22 SEPTEMBER 1860, Page 16


This curious and interesting volume, contains the results of Mr. Bollaert's inquiries and observations on some of the South American Races, Our author's researches,, which are chiefly ethnological and antiquarian, have for their area New Grenada, Equador, or Quito, Peru and Chile. History, language, costume, and religion are all, in greater or less 'degree, the subject of

in- vestigation or comment ; some of the phenomena of modern civi- lization are glanced at; and the incarial, pre-incarial, and other monuments of Peruvian nations are described. The volume is rather a compilation than a composition. It has no literary grace. Occasionally, the writing even indicates an entire disre- gard of the ordinary rules of construction. Mr. Bollaert, how- ever, probably intends to report his experiences or communicate his information, in an offhand and generally intelligible way, and does not apparently profess to command a very accurate or ele- gant diction. His artless, unpretending narrative, which is de- dicated to Sir Roderick Murchison, is illustrated with numerous plates. Sailing from Europe to the West Indies, and then over the Caribbean Sea, our traveller alighted on the bold shores of Colombia. In the background, he beheld the icy peaks of the Sierras of Santa Marta, 20,000 feet or more above the ocean. Among the great rivers in this region is the Magdalena, where the magnificent victoria regia, or "corn of the Water," is so abundant as to prove a positive weed. New Grenada produces cocoa, to- bacco, cotton, indigo, rice, sugar, timber, dye-woods and cin- chonas. Pearl-fisheries are established on its coasts. Gold, silver, platina, and other metals, are found in its mountains:and streams. Its mines of rock, salt, coal and emeralds are important.

The natives of the coast of the Atlantic, from Chiriqui to Goa- jira are of the Carib race. Those of the country of Tugueres correspond to the Ando-Peruvian race. The tribes of Choco, Antioquia, ece., have rather an Aztec character ; while the Chibchas or Muiscas again, have analogies with the Ando-Peru- vians. "Many of the wild tribes preserve their languages, but the Chibchas and allied nations have nearly lost theirs, and now speak Spanish." " The Messayos and some others, are said to be cannibals, and hardly recognize a Supreme Being ; good and evil they attribute to the sun and moon ; their ideas as to the immor- tality of the soul are very imperfect, and they believe ,in trans- migration." At the time of the conquest, the Pubenanos and Coconucos were ruled by a chief named Pa an. The Coconucos cultivate maize, potato (turma), and patata (sweet potato). They count by scores and use a sort of abacus called the quipo, consist- ing of knotted, coloured strings. They have stone instruments for tilling the land ; and (a windfall for superficial philologists ! they say rode, a word of affirmation, corresponding to the Eng- lish word, indeed. The Coconueos still believe in evil spirits. Evil they apparently refer to the moon. At least, they apply the same term, puil, to both ; while Goodor Puitcher, also the name of the sun, is believed to emanate from that luminary. In general, the wild Indians of South America are polygamists. The civilized man has heard that variety is charming, but the principle that presides over the plural matrimonialists of savage life would rather seem to be "variety is useful." An uxorial division of labour, at any rate prevails among some of them, as the Goajiros. These utilizers Of the conjugal relation have, we are informed, a wife for household affairs, and a wife for hunting and war. In the domestic hierarchy, the martial spouse is considered the superior of the lady of the house, and, we presume, is the supe- rior of its 'master, however "fierce and unsubdued" he may be. The Goajiros are quite European in their knowledge of the world. They cap the common English saying, " It is a wise child that knows its own father " with the equally profound aphorism " the child of a man's wife may be his, or it may not ; but beyond a peradventure, the soil of the daughter of his mother must be his nephew." Hence, among the Goapros, a maternal uncle passes for a nearer relative than the father. Such, at least, was once the usage ; for from the use of the ambiguous teas, in Mr. Bollaert's account, it is not clear that this interesting people profess either the aphoristic or practical wisdom of their ancestors.

The government of New Grenada is republican. Our author,

who, is, it appears, an Englishman' has no predilection for demo- cratic institutions. He prefers, a British.monarchy to ' Liberte, fraternite, and egalite." He describes the RePublican statesmen of New Grenada as in " a great degree ignorant of the details of administration."

