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Alexander von Humboldt: „Geological Description of South America“, in: ders., Sämtliche Schriften digital, herausgegeben von Oliver Lubrich und Thomas Nehrlich, Universität Bern 2021. URL: <> [abgerufen am 15.07.2024].

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Titel Geological Description of South America
Jahr 1804
Ort London
in: The Monthly Magazine 17:3:113 (1. April 1804), S. 230–235.
Sprache Englisch
Typografischer Befund Antiqua (mit lang-s); Spaltensatz; Fußnoten; Schmuck: Initialen.
Textnummer Druckausgabe: II.8
Dateiname: 1801-Esquisse_d_un-5-neu
Seitenanzahl: 6
Spaltenanzahl: 12
Zeichenanzahl: 25601

Weitere Fassungen
Esquisse d’un tableau géologique de l’Amérique méridionale (Paris, 1801, Französisch)
Skizze einer Geologischen Schilderung des südlichen Amerika (Weimar, 1802, Deutsch)
[Esquisse d’un tableau géologique de l’Amérique méridionale] (Salzburg, 1803, Deutsch)
Sketch of a Geological Delineation of South America (London, 1804, Englisch)
Geological Description of South America (London, 1804, Englisch)
Geognostische Skizze von Südamerika, von Alexander von Humboldt, mit erläuternden Bemerkungen des Herausgebers (Halle, 1804, Deutsch)
|230| |Spaltenumbruch|

geological description of southamerica. By the late f. a. vonhumboldt. *

SINCE I lent to Madrid the two firſtſketches of a geological delineation of South America, from the Caraccas andNueva Valencia, I have travelled twelvehundred miles, and deſcribed a ſquare be-tween Caribe, Portocabello, Pimichin, andEſmeralda, a ſpace comprehending above59,000 ſquare miles; for I am not ac-quainted with the land between the moun-tain Parea and Portocabello, and betweenthe northern coaſt and the valley of theBlack River. In conſequence of the greatcircumference of this diſtrict, I muſt con-tent myſelf with delineating it in a gene-ral manner, and, to avoid details, withdeſcribing the conſtruction of the earth,the declivity of the land, the direction andinclination of the mountains, their rela-tive ages, their ſimilarity with the forma-tion of thoſe in Europe. Theſe are thecircumſtances moſt neceſſary to be knownin this ſcience. We muſt proceed in mi-neralogy as in geography; we are ac-quainted with ſtones, but not with moun-tains; we know the materials, but we areignorant of the whole of which they formcomponent parts. I wiſh I may be able,amidſt the variety of the objects which oc-cupy my attention during my travels, tothrow any light on the ſtructure of theearth. The laborious journeys which,for eight years, I have made through Eu-rope had no other object; and if I havethe good fortune to return to Europe, andto recover my geological manuſcriptswhich I left behind me in France andGermany, I ſhall venture to give a ſketchof the ſtructure of the earth. What I havelong ſaid, that the direction and inclina-tion, the riſing and falling, of the primitiveſtrata, the angles which they form withthe meridian of the place, and with theaxis of the earth, are independent of thedirection and depreſſion of the mountains;that they depend on laws, and that theyobſerve a general paralleliſm which canbe founded only in the motion and rota-tion of the earth; what Freieſleben, Von Buch, and Gruner, have proved bet-ter than I, will be found confirmed, name- |Spaltenumbruch| ly, that the ſucceſſion of the alluvial ſtra-ta, which was conſidered as a peculiarityof certain provinces, ſuch as Thuringiaand Derbyſhire, takes place generally;and that there appears an identity in theorder of the ſtrata; from which there isreaſon to conclude that the ſame depoſi-tion has been effected at the ſame timeover the whole ſurface of the earth. Alltheſe ideas are of the greateſt importance,not only to the philoſopher, who endea-vours to elevate himſelf to general princi-ples, but alſo to the miner, who muſtconceive in his mind what