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greater than it really is, from their large guanaco mantles, their long flowing hair, and general figure: on an average their height is about six feet, with some men taller, and only a few shorter; and the women are also tall. Altogether they are certainly the tallest race that we anywhere saw. In features they strikingly resemble the more northern Indians. whom I saw with Rosas, but they have a wilder and more formidable appearance: their faces were much painted with red and black, and one man was ringed and dotted with white, like a Fuegian. Captain Fitz Roy offered to take any three of them on board, and all seemed determined to be of the three: it was long before we could clear the boat. At last we got on board with our three giants, who dined with the captain and behaved quite like gentlemen, helping themselves with knives, forks, and spoons: nothing was so much relished as sugar. The tribe spend the greater part of the year 'here, but in summer they hunt along the foot of the Cordillera; sometimes they travel as far as the Rio Negro, seven hundred and fifty miles to the north. They are well stocked with horses, each man having, according to Mr. Low, six or seven, and all the women, and even the children, their one own horse. Mr. Low informs me that a neighboring tribe of foot-Indians is now (1834) changing into horse-Indians.
THE INDIAN OF THE PAMPAS.
WE stayed two days at the Colorado, near the encamp ment of General Rosas. My chief amusement was watching the Indian families, as they came to buy little articles at the
rancho where we stayed.
It was supposed that General
Rosas had about six hundred Indian allies. The men were
LENGUA INDIANS (BASIN OF THE PLATE RIVER).
a tall, fine race, yet it was afterward easy to see in the Fue gian savage the same countenance made hideous by cold, want of food, and less civilization. Among the young wom en, or chinas, some deserve to be called even beautiful. Their hair was coarse, but bright and black, and they wore it in two plaits, hanging down to the waist. They had a high color, and eyes that glistened with brilliancy. Their legs, feet, and arms were small, and elegantly formed; their ankles, and sometimes their waists, were ornamented by broad bracelets of blue beads. Nothing could be more interesting than some of the family groups. A mother with one or two
daughters would often come to our rancho mounted upon the same horse. They ride like men, but with their knees tucked up higher; a habit which comes, perhaps, of their being accustomed, when travelling, to ride the loaded horses. The duty of the women is to load and unload the horses; to make the tents for the night; in short, to be, like the wives of all savages, useful slaves. The men fight, hunt, take care of the horses, and make the riding-gear. One of their chief in-door occupations is to knock two stones together till they become round, in order to make the bolas. With this im portant weapon the Indian catches his game, and also his
horse, which roams free over the plain. In fighting, his first attempt is to throw down his enemy's horse with the bolas,
and when entangled by the fall, to kill him with his pike (chuzo). If the bolas only catch the neck or body of an animal, they are often carried away and lost. As the mak ing of the stones round is the labor of two days, the manufacture of the balls is a very common employment. Several of the men and women had their faces painted red, but I nev er saw the horizontal bands which are so common among the Fuegians. Their chief pride consists in having everything made of silver. I have seen a cacique with his spurs, stirrups, handle of his knife, and bridle, made of this metal. The headstall and reins, being of wire, were not thicker than whip-cord; and to see a fiery steed wheeling about under the command of so light a chain gave to the horsemanship a remarkable character of elegance.
The chief Indians always have one or two picked horses, which they keep ready for any urgent occasion. When the troops of General Rosas first arrived at Cholechel they found there a tribe of Indians, of whom they killed twenty or thirty. The cacique escaped in a manner which astonished every one. He sprang upon an old white horse, taking with him his lit tle son. The horse had neither saddle nor bridle. To avoid the shots, the Indian rode in the peculiar manner of his nation, namely, with an arm round the horse's neck, and one leg only on its back. Thus hanging on one side, he was seen patting the horse's head, and talking to him. The pursuers made every effort in the chase; the commandant three times. changed his horse; but all in vain. The old Indian father and his son escaped and were free. What a fine picture one can form in one's mind--the naked, bronze-like figure of the
old man, with his little boy, riding like Mazeppa on the white horse, thus leaving far behind him the host of pursuers!
In a battle at the small Salinas a tribe, consisting of about one hundred and ten Indians, men, women, and children, were nearly all taken or killed. Four men ran away together. They were pursued: one was killed, and the other three were taken alive. They turned out to be messengers from a large body of Indians, united in the common cause of defence, near the Cordillera. The tribe to which they had been sent was on the point of holding a grand council; the feast of mare's flesh was ready, and the dance prepared: in the morning the messengers were to have returned to the Cordillera. They were remarkably fine men, very fair, above six feet high, and all under thirty years of age. The three survivors, of course, possessed very valuable information, and to extort this they were placed in a line. The two first, being questioned, answered, "No sé" (I do not know), and were one after the other shot. The third also am a man, and can die!" breathe to injure the united cause of their country.
said "No sé;" adding, “Fire! I Not one syllable would they
During my stay at Bahia Blanca, while waiting for the Beagle, an account came that a small party, forming one of the postas on the line to Buenos Ayres, had been found all murdered. The next day three hundred men arrived from the Colorado, a large portion of whom were Indians, and passed the night here. In the morning they started for the scene of the murder, with orders to follow the rastro or track, even if it led them to Chile. One glance at the rastro tells these people a whole history. Supposing they examine the