Human nature is such an incorrigible rascal that, whether demo-

cratic or royalist, it gives a deal of trouble, and, under similar circumstances, is, like the Irish peer in the anecdote, always ready to behave correspondingly ill. We all know the story of the French Republic' which sent Lavoisier to the guillotine, because it had no need of chemists! Here is a royalist Bourbon counterpart of this democratic cynical indifference, though Caldas was, no doubt, a much smaller man than the celebrated. Parisian savant. " In

1817, the Spanish general Murillo was successful against the Re- publicans. His entry into Bogota was the sequel for the most sanguinary executions ; he immolated more than 600 persons, in- cluding the men of talent ; he caused their books and manuscripts

to be brought to the public square and burnt. When the ri beta-


• Antiquaan, _Ehnological, and other Re,seeplehes in New Grenada, Sesioutor. Peru, and Chile,-4-c. 13y William BollaercP:R.G.S. With Plates. Pdblished by Trabner, and Co. nist, Caldas, was called upon to-deliver-up his precious papers, he exclaimed- " Take my life, but leave the manuscripts, they are treasures indeed ; they have been the work of my entire life ; there are things there, discoveries, never to be found again, if you destrey my writings. For the love of God, save those papers! take them, if you like, to the King of Spain, for they be- long to my country ; better that this treasure should be in the hands of an enemy than destroyed : posterity will bless you."

Murillo ordered the execution of Caldas, and burnt all his manu- scripts and books. The Spanish monarchy, we suppose, had no need of botanists Following this recital, we find an interesting account of the Chibchas or Maims, an Indian tribe already mentioned, inhabit- ing the tablelands of Bogota, Tunja, &c. The Chibchas were bounded on the west by the Muses and other ferocious tribes, with .whom they were in continual hostility. They were formerly governed by three principal chiefs, possessed of absolute power. About the end of the fifteenth century, the Zipa, one of those pri- mitive autocrats, began his victorious military career ; and had the Spaniards not arrived when they did, it is probable, says Mr. Bollaert, that he would have been the master of the whole of the Chibcha territory, if we may judge from the rapid conquests he had made. As the Chibchas were, next to the Mexican and Peru- vian nations, the group of Aborigines, which could best support their claims to civilization, we propose to give a somewhat de- tailed account of their religion, customs, and institutions. The mythical belief of the Chibchas is very curious. At the beginning of the world, light was, they fancied, enclosed in a large indescribable something which they called Chiminigagua or the Creator ; the Indian cosmical egg, we suppose. The first pro- ductions of this egg were black birds. These birds, in their winged circumvolutions, threw from their beaks a resplendent air. The objects that ranked next in divine dignity to the creative enclo- sure, or Chiminigagua, were the Sun, and the Moon, its companion. A beautiful female, named Bachue, attended by a boy three years of age, next emerged from the Lake of Ignaque. Descending to the plain, they resided there till the boy was grown up, when Ba- chue became his wife, and the mother of the human race. When the earth was peopled, they transformed themselves into serpents and disappeared in the waters of the lake, which was their origi- nal home. " The Chibchas venerated Bachue, and statues of gold and wood are still to be seen representing her and the boy at various ages." The national god of the Chibchas was Chibcha- cum. He was especially the patron of the agriculturist, and of

traders and workers in silver. - Bochica was adored as a beneficent deity ; Neucatocoa was the the Bacchus of the Chibchas. He

presided also over the occupations of weaving, mantle-painting and timber-hauling. Fo, or Sorro, was the god of field-boun- daries. " To him were Offered the feathers and diadems with which they adorned themselves for battle or for their feasts." The goddess Bachue, the deified Eve of the Chibchas, is also an agri- cultural divinity, and has incense burnt in her honour. The sun was the only deity to whom were presented sacrifices of human blood.

The deluge myth, so general among the tribes of North and South America, takes a singular form among this people. It is said that Chibchacum, indignant at the excesses of the inhabi- tants of the plateau of Bogota, resolved to punish them. In pur- suance of this resolution, he caused the waters of the Sapo and Tibito, affluents of the Funza, to inundate the country. " The Chibchas fled to the mountains and implored Bochica, who appeared at sunset on a rainbow ; he convoked the nation, pro- mised to remedy their ills, by not damming up their rivers, so that their lands might be properly watered. Then, showing the rod of gold he had in his hand, he opened a breach at Tequen- dama ; the waters fell down the precipice, discovering to them the plain, and more fertile than before. Bochica did not limit his power to this act, and to chastise Chibchacum for having thus afflicted man, he obliged him to bear the burden of earth, which was previously supported by pillars of guayacan wood. Unfortu- nately this measure has brought with it its inconvenience, for

