Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/755

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681

ARAWAKS


681


ARAWAKS


worked the crops, without doniestio animals, in an enervating climate, could have been nearly as numer- ous as, for iiLstance, Las Casas asserts. The extermi- nation of the Antillean Arawaks under Spanish rule has not yet been impartially written. It is no worse a page of history than many tilled with Knglish atroci- ties, or than tho.sc which Icll how the North American al)origines have been disposed of in order to make room for the white man. The Spaniards did not, and could not, yet know the nature and possibilities of the Indian. They could not understand that a race |ihysically well-endowed, but the men of which had no conception of work, could not be suddenly changed into hardy tillers of the soil and miners. And yet the Indian had to l)e made to labour, as the white population was entirely too small for de- veloping the resources of the new-found lands. The European attributed the inaptitude of the Indian for physical toil to obstinacy, and only too often vented his impatience in acts of cruelty. The Crown made the utmost efforts to mitigate, and to protect the aborigine, but ere the period of experiments was over the latter had almost vanished. As already stated, the Arawaks, presumably, held the Lesser Antilles also, until, previous to the Columbian era, the Caribs expelled them, thus separating the northern branch from the main stock on the southern continent. Of the latter it has been surmised that their original homes were on the eastern slope of the Andes, where the Canipas (Chunchos or Antis) represent the Arawak element, together with the Shipibos, Piros, Conibos, and other trilx-s of the extensive Pano group. A Spanish officer, Petlro de Candia, first discovered them in 1538. The earliest attempts at Christianizution arc due to the Jesuits. They made, previous to 1602. six distinct efforts to convert the Chunchos, from the side of Hulinuoo in Peru, and from northern Bolivia, but all these attempts were failures. There are also traces that a Jesuit had penetrated lho.se regions, in 15<S1, more as an explorer than sus a missionary. Notwith- standing the ill-success accompanying the first ef- forts, the Jesuits persevered, and founded missions among the Moxos, one of the most southerly branches of the Arawaks, and also among the Baures. Those missions were, of course, abandoned after 1707. During the past century the Franciscans ha\c taken up the field of which the Jesuits were deprived, es- pecially the missions among the Pano or Shipibo tribes of the Beni region in Bolivia. The late Kather Rafael Sanz was one of the first to devote liim.sclf to the difficult and dangerous task, and ho was ably followed by Father Nicolas Armentia, who Ls now IJishop of La Paz. The latter has also done very good work in the Held of linguistics. Missions among the Cioajiros in Columbia, however, had but little success. Of late the tribe has become more approachable. The Arawaks of the upper Amazo- nian region were probably met by Alonzo Mercadillo, in 1537, and may have been seen by Orcllana in 1538-39. The .\rawak tribes occupying almost ex- clusively the southern banks of the Amazon, they were reached by the missionaries later than the tribes on the north bank. Franciscans accompanied Juan de Salinas Loyola (a relative of St. Ignatius) in 15(11. But the results of these expeditions were not pennanent.

In the heart of the Andean region the Friars of the Order of Our Ladv of Mercy (Mercedarios) were the first to establish pennanent mi.ssions. Fray Francisco Ponce de Leon, "Commander of the convent of the city of Jaen de Bracamoros", and Diego Vaca de Vega, Ciovemor of Jaen. organized in Kilo an expedition down the Marailon to the Maynas. In Hilo thev founded the Mission of San Francisco Borja, whicli still exists as a .settlement. The first baptisms of Indians took place 22 .\Iarcli, 1620. The


