, and also commit transgressions in the dark.

Among these Scherues we remained one day, and afterwards in three days'
journey we came to a king, who lives at fourteen miles distance, and
whose people are also called Scherues. His country is only four miles
wide, but he has also a settlement on the river Paraboe.

There we left our ship with twelve Spaniards to watch it, that we might
use it for our defence on our return. We also ordered these Scherues
dwelling there to hold friendly intercourse with the Christians, which
they also did.

We remained thus two days in this place, and prepared ourselves for
travel, and took all that was wanted and passed over the river
Paraboe,[168] and so came to the King who lives there himself.

  [168] Paraguai.

And when we were approaching near and were about one mile off, the King
of the Scherues came forth to meet us with twelve thousand men, or even
more, on a heath, yet in a friendly and peaceable manner. The path they
followed was eight feet broad, and was covered entirely with flowers
and herbs up to their place, and made so clean that not so much as any
little stone, stick, or straw appeared. The King was also accompanied by
his musicians, whose instruments resemble our hoboys. His Royal Majesty
had also ordered that deer and other wild beasts should be hunted on
both sides of the way; so that they caught about thirty deer and twenty
ostriches, and it was indeed an agreeable thing to see; and when we came
to their place, the King appointed a house to accommodate every two
Christians, and our captain with his servants were taken into the Royal
House, and I was not very far from the King's house. Then the King of
the Scherues[169] and his subjects resolved to treat us Christians well,
and to give us all our necessaries. And the King also held a Court in
his own way, like the greatest lord in the country.

  [169] Xarayos.

At dinner the musicians must play whenever it is his pleasure. Then the
men and the most beautiful women must dance before him, and such a dance
is to us Christians quite wonderful, so much so that looking upon them
one could think of nothing else. These people are like the Scherues, of
whom we spoke before.

Their wives make mantles from cotton very subtle, almost like satin, on
which they embroider several figures, as deer, ostriches, Indian sheep,
or what else they can. In these mantles they sleep when it is cold, or
they sit upon them, or use them at their pleasure. These women are very
fair and venerous, very amiable, and very hot too, as it seemed to me.

There we remained four days. Meanwhile, the King asked our commander
what were our wishes, and whither we intended to go; and our commander
replied he was seeking for gold and silver. The King gave him a silver
crown, which weighed one and a half mark nearly, and a bar of gold,
a span and a half in length and half a span broad; also a bracelet,
_i.e._, a half-harness, and many other things in silver, and then said
to our commander: He had no more gold or silver, and that these things
were the spoils which in time past he had won in war from the Amazons.

And when he came to speak of the Amazons, and gave us to understand of
their great riches, we were very glad to learn of it. And our commander
presently asked the King if we could come to them by water; and how far
it was to these Amazons.

The King answered we could not reach them by water, but would have to go
by land, and travel during two whole months. Thereupon we decided to go
to these Amazons, as will be related hereafter.

These women, the Amazons, have only one breast, and the men come to
their wives only three or four times in the year; and if the woman,
being in child by her husband, bring forth a male child, she sends that
boy away to his father.

But if it be a girl, she keepeth it with her, and seareth the right
breast, in order that it may grow no more. The reason for this is, that
they may be more fit to handle their weapons and bows, for they are
war-like women, making continual war against their enemies.

These women inhabit an island surrounded by water, and a large island it
is too; and there is no access to it but by canoes. But in this island
the Amazons have neither gold nor silver, though they are reported to
have great riches in the _terra firma_ where the men live. It is a very
great nation, and is said to have a King whose name appears to be
Iegnis, and they told us where he lived.

Now, our commander, Ernando Rieffere,[170] desired the said King of the
Scherues[171] to place at our disposal some of his subjects to carry
our plunder and to show us the way, because he intended to enter the
interior of the country, and to seek out those above-mentioned Amazons.
The King was willing to do so, but he said that at this time of the year
the land would be under water, and therefore travelling there would not
do at this season. We would not, however, believe his words, but were
urgent to have his Indians. He therefore gave our commander for his
person twenty men to carry his plunder and victual, and to each of us he
gave five Indians to serve us and carry our necessaries, for we would
have to go eight days' journey without finding an Indian.

  [170] Hernando de Ribera.

  [171] Xarayos. All that precedes about the Amazons is a ridiculous
  tale which Schmidt could not have heard from any of those poor
  Indians, who had not the slightest idea about the Scythian mythology
  or the ancient fables from which this passage of his book is taken,
  after the fashion for the wonderful, prevalent at this period. The
  source of this story in the New World is the voyage made in 1540-41 by
  the Spanish officer, Orellana, who was the first to navigate the great
  river called _of the Amazons_, on account of his having related that
  he met on its banks a tribe of women warriors.

Afterwards we came to a certain nation called Siberis, who resemble the
Scherues in their language and in other respects. We advanced for eight
whole days and nights in water up to the knees, and sometimes as high
as the waist; nor could we by any means come out of it. When we wished
to make a fire, we heaped big fagot-sticks one on another, and made a
fire thereon; and it happened several times that as we were about to
cook our meat, both the pot in which we had our food and the fire fell
into the water, and then we had to remain without eating. We also could
not find any rest either by day or night, because of the small flies,
against which we could do nothing.

We therefore asked these Siberis if there were any more water, and they
said we would have to wade four more days in the water, and afterwards
would have to travel five other days by land; and at length we should
come to a people named Orthuses,[172] and they gave us to understand
that we were too few in number, and therefore we had better return. But
this we would not do for the Scherues sake, for we thought rather of
sending them back to their town who were accompanying us. But the said
Scherues refused to go, because the King had ordered them not to leave
us, but to serve us until we came again out of that country.

  [172] Urtuesses; cf. Hernando de Ribera's narrative, _infra_.

The aforesaid Siberis then gave us ten men, who, together with the
Scherues, should show us the way to the aforesaid Orthuses; so we went
along for another seven days through water up to the waist or the knee;
this water was quite as hot as if it had been heated on the fire, and
we were compelled to drink it, for want of any other water. Some might
suppose that it was a flowing water, but this was not so, for at that
time rain had fallen so heavily that the whole land was inundated, for
it is a flat land; how we suffered from the effects of this water shall
be told hereafter.

Thus on the ninth day, between ten and eleven before noon, we came to
the place of the Orthuses, and by midday we arrived in the centre of the
village, where the chief's house stands.

But at that very time there was a great mortality among the Orthuses,
caused by famine, for they had nothing to eat, the locusts or
grasshoppers having twice eaten and destroyed all the corn and the
fruits of their trees. When we Christians saw this, and heard how things
were going there, we became frightened, and could not remain long in the
land, because we also had not much to eat. So our commander asked their
chief how many days' journey we yet had to the Amazons, and he said we
must yet travel one full month to reach them, and besides, all the land
was full of water, as it indeed appeared.

Now the chief of the Orthuses presented our commander with four
Pleynisch[173] of gold, and four silver rings which they wear on the
arm; but the Indians wear the plates on their foreheads for ornaments,
as our nobles do their gold chains on their necks. For all this, our
commander gave the chief of the Indians a hatchet, knives, paternosters,
scissors, and other things which are made at Nuremberg. We would have
wished more from them, but we durst not ask it, for we Christians were
not numerous enough, and therefore had to beware of them. The Indians,
on the contrary, were very numerous, and their town so large, that I had
hitherto never seen in the whole of India so many people together, nor
such a big place, although I have been far and wide. The mortality
among the Indians, dying from hunger, certainly was our good luck, for
otherwise we Christians might not perhaps have escaped with our lives.

  [173] Plates.

When we again returned to the aforesaid Siberis, we were ill-provided
with victual, for they had nothing to eat but a tree called a palm, and
cardes,[174] and other roots which grow underground. And when we came
to the Scherues, our people were half dead for sickness, because of the
water and the poverty that we had to undergo during this journey, for
we never came out of the water for thirty days and nights together, and
we were always constrained to drink of that impure water.

  [174] Thistles.

So we remained among the Scherues, where the King lives, for four days,
and they treated us very well, and waited on us diligently, and the King
ordered his subjects to give us all things necessary.

On this journey each of us plundered nearly two hundred ducats' worth
of Indian cotton mantles and silver, having secretly bartered these for
knives, paternosters,[175] scissors, and looking-glasses.

  [175] Rosaries.

After all this we again went down the river to our chief commander,
Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha,[176] and when we arrived, he ordered us on
our lives not to come out of the ships, and he came also in person to
us and ordered our commander, Ernando Rieffere,[177] to be cast into
prison, and took from us soldiers all that we had brought with us from
the country; and finally, he would have hanged our commander, Ernando
Rieffere, on a tree. But when we heard of this, we being still in the
Bergentin,[178] raised a great tumult along with other good friends who
were on shore, against our chief commander, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha,
demanding that he should set our commander, Ernando Rieffere, free, and
restore to us all of that which he had taken away, otherwise we should
take measures accordingly. Seeing such an uproar and our wrathful
indignation, he was very glad indeed to let our commander go free, and
to restore to us all he had taken away, giving us fair words that we
might be pacified; how it fared with him afterwards shall presently be

  [176] Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca.

  [177] Hernando de Ribera.

  [178] Brigantine.

All this having occurred, and peace being established, he desired our
commander, Ernando Rieffere, and us to give him a report on the country
we had been to; and explain how it happened that we had remained so
long absent; and we gave him an answer wherewith he was well satisfied.
That he had received us so badly and taken our things away, was the
result of our not having obeyed his mandate; for he had only ordered us
to go as far as the Scherues,[179] and four days' journey inland, and
then to return and report to him; we on the contrary had gone for
eighteen days beyond the country of the Scherues.

  [179] Xarayos.

Now our chief commander, after the report we had made of it, would have
marched with all his people to that country to which we had just been;
but we soldiers would not agree thereto, especially at this very time
when the country was quite under water.

Moreover, most of the people were very feeble and ill, besides which our
chief commander, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha, commanded no great respect
or favour among the soldiers, for he was a man who had never held a
command nor any important post whatsoever.

So we remained for two months among the aforesaid Siberis (Surukusis?),
during which time our chief commander got a fever, which made him very
ill--it would have been no great loss had he died at this time, for he
really commanded no great respect among us.

In this country of the Surukusis I did not find a single Indian who was
forty or fifty years of age, nor have I ever in my life experienced a
more unhealthy country; for it lies under the tropic, _i.e._, there
where the sun is at the highest; it is as unhealthy as Sancte

  [180] The island of San Thomé, off the west coast of Africa.

Being among the Surukusis, I saw the constellation of Ursa Major, of
which we had lost sight when we passed the island of S. Augo.[181]

  [181] St. Iago, one of the Cape Verd islands, cf. _supra_, p. 4.
  Hulsius observes that in the tropic of Capricorn, in which Surukusis
  is situated, the elevation of the pole is 22½°, and the constellation
  of Ursa Major would be visible here at its highest elevation in the
  sky for several hours. The author's remark that he lost sight of this
  constellation at the island of St. Iago is, according to the same
  commentator, wholly erroneous. This island is in N. lat. 15°;
  the declination of the star α Ursæ Majoris, the northernmost of
  the group, is 62° 20′ 2″. It would therefore appear on the horizon
  in S. lat. 27° 40′, or 2,560 miles south of St. Iago.

Now our commander-in-chief ordered, in spite of his illness, one hundred
and fifty Christians and two thousand Indian Carios to go with four
Bergentin ships,[182] four miles distance to the island of the
Surukusis, and commanded them to slay all these Surukusis or to take
them prisoners, and that they should principally destroy all persons
from forty to fifty years of age. The way these Surukusis had previously
entertained us has already been declared,[183] and how we rewarded and
thanked them will now appear. God knows that we did them wrong.

  [182] Brigantines.

  [183] Cf. _supra_, p. 42.

When, therefore, we arrived at their town unawares, they came out of
their houses with bows and arrows to meet us peaceably. But a tumult
arising between the Carios and the Surukusis, we Christians fired at
them and killed very many, and having made more than two thousand
prisoners, men, women, boys, and girls, we afterwards burnt down their
town, and took all they possessed that could be carried away, as in such
violent assaults is usual; then we turned back again to our commander,
Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha, who was very well pleased with our deeds.

But our people being for the most part feeble and ill-affected towards
our chief commander, the latter could not do anything with them, so
he ordered a ship to be prepared, and we all went down the river
Paraboe,[184] and came to Noster Signora desumsion,[185] where we had
left the other Christians. There our chief commander fell sick again of
a fever, and kept indoors fourteen days together. It was, however, more
out of pride than out of weakness, for he did not please the people;
but showed himself unseemly towards them more than it behoved a lord or
commander who would govern a country; for such a man should always give
good counsel to everyone alike whatever their rank or station, and
always be good-hearted to all. Also it seems well that such an one
should so behave himself as he would like to appear to others, and
should be wiser and cleverer than those whom he commands. For it is very
bad and shameful that anyone should try to advance more in honours
than in wisdom. And nobody should boast himself of his high position,
despising others, like the vain and arrogant Thrasus[186] in Terentius,
who thinks that every commander is appointed for the sake of the men,
and not the soldiers nominated for the commander's sake.

  [184] Paraguai.

  [185] The town of La Asuncion.

  [186] Thraso, the soldier in Terence's play of _The Eunuch_. A German
  translation of this comedy, with a commentary by Hans Nythart, was
  printed at Ulm in 1486.

But here there has been no regard as to persons, but our commander has
in all things only followed his arrogant and vain inspiration.

Thereupon it was resolved by all, noble man and commoner, to meet in
council, with a view to take prisoner this chief commander, Albernunzo
Cabessa de Bacha, and to send him to H. I. Majesty, and to report to His
Majesty about his nice virtue, and how he had behaved towards us, and
how, according to his reason, he had governed; and other things besides.

According to the resolution come to, these three gentlemen, namely,
the treasurer or judge, the clerk or master of the toll or custom, and
the secretary ordained by H. I. Majesty, whose names were Albernunzo
Gabrero, Don Francisco Manchossa, Garze Hannego, Philippo de
Gastra,[187] etc., taking with them two hundred soldiers, went to his
lodging, and arrested our commander-in-chief, Albernunzo Cabessa de
Bacha, when he least expected it. And this happened on St. Mark's Day,
Anno 1543.[188] They held prisoner the said Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha
for a whole year, until a ship called a Carrabella,[189] provided with
victual and a crew, had been prepared. And on board this ship the
often-mentioned Cabessa de Bacha, with two other officers on behalf of
H. I. Majesty, were conveyed to Spain.

  [187] Alonzo Cabrera, Francisco de Mendoza, Garcia Vanegas, and Felipe

  [188] This conspiracy against Alvar Nuñez was the work of Domingo
  Martinez de Irala to get possession of the Government, in which he
  succeeded. Schmidt avows himself an accomplice, and this explains his
  unjust charges against the Adelantado, Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, who
  was the most honest and capable governor that this unfortunate colony
  had in early times. The imprisonment took place on the 25th of April
  1544, and lasted one year, during which Alvar Nuñez suffered the most
  horrible treatment from his wicked enemies.

  [189] Caravel.

After that we had to elect another who should rule and govern the
country until H. I. Majesty had time to designate one himself. And we
held it for good, as it was the meaning and the will of the community,
to nominate as chief Domingo Eijollas,[190] not only because he had
formerly governed the country, but especially because most of the
soldiers were satisfied with him.

  [190] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

However, there were some who had been the special friends of our
aforesaid chief commander, Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha, who were not
pleased. But we did not care for that.

About this time I was very weak and ill with dropsy, which I, along with
my fellow-comrades, had caught in our journey to the Orthuses, when
we waded so long in the water, besides suffering want and intolerable
hunger, as I have related; for nearly eighty of our people fell ill, and
not more than thirty men escaped death.

And when Albernunzo Cabessa de Bacha was sent to Spain there was discord
among us Christians, and soon we fought day and night, so that any one
would have thought that the devil governed among us; and no man was safe
from the other.

We thus made war among ourselves for two whole years, the sending away
Cabessa de Bacha being the occasion of it. And when the Carios, who had
formerly been our friends, perceived that we Christians were disunited,
and had such false and treacherous hearts one towards another, they were
not at all pleased, for they thought that every realm that is divided
in itself and cannot agree must be destroyed. They therefore held a
council, and agreed that they would kill us and drive us out of their
country. But God Almighty--praise to Him, always and everlastingly--did
not grant these Carios that their designs should prosper; although the
whole country of the Carios and other nations, such as the Aygais,[191]
were against us Christians.

  [191] Agazes.

But when we perceived this state of things we were obliged to make
peace among ourselves. And we also entered into a treaty with two other
tribes, one named the Jeperis, and the other the Bachacheis,[192] who
numbered five thousand men in all. They eat only fish and flesh, are
courageous in battle on land and water, but prefer fighting on land.
Their weapons are tardes,[193] half a spear in length but not so thick,
and the points are tipped with flint. They have also truncheons under
their girdles four spans long with a knob at the end.

  [192] Yapirús and Mbaiás.

  [193] Darts.

Every one of these Indians has also ten or twelve small sticks of wood,
or as many in fact as he chooses to carry, a good span long, and on
the point of every stick is fixed a broad and long fish's tooth (named
Palmede[194] in Spanish) that resembles a sea-tench. This tooth cuts
like a razor; but you should know what they do with these teeth, or what
use they put them to.

  [194] Palometa.

Firstly, they fight with the aforesaid tardes, and in case they are
victorious over their enemies, and that these take to flight, they
abandon their tardes and run after the enemies and throw their
truncheons under their feet, in order to cause them to fall to the
ground; then, without looking to see if they are yet half-alive or dead,
they cut their heads off with the aforesaid fish-tooth. This is done so
quickly that one has scarcely time enough to turn round; afterwards they
put this tooth back again under their girdle or their other clothing.

Mark you, now, what he does further with the man's head, and to what use
he puts it, namely, if he has any opportunity for so doing, after such a
skirmish. He takes off the skin with all the hair over the ears, then he
fills the head out and leaves it to become hard; afterwards he puts this
hard and dry skin on a little hoop as a souvenir, in the same way as
here in Germany a knight or commander puts a scutcheon in the churches.

But to return to our narrative, and to make it short. It so happened
that the Jeperis and Bachacheis[195] came to us with about one thousand
men, which pleased us very much; we then went out of the town Noster
Signora Desumsion with our chief commander, besides three hundred and
fifty Christians and these one thousand Indians, so that every Christian
had three men to look after him, whom our commander had ordered for
them. And we came afterwards to a distance of three miles from the
place where our enemies the Carios, who numbered fifteen thousand, were
encamped in the open, in good order. Now when we were only half a mile
from them we would do nothing that day for we were tired and it was
raining; so we remained in the wood, where we passed the night. The
following morning we marched against them at six o'clock, and coming
upon them by seven, we fought together till ten. Then they were obliged
to fly, and ran in haste to a place four miles distant, which they had
fortified, and its name was called Froemiliere.[196] The Indian chief
was Machkaria. In this skirmish the dead on the enemy's side who were
killed by us numbered two thousand, whose heads the Jeperis[197] carried
on their spears. And on our side there fell ten Christians besides the
wounded, whom we sent back to Noster Signora Desumsion; but we pursued
the enemy with all our army to their place Froemiliere, whither
Machkaria their chief had fled. But these Carios had fortified their
place with three wooden stockades, like a wall. The wooden posts were as
thick as a man in the middle part of his body, or even thicker, three
fathoms high, and sunk into the earth the height of a man.

  [195] Yapirús and Mbaiás.

  [196] It is impossible to interpret this name, which certainly is not

  [197] Yapirús.

They had also dug pits or deep holes, and planted in each of them five
or six pointed stakes as sharp as needles. So this town of theirs was
very strong, and contained many valiant warriors; there can be no doubt
about that. And we lay three days before that place without being able
to do anything or to win anything from them.

However, at length, by God's help, we became stronger than they were.

We soon made great _Bodelle_ or _Pabesse_[198] out of the skins of deer
and of the _amida_.[199] This is a big beast, like a good-sized mule; it
has feet like a cow, but on the whole resembles an ass; and its flesh
is suitable to be eaten. There are plenty of them in this country; and
their skin is half a finger thick. Such a pabesse we gave to every
Indian of the Jeperis, and to others a good hatchet, and between two
such Indians we placed an arquebuss shooter. There were over four
hundred of these targets.

  [198] Spanish words, _rodela_ or _pavés_, _i.e._, shields and targets.

  [199] Anta or tapir.

Then we again attacked the enemy's town from three sides between two and
three o'clock in the morning; and, in less than three hours, the three
stockades were destroyed and won; we then came with all our people
into the town and slew many men, women, and children. But most of them
escaped and fled to another place of theirs called Carieba, twenty miles
distant from this place Froemiliere. This town they also fortified, and
there was a great mass of these Carios there together. This town stood
very close to a big forest, in order that if we Christians again
conquered it, they might retain the forest as a protection, as will
be seen hereafter. Now, when we Christians, along with our Commander
Martino Domingo Eijolla,[200] together with the aforesaid Jeperis
and Bachacheis, had followed our enemies the Carios up to this place
Carieba, at about five o'clock in the evening, we established our army
on three sides of the place, on a concealed eminence in the forest.
There came also reinforcements to us from Noster Signora Desumsion,[201]
two hundred Christians and five hundred Jeperis and Bachacheis,[202]
because many of our people, Christians and Indians, had been wounded
before the aforesaid place, so that we were compelled to send them back
and to have these fresh soldiers instead of them. Now, therefore, we
numbered four hundred and fifty Christians and one thousand three
hundred Jeperis and Bachacheis. But our enemies the Carios had now
fortified their place more strongly than ever, namely with palissadoes
(stockades) and very many trenches.

  [200] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

  [201] Asuncion.

  [202] Yapirús and Mbaiás.

They had also prepared iron plates,[203] which were made like rat
traps, of which a single one, if it had gone according to their wish,
would have each time slain twenty or thirty men. There were plenty of
these traps in the place, but God Almighty willed otherwise, so praise
be to Him everlastingly. We lay, therefore, before this place, Carieba,
four days without being able to do them any harm; but at length, by
treachery (such as is to be found everywhere), there came an Indian
from our enemies, the Carios, at night to our commander, Martin Domingo
Eijolla.[204] That Indian was one of the chiefs of the Carios, and to
him belonged the town. This man bade us not to burn down his town, nor
to destroy it; and if we consented, he was willing to show us the manner
in which we could take the place. Our commander promised this to him,
and that no harm should be done him. Accordingly this Cario showed us
two paths in the forest by which we could penetrate into the place, and
said that he would light a fire in his town, and during that time we
should break into it. All this having been done, we Christians entered
the town and slew a great number of people. Those who took to flight ran
right into the hands of their enemies, the Jeperis, by whom the greater
part were killed. But this time they had not their wives and children
with them, having concealed them in a great wood four leagues distant
from that place.

  [203] This is a mistake of the author's; the Indians having no iron.

  [204] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

Those among the Carios who had escaped this conflict fled to another
Indian chief, named Thabere,[205] and the village which entertained them
is called Juberich Sabaije.[206] It is at one hundred and forty miles
distance from Carieba, and we could neither pursue them, nor make that
journey, because the whole way they had passed they had wasted far and
near with fire, in order that we might not find anything to eat; but
we remained fourteen days at Carieba, where we healed the wounded and
rested the while.

  [205] Tabaré.

  [206] Yeruquihaba.

Then we went again to our town, Noster Signora Desumsion, in order to be
enabled to sail up the river and seek out the aforesaid place, Juberich
Sabaije, where the Indian chief Thabere lived.

When we came to our town, Noster Signora Desumsion, we also remained
there fourteen days, in order to provide ourselves with all sorts
of victual and ammunition for the journey. Our commander now took
reinforcements with him--Christians and Indians--because many had been
wounded and many were ill.

We then went up the river Paraboe[207] to our enemies' town, Juberich
Sabaije, with nine Bergentin ships and two hundred canoes and one
thousand five hundred Indians. According to the Jeperis it was forty-six
miles distant from Noster Signora desumsion to Juberich Sabaije, whither
our enemies, the Carieba, had fled.

  [207] Paraguai.

On the way thither the chief of the Carios, the same who had betrayed
the town, met us; and he brought with him one thousand Carios to aid
us against the aforesaid Thabere.[208] Now, when our commander, Martin
Domingo Eijolla,[209] had assembled all these people together at two
miles distance from Juberich Sabaije, he sent two Carios Indians to
their enemies in the town to warn them that the Christians were there
again; and to tell them that they should return to their country,
each of them to his wife and children, and should be obedient to the
Christians and serve them again, as they had done before, and if they
refused we would drive them all out of the country.

  [208] Tabaré.

  [209] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

Thereupon the chief Cario, Thabere,[208] answered that they should tell
the Christian chiefs that he knew neither them nor the Christians, and
would put us Christians to death; indeed they severely beat our two
Indians and told them to disappear very quickly out of their camp else
they would kill them.

The two messengers came back to our commander, and brought him the
tidings how they had been treated. Thereupon Martin Domingo Eijolla was
at one accord with us, and we advanced against our enemy, Thabere,[210]
and the Carios, in order of battle, dividing our army into four parts.

  [210] Tabaré.

We came to a river called Sthuesia,[211] which is as wide as the river
Danube in our land, half the height of a man deep, and in some places
even deeper, and it becomes at times very great and causes much harm in
the country, and by reason of such inundation it is impossible to travel
through the country.

  [211] This may be the river Xejuy, or the Ipané, affluents of the
  river Paraguai.

As we had to cross this river, our enemies being on the other side with
their camp, they resisted us and did us a great deal of harm in the
crossing, so that I even believe that none of us had come out of it with
his life but for the grace of God which was beforehand on our side and
but for the guns that we had.

So God Almighty gave us His divine grace that we crossed the water by
His divine benediction, and landed on the other side. Now, when the
enemies saw that we had passed, they fled at once towards their town,
which was half a mile from the river, but we, seeing it, pursued them
with all our forces and came to the town as quickly as they themselves
and besieged it, so that none should enter or come out of it; we also
armed ourselves forthwith with our guns and pikes, and by the grace
of God Almighty we had only to stay from the morning till night to
overpower them, and become masters over them. We took the place, and
slaughtered much people.

However, before we attacked them, our commander ordered us not to kill
the women and children, but to take them prisoners; and we dutifully
obeyed his commands. But all the men we could get hold of had to die;
yet many escaped by flight, and our friends, the Jeperi,[212] took
nearly one thousand heads from our enemies, the Carios.

  [212] Yapirús. This word is sometimes rendered in the original

After all this had happened, those Carios who had escaped came with
their chief, Thaberus,[213] and several other chiefs to our commander,
and entreated him for mercy that their wives and children might be
restored them, and then they would become friends again with us, and
serve us faithfully.

  [213] Tabaré.

Thereupon our commander promised them to be merciful, and took them into
favour, and ever afterwards they continued our good friends so long as I
remained in the country. This war with the Carios lasted for one year
and a half, _i.e._, that we never had peace with one another, and that
we were never sure of them; and this happened in the year 1546.

Afterwards we again went to Noster Signora desumsion,[214] and remained
there fully two years. But when during all this time no ships or
tidings arrived from Spain, our commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla,[215]
assembled all the people and asked them if it pleased them that he
should go with some people into the country to inquire if gold and
silver were to be found. The people answered him to do it in God's name.

  [214] The town of La Asuncion.

  [215] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

Accordingly he collected together three hundred and fifty Spaniards, and
asked them if they would accompany him, provided he found them in all
necessaries for the journey, such as Indians, horses, and clothing; they
declared their willingness to go. Then he had the chiefs of the Carios
assembled, and asked them if two thousand of their number would go with
him. They declared themselves ready to go and be obedient unto him.

With such friendly accord on both sides our commander, Martin Domingo
Eijolla, in a little more than two months went with this folk in the
year 1548 up the river Paraboe,[216] with seven Bergentin ships and two
hundred canoes. Those of the people who could not go in the ships or
canoes went on foot by land with the one hundred and thirty horses.[217]
And coming by land and by water all together to a round and high
mountain, called S. Fernando, where the aforesaid Peyembas[218] live,
our commander there ordered the five ships and the canoes to go back to
Noster Signora Desumsion. The other two Bergentin ships he left there
at S. Fernando, with fifty Spaniards, under the command of Peter
Diess[219]; he gave them also victuals and other necessaries for one
year, and ordered them to wait there till he returned from the country,
that the fate which befell the good gentleman Johann Eijollas[220]
and his companions, all of whom were so dreadfully killed by the
Peyembas,[221] might not also happen to him and his folk. God have
mercy upon them all. I have narrated this before.

  [216] Paraguai.

  [217] The expedition was composed of 250 Spaniards, and twenty-seven
  of them were cavalry.

  [218] Payaguás.

  [219] Ruy Diaz.

  [220] Juan de Ayolas; cf. _supra_, p. 24.

  [221] Payaguás. The Sierra de San Fernando is a small ridge of
  mountains extending from 17° to 21° of south lat.

Then our commander went straight on with three hundred Christians, one
hundred and thirty horses, and three hundred Carios, for eight full days
without finding any people at all. On the ninth day we found a nation
called Naperus, who have nothing to eat but meat and fish; they are tall
and powerful; their wives have their nakedness covered, and are not at
all beautiful.

From the aforesaid mountain S. Fernando to this nation the distance is
thirty-six miles. Here we passed the night, and then went travelling
seven days more, when we came to a people called Maipai.[222] They are
a very numerous people, and have subjects who must plough the land and
fish for them, and generally do whatever they are ordered, just as at
home the peasants are subject to the noble lords. This nation is well
provided with Turkish corn, mandeochade, mandepore parpii, padades,
mandues,[223] bachkeku, and other roots useful for eating. They also
have deer, Indian sheep, ostriches, ducks, geese, poultry, and other

  [222] Mepenes, who are Abipones.

  [223] These victuals are: maize, manioc, potatoes, sweet potatoes,
  pea-nuts, and perhaps bananas, which the author calls "bachkeku".

Their forests are full of honey out of which wine is prepared and other
things are made, and the farther you go into the country the more
fertile you will find it. They have all the year round Turkish corn in
the fields, and other roots as well. Their sheep, which are in a
wild state, they use as we do our horses, for riding and carrying
purposes.[224] I myself, having one foot ailing, once rode on such a
sheep for more than forty miles, though not in this journey. In Peru
goods are conveyed on these sheep as on horses at home.

  [224] These are the Peruvian llamas, and guanacos, from which the
  Indians took the wool, and wove rough cloth.

These Maijeaijs[225] are tall, erect, and warlike, giving all their
care to warlike affairs. Their wives are very beautiful and have their
nakedness covered. They do no work in the fields; the man has to look
after the food. Neither at home does the woman anything else but spin
wool, and prepare food, and also what pleases the man and other good
companions who pray her to do it, etc. We won't say anything more
about it; he who likes to see it, shall go thither, and if he does not
otherwise believe it, he will find it out for himself.

  [225] Mbaiás.

When we were not above half a mile distant from this people they met
us on the way, where there was a small clearing, where they told our
commander that we should remain for the night, and they would bring us
whatsoever we had need of, but they did this out of malice; and to win
more confidence, they presented our commander with four silver crowns to
wear on the head, and they gave him besides six silver plates, each of
which was one and a half span long and half a span wide.

These plates they bind on the forehead as ornaments, as we have told
before. They also presented our commander with three beautiful young
women. However, whilst we remained in that place, after supper we
stationed sentries, in order that the people might be on the alert for
the enemy, and afterwards we went to rest.

About midnight our commander lost his young wenches. In short, there was
great excitement in the camp for that reason, and as soon as the morning
dawned, our commander ordered that each of us should stand to his
quarters with his arms ready.

So the aforesaid Maijeaijs,[226] numbering twenty thousand, came to
attack us unawares, but they did not do us much harm. On the contrary,
in this conflict, more than one thousand of their men were left dead;
and they fled and we pursued them to their town, but we did not find
anything therein, not so much as their wives and children. Then our
commander, taking with him one hundred and fifty gunners and two
thousand five hundred Indian Carios, ordered us to follow the Maijeaijs,
which we did for three days and two nights together, taking no more rest
than the time necessary for our dinner and four or five hours for sleep
at night.

  [226] Mbaiás.

The third day we suddenly came upon the Maijaijs,[227] with their women
and children gathered together in a forest with them; these were not the
people we sought, but their friends. They did not fear at all our coming
to them. Nevertheless, the innocent had to pay for the guilty, for
when we lighted upon them we killed many, and took over three thousand
prisoners, men, women, and children; and, if it had been day-time
instead of night, none of them would have escaped, for there was a
goodly number of people gathered together on the hill, at the summit of
which was a great wood.

  [227] Mbaiás.

I, for my part, in this skirmish, captured over nineteen persons, men
and women, who were not at all old--I have always had more esteem for
young than for old people--also I took Indian mantles and other things
besides as my share of the booty. Then we returned to our camp and
remained there for eight days, because there was now plenty of victual.
The distance from these Maijaijs to Mount S. Fernando, where we left our
two ships, is seventy miles. Afterwards we went further, to a people
called Zchemui,[228] who are subject to the aforesaid Maijaijs, as here
at home the peasants are subject to their landlords.

  [228] Perhaps Chanés. To the tribe which Schmidt calls Zchemui, and to
  all the other tribes mentioned in his voyage north in search of _El
  Dorado_, he gives such queer and extraordinary names, that it is
  impossible to interpret them. De Barcia, the Spanish translator from
  the Latin version, who consulted other documents, declares that they
  are unintelligible, and generally puts down the equivalents as given
  by the Latin translator. The last named of those tribes is the one
  that Schmidt calls Machkokios, on arriving at the Salinas del Jaurú
  in lat. 16° S. Not far from there he finds another river, to which he
  gives the same name. This was the river Guapay. He goes across it
  and meets Spaniards, who tell him they belong to the Gobernacion
  (Government) of Pero Anzures. Irala stops there and sends messengers
  to the Governor of Peru, La Gasca, to whom he offers his services.
  La Gasca refuses them, and orders him back to the Gobernacion of the
  River Plate.

  The translators, who in other languages have tried to interpret these
  names, have done it in an arbitrary manner. The unintelligible names
  are the following: Peihoni, Tohanna, Symani, Barchkoni, Zeyhanni,
  Karchkoni, Siberi, Peijesseni, Jeronimus, Maigeni, Karchkockies,
  Marchkockios and rio Machkasies. None of them are Indian names.

On the way we found many fields sown with Turkish corn and other roots,
of which one can eat all the year round, for before one crop is stored
another is already ripe for harvest, and when this too is gathered it is
time to sow a third, so that there is always abundance of food.

We came to a little open space belonging to the Zchemui,[229] and, when
they saw us, they all fled away. We remained there for two days, and
found in that place, which is four miles from the Maijaijs,[230] plenty
to eat.

  [229] Chanés.

  [230] Mbaiás.

From thence we went in two days six miles to a nation named Thohonna; we
did not find any men here, but plenty to eat. They also are subjects to
the Maijaijs. Departing thence, we travelled for six days, and did not
find any people; but on the seventh we came to a nation called Peihoni.
They were gathered in great numbers, and their chief came to meet us
with a great multitude of people in a peaceful way. This chief besought
our commander that we should not enter their place, but that we should
stay outside in the place where he came to meet us. Our commander,
however, would not agree to that, and, will he nill he, straightway
entered their town; here we found plenty of meat and food, such as hens,
geese, deer, sheep, ostriches, parrots, _kuniglin_,[231] etc., not to
mention Turkish corn and other roots and fruits, all in great abundance.
But water is scarce, and there is no gold or silver. So we did not ask
for that, for fear that the other nations living further up should flee
away before we came to them.

  [231] These were probably guinea-pigs; cf. Acosta, _History of the
  Indies_ (Hakl. Soc.), p. 284.

With these Peihoni we stayed four days, and our commander asked them
many things about the nature and condition of the country.

From the Thohonna to these Peihoni the distance is twenty-four miles.
Departing from there we obtained from the Peihoni an interpreter and
guide, who showed us the road, in order that we might get water to
drink, for there is great scarcity of water in this country. At four
miles distance we came to a people called Maijegoni, and stayed one day
there, and again asked for an interpreter and guide to show us the way.
They were willing to do this, and they gave us our necessaries.

Departing from these we went further for eight miles and came to a
people called Marroni. They are a very numerous people, and received us
very well. We abode here two days with them, and received information of
the country. They also promised to show us the way. Then we went further
for four miles to a nation called Parroni, who have not much to eat.
They number three or four thousand fighting-men, and we remained only
one day amongst them.

From there we went twelve miles further to a nation named Symanni, where
a great multitude of people were gathered together on a high mountain.
Their village is surrounded with a thorny wood like a wall.[232] They
received us with their bows and arrows, and gave us tardes[233] to eat.
But it did not last long with them; they were soon compelled to leave
the place, but they burnt all down before leaving. We, however, found
enough to eat in the fields, and remained for three days there, seeking
for them in the woods and in the fields.

  [232] Probably a cactus-hedge.

  [233] Darts or javelins.

From there we went four days and came to a people called Barchkonis.
These did not await our coming, but as soon as we approached their town
betook themselves to flight; yet they could not escape us. We asked them
for food, and they brought us hens, geese, sheep, ostriches, deer, and
other necessaries, with which we were well satisfied; and we remained
four days among them to learn about the country.

From there we went twelve miles in three days to a people called
Zeyhannis. These had but little food, for the locusts had eaten up
everything; so we remained only one night there, and then went four
days' journey, twenty miles further, to a people called Karchkonis.
There also the locusts had been at work, but had not done so much harm
as in other places. We only abode one day among them, and took knowledge
of the country. They also told us that for a distance of thirty miles we
should find no water until we came to a people called Siberis.

We then took two Indians, who showed us the way, and in six days we came
to these Siberis; but many of our people died from thirst, although we
took water with us, on the journey from the Karchkonis. But in this
journey we found in certain places a root above ground, having great,
wide leaves[234] wherein the water remains and cannot get out, nor is
it consumed by them, exactly as if it were in a vase. One such root
contains nearly half a measure of water.

  [234] The author uses the word _Wurzel_ here and in other places for
  plant. Perhaps the Traveller's tree (_Urania speciosa_), with its
  graceful crown of plantain-like leaves, is here referred to.

So we came, at two o'clock in the night, to the aforesaid Siberis, who
would at once have fled with their wives and children. But our commander
caused them to be told, through an interpreter, that they should remain
in peace and quiet in their houses, and that they should not fear us.
These Siberis also suffered from a great scarcity of water, for they
have nothing else to drink. As it had not rained for three months they
were preparing a beverage out of a root called mandepore,[235] after
this manner: they take the said root and pound it in a mortar, and the
juice they obtain from it is like milk; but, if you have water at hand,
you may also prepare wine of this root.

  [235] Mandioca or Manioc.

In that place there was only one spring, where we had to station a guard
in order to look after the water and to give in a report on it. And our
commander saw fit to select me for this duty, that I might give out the
water after the measure that he had ordered, for the dearth was so great
that one would not ask for gold, or silver, or eatables, or anything
else, but for water. In this way I gained favour and grace among
noblemen and common folk alike, for I was not too sparing of it; at the
same time I had to be careful that we did not run short. There is not
to be found in all this land a running stream, but all the water is
collected in cisterns. These Siberis also wage war with other Indians
for the sake of water.

With this people we remained two days, not knowing what to do, whether
we should advance or go back; we therefore drew lots to decide the
question. Meanwhile our commander asked the Siberis about the country,
and they answered that we should have to go six days to reach a people
called Peijssenos, and that on our way we should find two rivulets of
drinkable water, and also the aforesaid Cardes.[236]

  [236] From the Spanish word _Cardos_--"thistle"--the shoots of which
  are eaten and quench the thirst.

We then began our journey, and took some Siberis with us to show the
way. Three days' journey from their place these Siberis fled away one
night, and we did not see them any more. So we had to find out the
way for ourselves, and afterwards came to the Peijssenos, who put
themselves on their defence, and refused to become friends with us. But
this did not help them much; by the grace of God we mastered them and
took their town, and put them to flight. However, we made several
prisoners in this skirmish, who told us how that they had had in their
town three Spaniards, one of whom was named Hieronimus, who had been a
drummer of Petro Manchossa.[237] These three Spaniards had been left
sick there by the late Johann Eijollas,[238] amongst the aforesaid

  [237] Don Pedro de Mendoza.

  [238] Juan de Ayolas.

The Peijssenos killed these three Spaniards four days before we arrived,
after they had heard of our coming through the Siberis; they were,
however, well punished by us for it, for we remained fourteen days in
their town, and sought them out and found them, but not all of them, in
a certain wood. We killed all these, and took prisoners the rest, the
lesser part, who escaped. Those whom we took prisoners were very willing
in showing us the country. Then our commander took note of all their
sayings, which were of good avail. Namely, they told us that we would
have four days' journey, or sixteen miles to go, before reaching a
people called Maigenos.

When we reached the Maigenos, they put themselves on their defence,
and refused to be friendly with us. Their town was on a little hill,
surrounded by a thick, thorny hedge, as high as a man might reach with
his sword. We Christians attacked this town, along with the Carios, on
two sides. But in this assault twelve Christians and several of the
Carios were killed before we won the place.

Now, seeing that we were masters of their town, the Maigenos burned it
down themselves, and speedily fled away, several of whom, as may be
readily believed, had to die. Three days afterwards, five hundred Carios
rose secretly, we knowing nothing about it, and took their bows and
arrows, and having gone two or three miles from our camp, met the
Maigenos who were fleeing. And these two people fought so desperately,
that the Carios lost over three hundred men, and the Maigenos so many,
that it is not possible to describe it, for they covered the space of
a whole mile. But the Carios sent messengers to our commander, and
besought him to come to their rescue because they were lying in the
forest, and were unable to advance or retire, being beleaguered on all
sides by the Maigenos.

As soon as our commander heard of this, without a moment's delay he
caused the horses, one hundred and fifty Christians, together with one
thousand of our Carios, to be sent, the other people remaining in
the camp to defend it, if necessary, in order that our enemies, the
Maigenos, might not enter and overthrow it in our absence.

So there went out to help our friends, the Carios, with the abovesaid
horses, one hundred and fifty Christians and one thousand Carios. But as
soon as the Maigenos saw us coming, they broke up their camp and fled
away swiftly, but we pursued them, without, however, being able to
overtake them. How it befell them at the last, when we returned to the
town whence we had come, will be presently narrated.

So we came to the Carios, and found a wonderful number of them and of
their enemies, the Maigenos, lying dead. Our friends, the Carios, those
who were still alive, were greatly pleased that we were come to help

After that we returned with them to our camp and abode there four days,
for we had plenty to eat and all things needful in this town of the

We then resolved to undertake our decisive journey, having now knowledge
of the country. So we journeyed for thirteen consecutive days, that is
to say, according to our judgment, about seventy-two miles, and came
to a nation named Karchkockios; and when we were _en route_ the first
nine days we came to a region six miles either way, on which there
was nothing but good salt as thick as if it had snowed, and that salt
remains winter and summer.[239]

  [239] This place is the Salinas del Jaurú (salt lakes of Jaurú).

We remained two days in this salt region, not knowing how to come out
of it or how to take the right way to continue our journey. But God
Almighty gave us His grace that we found the right way, and in four days
we came to a people called Karchkockios, and when we were at only four
miles distance from their town, our commander sent in advance fifty
Christians and five hundred Carios that they might provide lodging for

Now when we had entered the town, we found a numerous people together,
the like of which we had not as yet seen in all our journey, and we were
put somewhat in fear by it. Seeing this, we sent one of our men back
to our commander, to tell him how matters were, and that he might come
speedily to our help.

And when our commander heard these tidings, he set forward with all his
people on the very same night, and by the morning, between three and
four o'clock, he was in the midst of us; but the Karchkockios, supposing
that there were not more of us than they had seen the evening before,
promised themselves the victory.

But when they were aware that our commander had come with more people
they were very sad and sorrowful, and showed us all possible kindness
and goodwill, for they could have done nothing more, and feared for
their wives and children and their village. Meanwhile they brought us
venison, geese, sheep, ostriches, ducks, conies, and other game and
fowl, as well as Turkish corn, wheat, rice, and other roots which abound
in their country. The men wear a round blue stone in their lips, as
broad as a draughtsman. Their weapons are darts, bows and arrows, and
targets made of _amida_ hide. Their wives have a small hole in their
lips in which they insert a green or grey crystal. They wear a cotton
waistcloth about the size of a shirt, but without sleeves. They are
beautiful women, and do nothing but sew and keep house; the men till the
fields and provide all kinds of food.