he has not be-fore his eyes, and guide himſelf by ana-logy deduced from actual experience. Before I deſcribe the ſituation of themountains which I have obſerved fromthe coaſt to the province of Venezuela, Iſhall give a general view of the form ofthis continent. Unfortunately there areno early obſervations to ſerve as a groundfor this deſcription. For half a centurypaſt many accidental obſervations reſpect-ing this land have been collected, but nota ſingle idea relating to its geology hasbeen made known. The great genius of Condamine, the zeal of Don George Juande Ulloa, would certainly not have left usin the dark on this ſubject, had minera-logy been more cultivated at the timewhen they wrote. All that could then bedone was to meaſure and to take levels.As they were employed on the high cor-dillera of the Andes, which extends northand ſouth from Zitara, as far as Cape Pi-lar, and beheld with wonder the immenſeheight of the mountains, they forgot that South America exhibits other cordilleras,which extend eaſt and weſt parallel to the equator, and which, on account of theirheight, deſerve as much the attention ofnaturaliſts as the Carpathians, Caucaſus,the Alps of the Valais, and the Pyrenees.The whole immenſe tract on the weſt ſideof the Andes, which extends obliquely tothe coaſt of Guiana and Braſil, is deſcrib-ed as a low plain, expoſed to the inunda-tion of the rivers. As only a few Fran-ciſcan miſſionaries and a few ſoldiers havebeen able to penetrate over the cataracts toRio Negro, the inhabitants of the coaſt ofCaraccas imagine that the immenſe plains(the Llanos de Calabozo, del Guarico,and de Apure,) which they ſee to theſouth, beyond the valleys of Aragua, ex-tend without interruption to the Pampasof Buenos-Ayres, and to the country ofthe Patagonians; but the extent of theſeplains is far from being ſo great; theyare not uninterrupted plains, they are ra-ther phenomena of the ſame kind as thoſe
* This valuable man intended to return toEurope by the way of the Manillas; but welearn, that, while he was waiting for a ſhip at Acapulco, he was ſeized with a fever, whichcarried him off in a few days. His papersand journals are, however, on their way toEurope.
|231| |Spaltenumbruch| preſented by Canada and Yucatan, theiſland of St. Domingo, the north of Sierrade S. Martha, the province of Barcelona,and the land between Monte-Video andMendoza, New Holland, the eaſtern partof Hungary, and the country of Hano-ver. They are ſeparated from each otherby the cordilleras, and are as far from ly-ing in the ſame plane as the deſarts of Africa, and the ſteppes of Tartary,which riſe by gradations, according to thediſtance from the ſea-coaſt.
When one conſiders the irruptionswhich the North Sea, the Mediterranean,&c. have made into the Old World, thedirection of its cordilleras appears not tobe very different from that of thoſe in the New World, as moſt naturaliſts have aſſert-ed. We are acquainted alſo with thetraces of ſeveral high chains of mountainswhich extend from north to ſouth, andrun out from thoſe which extend eaſt andweſt. The garnet and micaceous ſchiſtusof Norway, Scotland, Wales, Brittany,the province of Gallicia, Alemtego, CapeBogador, (I have found the ſame withgranite on Teneriff,) the upper part ofGuinea, Congo, and the Table Moun-tain, as alſo the original mountains ofOrenburg, Caucaſus, Lebanon, of Abyſ-ſinia, and Madagaſcar, ſeem at firſt tohave formed nothing elſe than two largecordilleras parallel to the meridian. In the New World theſe cordilleras runparallel to the meridian from Cape Pilarto the north of California beyond Nootkaand Prince William’s Sound towards theAleganhey mountains, which were diſco-vered in 1792 by Mr. Stewart, on hisjourney to the fources of the Miſſoury,the northern part of the Andes, which isinhabited by Indians nearly as much civil-ized as the Peruvians were fifteen hundredyears