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MEADE


96


MEAGHER


were still iiiuic<iii!iiiitcil. The iicquisitioii of horses soon translonuea them into a race of expert and dar- ing eciueslrians, and for two centuries they continued their raids upon the Spanish settlements on the Para- guay liiver ami the neii;hbuurini; missions. As early as 1010 the Jesuits uMsuc-ccssfuJIy attempted their con- version. About the middle of the eighteenth century a peace was arranged, which, according to Dobrizhof- fer, was faithfully kept by the Indians. The Jesuit Joseph Sanchez l^abrador was then .sent, at his own request, to work ainongthe.se (iuaycuru, who had been considered the wildest and most dangerous tribe of the region. Having made good progress in their ilitiicult language, he established for them, in 1760, the mission of Virgen de Belen (now Belen) east of the present Concepcion, in Paraguay. They were impatient of restraint, and, although many infants and dying adults received baptism, according to Dobrizhoffer, "the rest did little else than wander over the plains". The mission influence, however, effectually tametl their ferocity. At the expulsion of the Jesuits, in 1767, the Belen mission contained 260 Christian Indians, eight of the nine bands still remaining in the forest.

In this same year was established by Father Manuel Duran the last of the Paraguay Jesuit foundations, the mission of San Juan Nepomuceno, on the east bank of the river, among the Guana, or Ghana, a num- erous agricultural and pedestrian tribe of the same territorj', subject to the Mbaya. When the mission- aries were driven out, this station contained 600 In- dians. The conversion of the Guana had been under- taken more than a century before by Father Pedro Romero, who lost his life in 1645 at the hands of a neighbouring wild tribe. Among the Guana, infanti- cide, polygamy, and intoxication were unknown, and men and women worked together in the fields. About the close of the eighteenth century the Franciscans took up the work begun by the Jesuits, and in the course of the next fifty years gathered a number of the Guay- curii and (Uiana into mis.sions, which continued until the tribes themselves declined or were assimilated. Lieutenant Page, who commanded an expedition sent by the United States Government to explore the Para- guay River, gives an interesting and extended accoimt of his visit to one of these missions, Nossa Senhora de Bon Conselho, near Albuquerque, Brazil, in 1853 (Page, " Report to the Secretary of the Navy", Wash- ington, 1855). Here the Christian Guanas cultivated vegetables for the market afforded by neighbouring white settlements. Under the care, both temporal and spiritual, of a Franciscan father, these aborigines, who, only a few years earlier, hatl been wandering savages, were now a remarkably neat, orderly, and thrifty community of husbandmen. Fronting upon a public square, there stood the village church, the schoolhouse, and a number of well-constructed thatched dwellings, each dwelling having a frontage of 20 feet, the interiors partitione<l with curtains and fitted with raised platforms to serve either as tables or as beds. Among the vegetables cultivated was a native rice, which they harvested in canoes. Cotton, too, was grown, spun, dyed, and woven by the women of the settlement. The men wore trousers and prmchox; the women, a chemise girdled at the waist; the boys \vere exercised in military tactics, and the children in general were not only taught "the rudi- ments of a common education, but made some progress in music and dancing". A few of the Mbaya proper still exist on the western bank of the Paraguay in the neighbourhood of the town of Concepcion. Other bands known .-is ( lUaycuni roam over the adjacent dis- tricts of Matto Grosso, Brazil, and may number per- haps 1500 souls as against an estimated 15,000 or 18,000 about a century ago. The Guana, on the Taquari and .Miranda Rivers in the same region, are now labourers among the whites, although still claimed as dependents by the Guaycuni.


In their primitive condition the men of the Guay- cuni went entirely nakeil, while the women wore only a short skirt. Tlie men trimmed their hair in a cir- cular tuft. Girls had the head closely shaven. The men painted their bodies, an<l wore rings in t he; lower lip. Boys were painted black until about fourteen years old, then red for two years, when they were subjectetl to a painful ordeal, before taking their station as warriors. War was their chief business, their weapons being the bow, club, and bone knife. The children born of captives were sold as slaves. Their chief tribal ceremony was in honour of the Pleiades, and was accompanied by a sham battle be- tween the men and women, ending with a general in- toxication. They buried their deatl in the ground, and voluntary human victims were sacrificed when a chief died. Polygamy was unknown, but separation was frequent, and infanticide common. They sub- sisted by fishing and hunting. Their villages con- sisted each of a simple commimal structure in three large rooms, the middle of which was reserved for the chief and head men, and for the .storage of weapons. The chief had great authority, and with his head men, seems to have belonged to a different clan, or gens, from the common warriors. Captives and their de- scendants constituted a permanent slave class. As a people, they were tall and strongly liuilt. Tho.se still remaining show the admixture of white captive blood and are gradually assimilating to the settled popula- tion.

Brinton, American Race (New York, 1891); Charlevoix, Hist, of Paraguay, I (London, 1796); Dobrizhoffer, Account of the Abipones (London, 1822); Hervas, Cab'tlogo de las lenguas, I (Madri(i, liSOO): LoZANO, Descripcion Chorogravhica del Gran Chaco (Cordoba. 1733); Page, La Plata.the Argentine Confedera- tion and Paraguay (New York, 1859); Reclus, South America, II : Amazonia and La Plata (New York, 1897) .

James Mooney. Meade, John. See Almeida, John.

Meagher, Thomas Francis, soldier, politician, b. at Waterford, Ireland, 3 Augu.st, 1823; accidentally drowned in the Missouri River, U. S. A., 1 July, 1867. Educated in the Jesuit colleges of Clongowes and Stonyhurst, he finished his college career in 1843 with a reputation for great oratorical ability which he de- voted at once, under O'Connell, to the cause of Repeal. His impetuous na- ture chafed under the restraint of con- stitutional agita- tion, and his impas- sioned eloquence stimulated the more radical revo- ^

lutionary efforts of ^°"*« Francis .Meagher

the young Irelanders, who, in 1848, broke away from O'Connell's leadership. In the spring of that year he went with William Smith O'Brien to France as member of a deputation to Lamartine to con- gratulate the people of France on the establishment of a republic. A trial for "exciting the people to rise in rebellion ", the following May resulted in a disagreement of the jury, but in the abortive rebel- lion in July he was among those arrested, tried for high treason, and sentenced on 23 October to be hanged. This was commuted to penal servitude for life and on 29 July, 1849, with O'Brien and Terence Bellew MacManus, he was transported to Tasmania. Escaping from this penal colony m 1S52, he landed in