year following. Father Ponce made an expedition lower down the Amazon, Ijeyond the mouth of the Rio Huallaga where ho came in contact with the Arawak tribes, to whom he preached, and some of whom ho baptized. The FranciscaiLs entered from the direction of Jauja or Tarma, towards Chancha- mayo, in 1631 and 16.35. The first foundation was at Quimiri, where a chai^el was built. Two years later the founders. Fathers Geronimo Xim^nez and Cristoval Larios, died at the hands of the Cainpjis on the V6r6n6 River. Work was not interrupted, howe\er, and three years later (16-10) there were es- tablished alx)ut the salt-hill of Vitoc seven chapels, each with a .settlement of Indian converts. But in 1742 the appearance of Juan Santos Atahualpa occa- sioned an almost general uprising of the aborigines. T'ntil then the missions had progrc.s.sed remarkably. Some of the most savage tribes, like the Conibos, became at least partly reduced to obedience, and led a more sedate, orderly life. In 1725 the College of Ocopa wa-s founded. All these gains (except the College of Ocopa and the regions around 'rarma and Cajamarquilla) were lo.st until, after 1751, Franciscan missionaries again began to enter the lost territory, and even added new conquests among the fiercest Arawaks (Cashibos) on the I'cayali. Conversions in these regions have cost many mar- tyrs, not less than sixty-four ecclesiastics having perished at the hands of Indians of Arawak stock m the years between 1637 and 1706. Missionary work among the Arawaks of CJuyana and on the banks of the Orinoco, began, in a systematic man- ner, in the second half of the seventeenth century, and was carried on from the Spanish side among the Maypures of the Orinoco, from the French side along the coast and the Kssequibo River. Wars between France, England, and Holland, the in- different, systemless ways of French colonization, but chiefly the constant incursions of the Caribs, interrupted or at least greatly obstructed the progress of missions. Ethnologically the Arawaks vary in condition. Those of Guyana seem to be partly sedentary. They call themselves Lokonono. They are well built. Descent among them is in the female line, and they are polygamous. They are land- tillers and hunters. Their houses are sheds, ojxjn on the sides, and their weapons bows, arrows, and wooden clubs. Their religious ideas are, locally varied, those of all Indians, animism or fetishism, with an army of shamans, or medicine-men, to uphold it. Of the Campas and the tribes comprised within the Pano group, about the same may be stated, with the difference that several of the tribes composing it are fierce cannibals (Cashibos and Conibos). It must be observed, however, that cannibalism is, under certain conditions, practised by all the forest tribes of South .\merica, .as well as by the Aymanl of Bolivia. It is mostly a ceremonial practice and, at the bottom, closely related to the custom of scalping.

The "IvCttcrs of CoUimbu-*" contain the earliest informa- tion about the American Indian.-^, and those describetl in his first letter. 22 I-'ebrilary, 149.3. were Arawaks. The report of Tray Roman Pane is found in the work of H krnando Colon. the Spanish orieinal of which has not yet been founil. but an Italian version of it was published in I57I. There are several eilitions. (Quotations above are from Uislorie del Siffnor D. Hemaitito Colomlm. Nellr qunh «' ha pnrticolare, & vera reUt' twne delta vila. r de' fniti delV Ammiraglio D. Chriatoforo Colombo Sua Padre (Venice, 1I17.S1. the translation is by Alfonso Ulloa. A first Spanish re-translation wa-s published by (lonzalez Hlirria in lliflnrindorm primiliinit de Indwa (Mailriil. I749>; a Frenrli version bv the AbW Hrasseur dc Bourboura ap- pears appeiide^l to the Rclnlian de« ehogea de Yuetitan iParus. 18(i4). and there is a secoml print in Spanish of recent date. Las Casas. UUtorin de Ui« Iwluig (two eilitions, one in the Dontmrnton para la Uititorui de Eapaila)', lim-iasimn Hrlaeitin de la Destrui/eion de laa Irulina (Seville, l.').'>2). numerous eili- tions an<l translations into various lanKuases; CinoLAMo Uknzoni. Ilialoria dr< Hondo S uoro (Venice. LSCvli; Ger- man translation, I.ITO; French, 1.587; Knulish. Haekluvt .Society, lliatory ul the New World (Uindiin, 1S57). Other sources: Ovikdo y Valdkz, llutorui gericrat \i natural de la*