ago. From this cordillera proceedramifications of the original mountains,which extend from weſt to eaſt. Withthoſe of North America I am not ac-quainted, but it appears that ſome exiſtin Canada under the latitude of 50°, and42° north latitude, as in the deſtroy-ed continent of the Gulf of Mexico un-der 19° and 22°; as is proved by themountains of Cuba and Saint Domingo.In South America there are three chainsof original mountains which run parallelto the equator: the chain of the coaſt un-der 9° and 10°; that chain which is inthe great cataracts of Autures (in lati-tude 5° 39′) is between latitude 3° and7°; and that in Maipure in 5° 12′ 50″,which I therefore call the chain of the ca-taracts or that of Parime, and the chain |Spaltenumbruch| of Chequitos under 15° and 20° ſouth la-titude. Theſe chains in the old continent onthis ſide of the Weſtern Ocean can betraced, and it is ſeen how the originalmountains of Fernambouc, Minas, LaBahia, and Janeiro, correſpond, under theſame latitude, to thoſe of Congo, as theimmenſe plains near the river Amazon lieoppoſite to the plains of Lower Guinea,the cordillera of the cataracts oppoſite tothoſe of Upper Guinea, and the Llanos ofthe Miſſiſſippi, ſince the irruption of theGulf of Mexico, a property of the ſea,oppoſite to the Deſart of Serah. Thisview will appear to be leſs hazarded whenone reflects in what manner the old conti-nent has been ſeparated from the new oneby the force of the water. The form ofthe coaſts, and the ſalient and re-enteringangles of America, Africa, and Europe,are a ſufficient proof of this cataſtrophe.What we call the Atlantic Ocean is no-thing elſe than a valley ſcooped out by theſea. The pyramidal form of all the con-tinents, with their ſummits turned ſouth-wards, the great flattening of the earthat the ſouth pole, and other phenomena,obſerved by Dr. Forſter, ſeem to ſhewthat the influx of the water was from theſouth. On the coaſt of Braſil, from RioJaneiro to Fernambouc, it found reſiſtance,and taking a direction from the latitude of50° north towards the north eaſt, whereit ſcooped out the Gulf of Guinea, nearLoango Benin and Mine, it was obligedby the mountains of Upper Guinea to di-rect itſelf north-weſt, and ſeparated, tothe latitude of 23° north, the coaſt ofGuinea from Mexico and Florida. Theforce of the waters was ſtill broken by thecordillera of the United States of America,and once more turned towards the north-eaſt, and ſeems to have ſpared leſs theweſtern coaſt of Europe than the northernof America. The leaſt breadth of thischannel is at the Braſils and Greenland;but, agreeably to the geographical hiſtoryof plants and animals, it ſeems to havebeen formed at a time when the organiccreation had not been properly expanded.It would be of great importance to geo-logy if a ſea voyage were undertaken, atthe expence of ſome government, to exa-mine the riſing and depreſſion and the re-lative ſituation of the mountains to theſalient and re-entering angles of America and Africa. The ſame analogy would befound here as is obſerved in the EngliſhChannel, in the Sound, the Straits of Gib-raltar, and the Helleſpont; ſmall creekswhich are as new as the ſecondary forma- |232| |Spaltenumbruch| tion of the chalk-rocks of Jura, of Pap-penheim, La Mancha, Marſeilles, Derby-ſhire, and Suez, which have all been pro-duced at the ſame time by precipitation. Of the three cordilleras of primitivemountains which traverſe South America from weſt to eaſt, the moſt northern, thatof Venezuela, is the higheſt, but narrow-eſt. The real chain of the Andes extendsfrom the large plain of Quito, throughPopayan and Choco, to the weſtern ſideof the river Atrato, (or Rio San Juan,)between the valley of Tatabé, in theprovinces of Zitara and Biruguete, to-wards the iſthmus, where it forms a moun-tainous diſtrict of not more than two orthree hundred toiſes in height on the bankof the