Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 33
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AME    33    AME

count either of history or tradition could bs ob-
tained. Instead of an Adam, formed of the dust
of the earth, and an Eve, formed of Adam’s rib,

the Peruvians had a Manco-Capac, who came
from an island on a great lake south, to instruct
their men in agriculture and other useful employ-
ments, and a Mama-Ocllo, to instruct the women
in spinning and weaving. Of the precise era,
however, of their appearance, their chronology
was too imperfect to define; they enumerated 14
reigns of Incas or sovereigns since their time,
which would carry the epoch back to about the end
of the 12th, or beginning of the 13th century. In
the face of evidence so imperfect, it would be ab-
surd to hazard even a conjecture, much more an
assertion, upon the subject of the first peopling of
the sonth. It may, however, be fairly inferred
that the north division was first peopled by em-
igrants from the south, rather than from any part
of the eastern hemisphere. This seems probable,
as well from the similarity of general feature and
character, as from the regular gradation of the
athletic power and energy which seemed to pre-
vail amongst them from south to north. The most
healthy and robust of the race would doubtless
be most likely to advance onward.

In the animal creation we here meet with the
jaguar, or South American tiger, an animal su-

perior in size to the leopard, with a spotted hide,
and ferocious in habits. He is found from Para-
guay to Guiana. The cougar, or puma, some-
times called the South American lion, inhabits
the southern as well as the northern part of the
American continent. The tapir dwells in the
rivers of every part of South America and lives
upon sugar cane, grass, shrubs and fruits. The
tiger cat is a beautiful spotted animal not much
larger than the common cat, and is mischievous
ana untameable. Here are three species of ant-
eaters with a long snout, no teeth and a long
tongue, perpetually occupied in destroying ths
ant-hills. The llama of Peru is a very useful
beast of burthen; the vicuna and alpaco furnish
a valuable wool. Wild horses and oxen cover
the plains with their immense droves. The
armadillo is a very curious little animal clad in
natural coat of mail, without hair. They burrow
in the ground like a rabbit and are generally in-

nocent in their manners. Monkeys of various
species swarm in the forests; one of these, the
coaita, has a remarkable resemblance to an Indian
old woman. The beaver of this region does not
build his habitation after the manner of the com-
mon beaver. The chinchilla is prized for its val-
uable skin. The sloth is peculiar to this country :
he is unfurnished with teeth, and crawls slowly
from tree to tree devouring their leaves. The
peccary exists in abundance here as well as in
Mexico. The cavy frequents the marshes, and
the coati prowls among the woods devouring
small animals, poultry and eggs. The agouti is
about the size of a hare, and burrows in hollow
trees; feeding upon potatoes, yams and such

fruits as fall from the trees. It uses its paws in
the manner of hands, like a squirrel, and is ex-
ceedingly voracious.

Birds are various in species, and numerous;
the condor of the Andes is considered superior
in majesty to the ostrich of the deserts of
Africa ; in the plains is another large bird of
a species between the ostrich and cassowary of
New Holland; there are eagles of various kinds,
and an endless variety of smaller birds of exquisite-
ly beautiful plumage. The winged tribe and in-
sects are various and infinite, some surpassing in
beauty, and others in noxiousness ; but next to
the volcanic eruptions and natural convulsions
of the earth, the greatest terror of S. America
are the reptiles, which exceed in variety, number,
and voracity those of any other part of the
world. Of the inhabitants of the waters, the
electric eel and ink-fish are peculiar to the east-
ern coast of the equatorial latitudes of this hemis-
phere ; in addition to which, nearly all the species
common to other seas and rivers are also abun-
dant. Indestructible metals and gems are more
abundant in this division of the western hemis-
phere than any" other part of the world; and
gold and silver seem to abound to such a degree
as is likely soon to satiate the mania for their
possession. Copper, in several parts, is also
abundant. The vegetable productions exceed in
variety, beauty, ana utility, those of Asia, or any
other part of the globe, whether considered in
reference to sustenance, or to luxury, taste, and
adornment in art. Vegetation presents a great
number of gradations. From the shores of the
sea to the height of 1,083 ft. we meet with mag-
nificent palms, the most odoriferous lilies, and
the balsam of Tolu. The large flowered jessa

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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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