since then, at times, there are severe earthquakes, which the Indians say are caused by Chibchacum, [who] tired of being in one position, shifts the weight of earth from one shoulder to the other, and according to the care with which he does this hoisting, sods the intensity of the earthquake." Mr. Bollaert regards this legend as the geological explanation of a deluge. It reproduces, in its peculiar form, the rainbow of the Noachic flood, and the iagan story of the earth-supporting Atlas, but it is scarcely necessary to suppose either of these picturesque circumstances, to be borrowed from Semitic or Hellenic tradition. Nevertheless, in the arrangement of many of the American legends of the Deluge, Mr. Bollaert thinks it " not diffilult to detect the plastic hand of the Christian convert" or the Spanish priest. The temples of the Chibchas were not, generally, of a sumptuous cha- racter. Near the temples large buildings were erected. These buildings were the residences of the priests. The priests, who were the depositaries of the abstract knowledge of the Chibchas, as well as ministers of religion, entered, at an early age, this col- legiate establishment called Cuca. The government of the Chibchas was despotic. One of their three great chiefs was called the Zipa ; another was called the Zaque. The Zipa made the laws, administered justice, and com- manded the troops. The Zipa's heir, in accordance with the pre- scriptions of their social philosophy, was, not his own son, but the eldest son of his sister. Among the Chibchas, the greater crimes were horribly punished. Women, pronounced guilty of conjugal infidelity, were put to death. Men, who showed Ale white feather in battle, were dressed as females, and_' employed' for a time ie female occupations. To,coerce a debtor; a young tiger was nailed to his door, and he was compelled to feed it as well as the man that brought it, until the debt was paid. The Chibchas had.nc cattle. They were not acquainted with the use of iron. Their agricultural implements were made of wood or atone. They had two harvests of potatoes and one of maize, in the colder district.% where the greater number of the people dwelt. The plantain, now so abundant in New Grenada, was formerly uncultivated and un- known, except in the single province of Choco. The plantain, re- marks our author, saves man more labour than steam. " It is cal:- lated that-ground, yielding wheat for the sustenance of one man, would grow plantains for twenty-five men." This ready and prodigal supply of food seems to have a prejudicial effect upon character. New Grenada, would be something, it has been said, if we could exterminate the plaintain and the cane ; they are the parents of drunkenness and idleness. The Chibchas were, in some sort, a manufacturing and eom, mercial people. They prepared salt from brine springs, which they bartered for gold. The women were employed in weaving cotton mantles, when their household duties were completed; which mantles were, we presume, those that we read of as being painted and taken to markets. The Chibchas also worked figures in relief and in hard stone. They used gold coin in their ex- changes. They measured by the hand and step. They had no weights.

The Chibchas of Bogota were constantly at war with the Muzos. The country of the Muzos was very rich in emeralds. Their tra- ditions are very singular. They said that, in ancient times, there was, on the other side of the river Magdalena, the shadow of a man named Ari, which amused itself with making wooden faces of men and women. These faces he cast into the stream. On their issuing thence, in the form of human beings, Ari taught them to cultivate the earth : when duly instructed, they dispersed. They are the forefathers of the Indians who inhabit the sur- rounding regions. The Muzos had no gods. They did not even adore the sun and the moon—luminaries which they believed to have been created, after the Wooden Faces, on purpose to give light to that thick-headed race, when it assumed a proper vital existence. The customs of this people are as singular as their creed. The dead are dried before a slow fire, and not buried, till a year after the drying process has commenced. Still stranger is the privilege allotted to the delicate young bride of beating hei husband during the honeymoon. Perhaps it " amuses her and doesn't hurt him ; " but we should be rather reluctant to extend this bridal privilege to Europe. The love of power is strong ; privilege is sweet ; and the wife that has once got her hand ini would be a Washington in petticoats, if she could abdicate a do- minion which she exercised with such a self-satisfying dexterity. Here, again, it seems right to observe that this impulatory pre- rogative among the Muzos seems a thing of the past rather than of the present.

We pause awhile with our traveller, who, on his literary arrival at Panama,—a word which is said to mean a place abounding in fish' —gives us a summary of facts respecting the new railway and the traffic connected with it, which is not without its in- terest. This railway, some years after the British Government had " discouraged the overtures made to it, and suffered the con- tingent prospect to be abandoned, was undertaken and completed. by citizens of the United States." 'The Panama railway is forty-seven-and-a-half miles long. Passenger trains run over it in three hours, goods' trains in five. During the first four years, 121,820 pa.sengers passed ; upwards of thirty-four milliona ster- ling of gold and of silver nearly six millions, was conveyed amiss it. Al- most all the indigo and cochineal is now sent over the Panama railway, reaching England in less than thirty days ; while, if sent round Cape Horn, it would take four months. Coal, timber, guano, munitions of war, ores, heavy machinery, whale oil, cocoa, Peruvian bark, &e., are transported over the line. It has reduced the passage between England and British Colom. bia from six months to forty days, and its advantages to the trade of the West coast of America is incalculable, in conjunction with the West 'nail' I Mail and Pacific Steam Navigation Companies, both lines possessing most efficient steamers ; indeed, they may be called floating hotels. There is also the United States Mail Steam-ship Company's line, from Panama to San Bias, Mazatlan, and San Francisco ; from the latter port, there are steamers again to British Colombia.