From there we went to the Machkockios[240] and took some of the
Karchkockios with us to show us the way. And after three days'
journeying from this place the said Karchkockios[241] left us secretly,
but we nevertheless continued our journey and came to a river named
Machkasis, one mile and a half broad; and we did not know how to pass
over it safely; but with God's grace we passed it well in the following
way: for every two persons we made a raft of wood and branches, whereon
being carried down the river they came to the other side; and in this
passage four of our people were drowned. God be merciful to them and to
us. Amen.

  [240] Irala, in his letter to the King, of July 24, 1555, calls the
  territory where he arrived Tamacoxas; and Ruy Diaz de Guzman calls it
  Samocosis. This is what Schmidt means.

  [241] Tamacoxas.

This river has good fish in it. Many tigers are also found in the
neighbourhood. This river is only four miles distant from the

When we had approached within one mile of the Machkasis the inhabitants
came forth to meet us, and received us very well, and soon began talking
Spanish with us; whereat we were astonished, and asked them whose
subjects they were and who was their lord; they answered our commander
and us, that they were the subjects of a Spanish nobleman, whose name
was Peter Asuelles.[242]

  [242] Pero Anzures de Campo Redondo, one of the officers of Pizarro,
  the conqueror of Peru, who was sent to conquer the territory of the
  Chunchos, east of the river Arumaya, and between the Beni and the

Upon entering their village we found their children, and some of the
men and women, swarming with very little vermin, like our fleas. These
little vermin, if they lay hold of the toes, or any other part of the
body, gnaw and enter always more and more deeply into the flesh, and at
length become worms, such as are found in our filberts. If it be taken
in time the mischief may be prevented, but if overlooked too long, it
eats the whole toes away. I could write very much about it.[243]

  [243] This is the _nigua_, in Guaraní, called _pique_ in Brazil, where
  it is very plentiful, and chiefly attacks the negroes. In tropical
  Africa it is vulgarly known as the "Jigger".

From our often-mentioned town of Noster Signora Desumsion to this
village of the Machkasis the distance by land is three hundred and
seventy-two miles.[244]

  [244] The city of Asuncion del Paraguai is in lat. 25° 17′ S., and the
  salt lakes of the Jaurú in lat. 16°. The distance by land between them
  is about 700 English miles.

Now, when we had stayed twenty days in this place of the Machkasis, we
received a letter from a city called Lieme[245] in Peru, from H. I. M.
Supreme Stadthalter there named Presende or Licentiat de Cascha,[246]
who had caused Consaillo Pisere[247] to be beheaded, besides other
noblemen whom he caused to be beheaded along with him, or to be sent to
the galleys, because the said Consaillo Pisere would not be obedient to
him the Licentiate de Cascha, but was rebellious along with the country
against H. I. Majesty.

  [245] Lima.

  [246] El Presidente Licenciado La Gasca.

  [247] Gonzalo Pizarro.

So it often happens that someone makes more, or takes more power than
has been delegated to him from his master; and so it is in this world. I
certainly think that H. I. Majesty would have granted the said Pisere
his life, if H. I. Majesty had himself arrested him. He was vexed that
another lord had been placed in authority over his own land, for this
country of Peru, before God and man was legitimately Consaillo Pisere's,
because he, along with his brethren Margossen and Ernando Piseron,[248]
had discovered and conquered it first of all. This land is rightly
called the Rich Country, for all riches appertaining to H. I. Majesty
come from Peru, Nova Hispania, and Terra firma.

  [248] El Marqués Don Francisco and Hernando Pizarro.

But envy and hatred are so great in the world that one man wishes
nothing good to another. And so it happened to poor Consaillo Pisero,
who formerly had been a King, and afterwards had his head taken off. God
be merciful to him. Much could be written about this, but I have no time
for it.

Now, the above-mentioned letter was to the effect that, in name of H. I.
Majesty, our Commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla,[249] should not, by
any means whatever, depart from there, but should remain among the
Machkasis, and wait for further orders.

  [249] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

But it was really intended to this effect, that the governor, fearing
that we might excite a rebellion against him in the country, and
associate ourselves with those who had escaped and taken to flight into
the forest and mountain (and that would doubtless have happened if we
had met together again and we would have chased the governor out of the
country), entered into an agreement with our commander, and made him a
great present, in order to satisfy him and to get off alive. We soldiers
knew nothing about this compact; had we known of it we would have tied
our commander hand and foot together, and so transported him to Peru.

After this our commander sent four companions to Peru, whose names were
Nueste de Schaieses, Ungnade, Michael de Ruete, Abaije de Korchua.[250]
These four persons came to Peru in one month and a half.

  [250] The real names of those officers were: Nuflo de Chaves, Agustin
  de Ocampo, Miguel de Rutia, and Ruy Garcia.

Firstly they came to a people called Poduesis,[251] then to another
called Ruessken,[252] thirdly to Riodellaplata, and to the principal
town called Lieme.[253] These four are the principal and the richest
cities in Peru.

  [251] Potosi.

  [252] Cuzco.

  [253] Lima.

When those four companions came to the first town, Poduesis in Peru, the
two named Michael de Ruete and Abaije remained there, because of their
weakness, as they had fallen ill on the journey; the two others, Nueste
and Ungnade, rode post to Lieme to the governor. He received them well
and heard from them a report as to how matters were going on in the
country of Riodellaplata; then he ordered that they should be treated in
the best possible way, and gave them each two thousand ducats.

Then the governor ordered Nueste de Schaieses[254] to write to his
commander that he should remain until further advice with his people
among the Machkasis,[255] but he should not take from them anything nor
do them any harm, excepting with regard to food, although we knew very
well that they had silver, but being the subjects of a Spaniard, we
should not do them any injury.

  [254] Nuflo de Chaves.

  [255] Tamacoxas: cf. _supra_, p. 73, _note_.

But this post of the governor was waylaid by a Spaniard named Parnawuie,
by order of our commander, who feared that another commander might come
from Peru to rule over his people; and indeed another one had already
been appointed. Therefore our commander sent out on the roads the said
Parnawuie and ordered him, if there were any letters, to bring them with
him to where he was staying with the Carios; and this was accordingly

Our commander had arranged so badly that owing to the scarcity of
victual we could not remain any longer among the Machkasis, for we had
only enough provisions to last for one month. If we had only known that
we were going to have both victual and a governor, we would not have
removed from there, and we would have found food and ways and means to
remain; but there is nothing but knavery in this world. Afterwards we
went back again to the Karchkockios.

I should also have mentioned that the country of the Machkasis is so
fertile that I have never seen the like of it before. For if an Indian
goes forth into the forest, and makes a hole with an hatchet in the
first tree he comes across, five or six measures of honey flow out of
it, as pure as our mead. The bees that make this honey are very small
and do not sting.[256] Their honey may be eaten with bread, or in any
other manner. Good wine is also prepared from it, like the mead here in
Germany, and even better.

  [256] This description is greatly exaggerated. The bees make their
  hives (called in Guaraní _camoati_) on the branches of the trees, and
  it is from the hive, of course, not from the tree, that the honey is

Now, when we came to the said Karchkockios, these Indians had all fled
away with wives and children, and were afraid of us, but it would
have been better for them to have remained in their villages; for our
commander soon sent other Indians after them, and bade them return,
saying that they ought not to fear, that no harm would be done to them;
they would not, however, take heed of our request, but invited us to
leave their village, threatening in case of our refusal to drive us out
of it by force.

Having heard this, we soon made our preparations and went out against
them. However, some of us were of opinion to send a message to our
commander and advise him not to march against them, because this might
bring about a great want in the land; in case we had to move from
Peru to Riodellaplata, for then we would have no provisions. But our
commander and the whole community would not accept that proposal, but
preferred the above-mentioned advice, and went out against the said
Karchkockios. And when we arrived at the distance of half-a-mile from
them, we found that they had pitched their camp between two hills
covered with forest; so that, if we conquered them, they might the more
easily escape us. But it did not befall them well, for those we reached
had to die at our hands or to become our slaves. We enslaved in this
skirmish over one thousand, without reckoning those men, women, and
children that were killed.

Afterwards we remained two months in this village, which was as great
as five or six others joined together. We then went on further, to the
place where we left the two aforesaid mentioned ships, and we were one
year and a half on the journey, always engaged in one war after another,
and took prisoners more than twelve thousand persons, all of whom became
our slaves. I had for my share about fifty men, women, and children.

And when we came to the ships, the people that had been left on these
bergentines informed us how, during our absence, a commander, Diego
Abriego of Sievilla,[257] in Spain, on the one side, and a commander, J.
Francisco Manchossa,[258] who had been left in charge of the two ships
by our chief commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla,[259] during his absence
on the other side, had begun a great quarrel. They told us that Diego de
Abriego claimed to rule over them, while Johann Franciscus Manchossa,
in his capacity as appointed commander and substitute of Martin Domingo
Eijolla, would not consent to let him do this; and so the beggars-dance
began between them, until at last Diego de Abriego[260] won the victory,
and even took off the head of Johann Francisco Manchossa. From that
moment he made much noise in the country, and proposed to march against
us. First, he fortified himself in the town, and when we came along
with our commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla, before the said town, he
refused to let our commander in, or to surrender the town, or even still
less to recognise him as his master.

  [257] Diego de Abrego of Seville.

  [258] Don Francisco de Mendoza.

  [259] Domingo Martinez de Irala.

  [260] This name is written Abreu and Abrego in different chronicles
  and documents. I believe the right name is Diego de Abrego.

Our commander having heard this, we beleaguered the town Noster Signora
Desumsion. But the soldiers who were in that town, seeing that we meant
business, came day after day to us in the open field, and prayed our
commander for mercy. Diego de Abriego, having noticed that he could not
trust his people, and fearing that we might enter the town by night
through treason, which would have certainly happened, took counsel with
his best companions and friends, and asked who would go out of the town
along with him. About fifty men went out with him; the others came to
our commander, as soon as Diego de Abriego had left, and surrendered,
and begged for mercy. The commander promised them mercy, and entered
the town. But the said Diego de Abriego fled with the fifty Christians
thirty miles away, so that we could do them no harm. In this way these
two commanders made war one against the other for two full years; so
much so, that one was never sure of the other, for Diego de Abriego
never remained long in the same place, being here to-day, there
to-morrow; and where he was able to do us harm, he did it, for he
resembled very much a highway robber--in short, in order to have peace,
our commander was compelled to come to terms with him, and arranged a
marriage with his two daughters, whom he gave to two cousins of Diego
de Abriego, the one of whom was named Albernunzo Richkell, and the other
Franciscus Fergere,[261] and when this marriage was arranged we had
peace at last.

  [261] The names of these two Spaniards, according to Ruy Diaz de
  Guzman, author of _La Argentina_ (1612), and grandson of Irala, were
  Alonso Riquelme de Guzman (father of Ruy Diaz), and Francisco Ortiz de
  Vergara. There were four marriages, and not two, as Schmidt says. The
  other two Spaniards were Gonzalo de Mendoza and Pedro Segura. Irala's
  daughters were by Indian women, his captives.

At the same time I received a letter from Sievilla in Spain, from the
agent of Fugger, named Christoff Keyser, to say that Sebastian Neidhart
had written to him by order of my late brother, Thomas Schmidt, asking
if there was no possibility of my returning to Spain. That was what the
said Christoff Keyser had constantly solicited, and caused this letter
to be sent to me, in the year 1552, on the second day of July, or St.
Jacob's day.[262]

  [262] St. James's Day is on the 25th of July. I refer the reader to my
  _Introduction_ for some explanations about the Fuggers, Neidhart, etc.

Having read this letter, I immediately requested our commander, Martin
Domingo Eijolla, to grant me leave of absence. At first he refused
to concede it to me; but at length he was obliged to take into
consideration my long services, how I had faithfully served on land H.
I. Majesty, having oftentimes offered my life for him (Martin Domingo
Eijolla), and had never abandoned him. He considered all this, and
gave me leave, at the same time giving me letters for H. I. Majesty,
informing H. I. Majesty how matters stood in Riodellaplata, and all that
had happened there during that time. These letters were delivered by
me at Sievilla to H. I. Majesty's councillors, to whom I reported also
verbally about the country.

And having now made all my preparations for the journey, I took leave
of my commander, Martin Domingo Eijolla, and all my good companions and
friends, and took with me twenty of the Carios Indians, who had to carry
all that I had need of for this long journey (and anyone may judge for
himself how many things one must necessarily have for such a journey).

Eight days before my departure a man came from Presilia[263] and
brought the news that a ship had arrived there from Lisbon, in Portugal,
belonging to the honourable and wise gentleman, Johann von Hulst, a
merchant at Lisbon, and an agent of Erasmus Schetzen of Anttorff.[264]

  [263] Brazil.

  [264] Antwerp.

Having heard all that he had to say, I set out on my journey, in the
name of God Almighty, in the year 1552, on the twenty-sixth of December,
St. Stephen's Day. And I left Riodellaplata[265] from the town Noster
Signora desumsion with twenty Indians in two canoes. We firstly
came, after twenty-six miles distance, to a place called Jubericha
Sabaija[266]; in that place four other companions joined themselves to
me--two Spaniards and two Portuguese, but they were without grant of
leave from the commander.

  [265] Rio de la Plata was the official name of this country, _i.e._,
  _Gobernacion del Rio de la Plata_. In the year 1618 it was divided
  into three provinces--Paraguai, Guaira, and Buenos Ayres.

  [266] Juberich Sabaije has been identified with Yeruquihaba; cf.
  _supra_, p. 58.

From there we went off together, and at the end of fifteen miles came to
a place called Gabaretha.[267] After this we went sixteen miles in four
days to a place called Bareia,[267] and from there in nine days or
fifty-four miles we came to a place called Bareda,[267] where we stayed
for two days, in search of victual and canoes, because we had to go up
the river Paranaw[268] for a distance of one thousand miles; and then we
came to a place called Gienugia,[267] where we remained four days. As far
as this place the country belongs to H. I. Majesty, and is peopled by
the Carios.

  [267] These names are not known, and it is impossible to find out what
  Schmidt meant.

  [268] Paraná.

Beyond it begins the territory of the King of Portugal, or the land of
the Tapis.[269] We had now to leave the Paranaw, and our canoes, and
walk to the Tapis; for six weeks we traversed deserts, mountains, and
valleys, and could not sleep for fear of the wild beasts. From the
said place, Gienugia, to these Tapis the distance is one hundred and
twenty-six miles. This nation of Tapis eat their enemies, have no other
occupation but waging war, and when they have conquered their enemies,
they bring them to their place as prisoners, with great solemnity, as
they do here in Germany at the time of a marriage. And when they prepare
to slaughter their captives they make a great ceremony. They give their
prisoner all he wishes for or lusts after: women with whom he may have
intercourse, and meals to his heart's content, up to the hour that he
has to die. Their delight and joy consist in making war. They drink and
eat enormously, are full day and night; they are also fond of dancing,
and lead such an Epicurean life that it is not possible to describe
it. It is a fierce, ambitious, and arrogant people; they make wine of
Turkish corn, becoming as drunk upon it as if they were drinking the
best of wines. They speak the same language as the Carios, with only a
very slight difference.

  [269] _Tapis_, writes here Schmidt, and this is the Guaraní name of
  the tribes south of Brazil, as was given by Father Anchieta and others
  contemporary to the conquest. The true spelling is Tapii. Afterwards
  this word was corrupted into Tupi, or Tupin, and Tape.

Next we came to a place called Karieseba, where the inhabitants are also
Tapis; these wage war against the Christians, whereas those we have
spoken of are friends with them.

So we came, on Palm Sunday, at four miles distance from a place, where I
became aware that we had to be on our guard against those of Karieseba,
for we were by this time in great want of victual. We had, however,
intended to go somewhat farther for victual's sake, but we could not
withhold two of our companions, who, despite our warnings, entered the
place. We promised them to wait, and did so; but before they could enter
the place they were killed and afterwards eaten. God have mercy on them.

Then these same Indians came as near as thirty paces from us, along
with fifty men. They wore the clothes of the Christians, and they stood
still and began parleying with us. Among these Indians, if anyone stands
still at a few paces distance from his enemy and talks to him, he has
usually nothing very good in his mind.

Seeing this, we put ourselves on our defence as well as we could, and
asked of them what had become of our companions. They told us they were
in their town, and invited us also to enter it. But we would not do so,
for we perfectly well understood their malice.

Then they shot at us with their bows, but they resisted not long, and
soon fled away to their town, whence they came out again with six
hundred men against us. We had no other protection than a great wood,
our four guns, and the sixty[270] Indians of the Carios who had come
with us from Noster Signora desumsion. Nevertheless, we defended
ourselves four days and four nights, always shooting one at another,
and in the fourth night we secretly left the wood and went off, because
we had not much to eat, and our enemies had become too strong for us, as
the saying goes: Many dogs cause the death of the hare.

  [270] Schmidt speaks of _twenty_, not _sixty_, men with whom he set

Thence we travelled six days through wild forests, more lonely than any
I had ever seen, and I may say that I have travelled far and wide. We
had nothing to eat, and had to satisfy ourselves with roots and honey
that we found here and there. We could not even afford the necessary
time to hunt for game, so fearful were we that the enemy might overtake
us by night.

At length we came to a nation called Bijessija,[271] where we remained
four days and took victual, but we dared not enter the place because we
were so few.

  [271] Mbiaçai, the land opposite the island of Santa Catalina.

In this country there is a river called Urquaie,[272] wherein we have
seen snakes which are called in Spanish Schue Eiiba Thuescha.[273] They
are fourteen paces in length and two fathoms thick in the middle of the
body. They do great harm, to wit, when a man takes a bath or an animal
drinks in a river or would swim across it, such a snake, swimming under
water, comes to the man or animal, puts its tail around them under water
and there eats them. That animal has always its head above water, in
order to watch around for man or beast.

  [272] Uruguay.

  [273] This extraordinary name is not Spanish. The great snake
  described by Schmidt must be the Boa, which lives near the
  watering-places waiting for its prey.

From there we went for a whole month further a distance of one hundred
miles, and came to a place called Schelebethueba,[274] where we remained
three days, for we were exceedingly tired and had no longer anything to
eat, our principal food being honey. We were all consequently very weak,
and everyone can imagine what dreadfully poor and miserable lives we
passed in such a journey, especially as regards eating and drinking and
sleeping. The bed which every one of us took with him weighed four or
five pounds; it was of cotton, and made like a net. It is tied to two
trees, and one man lies down in it. This is done in the forest, under
the blue sky; for if there are not many Christians travelling overland
together in India, it is better and safer to remain in the forest than
to enter the houses and villages of the Indians.

  [274] No place of this name in all Brazil.

We next came to a place which belongs to the Christians, whose chief
was called Johann Reinmelle.[275] Fortunately for us he was not at home,
for this place certainly appeared to me to be a robbers' haunt. The said
chief was at this time gone to another Christian at Vicenda[276] in
order to make an agreement. Both are (with eight hundred Christians
living in the two villages) subjects of the King of Portugal, and the
aforesaid Johann Reinmelle has, according to his own account, lived,
ruled, made war, and conquered in India for a period of four hundred
(forty) years. Therefore, he may legitimately claim to rule the land for
another. And because the Portuguese will not recognise his authority,
they wage war. This said Reinmelle can, in one single day, gather around
him five thousand Indians, whereas the king is not able to bring two
thousand together, so much power and consideration has he got in the

  [275] Juan Ramallo. This man was an exiled outlaw, left probably by
  Juan Diaz de Solis and Vicente Yañez Pinzon on the first voyage of
  discovery, which was made as far as 40° S., in 1508. Many travellers
  of that time met Ramallo on the coast of San Vicente, living there as
  a cacique with a large tribe of his children. The travellers called
  him the _bachiller_. Hans Staden speaks of two of his sons, calling
  them Diego de Praga and Domingo de Praga, because Staden made
  mistakes in all names of persons and places, just as Schmidt did.
  The translators of his book into Latin interpret Ramallo's name as
  Reinuelle, and M. Ternaux Compans makes it French, and spells it
  Reinvielle. Ramallo's family was the founder of Piratininga, the
  origin of the city of San Paulo, in Brazil.

  [276] San Vicente, on the coast of the province of San Paulo. It was
  founded in 1531 by Martin Affonzo de Souza, and was the first
  Portuguese colony in Brazil.

When we came to the village, the son of the said Reinmelle was there,
and he received us very well, though we had to look closer after him
than after the Indians. But all went well, and no harm happened to us;
therefore we thank God, the eternal Creator, through Jesus Christ, His
only Son, who helped us so mercifully there and everywhere.

We then went farther to a little town called S. Vicenda at twenty miles
distance, where we arrived on July[277] 13th, 1553, St. Anthony's day,
and found there a Portuguese ship laden with sugar, Brazilian wood and
wool, belonging to Erasmus Schetzen. His factor is at Lisbon, and is
called Johann von Hulsen, and he has another factor in Vicenda whose
name is Peter Rössel.[278]

  [277] June.

  [278] Peter Rossel, or Rösel, is mentioned by Hans Staden; cf. _The
  Captivity of Hans Staden_ (Hakl. Soc.), p. 169.

Messrs. Schetzen and Johann von Hulsen own a good number of villages and
sugar factories in that place, where sugar is made all the year round.

Peter Rössel received me very friendly, and showed me great honour. He
introduced me also to the sailors, in order that I might be well treated
and leave with the first, and recommended me to them. To their honour be
it said, they followed his recommendation. We remained eleven more days
in the town of Vicenda in order to prepare and to provide ourselves
with all necessaries that are wanted at sea. And we were six months
travelling a distance of four hundred and seventy-six miles, from the
town Signora desumsion to the town of Vicenda, in Brazil.

Afterwards, when we were ready, we set forth on our journey from the
town of St. Vicenda on the 24th day of June, St. John's Day, 1553. We
were fourteen days at sea, because we had never any good wind, but
always storms and tempests, so that we did not know where we were.
Then the main-top got broken, and, water pouring into the ship, we had
to return to land, and came to a seaport named Spiritu Sanctu,[279]
situated in Brazil, in India, and belonging to the King of Portugal.
There are Christians living in that town with their wives and children,
and they make sugar. They also have cotton-wool and Brazilian wood,
besides other kinds of wood that are found there.

  [279] Espiritu Santo, a small maritime province with a bay and port of
  the same name, north of Rio de Janeiro.

Between S. Vicenda and Spiritu Sancto there are plenty of whales, which
do great harm; for instance, when small ships sail from one port to
another (these small ships are anyhow somewhat larger than the greatest
ships at home), these whales come forward in troops and fight one
another, then they drown the ship, taking it down along with the men.

These whales constantly spit water out of their mouth, as much at one
time as a Frankish barrel would contain. This the whale does every time
that he puts his head under water and comes up again, by day and by
night, and he who never saw one before believes that he sees a heap of
stones. Much more might be written about this fish. There are many other
rare fish and sea wonders of which one could not write too much, but I
really cannot speak of all.

There is another great fish, called in Spanish _Sumere_, and in German
straw-fish, of which one cannot say too much. It is such a powerful fish
that it does considerable harm to ships in various parts. When there is
no wind, and the ships are compelled to lie still, not being able to go
forward or backward, then this fish comes with such a tremendous blow on
the ships, that all things tremble; when this happens, one has to throw
one or two barrels into the sea; then the fishes go to these barrels,
play with them, and leave the ships.

Another great fish, called the _Peischo Spaide_,[280] and in German
knife-fish, does a great deal of harm to the other fishes, and when
these fishes battle against each other, it is exactly as if two horses
ran full tilt together here on land. This is very amusing to watch at
sea. But after these fishes thus struggle with one another, a great
storm generally follows.

  [280] Cf. _ante_, p. 5.

So there is also another great and bad fish which takes the mastery
over all the others of which I have been speaking, in struggling and
battling. Its name is _Pesche de serre_,[281] and in German saw-fish;
further, there are a great number more, but I cannot give their
names. There are also flying fishes and other great fishes called

  [281] _Ibid._

  [282] Tonina (tunny fish).

We sailed for four months together on the sea, without seeing any
land at all, and we conveyed goods from the aforesaid Spiritu Sancto.
Afterwards we came to an island called Teste de Terzero,[283] where we
again took fresh victual and remained there for two days. This island
belongs to the King of Portugal.

  [283] Terceira, one of the Azores.

From there we sailed to Lisbon in fourteen days, arriving on the 30th
September 1553, St. Hieronymus' day, and remained fourteen days in the
town, where two Indians whom I had taken with me died.

Thence I posted to Seville in six days; the distance being seventy-two
miles. I remained there four weeks till the ships were prepared, when
I left Seville by water, and in two days arrived at the town of S.
Lucas,[284] where I passed the night.

  [284] San Lucar.

From there I travelled one day by land and arrived at a town called
Porta Sancto Maria,[285] and from there a second day also by land to
another town, four miles over the water, called Kalles,[286] where there
were twenty-five Dutch ships ready to sail to the Netherlands; all great
ships called _Hulcken_.[287]

  [285] Puerto de Santa Maria.

  [286] Cadiz.

  [287] Large merchantmen. The word "hulk" expresses a different
  meaning, nearer the original, derived from the Greek ὅλκας [holkas],
  a ship which is towed, from ἕλκειν [helkein], to draw, drag. Hence the
  sense of something bulky or unwieldy.

One of these twenty-five ships was a beautiful newly built vessel, which
had only made one voyage from Antorff[288] to Spain; the merchants
advised me to sail with that ship, of which the captain was named
Heinrich Schetz. He was an honest and religious man, with whom I now
came to terms as to the payment for the voyage and the victual and other
things necessary on sea. I finally agreed with him and provisioned
myself during the same night, and had my plunder, bread, and several
other things, as well as the parrots which I brought from India, all put
on board. And, lastly, I arranged with him that he should tell me the
time of departure, which he faithfully promised me, and that he would
not sail without me, but would certainly let me know.

  [288] Antwerp.

However, the said skipper that very night drank somewhat too much, so
that he forgot all about me and left me alone in the lodgings. Two hours
before daylight the steersman, who had the command of the ship, had the
anchor lifted and sailed away, and in the morning when I looked out for
the ship it was already a mile off. So I had to see after another and
make terms with its skipper, to whom I had to give as much as to the

Then we soon sailed away along with the other twenty-four ships and
had a fairly good wind the first three days, but afterwards we had a
contrary wind, so much so that we were unable to continue our voyage.
We remained in great danger for five days and hoped for better weather,
but the longer we hoped, the more violent became the sea, so we had to
return to where we came from.

Now it is the custom at sea for the mariners and skippers to elect for
themselves a chief commander, called in Spanish _Almiranda_.[289] This
commander directs all the ships, and all his orders have to be obeyed.
The mariners and skippers have to swear an oath to the effect that they
will not separate from one another, for H. I. Majesty had ordered that
no less than twenty ships should sail from Spain to the Netherlands,
because there was war between H. I. Majesty and the King of France.

  [289] The Spanish word is Almirante.

Further, it is also usual at sea that one ship should not separate from
another for more than the distance of one mile, and at sunrise and
sunset that the ships should all come together, and salute the admiral
with three or four shots, and this must be done twice a day.

The admiral is bound to have on the stern of his ship two iron lanterns,
called _farol_,[290] which are alight all night through, and the others
have to follow the ship that shows this light, and must not separate
from each other.

  [290] "Farol" is a Spanish word, meaning a box or case with sides of
  glass or some other transparent substance, for placing a light in, so
  that it may not be extinguished by the wind.

So also the admiral tells the others every night whither he is sailing,
in order that if a storm should blow up, they may know what direction or
what wind the admiral has taken, and not lose each other.

When we had to put back to port, as I have said, there was the ship of
Heinrich Schetzen (whereon all my plunder was, he who had forgotten me
altogether at Kalles[291]) behind all the other ships; and when we had
come within one mile of Kalles it was dark and night, and the admiral
had to light his lanterns, in order that the ships might follow him.

  [291] Cadiz.

When we reached Kalles each skipper laid out his anchor in the sea, and
the admiral removed his lanterns.

Then a fire was lit on shore with the best intention, but it was the
cause of disaster to Heinrich Schetzen and his ship. The fire was made
near a mill within gunshot of Kalles, and Schetzen sailed straight
towards it, believing it to be the admiral's light, and when he had
nearly reached it, he struck upon the rocks which stood there in the sea
and had his ship shivered into a hundred thousand pieces, and in half a
quarter of an hour men and goods had all perished. Twenty-two persons
were drowned, only the steersman and skipper escaping death on a thick
tree. Six trunks with gold and silver belonging to H. I. Majesty, and a
large quantity of merchandise belonging to the merchants, were also

Therefore I say to God be everlasting praise and thanks, because He has
once again guided and protected me so mercifully, that I did not go on
board that ship.

We afterwards remained for two days at Kalles, and departed thence on
S. Andrea's[292] day for Antorff.[293] On this voyage we had very bad
weather and dreadful tempests, so that the mariners said that for twenty
years, or for so long a time as they had been at sea, they had never
seen such heavy storms nor heard of any storms that had lasted so long.

  [292] St. Andrew's.

  [293] Antwerp.

When we came to England, into a port called Wydt,[294] all our yards and
top-sails had been carried away. And if this voyage had lasted a little
longer, not one of the twenty-four ships would have escaped, but for the
special providence of our Lord God.

  [294] Isle of Wight.

Moreover, on New Year's Day, 1554, and on the Holy Three Kings' Day,
eight ships were miserably wrecked with men and goods--an awful sight
indeed, for every man on board was drowned.

This happened between France and England. God Almighty be merciful to
them all and to us, through Christ His eternal Son. Amen.

We remained four days in that port Wydt in England, and from there we
sailed for Brabant, and came in four days to Armuia,[295] which is a
town in Seeland,[296] where the great ships lie. It is seventy-four
miles from Wydt, and from there we sailed to Antorff, which is
twenty-four miles off, and arrived there on January the 26th, 1554.

  [295] Armeven.

  [296] Zeeland.

God be praised everlastingly, He who so mercifully gave me such a
prosperous voyage.

            Alvar Nuñez Cabeza
                 de Vaca.

           By PERO HERNANDEZ,



[Illustration: (floral vine decoration)]

Commentaries of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza
de Vaca, governor of the Rio de la Plata.


    _Of the Commentaries of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca._

SINCE it pleased God to deliver Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca from
captivity, and from the troubles that he underwent for ten years in
Florida, he came to these kingdoms in the year of our Lord 1537, where
he remained till the year 1540; in which year there came to this court
of His Majesty some persons from the river La Plata to inform His
Majesty of what had happened to the army which Don Pedro de Mendoza had
taken there, and of the danger those were in who had survived, and to
supplicate that His Majesty would be pleased to aid and succour them
before they perished (as but few of them remained). And when His Majesty
knew of it, he ordered that a certain arrangement and capitulation
should be made with Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, in order that he
might go to their relief. This arrangement and capitulation was there
effected, the said Cabeza de Vaca offering to go to their assistance,
and undertaking to expend for that journey and relief, in horses, arms,
apparel and provisions, as well as other things, eight thousand ducats.
And in consideration of this treaty thus entered into, His Majesty
favoured him with the governorship and general captaincy of that land
and province, and with the title of Adelantado.[297] It pleased also His
Majesty to grant to him the twelfth part of everything that was in that
land and province, and of all that entered and went out of it, provided
that the aforesaid Alvar Nuñez expended on that expedition the sum
of eight thousand ducats as aforesaid. And so, in fulfilment of the
agreement entered into with His Majesty, he started immediately for
Seville in order to put the agreement into execution, and to make
provision for the aforesaid assistance and armament. And to this effect
he bought two vessels and a caravel, together with another that was in
waiting for him at Canaria. One of these vessels was newly arrived from
her first voyage and was of three hundred and fifty tons burden, and the
other was of one hundred and fifty tons. He equipped these vessels very
well and supplied them with plenty of commodities, and engaged pilots
and sailors, and four hundred soldiers well trained to the use of arms,
and such as were wanted for that relief; and all that volunteered for
that expedition were provided with a double set of arms. In order to
complete his purchases and supplies he remained there from the month of
May till the end of September, when the ships were ready to sail. But
the weather being unfavourable, he was detained in the city of Cadiz
from the end of September till the 2nd of November, on which day he set
sail and made his voyage, and in nine days arrived at the island of La
Palma, where he disembarked with all his people, and remained there
twenty-five days, waiting for a favourable wind to continue his voyage.
At the end of this time he sailed towards Cape Verde. In this voyage the
ship, the _Capitana_, made so much water that it rose to the height of
ten spans in the hold of the vessel. Five hundred quintals of biscuits
were damaged, and much oil was lost, besides other commodities. This
accident caused them great trouble, and they kept at the pumps day and
night till they arrived at the island of St. Iago (one of the Cape Verde
Islands). Here they disembarked and landed the horses, in order that
they might refresh themselves and rest from their fatigues, and because
it was necessary to unload the vessel in order to stop the leak. And
after she had been unloaded the master stopped the leak (for he was the
best diver in Spain). They sailed from La Palma to Cape Verde in ten
days, for they are 300 leagues apart. In this island the harbour is
very bad because of the many sharp, sunken rocks that fray the cables
attached to the anchors, and when they pull on them in order to raise
the anchors these remain in the rocks. And for this reason the sailors
have a saying that there are many rats in that harbour, which gnaw the
cables asunder; and because of this, it is a very dangerous harbour
for vessels stationed there in the event of a storm. This island is
unhealthy and full of infections in the winter, so much so that the
greater part of those who go ashore there die in a few days, soon after
their arrival. The armada, however, remained there twenty-five days,
during which not a single man died; and the inhabitants were much
astonished at this, and took it as a great marvel. And the inhabitants
gave them a good reception; and this island is very rich, and there are
more doubloons in it than reales,[298] for those who traffic there for
negroes were giving a doubloon for twenty reales.

  [297] Governor of province on the frontiers and in newly-discovered

  [298] The meaning of this is that gold was more plentiful in the
  island of St. Iago than silver.


    _How we departed from the island of Cabo Verde._

WHEN we had repaired the leak of the _Admiral_ ship, and purchased the
necessary supplies, such as water, meat, and other things, we embarked
and pursued our voyage and crossed the equinoctial line, and, continuing
our navigation, the master took stock of the water that was on board the
_Admiral_, and, out of a hundred barrels that had been stored, he found
no more than three left, and four hundred men and thirty horses had to
drink. And the governor, having seen the necessity we were in, ordered
the ship to land; and they were in search of it three days, and the
fourth day, one hour before dawn, a wonderful thing happened, and as it
is not beyond our purpose, I will relate it. It happened, as the vessels
were going towards land, they were on the point of striking some very
high rocks, and nobody would have seen or been aware of them had not a
cock began to crow which one of the soldiers had put on board at Cadiz,
being desirous of listening to the music of the cock; during two months
and a half, however, we had neither heard it nor known of its existence;
and the soldier was grieved at its silence. That morning, however, the
bird felt the land and began to crow, and its music woke all the people
on the vessel, who saw the rocks an arrow-flight off, and shouted to
let go the anchors, as we were drifting towards the rocks. And so they
lowered the anchors, and this saved us, for had not the cock crowed our
four hundred men and thirty horses would assuredly have been drowned;
and we all thought it a miracle of God for us. And while we navigated
more than one hundred leagues along the coast, the cock gave us his
music every night, and so the armada arrived at an harbour which
is called Cananea,[299] which lies beyond Cape Frio,[300] and is
twenty-four degrees of elevation. It is a good harbour, and there are
several islands at its entrance. The water is clear and eleven fathoms
deep. Here the governor took possession in the name of His Majesty, and
having done so, he left that harbour and passed over the river and
the bay called San Francisco,[301] which is twenty-five leagues from
Cananea, and thence the armada proceeded to the island of Santa
Catalina, which is twenty-five leagues from the Rio de San Francisco,
and they anchored at the island of Santa Catalina, after encountering
many troubles and reverses on the voyage, arriving there on the 29th of
March 1541. The island of Santa Catalina is barely in the twenty-eighth
degree of latitude.

  [299] Cananea, on the coast of the province San Paulo, Brazil, in lat.
  25° 1′ S., long. 47° 51′ W.

  [300] Cape Frio is east of Rio de Janeiro, in lat. 23° 1′ S., long.
  41° 58′ W., where the coast trends northward.

  [301] The river, island, and bay of San Francisco in the province of
  Santa Catharina.


    _Which treats of how the governor arrived with his armada at the
    island of Santa Catalina, in Brazil, and disembarked his troops

WHEN the governor had arrived with his army at the island of Santa
Catalina, he ordered the disembarkation of all the people that he had
brought with him, and the twenty-six horses, being all that had survived
the sea voyage of the forty-six taken on board in Spain, in order that
they might all recover on land from the hardships they had undergone in
their long sea voyage, and that he might take command and inform himself
of the native Indians of that land who might, perhaps, know how the
Spaniards whom he had come to succour were circumstanced in the province
of Rio de la Plata. And he gave the Indians to understand that he was
sent by His Majesty to bring help, and he took possession of the land in
the name and on behalf of His Majesty, and also of the harbour called
Cananea, which is on the coast of Brazil, in twenty-five degrees,
more or less. This harbour is fifty leagues from the island of Santa
Catalina, and during all the time that the governor remained in that
island he treated all the Indians, natives of that and other parts of
the coast of Brazil (vassals of His Majesty) with great kindness. By
these Indians he was informed that at fourteen leagues from the island,
at the place called Mbiaça[302] there were two Franciscan monks, named
Friar Bernardo, a native of Cordova, and Friar Alonzo Lebron, a native
of Gran Canaria; and in a few days these monks came to where the
governor and his people were, in great fear of the Indians, who sought
to kill them, because certain of the dwellings of the Indians having
been burned, these had in revenge killed two Christians living in that
land. And the governor, well informed of all that had happened, did
his best to appease the Indians, and gave refuge to the monks, and
established peace among them; and he charged the monks to teach the
Christian doctrine to the Indians of that land and island.

  [302] Mbiazá; cf. _supra_, pp. 35 and 83.


    _How nine Christians came to the island._

AND the governor, in furtherance of his expedition to succour the
Spaniards, in the month of May 1541, sent a caravel with Philip de
Caceres, accountant of His Majesty, with orders to enter the river La
Plata, and visit the colony founded there by Don Pedro de Mendoza, and
called Buenos Ayres. And because the season of the year was winter, and
the weather unfavourable to navigation, he was unable to enter that
river, and returned to the island of San Catalina, where the governor
was.[303] And about this time there arrived nine Spanish Christians, who
came in a boat, having fled from the colony of Buenos Ayres because of
the ill-treatment used towards them by the captains residing in the
province; and from these Spaniards he obtained information of the state
in which the Spaniards were who lived in that country. They told him
that the colony of Buenos Ayres was inhabited and provided with people
and commodities; and how Juan de Ayolas, whom Don Pedro de Mendoza had
sent on an expedition of discovery into the interior, while returning
from his discovery, and intending to take refuge in certain brigantines
which he had left in the harbour, named by him Candelaria, in the river
Paraguai, had been killed by a certain nation of Indians living on the
same river, called Payaguás[304]; and all the Christians, with many
other Indians whom he had brought with him from the interior of the
country to carry the loads, belonging to the tribe of Chameses, were
also slain; and that of all the Christians and Indians only one boy of
the Chameses had escaped; and all this had happened because he (Juan de
Ayolas) had not found in the said harbour of Candelaria the brigantines
which he had left to be guarded till his return, according to the orders
he had given a certain Domingo de Irala of the province of Biscay in
Spain, whom he had left in the capacity of captain; who, before the
return of Juan de Ayolas, had withdrawn and abandoned the harbour of
Candelaria, so that Juan de Ayolas, not finding the brigantines as he
had expected, had fallen a victim to the Indians, who had stripped and
slain all his party because of the fault of the said Domingo de Irala,
the Biscayan captain of the brigantines. They also told him that on the
shore of the river Paraguai, one hundred and twenty leagues below the
harbour of Candelaria, a colony had been formed which was called the
town of Ascension,[305] having a good understanding and friendship with
a tribe of Indians called Carios, and that most of the Spaniards in that
province resided there. They further informed him that in the colony
and harbour of Buenos Ayres, situated on the rio del Parana, there were
seventy Christians, and the distance from that harbour to the city of
the Ascension, on the Paraguai, was three hundred and fifty leagues, of
very difficult navigation, up the river. Here, in the capacity of _locum
tenens_ of the governor of the land and province, resided Domingo de
Irala of Biscay, through whose fault happened the death of Juan de
Ayolas, and all the Christians whom he had brought with him. They also
told him that Domingo de Irala had gone from the town of the Ascension
up the river Paraguai with certain brigantines and people, saying that
he was going to search out and relieve Juan de Ayolas, and had entered a
land, much troubled with rains and marshes, and because of this he had
been unable to explore that land, and had returned with six Indian
captives of the same tribe of Payaguás as those who had killed Juan
de Ayolas and the Christians. From these prisoners he had obtained
information and sure knowledge of the death of Juan de Ayolas and of the
Christians, as well as from an Indian of the tribe of Chameses, named
Gonzalo, who had escaped when his tribesmen and the Christians, whose
loads they were carrying, were slain; who had lived ten years in
captivity among those Payaguás. And Domingo de Irala had withdrawn from
that country, having lost sixty men from sickness and fatigue. And they
also told him that the officials of His Majesty, residing in that land
and province, had done and were doing great wrongs to the Spaniards,
colonists and conquerors, and to the Indian natives, vassals of His
Majesty, and that there was much dissatisfaction and disgust. For this
reason, and also because of the ill-treatment they had suffered from
these captains, they had stolen a boat from the harbour of Buenos Ayres,
and had taken to flight with the intention and determination to inform
His Majesty of all that had passed in that land and province. To those
nine Christians, who came naked, the governor gave clothing, and took
them under his protection in order to bring them back with him to the
province, for they were useful men, good sailors, and one of them was
a pilot who knew the navigation of the river.

  [303] Schmidt gives a false account of this; cf. _supra_, p. 35.

  [304] Cf. _supra_, p. 27.

  [305] In the original Spanish version the city of Asuncion is always
  written _Ascension_.


    _How the governor hastened his journey._

HAVING listened to the statement of those nine Christians, the governor
thought that, in order to succour as speedily as possible the Spaniards
residing in the town of the Ascension, as well as those in the port of
Buenos Ayres, he would discover a road by _terra firma_ from the
island, and so make his way to those parts already mentioned where the
Christians were, and that he would send the vessels round by sea
to Buenos Ayres. He therefore, against the will and opinion of the
accountant Philip de Caceres, and of the pilot Antonio Lopez, who
advised that they should all go together to Buenos Ayres, sent from the
island of St. Catalina, Pedro Dorantes (the factor) to explore a road by
land into the interior of the country where formerly many vassals of
the King of Portugal had been killed by the native Indians. This Pedro
Dorantes, by order of the governor, started with one hundred Spaniards,
and some Indians who acted as guides; and at the end of three months and
a half he returned to the island of St. Catalina, where the governor was
awaiting him, and this, among other things, was what he reported: having
crossed great sierras, and mountains, and much desert country, he had
arrived at a place called "el Campo" (the plain), where the country
began to be inhabited, and that the natives of the island had told him
that the route he had taken was the safest to enter that country. He had
followed a river called the Ytabucú,[306] which is opposite the point
of the island at eighteen or twenty leagues from the harbour. When the
governor knew of this, he sent immediately to reconnoitre the country
watered by this river, through which he decided to make his journey; and
having done this, he determined to enter the country by that route, in
order to explore a region that had never before been seen, and carry
relief, in the shortest possible time, to the Spaniards in that
province. Having thus decided upon his plans, he told the friars,
Bernardo de Armenta and Alonzo Lebron his companion, to remain in the
island of St. Catalina and instruct the native Indians in the Christian
doctrine, directing and confirming those already baptized. But these
monks declined to obey, assigning as a pretext that they wished to
accompany the governor, in order to establish themselves in the town of
the Ascension, where the Spaniards were whom he was going to relieve.

  [306] Or Itapucu. This river rises in the coast range, and falls into
  the ocean south of San Francisco.


