A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 762 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10.

[Footnote 3:  This must have been a Lama, Paca, or Chilihueque, of the camel genus, vulgarly called Peruvian sheep.—­E.]

Most of the natives of this country were dressed in the skins of beasts, similarly to the one who first visited them.  Their hair was short, yet tied up by a cotton lace or string.  They had no fixed dwellings, but used certain moveable huts or tents, constructed of skins similar to those in which they were cloathed, which they carry with them from place to place, as they roam about the country.  What flesh they are able to procure, they devour quite raw without any kind of cookery, besides which their chief article of food is a sweet root, which they name capar. The voyagers report that these savages were very jealous of their women; yet do not mention having seen any.  Their practice of physic consists in bleeding and vomiting:  The former being performed by giving a good chop with some edge tool to the part affected; and the latter is excited by thrusting an arrow half a yard down the throat of the patient.  These people, to whom Magellan gave the name of Patagons, are so strong, that when one only was attempted to be made prisoner of by nine Spaniards, he tired them all; and, though they got him down, and even bound his hands, he freed himself from his bonds, and got away, in spite of every endeavour to detain him.  Besides capar, the name of a root already mentioned, and which likewise they applied to the bread or ship’s biscuit given them by the Spaniards, the only words reported of their language are ali water, amel black, cheiche red, cherecai red cloth; and Setebos and Cheleule are the names of two beings to whom they pay religious respect, Setebos being the supreme, and Cheleule an inferior deity.

The haven in which they remained there five months, was named by Magellan, Port St Julian, of which and the surrounding country they took solemn possession for the crown of Spain, erecting a cross as a signal of sovereignty.  But the principal reason of this long stay was in consequence of a mutiny which broke out, not only among the common men, but was even joined or fomented rather by some of the captains, particularly by Don Luis de Mendoza, on whom Magellan had placed great reliance.  On this occasion Magellan acted with much spirit; for, having reduced the mutineers to obedience, he brought their ringleaders to trial for plotting against his life; hanged Don Luis de Mendoza and a few others of the most culpable; leaving Don Juan de Carthagena and others, who were not so deeply implicated, among the Patagons.  The weather growing fine, and the people being reduced to obedience, Magellan set sail from Port St Julian, and pursued his course to the latitude of 51 deg. 40’ S. where finding a convenient port, with abundance of fuel, water, and fish, he remained for two months longer.


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