"Although the Australian trade is chiefly in English hands, yet the United States ships, with a million tons of freight, sailed in 1858 for Aus- tralia.

" This shows the vast importance of the Panama route to the Pacific and Australia. The existence of good coal at Vancouver's Island for the use of steamers is most important."

The city of Panama, though in New Grenada, is virtually under the government of the United States. It has a population of 20,000, with a gay, saucy, Negro element and a formidable contin- gent of gamblers, rowdies, loafers, who handle the revolver and bowie knife with a fatal effectiveness.

We pass over our author's account of Equador or Quito ; nor can we accompany him in his progress through Peru and Bolivia. The Republic of Peru has a population of 2,200,000, with the following distribution—Whites, 240;000 ; -Mestizos and dark, 300,000; Indians, 1,620,000; Negroes, 40,000, of whom 12,000 are free. A new element, that of Chinese la,bourers, is also being intro- duced. In this enumeration, it will be observed that the Indian constituent is far more numerous than all the others put together. At Lima, the capital of Peru, a severe earthquake, attended with certainly not fewer than twenty-eight shocks,-and which left A chasm nearly a mile long and several feet wide, commenced on the morning of the 19th of April of the current year ; Mr. Bol- hat says "that one- shook lasted eighty seconds, the heaviest since old Callao was submerged." We shall probably hear mote of this earthquake before long; for we can scarcely hope to escape its twenty-ninth shook, in that " great preparation," with which we are menaced by the author of 17te Great Tribulation ! For a description of the antiquities of new Grenada, Quito and Chile, we must refer-to the volume itself, now under- review. Thelne- Incarial monuments, near Lake Titiaca, consist of sculptured monolythio doorways; of gigantic stone idols; of figures with heads of birds, &c. In the ruins of Trujillo, with its numerous great squares and strange palaces, were- found mummies, cloths, pieces of gold and silver, an idol of stone, with small fragments of mother of pearl ; specimens of red pottery, rescued from the ruins, have been deposited by Mr. Bollaert in the British Mu- seum. 111 evidence-of the-high proficiency of Peruvian art, this gentleman- inetanoes two exquisite heads found at Titiaoa, and now preserved-in-our great national repository. According to Oareilaso, the first Inca, Manc,o Capae, appeared about A.D. 1022, declaring that he was theoffspring of the Sun and the Moon ; and that the Sun had sent him on earth to teach and go- vern the people of' Peru. The worship of Con, an invisible flying creative spirit, and of Pachaeamtio, the son of Con, was widely extended before the inoarial times. The intrusive religion of the Eau, succeeded, but did not supplant that of Pachaoarnao. Among the Peruvians the immortality of the soul was a fundamental article of faith, Con first, then Pachacamae, and then the Sun, were the judges of the human race. " Supay, the evil spirit, is found early among-this people, and in some places- children were acterifieed to-it."

The inoarial monuments are described by our author as square; oblong, and cyclopean, and` are constructed of granite, porphyry, and other stone. In Onset), the ruins are numerous and important; temples, palaces, schools, the residence of the Virgins of the Sun, the gardens of the temple of the Sun •;; the fortress that took fifty years- to build, &a.

Mr; Bollaert is not sanguine as to the future of the American Indian. The Red man in the United States is still he thinks an enemy to be feared. He might be joined by the Black in• con- tingent political- diffionities- between the North and South. Of course, the temporary'sucoess of the coloured populations would be fellowk by the terrible- retaliation of the White race. Even to semi-eivilisai the Red man appears an arduous undertaking. He prefers the wild freedom of the desert to the tame monotony of cities. In Quito, " the Indians entertain a hope of freeing them- selves from their oppressors by driving them into the sea. In Peru, "the mixed element of White, Indian and Negro, has great difficulty in settling down. In Chile, the European element is on the increase. The people- are industrious and addicted to agri- culture and mining-. In the South of Chile, however, " the Araneanos and confederated tribes- require to be cautiously dealt with." In Quito., there is now a magnificent field for enterprise. The tide of-emigration once directed that way, "-the political and sboial condition of the country would, our author thinks, be altered in a short spaccof time. At present, the White and mixed population of Quito and Peru is decreasing; the Quichua Indians are in• affiance with the more barbarous tribes living in the fastneesesof the primeval forests ; and-withorit some counteracting influence on the part of the White and mixed population are not unlikely to- accomplish their- savagely patriotic purpose• by the extermination or expulsion of their hated- dispossessors.

Such are some of the aspects of sooial and political life in South America.