    _How the governor and his people advanced into the interior._

THE governor, having full information concerning those parts through
which he had to enter in order to discover the land and relieve the
Spaniards, and being supplied with all things necessary for his journey,
on the eighteenth of October of the same year ordered the embarkation of
the people that were to follow him in the discovery, with the twenty-six
horses and mares which had survived the sea voyage; and he ordered them
to cross the river Ytabucu and subdue it, and take possession of it in
the name of His Majesty, as newly discovered land. He left in the island
of St. Catalina one hundred and forty persons, who were to embark and
go by sea to the river La Plata, where the port of Buenos Ayres is
situated; and he charged Pedro Estopiñan Cabeza de Vaca, whom he left
there in the capacity of captain of the said people, that before leaving
the island he should supply and furnish the vessel with provisions both
for the people he was taking with him, as well as for those in Buenos
Ayres; and before his departure he gave many presents to the natives of
the island, in order that they might remain, and some of them readily
offered their services to accompany the governor and his people, to show
the road and be useful in other ways; and their assistance happened to
be very handy. On the 2nd November of the said year the governor ordered
that all his people, besides the provisions carried by the Indians,
should each take what he could carry for the road. And the same day
he began his march, with two hundred and fifty arquebusiers and
crossbowmen, very well trained in arms, twenty-five horses, the two
Franciscan friars, and the Indians of the island; then he sent the
vessel back to the island of St. Catalina in order that Pedro de
Estopiñan Cabeza de Vaca might embark and go with his people to Buenos
Ayres; and so the governor went on his way into the interior of the
land, where he and his people underwent many troubles. In nineteen days
they crossed great mountains, cutting roads through forests, to enable
the men and the horses to pass, for all the land was uninhabited. And at
the end of these nineteen days, having exhausted the provisions which
they had carried when they began their march, and having nothing left to
eat, it pleased God that, without the loss of a man, they discovered the
first inhabitants, who are called "del campo", where they found certain
villages of Indians, whose chief lord was called Añiriri, and at one
day's journey from this people there was another whose chief was
Cipoyay. And beyond this people again there was a third tribe of
Indians, whose chief said that he was called Tocanguasú. And when the
Indians knew of the arrival of the governor and his people, they went
out to meet him laden with plenty of provisions, showing great joy at
their arrival. The governor received them affably, and, besides paying
the value of the provisions into the hands of the chiefs, he graciously
gave them many shirts and other things, with which they remained
satisfied. This is a people and tribe called Guaranís; they are
cultivators, sowing maize twice in the year, and also cassava. They rear
fowls as in our Spain, and geese; keep many parrots in their houses,
and occupy much land, and the whole are of one language. They eat human
flesh, as well that of their Indian enemies as of Christians; they also
eat one another. This people is very fond of war, and they seek it; they
are very vindictive. Of this people and their territory the governor
took possession, in the name of His Majesty, as newly discovered land,
and called it the province of Vera,[307] as it appears from the deeds
of possession that were drafted before Juan de Aroaz, notary royal. And
this being done on the 29th of November, the governor and his people
left Tocanguasu. And after two days' march, on the 1st of December, they
arrived at a river called by the Indians Yguazu,[308] which means big
water; here the pilots took the depth.

  [307] Alvar Nuñez took the name of his mother's family, 'Cabeza de
  Vaca'; the name of his father, a descendant of the Adelantado of the
  Canary Islands, was 'de Vera'.

  [308] The Iguazu, or Yguassu, a large affluent of the Paraná, rises in
  the Sierra do Mar, near the city of Curitiba, and flows nearly due
  west. It forms the boundary of the provinces of Paraná and Santa


    _Which treats of what happened to the governor and his people in his
    journey, and of the nature of the land._

FROM this river Yguazu the governor and his people advanced on their
discovery; and on the 3rd of December they arrived at a river called by
the Indians Tibagi.[309] Its bed is paved with large stones, placed in
such order and regularity as though by hand. In crossing to the other
side of this river there was great trouble, because the people and the
horses slipped on the stones and could not keep their footing, and to
remedy this they joined hands. And although the river was not very
deep, the water ran with great force. At about two leagues beyond this
crossing the Indians came with great delight, and brought the army
provisions, so that they were never short of food, and had sometimes
even more than they could take, and left it on the road. This caused
the governor to give the Indians much, and to be generous with them,
especially with their chief, to whom, besides paying the price of the
commodities which they brought, he gave many presents, and did them many
favours and treated them so well that the fame went through the land and
the province, and all the natives laid aside their fear and came to see
and to bring all they had, and they were paid for it as aforesaid. The
same day, being near another Indian settlement, whose chief said he was
called Tapapirazú, there arrived a newly converted native Indian whose
name was Miguel, who came from the town of the Ascension, where the
Spaniards resided who were to be relieved. This Indian was returning to
the coast of Brazil, as he had been a long time with the Spaniards. The
governor conversed for some time with him, and informed himself of the
condition in which were the province, the Spaniards and the natives, and
of the great danger in which the Spaniards were because of the death of
Juan de Ayolas, and of other captains and people killed by the Indians.
Having given full information, this Indian, of his own wish, offered to
return in company with the governor to the town of the Ascension, whence
he had come, to guide and show the Spaniards the road they had to take.
Then the governor discharged the Indians that came with him from the
island of St. Catalina, and ordered them to return. These Indians, owing
to the good treatment and many presents they had received, returned well
satisfied and merry. As the people that the governor brought with him
were wanting in experience, and for fear lest they should do wrong or
mischief to the Indians, he ordered that they should neither traffic
nor communicate with them, nor visit their houses and villages, for the
Indians are of so easily excitable a nature, and shocked at the least
thing, that great inconvenience might have resulted in all the land. He
therefore ordered that only those persons who understood the Indians
should have dealings with them, and buy the provisions for all the
people at the governor's cost. And so every day he distributed the
provisions himself, and gave them gratis without any interest. It was
curious to see how feared were the horses by the Indians of that land
and province, that for the terror they had of them they dropped on
the road, and set food for them, such as fowls and honey, saying that,
provided they would not be angry, they would give them plenty to eat;
and to tranquillize them they said that they would not abandon their
settlements. But fearing lest the Christians should use violence with
them they fixed their camps at some distance off. Owing to the good
order that was kept, and seeing that the governor punished everyone who
offended them, all the Indians, with their wives and children, had such
confidence that it was a sight to see. And from very distant parts
they came, laden with provisions, only to see the Christians and their
horses, as a thing that had never before been seen in the land.

  [309] The Tibagi, an affluent of the Parana-panéma, rises not far from
  the Iguassu, and flows N.N.W. with a very rapid course and a total
  fall of 1,550 feet in 300 miles. Its characteristic rocks are trap and
  basalt. (See Bigg-Wither in _Journal R. G. S._, vol. xlvi.)

The governor and his people, continuing their journey through the
land and province, arrived at a settlement of Indians of the tribe of
Guaranís, and the chief of this tribe went out with all his people in
great joy to receive and welcome him. And they brought with them honey,
geese, fowls, flour, and maize. And the governor, through the medium of
interpreters, spoke to them affably, and told them he was pleased
at their coming, and ordered that they should be paid for what they
brought, which gave them great satisfaction. Moreover, he sent as a
present to the chief of this tribe, whose name was Pupebaie, some
presents, such as knives and scissors and other articles. We left the
Indians of this tribe so merry and pleased that they danced and sang
for joy all through the settlement.

On the seventh of December they arrived at a river known to the Indians
as the Taquari.[310] This river has a copious stream and a strong
current; and they found its banks inhabited by a tribe of Indians whose
chief was called Abangobi. This chief, in company with all the Indians
of his tribe, together with their wives and children, came out to
receive the governor, showing great joy at his arrival; and they brought
plenty of provisions, for which they were paid as usual. All these
Indians belong to one tribe, and all speak one language. From this place
they went on, leaving the natives so well satisfied that they carried
the news from place to place of the good treatment used towards them,
and showed everything they had received, so that wherever the governor
and his people had to pass, the natives were friendly and came to
meet them laden with provisions, receiving payment according to their
satisfaction. On the 14th December, having passed through some tribes of
Guaranís, by whom he was well received and entertained, the governor
and his people arrived at a settlement whose chief said he was called
Tocangusir. Here they halted one day to rest, because the people were
tired; and the direction they were following was west north-west a
quarter north. And at this place the pilots observed for latitude in
twenty-four and a half degrees, at a distance of one degree from the
tropic. Since entering the inhabited region they had found the country
to be very pleasant, with large plains, forests, and many rivers,
streams and rivulets, with abundance of good drinking water. In fact,
it is a land very suitable for cultivation and stock-rearing.

  [310] This river Taquari is a tributary of the Paraná-Pané, now called
  by the Brazilian geographers Paraná-panema. On this river Taquari the
  Jesuits founded one of their ancient missions of Guaira, under the
  tropic in the present Brazilian province _do Paraná_.


    _Of the troubles that the governor and his people underwent on their
    way, and of a kind of pine tree, and of the fruits of that land._

FROM the place called Tuguy, the governor and his people continued their
journey to the 19th December, without finding any settlements; this
circumstance, and the many rivers and bad passages that had to be
crossed by men and horses, caused them much trouble. They had to make
as many as eighteen bridges in a single day, across rivers as well as
over marshes, many of which were dangerous; and they had to pass great
sierras and steep mountains and large thickets of reeds that had hard,
sharp points, and other jungle. Twenty men had to be constantly in
advance, cutting and clearing a road; and it took many days to pass
through these forests, which were so thick that the sky could not be
seen overhead. And on the said nineteenth day of the said month they
arrived at a certain settlement of Guaranís, who with their chief, their
wives and children, showing great pleasure, came forth to meet the
Spaniards, two leagues from their settlement, bearing many commodities,
such as fowls, geese, honey, potatoes and other fruits, maize, and flour
of the pine tree, of which they make great quantity.

There are many pine trees in that land so great that four men with their
hands joined cannot compass one. They are tall and straight, and very
suitable for masts of ships and caracks, according to their length.
Their fruit is large, and the kernel about the size of an acorn. The
husk is like that of chesnuts, yet they differ in flavour from those of
Spain. The Indians gather them, and make of them a great quantity of
flour for their nourishment. There are many wild boar and monkeys in
that country, which feed on those kernels in the following way: the
monkeys climb to the tops of the pine trees, and suspend themselves by
their tails; then with hands and feet they detach a number of these
fruits and let them fall to the ground. And when they have thrown down a
quantity of these fruits they descend and eat them; but it often happens
that the wild beasts are watching while the monkeys pull down the fruit,
and when they have thrown them down, while the monkeys are descending
from the pine trees, the boars come out against them; and they steal
and eat the fruit, the monkeys all the while uttering cries from the
branches of the trees. There are also other fruits, of different kinds
and taste, that ripen twice a year. In this place of Tuguy the governor
remained during the feast of the nativity, both to celebrate this
feast as well as to rest the people. They found here an abundance of
provisions, for the Indians supplied them with all commodities. So the
Spaniards, partly owing to the festivities, and partly to the good
treatment they received from the Indians, were much refreshed, although
such repose was very prejudicial to them, because, taking no exercise
and eating plentifully, they could not digest what they ate, and
they immediately caught fevers, which did not happen while they were
marching. As soon as they resumed their march, after the first two days
they got rid of the disease, and regained their health. At first the
people importuned the governor, entreating that he might stop and
rest some days, but he would not consent to it, for he had already
experienced what would be the consequence; but the people thought that
he declined because he wished to give them more trouble, till at length
they were fain to acknowledge he had so acted for their good, since by
eating much they suffered; and of this the governor had great


    _How the governor and his people found themselves starving, and
    appeased their hunger with worms from reeds._

THE twenty-eighth day of December the governor and his people departed
from the village of Tuguy, where they left the Indians well pleased,
and, pursuing their route by land the whole day without finding any
inhabitants, they came to a wide and deep river with a strong current,
and along it were forests of cypress and cedar, and other trees; in
crossing this river they had plenty of trouble that and the three
following days. Marching through the land, they passed by five villages
of the Guaraní Indians, all of whom came forward and greeted us, with
their wives and children, bringing plenty of provisions, so that our
people were always well supplied, and the Indians very pacific, owing to
the good treatment and the payment they received. All this is a very
pleasant land, abounding in water and woods. The inhabitants sow maize,
cassava and other seeds, and three kinds of potatoes, white, yellow, and
reddish, very large and well flavoured. They rear geese and fowls, and
gather much honey from the hollows of the trees.

The first of January of the year A.D. 1542, the governor and his people
left the Indian settlements, and advanced across a mountainous region,
through dense thickets of reeds, where our people underwent much
trouble, because, up to the fifth of the month, they met with no
settlement, and had to suffer much from hunger; and they kept themselves
alive with great difficulty, besides having to open roads through
the reed jungle. In the hollows of these reeds there were some white
worms,[311] about the length and thickness of a finger; the people fried
these for food, obtaining sufficient fat from them to fry them in very
well; all ate of them, and thought it excellent food. And from the
hollows of other reeds they collected good drinking water, and were much
comforted by it. They used to search for these worms during their march,
in order that they might have enough to eat, and so provide for their
necessities and hunger in their journey through that inhospitable
region. They crossed, with great difficulty, two wide and very deep
rivers, flowing towards the north; and the following day, being the
sixth of January, after marching through uninhabited country, they
encamped for the night on the bank of another deep river, with a very
strong current and with plenty of reed thickets, where the people
gathered the worms and subsisted upon them. So they pursued their
journey, and the next day they passed through a very good region, well
watered and abounding in game, such as boar and deer, and they killed
some and divided it among the people. That day they crossed two small
rivers, and it pleased God that none of the Christians fell sick, and
everybody kept on marching in good condition, cheered by the hope that
they would soon reach the town of the Ascension, and the Spaniards whom
they were going to relieve. From the sixth to the tenth of January
they passed many Indian Guaraní settlements, all of whom received them
peacefully, and greeted them joyfully; the inhabitants of each village,
with their chief, accompanied by their wives and children, came laden
with provisions, from which the Spaniards derived great help. But the
monks Bernardo de Armenia and Alonzo his companion went in advance to
collect provisions; and when the governor and his people arrived, it
happened that the Indians had nothing more to give; and the people
complained to the governor of this, as they had oftentimes done before,
and he warned the monks not to do so, and not to take along with them
certain Indians, of all ages, who were of no use, and to whom they
gave food; but the monks declined to obey. Then all the people were
ill-disposed towards them; but the governor favoured them, as they were
engaged in the service of God and His Majesty. At length the monks
separated themselves from the people, and, against the will of the
governor, took another road. He directed that they should be brought
back from the Indian settlements, where they had taken refuge; and had
he not so ordered their withdrawal, they would have come to grief. The
tenth of January, continuing their march, they passed many rivers and
rivulets, and other bad passages, great sierras and mountains, and
thickets of reeds abounding with water; every sierra[312] having a
fertile valley and a river, besides other streams and forests. In all
this land there is plenty of water, because it is under the tropic, and
the direction of their route on these days was west.

  [311] The "reeds" of the text must certainly be bamboos, and the larva
  or grub found in them answers to that of the _Calandra palmarum_, a
  species of weevil which is still cooked and eaten in the way here

  [312] Sierra is a chain of mountains.


    _Of the fear the Indians had of the horses._

THE fourteenth of January, continuing their journey among settlements
of Indians of the nation of Guaranís, all of whom came to meet the
Spaniards with much pleasure, bringing maize, fowls, honey, and many
other commodities; and as the governor always paid them to their
contentment, they brought such a profusion that the surplus remained on
the road. All their people go naked, men as well as women; they had a
great fear of the horses, and asked the governor to tell the horses not
to be angry with them; and in order to appease them they brought
them food. So they arrived at a wide river of mighty waters called
Yguatú,[313] a very noble river, abounding in fish and bordered by
forests; on its shore there is a settlement of Guaranís, who sow maize
and cassava, as in other parts they had already passed through; and they
came out to receive the governor, being aware of his coming, and of
the good treatment they would receive; and they brought plenty of
provisions. In all that land there are pine trees of many different
kinds, with fruits like those I have spoken of. And the Indians waited
upon the governor and his people, because he always treated them well.
The Yguatú flows due west in the twenty-fifth degree, and may be as
large as the Guadalquivir. Its banks (according to the accounts of
the natives, and as I saw with my own eyes) are populous, and the
inhabitants are the richest people of all that land and province, both
for agriculture and stock-raising. They rear plenty of fowls, geese,
and other birds; and they have abundance of game, such as boar, deer,
_dantas_,[314] partridges, quails, and pheasants; and they have great
fisheries in this river. They grow plenty of maize, potatoes, cassava,
_mandubies_, and many other fruits; and from the trees they collect a
great quantity of honey. From this settlement the governor decided to
write to the officials of His Majesty, and to the captains and people
residing in the town of the Ascension, to let them know that by order
of His Majesty he was on the way to relieve them, and sent two native
Indians of that land with the letter. While staying on the river
Pequiry,[315] a dog bit a certain Francisco Orejon, citizen of Avila in
Spain, in the leg; and fourteen other Spaniards fell sick because of the
long journey. These remained with Orejon, in order to follow by short
stages. The governor recommended them to the natives, in order that
these might favour them, and guide them on the way to follow him when
they recovered their health. And in order that they might do this the
more willingly, he gave many presents to the chief and other natives,
who were much pleased with them. All this country, through which the
governor was marching with his people making his discoveries, is filled
with large fields abundantly watered by rivers, rivulets, and springs,
well shaded by trees and cultivated. It is the most fertile land in the
world, adapted for cultivation and colonization. Many parts of it are
conveniently situated for sugar refineries; and the country is full of
game. The inhabitants are of the nation of the Guaranís, who eat human
flesh, and are all agriculturists and rear geese and fowls. They are a
domesticated people, friendly towards the Christians, and with a little
trouble would accept our holy Catholic faith, as experience has proved.
And, judging from the nature of the soil, it is certain that if there
are mines of silver anywhere, it is here they may be found.

  [313] The Yguatú is an oriental affluent of the Paraná, entering this
  river at 25° lat. S. The name is not to be found in modern maps.

  [314] Anta or tapir.

  [315] The Pequiry flows into the Paraná ninety miles north of the
  Yguassu; the governor of Paraguai founded on its margin the town of
  Ciudad Real de Guaira in the sixteenth century, destroyed afterwards
  by the Paulistas.


    _How the governor navigated the river Yguazú, in canoes, and how, in
    order to avoid a cataract of that river, he carried the canoes one
    league by hand._

THE governor having left the Indians of the Pequiry very friendly and
peaceful, continued his journey with his people through the interior,
passing many settlements of Guaranís, all of whom came to meet him with
plenty of provisions, showing great joy at his coming. And to all their
chiefs he distributed presents, and even the old women and children came
to greet them, laden with maize and potatoes. And the inhabitants of
villages which were one and even two days off along his line of march
did the same, and all brought commodities; and for some distance before
the villages were reached they cleared and swept the road, dancing and
making great merriment on seeing the Spaniards. What increases their
pleasure and contentment is to see their old women merry, because they
are wont to do as these tell them, and are more obedient to them than to
the old men. The last day of January, continuing to advance into the
interior of the province, they arrived at the river Yguazú, and before
arriving at this river they traversed an uninhabited region without
finding any settlement of Indians. This is the same river they crossed
at the beginning of their journey, when they left the coast of Brazil.
It is also called in that part Yguazú. It flows from east to west, and
there are no settlements on its banks. Here they took the altitude and
found it to be twenty-five and a half degrees. Before arriving at the
river Yguazú, they learned from the natives that it fell into the
Paraná, also called Rio de la Plata; and that between this river Paraná
and the Yguazú the Indians killed the Portuguese whom Martin Alfonzo de
Sosa[316] had sent to discover that land, who were slaughtered while
crossing the river in canoes. Some of these Indians who had so killed
the Portuguese warned the governor that the Indians of the Pequiry river
were bad people and our enemies, and that they were lying in wait to
seize and kill us during our passage of the river. Because of this the
governor held a council, and decided to secure both banks of the river,
he with part of his people descending the Yguazú in canoes, and entering
the Paraná, while the remainder of the people with the horses went
by land, and took up a position on the bank in order to overawe the
Indians; all the people were then to pass to the other side in the
canoes, and this was accordingly effected. The governor himself with
eighty men embarked in canoes and descended the Yguazú, the remainder of
the people and the horses proceeded by land, as we have said, and all
joined on the river Paraná. The current of the Yguazú was so strong that
the canoes were carried furiously down the river, for near this spot
there is a considerable fall, and the noise made by the water leaping
down some high rocks into a chasm may be heard a great distance off, and
the spray rises two spears high and more above the fall.[317] It was
necessary, therefore, to take the canoes out of the water and carry
them by hand past the cataract for half a league with great labour.
Having left that bad passage behind, they launched their canoes and
continued their voyage down to the confluence of this river with the
Paraná. And it pleased God that the people and the horses that went by
land, as well as those in the canoes with the governor, all arrived at
one time. On the bank of the Paraná there had assembled a great number
of Indian Guaranís, all decked with parrots' feathers, painted red and a
variety of other colours, holding their bows and arrows and all massed
together for battle. The arrival of the governor and his people in the
manner we have described caused much fear among them and threw them
into confusion. We began to speak with them through interpreters and to
distribute a number of presents among their chiefs; and as they were
covetous people, delighting in novelties, they began to be appeased and
to approach us. And many of them helped us to cross to the opposite
bank.[318] When we had passed, the governor ordered rafts to be made by
lashing the canoes by twos together; and in two hours they were ready,
all the people and the horses reaching the other side without being
interfered with by the natives. This river Paraná, at the place where
we crossed it, was a long cross-bow shot wide, very deep and rapid; in
passing it one of the canoes upset and one Christian was drowned, the
current having drawn him under, and he never rose to the surface. The
strength of the current and great depth form many whirlpools.

  [316] Martim Affonzo de Sousa held a captaincy on the extreme southern
  part of the coast of Brazil, for the Portuguese Government, in 1531.
  This was the Capitania de São Vicente.

  [317] The Salto do Iguaçu, or fall of the Iguassu, is a succession
  of leaps made by this river at about eight miles from its mouth.
  The difference in level above and below the falls is 58 mètres.
  (_Subsidies, etc., to the Physical Map of Brazil_, Homem de Mello,
  Rio de Janeiro, 1876, p. 29; Azara, _Viajes_; Martin de Moussy,
  _Description de la République Argentine, etc._)

  [318] _I.e._, to the right bank of the Paraná.


    _Which treats of the rafts that were made to carry the sick._

WHEN the governor had passed the river Paraná he was greatly
disappointed at not finding the two brigantines which he had ordered by
letter the two captains who were at the Ascension to send, these vessels
being much needed to protect the passage for the transport of the sick
and those who were fatigued with the long journey. As there were many
incapable of marching who could not safely be left behind in the midst
of so many enemies, who might soon pluck up courage to attempt some
of their treasonable practices, he arranged to send the sick down the
Paraná on the rafts, entrusting them to the care of an Indian chief
named Yguaron, to whom he gave presents. This man offered to take charge
of the sick in person and bring them to the village of Francisco, a
servant of Gonzalo de Acosta, in the expectation that by the way they
would meet the brigantines, and would be received and entertained by
them; meanwhile this Indian, Francisco, who had been brought up among
Christians and who lived on the bank of the Paraná, four days' journey
from the point of their departure, according to the information of the
natives, would look after them. So the governor ordered them to embark,
and they were about thirty men, and he sent with them fifty arquebusiers
and crossbowmen for their protection. And as soon as he had sent them,
the governor, with the remainder of his people, continued his journey by
land towards the town of the Ascension, to reach which he would have
to travel nine days according to the information given by the Indians
inhabiting the banks of the Paraná. Possession was taken of this river
in the name of His Majesty, and the pilots took the altitude and found
it to be twenty-four degrees.[319]

  [319] This is an error. The mouth of the river Yguazú is in 25° 35′

The governor and his people advanced across the country, passing
settlements of the Guaranís, all of whom received him well, and came
forth to meet him laden with provisions, as usual. In this march they
crossed large marshes, and other bad places, and rivers, and had to
build bridges and overcome many difficulties. After the passage of the
Paraná the Indians accompanied them from village to village, showing
great friendship and goodwill; they did them many good offices, both
in serving as guides, and providing them with food. For all this the
governor rewarded them generously, and made them well satisfied. During
the march a Spaniard came from the town of Ascension to meet the
governor, and took back tidings to his fellow-countrymen, and the people
there, of his arrival; for, owing to the straits they were in, their
desire to see him and his people was very great; and they could hardly
believe that he would do them such a service until they had seen him
with their own eyes, even though they had read the letters he had
written to them. This Christian informed the governor of the situation,
and of the danger the people were in, of the deaths that had happened
both of those who went with Juan de Ayolas, as well as many others
slain by the natives, and of their great tribulation and discouragement,
especially since the evacuation of Buenos Ayres; for they had long
expected relief from Spain, and when at length that port was abandoned,
they had given up all hope of deliverance. He also related many other
losses that had been sustained in the country.


    _How the governor arrived at the Ascension, where the Spaniards
    lived whom he had come to relieve._

HAVING learned of the above-mentioned Spaniard of the death of Juan de
Ayolas and his companions, and of the deaths of other Christians, of
the extremity of the survivors in the town of Ascension, and of the
abandonment of Buenos Ayres, whither he had left orders that the ship
_Capitana_ should proceed with the one hundred and forty men from the
island of St. Catalina; considering, too, the danger in which those
might be who arrived by sea, when they found that port deserted by the
Christians and in the hands of a large number of Indians, he made all
the haste he could to reach Ascension in the quickest time possible, in
order that he might infuse new courage into those who remained there,
and restore confidence among the friendly Indians. All the natives of
the parts he was now travelling through make their houses of straw and
wood, and many of those from the district round Ascension spoke to the
governor in our own Castilian tongue, bidding him and his Spaniards
welcome. Their reception of him was as cordial as any met with
heretofore. They cleared and swept the road, formed processions
with their wives and children, waited his arrival with presents of
provisions: maize, wine, bread, potatoes, fowls, fish, honey, and game,
all prepared; and they distributed these gifts among his men. In token
of peace they raised their hands, and, in their own language, some, too,
in ours, welcomed the governor and his people. Along the route they
entered into conversation with us, and were as cordial and familiar as
though they were our own countrymen, born and bred in Spain.

Travelling in this way, it pleased God that on the eleventh of March,
being one Saturday, at nine o'clock in the morning, in the year of grace
1542, we arrived at the city of Ascension, where we found the Spaniards
living whom we had come to relieve.

This town is situated on the bank of the Paraguay, in twenty-five
degrees south latitude. Before entering it the governor was met by all
the captains and people resident there, who showed incredible joy at his
arrival, declaring they had never believed, or even expected that they
would be relieved, so great were the dangers and difficulties of the
road never before explored; as for the sea-route _viâ_ Buenos Ayres, by
which they had hoped succour might have reached them, their expectations
from this quarter had also vanished since the Indians had taken the
aggressive with the idea of soon capturing and making an end of them.
Moreover, so long a time had elapsed since any Spaniards had landed
there, that they were in despair.

The governor received them all at an interview, spoke very kindly with
them, and informed them that he had come by His Majesty's orders to
succour them. Thereupon he showed his credentials and powers to Domingo
de Irala, and the officers Alonzo Cabrera, controller, a native of Loja;
Philip de Caceres, accountant, of Madrid; Pedro Dorantes, factor, of
Bejar, and to other captains and inhabitants of that province. These
documents were read out to the clergy and soldiers present, and by
virtue of them they recognized him as governor, and signified their
obedience as to a captain-general of the province, appointed by His
Majesty. The insignia of justice were given up to him, and were
redelivered, in the name of His Majesty, to the magistrates who should
administer civil and criminal law in the said province.


    _How the Spaniards, left behind through sickness, on the river
    Pequiry, arrived at the town of Ascension._

THIRTY days after the arrival of the governor at the town of Ascension,
as we have related, the Christians, both sick and sound, whom he had
sent on rafts from the river Paraná, arrived at the harbour, one only
being missing; and he had been killed by a tiger. They reported to the
governor how the Indians of the river assembled in great numbers with
their canoes, and while our men were descending on the rafts, came out
and attacked them with loud cries and beating of drums, shooting a
storm of arrows at them. Two hundred canoes surrounded them at one time,
trying to board and take possession of the rafts in order to kill the
Spaniards. For fourteen days and nights they never ceased fighting,
being exposed all that time to a constant fire of arrows, both from
those on shore as well as those in the canoes. The natives tried with
long hooks to seize hold of the rafts, and drag them towards the shore,
while the incessant shouting and cries of these men made so much din
that one would have said the powers of light and darkness were at war
with one another. They gave them no rest, for those in the canoes
changed places with those on shore, these continuing the fight while the
others rested. Twenty Spaniards were wounded, but not seriously; and all
this time the rafts kept drifting down stream, borne along by a strong
current. They descended so rapidly that rowing was unnecessary, and all
their efforts were directed to prevent their being drawn to land, where
the danger was greatest. Nevertheless, they were now and then exposed to
great peril, owing to the whirlpools which caught the rafts and twirled
them round; and it required all the skill of those that navigated them
to prevent them being taken inshore by the eddies. In this way they
continued their voyage for fourteen days without the possibility of
finding succour or protection, always pursued by the Indians in their
canoes, and a constant target for their arrows. At length they arrived
near the village of Francisco, the Indian, who, with some of his men,
came out to meet and succour the Christians. He brought them to an
island near his village, and gave them food, for they were weary
with the fatigues they had undergone, and starving. Here the wounded
recovered from their wounds, and all rested, for the enemy had not dared
to pursue them farther, and had withdrawn. Meanwhile the two brigantines
sent for their relief arrived at the village. In these they embarked and
arrived at the Ascension.


    _How the governor, wishing to re-people Buenos Ayres, sent
    reinforcements to those who had come there in the ship 'Capitana'._

ALVAR NUNEZ ordered two brigantines to be equipped with all diligence,
and to be loaded with provisions and other commodities; and having
manned them with some of the former colonists of Buenos Ayres who were
acquainted with the navigation of the Paraná, he sent them to relieve
the one hundred and forty Spaniards who were to have embarked at St.
Catalina in the ship _Capitana_ for Buenos Ayres; for, owing to the
abandonment of this port, these people would be exposed to great
danger. He ordered that the port should be immediately rebuilt in the
most convenient place, as the colony was necessary for the safety and
welfare of all the Spaniards in the province, as well for those who
might come there in future, ships being obliged to anchor in this part
of the river; here, too, brigantines have to be built to navigate the
river for three hundred and fifty leagues to the town of Ascension.

The first two brigantines set out on the sixteenth of April. After they
had started, the governor ordered two more to be built, and laden with
provisions and people, to proceed also to the relief of the Spaniards,
and to re-establish the port of Buenos Ayres. He gave special
injunctions to the captains of these two vessels to treat the natives of
the Paraná with kindness, and induce them by fair means to acknowledge
the sovereignty of the King. He, moreover, directed them to take note
of everything that occurred, in order that a full report might be sent
to His Majesty. Having made these dispositions, Alvar Nuñez turned
his attention to the service of God, and His Majesty, and to the
pacification of the province. For the better accomplishment of these
duties, he summoned a meeting of the monks and clergy residing in that
province, as well as those that had come with him, and, in the presence
of all the officers, the captains and the people, he entreated them, in
kind but earnest words, to bestow special attention to the teaching of
the Christian doctrines to the natives, subject to the King, and he
caused certain passages of the Royal Charter to be read aloud, in which
special mention was made of the treatment of the Indians. He further
enjoined the monks, clergy, and other ecclesiastics, to take the Indians
under their particular care, and to protect them from ill-treatment, and
to inform him of anything done contrary to these orders--promising to
supply all things necessary for this holy cause, and for the celebration
of the sacraments in the churches and monasteries. And for this purpose
he supplied them with wine and flour, and distributed among them the
vestments he had brought for use in divine service; and he also gave
them a barrel of wine for this use.


    _How the natives kill and eat their enemies._

SOON after the arrival of the governor at the Ascension the natives
and conquistadores brought serious charges against the officers of His
Majesty. Alvar Nuñez therefore ordered all the native subjects of the
king to assemble, and in the presence of the monks and clergy told them
he had been sent to protect them, and that they should come to the
knowledge of God and accept Christianity at the hands of the monks
and clergy who had come as the ministers of God, and should subject
themselves to His Majesty. If they did this they would be better treated
and protected. He warned them to give up eating human flesh, as that was
a sin and grave offence in the sight of God. The monks and the clergy
repeated this warning, and the governor concluded by distributing
presents among them, such as shirts, stuffs, caps, and other things they
delighted in.

These Guaranís speak a language common to all the tribes of this
province. They eat the flesh of their enemies whom they take captive in
war, bringing them to their settlements and making great merriment and
rejoicing with them, dancing and singing till the captive grows fat.
They give him their wives and daughters, in order that he may have every
pleasure. It is these wives who take the trouble to fatten him. Those
held in the greatest honour among them admit him to their couches, adorn
him in various ways according to their custom, and bedeck him with
feathers and necklaces of white beads and stones, which are much prized
among them. When he begins to grow fat they redouble their efforts; the
dancing, singing, and pleasures of all kinds increase. Then the men
come; they adorn and make ready three boys of the age of six or seven,
placing a little hatchet in their hands. The Indian considered the
bravest among them now takes a wooden sword in his hand, called in their
language _macana_, and leads the captive to a place where he is made to
dance for one hour; the Indian then advances, and with both hands deals
him a blow in the loins, and another on the spine to knock him down. It
happens sometimes that after striking him six blows on the head they
cannot kill him, so hard are their heads, though this two-handed sword
is made of very tough, heavy, black wood, and the executioner is strong
enough to kill an ox with a single blow. When they have knocked him down
the three boys come with their hatchets, and the eldest of them, usually
the son of the chief, begins striking blows on his head, the others do
the same till the blood flows; the Indians meanwhile exhorting them to
be brave and learn to kill their enemies and make war upon them, and to
remember that this victim has killed many of their own people, and that
they should revenge themselves upon him. As soon as he is dead the one
that gave him the first blow takes the name of the dead man and keeps it
henceforward in token of his bravery. Then the old women cut the body
in pieces and cook it in their earthenware pots, distributing the flesh
among themselves. They eat it and consider it excellent food. Afterwards
they resume their dancing and pleasures, which last several days, saying
that now the enemy who had slain their relatives is dead, they will take
their rest and make merry.


    _Of the peace which the governor concluded with the Indian Agazes._

ON the banks of this river Paraguai there is a nation of Indians named
Agazes; it is a people most feared in all that country, for besides
being valiant they are well practised in war and very treacherous. Under
pretext of making a treaty of peace they ravaged other tribes, not
sparing even their own relatives, wishing to make themselves masters in
the land, so that nobody trusts them. They are men of great size and
gigantic limbs; they lead piratical lives in their canoes on the river,
landing to pillage and capture the Guaranís, who are their principal
enemies. They live by fishing and the chase, and do not cultivate the
soil. When they capture the Guaranís they tie their hands together and
drag them into the canoes and carry them away. Then they return to the
relatives of their captive, who come forth and offer to ransom him; and
they strike him cruel blows in the presence of his father, children, or
wives, as the case may be, and demand food, threatening to slaughter
their prisoner if this is not brought. Having taken as much provisions
as their canoes will hold, they return to their houses, carrying their
captive along with them. And this is their usual practice, for it rarely
happens that the captives are actually ransomed. After they are tired of
keeping them in their canoes and beating them, the Agazes cut off their
heads and hoist these on poles on the bank of the river. Before the
governor's arrival the Spaniards had made war against these Indians and
killed a number of them; peace had afterwards been concluded, but this
had been broken with characteristic perfidy by the Agazes, who had
done much injury to the Guaranís and carried off a quantity of their
provisions. A few days before the governor's arrival at the Ascension
the Agazes had violated the peace, having attacked and ravaged certain
villages of the Guaranís, besides keeping the town of Ascension daily on
the alert. When the Agazes knew of the governor's arrival, their chiefs,
named Abacoten, Tabor, and Alabos, accompanied by a large number of
their people, arrived in their canoes, and presented themselves before
him, saying they wished to swear allegiance to His Majesty, and to be
friendly with the Spaniards; they declared that if they had not kept the
peace hitherto, that was owing to the audacious conduct of some foolish
youths, who had begun hostilities without their leave, causing it to be
supposed that the chiefs had broken the peace, but that they had been
well punished for it; and they entreated the governor to receive them
into his amity, and make peace between them and the Spaniards, promising
they would keep it. This promise they repeated in the presence of the
monks, clergy, and officials. Having heard this message, the governor
received them kindly, and replied that he was pleased to receive them as
vassals of His Majesty, and as friends of the Christians, provided that
they would keep the peace, and not break it as heretofore. He gave them
to understand that, should they misbehave in future, they would be
regarded as enemies, and be made to suffer accordingly. In this way
he made peace between them and the Spaniards. He gave orders in the
meanwhile that they should be well treated and receive provisions. The
conditions of peace were that the said Indians, the chiefs of the Agazes
and others of that nation, should agree that whenever they descended the
Paraguai in canoes as far as the Ascension, they should not enter upon
territory belonging to the Guaranís otherwise than all together, and
never separately, nor by night, but always in the daytime; that they
should only land on the opposite side of the river, not on this side,
where the Guaranís and Spaniards have their fields and establishments;
that they should not ravage the country and harass the Guaranís, and
that they should terminate their war against them, and cease from
troubling them any more, as these people were now vassals of His
Majesty; that they should deliver up certain of their Guaraní captives,
of both sexes, who had been captured during the time of peace, because
they were Christians, and their relatives were much distressed at it;
that they should not interfere with the Spaniards and Guaranís when they
fished in the river and hunted on the land; and, lastly, that such
of their wives, daughters, and relatives who had been converted to
Christianity should be allowed to persevere in that holy work, and not
be carried away or compelled to absent themselves. Provided that these
conditions were kept, the Agazes would be treated as friends, but if any
article of the treaty were broken they would be proceeded against as
enemies. These terms having been well explained and understood by them,
they promised to observe them, and thus was peace restored and their
submission brought about.


    _Of the complaints addressed to the governor by the pobladores
    against the officers of His Majesty._

A FEW days after his arrival at the Ascension, Alvar Nuñez, having
seen that there were many poor and needy, supplied them with clothing,
shirts, trowsers, and other necessaries. Many of them that were unarmed
received arms; and all this at his expense, and without interest. He
then begged the officers of His Majesty to discontinue vexing and
wronging these unfortunate people, as they had hitherto done, for many
complaints had been made by both _conquistadores_ and _pobladores_. They
tried to enforce a new tax lately imposed on fisheries, butter, honey,
maize, and other commodities; on the skins with which they clothed
themselves, and which they bought of the Indians; and this besides the
collection of debts due to His Majesty. The officers urged the governor
to allow them to continue these taxes, but he would not consent to it,
and in this way incurred their animosity. Prompted by a bad spirit
towards him, they strove to do him all the harm they could by indirect
means. He therefore had them arrested and thrown into prison, in
consequence of evidence brought against them.


    _How the governor received complaints against the Indian Guaycurús._

THE riparian chiefs, and those inhabiting the vicinity of the Paraguai,
near the town of the Ascension, vassals of His Majesty, came and
presented themselves before the governor, and complained of a tribe of
Indians that dwelt near their borders. These Indians are great warriors,
and valiant men, who live on venison, butter, honey, fish, and wild
boar, eating nothing besides, neither they nor their wives and children.
They go daily to the chase for it is their only occupation. They are
nimble and vigorous, swift of foot, and so long-winded that they tire
out the deer, and catch them with their hands, besides slaying many more
with their arrows, as well as tigers and other fierce animals. They are
kind to their wives, and not only to those of their own tribe, who are
greatly esteemed by them, but also to women generally; thus, if any fall
into their hands when they are making war, they set them at liberty, and
do them no wrong. They are much feared by all the other tribes. They
never remain more than two days in one place, but quickly remove their
houses, made of matting, to distances of one or two leagues when they
are in pursuit of game. This tribe, and others that live by fishing, eat
of a certain bean[320] that grows in that country; they search for it in
the mountains where the trees are that produce this fruit; and the wild
boar climb the hills at the same time, and for the same purpose. It
ripens in November and the beginning of December, and they make flour of
it, and wine strong enough to intoxicate themselves.

  [320] Algarroba, the Carob bean (_Prosopis dulcis mimosa_).


    _How the governor informed himself concerning the complaint._

THE chiefs of the Indians complained to the governor that the Guaycurús
had dispossessed them of their land, and killed their fathers, brothers
and relatives, and since they were vassals of His Majesty, they claimed
protection and restitution of their property. They had hunted on the
mountains, they had fished in the lagoons and rivers, they had collected
honey for their own support and that of the Christians. Moreover,
the wrongs and murders they complained of had taken place since the
governor's arrival in the country. He examined into the complaints
of these chiefs, whose names were Pedro de Mendoza, Juan de Salazar,
Cupirati, Francisco Ruis Mayraru, Lorenzo Moquirasi, Gonzalo Mayraru,
and other newly converted Christians, in order to satisfy himself of the
truth of their allegations, and to proceed according to law; and he said
that they must bring good evidence of their alleged wrongs. They then
presented as witnesses a large number of Spanish Christians, who had
been present, and seen the injuries done by the Guaycurús; how these
people had driven them from their lands, and laid waste a large
stockaded settlement named Caguazú. Having heard this information, the
governor sent for the monks and clergy--friar Bernardo de Armenta, and
friar Alonzo Lebron, his companion; the bachelor Martin de Almenza, and
Francisco de Andrada, priests; and commanded them to inquire into the
affair, and report as to whether war could be justly made against the
Guaycurús. They wrote their opinion, and signed it with their names, to
the effect that he (the governor) might, with armed hand, march against
the said Indians, and wage war against them, since they were implacable
enemies. The governor then ordered two Spaniards, who knew their
language, and Martin de Almenza, with an escort of fifty Spaniards, to
go in search of the Guaycurús, and summon them to submit to His Majesty,
and desist from making war against the Guaranís, that these might freely
go about their land, and enjoy their chase and fisheries. If they would
do this, he promised to consider them as friends, but if they refused,
he should make war upon them as mortal enemies. So the ambassadors set
out, having been specially charged to repeat their message and warning
two or three times calmly and deliberately. Eight days afterwards they
returned, and declared that they had warned the Indians, but that these
had taken up arms against them, saying that they did not choose to obey,
or to be friends with the Spaniards and Guaranís, and told them to
withdraw immediately from the land. At the same time they shot a number
of arrows, and wounded many of them. The governor, having been informed
of all that had happened, ordered two hundred arquebusiers and
crossbowmen to be in readiness, and twelve horsemen, and with these he
left the town of Ascension on Thursday the twelfth of July 1542.

As he had to pass to the other side of the Paraguai, he bade them make
ready two brigantines, to ferry the men and horses across, and he
ordered all to assemble at a certain village of the Guaranís, called
Tapuá,[321] on the bank of the Paraguai. Its chief, Mormosen, is a brave
man, much feared in that country, who had already become a Christian,
and bore the name of Lorenzo. He had been master of Caguazú when the
Guaycurús took it. All the soldiers and the horses marched to Tapuá by
land, a distance of four leagues from the town of Ascension, passing, on
the way, large troops of the Guaranís, who had orders to rendezvous at
the same place, and accompany the governor on his expedition. It was
wonderful to see the order they kept, and their preparations for war,
all of them armed with bows and arrows, adorned with parrots' feathers,
and painted with divers colours. They had musical instruments, which
they use in battle, such as timbals and trumpets, cornets, etc. All
arrived on the same day at Tapuá, and found here large numbers of the
Guaranís, bivouacking under the trees along the river bank. The chief,
Mormosen, and his relatives, accompanied by a number of the people,
advanced to meet the governor, a bow-shot from the village, and brought
with them a large quantity of venison and ostrich-flesh which they had
killed on that and the previous day, in such plenty that there was
more than sufficient for all the people. The Indian chiefs then held a
council, and decided that it would be necessary to send out scouts to
reconnoitre the country and position of the enemy, and ascertain if
tidings had reached him of the advance of the Spaniards, and whether
he kept watch at night. This advice was followed, and two Spaniards,
together with Mormosen and other brave Indians who knew the country,
went forward. The following day being Friday, they returned before
nightfall, and reported that the Guaycurús had gone a-hunting in the
plains and mountains, having fired the grass in several places, as is
their wont. Our people had seen them moving their camp, accompanied by
their wives and children, to settle in a new place, where they might
subsist by hunting and fishing, and they seemed to be unaware of our
coming. From our camp to the place where the Indians had probably fixed
their abode might be five or six leagues, judging from the fires they
had kindled to drive the game.

  [321] _Tapuá_, as spelt in the original edition. In later ones the
  Gothic =T= has been taken for a =C=.--The Spaniards founded in this
  place a fort named Arecutacuá. See map of Oyarvide.


