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more exactly speaking, the Amazons—stands as a lasting tribute to the bravery of the early women whom the explorer Orellana encountered during his conquest of the mighty flood. [1] For he named the river in honor of the tribes' fighting heroines. Centuries later, when one by one the provinces of South America rose to liberate themselves from the Spanish yoke, the women again played a noble part in the various revolutions. The statue in Colombia to Policarpa Salavarieta is but a symbol of South American gratitude to a host of women who fought side by side with their husbands during the trying days of the early nineteenth century. One of them, Manuela la Tucumana, was even made an officer in the Argentine army.

If women, however, have enshrined themselves in the patriotic annals of the Southern republics, they have shown that they are no less the companions of man in the more or less agreeable arts of peace. When one considers the great percentage of illiteracy that still prevails in Southern America, and

  1. This derivation of the river's name is by many considered fanciful. A more likely source of the designation is the Indian word "Amassona," i.e., boat-destroyer, referring to the tidal phenomenon known as "bore" or "proroca," which sometimes uproots tress and sweeps away whole tracts of land.