    _How the governor and his people crossed the river, and how two
    Christians were drowned._

THAT same Friday the brigantines arrived for the passage of the river,
and the Indians brought a number of their canoes. Being now fully
informed as to what should be done, and having taken counsel with his
captains, the governor arranged that the army should cross the following
morning, Saturday, and proceed in quest of the Guaycurús. He ordered
rafts to be made of the canoes, to convey the horses over, and as soon
as it was daylight the embarkation began in good order, the soldiers in
the brigantines, and the Indians in their canoes. The zeal displayed by
the Spaniards, and the loud cries of the Indians, were remarkable. From
six in the morning to two o'clock in the afternoon the crossing went on,
though there were two hundred canoes engaged in the passage.

A sad accident happened at this juncture. As the Spaniards vied with
one another who should be first, one of the vessels was overloaded and
capsized, the keel floating above water with all her living freight
clinging to it. They would certainly all have been drowned, had not a
number of Indians who saw the occurrence from the bank jumped at once
into the water and righted the vessel. But the current was so strong at
this place that two of the Spaniards were swept down the river, whom it
was impossible to rescue, their bodies being recovered lower down; and
their names were Diego de Ysla, a citizen of Malaga, and Juan de Valdez,
a citizen of Palencia.

When all the people and the horses had crossed to the other side, the
principal Indians came to the governor, and told him that it was their
invariable custom, whenever they were about to make war, to give their
captain a present, accordingly they begged him to accept it. The
governor, wishing to humour them consented. Then all the chiefs, one
after the other, brought him a prettily painted bow and arrow; and all
the Indians, one by one, presented a painted arrow adorned with parrots'
feathers; and the remainder of that day was taken up by the presentation
of these offerings, so that it was necessary to pass the night on the
bank of the river, stationing sentries to keep watch.


    _How the spies, by order of the governor, went in search of the

ON Saturday, the governor, with the advice of his captains and monks,
arranged that before beginning the march, scouts should be sent in
advance to reconnoitre the movements of the Guaycurús, in order that
dispositions might be made to attack and drive them from the lands of
the Guaranís. So the Indian spies and Christians set forth, and returned
at four o'clock in the morning, with the report that the Indians had
been hunting the whole day, and that their wives and children were in
front of them, and that they did not appear to have any fixed idea of
settling anywhere. Upon this being known, it was decided to march at
once, as secretly as possible, in pursuit of the enemy, observing the
precaution of not lighting fires, and not breaking the ranks for the
purpose of hunting or any other motive, in order not to give the enemy
an inkling of their whereabouts. These dispositions having been taken,
they started in good order, on Sunday morning, and marched at the
foot of the forested slopes of the mountains, so as to conceal their
movements. The Indian scouts, all picked men and swift of foot, led
the advance, returning every now and again to report what they could
discover of the enemy.

The order of march was as follows: the Indians went together in a troop
extending over a league in length, all arrayed in parrots' feathers,
and with bows and arrows. In front of them was the advanced guard, and
behind came the main body, the governor and the cavalry, followed by the
Spanish infantry, arquebusiers and crossbowmen. After these came the
women, bearing the munitions and provisions of the Spaniards. The
Indians carried their own supplies. In this order they marched till
mid-day, when they rested under some large trees, where they all halted
and partook of some refreshment. After this, they resumed the march, led
by the Indian guides, along footpaths, where the quantity of deer and
ostriches was amazing. Neither Indians nor Spaniards, however, ventured
to hunt for fear of discovering themselves to the enemy; but all kept
their ranks, the Guaranís in advance numbering some ten thousand men,
all painted and bedizened with necklaces of beads and plumes, and plates
of copper, which glistened marvellously well in the sun. And many of
them had bows, and a great number of arrows.


    _How the governor, pursuing the enemy, was informed that he was
    marching in front._

THE governor and his people, marching in this order all day, there
happened, shortly after sunset, at the hour of Ave Maria,[322] a tumult
among the Indians. And a dispute arose in this wise. A spy came back
from the Guaycurús, and brought back word that they were retiring for
fear of the Guaranís, and that he had seen them hunting the whole day;
and that their wives and children were in advance, and he believed they
would settle that evening. The Guaranís had been informed, on the
other hand, by some female slaves, whom they had captured a few days
previously of another tribe called Merchireses, that the report current
among that tribe was that the Guaycurús were engaged in war with the
Guatatas, and were about to attack this tribe, and that was why they
were advancing with such haste through the country.

  [322] Answering to the Angelus in France, and to the Curfew in

The scouts continued to follow the enemy closely, in order to see
where he would halt, and give the governor information. And he, having
heard all this from the last spy, and seeing that it was a fine night,
ordered the march to be continued in the same order as before, a strict
watch being kept, the archers with their crossbows strung, and the
arquebusiers with their arquebuses loaded and fuses lighted, as the
occasion required, for although the Guaranís were marching with us and
were our allies, it was prudent to observe every precaution, and place
as little confidence in them as an enemy, for they are wont to be
treacherous if too much trusted.


    _Of a panic among the Spaniards and Indians, caused by a tiger._

THE governor and his army were marching through the skirts of a thick
forest, and night was approaching, when a tiger passed through the midst
of the Indians, causing a great panic and confusion among them, so that
the Spaniards took to their arms, and, thinking the Indians were in
revolt, fell upon them, calling on Santiago. In that affray several
Indians were wounded, and their companions, seeing the attack made upon
them, fled to the mountains. The governor himself narrowly escaped being
wounded by two gunshots, the bullets having grazed the skin of his face;
and these shots were certainly fired maliciously with intent to kill
him, and to please Domingo de Irala, whom he had deprived of the command
of the province.

Alvar Nuñez, seeing the Indians had fled, and anxious to put an end
to the disorder, dismounted and rushed into the forest after them. He
called to them that it was nothing more than a tiger had caused the
confusion, that he and his Spaniards were their friends, and that they
were all brothers and subjects of His Majesty, and that all should
advance together and drive the enemy from the country. The Indians,
seeing the governor in person among them, and hearing all he said,
became appeased, and descended the hill with him. It is certain that
things were at one time so critical as to endanger our men, because, if
the Indians had fled and returned to their homes, they would never again
have had confidence in the Spaniards. The governor then summoned the
chiefs by name, and told them to follow him in perfect security, and
have no fear. "If the Spaniards were about to kill you," he added, "you
were yourselves to blame, for you took up arms, and made them believe
you intended to kill them; let it be clearly understood that the tiger
was the cause of this panic, and let us all be friends once more. You
know that the war we are about to engage in is in your interest and on
your behalf only, for the Guaycurús have never seen the Spaniards, or
had any trouble or grievance with them. We are proceeding against them
to protect and defend you."

Yielding to the governor's entreaties and encouraging words, the
Guaranís returned, and placed themselves under his orders, though still
frightened. They said they had been thrown into confusion by the fear
that the enemy was upon them, and had fled for protection into the midst
of the Spaniards, and this was the only cause of their fear. When the
chiefs were pacified, all the people came together, without anyone
having been killed. When all were re-united, the governor ordered that
henceforth the Indians should pass to the rear, and the Spaniards should
march in front, the cavalry being in advance of all, so that the Indians
might see with what goodwill the Spaniards marched against the enemy,
and lay aside any fears they might still have left; for the Spaniards
in that province depended entirely upon the Indians for their means of
subsistence, and without this would have had to abandon it altogether.
So they marched for two hours after sunset, and halted to sup under some
trees on the provisions they carried with them.


    _How the governor and his people overtook the enemy._

AT eleven o'clock at night, when the Indians and Spaniards were resting,
without light or fire for fear of betraying their presence to the
Guaycurús, one of the spies, who had been sent to observe the enemy's
movements, came into camp, and reported that he had seen them setting up
their village. The governor was much pleased on hearing this news, as he
had feared that they might have heard the reports of the firing that had
taken place in the confusion of the night. Having learned from this spy
that the spot they had fixed upon for their settlement was three leagues
off, he gave orders to strike the camp, and march slowly forward, in
order not to arrive at the place too early, so as to be ready to begin
the attack at daybreak. As a security to the friendly Indians, and to
distinguish them from the enemy, he ordered them all to paint white
crosses on their chests and shoulders, so that the Spaniards might
recognise them as friends, and not kill them by mistake for Guaycurús.
Although this precaution was adopted, it did not avail much in the
obscurity of night, when friend and foe became mixed up in hand to hand
fighting, and the quick blows of the sword could not be arrested.

We marched till break of day, and then reached the enemy's habitations,
waiting till daylight before delivering the attack. In order that
the horses might not, by their neighing, give the enemy warning, the
governor ordered their mouths to be filled with grass; meanwhile the
Indians were directed to surround the enemy's position, leaving a
passage for his escape to the mountains, so that the carnage might not
be too great.

While waiting in expectation, the Guaranís were almost paralysed with
fear; nothing would induce them to begin the attack, notwithstanding the
entreaties and persuasion of the governor. Soon after the drums of the
Guaycurús were heard beating to arms, and challenging anybody to come
and fight them, saying they were few in numbers, but more valiant than
any other tribe in the land; that they were masters of it, and of all
the animals contained in it; they were lords also of the rivers and the
fish. These people, who are accustomed to keep watch every night, a
little before daybreak came forward and threw themselves on the ground,
and in this position saw the host of our army, and the lighted fuses of
the arquebuses. And when they saw this they cried aloud, "Who are you
that dare come to our houses?" And a Christian who knew their language
answered: "I am Hector (this was his name) and I have come with my
people to barter (the corresponding word in their language meaning
revenge) the death of the Batates[323] whom you slaughtered." Then they
answered, "Cursed be your coming, for you shall be served as they were."
Having thus spoken, they threw the burning logs they held in their hands
at the Spaniards, and then rushed into their huts, seized their bows and
arrows, and attacked our people with such impetuosity and courage that
they appeared to make no account of them. The Indians who had come with
the governor showed great cowardice, and would have fled had they dared
to do so. Alvar Nuñez, seeing this, entrusted the artillery to Don Diego
de Barba; Captain Salazar was placed in command of the Spanish infantry
and Indians, these latter being in two divisions. He ordered the
breastplates to be put on the horses, and, thus arrayed in order of
battle, our forces charged the enemy with cries of "_Santiago!_" The
governor, on horseback, led the van, and cut down all that opposed him.
When the enemy saw the horses for the first time, a great fear fell upon
them, and they fled to the mountains as quickly as they could. Passing
through their village, they set fire to their houses, and these being
made of mats of rush and grass, caught fire at once, the flames
spreading to the others, about twenty in number, all portable, and each
having a length of five hundred paces. Their owners, numbering about
four thousand warriors, retired behind the smoke caused by the burning
houses, and whilst so concealed killed two Christians, and decapitated
twelve of our friendly Indians. This operation is performed by the aid
of two or three teeth of a fish called the _palometa_, which bites
fish-hooks in two. These teeth are attached to a small stick. The
Guaycurús, holding their prisoners by the hair of the head, pass this
instrument round their neck, and with a twist or two of the head,
completely sever it from the body, and carry it off by the hair. They
will perform this operation while they are running, as if it were the
easiest thing possible.[324]

  [323]? Guatatas, _supra_, p. 142.

  [324] Cf. _supra_, p. 55.


    _How the governor pursued the enemy._

HAVING defeated the Guaycurús, the governor pursued them. As one of the
horsemen was following him, an Indian of the enemy seized hold of the
mare he was riding by the neck, and pierced her through and through with
three arrows he held in his hand; nor could they make him loose his hold
of the animal before they had killed him. If the governor had not been
present at this fight the victory would have been doubtful.

These Indians are very tall, swift of foot, valiant and strong. They are
Gentiles, having no fixed abode, and subsist by hunting and fishing. No
nation had ever conquered them before the Spaniards, and their idea is,
if anyone should vanquish them, to serve them as slaves. Their women are
allowed the right of delivering a prisoner who has fallen into their
hands, so that he shall neither be killed nor enslaved, and if he choose
to remain among them, he is treated as one of their own people. These
women have certainly more liberty than that bestowed on our women in
Spain by Queen Isabella, our Sovereign Lady. The governor and his
people, being tired of pursuing the enemy, returned to camp, and having
assembled his army, began his march towards Ascension, followed by the
Guaycurús a great distance, arms in hand; and the governor had much
trouble to keep his men together, and prevent them being cut down by
those of the enemy who had escaped in the fighting; for a Guaraní having
possessed himself of a feather, an arrow, or a mat of the enemy's, will
return home alone without taking the precaution of waiting for his
companions. In this way it happened that one thousand of the Guaranís
were caught and killed singly by about twenty Guaycurús. Four hundred
prisoners, men, women and children, were made in that expedition.

During the return march the horsemen speared a number of deer, and the
Indians were surprised to see the swiftness of the horses, which could
overtake the deer. They, too, killed very many with their arrows. At
four o'clock in the afternoon a halt was made under some large trees,
and they passed the night here, having stationed sentinels to keep a
good watch.


    _How the governor and all his people returned to the town of

THE following day, in broad daylight, they set out in good order,
hunting as they marched, and a number of deer and ostriches were killed.
Some of the former were even killed by the Spaniards with their swords,
as they fled from the horsemen and Indians and sought refuge in the
ranks of the infantry. It was a strange and very pleasant sight to see
the chase that day. One hour-and-a-half before nightfall they arrived on
the river Paraguai, where the governor had left the two brigantines and
the canoes. And that day they began passing the men and horses over to
the other side, and continued this the following day from morn till
midday, by which time all had been ferried across, and the governor and
his people marched on to the town of Ascension, where he had left a
garrison of two hundred and fifty men, under the orders of Gonzalo de
Mendoza. This captain had made prisoners six Indians of the tribe of
Yapirús,[325] who are tall and valiant men, good warriors and runners.
They neither cultivate the land nor rear animals, but live exclusively
by the chase and fishing; they are enemies of the Guaranís and
Guaycurús. Gonzalo de Mendoza informed the governor that these Indians
had arrived the previous day, having crossed the Paraguai; and had said
that their tribesmen had heard of the war waged against the Guaycurús,
and that they and all the other tribes were dismayed on hearing of this,
and that their chief had sent them to make it known that they wished to
be friendly with the Christians, and to offer their help, should it
be wanted, against the Guaycurús. Gonzalo de Mendoza had suspected
treachery in all this, and that their real object was to spy out the
place; he had therefore detained them prisoners till he could satisfy
himself of their sincerity of purpose. The governor ordered them to be
brought at once before him, and having sent for a Spanish interpreter
who knew their language, questioned them separately as to the objects
of their coming. Having seen that it would be to the advantage of His
Majesty's service, he treated them kindly, and gave them many presents
for them and their chief, promising he would receive them into his amity
as subjects of His Majesty, and would protect and defend them, provided
that they desisted from making war on the Guaranís, who were vassals of
His Majesty, and that this had been the cause of the war he had made
against the Guaycurús; then he dismissed them, well satisfied.

  [325] Cf. _supra_, pp. 54 _seqq._


    _How the Indian Agazes broke the peace._

GONZALO DE MENDOZA, besides what has been related in the previous
chapter, also told the governor that the tribe of Agazes with whom a
peace had been made, that very night on which he had started on his
campaign against the Guaycurús, had come armed to set fire to the town,
and make war upon the Spaniards. These Indians, however, had been seen
by the sentries, who had sounded the alarm. Perceiving that they were
discovered, they had then taken to flight, and made a raid upon the
cultivated land and establishments of the Spaniards, from whom they had
taken a number of Guaraní women newly converted to Christianity. Since
then they had come every night to maraud and pillage the land, causing
much injury to the natives, and had thus broken the peace. The women
of their own tribe, whom they had given as hostages for their good
behaviour, had that same night of their arrival escaped, and were
believed to have informed their people that the town was short of
defenders, and that now was the time to kill the Christians. Following
the advice of these women they had begun the war, and, as they are wont
to do, had laid waste the dwellings of the Spaniards, where they kept
their provisions, and had carried away upwards of thirty Guaraní women.
The governor caused an inquiry to be made into this, and convoked the
monks, clergy, officers and captains, whom he informed of the acts of
the Agazes, and how they had broken faith, ordering them in the name of
His Majesty to give their opinion in writing as to what they advised
should be done, and to sign it with their names. And all agreed to
follow this advice, whatever it might be. Then, having discussed and
considered the affair thoroughly, they were all of one accord, that war
should be made with fire and sword to punish the Agazes for the wrongs
and injuries they had committed, and were still committing, in the
country. This opinion was unanimous, and signed by all.

In order still further to establish the criminality of their acts,
Alvar Nuñez ordered a judicial inquest to be held, and when this was
terminated he added it to four others previously entered against them
before his arrival. The Christians formerly resident in that country had
slain over one thousand of these Indians because of the losses they were
constantly inflicting upon them.


    _How the governor set at liberty one of the captive Guaycurús, and
    sent him to summon his fellow tribesmen._

HAVING proceeded against the Guaycurús as we have said, the governor
sent for the chiefs of the Guaranís who had marched against the
Guaycurús, and ordered them to bring before him all the prisoners they
had taken on that expedition, and that none should be concealed, under
a severe penalty. The Spaniards also brought theirs, and when all were
assembled, he told them His Majesty had ordered that none of those
Guaycurús should be enslaved, because all had not been done that ought
to have been done to ascertain their condition, and that His Majesty
would be rather pleased if these prisoners were given their liberty.
Among these captives was one of superior breeding and appearance, whom
the governor ordered to be set free, desiring him to summon all his
fellow tribesmen, because he had something to say to them in the name
of the king, and that if they wished he would protect them, and give
them presents, and so he let him go, giving him some presents; and he
departed, well satisfied, to his own people. Four days afterwards, he
returned accompanied by all his tribe, many of whom were badly wounded;
all came, leaving none behind.


    _How the Guaycurús came and submitted to His Majesty._

FOUR days after the departure of the prisoner, one Monday morning, he
arrived on the bank of the river, accompanied by all his tribe; and they
halted by a wood on the bank of the Paraguai. When the governor was
informed of it he sent several canoes across with some Christians and
interpreters to bring them to the town. Twenty of the Guaycurús having
crossed in the canoes, came before the governor, and squatted on one
foot in his presence, as they are accustomed to do. They spoke through
an interpreter, and said as follows: "We are the chiefs of the
Guaycurús, and our forefathers have always been at war with all the
tribes of this land--Guaranís, Ymperus,[326] Agazes, Guatatas, Naperús,
Mayas, and many others, whom we have hitherto always vanquished, and
no people has ever conquered us, and we never thought we should be
conquered by anyone. Now we have found others more valiant than
ourselves, and we have come to place ourselves in their power and be
their slaves. You are the chief of the Spaniards, command us and we will
obey your orders. The Guaranís know full well that they are not strong
enough to make war on us; we fear them not. They would never have dared
to interfere with us without the aid of the Spaniards. Our wives and
children are on the opposite bank and are ready to make their submission
as we have done. We speak in our own name and on behalf of all our
tribe. We have come to offer our submission to the King of the

  [326] Yapirús: cf. _supra_, p. 149.


    _How the governor, after making peace with the Guaycurús, delivered
    the prisoners to them._

HAVING heard what the envoys of the Guaycurús had said, the governor,
seeing that so redoubtable a people had come to place themselves in
his power with so much submission (a thing that caused much surprise
throughout the land), desired them to be informed, through interpreters,
that he had come by order of His Majesty to bring all the people to the
knowledge of Our Lord, to be Christians and vassals of His Majesty, and
to be well treated; if they ceased making war upon the Guaranís he would
protect and regard them as friends, and would treat them better than
other nations, and that he would restore all the captives taken from
them without ransom, both those taken by the Spaniards and Guaranís.
And this was thereupon done. When the Guaycurús had received them,
they affirmed once more their wish to become vassals of His Majesty,
promising obedience and submission, and that they would henceforth not
molest the Guaranís, and that they would bring whatever they took, to
the town for the provisionment of the Spaniards. Alvar Nuñez was much
pleased with their promises, and he distributed gifts and jewels among
the chiefs, and peace was cemented.

Since then they have always kept the peace, and whenever the governor
sent for them, hastened to obey his commands. Every eighth day they came
laden with venison and wild boar, roasted on _barbacoas_.[327] These
barbacoas are like gridirons, standing two palms high above the ground,
and made of light sticks. The flesh is cut into steaks and then laid
upon them and roasted. They also brought much fish and plenty of
other provisions, such as grease, linen mantles woven of a kind of
teasel,[328] dyed in bright colours; and skins of the tiger and tapir,
deer and other animals. When they came, the markets for the sale of all
these commodities lasted two days. The natives of the other side of the
river bartered with them; it was a very great market, and they (the
Guaycurús) behaved peacefully towards the Guaranís. These gave them, in
exchange for their commodities, maize, manioc, and mandubis; these last
are like hazel nuts or _chufas_, and grow near the ground[329]; they
also supplied them with bows and arrows. Two hundred canoes crossed the
river together for this market, laden with all these things; and it was
the finest thing in the world to see them cross. The celerity of their
movements is such that they sometimes collide with one another, and
all the merchandise falls into the water. Then the Indians to whom
this happens, and those awaiting them on the bank, burst into fits of
laughter, and the jokes and merriment continue all the time the market
is being held. They come to this market in full paint and in their
feathers, and all in this fine plumage are carried down the river, and
they vie one with the other who shall be the first across; and this is
the cause of their frequent collisions and upsets. In their marketing
they talk so loud and so much, that they cannot hear one another for the
noise, and all are very gay and jolly.

  [327] _Barbacoa_, i.e., _parrillas_.

  [328] There are several classes of teasel (_cardas_) in Paraguai. The
  fibres of one of them (the _caraguatá_) are used instead of hemp and

  [329] Pea-nuts.


    _How the Apirús came and made a treaty of peace and submitted._

A FEW days after the departure of the six Apirús to return to their
tribe in accordance with the instructions of the governor, some of these
people arrived one Sunday morning on the bank of the river opposite
Ascension, and from the signs they made it was evident they wished to
cross. Thereupon Alvar Nuñez sent canoes to the other side to find out
what people they were. As the canoes touched the opposite bank the
Indians entered them and came over to the city. On presenting themselves
to the governor they said they were of the tribe of Apirús, and having
seated themselves on one foot in token of their mission being a peaceful
one, they stated they were the chiefs of that tribe, and had come to
make acquaintance with the chief of the Christians and to be friends
with him, and obey his orders.

The expedition against the Guaycurús had been noised through the land,
and had caused much fear among all the tribes, inasmuch as these
Indians, the most valiant and redoubtable of all in that country, should
have been attacked and defeated by the Christians. In proof of the
peace and amity they (the Apirús) were desirous of maintaining with the
Christians, they had brought some of their daughters, and entreated the
governor to accept them as hostages and as proofs of their goodwill and
friendship. In the presence of the captains and clergy, the governor
replied that he wished them to understand that he had come to that
country in order that its people might be brought to the true Christian
faith and become the subjects of His Majesty; he enjoined them to make
peace with the Guaranís, who had become vassals of the king, and he
promised if they would keep the peace and live in friendship with all
the natives of that land, that he would favour and protect them, and
allow them to come whenever they wished to the city of Ascension to
barter with the Christians and Indians residing there, as the Guaycurús
had been allowed to do since peace had been made with them. To make sure
of their loyalty, and to please them by showing the value he set on
their friendship, he consented to receive as hostages the women and
girls they had brought, entrusting them to the care of the monks and
clergy, in order that they might be instructed in the doctrines of
Christianity, and be taught good manners and customs. To all this the
Indians assented, and showed much pleasure and satisfaction at becoming
the king's vassals. Since that time they have behaved obediently,
and shown a readiness to obey the governor's orders. The interview
terminated, the Yapirús received many presents, and took their departure
well satisfied. These Indians never remain in one place more than three
days, but are continually engaged in hunting and fishing in order to
provide subsistence for their wives and families. These habits of life,
and their want of a fixed abode, rendered it impossible for the clergy
to teach them the Christian religion, for the necessities of their lives
prevented them from abandoning their nomadic habits, dependent as they
were upon these for the means of procuring food; if, on the other hand,
they were to be compelled to give up this mode of livelihood, they might
die of hunger. Hence it would be lost labour to teach them, nor could
the monks live with them, owing to the insecurity of remaining among a
people so little to be trusted.


    _Of the judgment passed on the Agazes by the advice of the monks,
    captains, and other officers of His Majesty._

HAVING received the submission of the aforesaid Indians, as related
in the previous chapter, Alvar Nuñez desired to be shown the act of
accusation drawn up against the Agazes. Having seen this and the former
judgments entered against this people, it seemed to him that their guilt
had been clearly established for the robberies and murders committed
by them in the land. He then summoned the monks and the clergy, the
captains and officers, and showed them the act of accusation and the
instructions he had received from the king; and having well considered
it, they all unanimously advised that he should make war upon the Agazes
with fire and sword, for the service of God and His Majesty. In the
first place, however, thirteen or fourteen of these Indians, who had
been made prisoners, were condemned to death. The Alcalde Mayor,[330]
upon whom devolved the carrying out of this sentence, entering the
prison with certain others to fetch them out to be executed, was
suddenly attacked by them with knives, and might have been killed,
had not some persons hastened to succour him, and used their swords
to protect him. In the scuffle which ensued two of the prisoners were
slain with the sword, and the rest were taken out and hanged.

  [330] The Alcalde mayor was the mayor of the city.


    _How the governor sent relief to Buenos Ayres._

PEACE and tranquillity being now established, the governor sent a party
to the relief of Buenos Ayres and Captain Juan Romero, who had been
previously despatched with two brigantines and some men with the same
purpose. For this new relief the governor decided on sending Captain
Gonzalo de Mendoza and two other brigantines with provisions and one
hundred men. These dispositions having been taken, he sent for the
monks, clergy, and officers, and spoke to them of the measures to be
adopted for the discovery of the province, especially with the object of
finding a route by land by which the Spaniards might be supplied with
provisions in passing through desolate uninhabited tracts, of which
there were many in that country. He charged them in His Majesty's name
to give this matter their serious consideration, and advise him in the
best way possible. The following are the names of the monks and clergy:
the commissary, Friar Bernardo de Armenta, Alonzo Lebron, a Franciscan,
Juan de Salazar, of the Order of Mercy, Luiz de Herrezuelo, of the Order
of St. Jerome, Francisco d'Andrada, the bachelor Martin d'Almenza, the
bachelor Martinez, and Juan Gabriel de Lezcano, clergymen and chaplains
of the city of Ascension. He also consulted the captains and officers of
His Majesty, and all these, having discussed the question fully, were of
opinion that he should with all convenient haste proceed to explore the
inhabited country through which the route might lie, into the interior
of the country, for the causes and reasons assigned by the governor. And
this was the order of the day.

That he might proceed on this discovery in the best way, and as promptly
as possible, Cabeza de Vaca sent for the principal Indians and the
elders of the Guaranís, and told them of his desire to seek out the
tribes in that province of whom they had often spoken to him; but before
doing so he wished to send some Christians to reconnoitre the route, and
since they (the Guaranís) were Christians and vassals of His Majesty, he
asked them kindly to furnish guides from their own people who knew the
country, that by doing so they would be rendering good service to the
king and advancing their own interests, besides receiving pay and
presents for their services. To this the Indian chiefs responded that
they would go and prepare the people, who would be ready to start
whenever they were required. Many of them offered on the spot to
accompany the Christians, foremost among these being Aracaré, a chief
of the upper river, and others whom we shall mention by-and-bye. The
goodwill of the Indians having thus been manifested, three Christians,
who knew the native languages and were experienced men, set out with
the Indians who had offered to undertake the discovery. The governor
recommended them to use the utmost diligence and fidelity in
reconnoitring the road. Meanwhile he ordered three brigantines to be
equipped with provisions and other necessaries. In these he sent ninety
Christians under the command of Captain Domingo de Irala of Biscay, with
orders to ascend the Paraguai as far as he could, and discover as much
as possible in the space of three months and a half; to take note
of what settlements of natives there were on the banks of the river,
collect every information, and report to him on the tribes and
inhabitants of that province. The three vessels, with their complement
of Christians, set off on November 20th, 1542. With them embarked the
three Spaniards and the Indians who were to reconnoitre in advance the
route by land from a port on the Paraguai, known as Las Piedras (the
rocks), seventy leagues above Ascension.

Eight days after the departure of the ships, Captain Vergara wrote that
the three Spaniards, together with 800 Indians, had set out from the
port of Las Piedras,[331] in the 24th degree, below the tropic, to
prosecute their journey by land, and that the Indians were in good
heart, and pleased to show the road. He further wrote that, having
recommended the three Spaniards to the care of the Indians, he had
resumed his navigation up the river for the purpose of exploring it.

  [331] Las Piedras, or Pan de Azúcar, is in 21° 25′.


    _How the three Spaniards and the Indians returned from their

TWENTY days after the departure of the three Spaniards from the city of
Ascension to reconnoitre the road, they returned and said, that having
taken the chief Aracaré as their principal guide, they started from the
port of Las Piedras with 800 Indians, more or less, and marched for
about four days into the interior, following the guidance of Aracaré, a
man much feared and respected by the Indians. He had, however, ordered
all the fields where they passed to be set on fire, and this was a
signal to their enemies to come and attack them, besides being contrary
to the order usually observed in exploring a new country. Moreover,
Aracaré openly told the Indians to return, and not to show the country
to the Christians, who were evil, and he spoke in this fashion to them,
inciting them to rebel. They had begged the Indians to desist from
burning the fields, and entreated them to follow the road, but they
had refused; at the end of the fourth day the Indians had turned back,
having abandoned the Spaniards to their fate, who were in danger of
being lost in an unknown country, all the Indians and guides having
turned and fled.


    _How wood was prepared for the construction of two brigantines and
    one caravel._

ABOUT this time the governor sent in search of timber in order to build
brigantines for the voyage of discovery he proposed making, and a
caravel to send to Spain, to report to His Majesty how things were
going in the province with reference to its discovery and conquest. The
governor went in person to the forests and plains with the officers,
the shipmasters, and sawyers, and within the space of three months
sufficient wood had been prepared for the construction of one caravel
and ten rowing vessels (_i.e._, brigantines) for the navigation and
exploration of the river. All this wood was transported by the natives
to Ascension, and the construction of the brigantines was at once


    _How the Indians came again and offered their services._

THOSE Christians who had been sent to discover a road by which they
might enter the province, having returned (as we have seen) without
bringing any report or information of what had to be done, and many
other natives having offered to assist the Spaniards in the discovery of
the country, the governor was pleased to speak with the principal among
them who came from the riparian districts and were newly converted
to Christianity, whose names were Juan de Salazar Cupirati, Lorenzo
Moquirasi, Timbuay, and Gonzalo Mayraru, besides others, and to accept
their services, offered with much alacrity and goodwill, promising them
in the name of His Majesty good pay and handsome reward. Four Spaniards,
who knew the country well, asked to be allowed to proceed on this
discovery with the Indians, promising to use every diligence in
this commission. Seeing this, and that they offered their services
spontaneously, the governor acceded to their request. Accordingly, these
four Spaniards, the Indian chiefs, and 1,500 other natives set out on
the 15th December 1542. Some ascended the river Paraguai in canoes,
while others went by land to Las Piedras, whence they were to make their
entrance into the interior. They were obliged to pass through the lands
and villages of Aracaré, but would not be turned from their purpose this
time by the words of this chief, and pursued their march in spite of
every attempt on his part to stop them. Their journey from Las Piedras
led for thirty days through a desolate region, where their sufferings
from hunger were very great. Some of the Indians died, while the
Spaniards were reduced to such straits from hunger and thirst that they
lost their way and did not know where to go. They therefore decided on
returning by the same way as they came, supporting themselves as well
as they could, on the wild thistle and other herbs. At the end of
forty-five days they returned to the city of Ascension. Aracaré coming
down the river, met them on the road and caused them much trouble,
showing himself in all this to be the deadly enemy of the Christians and
our friendly Indians. At length the Indians and Christians arrived
at Ascension, feeble and tired. The governor having learned of the
outrageous conduct of Aracaré, which had now become notorious, ordered
an act of accusation to be drawn up against him, and to be notified to
this chief--a somewhat dangerous commission, because Aracaré came out
with arms in his hands, followed by a number of friends and relations,
with the intent to kill the Spaniards sent to him. The process, however,
was duly served according to law, and Aracaré was sentenced to death and
executed,[332] the natives being made to understand the just cause for
which this had been done.

  [332] This appears to have been the chief Achkere, whose execution was
  entrusted to Domingo de Irala. Cf. Schmidt, _supra_, p. 37.

On the 20th December the four brigantines, sent by the governor to the
river Paraná to the relief of the Spaniards who had come by ship from
the island of St. Catherine, arrived at Ascension, together with the
ship's boat. In these five craft arrived all the people, who soon
disembarked. With them came Pedro de Estopiñan Cabeza de Vaca, who had
been left in command of the vessel and the people.[333] He reported that
on arriving with his ship in the river Paraná he had gone straight to
Buenos Ayres, and at the entrance of that port, near the settlement,
he had found a ship's mast planted in the earth, with an inscription
carved on it as follows: "_Aquí esta una carta_" (Here is a letter). On
searching, this letter was found in a hole bored in the mast. It was
opened, and found to be signed by Alonzo Cabrera, surveyor of foundries,
and by Domingo de Irala of Biscay, who styled himself lieut.-governor of
the province. Its purport was, that Buenos Ayres had been abandoned, and
its inhabitants removed to the city of Ascension, for reasons set forth
in the letter. Pedro de Estopiñan found the place in a state of revolt,
and his men ran imminent risk of death both from famine and war, for the
Guaranís attacked them incessantly. Twenty-five Spaniards, in order to
escape starvation, fled to the coast of Brazil to rejoin the ship, and
had not timely succour arrived all must have perished. As it was,
the day after the arrival of the relieving party, consisting of 150
Spaniards, the Indians attacked them before daybreak, set fire to their
camp, killing and wounding five or six Spaniards, and in spite of the
resistance from the men on shore, and those on the vessels, their lives
were in great jeopardy. He further reported that measures had been
promptly taken to re-establish the settlement and port of Buenos Ayres
on another site at the confluence of the Rio Paraná with the San Juan,
but this work had been much interfered with by the approach of winter,
and the floods, which made breaches in the walls as fast as they were
erected. They were consequently compelled to desist from their efforts
and bring all the people to Ascension.

  [333] Cf. _supra_, p. 106 _seq._

On the eve of All Saints, or on this day itself, some disaster always
happened to Gonzalo de Mendoza. On this particular occasion, while
navigating at the mouth of the river, one of his vessels was wrecked,
and a number of his men drowned. It happened in this wise: the vessels
were all at anchor, near the shore, under a high bank, his brigantine
being moored to a tree, when an earthquake took place. The shore was
thrust up, and fell into the river, bringing down with it the tree to
which the galley was moored. This struck the vessel such a tremendous
blow as to cause it to capsize and drift down stream, bottom upwards,
for half a league. Fourteen persons, men and women, were drowned on
this and the other vessels. According to the report of those who were
present, such a terrific thing had never before occurred. After these
experiences they arrived at Ascension, and were all comfortably lodged
and provided with necessaries. The governor, with all his people,
returned thanks to God for His mercy in having brought them into safety,
and saved them from so many dangers.


    _How the settlement of Ascension was burned._

ON the 4th February of the following year, 1543, one Sunday morning,
three hours before daybreak, a straw house in the city of Ascension
took fire, and the flames spread so rapidly that in a short time the
conflagration was awful to see. The Spaniards were greatly dismayed,
thinking it was the work of Indian incendiaries, who wished to drive
them from the country. In this emergency the governor caused the alarm
to be sounded, and all hurriedly took up arms and repaired to their
several stations, to be ready to defend their lives and the place. Owing
to these measures, the Spaniards escaped with their lives, but their
property was all destroyed. Upwards of 200 houses were burnt down, only
fifty being saved, these being separated from the rest by a stream of
water which ran between them. Upwards of 5,000 measures of maize were
burnt in grain, this being the staple production of the country. A
quantity of maize-flour, and other provisions, such as poultry and
pigs, were destroyed, and the Spaniards were reduced to such a state of
destitution that they had no clothes to wear. The fire continued for
four days, burning everything above and below ground, even to the walls
of the town and fortress. It was ascertained that the fire originated
with an Indian woman living with a Christian, who was shaking a burning
hammock, when a spark fell on the wall of the house; this being of
straw, instantly ignited, and burst into flames. The governor, seeing
the miserable condition of the Spaniards, whose houses and property had
been destroyed, supplied them with his own things, giving food to those
who had none. In this way he promptly relieved their necessities, and
caused the houses to be rebuilt of less inflammable materials, using
for this purpose clay (_tapia_). In a few days, such was the energy
displayed, the rebuilding was completed.


    _How Domingo de Irala arrived._

ON the 15th February Domingo de Irala, returning from his exploration of
the Paraguai, moored his three brigantines in the port of Ascension, and
landed to make his report to the governor. He said that from the 20th
October, when he departed from Ascension, to the 6th January, the
festival of the Three Kings, he was constantly navigating the river
Paraguai, holding intercourse with the natives along the banks, and
noting down the information they gave him. On that day he arrived at a
settlement of Indians, who cultivate the soil and rear fowls and geese:
the latter as a protection against crickets, which do them much damage,
for these insects gnaw and eat their mantles, and breed in the straw of
which their houses are built. In order to preserve their garments they
keep them and their furs in large earthenware jars, covered with clay
lids. In this way they protect their wardrobe. When the crickets fall
from the roofs of the houses in large numbers the geese devour them
eagerly, and this happens two or three times a day, and is a sight worth
seeing. These Indians dwell in the midst of lagoons, and are called
_Cacocies Chaneses_.[334] They told Domingo de Irala that the way into
the interior of the country lay through their territory; he travelled
for three days by it, and it seemed to him a good land; they had
also given him an idea of the regions beyond. There, as he learned,
provisions were abundant enough to supply a party of explorers who might
enter and take possession of the country. These Indians had shown him
specimens of their gold and silver, and had offered to guide him. During
the whole of his voyage he did not see a more convenient or better
country by which to penetrate into the interior, and he had named the
port where he landed, in honour of the day of his arrival, _Puerto de
los Reyes_ (Port of the Kings[335]). The inhabitants having expressed a
great desire to see the Spaniards, he entreated the governor to go and
make their acquaintance.

  [334] These Indians are the Xarayos.

  [335] This port was situated in 18° latitude.

When Domingo de Irala had made his report concerning all that he had
seen and learned, Cabeza de Vaca commanded the monks and the clergy, the
officers and the captains, to assemble, and caused to be read to them
the report brought by Domingo de Irala. He begged them to give him their
opinion and advice as to what should be done for the discovery of this
country in the service of God and His Majesty, seeing that now the best
and most certain route hitherto known into the interior had been found.
And all the assembly agreed that it was expedient for the service of God
and His Majesty that an entrance into the country should be made from
the port of Los Reyes, and their opinion was reduced into writing and
signed with their names. They were also of opinion that the discovery
should be made without delay, as provisions and other necessaries were
to be found there in abundance.

Having seen and approved of the opinion of the monks, the clergy, and
the captains, the governor gave orders to equip and make ready the ten
brigantines which had been built for the service of His Majesty. He bade
the Guaranís supply provisions for the voyage, the fire having destroyed
the stores of the Spaniards, and he expended on these preparations
his own resources, paying the Indians for the provisions they brought,
besides giving them many presents. This he did so as not to delay
matters till the next harvest. In order that everything might be
prepared with the utmost speed, he sent Captain Gonzalo de Mendoza with
three brigantines up the river Paraguai to the lands and villages of the
friendly Indians, vassals of His Majesty, to load these vessels there,
ordering him to pay for everything, and treat the natives in a kindly
way, satisfying them with presents, of which he took a large number,
and he charged him to keep a watch and see that the interpreters dealt
fairly by the Indians, abstaining from doing them any wrong or
compulsion, under threat of punishment. Those were his orders.


    _What Gonzalo de Mendoza wrote._

A FEW days after Gonzalo de Mendoza had set out with the three
brigantines he wrote and informed the governor of his arrival at the
port of Giguy,[336] and of his having sent into the interior to those
villages where provisions were obtainable, and that many Indian chiefs
had been to visit him, and had begun bringing in provisions; that
the interpreters had fled from the natives and taken refuge in the
brigantines, because an attempt to kill them had been made by the
friends and relatives of an Indian who was in revolt and was raising the
country against the Christians and against our Indian allies, advising
them not to give us provisions, and that many Indian chiefs had come to
beg for assistance and help to protect their tribes against two chiefs
named Guaçani and Atabare,[337] who with all their relatives and friends
were making war upon them with fire and sword, burning their settlements
and ravaging their lands, threatening to kill them and destroy them
utterly if they would not unite to drive out the Christians. He (Gonzalo
de Mendoza) was temporising and parleying with these people till he knew
what measures it would be expedient to adopt, and meanwhile the Indians
had brought no provisions, because the enemy had blocked the roads, and
his Spaniards were starving.

  [336] This river is the Jejuy.

  [337] Tabaré; cf. _supra_, p. 38.

Having read Gonzalo de Mendoza's letter, the governor assembled the
monks, clergy, officers, and captains, and caused it to be read to
them. He then asked them to give their opinion as to what they thought
expedient to be done in that emergency, having regard to the king's
instructions, which were also read to them; and they answered, that
since the Indians were making war against the Christians and His
Majesty's vassals, their opinion was (and it was recorded in writing and
signed with their names) that he should march against them, and, after
demanding peace, should exhort them to give in their submission; failing
which, and after repeating his request twice, thrice, or as often as was
deemed necessary, and warning them that they would be held responsible
for any evil consequences that might ensue, that then war should be
waged against them as enemies, for the defence and protection of the
friendly natives.

A few days after the above occurrences, the said Captain Gonzalo de
Mendoza wrote again to the governor, informing him how the Indian
chiefs Guaçani and Atabare were making a cruel war against the friendly
natives, over-running their land, slaying and robbing them, as far as
the port where the Christians were collecting provisions, and that the
Indian allies were much harassed, and were daily beseeching him (Gonzalo
de Mendoza) for aid, and saying that if he did not soon help them, all
the Indians would rise in revolt, reminding him, too, of the cruel
losses such a war entailed upon them.


    _How the governor helped those who were with Gonzalo de Mendoza._

AFTER reading this letter, and becoming aware of the complaints made by
the natives, Alvar Nuñez summoned another council of monks, clergy, and
officers, and, in pursuance of their advice, commissioned Domingo de
Irala to take measures to protect the Indian allies, and put an end to
the war that had broken out, aiding in every way those natives who had
sustained losses at the hands of the enemy. To this effect he sent four
brigantines with 150 men besides those who had already gone under the
command of Gonzalo de Mendoza, and ordered Domingo de Irala to proceed
at once to the ports and villages of Guaçani and Atabare, and summon
them, in the name of His Majesty, to desist from the war and to return
to their homes, and live henceforward in peace and amity with the
Spaniards. Should these chiefs refuse to listen to these proposals,
which were to be repeated as often as possible, that he was then to make
war upon them, doing them, however, as little injury as he could, and
avoiding murders, robberies, and other evils. He was to compel them to
make peace and enter into friendly relations with our Indian allies, for
while this fighting was going on there could be no peace in the country,
and the service of His Majesty would not be advanced. The governor also
sent presents for distribution among those who were inclined to come to


    _How four Christians died of their wounds during this war._

WHEN Domingo de Irala arrived at the village of the Indians he sent to
summon Atabare and Guaçani, the principal instigators of the war. These
chiefs had a large number of people with them who were prepared for
fighting, and would not listen to the interpreters when they summoned
them to make peace. They even defied the friendly Indians, robbed and
caused them much injury. While protecting our allies, a number of
skirmishes took place, and some Christians were wounded. They were sent
to Ascension to be healed, but four or five died of their wounds. It was
their own fault, and the consequence of the excesses they committed, for
the wounds were light, and would not have caused death. One of them
died miserably from a scratch of an arrow on his nose. These arrows
are rubbed with poisonous herbs, and when those wounded by them commit
excesses with women, they die. In general, however, the herbs of this
country are not dangerous.

The governor wrote again to Domingo de Irala, urging him to renew
friendly relations with the Indians by every means in his power, because
it was advantageous for His Majesty's service. Indeed, as long as
the country was disturbed by war, surprises, revolts, murders, and
robberies, troubles would never cease. By bringing about a peace, he
wrote, they would be doing their duty towards God and the king. At the
same time he sent a quantity of provisions for gratuitous distribution
among the Indians who had served, adding all that he could think of to
strengthen peace and concord.

Under these circumstances Domingo de Irala proceeded to make peace. He
found the enemy much harassed and fatigued by the war they had been
carrying on with the Spaniards, and desirous of putting an end to it.
They were disposed to come to terms with our Indian allies and renew
their allegiance to the king. Finally, Guaçani and Atabare, and many
other chiefs and people, accepted the conditions offered them, and
came before the governor to ratify the peace. He told them that in
discontinuing hostilities they had done their duty, that he forgave them
their past disobedience, and that if they rebelled again they would be
punished without mercy. After this he gave them presents, and dismissed
them very happy and contented. Seeing now that the country was at peace,
and the natives living in concord, the governor ordered them to hasten
bringing in the provisions and other necessaries, in order to equip ten
vessels he was preparing for the discovery of the country by the port of
Los Reyes, in accordance with the resolution come to. In a few days the
natives brought over 3,000 quintals of manioc flour and maize, and with
these he completed loading the ships, paying for everything to the
satisfaction of the Indians. He also furnished the Spaniards with arms
and other necessaries.


    _How the friars took to flight._

NOW when the brigantines were on the point of sailing, and everything
was ready for the voyage of exploration as recommended by the council,
the friars Bernaldo de Armenta and Alonso Lebron his companion, were
silently and secretly induced to proceed to the coast of Brazil by the
route explored by the governor, bearing certain letters for His Majesty,
acquainting him with the bad use the governor was making of the powers
and authority graciously conferred upon him. This was done out of
jealousy and hatred towards the governor, and in order to hinder his
exploration and discovery of the country, so that his service to
the king might be of no effect. The motive of their conduct was as
follows: When he arrived in that country the governor found everything
disorganised, the Christians in poor circumstances and without arms,
and the inhabitants complaining of the extortionate behaviour of the
officers, who, to advance their personal interests, had most unjustly
levied tribute and a new tax, contrary to the custom of Spain and the
Indies, to which they gave the name of _quinto_, as we have already
stated in the course of this narrative. But Alvar Nuñez not suffering
them to continue these exactions, they opposed his discovery, and it was
on this account that the monks were induced by them to depart. These
friars caused the people to swear on the crucifix that they would not
divulge their departure for Brazil. But when the Indian chiefs had
notice of it they came before the governor, and demanded the restitution
of their daughters, whom they had given up to the monks to be taught
the Christian religion, as it had reached their ears that the monks were
intending to go to the coast of Brazil and carry their daughters along
with them; and as they understood that all those who went thither never
returned alive, and that the girls did not wish to go, and would have
run away were it not that the friars kept them in custody. When the
governor heard this the monks had already set out on their journey, so
he sent after them, and they were overtaken two leagues from the city
and obliged to return. The girls they were carrying off were thirty-five
in number, besides other Christian converts, all of whom were brought
back. This caused a great tumult among the people, as well Spaniards as
Indians, and great complaint was made by the Indians at the abduction of
their daughters. They also brought before the governor an Indian named
Domingo from the coast of Brazil, a person of great importance in His
Majesty's service. Then Cabeza de Vaca ordered the depositions against
the monks and officers to be taken, and proceedings were begun against
them for the crime they had committed against His Majesty. In order that
he might not be detained in his voyage of exploration, he deputed the
cause to a judge, and bade him investigate the whole matter as to the
misdeeds of the accused persons and the charges brought against them.
Two of them he took with him on bail, leaving the others in prison in
the city, suspended from office till such time as His Majesty should
ordain as to what should further be done in the matter.


    _How the governor took four hundred men with him on his voyage of

ALL preparations being now completed for the voyage of discovery, and
the ten brigantines having been laden with provisions, the governor
selected 400 arquebusiers and archers to accompany him on that journey.
Half of these embarked on the brigantines, the others, together with
twelve horsemen, went by land along the river bank as far as the port
of Guayviaño, keeping constantly among settlements of the friendly
Guaranís, this being the best route. The horses were taken on the
vessels, but in order that they should not consume the provisions on
board, and might feed themselves on shore, they were sent eight days
beforehand. The factor, Pedro Dorantes, and the accountant, Philip de
Caceres, went with them. Eight days afterwards the governor embarked,
having left as his lieutenant Juan de Salazar de Espinosa, whom he
charged to administer the province, and govern peacefully and justly
in the name of the king. Two hundred soldiers--arquebusiers and
archers--and six horsemen remained behind to protect and defend the
city. On the day of Our Lady of September,[338] the church upon which
Cabeza de Vaca had himself worked ever since its destruction by fire was
handsomely finished. He set out from Ascension with twenty brigantines
and 120 canoes. In these were 1,200 Indian warriors, whose strange
appearance, armed with bows and arrows, produced a wonderful effect, in
their war paint adorned with plumes and feathers, and wearing on their
brows plates of metal, so that when the sun shone they glittered
marvellously. The Indians said they wore these plates in order that they
might so glitter and dazzle the eyes of the enemy; and they went forth
with loud cries and shouts, all as merry as possible. When the governor
departed from the city he left word with Captain Salazar to use every
effort to complete the caravel, which he had ordered to be built, and
make it ready against his return, so that he might then send his report
to Spain of all that had happened in his voyage of exploration. Having
made all the necessary dispositions, and the weather being favourable,
he reached the port of Tapua,[339] where he was received by the chiefs.
These he told that he was about to undertake a voyage of discovery of
that land; he therefore begged them always to live in peace and concord
with their neighbours. If they obeyed him they would always be as
well, and better, treated than heretofore, and he gave presents to be
distributed among them, their sons and relatives, and left them well
pleased and satisfied.

  [338] This is the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, on the
  8th of September.

  [339] Cf. _supra_, p. 137.


    _How the governor left part of the provisions he had brought with

BECAUSE the vessels were so heavily laden with provisions that they
could not safely carry them, the governor left in Tapuá more than 200
quintals, and then sailed further, and after a prosperous voyage arrived
at the port called by the Indians _Inriquizava_,[340] arriving there at
one o'clock in the night. Here he remained three days in order to open
intercourse with the natives, who came to see him in large numbers,
bringing provisions, which were distributed among the Spaniards, as well
as among the friendly Guaranís. All these people were received with
kindness by the governor, because they had always been our good friends.
He gave presents to the chiefs, told them he was about to discover the
country, which would be a good and profitable thing for all of them, and
meanwhile he begged them to keep peace with the Spaniards that remained
in the city of Ascension. This they promised him they would do, and so
having left them well pleased and satisfied, he proceeded on his voyage
up the river.

  [340] Yeruquihaba. Cf. _supra_, p. 58.


    _How he stopped to speak with the natives of another port and land._

ON the 12th of that month he reached another port, called _Itaqui_,
where he moored his brigantines, in order to hold intercourse with the
natives, who are Guaranís and vassals of the king. That day a large
number of Indians, accompanied by their chiefs, came laden with
provisions, whom the governor informed, as he had done the others, of
his intended voyage of exploration. These also he exhorted to keep peace
with the Spanish Christians at Ascension, and besides paying them for
the provisions they brought, he distributed presents among the chiefs
and their relatives, leaving them well satisfied. He stayed here two
days and then sailed farther, passing by a second port, Itaqui, and
afterwards moored at the port of Guaçani--the chief who revolted with
Atabare in the war I have spoken of, but who was now living in peace and
amity with the Spaniards and their allies. As soon as these chiefs knew
of the arrival of the governor they made haste to come and see him, whom
he received very lovingly, because they had kept the peace, and all
their people were joyous and confident because these chiefs, their
masters, having entered into friendly relations with the Christians, all
the country was at peace and in tranquillity. The following day they
came again, and he showed them much affection, and gave them and their
relatives many presents, besides paying for all the provisions they
brought, so that they remained well satisfied. And because they were the
principal chiefs of those natives, the governor spoke to them in the
kindest way, and recommended them to keep peace in all that land, and
be diligent in serving and visiting the Spaniards at Ascension, obeying
the orders of His Majesty. They answered, that since they had made
peace they were determined to keep it, as he would see. In proof of
their obedience, Atabare offered to accompany them, being a man well
experienced in warfare, and Guaçani said he would remain at home and see
that peace was not broken. The governor thought well of all this, and
liking the offer made by Atabare, he deemed it prudent to accept it,
because if this chief went with him there would be additional security
for the observance of peace. He therefore agreed to his coming, and gave
him richer presents than he had ever done before, for it was certain
that by keeping this chief satisfied the whole country would remain
at peace, and nobody would dare to raise a rebellion. So the governor
earnestly recommended the Christians to the good offices of Guaçani, who
promised to accomplish all he had undertaken. The governor remained four
days at this place, conferring with those chiefs and their people, and
giving them presents.

When they were about to leave this port, the horse of the factor Pedro
Dorantes died, so he told the governor he did not feel disposed to
continue in the discovery and conquest of that province without a horse,
and begged that he might be allowed to return to the city of Ascension,
leaving as his deputy his son, Pedro Dorantes, to serve in the office of
factor. This youth was admitted to the said office in the place of his
father and allowed to accompany the expedition.

Atabare, the Indian chief, set out in company with the governor,
together with thirty relatives and dependents, in three canoes. Sailing
from the port of Guaçani, the expedition navigated up the Rio
Paraguai, and on Friday, the 24th of September, arrived at the port of
Ipaneme,[341] where the governor ordered the brigantines to be moored
in order to communicate with the Indians who were vassals of the king,
as well as because he had heard that among those Indians there was a
Guaraní who had lived for a long while in captivity with the Payaguás
and knew their language, their country, and villages. He wished to take
him with him as interpreter to the Payaguás, who had slain Juan de
Ayolas and other Christians, and obtain in a peaceful way the gold and
silver of which they had robbed that leader.

  [341] River Ipané.

As soon as he arrived at the port all the natives came towards him, much
pleased and laden with provisions. The governor received them kindly and
gave orders that they should be paid for all they brought. To the chiefs
he gave many presents, and having spoken and dealt with them, he gave
them to understand the necessity he was in of having that Indian as
interpreter, so as to bring about friendly relations with the Payaguás,
and to guide his army by the best route to the settlements of the
interior. Then these Indians immediately sent in search of him, to find
him out with the least possible delay.


    _How he sent for an interpreter to treat with the Payaguás._

THREE days after the natives of Ipaneme had sent in search of the Indian
interpreter, he arrived at the port where the governor was staying, and
offered to accompany him on his expedition and show him the country of
the Payaguás. Then the governor set sail from that port and went further
up the river Paraguai, and in four days' time arrived at the port of
Guayviaño, which is the extreme point occupied by the Guaranís. Here he
ordered his vessels to be moored, in order that he might speak with the
natives, who came to see him with their chiefs, laden with provisions,
and the governor received them very well, and treated them and their
chiefs in the same gracious manner. These natives informed him that
his cavalry were marching through the country, and had already passed
through some of their settlements, where they had been well received
and provisioned, and that they had been directed on the road to
Itabitan,[342] where they intended to await the arrival of the
brigantines. As soon as he heard these tidings the governor ordered
his flotilla to set sail, and departed from the port of Guayviaño, and,
having a fair wind, went on navigating up the river. That same day, at
nine o'clock in the morning, he reached the port of Itabitan, where he
found his cavalry arrived in good condition. They informed him that
they had travelled through the country, keeping on good terms with the
inhabitants, to whom they had distributed the gifts they had taken with

  [342] Itapuan.


    _How the horses were embarked in the port._

CABEZA DE VACA remained two days in the port of Itabitan, during which
time the horses were embarked and everything concerning the armada
arranged in orderly fashion. The country of the Payaguás being now near
at hand, he ordered that the Indian interpreter from Ipaneme should be
taken on board the leading vessel and give directions as to what had to
be done. He then set sail with a fair wind from that port. In order
to protect the Guaranís who were with him from the attacks of the
Payaguás, he ordered the former to unite their canoes in one body and
keep close to the brigantines, and in this way pursue their voyage in
good order. At night he directed that all the flotilla should moor
alongside the bank, he himself sleeping on shore with a strong guard,
the canoes of the Guaranís being attached to the brigantines. The
Spaniards and Indians occupied a full league of land along the river,
and their numerous camp-fires presented a very pretty sight. During all
this navigation the governor provided food for all the people, Spaniards
and Guaranís, and supplied them well with everything--fish in great
abundance and game, so that they had more than they could eat. In this
river there is a kind of wild pig that is constantly in the water,
larger than ours in Spain; these animals are aquatic in their habits,
remaining on land at night, while in the daytime they are always in the
water, and when they see a person they plunge into the river and sink to
the bottom, remaining a long time under water.[343] When they reappear
on the surface of the water they are at an arrow's flight from the place
where they dived. In the chase of this pig not less than six canoes take
part, for, when the animal dives, three go up the river and three go
down. The hunters have their bows ready, and, as the animal comes to the
surface, they shoot three or four arrows with great rapidity at them
before they dive again, and so they pursue them till at length they
float on the surface dead of their wounds. Their flesh is considered
good to eat by the Spaniards, and there is plenty of it, many parts of
this river abounding with these pigs. Our people were so strong and
lusty on this voyage that they looked as though they had just arrived
from Spain. The horses, too, were in good condition; they were taken on
shore several times to hunt deer, tapirs, wild boar, many otters, and
other animals.

  [343] This amphibious animal is called _capibara_, i.e., _capincho_,
  or water-hog.


    _How Juan de Ayolas entered the port where he and his Christians
    were killed._

ON the 12th October the governor arrived at the port of Candelaria,
and the country of the Payaguás. It was here that Captain Juan de
Ayolas entered with his Spaniards, and hither he returned after his
exploration, expecting to find Domingo de Irala, whom he had left in
charge of the brigantines, which he had taken with him. Here he remained
four months awaiting their arrival, during which time he and his men
suffered terribly from hunger. At length the Payaguás, having learned
of his weak condition and want of arms, began treating him with
familiarity, and offered to receive him and his men into their houses
and support them. Then they suddenly fell upon them as they were
crossing some marshes full of rushes; every Christian was seized by two
Indians armed with poles who struck them several blows on the head, and
so they slew Captain Juan de Ayolas and eighty Spaniards, being all that
remained of the one hundred and fifty who had gone on that expedition.
The blame of their death rests with him who had been left in charge of
the brigantines, and who, instead of awaiting their return, abandoned
them to their fate, and descended the river to please himself. Had Juan
de Ayolas found the brigantines there when he returned, he would have
embarked and escaped massacre at the hands of these Indians. But Domingo
de Irala acted with bad faith, to the intent that Juan de Ayolas might
be slain, and that he might raise a revolt in the land against God and
the king. This he afterwards succeeded in, and, to the present day, he
is actually in revolt, having destroyed and laid waste all that land,
and for twelve years he continues to govern it tyrannically.[344]

  [344] This is reckoned from the end of Alvar Nuñez's government, 1543,
  to the date of publication of this work in Valladolid, 1555.

The pilots observed here to obtain the elevation of the pole, and found
the latitude of that port to be in twenty-one degrees less one-third
of a degree.[345] Having arrived here, the armada was assembled before
opening communications with the Payaguás and ascertaining where their
settlements were situated. The following morning, at eight o'clock,
seven Payaguás appeared on the bank of the river, and the governor
ordered an equal number of Spaniards, together with the interpreter
(who proved very useful), to treat with them, as they were desirous of
speaking with them, and of coming to a peaceful arrangement, the captain
of the expedition having no other object but that of peace. Having
conversed a little while, the Indians asked if these Christians, who had
now arrived in the brigantines, were the same as those who formerly
went about the country. The Spaniards, who had been warned beforehand,
answered that they were not the same as those others, but were newly
arrived in the country. Upon this, one of the Payaguás came among the
Christians, and was immediately brought before the governor. He asked
him, through the interpreter, by whose order he had come. The man
answered that his chief, having learned of the arrival of the Spaniards,
had sent him to inquire if it were true they were the same people as
those who went formerly in the country, and to say that his chief wished
to be the friend of the governor, and that all that had been taken from
Juan de Ayolas and from the Christians was kept together, and placed in
security ready to be restored to the chief of the Christians, in order
that peace might be made with them, and to obtain pardon for the murder
of Ayolas and the other Christians who had been slain in war. The
governor then asked him how much gold and silver they had taken from
Juan de Ayolas and from the Christians, and he showed, by signs, that
it would amount to sixty-six loads such as the Chanés Indians are
accustomed to carry, and that it was all in plates, bracelets, crowns,
and axes; also that there were small vases of gold and silver. Alvar
Nuñez charged that Indian, through the interpreter, to tell his chief
that His Majesty had sent him to that land to establish peace with them
and other tribes that would accept it, and that the past wars would be
forgiven. He added that if his chief sought friendship, and would be
willing to restore all that had been taken from the Spaniards, he
should come in person and speak with him (the governor), as he was very
desirous of seeing him, and would treat him well, and receive him as a
vassal of the king. In token of peace, he sent him several presents, and
gave other things as well to the Indian himself, and asked him when he
would return with his chief.

  [345] This is an error of one and two-thirds of a degree. The exact
  latitude of _Candelaria_ was 19 degrees, where now is Corumbá.

This chief, though a fisherman, is lord of this miserable people (for
all are fishermen); he is a very grave man, feared and respected by his
people, and, if anyone offend him and make him angry, he takes a bow,
and shoots two or three arrows into him. If the man be killed, he sends
for the wife (if there be one), and gives her a bead to appease her
wrath at the murder of her husband. If he have no bead to give her,
then a couple of feathers. When this chief wishes to spit, one that is
nearest to him joins his hands together so that he should spit into
them. These, and such like extravagances, are practised by this chief.
All along the river there is no Indian that owns such things as he does.
The interpreter promised that he and his chief would be there again the
next morning, and so he left the governor in expectation.


    _How the interpreter and those who had promised to come failed to
    do so._

THAT day and four more having passed without the return of the Indian
Payaguá, the governor sent for the interpreter, and asked him what he
thought of this delay. And he said that he believed the chief would
certainly never make his appearance, because the Payaguás are very sly
and cautious; that the chief's motive for sending an envoy to treat for
peace was only to gain time and prevent the Spaniards and Guaranís from
advancing and finding out the settlements of the Payaguás, and that
while they (the Spaniards) were waiting the arrival of the chief, the
Payaguás were removing their settlements, wives, and children, and that
he thought they had fled to some place of concealment higher up the
river. He advised the governor to follow, as he was certain that he
would overtake them, because he knew they would be heavily loaded. In
his opinion, the Payaguás would continue their flight till they reached
a lagoon formerly inhabited by a tribe called the Mataraes, whom these
Payaguás had slain and destroyed and had taken possession of their land
because it abounded in fisheries.

The governor immediately gave orders to raise anchors, and brigantines
and canoes went on navigating up the river. Wherever he halted, great
numbers of the Payaguás might be seen along the bank, who, as the
interpreter had said, were going by land with their wives and children,
because the canoes could not contain them. After eight days' navigation
the governor arrived at the lagoon of the Mataraes, and entered it,
without finding the Indians he was in search of there. He entered with
half his people to seek them out and treat with them, but seeing they
did not appear, and in order not to waste his provisions, he ordered all
the Christians and Guaranís to return. They had found certain canoes
with their paddles concealed under the water, and had seen the track by
which the Indians had withdrawn; but the governor would not delay any
longer, so, reassembling his people and collecting all the brigantines
and canoes together, he pursued his navigation up the river, sometimes
sailing, at other times rowing and towing, because of the many bends in
its course, till he arrived at a part of its banks where many cassia
trees grow.

These are very lofty and vigorous trees, yielding a fruit one palm and a
half in length and as thick as three fingers. The people ate much of it,
and the inside is as sweet as honey. It does not differ the least from
that kind which is brought into Spain from other countries, except that
it is much larger and rougher to the taste, because it is uncultivated.
There are eighty of these trees united together on the bank of the
Paraguai. In these parts of the river there was an abundance of wild
fruit, which the Spaniards and Indians ate. Among them was one like a
lemon of Ceuti in colour, acidity, peel, and smell, but smaller, no
larger than the size of a pigeon's egg. The tree bearing this fruit has
leaves like a lemon. There is a great variety of trees and fruits in
this country, and a wonderful diversity of fish, the quantity killed
by the Indians and Spaniards surpassing belief. Whenever the wind was
unfavourable for sailing they hunted the water-pigs and otters (which
were also abundant), using for this purpose the light, swift canoes of
the natives. This was a great pastime.

As we were now approaching the country of the Guaxarapos Indians, who
inhabit the bank of the Paraguai, and are neighbours and traffic with
the port of Los Reyes, for which we were bound, and as these Indians
might have been alarmed at such a multitude of people and canoes, and
might have fled inland, the governor, in order to allay their fears
and pacify them, divided his flotilla into two parts, and, taking five
brigantines and half the canoes, led the advance, leaving Captain
Gonzalo de Mendoza to follow with the other vessels, canoes, and
people, charging him to govern all the people kindly and not abuse
his authority. He particularly warned him not to allow any wrongs or
violence to be committed upon the native riverine population, and to pay
for all the provisions he took, so as to keep the peace and safeguard
His Majesty's interests in that land. Taking with him the five
brigantines and the canoes, the governor continued his voyage as I have
stated, and, on the 18th October, arrived at a settlement of Guaxarapos
Indians. Here thirty Indians having come out, he halted his flotilla
within earshot, and addressed them through the interpreter, repeating
what he had said to the other tribes lower down the river, exhorting
them to give their submission to the king, and promising, if they did
so, he would regard them as friends. They accordingly submitted; one
of their number was a chief, to whom the governor gave presents and
promised to do what he could for them.

Not far from the place where we met these Indians flowed another river.
It is about half the width of the Paraguai, with a violent current, and
it falls into this river, which comes from Brazil.[346] This was the
river along which, old men tell, Garcia the Portuguese came and made war
in that land. He entered it at the head of a large number of Indians,
fought many battles, and destroyed many tribes, having only five
Christians with him. The Indians say that he was never seen to return.
He brought with him a mulatto named Pacheco, who returned to the country
of Guaçani, who killed him on the spot. Garcia returned to Brazil. Of
his Guaraní followers many are said to have been lost in the interior,
and the natives told us that we should find many of them there from
whom we might obtain information concerning the deeds of Garcia and the
nature of the country. Some Indians, called Chaneses, had also sought
refuge there, and had allied themselves with the Sococies and Xaquetes,
who live near the port of Los Reyes.

  [346] This river must have been the Cuyabá.

Having obtained this information from the Indians the governor pushed
on to see the river by which Garcia had come, for he was near the place
indicated by the Guaxarapos. When he had arrived at the mouth of the
river called Iapaneme, he caused soundings to be taken, and the depth
was found to be very great. This river has a rapid current, and is
bordered on either bank by trees. Cabeza de Vaca ordered one of the
brigantines to ascend it for a league and continue the soundings, all
of which proved its depth to be great. The Guaxarapos said that along
its banks lived various tribes, who cultivated maize and manioc and
had large fisheries, obtaining as much fish as they could eat, and
extracting oil from these fish, besides killing a quantity of game. The
party sent to explore this river reported having seen smoke in several
places on the banks--a sign of settlements. It was already late when
the exploring party returned, and the governor ordered that the vessels
should be moored that night off the mouth of that river, at the foot of
a range of hills called Santa Lucia. This sierra was crossed by Garcia.
The following morning the pilots observed the elevation, and found the
estuary of the river to be in nineteen degrees and one-third.[347] That
night a heavy fall of rain, accompanied by a strong wind, caused us
great inconvenience. Great fires were made on shore, and many of the
people slept by them, while the others remained on board the vessel
under coverings of mats and skins.

  [347] This is an error. The mouth of the river Cuyabá is in 18° lat.


    _How the Guaxarapos spoke with the governor._

THAT morning the Guaxarapos, who had been the previous day to speak with
the governor, came again in two canoes with supplies of fish and meat,
which they distributed among our people, and, having spoken once more
with the governor, and received promises of friendship and protection,
took their departure. He told them of the other vessels, canoes, and
soldiers that were behind, and begged them to receive them kindly and
treat them well, as in such case they would suffer no injury; this they
promised they would do, but did not keep their word. The cause of this
was certainly a Christian, who was punished for it, as I shall presently

The governor left those Indians, and continued his navigation of the
river all that day with a fair wind, arriving at sunset at certain
settlements belonging to the same tribe of Indians on the river shore,
near the water's edge; but in order not to lose time, and favourable
weather for the voyage, he passed on without stopping. These people are
agriculturists, sowing maize and other roots, hunting and fishing a
great deal, both fish and game being abundant. Men and women wear the
skins of wild animals, except a few, who only cover their privities.
They tattoo their faces in points and lines, and pierce the lips and
ears. Their canoes are only large enough to contain two or three persons
at a time. They are exceedingly light, and the skill with which they
manage them is admirable. When going up or down the river, the motions
of these canoes are so swift that they appear to be flying. A brigantine
(though made of cedar wood), and whether propelled by oars or sail,
cannot overtake one of these skiffs, though the latter have only two
oars, whereas the brigantines have a dozen. They fight in their canoes
on the river as well as on land; nevertheless, they traffic with one
another, bartering bows and arrows for canoes, which are supplied to
them by the Guaxarapos and Payaguás, besides other things. So they
become, by turns, friends and enemies with one another.


    _How the Indians come and establish themselves on the shore of
    the river._

WHEN the waters are low, the people from the interior come and live on
the banks of the river with their wives and children, and pass their
time in fishing, for the fish are abundant and very fat at this season.
They lead pleasant lives, dancing and singing day and night, like
persons who are relieved from all anxiety about food; but when the water
begins to rise, which is in January, they retire inland, because at that
season the floods begin, and the waters rise six fathoms above the banks
of the river. At such time the country is under water for over one
hundred leagues inland, spreading over everything like a sea, so that
even tall palms and other trees are covered, and vessels may pass over
their summits. This usually happens every year, when the sun crosses one
tropic and approaches the other in the latitude of the mouth of the _rio
del oro_. At such times the natives keep very large canoes in readiness
for this emergency; and in the middle of these canoes they throw two or
three loads of mud, and make a hearth. The Indian then enters with his
wife, children, and household goods, and floats on the rising tide
wherever they like. He lights a fire on the hearth to cook his food and
for warmth, and thus he voyages for four months of the year, or as long
as the floods last. While the waters are rising he lands at certain
spots not yet inundated, and kills deer, tapirs, and other wild animals
which have escaped the flood. As these retire into their channels, he
returns the same way, hunting and fishing, and not leaving his canoe
till the banks whereon he is wont to dwell are uncovered.

It is a sight to see the enormous quantity of fish left on the dry land
after the waters have subsided. This happens in the month of March or
April, when all that country smells awfully bad, owing to the poisonous
mud which covers it. At this period all the natives, and we ourselves,
were very ill, so that we thought we should die; and, as it is then
summer in these parts, it is barely endurable. In the month of April
the sick begin to recover.

All these Indians spin the thread, of which they make their nets, of a
kind of teasel. These teasels are pounded and thrown into muddy pools;
after leaving them there fifteen days, they take them out and scrape
them with mussel-shells; the fibre is then clean and white as snow.

This tribe, unlike others, has no chief; they are all fishers and
woodsmen, inhabiting the borders of the country. These, and all the
other people living on the river by which we were now passing, would not
suffer any Spaniard or Guaraní to land. In order that they should not
molest his people, the governor distributed some presents among them,
and told them of the other ships that were following with his friends,
whom he begged them to receive and entertain well.

Continuing the voyage one Friday morning, we arrived at a rapid, where
the river passes between steep rocks. Large quantities of gold-fish
(_dorados_) descend this rapid, and it was the largest rapid we had
yet met with. We passed it sailing and rowing. Here the Spaniards and
Indians caught in one hour large quantities of gold-fish, as many as
forty of them being taken by one man. These fish are so big that they
weigh half an arroba[348] each, and some as much as one arroba. They are
excellent eating, the head being the best part. A quantity of oil is
extracted from these fish, and those who eat of it become fat and sleek.
Broth made of them, if taken continuously for a month, cures skin
diseases and leprosy.

  [348] The arroba is a Spanish weight, equal to twenty-five pounds of
  sixteen ounces each.

Continuing the voyage with a fair wind, the governor arrived, on the
evening of the 25th October, at a place where the river divides into
three channels. One arm forms a great lagoon, which the Indians call the
Black River; it runs towards the north into the interior of the country.
The other arms, in which the water is of a good colour, reunite a little
way further down. The governor continued his navigation till he came to
the mouth of a river which flows into the interior of the country to the
left, towards the west. Here the Paraguai loses itself in a number of
other river channels and lagoons. And the navigation is so intricate
that the Indians themselves, who are always navigating them, have
difficulty in distinguishing one from the other, and often lose their
way. The river now entered by the governor is called by the natives
Yguatu,[349] meaning "good water." It flows towards the lagoon in our
favour. Hitherto we had been ascending against the current; we now went
down stream.

  [349] I believe the name is Igatú, now Jaurú.


    _How they erected three crosses at the mouth of the river Yguatú._

THE governor ordered several sign-posts to be made at the mouth of this
river of felled trees. He then had three high crosses erected to serve
as signs for vessels, in order that they might not mistake the entrance.
During three days we advanced by rowing; then we left the river, and
ascended two of its arms which have their source in large lagoons.

On the eighth of the month, one hour before daybreak, we arrived at
some high and round craggy rocks in the middle of the river. They are
bell-shaped, contracting towards the summit. These rocks are completely
barren, producing neither tree nor herb. Their colour is red. We
believe they contain much metal, because the country beyond the river
is mountainous, forested, and clothed with grass; these rocks, on the
other hand, have nothing of the kind, an indication that they contain
much metal, because, wherever this is found, neither trees nor grasses
grow. The Indians told us that, in bygone times, their forefathers
obtained white metal here; but as all our people were ill, and as we
had no mining nor founder's tools with us, nor the implements necessary
to probe and search for ore, the governor did not cause search to be
made for the metal, leaving it for another time when he passed by that
way again, for these rocks are near the port of Los Reyes.

Pursuing our voyage up the river, we entered a lagoon upwards of one
league and a half in width at its entrance, and, issuing from it by a
second mouth, came to the dry land. At ten o'clock in the morning we
anchored at the entrance of another lagoon where the Sacosies, Xaqueses,
and Chaneses had established their settlements. The governor did not
wish to go any further without acquainting the Indians of his arrival.
He accordingly sent an interpreter with some Christians in a canoe to
speak with them in his name and summon them to an interview. These
envoys returned at five o'clock in the evening, and announced that the
Indians had come forth to receive them, showing great pleasure, and
telling the interpreter that they already knew of their arrival and were
desirous of seeing the governor and the Christians. They reported that
the waters had fallen a good deal, and by reason of this it had been
difficult to take their canoe there; that in order to pass the shallows
and arrive at the port of Los Reyes, it would be necessary to lighten
the vessels, as the depth was only one span, whereas the draught of the
loaded brigantines was five or six. These shallows were near the port of
Los Reyes. The following day the governor ordered the departure of the
ships and of all the people, Christians and Indians. They rowed till
they came to the shallows, when everybody had orders to get into the
water, which did not reach to the knee. Then the Indians and Christians
ranged themselves round the sides of the brigantine named _St. Mark_,
and pushed with their shoulders, nearly lifting her out of the water by
the strength of their arms without unloading her. That shallow was more
than an arquebuss shot and a half long, and the difficulty of passing it
was very great. When this was over, the other brigantines were passed
in the same way with less trouble, because they were smaller. Having
floated them into deep water we disembarked at Los Reyes, where we found
a great assemblage of natives with their wives and children waiting for
us. The governor and all his people landed, and the natives came towards
them. He told them that he had been sent by His Majesty to warn them to
be Christians and receive the Christian doctrine, to believe in God the
creator of heaven and earth, and to be the vassals of the king. If they
did this they would be protected and defended against their enemies and
against all who would injure them, and that they would be well treated
and looked after in accordance with His Majesty's orders; if they
conducted themselves well he would not fail to give them presents, as he
always did to those who were good. He then convoked the clergy and told
them he wished a church built where Mass could be said and other divine
rites celebrated for an example and comfort to the other Christians;
and he charged them to have a special care of these. He ordered a large
wooden cross to be erected on the bank of the river, under some tall
palms, in the presence of the officers and many others there present. He
took formal possession of the country in the name of His Majesty, and
in the presence of the notary, as newly discovered land, and, having
conciliated the natives by bestowing presents upon them, he ordered the
Spaniards and Guaranís to take up their quarters on the shore of the
lagoon, cautioning them to do the natives no injury or violence, because
they were friendly, and vassals of the king. Moreover, he gave them
strict orders not to enter the native settlements and houses, because
what the Indians fear and hate most, and what irritates them more than
anything, is to see the Christians, accompanied by Indians, entering
their houses, disturbing their things, and taking away the few
possessions they have. If they trafficked with them, they were to
pay for whatever they bought, or they would be punished.


    _How the Indians of the port of Los Reyes cultivate the soil._

THE Indians of this port of Los Reyes are agriculturists, and sow maize
and manioc (the cassava of the Indies), and an abundance of _mandubies_
(which are like large filberts). They sow twice a year. The land is
fertile, abounding in provisions, game, and fisheries. These Indians
rear numbers of geese, as a protection against crickets (as I have
described). They also rear fowls, and shut these up at night to protect
them from bats, which cut off their combs, and, in this way, cause their
death. These bats are an evil kind of animal, and numerous on the banks
of the river. They are larger than our doves in Spain, with teeth so
sharp that their bite is not felt. They never bite a man except in the
toes and the tip of the nose. When several persons are together, and
this animal has bitten one, he will not touch the others, but never
leaves that one he has attacked. They bite at night, but never appear
in the day-time. We had great difficulty in protecting our horses' ears
from them. When a bat enters a stable, the horses become so frightened
that they waken all the people in the house, and it is impossible to
quiet them till the bat has been killed or driven out. The governor was
bitten by one of those animals while he was asleep in a brigantine, one
of his feet being uncovered. All night the blood kept on flowing, till
he woke from feeling his leg cold, and finding the bed soaked with
blood, thought somebody had wounded him; but those on board searched for
the place where he was wounded, and, when they found what they knew, by
experience, to be the bite of a bat, they laughed. The governor found
that a slice of his toe had been bitten off. These bats always bite
where there is a vein. They served us a bad trick on one occasion. When
we were starting on our voyage of exploration we had six pregnant sows,
and hoped to rear a race of pigs. When the little pigs were born, and
tried to suck their mother, they could not find her teats, because these
had been bitten off by the bats; so the young pigs died, and we had to
eat the sows, because they were unable to rear their young.

There are other bad animals in this country; these are very large ants
of two kinds, red and black. It is most pitiable to see a person who has
been stung by either of these ants, for he utters loud cries, and rolls
on the ground for twenty-four hours, during which the pain lasts; and
there is no remedy for it. There are very many rays in this lagoon,
and, if a fisherman happen to tread on one, it bends its body up, and
inflicts a smart blow with the tip of its tail, which is about the
thickness of a finger, and has a saw-like edge. This fish is about the
size of a _xeme_,[350] and, if the blow it delivers strike the foot,
it goes right through, and the pain is as intense as that from the
ant-stings; but it may be stopped at once by chewing and applying to
the wound a certain weed the Indians know of. This takes the pain away
completely, though the wound does not heal for a month.

  [350] The _xeme_ is the span from the extremity of the thumb to that
  of the forefinger, when stretched to their utmost, equal to about six

The natives of this country are of average height. They are quite naked,
and pierce holes in their ears large enough to pass the fist through; in
these they insert gourds of a medium size, afterwards replacing them by
larger ones, distending the lobe of the ear till it hangs down to the
shoulder. For this reason they are called _Orejones_, like the Incas of
Peru. When they fight, they take these gourds or discs out of their ears
and roll them up, or else tie their ears behind their heads. The women
do not cover their nakedness. Every person lives separately with his
wife and children. The occupation of the women is to spin cotton; the
men cultivate the fields, returning to their homes in the evening,
when they find their meals ready. The women do no other work except at
harvest time, when they assist in gathering the maize, and garnering it.
From that place the Indians begin to be idolaters; they worship idols
made of wood; but, according to the reports brought to the governor,
those farther inland have idols of gold and silver.

The governor tried, with kind words, to turn the natives of Los Reyes
from idolatry, persuading them to burn their idols, and believe only in
God, who created heaven and earth, man, the sea, fish, and every living
creature, and that he whom they worshipped was the devil, who deceived
them. They burned some of their idols, but their chiefs were frightened,
saying the devil would kill them, and that he would be angry with them.
As soon as the church was built, and Mass had been said, the devil fled
from that country and left the Indians in peace and tranquillity. This
was the first settlement of the _campo_; it was a little over half a
league in extent, and contained eight hundred houses of agriculturists.


    _How the Indians of Garcia settled in this place._

HALF a league off there was a small village of about seventy houses,
belonging to the same tribe of Sacocies, and four leagues farther two
villages of Chaneses, who settled in this country, and took wives
when Garcia came from the interior. A number of them came to see the
governor, and said they were friendly with Christians because of
the kind treatment they had experienced from Garcia[351] when they
followed him from their own country. Some of them had glass beads
and other things which they said Garcia had given them. They are all
agriculturists, and rear geese and fowls, the latter like those of
Spain. The governor treated them well, and gave them presents, receiving
them as vassals of His Majesty. He begged them to be faithful to the
king, and good to the Christians, adding that, if they conducted
themselves well, he would favour and treat them better than they had
yet been treated.

  [351] Of course, this is not the Pilot Diego Garcia who went at the
  same time as Sebastian Cabot, nor the fabulous Alejo Garcia mentioned
  by some writers as having been in Paraguai before them.


    _How they spoke with the Chaneses._

THE governor informed himself through these Chaneses about the interior
of the country, and concerning its settlements, how many days' journey
these were from the port of Los Reyes. The chief of the Chaneses, who
was about fifty years of age, said that when Garcia brought them from
their country they accompanied him through the lands of the Mayáes[352]
to those of the Guaranís, who slew the Indians he brought with him, and
this chief and others of his tribe escaped, and fled along the bank of
the Paraguai, up this river till they came to the settlement of the
Sacosies, who received them. They durst not go home the way they came
with Garcia, for fear lest the Guaranís should overtake and kill them.
They could not say, therefore, how far it was to the villages of the
interior; this circumstance, and their ignorance of the road, prevented
them from returning to their country. The Guaranís, however, inhabiting
the mountainous region knew the way, and could show it, for they were
accustomed to come and go in their wars against the Indians of the
interior. In answer to questions put to him about the inhabitants of his
country, their manner of life, and mode of making war, he said that all
the people in his land obeyed one chief, who was over all, and many of
his tribe were at war with Indians, called _Chimencos_ and _Carcaracs_,
and there were numerous other tribes in that land, known as the
Gorgototquies, Paysunóes, Esterapecócies and Candirées, who had all
their own chiefs, and made war. Their weapons are bows and arrows, and
they are mostly agriculturists. They rear animals, sow maize, manioc,
potatoes and _mandubies_, and keep geese and fowls like those of Spain.
They also rear large sheep (_llamas_), and make war one upon the other.
They barter bows and arrows, mantles, and other things for bows, arrows,
and women. Having given this information, these Indians went away
well satisfied. Their chief offered to accompany the governor on his
expedition of discovery, saying that he would return to his country with
his wife and children, and what he most desired was to live in his own

  [352] Mbaiás: cf. _supra_, p. 63.


    _How the governor sent to find out the Indians of Garcia._

HAVING obtained all the information he could from the Indian chief, the
governor ordered some Spaniards to go and find out the Guaranís of that
land, in order to get information from them and guides for his voyage of
discovery. Some Guaranís of those he had brought with him accompanied
the Spaniards, who set out preceded by guides. At the end of six days
they returned and reported that those Guaranís had left the country,
for they had found the villages and houses deserted, and the whole
region depopulated since they had gone for ten leagues round it, without
finding a living soul. Having heard this, the governor asked the
Chaneses if they knew into what part the Guaranís had gone. They
answered that the natives of that port and island had joined together,
and made war against those Guaranís, and had killed many of them; the
remainder had fled into the interior. They believed that the Guaranís
would join with other tribes of the same nation, who lived near to a
people called Xarayes, against whom, and other tribes, they were at war.
According to their information, the Xarayes possess gold and silver
given to them by the Indians of the interior; in that direction all the
country is inhabited, and he might go to those settlements. The Xarayes,
they added, are agriculturists: they sow maize and other seeds in large
quantities, rear geese and poultry like those of Spain.

The governor asked how many days' march it was from the port of Los
Reyes to the Xarayes' land, and they answered that the journey could not
be made by land, because the road was very bad, owing to the numerous
swamps and lakes, but that if he chose to go thither by water in canoes,
it would take eight or ten days.


    _How the governor held a council with his officers and informed them
    of what was passing._

SOON after this the governor convoked the officers and the clergy, and
having told them of the report made concerning the Xarayes and Guaranís
living on the frontier, it was decided that two Spaniards and two
Guaranís should go with some natives of the port to speak with the
Xarayes, and find out what kind of land it was, and collect information
concerning the settlements and tribes of the interior, and the road
thither; they were also to speak with the Guaranís, as from them they
would be more fully and surely informed of the truth. That very day the
two Spaniards started, and their names were Hector de Acuña and Antonio
Correa, interpreters of the Guaraní language, with ten Indian Sacosies,
and two Guaranís. The governor ordered them to tell the chief of the
Xarayes that they were envoys sent to speak with him, and contract
friendship with him and his people; that he begged him to come and see
him, as he wished for a personal interview. The Spaniards were moreover
desired to obtain information of the tribes and settlements in the
interior, and of the route leading thither. Alvar Nuñez gave the
Spaniards several presents, and a scarlet cap to present to the chief
of the Xarayes, and another one for the chief of the Guaranís, to whom
they were to say the same as to the chief of the Xarayes.

The following day Captain Gonzalo de Mendoza arrived with his troops
and vessels, and reported that on the eve of All Saints' day, while
navigating past the country of the Guaxarapos, after speaking with this
people, who gave themselves out as friends (saying that they had done
the same with those who had passed before), the wind being contrary, and
the Spaniards about to moor the brigantines, just as the five leading
vessels were turning an elbow of the river, under sail, and one
brigantine, commanded by Agustin de Campos, was behind, being towed
along the shore, the Guaxarapos, seeing that its crew were all ashore,
attacked them, and killed five Christians; and that Juan de Bolaños,
while trying to swim to the vessel, was drowned. Our people had thought
they were so safe, and were so confident, believing the Indians to
be friendly, that they were not on their guard. Had not the other
Christians escaped to the brigantine, they would all have been killed,
because they were entirely unarmed. The death of these Christians did
great harm to our reputation, for the Guaxarapos, who were in the habit
of coming in their canoes to the port of Los Reyes, spread the news how
they had slain the Christians, asserting that we were not valiant, and
that our heads were soft, that the natives of that port ought to kill
us, and that they would help them to do this. From that time these
natives began to cherish evil designs against us.


    _How the governor sent an expedition to the Xarayes._

EIGHT days after Antonio Correa and Hector de Acuña, with their Indian
guides, had set out, as we have stated, for the country and villages of
the Xarayes, they returned to the port and told the governor what they
had seen, done, and learned about the country, the people, and their
chief. They brought with them an Indian whom the chief of the Xarayes
had sent as a guide for the discovery of the land. Antonio Correa and
Hector de Acuña said that, the very day of their departure from the port
of Los Reyes, they arrived at a village of Indians called Artaneses, who
are big men, and go naked. These people are agriculturists, but they sow
little, for they have not much land fit for cultivation, because most of
it is inundated, and covered with arid sand. They are poor, and subsist
chiefly by fishing in the lagoons near their villages. Their women are
very ugly, tattooing their faces with the tip of the ray's tail, which
they keep for this purpose, and they cover their nakedness.

These Indians are also hideous, owing to the habit they have of piercing
a hole in the lower lip, and inserting in it the husk of a fruit of a
certain tree, which is as large and round as a _tortero_.[353] This
weighs down, and distends the lip in a manner frightful to see. Antonio
Correa and his companion reported that the Indians had received them
well, and had given them what they had to eat. The next day they brought
them a guide. They had taken water to drink on their journey in gourds,
and had marched all that day through swamps,[354] sinking at each step
to the knees in mud, and withdrawing their feet with great difficulty.
The mud was so heated by the sun that it scorched their legs, and
produced painful wounds on them. That day they certainly thought they
would have died of thirst, for the water in the gourds only lasted half
the day. They slept on the open ground, between swamps, overcome with
fatigue, thirst, and hunger. The following day, at eight in the morning,
they came to a small lagoon of very muddy water, where they refilled
their gourds, which the Indians carried, and marched the whole day
through inundated land, as they had done the day before, except that
they found some lagoon water with which to refresh themselves, and a
tree with a little shade, where they reposed, and ate the remainder of
their provisions, without leaving anything over. The guides told them
that they had still a day's march before them to reach the settlements
of the Xarayes.

  [353] The knob of a spindle for twisting thread.

  [354] Cf. Schmidt, _supra_, p. 47.

Night having come, they rested, and at daybreak resumed their march.
Soon afterwards they came to other swamps, from which they thought
they would never extricate themselves, not only because of the painful
burning of their legs, but because they sank to the waist, and could
hardly get out. These swamps extended for a little over a league, and
then they found the way better and firmer. The same day, at one o'clock
in the afternoon, having eaten nothing, and not having the wherewithal
to satisfy their hunger, they met some twenty Indians who came towards
them. These people arrived with pleasure and joy, laden with maize,
bread, cooked geese, fish, and maize wine. They told the Spaniards that
their chief had learned of their coming to his country, and had ordered
them to bring food and speak to them on his behalf, and guide them to
where he and his people were, who would be glad to receive them. Thanks
to this food, Antonio Correa and his companions made up for their
previous fasting. The same day, one hour before night, they arrived
at the Indian settlements.

When they were a bow-shot off, upwards of five hundred Xarayes came
forth to receive them with great joy. All were elegantly attired with
parrots' feathers, and aprons of white beads to cover their nakedness.
They placed the Spaniards in their midst, and led them into the village,
at the entrance to which large numbers of women and children were
waiting for them. The women all had their privities covered, and many
of them wore wide cotton dresses, this material being in use among them
under the name of _tipoes_.

When the Spaniards had entered the village they came to where the chief
of the Xarayes was. He was surrounded by three hundred Indians of very
good appearance, mostly elderly men. This chief was seated on a cotton
hammock in the midst of a large open place, all his people standing
round him. They formed a lane by which the Spaniards might pass, and
when these had come into the presence of the chief, they brought two
little wooden stools, on which he signed to them to be seated. He then
sent for an Indian Guaraní, who had been long in their country. This
Indian had married a woman of their tribe, and was much loved by them,
and regarded as one of themselves.

By means of this interpreter, the chief then bade the Spaniards welcome,
and said how delighted they all were to see them, for he had long wished
to know the Christians. He had heard of them at the time of Garcia's
visit to that country, and looked upon them as friends and relatives; he
wished to make acquaintance with the chief of the Christians, because
he had been told that he was kind and friendly with the Indians, that he
gave them presents, and was generous, and he wished to know if the chief
had sent them for anything, because he would give it them. The Spaniards
told him, through the interpreter, that the governor had sent them to
learn from him the route he should follow to reach the settlements in
the interior, and to know by what tribes and villages he would have to
pass, and in how many days he might arrive at the Indians that had gold
and silver. They added that the object of their journey was also to
inform him that the governor wished to make his acquaintance and
contract an alliance with him. They spoke of all that the governor
desired them to say. The Indian replied: "I am rejoiced to have you as
my friends; I and my people consider the governor as our master; he has
only to command, and we will obey him. Concerning the road leading to
the settlements of the interior, I do not know of one, never having been
there, because all the country is under water for two months, and when
the waters subside the country is impassable. Nevertheless, the Indian
Guaraní, who is serving as interpreter, has been in the interior and
knows the road; to please the chief of the Christians I will send him to
be his guide." Thereupon, in the presence of all the people, he bade the
Guaraní accompany them, which he did very willingly.

The Spaniards having seen that the chief denied that there was a road,
for reasons which seemed to them after their experiences to be good and
true, believed him. They asked him, however, for guides to lead them
to the Guaraní settlements, because they were desirous of seeing and
talking with these people. At this request the Indian was much troubled,
and yet putting a good face on the matter, he answered, that the
Guaranís were his enemies, and he was constantly at war with them, and
hardly a day passed that they did not kill one another; and that since
he was the friend of the Christians, they should not go in search of his
enemies and contract an alliance with them. "However," he added, "if
you will go and visit these Guaranís, my people will conduct you there
to-morrow morning." As it was now night, the chief took them into his
house, and gave them to eat, and had hammocks prepared for them. He then
offered each of them a girl to sleep with, but they declined on the
score of fatigue.

The following morning, one hour before daybreak, a great noise of drums
beating and trumpets was heard, as though the whole village was falling
about their ears. On the square in front of the chief's house, all the
Indians were assembled in their feathers and war-paint, armed with bows
and arrows. Immediately the chief ordered the door of the house to be
thrown open, in order that they might see his six hundred warriors, and
he said to the Spaniards: "Christians, look at my people; it is thus
they go to the Guaraní villages; go with them; they will take you there,
and bring you back, for if you went alone they would kill you, knowing
that you have been with me, and are my friends." The Spaniards, seeing
that in this way they would not have been able to speak with the chief
of the Guaranís, and might lose the friendship of the Xarayes, answered
that they had made up their minds to return to their chief and inform
him of everything, and would see what he ordered, and then return and
let him know. In this way the Indians were pacified. All that day they
remained in the settlement of the Xarayes, which contained over one
thousand inhabitants, and one league off there were four other villages
of the same people, all of whom obeyed the said chief, whose name was

These Xarayes are tall men, and well made; they are agriculturists,
sowing and reaping twice a year maize, potatoes, manioc, and mandubies.
They rear large numbers of geese and fowls like ours in Spain. They
pierce the lip like the Artaneses. Everyone lives separately with wife
and children; they hoe the ground and sow; the women gather the produce
and carry it to their houses; they spin much cotton. These Indians rear
geese to devour the crickets, as we have before described.


    _How the interpreters came back from the Xarayes._

THESE Xarayes have large fisheries, both in the river and lagoons; they
also chase the deer. The Spaniards having remained the whole day with
the chief, gave him the presents and red cap sent him by the governor.
The chief was marvellously well pleased to receive them. He immediately
sent for head-dresses of parrots' feathers, and gave these to the
Christians to take to the governor; these ornaments were very elegant.
The Christians then took leave of Camire, who ordered twenty of his
Indians to accompany them. These men went with them as far as the
settlements of the Artaneses, and then returned home, leaving with the
Spaniards the guide given them by the chief. The governor received
him well, showing him much kindness, and at once asked him through
interpreters if he knew the road into the interior, to what tribe he
belonged, and about his country. He replied that he was a Guaraní, a
native of Itati, on the Paraguai; when he was a boy his tribe made a
great league of all the Indians of that country, and marched into the
interior. He followed his father and relatives to make war upon the
natives, and take from them plates and ornaments of gold and silver.

As soon as they arrived at the first settlements of the interior
they began making war, and slew many Indians. A great number of the
inhabitants took to flight, and sought refuge in the villages farther
inland. Very soon the tribes of that inner land joined together, and
came up against the Guaranís, defeated them, and slew many; others fled
in various directions. The enemy pursued and blocked the passes, thus
cutting off their retreat, and killed all those who were unable to
escape. He made signs to show that only two hundred of that great
multitude succeeded in making good their escape, and he was of this
number. The greater part remained in the forests through which they had
passed on their way out, not daring to go farther for fear of being
killed by the Guaxarapos, Guatos, and other tribes occupying those parts
which they would have to traverse. He did not remain with those who
settled in the forest region, but preferred accompanying those of his
countrymen who returned. One night, as they were on the march, they were
discovered by the tribes, who set upon them, and killed all, he alone
escaping into the recesses of the forests, and, continuing his march,
arrived at the country of the Xarayes, who spared his life and brought
him up. They took a fancy to him, married him to a woman of their own
tribe, and treated him as one of themselves. He was asked if he knew the
road taken by his people when they went into the interior. But he said
it was long ago that his countrymen advanced into that country, and that
as they went they opened a road, by cutting down trees and clearing the
ground, which was quite wild. He thought that the roads then made would
long ere this have been choked with weeds, for he had never been that
way since. Nevertheless, he thought that if he once found the road he
might continue in it. He added that the road began at a high, round
mountain in sight of Port Los Reyes. He was asked in how many days
the first settlement would be reached. He answered that, if his
memory served him right, in five days they would arrive at the first
settlement, where provisions were plentiful, and the people great
agriculturists; for though his people that went to that war destroyed
the inhabitants, and depopulated vast tracts, the country was beginning
to recover. Asked if there were large rivers and springs by the way, he
answered that the rivers he saw were not large, but there were other
copious streams, and there were springs and lakes, deer and tapirs, and
plenty of honey and fruits. To the question, if at the time when his
people made their expedition into that country he saw much gold and
silver among the natives, he answered that from those tribes they had
plundered much gold and silver plate, _barbotes_,[355] ear-rings,
bracelets, crowns, hatchets, and small vessels, but that these things
had been retaken when they were defeated; that those who escaped carried
some away, but that these were afterwards stolen by the Guaxarapos, who
killed them as they passed through their territory. A little of the
plunder probably remained with those who settled in the forest region,
and he had heard that the Xarayes had some also, for when these Indians
went to war against other Indians, he had seen them returning with
plates of silver which they had captured. He was asked if he would
accompany the Christians as guide. He answered yes, that he would gladly
do so, and that his master had sent him for that purpose. The governor
warned him to speak the truth concerning the road, for otherwise he
would have to pay dearly for it, but that if he spoke the truth he would
derive much benefit. He answered that what he had said was the truth, as
far as he knew, and that he was desirous of going with the Christians to
discover and find out the way.

  [355] These were the ornaments inserted in the lower lip.


    _How the governor decided on entering the country._

HAVING obtained this information, the governor determined, in accordance
with the advice of the officers and clergy and captains, to penetrate
into the interior and discover the settlements there, and for this
purpose he chose three hundred arquebusiers and crossbowmen. As the
country through which they had to pass before they came to the inhabited
districts was deserted, he ordered them to take provisions for twenty
days. He ordered one hundred Christians to remain in the port to guard
the brigantines, with 200 Guaranís, and appointed Captain Juan Romero to
be their commander, for he knew the country. We left the port of Los
Reyes on the 26th November 1543. All that day we marched through cool
and shady forests, following our guide by a little frequented path. That
night we rested by the side of some streams of water, and the following
morning, one hour before daybreak, resumed our journey, sending twenty
men in advance with the guide to clear the road; for the further we went
the more closed we found it by trees and high, thick weeds, rendering it
very difficult to penetrate into the interior. That same day, at five
o'clock in the evening, we halted to pass the night by the side of a
great lagoon, where the Indians and Christians caught fish in their
hands. As we advanced, we ordered the guide to climb the trees and
hills to reconnoitre, and make certain we were on the right road to the
inhabited country.

The Guaranís, whom the governor had brought with him, supported
themselves on the provisions they had been allowed to take, on the honey
they extracted from trees, and by the chase of wild boar, tapirs, and
deer. Though game seemed plentiful, the expedition was so numerous, and
the noise made on the march was so great, that the wild animals took
fright, and not much was killed. The Indians and Spaniards also partook
of the wild fruits, found in abundance. None of these did them any
harm, except that of a tree resembling the myrtle, with a fruit similar
to that of the Spanish myrtle, but a little larger, and with a fine
flavour. All those who ate of it vomited, or had diarrhœa. These
effects, however, did not last long, and did no further harm. They also
made use of the palm-tree, which is common in that country. The date of
this palm is not edible, but the nut inside is round, and like a sweet
almond. The Indians make flour of it, and find it nourishing; the young
shoots of the palm are likewise very good eating.


    _How the governor arrived at the Rio Caliente._

WE had marched five days in the country, following our guide, always
obliged to cut our way with infinite labour, when we came to a rivulet,
which falls from a mountain; its water is very warm, clear, and sweet;
and the Spaniards caught some fish in it. Here the guide began to be
embarrassed, saying that as it was a long time since he passed that way
he did not recognise it, and was at a loss how to guide us, the old
track having entirely disappeared. The next day the governor left the
Rio Caliente (river of warm water); and we followed the guide with great
trouble, cutting our way through forest, brushwood, and a multitude of

That same day, at ten o'clock in the morning, two Indian Guaranís
presented themselves before him, and said they were some of those who
had remained in those deserts after the wars waged by their tribesmen
against the people in the interior, when they were defeated and
massacred. They and their wives and children had concealed themselves in
the most inaccessible parts of the forest for fear of the natives, and
only fourteen of them survived; that at two days' journey there was a
hamlet of Guaranís, numbering ten persons, one of whom was a relative
of theirs, and that there were other Guaranís in the country of the
Xarayes, who were at war with this people. As these Indians seemed
frightened of the Christians and their horses, the governor ordered the
interpreter to reassure them, and asked them where they dwelt; they
answered that their homes were close by, and soon their wives and
children arrived with others of their relatives, who may have numbered
fourteen in all. These confirmed what the first two had said. On being
asked how they supported themselves in that country, and how long they
had inhabited it, they answered that they cultivated maize, and lived by
the chase, on honey and wild fruits, and that when their fathers were
killed they were children. The oldest of them might have been about
thirty-five years of age. They were asked if they knew the way thence to
the settlements of the interior, and how long it would take to arrive at
the inhabited land. They answered that as they were very young when they
were brought there, and had never made the journey since, they were
unable to direct us how to go, nor could they say how long it would take
to arrive at that region. But they added, their relatives, who lived
in the hamlet, two days' journey from theirs, had passed several times
by that road, and knew it. Perceiving that these Indians did not know
the road, the governor told them to go home, and dismissed them with
presents, with which they returned to their homes well satisfied.


    _How the governor sent to discover the house which was further on._

THE following day the governor sent an interpreter with two Spaniards
and two Indians to the house of which mention has been made, to
ascertain the road and the time it would take to reach the first
inhabited parts. He ordered that they should report as promptly as
possible to him any information they were able to obtain, in order that
he might take measures accordingly. The day after the departure of these
scouts he ordered his people to follow by short marches the route
they had taken. When they had thus been marching three days an Indian
arrived, bearing a letter for the governor from the interpreter, saying
that he had arrived at the house of the Indians, and had spoken with
the man who knew the road into the interior. This man had told him
that the first inhabited place was the summit of a rocky hill called
_Tapuaguazú_, that on reaching it a view might be obtained of a wide
extent of inhabited country, and that it might be sixteen days' journey
from his place to Tapuaguazú, and that the road thither was very
difficult because of the trees, thickets, and high grass, besides other
inconveniences. The interpreter added that since leaving the governor
they had found the country thickly forested and so difficult that they
had undergone great fatigues. For the greater part of the way they had
crawled on hands and feet, and, according to the Indian relative, the
road farther on was even worse. They intended bringing this Indian back
with them that the governor might obtain information direct from him.
Having read this letter, the governor followed the path by which the
messenger had come, but found it so thickly wooded and beset with
difficulties that it took a whole day to clear a passage the length of a
slinger's shot. Heavy rains having now set in, the governor ordered his
people to retire to the shelter huts they had left in the morning, for
fear of their suffering from wet and damping their ammunition.


    _How the interpreter returned from the Indian habitation._

THE interpreter returned at three o'clock of the afternoon of the
following day, bringing with him the Indian who said he knew the road.
The governor received him most kindly and gave him presents, with which
he was well pleased. He then ordered the interpreter to ask him in his
name to tell him all the truth about the road leading into the interior.
This Indian then said that he had not been that way for a long time,
though he knew it, and had gone by it several times to Tapuaguazú. From
the summit of that rocky hill, he affirmed, one might see the smoke of
all the villages. He used to go to Tapuaguazú to fetch arrows that are
to be had there, but for many days he had discontinued his visits to
that place, because on his way thither he observed the smoke of Indian
fires, by which he became aware that new settlements were being formed
in that deserted region.

Fearing for his life, he had not dared to go further along the path,
which is so obstructed that it can only be followed with much labour. He
thought that by cutting down trees and clearing a road they might reach
Tapuaguazú in sixteen days. He was asked if he would like to accompany
the Christians and show them the road; he answered that he would
willingly go, though he greatly feared the natives. Having heard the
information given by this Indian, and understood the difficulties of
the road, the governor convened a meeting of the officers, clergy,
and captains to consult with them what should be done to discover
the country. Having discussed the matter, they said that most of the
Spaniards were in want of provisions and had eaten nothing for three
days, and they dared not ask for it because of the disorder and
mismanagement that prevailed in its distribution. The first guide we had
taken had assured us that on the fifth day we should find provisions
and reach an inhabited country with plenty of commodities. Having put
faith in these promises, both Christians and Indians had improvidently
consumed all they brought with them, though every man had been supplied
with two arrobas of flour. The governor had, in their opinion, to
consider that there were barely six days' provisions left, and at the
end of that time there would be nothing for the people to eat. Under
these circumstances they thought it would be very dangerous to advance
further without means of subsistence, the more so because the Indians
are not as a rule precise in their indications, and it might happen
that, instead of sixteen days estimated by the guide, the time might
be greater, and that they might all die of starvation, as had happened
before to exploring expeditions in this country. They were, therefore,
of opinion that the security and lives of the Christians and Indians
depended upon their return to the port of Los Reyes, where they had left
their vessels. Once there, it would be easy to take fresh supplies and
recommence the discovery. Such was their advice, and, they added, if
necessary, they would require the governor in the name of His Majesty
to conform with it.


    _How the governor and his people returned to the Port of Los Reyes._

THE governor seeing the advice of the clergy, officers, and captains,
felt obliged to consider the necessities of his people, their difficult
position, and the desire all had to return. He nevertheless put before
them the inconvenience that would result from adopting such a course. He
said that it would be impossible to find sufficient provisions at Los
Reyes for so many people; that the maize was not yet ripe for harvest,
and that none could be obtained from the natives. He reminded them that
the natives had told them that the floods would soon begin, and these
would add seriously to their embarrassments. These and other reasons
pointed out by him, however, did not deter the Spaniards from persisting
in their determination to retire. Considering, therefore, their positive
wish, and being loath to give occasion to disturbances, which he would
have been obliged to punish, he conceded to their desires, and gave the
order to return to the Port of Los Reyes.

The following day he sent to Tapuá Captain Francisco de Ribera, who had
volunteered to go thither with six Christians and the guide who knew the
road. He furnished him with an escort of eleven Indian chiefs, whom he
charged not to leave the captain under threat of punishment. He at the
same time started with all his people for Los Reyes, where he arrived in
eight days, much dissatisfied at having gone no farther.


    _How the Indians would have killed those who remained at the Port
    of Los Reyes._

WHEN the governor had returned to the Port of Los Reyes, Captain Juan
Romero, whom he had left there as his lieutenant, reported that a few
days after his departure the natives of the island, which is one league
from the port, conspired to massacre all the Christians who had been
left there, and to obtain possession of the brigantines. To carry this
into effect, they summoned all the natives of the country to their
assistance. They formed a league with the Guaxarapos and several other
tribes, and had arranged to attack the Spaniards by night. Under pretext
of bartering they tried to tempt him to come out and buy provisions,
they having discontinued their supplies. Whenever they brought any it
was for the purpose of spying, and they openly told him they would come
and kill the Christians.

The governor having been informed of all this, summoned all the chiefs,
and warned them in the name of His Majesty to keep the peace, since he
and the Christians had treated them as friends, and were doing them no
injury. He reminded them of the presents he had given them, and of his
promise to defend and protect them from their enemies; but if they
behaved otherwise he would treat them as enemies, and make war upon
them. These threats were made in the presence of the clergy and
officers; he then distributed coloured caps among them, besides other
things. They promised once more to keep friends with the Christians,
and drive away the Guaxarapos and other tribes who came up against the

Two days after his arrival at Los Reyes, the governor finding that with
so many Spaniards and Indians collected together he might run short of
provisions, and having no other store except what was contained in the
brigantines moored in the river, and this would only last ten or twelve
days, for the Spaniards and Indians together numbered about three
thousand, seeing their necessities and the danger of their all being
starved, sent all the interpreters to the neighbouring villages to
buy provisions in exchange for merchandise, which he gave them in
considerable quantities. They went, but found no provisions. Having
seen this, the governor sent for the chief Indians of that land,
and asked them where he could buy provisions in exchange for his
merchandise. They answered that at nine leagues distance, on the
shores of certain large lagoons, there lived a people called
Arianicosies, who possessed an abundance of provisions, and would
supply what was necessary.


    _How the governor sent Captain Mendoza in search of provisions._

AS soon as the governor had received this information he convoked
a meeting of officers, clergy, and captains, and other experienced
persons, to concert measures with them, for all the people were crying
for food, and he had none to give them. They were about to disband,
and go into the interior in search of provisions. The officers and the
clergy being assembled, Cabeza de Vaca told them that the danger of
famine was so urgent that all might die if a remedy were not found. He
added that he had been informed that the Arianicosies had provisions,
and he asked them to advise him what should be done. They all answered
that he should send the greater part of the people to the villages of
those Indians, both to sustain themselves and obtain provisions to send
to the people that remained in the port with him. Should they decline to
supply food for payment, force should be resorted to, and, in case of
resistance, they should make war till they obtained what they required,
seeing that the necessities were so urgent that the people were dying
with hunger, and any measures would be excusable. This was their advice,
and they signed their names to it. It was accordingly resolved to
send this captain in search of provisions, charged with the following

"Captain Gonzalo de Mendoza, this is what you have to do in the villages
where you have to search for provisions, in order that our people may
not die from starvation. You shall pay for these provisions to the full
satisfaction of Socorinos and Socosies, as well as all those settled in
the province, and you shall say in my name that I am surprised they have
not been to see me, as the other tribes of the province have done; that
I am informed they are good people, and for this reason I wish to
see and receive them into my friendship. You shall give them of my
merchandise, and tell them to come and acknowledge the supremacy of the
king, as all the other Indians have done. If they obey these orders,
I will always favour and protect them against those who would do them
wrong. You shall use the utmost diligence and care that, in all places
you may pass through inhabited by friendly Indians, none of your men
should use violence, or maltreat the natives. All that you take, and all
that they give you, must be paid for to their satisfaction, and leave no
cause of complaint. When you arrive at the villages you shall ask for
the commodities you require for the sustenance of your men, offering
payment, and entreating the Indians with kind words. Should they decline
to provide you with what you want, you shall repeat your request twice,
thrice, or as often as you think right, offering payment beforehand.
Should they then refuse to give it, you shall take it by force, and, if
resistance be offered you, shall make war upon them, for the hunger we
suffer from justifies us in resorting to these extreme measures. In all
that may happen afterwards you shall use such moderation as becomes the
service of God and His Majesty."


    _How he sent a brigantine to discover the river of the Xarayes with
    Captain de Ribera._

THE governor having sent Captain Gonzalo de Mendoza in conformity with
the advice of the clergy, officers, and captains, this officer departed
on the 15th December, the same year, with 120 Spaniards and 600 Indian
archers, a number more than sufficient for the purpose. The natives of
the port of Los Reyes informed the governor that owing to the rising of
the waters the river Yguatú might be ascended in brigantines as far as
the land of the Xarayes; they told him that these Xarayes, and other
tribes inhabiting the banks of that river, had a quantity of provisions,
and that there were other navigable rivers flowing from the interior,
and discharging into the Yguatú, where there were large settlements of
Indians, who had abundance of food. Desirous of exploring the unknown
parts of this river, the governor sent Captain Hernando de Ribera in a
brigantine with fifty-two men. They had orders to ascend the river to
the villages of the Xarayes, to speak with the chief of this tribe,
and obtain information about the more distant villages, passing on and
seeing them with their own eyes. Neither the commander nor any of his
men were to land, but the interpreter with two men might endeavour to
see and barter with the Indians along the course of the river, giving
presents, and making them proposals of peace. For this purpose the
governor furnished the commander with instructions, and informed him by
word of mouth of everything that he should do for the service of His
Majesty and the good of the country. Hernando de Ribera set sail on the
20th December of the said year.

A few days after his departure Captain Gonzalo de Mendoza wrote to say
that on his arrival at the villages of the Arianicosies he had sent
an interpreter to inform them that he had come to ask them to sell
provisions, which he would pay for with merchandise, such as beads,
knives, iron wedges, which they esteem highly, and that he would give
them a large number of fish-hooks. The interpreter took these articles
with him in order that they might see and understand that they had not
come to do them wrong, or take anything away by force; but that the
interpreter had fled back, for that the natives had tried to kill him,
and shot several arrows at him, saying that they would not allow any
Christians in their land, and would not give them anything, but would
rather kill them all, and that the Guaxarapos, who were brave warriors,
had come to help them. These last-named Indians, they added, have killed
Christians, and found their heads soft, and that they are not a strong
people. The letter went on to say that Gonzalo de Mendoza had sent
a second time the same interpreter to beg them to supply him with
provisions. He had sent with him some Spaniards to see what passed. All
these returned, being pursued by Indians, who had come out with arms to
kill them, and had shot a number of arrows at them, shouting to them to
leave the country, as they would not give them provisions. The captain
having seen all this, had gone with all his troop to bring about their
submission; on arriving at their village all the Indians had come out
against him, and shot arrows at them, intending to kill the Spaniards,
declining to listen to him or let him speak. They had consequently, in
their own defence, killed two of the natives with their arquebuses.
As soon as the enemy saw them dead, they fled into the forest. The
Spaniards then went into their houses, and found an abundance of
provisions, such as maize, mandubies and other plants, roots, and
other comestibles.

Without loss of time, Gonzalo de Mendoza sent an Indian to tell the
natives to return to their homes, promising to be friendly with them,
and to pay for the provisions he had taken. They had refused, however,
to accept his peaceful overtures, had recommenced hostilities,
established their camp, fortified their houses, and had even burned a
great number of these. They had appealed to many other tribes to come
and help them to kill the Christians, and did not desist from doing them
all the harm they could. The governor sent orders to the captain to do
everything in his power to induce the Indians to return; he enjoined him
not to let any of his men do the least harm to the natives, to pay for
all the provisions he had taken, to pacify them, and go elsewhere in
search of provisions. The captain soon afterwards reported that he had
persuaded the Indians to return, had offered them his friendship, and,
far from injuring them, would treat them kindly; they had, however,
declined his advances, and were continuing hostilities in conjunction
with the Guaxarapos, Guatos, and other of our enemies who were in league
with them.


    _How Captain Francisco de Ribera returned from his exploration._

ON the 20th January 1544, Captain Francisco de Ribera returned,
accompanied by the six Spaniards whom the governor had sent with him,
with the guide and three Guaranís, being all that were left of the
eleven Guaranís who had formed part of his expedition. He had been sent,
as I have already said, to discover and observe with his own eyes the
villages situated in that part where the governor was obliged to turn
back. They had advanced towards Tapuaguazú, where the guide had stated
the Indian settlements began. On the arrival of the six Spaniards, all
of whom were wounded, the people rejoiced greatly and gave thanks to God
for their escape from such a perilous journey, for, indeed, the governor
thought they were lost, because eight of the eleven Indians that started
with them had abandoned them. He was very angry with these men and
wished to punish them, and the chiefs, their relatives, begged that they
might be hanged for having deserted the Christians, though they had been
ordered not to leave them, and to escort them till they returned. These
chiefs said that since they had failed to do this they deserved hanging,
but as it was the first time they had disobeyed he pardoned them,
fearing to excite their tribesmen.


    _How Captain Francisco de Ribera reported of his discovery._

THE following day Captain Francisco de Ribera appeared before the
governor with the six other Spaniards who had accompanied him. He gave
an account of his exploration, and said: that after he left him in the
forest he marched, following the guide for twenty-one days, without
resting, through a country so thickly covered with trees and brushwood
that it was impossible to advance without cutting a path. Some days they
went one league, on others only half a league in two days, owing to the
obstacles they encountered, the dense forests, and projecting rocks. The
direction they followed was continually west; all the time they marched
they sustained themselves on venison, wild boars' flesh, and tapirs,
which the Indians killed with their arrows; game was so abundant that
they knocked down with sticks all they required for food. They found
a great supply of honey in cavities of trees, and quantities of wild
fruit. After twenty-one days they arrived at a river running to the
west, and this river, according to their guide, flowed past Tapuaguazú
and the Indian settlements. They caught much fish in it of a kind called
by the natives _piraputanas_, which are a kind of _sabalos_,[356] and
are excellent. The Spaniards crossed this river, and, following their
guide, came upon the fresh tracks of Indians; for it had been raining
that day, and the ground was moist. It was evident that the Indians were
a party of hunters. Following their footprints, they came upon two
large stacks of maize which was then being harvested. At this moment
an Indian, who had not time to conceal himself, came towards them. He
spoke a language they could not understand, wore a large silver disc in
his lower lip, and gold earrings. He took Francisco de Ribera by the
hand and signed to him to accompany him, which he did. They now observed
a large house made of straw and wood. On approaching it, they saw women
and other Indians carrying out of the house cotton stuffs and other
articles, which they placed in front of the stacks. The Indian made them
enter the house, where men and women were carrying out all it contained.
In order to avoid passing the Christians, they made an opening in the
straw, and passed the things out that way. Our people saw them taking
from some large vessels full of maize, plates, hatchets, and bracelets
of silver which they carried outside the straw walls. This Indian
appeared to be the head of the family from the respect shown him. He
took them inside, and signed to them to be seated, and ordered two
_Orejones_ (Indians with large ears), whom they supposed to be his
slaves, to give them maize wine to drink out of some jars, which stood
in the house buried up to their necks in the earth. They poured the wine
into large gourds, and handed these to the Spaniards. The two Orejones
said that at three days' journey from that place there were Christians
living with a tribe called Payzunoes; they then told the way to
Tapuaguazú, which is a high mountain. Soon many natives arrived in their
war-paint and feathers, with bows and arrows. The Indian spoke very
volubly to them, and he also took a bow and arrows; he sent men, who
came and went, with messages, by which the Spaniards knew that he was
summoning the population from the neighbouring villages, and intended
killing them. The captain told the Christians who were with him to come
out of the house altogether, and return by the way they came, before
more Indians had assembled; by this time there were over three hundred.
Ribera gave the natives to understand that he would go and fetch many
other Christians who were close at hand, and, as they were expecting
more to arrive, they had only to wait till he came back. By this ruse
our people escaped, but, at a stone's throw from the house, the Indians,
who saw they were escaping, pursued them with cries, and shot many
arrows at them. They followed them into the forest, where the Christians
defended themselves, and the Indians, thinking there were a larger
number of them here, durst not pursue further, but let them go; all the
Spaniards, however, were wounded. They came back the way they went, and
it took them only twelve days to return to the place where they had left
the governor, whence they had marched in twenty-one days. The captain
estimated the distance from the Port of Los Reyes to the villages of
those Indians at seventy leagues.

  [356] Shad.

A lagoon twenty leagues from this port, in crossing which they had the
water knee-deep, was, upon their return, so greatly increased that it
covered a league of land, and was two pikes deep. They crossed it in
rafts with great danger and difficulty. The captain added that, before
attempting to enter that country, it would be necessary to wait till the
waters subsided. The Indians he had seen were called _Tarapecosies_;
they have plenty of provisions, and they rear geese and poultry like
ours. This was the account given by Francisco de Ribera and by the
Spaniards who accompanied him, and by the guide, all of whom confirmed
what Francisco de Ribera had said.

There were some Indians in the port of Los Reyes belonging to the same
tribe of Tarapecosies, from whose village de Ribera had just returned.
They had come with Garcia, the interpreter, when he made his journey
into the interior and returned defeated by the Guaranís of the Paraguai.
These Indians had escaped with the Chaneses, who had also fled and lived
all together in the port of Los Reyes. The governor, wishing for further
information, sent for them. They immediately recognised the arrows that
Francisco de Ribera had brought with him, which had been shot at him by
the Tarapecosies, as those used in their native country. The governor
asked them why their fellow-tribesmen had wished to kill those who had
gone to see them. They answered that the Tarapecosies were no enemies of
the Christians; on the contrary, they were their friends since Garcia
had visited their country and trafficked with them. The reason why they
had tried to kill the Spaniards was because these had taken Guaranís
with them whom they regarded as enemies; for in former times these
people had invaded their territory and sought to destroy them. The
Christians, they said, should have taken an interpreter with them who
knew their language, to let them know the object of their visit, for
they were not in the habit of making war upon those who did them no
injury. If they take an interpreter, they added, they will be well
treated and supplied with provisions, and gold and silver, which are
obtained from the tribes of the interior. Asked from what tribe and how
they acquired their gold and silver, they answered that the Payzunos,
who lived three days' journey off, gave them these precious metals in
exchange for bows and arrows and slaves, which they took from other
tribes; the Payzunos obtained them from the Chaneses, Chimenos,
Carcaraes, Candirées, and other Indian nations who possess an abundance
of them. They were shown a brass candlestick very bright and shiny, to
see if the gold they had in their land was like that. They said that the
metal of the candlestick was hard and base, but their metal was soft and
without smell, and more yellow. Then they were shown a gold ring, and
asked if that were the metal of their country, and they said it was.
They were also shown a tin plate, very bright and shiny, and asked if
the silver in their country was of that kind. They answered that this
metal stank, and was base and soft; theirs was whiter, harder, and had
no bad smell. A silver cup was then put in their hands, and they were
greatly pleased with it, and said that of that metal they had quantities
in their land in the form of small vases and other things in use among
the Indians, such as plates, bracelets, crowns, small hatchets, and
other objects.


    _How the governor sent for Gonzalo de Mendoza._

THE governor, in order to provide what was necessary for the exploration
of this country as it beseemed the service of His Majesty, sent, without
delay, for Gonzalo de Mendoza to recall him and his men from the land
of the Arianicosies. Before leaving their village, however, he was to
endeavour to get the Indians to return to their houses and pacify them.

Soon after the arrival of Francisco de Ribera and his six Spaniards at
the port of Los Reyes, all the people there began to suffer from fevers,
so that there were not sufficient men to mount guard in camp. Even the
Guaranís were sick of this malady, and several died.

Gonzalo de Mendoza wrote that all his people were also ill of the fever,
and that he was sending in the brigantines all the sick and infirm. He
had not been able to make peace with the Arianicosies, though he had
several times made friendly overtures and offered them presents. Yet
in spite of this they came every day and attacked him. The country, he
said, abounded in provisions, both in the fields and lakes. Besides the
provisions he had sent in the brigantines, a large quantity was left
for the natives. The sickness that had attacked all the people was
attributable to the pollution of the water, which had become brackish
as it rose.

About this time the Indians living in an island about one league from
port Los Reyes, who are called Socorinos and Xaqueses, seeing how sick
and weak the Christians were, began to make war upon them. They no
longer came to traffic and barter with the Christians as they had
hitherto done, nor informed them of the evil designs of the Guaxarapos;
they even joined these latter, and prepared for a campaign against the
Spaniards. The Indian Guaranís whom the Spaniards had brought in their
armada were in the habit of going out in their canoes, in company with
some Christians, to fish in the lagoon, a stone's-throw from the camp.
One morning five Christians, four of whom were boys, had gone in the
canoes with these Guaranís, when the Xaqueses, Socorinos, and many other
Indians of that island, came out and captured the five Christians,
killed the newly-converted among the Guaranís, and brought the rest
to their island, where they hacked the five Christians in pieces and
distributed them among the Guaxarapos, Guatos, and other natives of
the environs of port _Viejo_ (the ancient). Other tribes, who were
associated with them for the purpose of making war upon the Christians,
had their share of the flesh of these unfortunate people. Not content
with this, as the people were ill and weak, they came with great daring
to attack the settlement where the Christians were, and set fire to
it. These shouted, "To arms, to arms, the Indians are killing the
Christians." As the whole settlement was now under arms, they went out
to meet the Indians, who, nevertheless, succeeded in capturing more
Christians, and among them one called Pedro Mepen, and some others who
were fishing in the lagoon, and ate these as they had done the first

The following morning at daybreak a large number of canoes were seen
filled by warriors, who were running away to the opposite side of the
lagoon; they uttered loud cries, pointed their bows and arrows, and
held them up to make us understand that they had made the assault. They
penetrated into the island situated in the lagoon of Los Reyes, and
killed this time fifty-eight Christians. The governor having witnessed
this disaster, told the natives of the port of Los Reyes to demand
from the Indians of the island the release of the Christians they had
captured. These people having gone and demanded their release, were told
that the Guaxarapos had taken the prisoners away. From that time they
continually came at night, made incursions on the lagoon to see if they
might capture any Christians or Indians fishing there, so as to prevent
their fishing; for they declared the land was theirs and that the
Christians had no right to fish there; that we must leave the country,
otherwise they would kill us. The governor sent to try and appease
them, and to tell them to keep the peace they had made, and restore the
Christian and Indian captives they had taken, promising in such case to
treat them as friends, but that if they refused, he would act against
them as enemies. He repeated this message several times, but they would
not submit, and did not cease hostilities, and doing us all the mischief
they could. Seeing these measures were of no avail, the governor
ordered that an inquiry should be held, and when this had been done in
accordance with the advice of the officers and clergy, these people were
proclaimed enemies, war was declared against them, and the country was
protected from the ravages daily committed.


    _How Hernando de Ribera returned from his exploration along the

ON the 30th January 1543, Captain Hernando de Ribera returned with
the vessel and men entrusted to him for the exploration of the higher
reaches of the river. But when he returned he found the governor and all
his people sick with fever and shivering fits, so he could not make his
report.[357] By that time the water in the river had so swollen that all
the land was inundated, and it was impossible to renew the exploration.
The natives say that the floods continue for four months, and rise five
or six fathoms, and that they then enter their canoes with their houses
and provisions, as I have related above, and are not able to land.
The natives of this country kill and eat one another. When the waters
subside they set up their houses again on shore in the same places as
before. The land is about this time infected with malaria, arising from
the putrefaction of fish, which are left in large numbers on the dry
land, and with the high temperature then prevailing it is impossible to
endure the stench.

  [357] This report will be found at the end of the Commentaries.


    _What befell the governor and his people in the port of Los Reyes._

THE governor remained three months in this port of Los Reyes with all
his people ill with fever, waiting till God should be pleased to
restore them to health, and the waters should subside to enable them to
undertake the exploration of the country. But every day the sickness
increased and the waters rose. We were, therefore, obliged to withdraw
from the port of Los Reyes in great trouble. Besides the illness by
which we were attacked, there were so many mosquitoes of various kinds
that we could neither sleep nor rest day and night; the sufferings we
endured from this plague were even worse than the fever. Because of
these inconveniences, and as the officers had requested him to abandon
the port and to return to the city of Ascension, where the people could
recover, the governor having referred to the clergy and officers,
decided on withdrawing. Yet he would not allow the Christians to take
with them about a hundred girls, whom the natives of Los Reyes, upon
the governor's arrival, had offered to the captains and officers of
distinction, so as to be on good terms with them, leaving them to do
what they pleased with the girls. The motive of this refusal was to
avoid the offence against God done in this way. He ordered, at the
moment of departure, the fathers of these girls to receive them back
into their houses till our return, being unwilling that their parents
should be dissatisfied and the country scandalised because of this. To
give more importance to this action of his, he published a rescript
of His Majesty, forbidding, under the severest penalty, anybody from
removing natives from their homes. The natives were well satisfied with
this measure, but the Spaniards were greatly discontented, some of them
felt ill-disposed towards him, and from that time he was detested by the
majority. This was the motive or pretext for their subsequent conduct,
as I shall relate further on. All the people, Christians and Indians,
having embarked, he came in twelve days to the port of Ascension, though
it had taken two months to ascend the same way. Though sick to death,
the people derived strength from their desire to return home. The perils
and difficulties of this voyage were certainly not light, for the men
were not strong enough to handle their arms to resist the enemy, or make
use of an oar to help to steer the vessels; and had it not been for the
culverins we carried, our trouble would have been greater. We drew the
canoes of the Indians into the midst of the brigantines to protect them
from the enemy's attacks till we came to their homes, and for better
security the governor distributed some Christians in the canoes.

We took every precaution, and kept a sharp look-out for the enemy, when,
as we were passing the lands of the Guaxarapos, these natives attacked
us suddenly with a number of canoes. They assailed some rafts that were
being taken in reserve, and wounded a Christian with a dart, which
pierced him in the breast, so that he fell dead on the spot. His name
was Miranda, and he came from Valladolid. They also wounded some of our
Indians, and would have caused us more losses had it not been for our
culverins. The weakness of the soldiers was the cause of it.

On the 8th April of the same year we arrived at the town of Ascension
with our troops, our Guaranís, and our vessels. The Governor and the
Christians that were with him were all sick and weak. On his arrival,
Captain Salazar told him that he had assembled over 20,000 Indians and
a large number of canoes to go out against the Agaces, for, since the
departure of the governor, they had not ceased making war upon the
Christians and the natives, plundering and slaying them, taking from
them wives and children, burning villages and committing every kind of
excess. When the governor arrived, the expedition to punish the Agaces
had not yet started. We found the caravel ordered by the governor nearly
finished. He had intended sending it, as soon as it was ready, to bear
information to His Majesty of all that had happened in his voyage of
discovery and all that had passed in the country. Orders were now given
to complete the caravel.


    _How the governor, having arrived with his people at the town of
    Ascension, was made a prisoner._

FIFTEEN days after the arrival of the governor at Ascension, the
officers of His Majesty, who hated him because he refused to consent to
things done against the service of God and the king, seeing him arrive
with the other Christians in this extremity, conspired with their
friends on St. Mark's Day to take him prisoner that night. They had
already depopulated the best and principal port of the province, with
the intention of rebelling against the sovereign, as they have now done.
In order to carry out their plans in the most effective way, they told
a hundred men that they knew the governor was about to take from
them their property, their houses, and their Indian girls, and would
distribute these among the men who had returned from the exploring
expedition; that it was a great injustice and contrary to the service of
His Majesty. "This night", they added, "we will go and require him, in
the name of the king, not to take away your houses, nor your lands, nor
your Indian girls, and, as we fear the governor may have us arrested,
arm yourselves and bring your friends, for you will be doing a great
service to His Majesty in this way." It was arranged that at the Ave
Maria these men should come armed to two houses which would be assigned
to them, and should hold themselves in readiness there for further
orders. So the insurgents, ten or twelve in number, entered the
apartment where the governor was lying on his bed of sickness, with
cries of "Liberty, liberty, long live the king!" They were the
supervisor Alonso Cabrera, the accountant Philip de Caceres, Garcia
Vanegas, acting treasurer, a servant of the governor named Pedro
de Oñate (who was in the room with him, opened the door to the
conspirators, and was an active promoter of the insurrection), Don
Francisco de Mendoza, Jaime Rasquin (who held an arquebus and a poisoned
dart at his breast), Diego de Acosta, Portuguese interpreter, and
Solorzano, a native of Canaria. These men entered with arms in their
hands and seized the governor, dragged him out of the room in his
shirt, continuing to cry: "Liberty, liberty!" They called him a tyrant,
levelled their arquebuses at him, saying such words as these: "Now you
shall pay the penalty of your offences and the losses you have caused
us." When they had come out into the street they were joined by others
whom they had enlisted on their side, who, seeing they were carrying the
governor off a prisoner in that fashion, said to Pedro Dorantes and the
others: "Let the responsibility of this rest with the traitors who did
the deed; you brought us here on the pretext that our goods, houses, and
Indian girls would be taken from us, but your real object was to make
us parties to your treason against the king"; upon this they drew their
swords, and there was a serious scrimmage. As the insurgents were now
approaching the houses of the officers some took refuge in the house of
Garcia Vanegas, dragging the governor along with them. Others remained
at the door, saying to those who had taken the part of the governor:
"You are betraying us; don't say that you did not know what was going to
be done; help us to put him into prison. If you attempt to deliver him
we will cut you to pieces and chop off your heads. It is a matter of
life and death to you; aid us, therefore, to complete what we have
begun, and we will all share the goods, the Indian girls, and furniture
of the governor." The officers then entered the small room in which the
governor was confined, placed him in irons, and set a watch upon him.
Having done this they repaired to the house of Juan Pavon, alcalde
mayor, and to that of the alguazil, Francisco de Peralta. When they
had come to the alcalde mayor's, Martin de Ure, a Biscayan, as
leader, seized by force the staff of office. They did the same at the
alguazil's, and, having struck these functionaries several blows with
the fist and knocked them about, they called them traitors and took them
to the public prison, where they were put in the stocks by the head.
They set at liberty the prisoners, among whom was one sentenced to death
for having murdered a certain Morales, a gentleman of Seville. Having
done this, they took a drum and marched about the streets, exciting the
people to rebel, and uttering loud cries of "Liberty, liberty! Long live
the king!"

After they had made the circuit of the city in this way, the same
individuals went to the house of Pero Hernandez, secretary of the
province, who was ill at the time. They arrested him, as well as
Bartolomé Gonzales, took possession of his property and documents, and
carried him prisoner to the house of Domingo de Irala, where they placed
him in chains, and, after insulting him, left him in the hands of the
sentinels. Then they published the following proclamation: "The officers
of His Majesty prohibit all persons from appearing in the streets;
anyone going out of doors will be considered a traitor and condemned to
death." Having done this they again shouted, "Liberty, liberty!" While
posting this order, they pushed and hustled everyone they met in the
streets, forcing people to enter their houses.

They then went to the house of the governor, where he kept his property,
papers, and the letters he had received from the king appointing him
governor of the province, as well as the acts by which his authority
had been recognised. They forced open some chests, extracted all the
documents contained in them, and took possession of everything. They
also opened a chest, locked with three keys, containing the public
indictments against officers charged with crimes referred to the king
for final sentence. They took also his goods, stuffs, provisions, oil,
steel, and iron, besides a number of other things. Most of these things
disappeared, everything being looted. They denounced him as a tyrant,
and abused him in every way. The remainder of his property was bestowed
upon such as professed to be attached to him, who took them under
pretext of deposit; but these so-called friends of the deposed governor
really helped the insurgents. His property was said to be worth over
100,000 castellanos,[358] according to the value current then; he had
also ten brigantines.

  [358] A gold coin formerly in use in Spain. During the reign of the
  Catholic kings it was worth 490 maravedis of silver, equal to about
  4_s._ 9_d._ The value of these coins afterwards fluctuated. This sum
  is undoubtedly grossly exaggerated.


    _How the population assembled before the house of Domingo de Irala._

THE following day the officers published in the streets, by sound of
drum and trumpet, that all the people should assemble in front of the
house of Captain Domingo de Irala. Their friends and partisans having
gone there armed, a libel was read by the public crier in a loud voice.
It stated that the governor had ordered them all to be deprived of their
possessions and to be treated as slaves: and that they, in the general
interests of liberty, had laid hands on his person. When this libel had
been read they called out, "Sirs, cry, Liberty, liberty, long live the
king!" And this was accordingly done by their friends. After these
proceedings they inveighed against the governor, and many said, "Come
what may, let us kill this tyrant who wished to ruin and destroy us."

When the fury of the population had somewhat calmed down, they elected
Domingo de Irala as deputy-governor and captain general of the whole
province. This man had already been elected once before in the place of
Francisco Ruiz, once Don Pedro de Mendoza's deputy. Ruiz had been in
truth a good deputy-governor; but against all justice, and from envy
and malice, he was deposed and Domingo de Irala elected in his stead.
Someone having said to the supervisor, Alonso Cabrera, that they had
acted badly in that case, because Francisco Ruiz had colonized the
country and been at great pains to maintain it, he answered that they
had acted thus because Ruiz would not do what they wished, but that
Domingo de Irala, whose rank was less than their own, would always do
what they bade him; and for this reason all the officers elected him.
They appointed Pero Diaz del Valle alcalde mayor, because he was a
friend of Domingo de Irala, and gave the insignia of alguazil to a
certain Bartolomé de la Marilla, a native of Truxillo, a friend of Nuflo
de Chaves, and to Sancho de Salinas, a native of Cazalla.

Then the officers and Domingo de Irala made it known that they intended
fitting out a new expedition to the country discovered by the governor,
to search for gold and silver, and sending it, when found, to His
Majesty, in order that they might be pardoned the crime they had
committed. Should they not succeed in finding gold, they would not
return, as they feared punishment; yet it might happen that they found
so much of the precious metal that the king, in return for it, would
make them a present of the country. By such means as these they cajoled
the people. However, everybody knew enough of their misdeeds and
their past and present conduct to decline consenting to the proposed
expedition. And since then the majority of the people began to
remonstrate against the imprisonment of the governor. Then the officers
and newly-appointed magistrates began to maltreat those who showed
discontent at the governor's imprisonment. They imprisoned them,
deprived them of all their possessions, and tormented them in every way.
When these people took refuge in the church, in order to avoid being
arrested, they stationed watchmen at the door, so that no provisions
might reach them. They punished those who attempted to relieve them,
disarmed all the inhabitants and harassed them by every means in their
power. They, moreover, said in public that they would kill any persons
who might show discontent at the governor's imprisonment.


    _Of the tumults and disturbances that took place in the country._

FROM that time tumults and dissensions frequently arose among the
people. Those that were of the party of the king denounced the
rebel officers and their partisans as traitors. These, fearing the
inhabitants, went armed day and night; they built stockades and other
works for their defence, barricaded the streets, and withdrew into five
or six houses. The governor was confined in a small room in the house
of Garcia Vanegas, so as to have him in their midst. The alcalde and
alguazils daily searched the houses immediately surrounding that in
which the governor was held a captive, for fear lest an attempt might be
made to enter them by means of mines. When the officers saw two or three
men of the governor's party talking together, they would immediately
raise the alarm, enter the place in which governor Nuñez was confined,
lay their hands on their daggers, and swear that if an attempt were made
to rescue him they would cut off his head and throw it to his would-be
deliverers. They appointed four men, whom they considered the bravest of
their band, to stand ready armed with poniards, and made them swear that
on the first attempt to rescue him in the name of His Majesty they would
immediately enter and behead him. These men were posted so near the
governor that he could hear them talking and sharpening their daggers.
These executioners were Garcia Vanegas, Andres Hernandez, _el romo_,
besides others.

Not only was the arrest of the governor the cause of general tumult
and dissension, there were also many private disputes and lawsuits
in consequence of the edicts which had followed. Some said that the
officers and their friends were traitors, and had done wrong in
arresting Alvar Nuñez; that they had caused the ruin of the country as
then appeared, and even now appears to be the case. Others took the
contrary view; and they killed, wounded, and maimed one another. The
officers and their friends said that the partisans of the governor
and those who wished him set at liberty were traitors, and should be
punished as such; they forbade suspected persons from talking together.
Whenever they saw two men together in the streets they drew out an act
of inquest, and arrested them in order to know what they were saying;
and if three or four collected together, they fell upon them with their
weapons. They had placed sentries on the roof of the house in which the
governor was confined, in two sentry-boxes, that they might overlook the
whole town and adjacent country. Their spies, too, reported what was
being done and said in the town. At night, thirty armed men patrolled
the streets, arresting anybody they met, demanding to know whither
they were going, and for what purpose. As the tumults and disorders
increased, the officers and their partisans became harassed, and begged
the governor to give an order to the people to keep the peace and not
revolt; and if necessary to fix a penalty for disobedience to this
order. The officers drafted this order for him to sign, but when he had
signed it they were advised not to publish it, because they pretended
that everybody had been in favour of his arrest. For this reason the
order was not published.


    _How the governor was kept in prison._

WHILE these events were happening the governor was very ill in bed,
and for the sake of his health chains were fastened round his feet;
by his pillow a candle burned, for the prison was dark, no light being
admitted, and so damp that the grass grew under his bed; he had the
candle because he might want it at any moment. To crown his miseries,
they had searched among the whole population for the man most evilly
disposed towards him, and they found one named Hernando de Sosa, whom
the governor had punished for striking an Indian chief. This man was
placed on guard in the same room with him. The prison closed with two
sliding doors furnished with padlocks; the officers and their partisans
watched him day and night armed to the teeth; and there were upwards of
one hundred and fifty of them, all paid with his property.

Notwithstanding this strict watch kept upon him, every night, or every
third night, an Indian woman who brought him his supper conveyed him a
letter written by one of his friends, informing him of all that happened
outside his prison. They begged him to say what he wished them to do,
three parts of the people being determined to die with the Indians in
order to deliver him. They had feared to do this because of the threats
of the officers to kill him should an attempt at a rescue be made.
Seventy of those guarding him were ready to join them and make
themselves masters of the principal entrance of the prison. They
promised to defend him till the arrival of his friends. The governor
opposed this project, because it could not easily be accomplished
without the slaughter of a large number of Christians. Besides, when
once the scheme had been put into execution, the Indians would have
put an end to the Christians and brought about the final ruin of the
country. For these reasons he dissuaded them from their purpose.

The Indian woman who brought him a letter every third night, and took
back an answer, passed through the midst of the guards, who stripped her
naked, examined her mouth and ears, and cut off her hair, for fear of
her concealing anything. They even searched her in parts which modesty
compels me not to mention. This woman, as I have stated, passed the
guard quite naked, and having come to where the governor was, handed the
gaoler what she brought, and then sat down on his bed, for the room was
small. She then began to scratch her foot, and while engaged in this
way, drew forth a letter which she handed to the governor behind the
back of the gaoler. This letter, written on very thin paper, was deftly
rolled up and covered with black wax; this was concealed under the
lesser toes, and attached to these by two black threads. In this way she
brought the letters and the necessary paper for him to write his answer,
and a little powder made of a certain black stone of the country, which,
moistened with a little saliva or water, made ink. The officers and
their friends suspected her, for they had learned that the governor knew
what was passing outside the prison, and what they were doing. In order
to be sure of this, they chose four of the more youthful of their party
to seduce the Indian woman--not a difficult task, for these women are
not sparing of their charms, and consider it an affront to deny their
favours to anyone; they say, moreover, that they have received them for
that purpose. These four youths accordingly intrigued with her and gave
her many presents; but they could never make her divulge her secret
during the whole of their intercourse, which lasted eleven months.


    _How the insurgents ravaged the land and took possession of the
    property of the inhabitants._

WHILE the governor was in this situation, the officers and Domingo de
Irala gave public permission to all their friends and partisans to go
into the villages and huts of the Indians and take by force their wives,
daughters, hammocks, and other of their possessions, a thing contrary to
the service of His Majesty and the peace of the country. While this was
going on they would scour the country, strike the Indians blows with
sticks, carry them off to their houses, and oblige them to labour
in their fields without any remuneration. When the Indians came and
complained to Domingo de Irala and the officers, these answered that
it was no affair of theirs, which pleased the Christians, because they
knew that this answer was given to suit their pleasure and secure their
support, for they might say that they had full liberty to do what
they liked. These replies and bad treatment caused the country to
be deserted. The natives withdrew to the mountains, and concealed
themselves in places where the Christians could not find them. A large
number were Christians, together with wives and children. When they left
the settlement they lost the religious teaching of the monks and clergy,
the governor having paid great attention to their religious instruction.
A few days after his arrest they destroyed the caravel which he had made
to send advice to His Majesty of all that was passing in the province;
for the insurgents hoped to get the people to undertake a voyage of
discovery in that country, where the governor had already partly
explored; they thought they might obtain gold and silver there, and that
they would have the honour of rendering important service to the king.

There being no justice in the land, the inhabitants and colonists
suffered many wrongs from the officers and magistrates appointed by the
insurgents. They were imprisoned and deprived of their property; at
least fifty of them became so indignant that they retreated into the
interior towards the coast of Brazil, with the intention of finding
means of proceeding to Spain and informing His Majesty of all the
wrongs, misdeeds, and disturbances passing in the land. Many others
were overtaken and kept in prison a long time; their arms and all their
possessions were taken away and distributed among their friends and
partisans, in order to engage their support for the party in power.


    _How the monks left the country._

WHILE this sad state of things was going on without hope of remedy, the
monks--friar Bernardo de Armenta[359] thinking the moment opportune for
putting into execution their long-conceived project of departing (having
already attempted it, as I have said before), spoke about it to the
officers and to Domingo de Irala, in order that they should give them
permission and the necessary help to reach the coast of Brazil. These
officers consented, in order to give them satisfaction because they
had opposed the governor, who had hindered their taking the route they
wished. Permission was accordingly granted to them, and the necessary
help to go to Brazil. They took with them some Spaniards and Indian
women, to whom they were teaching Christianity.

  [359] The name of the other monk is omitted in the text. It was
  probably Alonzo Lebron; cf. _supra_, pp. 100, 136.

During his captivity the governor had asked the insurgents several times
to let him appoint a deputy to rule the province in the name of His
Majesty, in order to terminate the tumults and disorders that were of
such constant occurrence, and restore justice and tranquillity in the
land. After making this nomination he would have liked to go before
the king and render an account of all that had passed, and the actual
position of affairs. The officers answered, however, that by his arrest
his authority had lost all its force, and that the person they had
nominated as governor would serve the purpose. Every day they entered
his prison and threatened to put an end to his life. The governor
replied that, should they decide upon doing this, he begged, and even if
necessary he required, them in God's name and the king's to send him a
clergyman to confess him. They said that if they gave him a confessor
it would be Francisco de Andrada, or another native of Biscay (who were
concerned in the insurrection), and if he would have neither of them, he
should have none at all, because the others were their enemies and his
supporters. In fact, they had arrested Antonio d'Escalera, Rodrigo de
Herrera, and Luis de Miranda, because they had said, and were still
saying, that the arrest of the governor was a great sin, and contrary to
the service of God and His Majesty, and would bring ruin upon the land.
The priest, Luis de Miranda, had been imprisoned with the Alcalde mayor
for more than eight months without seeing sun or moon all that time. And
the insurgents would never consent that any other of the clergy except
those we have named should confess him.

A gentleman[360] named Anton Bravo, eighteen years of age, having been
heard to say one day that he would form a scheme to release the governor
from prison, the officers and Domingo de Irala had him arrested,
and applied the torture to him, to find pretext for punishing and
ill-treating others whom they hated. They offered him his liberty if
he would incriminate others whom he had named in his evidence. These
were all taken and disarmed. Anton Bravo was publicly bastinadoed in
the street, proclaimed a traitor, and accused of being unfaithful to
His Majesty by trying to deliver the governor from prison.

  [360] In original, hidalgo, from _hijo de algo_, _i.e._, a person
  of good birth.


    _How they tortured those who were not on their side._

THIS was the cause of many other cruel torturings to find out if the
persons accused had concerted measures for the release of the governor
from prison. They sought to know who were the persons concerned in the
scheme, how he was to be delivered, and if the ground were mined. Many
were deprived of the use of their limbs by these tortures. Inscriptions
having been found on the walls, which said, "Thou shalt die for thy king
and thy law," the officers, Domingo de Irala, and the magistrates, took
steps to find out who were the authors, swearing and threatening to
punish them, and they arrested a number of persons, whom they put to the


    _How they wished to kill a sheriff who had made them a requisition._

AFFAIRS being in the state I have described, a certain Pedro de Molina,
a native of Guadix, and judge of that town, having been witness of
the misfortunes and troubles that were taking place in the country,
determined, in His Majesty's interests, to enter the stockaded enclosure
where Domingo de Irala and his officers were residing, and in the
presence of all, doffing his cap, he asked Martin de Ure, the notary,
to read to the officers a requisition that the evils, murders, and
injustice occasioned by the arrest of the governor might cease. He
demanded that Alvar Nuñez should be set free, and that he should be
allowed to invest some fitting person, with his authority, to govern the
province in the name of His Majesty, and maintain peace and justice. The
notary at first refused to read it because the insurgents were present,
but at length he took it, and said to Pedro de Molina that if he wished
it read he must pay him his fee. Pedro de Molina drew his sword and
handed it to him. The notary declined the sword as a pledge for payment.
Then Pedro de Molina took off his woollen hood and gave it to him,
saying: "Read it, I have no better pledge to offer." Martin de Ure took
the hood and the requisition, and threw them both down at his feet,
declaring that he would not notify it to those gentlemen. Thereupon
Garcia Vanegas, the deputy-treasurer, addressed some insulting words to
Pedro de Molina, threatening to have him beaten to death, and that he
deserved it for daring to speak in that way. Pedro de Molina then went
out, raising his cap, considering himself fortunate in escaping without
further ill-treatment.


    _How the insurgents gave the Indians permission to eat human flesh._

THE officers and Domingo de Irala, wishing to gain favour among the
natives, gave them permission to kill and eat their Indian enemies.
Many of those who availed themselves of this license were converted
Christians. The insurgents had adopted this expedient, unbecoming to the
service of God and His Majesty, and horrible to all who knew of it, in
order to prevent the Indians from leaving the country, and attaching
them to their party. They told them the governor was a bad man, inasmuch
as he would not authorise their killing and eating their enemies, and
that he had been arrested on that account, and that they now gave them
free permission to do this.

In spite of all their efforts, the officers and Domingo de Irala, seeing
that the tumults and quarrels would not cease, but were daily on the
increase, decided to remove the governor from the province, while those
who took this step chose to remain where they were and not return to
Spain; they only desired to expel him and some of his friends. The
partisans of the governor, on hearing this resolution, were much
excited. They said that since the officers had usurped the power of
deposing the governor and arresting him, and had given their supporters
to understand that they would go with him to Spain, to explain their
conduct to His Majesty, they must keep their promise, and if they all
refused to go, that two, at all events, should accompany him, and that
the other two might remain in the province. So they arranged it in
that way, and, in order to take him to Spain, they equipped one of the
brigantines which he had built for exploring and conquering the country.
This gave rise to serious altercations, owing to the discontent that
prevailed at seeing they were about to take Alvar Nuñez from the
province. The officers resolved upon arresting the leaders of the
malcontents, but durst not carry out their intention. In this dilemma
they had again recourse to the governor, conjuring him to put an end to
all the scandals and disorders; that if his friends would give their
word not to attempt his release, that they on their side, and their
magistrates, would promise not to arrest anybody, or do any injury to
anybody, and would set those free whom they had arrested, and they swore
it. As the governor had now been in prison a long time, and nobody had
seen him, it was suspected and feared that they had secretly murdered
him. They were accordingly asked to allow two monks and two gentlemen to
enter his prison and see him, so that they might certify the people he
was still alive. The officers promised they would do this three or four
days before it was time for him to embark, but they broke their word.


    _How the insurgents had to write to His Majesty and send him a

AT this juncture the officers prepared several memoirs to send to Spain,
accusing the governor and making him odious to everybody. To lend a
favourable colour to their own criminal acts, they wrote things that
never happened and were entirely untrue. While the brigantine was being
equipped for her voyage, the friends of the governor arranged with the
carpenters to hollow a timber as big as a man's thigh, and three spans
long, and place inside it a general act of accusation which the governor
had addressed to His Majesty, and other important papers collected by
his friends when he was arrested. This packet was taken and enveloped in
a waxed cloth, and the piece of timber was fastened to the poop of the
brigantine with six nails above and six below. The carpenters said that
they had placed it there to strengthen the brigantine, and the secret
was kept so well that nobody discovered it. The master carpenter told
a sailor of it, so that when the vessel arrived in Spain the documents
might be taken out. It had been arranged with the officers that the
governor should be seen by his friends before he embarked, but neither
Captain Salazar nor anybody saw him. One night, towards midnight, Alonso
Cabrera, the supervisor, and Pedro Dorantes, his factor, accompanied by
a large number of arquebusiers, presented themselves at the prison; and
each arquebusier carried three lighted fuses in his hand, so as to make
the number appear greater than it was. Then Alonso Cabrera and Pedro
Dorantes entered the room in which he lay; they seized him by the arm
and lifted him out of the bed with the chains round his feet; he was
very ill, almost to death. They carried him in this state to the gate
leading into the street, and when he saw the sky, which he had not seen
till then, he entreated them to let him render thanks to God. When he
rose from his knees, two soldiers took him under the arms and carried
him on board the brigantine, for he was extremely weak and crippled.
When he saw himself in the midst of these people, he said to them:
"Sirs, be my witnesses that I appoint, as my deputy, Juan de Salazar de
Espinosa, that he may govern this province instead of me, and in the
name of His Majesty, maintaining order and justice till the King should
have been pleased to make other dispositions." Hardly had he finished
speaking than Garcia Vanegas, deputy treasurer, rushed upon him, dagger
in hand, saying: "I do not recognise what you say; retract, or I will
tear your soul from your body." The governor had, however, been advised
not to say what he did, because they were determined to kill him, and
these words might have occasioned a great disturbance among them, and
the party of the King might have snatched him from the hands of the
others, everybody being then in the street. Garcia Vanegas having
withdrawn a little, the governor repeated the same words; then Garcia
sprang with great fury on the governor, and placed a dagger to his
temple, saying to him as before: "Withdraw what you have said, or I
will tear your soul from your body." At the same moment he inflicted a
slight wound on his temple, and pushed the people who were carrying the
governor with so much violence that they fell with him, and one of them
dropped his cap. After this they quickly raised him again, and carried
him precipitately on board the brigantine. They closed the poop of the
vessel with planks, put two chains on him which prevented him from
moving; then they unmoored and descended the river.

Two days after the embarkation of the governor and the departure of the
brigantine, Domingo de Irala, the accountant Philip de Caceres, and the
factor Pedro Dorantes assembled their friends and attacked the house of
Captain Salazar. They seized him and Pedro de Estopiñan Cabeza de
Vaca, put them in irons, and sent them down the river to overtake the
brigantine. These two officers were taken to Spain with him, and it is
certain that if Captain Salazar had wished it the governor would not
have been arrested, and still less would they have been able to take him
out of the country and carry him to Castille; but, as he remained deputy
governor, his conduct was not altogether frank. Cabeza de Vaca begged
that two of his servants might be allowed to accompany him to prepare
his food and attend upon him during the voyage. Accordingly they let the
two servants go, not however to wait on him, but to row four hundred
leagues on the river, for none could be found willing to do this work.
They forced some of the people to come, others fled into the interior,
and the property of such was confiscated and distributed among those
that were pressed for the service. The officers did a very wrong thing
during the voyage, and it was this: every two or three days they spread
among their partisans and their friends a thousand calumnies against
him, and finally said: "We have, as it is manifest, done you a great
deal of good and acted for your advantage and that of the king, in
consideration for this, sign this paper." In this way they filled four
quires of paper with signatures, and during the voyage down the river
composed their calumnious statements while these who had signed their
names to the paper remained at Ascension, three hundred leagues up the
river. It was upon this document that the charges brought against the
governor were framed.


    _How they gave arsenic three times to the governor during the

WHILE descending the river the officers ordered a certain Biscayan named
Machin to prepare the food for the governor and then to pass it to Lope
Duarte, one of the confederates of Domingo de Irala, and guilty, like
the rest, of complicity in his arrest. He came from Spain as solicitor
to Domingo de Irala and to attend to his affairs. While the governor
journeyed in this fashion, arsenic was administered to him three times;
but as an antidote against this poison he carried with him a bottle of
oil and a piece of the horn of a unicorn. When he felt unwell he made
use of these remedies; day and night his sufferings were great. But it
pleased God that he escaped safely. He entreated the officers, Alonso
Cabrera and Garcia Vanegas, to allow his own servants to cook for him,
as he would take his meals from nobody else. To this they replied that
he would have to take his food from whomsoever they chose; if he did not
take it from the persons commissioned to give it him, he might die of
hunger, it mattered little to them. He abstained from food several days,
but hunger at length compelled him to take what they gave him. The
insurgents had promised several persons to take them on board the
caravel (afterwards destroyed) to Spain if they would support their
faction and help them to arrest the governor and not oppose them. Two of
these were Francisco de Paredes, a native of Burgos, and Friar Juan de
Salazar, of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy. They carried as prisoners
with them Luis de Miranda, Pedro Hernandez, Captain Salazar de
Espinosa, and Pedro Vaca. Having descended the river to the island of
San Gabriel, they would not allow either Francisco de Paredes or friar
Juan de Salazar to remain on board, fearing lest these two persons
should support the governor's cause in Spain, and give a true account of
what had happened. For this reason they compelled them to re-embark on
the brigantines that returned up the river to Ascension, although they
had sold their houses and property for much less than they were worth
when they were compelled to leave. This caused them to make such an
outcry that it was pitiable to hear them. Here the servants of the
governor, who had accompanied him thus far, rowing all the way, were
obliged to leave him, a loss he felt more than anything he had yet
endured; nor did they feel the separation less acutely. They remained
two days at the island of San Gabriel, when some of them left for
Ascension, and the others for Spain. The brigantine which bore the
governor had eleven banks of rowers, and contained twenty-seven persons

They pursued their voyage down the river till they entered the sea, when
a violent tempest arose. The brigantine became waterlogged, and all the
provisions were spoilt; all that they managed to preserve was a little
flour, some lard, fish, and a little water. They were all very near
being drowned. The officers who had charge of the governor said that God
had sent them this terrible tempest as a punishment for the wrongs and
injustice they had made their prisoner suffer. They resolved, therefore,
to take off his chains and let him out of prison. Alonso de Cabrera
filed them asunder, Garcia Vanegas kissed his feet, though Cabeza de
Vaca would not allow it. They said openly that God had sent them those
four days' sufferings as a retribution for the wrongs they had done him.
They acknowledged they had grievously wronged him, and that all their
depositions were false; that the malice and jealousy they bore him
prompted them to administer two thousand false oaths, and this because
in three days he had discovered a country and a route, while those
who had lived in the country for twelve years had not been able to
accomplish it; and they implored his pardon, and that he would not
inform His Majesty how they had arrested him. As soon as they had taken
the chains off the governor the sea and wind subsided, and the tempest,
which had lasted four days, calmed down. We navigated in the open sea
for 2,500 leagues without having sight of land, and seeing nothing but
water and sky. All the food we had was a flour-cake fried in a little
lard, with a little water to drink. We were obliged to break off the
planks of our vessel to make a fire to cook our cake. In this way, with
infinite suffering, we arrived at the Azores, belonging to His most
serene Majesty of Portugal, the voyage having lasted three months. We
should not have suffered so severely from hunger had we touched on the
Brazilian coast, or at the island of St. Domingo, in the Indies; but
the officers dared not do this, for they felt guilty and dreaded being
arrested and brought to justice as rebels against their king. On
arriving at the Azores the officers in charge of the governor separated
because of the dissensions they had had, and each went his own way; but
first they tried to induce the justice of Angra to arrest the governor,
so as to prevent him from giving information to His Majesty of the
crimes and disorders they had committed. They alleged that when he
passed Cape Verd he had pillaged the port and country. The judge having
heard their deposition, told them to be gone, for his king would not
allow himself to be robbed, and did not keep his ports in such a weak
state of defence that anybody might dare to attack them. Having seen
that, in spite of their malice, they could do nothing to detain him,
they embarked, and arrived in Spain eight days before the governor, who
was delayed by contrary winds. Being the first to present themselves
at court, they gave out that Cabeza de Vaca had gone to the King of
Portugal to inform him about those countries beyond the sea. A few days
later the governor arrived at court. The night of his arrival all the
guilty parties disappeared; they went straight to Madrid, where they
hoped to find the court, as, in fact, they did. Meanwhile the Bishop of
Cuenca, who presided over the council of the Indies,[361] died. This
prelate would have punished the crimes and treason committed against
His Majesty in that country. Some days afterwards the officers and the
governor were released, on giving bail that they would not leave the
jurisdiction of the court. Garcia de Vanegas, who was one of those who
had arrested the governor, died a sudden, terrible death, his eyes
having fallen out of his head, and he never declared the truth of what
had passed. Alonso Cabrera, the supervisor, his accomplice, lost his
reason, and in a fit of frenzy he killed his wife at Loxa. The friars
who had taken part in the revolt and troubles also died suddenly, which
seemed to show the small blame attaching to the governor in his conduct
towards them. After keeping him eight years under arrest at court, he
was set at liberty and acquitted. He was relieved of his governorship
for divers reasons; for his enemies said that if he returned to punish
the guilty, he would have occasioned more troubles and dissensions in
that country. He therefore lost his appointment, besides other losses,
without receiving any compensation for all the money he had spent in
relieving the Spaniards, and in his voyage of discovery.

  [361] This was a special council for the government of the Spanish
  possessions in the Indies. It was called _Real Consejo de las

[Illustration: (decoration)]

Narrative of Hernando de Ribera.

IN the city of Ascension, which is by the river Paraguai, in the
province of Rio de la Plata, on the 3rd March, in the year of Our Lord,
1545, appeared before me, public notary, and the legal witnesses, being
in the church and monastery of Our Lady of Mercy, Redeemer of captives,
Captain Hernando de Ribera, conquistador in this province, and deposed
as follows: When Señor Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, governor and
adelantado and captain-general in the name of His Majesty, of the
province of Rio de la Plata, was in the port of Los Reyes, whence he
started on his exploration last year (1543), he commissioned me to take
one brigantine, and a certain number of men, and explore up a certain
river called Ygatu, which is an arm of two great rivers, viz., the
Yacareati and the Yaiva, flowing, according to the reports of the
Indians, through the settlements of the interior; and I, Hernando de
Ribera, having arrived at some Indians called Xarayes, in consequence of
information received from them, left the brigantine in a safe haven, and
entered the interior of the country with forty men, in order to see and
examine it with my own eyes. And having pursued my journey past many
Indian settlements, and obtained from their inhabitants and other
natives who came to see me, full reports touching the land, I examined
and sifted these statements, in order to learn the truth, being
moreover, acquainted with the language of the Carios, and therefore able
to hold intercourse with those tribes.

Juan Valderas, royal notary, whom I had with me at this time, wrote down
and made a note of certain things relating to that discovery. Yet I
would not tell him the whole truth concerning the riches and the
settlements of the various tribes inhabiting those regions, lest he
should write it in his report. And he, the said notary, did not know,
nor did he fully understand the matter, for my intention was at that
time to have communicated it directly to the governor, in order that he
might forthwith proceed to the conquest of that land, as it beseemed the
service of God and His Majesty.

After penetrating several days' journey into the interior, I was obliged
to return to the port of Los Reyes, in compliance with orders sent me
by the governor. And because I found him and all his people sick
on my arrival, I had no opportunity of reporting my discovery, nor
communicating all the information I had collected from the natives. A
few days afterwards he was compelled to return to Ascension to save the
lives of his people, and having again fallen sick a few days after his
arrival in that city, he was arrested by the officers of His Majesty (as
everybody knows), so that I was unable to make my statement.

Seeing that the officers of His Majesty are about to return to Spain
with the governor, and fearing that he may in the meanwhile die, or be
removed to some other place where the report might not be delivered
to him, and that His Majesty's service might in this way suffer loss,
and the governor himself be prejudiced, and that I might be held
blameworthy--taking all this, I say, into consideration, and for the
discharge of my conscience, now I, in order to serve God and the King,
and the governor in his name, desire to make a declaration of the said
discovery, that His Majesty may know of it and the reports I obtained
from the natives. I have therefore asked and required the notary to
receive my statement, which is as follows:

"I, Captain Hernando de Ribera, say and declare that on the 20th of
December last year (1543), I set out from the port of Los Reyes in
the brigantine _El Golondrino_ ('The Swallow') with fifty-two men, in
obedience to the governor's orders, and went on navigating the river
Ygatu, which is an arm of the aforesaid two rivers Yacareati and Yaiva,
and is very wide and voluminous; and on the sixth day I entered the
parent stream of these two water-courses. According to the reports of
the natives where I happened to land, these two rivers come from the
interior of the country, the Yaiva most probably from the Sierras
of Santa Martha. This river is wide and deep, and greater than the
Yacareati, which according to the Indians, flows from the Peruvian
Sierras; and between those two water-courses there is a wide expanse
of land, and innumerable villages and tribes. According to the natives,
the Yaiva and the Yacareati unite in the country of the Indians called
Perobazanes, and there they separate again, and seventy leagues lower
down they reunite.

"After navigating that river for seventeen days, I passed through the
land of the Perobazanes, and arrived at another country, where the
inhabitants are called Xarayes. These people are agriculturists, have
a quantity of provisions, and rear geese, fowls, and other birds. They
fish and hunt, and are a reasonable people, obeying their chief. Being
in one of their settlements, consisting of about a thousand houses, and
well received by their chief, Camire, I collected information concerning
the settlements of the interior. In consequence of that information, I
left the brigantine under the care of ten men, and taking a guide
from the said Xarayes, advanced three days inland, till I reached the
settlements of a tribe of Indians, called Urtueses, a good people,
cultivating the soil like the Xarayes. From this place, I went on
through an inhabited country, till I reached fourteen degrees twenty
minutes going westwards.

"While staying in the settlements of the Urtueses and Aburuñes, many
chiefs of tribes farther inland came and spoke with me, and brought
feathers, like those of Peru, and metal plates in the rough. From them I
also obtained information, questioning each individually concerning the
settlements and tribes beyond. All these Indians told me that at ten
days' march from there, towards the west-north-west, there were women
inhabiting large villages, who possessed a large quantity of white and
yellow metal, and all their domestic utensils and vessels were of this
metal, and their chief was a woman. They are a warlike people, much
feared by the Indians. Before reaching those female warriors it is
necessary to pass a tribe of very small Indians, who make war upon
the women, and also upon those Indians who gave the information. At a
certain time of the year these women unite with their neighbours, and
cohabit with them. And if the children born of this intercourse be
girls, the mothers keep them; if they are boys, they send them as
soon as they are weaned to their fathers. On the other side of the
settlements of these women, bordering with them, there are very large
villages and tribes of Indians. These statements they made of their own
free will, without my asking them. They talked also of a large lake,
which they call the House of the Sun, because they say the sun locks
himself in there, and said that these women lived there between the
flanks of Santa Martha and the lake on the west-north-west, and that
beyond the settlements of those women were other large nations of black
people. According to the description they gave, these negroes are
eagle-faced, with pointed beards like the Moors. We asked them how they
knew those people to be black, and they answered that their fathers had
seen them and other tribes living in that neighbourhood had reported
it. These people clothe themselves, and have houses of stone and earth;
they are tall, and possess white and yellow metal in such abundance
that they make use of no other material for their domestic utensils and
vases, and all kinds of great vessels. We asked where those black people
lived, and they pointed to the north-west, saying, that should we wish
to go there, we might reach their settlements in fifteen days. And it
seemed to me, judging from the indications given by the Indians, that
those settlements lie in twelve degrees towards the north-west, between
the sierras of Santa Martha and Marañon. They are a race of warriors
fighting with bows and arrows. The same Indians also gave us to
understand that between west-north-west and north-west, one quarter
north, there are many tribes of Indians with such large settlements that
it is a day's journey to pass from one end to the other; and all are
rich in white and yellow metal, and wear clothes. They may be reached in
a short time, always passing through inhabited country.

"Farther to the west there is a large lake, so wide that it is
impossible to see from shore to shore, and by its side dwells a nation
who wear clothes, and possess much metal and brilliant stones, which
they work into the borders of their dress; and they find these stones in
the lake. They have large villages, are agriculturists, and have stores
of provisions, besides an abundance of geese and other birds. From the
place where I was they said I might reach the lake and its settlements
in fifteen days, always travelling through inhabited country, abounding
in metal, and by good roads. They offered to show us the way thither
when the floods subsided, though we were but few Christians, and the
settlements we should have to pass were very large and populous.

"I also formally declare that the Indians showed me by signs that in
the direction west, one quarter south-west, there are large towns, with
houses built of earth, inhabited by a good people, clothed, very rich,
and possessing plenty of metal. They rear a large number of great
sheep, using these for agriculture and transport. I asked if those
people were far off, and they answered that the route thither lay
through a thickly inhabited country, and that it was not far. Among
those people they said there were other Christians, and great waterless
deserts of sand. We asked them how they knew there were Christians on
that side, and they answered, that in times gone by the Indians living
in that neighbourhood had been heard to say that as they were passing
the desert they met many white people, clothed, with beards, and they
had certain animals with them (evidently, according to their showing,
horses), and riders on their backs, and that owing to the want of water
they had returned, and many had died on the way. The Indians thought
they had come from the other side of the desert. They showed us also, by
signs, that in the direction west, one quarter south, there were high
mountains, and an uninhabited country. Having heard that there were
people dwelling beyond those deserts, the Indians had attempted to pass
that way, but were unable to proceed, because they died of hunger
and thirst. We asked them how they came to learn all this, and they
answered, that all the Indians of this country communicated with
one another, and it had been related how those Indians had seen the
Christians and their horses crossing the desert. They said, too, that
on the south-west skirt of those mountains there were many large
settlements, and people rich in metal; and beyond these again lay the
salt water and the great ships. We asked them if those settlements were
ruled by separate chiefs, and they answered, that there was only one
chief who ruled all the towns, and was obeyed by all. I further declare,
that in order to verify their statements I questioned each of them
separately for a day and a night, and they always repeated the same
story without any variation whatever."

The above statement was made by Hernando de Ribera, who said and
declared that he had received it with all clearness, faithfully and
loyally, without fraud and deceit; and in order that all credit and
faith should be given to it, and that there should not be the slightest
doubt concerning it, or any portion thereof, he said he would swear to
the truth of it, and he swore in the name of God and Santa Maria, and on
the four sacred gospels, upon which he placed his right hand, a missal
being held open for that purpose by the reverend father, Francisco
Gonzalez Paniagua, at the very place where the sacred gospels are
written, and on the sign of the cross, like this: ✠ [Maltese cross],
where he also placed his right hand to testify that the aforesaid
statement, according to the form and manner of it, was given, said, and
declared by the Indian chiefs of the aforesaid land, and by other aged
men whom he had diligently examined and interrogated in order to learn
the truth, and have a clear understanding of the interior of the

After he had obtained this information, other Indians of different
settlements came to see him, especially of a large village, called
Uretabere. He went one day's march in their territory, and collected
information wherever he went, and all the statements agreed. He
declared, moreover, under the sanctity of his oath, that there was no
exaggeration or imagination in anything he had said, nothing but the
truth, without fraud or reservation whatsoever. He also declared that
the Indians assured him that the river Yacareati has a fall from a high

This he certifies to be true, so help him God, and if it be otherwise
may he pay dear in this world with his body, and in the next with his
soul. This oath having been read out to him, he said: "I swear it,

The aforesaid captain asked and required me to testify to this
statement, as much for his peace of mind as to serve as evidence for
the aforesaid governor, and to preserve his rights; the following
being witnesses: the aforesaid reverend father Paniagua; Sebastian de
Valdivieso, valet of the said governor; Gaspar de Hortigosa and Juan
de Hoces, citizens of Cordoba, all of whom have signed their names as
follows: Francisco Gonzalez Paniagua, Sebastian de Valdivieso, Juan de
Hoces, Hernando de Ribera, Gaspar de Hortigosa.

  Done before me, Pedro Hernandez, notary.

[Illustration: (decoration)]



  Abacoten, Indian chief, 132

  Abangobi, Indian chief, 111

  Abipones, Indian tribe, xxxvi, 16

  Abrego, Diego de, quarrels with Francisco de Mendoza, 78 _seq._;
    his name also written Abreu and Abriego, 79;
    his cousins marry Irala's daughters, 79 _seq._

  Aburuñes, 266

  Achkere. _See_ Aracaré

  Achkeres, why so called, 42;
    no tribe of that name, _ib._

  Acosta, Diego de, 240

  ----, Gonzalo de, 122

  ----, author of "History of the Indies" referred to, 66

  Acuña, Hector de, 207

  Adelantado, the title, xv, 35, 96

  Agazes, Indian tribe (Aygais), xxxvi, 16, 18;
    their war with the Spaniards, 18 _seq._;
    their place, 19, 22, 23, 54, 131;
    their treatment of captives, _ib._;
    their wars, 131 _seq._;
    peace with, 132 _seq._;
    peace broken by, 150 _seq._; 153;
    judgment passed on, 158, 238;
    expedition to punish, 239

  Alabos, Indian chief, 132

  Alcalde Mayor, 158

  Algarroba, the seed of the carob-tree, 18

  All Saints' Eve, 33, 165

  Almenza, Martin de, 136, 137, 159

  _Almirante_ (Almiranda), a Spanish title, 89

  Alvar Nunez. _See_ Cabeza de Vaca

  Amazon, xxxiii

  Amazons, xxxix, riches of, 45;
    reports concerning, 45 _seq._;
    island inhabited by, 46, _note_, _ib._;
    their king's name, _ib._; 48

  America, partition of, xxi;
    trade with, xxiv;
    general language of, xxxiii

  _Amida._ _See_ Sheep

  _Amne._ _See_ Sheep

  Anchieta, the missionary, xxxiii

  Andalusia, 5

  Andes, Cordillera of, xxxiii, xxxvi

  Andrada, Francisco d', 159, 251

  Angelis, Don Pedro de, editor of Schmidt's voyage referred to, xxiii

  Anghiera, Pedro Martyr de, xxv

  Angra, justice of, 261

  Añiriri, Indian chief, 107

  Anta, _or_ Tapir. _See_ Sheep

  Antilles, sea of the, xxxiii

  Antorff. _See_ Antwerp

  Ants, red and black, 200;
    antidote against stings of, _ib._

  Antwerp, xv, xxiv, 1, 81, 88, 91

  Anzures, Pero, Gobernacion of, 65;
    sent to conquer Chunchos, 73, _note_

  Aracaré (Achkere), Indian chief, 37, 160;
    his treachery, 161 _seq._, 163;
    executed by Spaniards, 164

  Argentina, pampas of, xxxiii

  _Argentina_, poem, 10

  Arianicosies, Indian tribe, 223, 224, 226, 233

  Armenta, Bernardo de, a Franciscan friar, 100, 105, 116, 136, 159, 175;
    leaves the country, 250

  Armeven (Armuia), 91

  Aroaz, Juan de, notary, 108

  Arquebusiers, 107, 177

  _Arroba_, a Spanish weight, 195

  Arrows made of cane, 11

  Artaneses, Indian tribe, 212

  Arthus, Prof. Gotard, xxii

  Arumaya river, 73

  Ascension. _See_ Asuncion

  Asher, J., his essay on "Hulsius's Voyages" referred to, xxx

  Assumption, Feast of the, 22

  Asuelles. _See_ Anzures

  Asuncion (Desumsion), city of, xxii;
    founded, 22, _note_; 24, 27, 28, 35;
    distance from Santa Catalina, 36; 38, 39, 51, 57, 59, 61;
    latitude of, 74;
    besieged, 79; 81, 86;
    always Ascension in the _Commentaries_, 102, 103, 104, 105, 109,
      115, 118, 122, 123, 124, 125, 127, 128, 132, 134, 135, 137, 138,
      149, 156, 157, 160, 161, 164, 165, 166;
    fire at, _ib._;
    rebuilt, 167; 173, 177, 179, 180, 181;
    return of expedition to, 237 _seq._, 239, 260, 263

  Atabare, or Tabaré, Indian chief, his hostility to the Spaniards, 170
      _seq._, 180;
    offers to accompany the expedition, 181

  Ave Maria, 142

  Aygais. _See_ Agazes

  Ayolas (Eyollas), Juan de, xxvi, xxvii, 6;
    placed in command, 12; 13, 14;
    sails up Paraná, _ib._;
    takes Lambaré, 21, 22; 23, 24, 26;
    death of, 27, 62;
    sick Spaniards left by, 70, 102, 103, 109, 123, 124, 182, 185, 186,

  Azara, Don Felix de, his opinion of Schmidt's voyage, xxxv, 4


  Bachacheis. _See_ Mbaiás

  Bachereos. _See_ Xarayos

  Bachkeku or wacheku.  _See_ Bananas

  Bagenberg, 25

  Bananas, 63

  Barba, Don Diego de, 146

  _Barbacoas_ or _parrillas_ for roasting meat, 154

  Barchkonis, 66, 68

  Barcia, de, his translation referred to, xxiii, 6, 35, 37, 65

  Barco Centenera, the pseudo-poet, 10

  Bareia, 81

  Barter trade, 15

  Batates. _See_ Guatatas

  Bats, vampire, 199 _seq._

  Beni, River, 73

  Bermejo, Rio (Red River), 19

  Bigg-Wither, referred to, 108

  Black River, the lagoon, 195

  Blood of wild beasts drank by Indians, 7

  Blue stone worn in lip, 72

  Boa, the, 84

  Boar, wild, 15, 19, 118, 135

  _Bodelle._ _See_ _Rodela_

  Bonas Aeieres. _See_ Buenos Ayres

  Bone Speranso. _See_ Buena Esperanza

  Brabant, 91

  Bravo, Anton, bastinadoed, 252

  Brazil, xiv, xviii;
    the name, xxii, 32, 35, 175, 176, 190, 250

  Brazilian (Brazil) wood, xxii, xxviii, 85, 86

  Breastplates on horses, 146

  Bresa, Baron de la, xxiv

  Brigantines (Parchkadienes), xxvi, 10, 12, 13, 21, 28, 34, 37, 39, 40,
      49, 51, 59, 62, 162

  Buena Esperanza, or Corpus Christi, founded by Mendoza, 15, _note_, 22

  Buenos Ayres (Bonas Aeires), Santa Maria de, foundation of, xxvi, 7;
    besieged, 11; 31, 32, 33, 34, 36;
    province of, 81; 101, 102, 103, 104, 106;
    abandoned, xvi, 123, 124, 125;
    relief sent to, 127, _seq._; 164, 165,
    measures to re-establish, 165

  Bull, Papal, xxi

  Bullets, stone, 8

  Burton, Sir Richard, his edition of Hans Stade referred to, xviii


  Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar Nuñez, his parentage, xiii, xvi;
    opposed by Irala, _ib._;
    judgment and acquittal of, xvii;
    Commentaries of, _ib._; xviii, xx, xxvii;
    route opened by, xviii, xx, xxx;
    referred to, 27, 35 _seq._;
    Schmidt's opinion of, 35, _note_, 41, 49, 51, 52;
    arrest and imprisonment of, 52 _seq._;
    is sent to Spain, 53;
    honesty and capacity of, _ib._, _note_;
    horrible treatment suffered by, _ib._;
    his captivity in Florida, 95;
    returns to Spain, _ib._;
    offers to lead a relief expedition, _ib._;
    appointed Adelantado, 96;
    equips at his own cost an expedition, _ib._;
    vessels bought by, _ib._;
    is detained in Cadiz, _ib._;
    sets sail, _ib._;
    arrives at La Palma, _ib._;
    sails towards Cape Verd, _ib._;
    takes possession of Cananea, 99;
    arrives at Santa Catalina, _ib._;
    disembarks his people, 100;
    treats Indians kindly, _ib._, 107;
    protects monks, 101;
    clothes Spanish refugees, 103 _seq._;
    hastens to Asuncion, 104;
    opens route overland, _ib._;
    leaves Santa Catalina, 106;
    begins his march, _ib._;
    enters the interior, 107;
    discovers Indian settlements, _ib._;
    takes possession of territory for king, 107;
    his name, 108;
    his generosity to Indians, 109;
    protects natives, 109 _seq._;
    writes to Asuncion, 118;
    descends the Yguazú, 120;
    orders rafts to be made, 121;
    arrives at Asuncion, 125;
    shows his credentials, _ib._;
    recognised as governor, _ib._;
    his orders to rebuild Buenos Ayres, 128;
    summons meeting of clergy, 128;
    assembles native vassals, 129;
    makes peace with Agazes, 132;
    clothes needy Spaniards, 134;
    reduces taxation, _ib._;
    arrests officers, _ib._;
    consults clergy, 136 _seq._;
    leads expedition  against  Guaycurús, 139;
    narrow escape of, 143;
    restores order in his troops, _ib._;
    his dispositions for attack, 146;
    inquires into the acts of the Agazes, 151;
    receives the submission of Guaycurús, 154;
    sends further relief to Buenos Ayres, 159;
    prepares to explore province, 159 _seq._;
    orders vessels to be built, 162;
    returns thanks for safety of Spaniards, 166;
    supplies destitute Spaniards, 167;
    assembles clergy and officers, 168;
    orders brigantines to be equipped, 169;
    supports friendly Indians, 170;
    writes to Irala, 173;
    animosity against, 175;
    orders depositions to be taken, 176;
    starts on voyage of discovery, 177;
    builds a church, _ib._;
    reaches Tapua, 178;
    stays at Itapuan, 183;
    treats with Payaguás, 186 _seq._;
    orders soundings to be taken, 191;
    speaks with Guaxarapos, 192;
    takes possession of Los Reyes, 198;
    cautions Spaniards and Guaranís, 198;
    bitten by a vampire bat, 199 _seq._;
    holds a council, 205;
    decides on an advance, 215;
    arrives at Rio Caliente, 216;
    is advised to return, 220;
    sends Ribera to Tapuá, 221;
    summons chiefs of Los Reyes, 222;
    sends for provisions, 223;
    sends Hernando Ribera to the Xarayes, 225;
    recalls Mendoza, 233;
    falls sick with fever, 236;
    remains  at Los Reyes, 237;
    orders Indian girls to be restored, 237;
    returns to Asuncion, 238;
    conspiracy against, 239 _seq._;
    his property seized, 242;
    his life threatened, 245;
    his imprisonment, 247;
    corresponds with his friends, 247 _seq._;
    asks for a confessor, 251, 253;
    appoints a deputy, 257;
    is chained on the brigantine, 257;
    poison administered to, 259;
    his chains filed asunder, 260;
    arrives at the Azores, 261;
    in Spain, _ib._;
    is arrested and kept a prisoner eight years, 262;
    acquitted and released, _ib._;
    losses sustained by, _ib._

  Cabeza de Vaca, Pedro Estopiñan, nephew of Alvar Nuñez, sent by sea to
      Buenos Ayres, 36, 106, 107;
    arrives at Asuncion, 164;
    his report, _ib._;
    seized and put in irons, 258;
    sent to Spain, _ib._

  Cabot, Sebastian, expedition under, xiv, xxv;
    fort of, 15;
    referred to, 202

  Cabrera (Gabrero), Alonso, arrives from Spain, 14, 32, 33, 52, 125;
    letter signed by, 165; 240, 243, 256, 259;
    files the governor's chains asunder, 260;
    loses his reason and kills his wife, 262

  ----, Antonio, 37

  Caceres, Felipe de, 52;
    sent to the La Plata, 101, 104, 125;
    accompanies expedition, 177; 240

  _Cacocies Chaneses._ _See_ Xarayes

  Cactus hedge round Indian village, 67

  Cadiz (Calles), 1, 88, 90, 98

  Caguazú, Indian settlement, 136, 137

  Calderon, 31

  Calles. _See_ Cadiz

  Camire, Indian chief, 211, 212, 265

  _Camoati_, Guaraní word for beehives, 77

  _Campo, el_ (the plain), 104, 107

  Camus, M., his collection of voyages referred to, xxxiv

  Cananea, 36, 99, 100

  Canaria, 96

  Canary Islands, their distance from San Lucar, 2; 4

  Candelaria, port of, 102, 185;
    latitude of, 186;
    now Corumbá, _ib._

  Candirées, Indian tribe, 203, 232

  Cannibalism, remarks on, xxxvi _seq._;
    denied by the editor of this book, xxxviii;
    Schmidt's notices of, 20;
    C. de Vaca's notices of, 129, 234, 254

  Canoes, 13;
    swiftness of, 193;
    large, 194

  Cape Verde, 96, 261;
    islands, 4, 97, 98

  _Capibara_, or _Capincho_, water-hog, 184;
    chase of, _ib._

  _Capitana_, name of ship, 96, 124, 127

  Captives in war, treatment of, 20, 129 _seq._

  Caracas, province of, xxiv

  Caravels (Karabella), 32, 35

  _Carcaraes_, Indian tribe, 203, 232

  Carch Karaisch. _See_ Guaycurus

  _Cardas_, a kind of teasel, 155

  _Cardos_ (Cardes), Spanish for thistle, 69

  Carendies. _See_ Quirandis

  _Carib_ and _Caniba_, name given by Indians of Hayti to their enemies,

  Carieba, 57;
    taken by treachery, 58

  Carios, name by which Schmidt calls the Guaranís, 14, 15, 19;
    extent of their country, 19;
    their superiority for work, _ib._;
    their customs, 20;
    their cannibalism, _ib._;
    their treatment of prisoners, _ib._;
    their war, _ib._;
    their town, _ib._;
    their forts, 21;
    pits dug by, _ib._;
    their fight with the Spaniards, _ib._;
    their submission, 22;
    build a town for the Spaniards, _ib._; 27, 28, 37, 38, 40, 41;
    their insurrection, 54;
    expedition against, 55 _seq._;
    their fortifications, 56, 57, 59;
    defeat of, 59;
    join Irala's expedition, 62; 64, 70, 71, 76, 81, 82, 83, 102

  Carob bean (_Prosopis dulcis mimosa_), 18, 135;
    flour and wine made of, _ib._

  Casas, Bartolomé, de las, xxv;
    abridges Columbus' Journal, xxxvii

  Casca, de. _See_ La Gasca

  Cassia trees, 189;
    fruit of, _ib._

  Castellano, gold coin, value of, 242

  Castille, 258

  Centenera. _See_ Barco

  Ceuti, lemon of, 189

  Chaco, Indians of the, xiv; xvi

  Chanés (Chameses, Chaneses), Indian tribe, 65, 66, 102, 103, 191, 197,
      202, 203, 231, 232

  Charles V, King of Spain, xiii, xxiii;
    his partiality for Flemings, xxiv _seq._;
    abdication of, xxix

  Charúas, tribe of Indians, xxxvi, 6 _seq._; 11

  Chaves, Nuflo de, sent to Peru, 75, 76; 244

  Cheriguanos, now named Moxos and Chiquitos, their country, xxvii, 37

  _Chimencos_, Indian tribe, 203, 232

  Chiquitos, xxvii

  Chunchos, territory of, 73

  Cipoyay, Indian chief, 107

  Cock, crow of, saves a ship, 98

  Coligny protects Villegaignon, xxix

  Columbus, Christopher, alteration of his words _carne viva_ regarding
      the natives of Hayti, xxxvi _seq._

  Compans, Ternaux, his Collection of Voyages referred to, xxxiv;
    his erroneous identifications, xxxiv, 19, 85

  Cordova, or Cordoba, 100, 270

  Corpus Christi, fort, 15, 29

  Correa, Antonio, 207, 209

  Corumbá, 186

  Cotton, 19, 212

  Crocodile, legend concerning, 42 _seq._

  Crossbowmen, 107

  Cuenca, Bishop of, 262

  Ciudad Real de Guaira, 118

  Curitiba, city of, 108

  Cuyaba, river, 190

  Cuzco (called by Schmidt, Ruessken), 76


  Dabere. _See_ Tabaré

  _Dantas._ _See_ Sheep

  Danube, river, 60

  Darts, tipped with flint, 8, 54, 67

  De Bry, his collection referred to, xxii;
    publishes Schmidt's voyage, xxx

  Deer, 44, 45, 66, 68, 118, 148, 149

  Demerieff. _See_ Teneriffe

  Desumsion. _See_ Asuncion

  Diaz, Ruy, 62

  Diembus. _See_ Timbus

  Diess. _See_ Diaz

  Doberim Carolus. _See_ Dubrin

  Domingo, an Indian, 176

  Dorantes, Pedro (the factor), reconnoitres a way inland, 104;
    his report, 125;
    joins expedition, 177;
    returns to Asuncion, 181; 240, 256, 258

  Dryandri, Dr. Johann, Stade's work written by, xxx

  Duarte, Lope, a confederate of Irala, 259

  Dubrin, Carlos, 14

  Duechkamin, town of, 19;
    M. Ternaux, erroneous identification of, _ib._;
    probably Tomina, _ib._, _note_


  Ear ornaments, 40

  Earthquake, 165

  _El Golondrino_ (the Swallow), name of vessel, 265

  Escalera, Antonio d', 251

  Espinosa. _See_ Salazar

  Espiritu Santo, province and port of, 86

  Estopiñan, Pedro. _See_ Cabeza de Vaca

  Eyolla. _See_ Irala

  Eyollas, Johann. _See_ Ayolas


  _Farol_, Spanish for lantern, 90

  Fenugreek, 18;
    _not_ the herb from which the wine was made, _ib._, 24, 25

  Ferdinand and Isabella, xiii

  Fish, 5, 87;
    extraordinary numbers of, 189, 194;
    gold, 195

  Flemings, funds supplied by, xxiv;
    favours shown to, xxv;
    take part in expedition, _ib._;
    their struggle for independence, xxx

  Flemish merchants, xv

  Flooded land, marching through, 47

  Floods on Paraguai, 41, 47, 193, 194

  Florida, xvii, 35

  Flying-fishes, 5

  Francisco, a converted Indian, succours the Christians, 122, 127

  Franck, Sebastian, his Collection of Voyages, xvi, xxix, xxx

  Frio, cape, 99

  _Fucar_, the word, xxiv

  Fuegians, cannibalism attributed to, xxxviii

  Fuggers, family of wealthy merchants, xxiv, xxviii

  Furs of the Indians, 9


  Gabaretha, 81

  Gabrero. _See_ Cabrera

  Galan, Francisco Ruiz, 29

  Game, abundance of, 229

  Garcia, Alejo, the fabulous, 202

  Garcia, the interpreter, 190 _seq._;
    his expedition into the interior, 191, 202;
    not the pilot of that name, 202; 209, 231

  Garcia Diego, the pilot, xiv, 202

  Garcia, Ruy, sent by Irala to Peru, 75

  Gastra, de. _See_ Caceres

  Geese, 15, 19, 63, 66, 68, 118;
    kept by Indians to destroy crickets, 168

  Germans take part in Mendoza's expedition, xxv

  Gold and silver, 45, 48, 49, 90, 212, 214, 232, 244

  Gold plates worn for ornaments, 48

  Gomara, Francisco Lopez de, xxvii

  Gomera, island, 2

  Gonzales, Bartolomé, 241

  Gonzalo, an Indian, 103

  Gran Canaria, 100

  Guaçani, an Indian chief, his hostility to the Spaniards, 170, 180,
      181, 191

  Guadalquivir, comparison with, 117

  Guadix, 253

  Guaira (or Paraná), Jesuit missions in, 111;
    province of, xix, xxii, xxviii, xxxiii, 36, 81

  Guanacos, 63

  Guapay, river, 65, 73.

  Guaraní family, xx

  Guaraní language, xxxiii, 16, 129, 206

  Guaranís, only one nation of, xxxv;
    divisions of, _ib._; 107;
    their cannibalism, _ib._; 110, 111, 112, 114;
    settlements of, 117;
    arrayed for battle, 121; 123;
    pillaged by Agazes, 131 _seq._, 133; 140;
    march to battle, 141;
    panic among 144;
    timidity of, 146; 148, 149, 150;
    chiefs sent for, 152, 153, 155;
    attack Buenos Ayres, 165;
    extreme point occupied by, 182, 184

  Guaranís, of the interior, 203, 204, 206, 210 _seq._, 213, 215, 217,
      228, 231;
    suffer from fever, 233; 234, 238

  Guatatas, 142, 146, 153

  Guatos, a tribe of Indians, 213, 227, 234

  Guaycurús (Guaicurús), a tribe of warriors and hunters, 15, 16, 25;
    their food, _ib._;
    their habits, 135;
    feared by other tribes, _ib._;
    kind to their wives, _ib._;
    injuries committed by, 136;
    proclaimed enemies, 137;
    message sent to, _ib._;
    their movements watched, 138, 140; 142, 144;
    their mode of beheading prisoners, 147;
    defeat of, _ib._;
    allow liberty to their women, 148; 149, 150;
    captives set free, 152;
    submission of, 153 _seq._;
    their barter with the Spaniards, 155, 157

  Guayviaño, port of, 177, 182, 183

  Guaxarapos, country of, 189;
    submission of, 190; 192, 193, 213;
    attack Spaniards, 222, 227, 234, 235, 238

  Guazú, Chera, an Indian chief, 13

  Gulgaises. _See_ Guaicurús

  Guzman, Alonso Riquelme de (called by Schmidt, Richkell), father of
      Ruy Diaz, 79

  Guzman, Ruy Diaz, author of _La Argentina_, xxvii, 27, 73, 79


  Hammocks, 84

  Hannego. _See_ Vanegas

  Hayti, xxxvi

  Heads of enemies, how preserved, 55

  Hens, 15, 19, 63, 66, 68

  Hernandez, Andres, 245

  ----, Juan, 29

  ----, Pero, or Pedro, secretary of Cabeza de Vaca, 37;
    arrested, 241, 260, 270

  Herrera, Antonio de, the historian, referred to, xxv, xxvii, 1, 15, 27

  ----, Rodrigo de, 251

  Herrezuelo, Luiz de, a monk, 159

  Hidalgo, the word, 252

  Hieronimus, 70

  Hoces, Juan de, 270

  Honey, abundance of, 77; 110, 124

  Horses and mares brought from Spain, 7;
    fears excited by, 117; 147, 181, 183

  Hortigosa, Gaspar de, 270

  _Hulcken_, large merchantmen, 88

  Hulsius, Levinus, his edition of Schmidt's voyage referred to, xxx,
    note by, 50

  Hulst, or Hulsen, Johann von, a merchant, 81, 86


  Iegnis, King of the Amazons, 46

  Iepedii, or Ipiti river. _See_ Bermejo

  Ieperis. _See_ Yapirus

  Iguape, xiv

  Iguazu. _See_ Yguazu

  Indians, their fear of the horses, 110, 117;
    remove their camps, 110;
    cordial reception by, 115, 123;
    their deference for old women, 119;
    houses of, 124;
    attack Spaniards, 126;
    protection of, 128 _seq._;
    their cannibalism, 129;
    swiftness of foot of, 135;
    converted, 136, 160, 163;
    custom of, 140;
    Spaniards dependent on, 144; 148;
    accompany Spaniards on their discovery, 163;
    complaints by, 176;
    in war paint, 178;
    habits of, 193 _seq._;
    their ornaments, 207

  _Inriquizava._ _See_ Yeruquihaba

  Ipaneme (Ipané) river and port, 60, 181, 182, 191

  Irala, Domingo Martinez de, principal part taken by, xvi;
    personal ambition of, _ib._,
    defence of, xvii; xxvi _seq._;
    obtains title of governor, xxviii; xxx, 14, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34;
    yields up government to Cabeza de Vaca, 36;
    subdues the Carios, 38;
    supposed author of  conspiracy against Cabeza de Vaca, 53;
    elected governor, _ib._;
    attacks and defeats the Carios, 57 _seq._;
    advances against Tabaré, 60;
    proposes expedition, 61;
    sends messengers to Peru, 65;
    his letter, 73; 75, 78;
    marries his daughters to Spaniards, 80; 102;
    is blamed for the death of Ayolas, 103;
    withdraws from the country of the Payaguás, _ib._; 125, 143;
    sent to explore Upper Paraguai, 160, 165;
    returns from his exploration, 167;
    his report, 168;
    ordered to assist Mendoza, 172;
    makes peace with hostile chiefs, 174;185, 241;
    elected deputy governor, 243 _seq._; 249, 252, 253, 254, 258, 259

  Iron plates, a mistake of author's, 58

  Isabella, Queen of Spain, 148

  Itabitan. _See_ Itapuan

  Itapuan, 183

  _Itaqui_, two ports of that name, 180

  Itati, 212

  Itatis, 37, 41, 43


  Jejuy (Giguy) river, 170

  "Jigger." _See_ _Nigua_

  Juberich Sabaije. _See_ Yeruquihaba


  Kalles. _See_ Cadiz

  Karchkonis, or Karckkockios, 66, 68, 71 _seq._, 77

  Keyser, Christoff, agent of Fugger, 80

  Kueremagbas. _See_ Mbaiás

  Kumero. _See_ Gomera

  _Kuniglin_, probably guinea-pigs, 66


  La Gasca, governor of Peru, 65, 74

  Lambaré, 20

  La Palma, island of, 4, 96, 97

  La Plata. _See_ Rio de la Plata

  Las Piedras, or Pan de Azúcar, 160 _seq._

  Lauchstein. _See_ Lujan

  Leagues, Castilian, 4

  Lebron, friar Alonzo, 100, 105, 116, 136, 159, 175, 250

  Lezcano, Juan Gabriel de, 159

  Lieme. _See_ Lima

  Locusts, crops eaten by, 68

  Lopez, Antonio, a pilot, 104

  Lima, 74, 76

  Lip ornaments, 20, 37, 40, 43, 72, 214, 230

  Lisbon, xxiv, xxviii, 81, 85

  Llamas, or great sheep of Peru, 63;
    used for riding, _ib._, 204

  Los Reyes, port of, 168, 169, 174, 189, 191, 196;
    curious rocks near, _ib._;
    shallows of, 197;
    Indians of, 199;
    church built at, 201, 203, 205, 213, 215, 220, 221, 225, 231, 233,
      234, 235, 237, 263, 264, 265

  Loxa, wife of Alonso Cabrera, 262

  Luchsam, Jörg. _See_ Lujan

  Lujan, Jorge, 6, 10


  Machin, a Biscayan, 259

  Machkaria, an Indian chief, 56

  Machkasis, Rio, 66, 73, 75

  Machkokios, 65, 73

  Machkuerendas, perhaps _Mocoretas_, 16;
    language of, _ib._, 17

  Maijeaijs. _See_ Mbaiás

  Maijegoni, or Maigenos, 67, 70 _seq._

  Maipai. _See_ Mepenes

  Maize wine, 230

  Malaria, from putrefying fish, 236

  Manchossa. _See_ Mendoza

  _Mandepore_, _Mandcoch parpij_, _Mandeochade_, _Mandioch Mandapore_.
      _See_ Manioc

  _Mandubís_, mandues or manduís (pea-nuts), 25, 37, 40, 41, 63, 118,
      155, 199

  Manioc, 14, 15, 19, 37, 41, 63;
    drink made from, 69, 199

  Mantles made by Indian women, 45, 49, 65, 155

  Mapennis. _See_ Mepenes

  Marañon, sierra of, 267

  Marilla, Bartolomé de la, 244

  Markets for sale and barter of Indian commodities, 155

  Marroni, 67

  Martin Garcia, Island, 33

  _Matanza_ river, _de la_, 9

  Mataraes, Indian tribe, 188

  Matto Grosso, xxvii

  Mayáes. _See_ Mbaiás

  Mayas, 153

  Mbaiás, their kindness to the Spaniards, 18;
    their mode of piercing the nose, _ib._; 26, 54;
    their mode of fighting, 55; 57, 63;
    attack by, 64;
    slaughter of, 65; 66, 203

  Mbiaçá or Mbiaçai, the country opposite Santa Catalina Island, 35, 83,

  Mechseckheim. _See_ Mexico

  Mello, Homem de, referred to, 121

  Mendoza, Antonio de, 29, 30;
    death of, 31

  ----, Diego, death of, 8

  ----, Don Pedro de, first Adelantado of Rio de la Plata, xv, xvi, xxi,
      xxv, xxvi, xxvii;
    his expedition, 1, _note_;
    appoints Juan Osorio to the command, 5; 6, 7, 8, 10, 12;
    dies on the voyage back to Spain, 13; 32, 35, 70, 95, 101, 102

  ----, Don Francisco, 52, 240

  ----, Gonzalo de, 32, _note_;
    sent to relieve Buenos Ayres, 159;
    disaster to, 165;
    sent to obtain supplies from Indians, 169;
    writes to the governor, 170 _seq._;
    commands the rear flotilla, 190;
    sent for provisions, 223;
    his orders, 224 _seq._, 226 _seq._, 233

  ----, Jorge de, his love-adventure not known in history, 2 _note_, 4

  Mepen, Pedro, 234

  Mepenes, or Abipones, 17;
    their hostility, _ib._;
    they only fight on water, 18, 63

  Merchireses, Indian tribe, 142

  Mexico, 4

  Miguel, a converted Indian, 109

  Miranda, a Spaniard killed, 238

  Miranda, Luis de, the priest, 251, 259

  Molina, Pedro de, 253 _seq._

  Monkeys pull and throw down pine-cones to eat, 113

  Monks, obstinacy of, 116;
    consulted, 159;
    take to flight, 175 _seq._

  Montoya, Ruiz de, the missionary, xxxiii

  Moors, pointed beards of, 266

  Morales, a gentleman of Seville, 241

  Mormosén, Indian chief, 137, 138

  Moussy, Martin de, referred to, 121

  Moxos, xxvii

  Musical instruments of Indians, 44


  Naperus. _See_ Yapirus

  Navarrete, his Collection of Voyages referred to, xxxii, xxxvii

  Navigation, rules observed in, 33, 89

  Niedhart, Sebastian, xxv, 2, 80

  _Nigua_, Guaraní for the small flea known in W. Africa as "Jigger", 74

  Nova Hispania, 4, 75

  Nuremberg, 2;
    things made at, 48

  Nythart, Hans, his translation of Terence's play of "The Eunuch", 52


  Ocampo, Augustin de, an officer sent by Irala to Peru, 75

  Old age rare among Indians, 50

  Oñate, Pedro d', 240

  _Orejones_, why so called, 200;
    compared with the Incas, _ib._, 230

  Orejon, Francisco, a Spaniard, 118

  Orellana, a Spanish officer, the first to navigate the river Amazon, 46

  Orthuses. _See_ Urtuesses

  Osorio, Juan, 5;
    unjustly put to death, 6

  Ossorig, Hans. _See_ Osorio

  Ostriches, 15, 19, 44, 63, 66, 68, 141, 149

  Ostrich flesh, 138

  Oviedo, Fernandez de, the historian, xxvi


  _Pabesse._ _See_ _Pavés_

  Pabon, Johan, 8

  Pacheco, a mulatto, 190

  Padades. _See_ Potatoes

  Paeime, or Paine, Heinrich, xxv, 2, 3

  Palm tree, 48;
    young shoots of, 216

  Palm nuts, flour made of, 216

  Palma (Palman), 2, 3, 4.
    _See_ also La Palma

  _Palometa_ (Palmede), teeth of, used by Indians for beheading
      prisoners, 54, 147

  Paniagua, Francisco Gonzales, 269, 270

  Parabor, or Parabog. _See_ Paraguai

  _Parabor_, _parabog_, or _paraog_,  a Guaraní word, 20, ethnological

  Paraguai, conquest of, xvii, xviii; conquerors  of, xxx;
   language spoken in, xxxiii

  ---- river, xiv, xix, xxvi;
    expedition up, 14; 18, 19, 20, 23, 26, 28, 35, 37, 39, 41, 44, 51;
    affluents of, 60; 62, 102, 103;
    province of, 111, 118; 125, 131, 132, 135, 137, 149, 153, 163, 167,
      181, 182, 189, 190;
    loses itself, 195; 202, 203, 212, 263

  Paraiso, Isla del, 41, 43

  Paraná, xxxvi, province of, 36, 108, 111;
    river, xiv, xxvi;
    width of, 6, 7, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 28, 33;
    originally called Rio de Solis, _ib._ _note_; 35, 81, 103, 108;
    also called Rio de la Plata, 120;
    width of, 121; 122, 126, 127, 128, 164, 165

  Parana Wassu, or Guazú. _See_ Parana river

  Paraná-pané river, now called Paraná-panema, 111

  Paranon. _See_ Parana

  Parchkadienes. _See_ Brigantines

  Paredes, Francisco de, 259, 260

  Parnawuie, a Spaniard, 76

  Parroni, 67

  Parrots, 66;
    kept by natives, 127;
    feathers used for ornament, 141

  Pat, or podell, a boat, 3, 6, 12

  Patos, port of Los, xxvi

  _Paves_ (Pabesse), 56

  Pavon, Juan, 29, 241

  Payaguas (Peijembas or Peyssennas), an Indian tribe, 23;
    food of, 24, 25, 26;
    slay Ayolas and his Spaniards, 27, 28, 103, 182;
    parley with, 186;
    chief of, 187;
    flight of, 188, 193

  Paysunóes, Indian tribe, 203, 230, 232

  Pea-nuts. _See_ Mandubis

  Peihoni, 66, 67

  Peijembas. _See_ Payaguás

  Peijssenas, probably the same as the Payaguás, 26, 66, 69 _seq._

  Peischo Spaide. _See_ Swordfish

  Pequiry R., tributary of Paraná, 118, 119, 126

  Peralta, Francisco de, 241

  Perobazanes, 265

  Peru, xvi, xxvii;
    mountains of, 19; 74, 75, 76;
    sierras of, 265

  Pesche-spate, or Peje-espada.  _See_ Swordfish

  Pesche de ferre, or Peces-sierras, 5, 87

  Phillip II, King of Spain, xxix

  Pilot, punishment of, 34

  Pine-trees, great size of, 112;
    fruit of, _ib._; 117

  Pinzon, Vicente Yañez, 84

  _Pique._ _See_ _Nigua_

  _Piraputanas_, native name for shad, 229

  Piratininga. _See_ San Paulo

  Piseron. _See_ Pizarro

  Pitfalls made by Indians, 21

  Pizarro, El Marqués Don Francisco, 75;
    historical note, _ib._

  ----, Gonzalo, his rebellion, 74, 75;
    his beheadal, _ib._

  Plate, river. _See_ Rio de la Plata

  Polyphemus, fable of, xxxviii

  Portugal, king of, xiv, 5, 81, 85, 88;
    his vassals killed by natives, 104, 120, 262

  Portuguese, 4, 5, 120

  Portuguese territory, how delimited, xxi, 81

  Potatoes, (Padades), 14, 25, 40, 41, 63;
    three kinds of, 114

  Potosi (called by Schmidt, Poduesis), 76

  Priesiell. _See_ Brazil

  Protestants, French, try to set foot in Brazil, xxix

  Pupebaie, an Indian chief, 110

  Purchas, his _Pilgrims_, xxiii


  Quintana referred to, xxv

  Quirandis, a tribe of Indians, 7, 8;
    fight with, 8, 9, 11, 15


  Ramallo, Juan (called by Schmidt, Reinmelle), 84, 85;
    historical note, _ib._;
    his sons, _ib._;
    his family the founders of the city of San Paulo, _ib._

  Rasquin, Jaime, 240

  Ray, wound inflicted by, 200;
    its tail used for tattooing, 207

  _Real Consejo de las Indias_, 262

  Ribera, Francisco de, 41;
    sent to Tapua, 221;
    returns, 228;
    his report, 229 _seq._, 230, 232, 233

  ----, Hernando de, 41, 42, 46, 49;
    sent to explore, 225;
    returns from his exploration, 236;
    narrative of, 263-270

  Rio Caliente, 216

  Riogenea. _See_ Rio de Janeiro

  Rio de Janeiro, xxviii;
    meaning of the name, 5, 6;
    by whom discovered, 5; 86, 99

  Rio de la Plata, conquest of, xiii;
    discovery of, xiv; xv, xvii, xviii, xxvi, xxx, xxxv, 1, 2, 6, 13,
      19, 20;
    government of, 32; 35, 42, 76;
    province of, xx;
    how divided, 81; 95, 100, 106, 120

  Riodellaplata. _See_ Rio de la Plata

  _Rio del Oro_, 193

  _Rodela_, 56

  Romero, Johann (or Juan), 12, 159;
    left in command at Los Reyes, 215;
    his report, 222

  Rosario, xiv

  Rossel, or Rosel, Peter, xxiv, xxix, 86;
    mentioned by Hans Staden, _ib._;
    receives Schmidt kindly, _ib._

  Ruiz, Francisco, 243

  Rutia, Miguel de, an officer sent by Irala to Peru, 75


  _Sabalos_, or shad, 229

  Salazar, Captain Juan de, 6, 39, 146;
    left as lieutenant of the governor, 177;
     desired to complete the caravel, 178; 238, 256, 257

  ---- Juan de, a monk, 159, 259, 260

  Salinas del Jaurú, 65, 72, 74

  Salinas, Sancho de, 244

  Salleisser. _See_ Salazar

  Salt region, 72

  Salvaischo, Lazarum, 6, historical note

  Samacosis, or Surukusis, 37, 40, 41, 42, 51;
    their town burnt, 51

  San Antonio, cape, 6, 33

  Sancte Augo. _See_ Santiago

  San Fernando, Point, 33

  San Francisco, colony of, xix;
    river, island, and bay of, 99, 105

  San Juan, river, 165

  San Lucar de Barrameda, xviii, 2, 88

  San Paulo (or Pablo) in Brazil, 85;
    province of, xxiv, 99

  San Thomé, island of, 50

  San Vicente (or Santos), xv, xix, xxi, xxiv, xxviii;
    capitania of, 36;
    first Portuguese colony in Brazil, 84, 85, 86

  Sancti Spiritus, xiv

  Sanabria, Don Diego de, takes command on death of his father, xviii;
    his armada dispersed, _ib._;
    his unfortunate enterprize, xix

  ---- Don Juan de, appointed third adelantado of Rio de la Plata, xviii

  Santa Catalina (or St. Catherine), island, xix, xx, xxii, xxvi, 32;
    a possession of Spain, _ib._, 33, 35;
    given to Cabeza de Vaca, 36; 99, 100, 101, 104, 105, 107;
    province of, 108; 124, 127, 164

  Santa Lucia, hills, 191

  Santa Maria, cape, 6, 33;
    distance from it to San Gabriel, Island, 34

  ---- Puerto de. _See_ Buenos Ayres

  Santa Martha, sierras of, 265, 267

  _Santiago_, battle-cry of Spaniards, 146

  Santiago or St. Iago Island, one of the Cape Verd Islands, 4, 5, 50

  _Schaubhut_, a fish, 5

  Schelebethueba, 84

  Scherues. _See_ Xarayos

  Schetz or Schetzen, Heinrich, 88

  Schetzen, Erasmus, xxiv, xxviii, xxix, 81, 85, 86

  Schmidt, Ulrich, his lineage unknown, xiii _seq._;
    agent of Flemish merchants, xv;
    his name, _ib._;
    first edition of his book, xvi;
    period embraced by his voyage, xvii, xx;
    links his fortune with Irala, xxvii;
    not noticed by the chroniclers, _ib._, xxviii;
    does not mention Hans Stade, xxix;
    errors committed by, xxxiv;
    Azara's opinion of, xxxv;
    leaves Antwerp, 1;
    arrives at Cadiz, _ib._;
    at San Lucar, 2;
    at island of La Palma, _ib._;
    erroneous distances given by, 4;
    historical notes, _ib._, 5;
    arrives at Rio de la Plata, 6;
    helps to found Buenos Ayres, 7 _seq._;
    fights against Quirandis, _ib._;
    ascends the Paraná, 12;
    the Paraguai, 18;
    fights against Agazes, 19;
    and Carios, 21;
    at Asuncion, 23;
    takes part in expedition of Ayolas, 24 _seq._;
    returns with Irala, 26;
    descends the Paraguai and Parana, 28;
    at Corpus Christi, 30;
    at Buenos Ayres, 32;
    sails for Santa Catalina, _ib._;
    is shipwrecked, 34;
    walks to San Gabriel, _ib._;
    ascends the Parana, 35;
    remains at Asuncion, _ib._;
    records arrival of Cabeza de Vaca, 36;
    takes part in Irala's expeditions, 37 _seq._;
    his remarks on the Xarayos, 44;
    on the Amazons, 45 _seq._;
    marches through flooded land, 46 _seq._;
    his booty, 49;
    his observations on climate, 50;
    astronomical errors of, 50 _seq._;
    his remarks on Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca, 51 _seq._;
    his illness, 53;
    an accomplice in conspiracy against Alvar Nuñez, _ib._;
    his remarks on native warfare, 54 _seq._;
    takes part in military operations, 57 _seq._;
    is disabled and rides on a sheep, 63;
    captives and booty taken by, 65;
    queer names given by, _ib._;
    is selected for important duty, 69;
    gains favour among the men, _ib._;
    takes part in expedition to Peru, 71 _seq._;
    his opinion of Pizarro, 74;
    his remarks on Peru, 75;
    on the fertility of the country, 77;
    his share of slaves, 78;
    receives letter from Seville, 80;
    applies for leave of absence, _ib._;
    letters and report delivered by, _ib._;
    sets out on homeward journey, 81;
    curious names of places mentioned by, _ib._;
    comes to the Tapis, 82;
    his account of that people, _ib._;
    two of his companions killed, _ib._;
    is attacked and defends himself, 83;
    forests described by, 83;
    fatigues endured by, 84;
    arrives at San Vicente, 85;
    is received by Peter Rossel, _ib._;
    sails from San Vicente, _ib._;
    puts into Espiritu Santo, 88;
    arrives at Lisbon, _ib._;
    posts to Seville, _ib._;
    arrives at San Lucar, _ib._;
    at Cadiz, _ib._;
    narrowly escapes shipwreck, 90;
    at Cadiz, _ib._;
    sails for Holland, 91;
    arrives at Isle of Wight, _ib._;
    at Antwerp, _ib._

  Schmidt, editions of his Voyage, xxii.
    _See_ also Bibliography

  Schue Eiiba Thuescha, 84

  Segura, Pedro, 80

  Segurola, Don Saturnino, his collection of MSS., xxiii

  Seville, xiv, xv, xxiv, xxvi, xxviii, 2, 78, 80, 88, 241

  Sheep, Indian, 15, 19, 25, 45, 56, 63, 68, 118

  Siberis, 47, 48, 50, 68 _seq._

  Sibylla. _See_ Seville

  Sierra do Mar, 108

  _Sierra_, meaning of the word, 116

  Silver, pieces of, xiv;
    crowns, 64.
    _See_ also "Gold and silver"

  Skins of tiger, tapir, deer, etc., 155

  Smith, Buckingham, translation of Cabeza de Vaca's _Naufragios_,
      referred to, xvii

  Snake, monstrous, 16

  Sococies, 191, 197, 202, 224

  Socorinos, 224, 234

  Solis, Juan Diaz de, xiv, 84

  Solorzano, 240

  Sosa, Hernando de, 247

  Sousa, Martin Affonzo de, sent to Brazil, xiv;
    factory established by, xxiv;
    colony founded by, 85;
    his captaincy and discovery, 120

  ----, Thomé de, xix

  Spain, xxx;
    propaganda against, power of, xxxi;
    conquests of, how based, xxi

  Spaniards discover Rio Janeiro, 5;
    suffer from famine, 9 _seq._;
    execution of three, 10;
    ill-treated by their officers, 101, 103;
    perilous position of, 126 _seq._;
    their wars with natives, 131 _seq._;
    drowned in crossing river, 139;
    land and establishments of, 151;
    critical situation of, 165;
    escape the fire at Asuncion, 166;
    their destitute condition, 167;
    wounded by poisonous arrows, 173;
    health of, 184;
    wild fruit eaten by, 189;
    suffer from fever, 233;
    discontent of, 238

  Spanish government, colonial policy of, xxx;
    enemies of, xxxii

  Spanish Jesuit missionaries, xxxiii

  Spanish words Germanised, 24, 56

  Stade, Hans, his narrative, xviii _seq._;
    he is contemporary with Schmidt, _ib._;
    by whom written, xxx;
    not mentioned by Schmidt, xxix;
    mistakes made by, 85, 86

  St. Andrew's Day, 91

  St. Anthony's Day, 85

  St. Bartholomew's Day, 2

  St. Domingo, island of, 261

  St. Fernando, mountain of, 24, 40, 62;
    position of, _ib._, 63, 65

  St. Gabriel, island of, 6, 7;
    distance from, to Cape Santa Maria, 34, 260

  St. Hieronymus's Day, 88

  St. Iago, island of, 97;
    climate of, _ib._;
    gold plentiful in, _ib._
    _See_ Santiago

  St. James's Day, 80

  St. Jerome, cannibalism attributed to the Scotch in the time of,

  St. John's Day, 12, 86

  St. John's bread, 18, 24

  _St. Mark_, name of brigantine, 197

  Sthuesia river, possibly the Xejuy, or Ipané, 60

  Stockades, 57

  Suelapa, erroneous rendering of an Indian name, 30

  Sugar factories in Brazil, 86

  _Sumere_, or straw-fish, 87

  Sun, house of the, 266

  Surukufers. _See_ Samacosis

  Surukusis. _See_ Samacosis

  Swamps, difficult marching in, 208

  Sword-fish, 5, 87

  Symanni, 66, 67


  Tabaré, (Dabere or Thabere), brother of Aracaré, 38 _seq._; 58, 59;
    submission of, 61

  Tabellino, Diego, 37

  Tabor, Indian chief, 132

  Tamacoxas, also called Samacosis and Machkasis, 73, 76, 77

  Tapapirazú, an Indian chief, 109

  Tapis (Tapii), Toppis, or Tupys, the tribes inhabiting the south of
      Brazil, xix, xxviii, 5, 81 _seq._ ethnological note;
    their habits, 82;
    their language, _ib._;
    hostility of, 83, 216, 229

  Tapuá, an Indian village, 137, 138, 178, 179

  Tapuaguazú, 218, 219, 228, 230

  Taquari river, tributary of Parana-pané, 111

  Tarapecosies, a tribe, 231, 232

  Tardes. _See_ Darts

  Targets, made of skins, 56 _seq._

  Teasel (_cardas_), used instead of hemp and thread, 155;
    nets made of, 194

  Teneriffe island, 2

  Terceira, one of the Azores, 88

  Teste de Terzero. _See_ Terceira

  Thiembus. _See_ Timbus

  Thistles used for food, 7, 48, 164

  Thohanna, 66, 67

  Thraso, the soldier in Terence's play of "The Eunuch", 52

  Three Kings' Day, 91, 167

  Tibagi river, affluent of Parana-panemá, 108

  Tiger, man killed by, 126;
    panic caused by, 143 _seq._;
    skins of, 155

  Timbus (Tyembus or Thiembus), an Indian tribe, described, 12 _seq._;
      14, 15;
    island inhabited by, 22;
    chief of, killed by Spaniards, 29;
    treachery of, 30 _seq._, 32

  Tocanguasú, an Indian chief, 107; 108

  Tocangusir, an Indian chief, 111

  Tomina, 19

  Tonina (tunny-fish), 87

  Topyis. _See_ Tapis

  Tordesillas, treaty of, xiv, xxi

  Traveller's tree, the (_Urania speciosa_), 68

  Truxillo, 244

  Tucuman, 19

  Tuguy, the place, 112, 113

  Tupi, Tupis, Tupin, Tape. _See_ Tapis

  Turkish corn or maize, 33, 37, 40, 63, 66


  Unhealthy country, 50

  Ure, Martin de, 241, 253

  Uretabere, village, 269

  Urquaie. _See_ Uruguay

  Ursa Major, constellation of, 51

  Urtueses (Orthuses), 47;
    mortality among, 48, 53, 265, 266

  Uruguay river, 83


  Vaca, Cabeza de. _See_ Cabeza

  Vaca, Pedro, 260

  Valderas, Juan, notary, 264

  Valdivieso, Sebastian, 270

  Valladolid, xvii, 238

  Valle, Pedro Diaz del, 244

  Vanegas, Garcia, 52, 240, 245, 253;
    threatens the governor's life, 257;
    kisses the governor's feet, 260;
    his terrible end, 262

  Vardellesse, Germanised form of Spanish _fortaleza_, 24

  Vera, Don Pedro, grandfather of Alvar Nuñez, xiii;
    province named after, 36; 108

  Vergara, Captain, 161

  ----, Francisco Ortiz de (called by Schmidt, Fergere), 79

  Vicenda. _See_ San Vicente

  _Viejo_, port, 234

  Villegaignon takes possession of Rio de Janeiro, xxix


  Welzer, Jacob, xxiv, xxv, 2

  West Indies, slaves introduced into, xxv

  Weybingen, no village of that name, 24, 25

  Whale, length and capacity of, 1

  Whales, harm done by, 86 _seq._

  Wiessay. _See_ Mbiaçá

  Wight, Isle of, 91

  Wild boar, 118, 216, 229

  Wine made of the carob bean, 18;
    of honey, 19, 63;
    of maize, 230

  Women, sale and barter of, 20

  Worms, white (weevil), fried for food, 115

  Wydt. _See_ Wight


  Xaqueses, 197, 234

  Xaquetes, 191

  Xarayos, Xarayes or Guarayos (Scherues), 40, 41, 43;
    King of, 44, 46, 47, 50; 168, 205;
    chief of, 207;
    their dress, 209;
    their habits, 211 _seq._;
    country of, 213, 214, 217, 225, 226, 263, 265

  _Xeme_, the measure, 200


  _Yacaré_, a Guaraní word for the amphibious animals, 42

  Yacareati River, 263, 265, 269

  Yaiva River, 263, 265

  Yapirús or Apirus, Yaperús (Jeperis or Naperus), a tribe of Payaguás,
      26, 54, 56, 57, 61, 149, 153;
    peace made with, 156;
    deputation from, _ib._;
    nomadic habits of, 157

  Yeruquihaba (Juberich Sabaiie), 58, 59;
    distance of, from Asuncion, 59, 81, 179

  Ygatu. _See_ Yguatu

  Yguaron, an Indian chief, 122

  Yguatú River, affluent of Paraná, 117

  Yguatú, probably Igatu, now Jaurú River, 195;
    crosses erected at, 196, 225, 263, 265

  Yguazú, Iguazú, or Iguassu River, affluent of Paraná, xxviii, 108,
      118, 119;
    fall of, 120 _seq._;
    latitude of, 123

  Ytabucú or Itapucú River, 105, 106


  Zchemiaisch Saluaischo, a tribe of small people, 16, 17

  Zchemui. _See_ Chanes

  Zchera Wassu. _See_ Guazu

  Zechuas, 11

  Zechurias. _See_ Charuas

  Zeeland, 91

  Zeicho Lijemii, an erroneous rendering of a chief's name, 29

  Zeyhannis, 66, 68

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