Chagre. From theſe Andes ariſesthe cordillera on the coaſt of Venezuela.Rows of mountains higher, but forminggroups leſs regular, extend on the eaſt ſideof the Rio Atrato, under the name of theSierra de Abibé and the Montes de Cau-ca, through the high ſavannahs of Jolutowards Magdalen River and the provinceof St. Martha. The cordillera of thecoaſt contracts itſelf like that of the Gulfof Mexico, approaches nearer to CapeVela, and then proceeds firſt from ſouth-ſouth weſt to north north eaſt, and thenfrom weſt to eaſt to the ridge of Paria, orrather to the Punta de la Galera in theIſland of Trinidad. Its greateſt height isfound at that place where it has the nameof Sierra de Nevada de St. Martha, in la-titude 10° 2′, and of Sierra Nevada deMerida, in latitude 8° 30′; the former isabout 5000, the latter 5400 Spaniſh ells,(varas) or 2350 toiſes in height. TheParamo de la Roſa and de Macuchi, andalſo the mountain of Merida, are continu-ally covered with ſnow: boiling water,with hydrogenated ſulphur, iſſnes fromtheir ſides, and they exceed in height thePeak of Teneriff, and are, perhaps, equalto Mont Blanc, which has been more ac-curately meaſured. Theſe coloſſal maſſesand St. Martha ſtand almoſt inſulated,being ſurrounded by few high ridges.—To the weſt of Santa Fé, or as far as theSierra of Zuindiu, no ſnow-clad peaksare ſeen, and the Sierra Nevada de Meri-da ſtands at the edge of the plain of Ca-raccas, which is ſcarcely forty toiſes abovethe level of the ſea. Mont Blanc, whichterminates the high ridge of the Alps, ex-hibits the ſame phenomenon. The alti-tude of the higheſt mountains, however,is ſo very ſmall in proportion to the mag-nitude of the earth, that it would appearthat very ſmall local cauſes ought to haveaccumulated more matter in theſe points. |Spaltenumbruch| That part of the cordillera of the coaſtwhich lies to the weſt of Maratayabo-Sees, and joins the Andes, has large val-leys extending from north to ſouth, ſuchas that of Magdalena, of Cauca, of SaintGeorge, of Sinu, and Atrato. They arevery long and narrow, but covered withwood. On the other hand, that part of thecordillera which extends from Merida toTrinidad incloſes three valleys, lying eaſtand weſt, which ſhew by certain ſigns,like Bohemia, or the Haſlithal of Swiſſer-land, that they have formerly been lakesthe water of which has evaporated or runoff by opening for itſelf a paſſage. Theſethree valleys are incloſed by the two pa-rallel rows of mountains, into which thecordillera of the coaſt divides itſelf, fromCape Vela to Cape Codera; the northernrow is a continuation of Saint Martha,the ſouthern a prolongation of SierraNevada de Merida. The firſt extendsthrough Burburuta, Rincon del Diablo;through the Sierras de Mariara, themountain Aguaſnegras, Monte de Arila,and the Silla de Caracas, to Cape Codera.The ſecond from three to four miles moreto the ſouth, extends through Guigni, LaPalma, the high ſummits of Guairaima,Tiara, Guiripa, and the Savana de Ocu-mare, as far as the mouths of the Tuy.Theſe two chains unite with two arms,which run from north to ſouth, like, as itwere, dykes, by which theſe old lakeswere confined within their boundaries.Theſe dykes are, on the weſt, the moun-tains of Carora, Tonto, Saint Maria,Saint Philips, and Aroa; they ſeparatethe Llanos de Monai from the valleys of Aragua: on the eaſt they are the nakedſummits of Los Teques, Coquiza, BuenaViſta, and the Altos de S. Pedro, bywhich the valley of Aragua or the ſourcesof the Tuy (for there is only one valleybetween the bottom of Coquiza, or theHacienda de Briſenno, to Valencia,) fromthe valley of Garaccas. On the eaſt, fromCape Codera, the greater part of the cor-dillera of the coaſt of Venezuola was de-ſtroyed and laid under water by the greatcataſtrophe which formed the Gulf ofMexico. The reſt of it is diſtinguiſhedin the high mountain-peaks of the iſlandof Margaretha, (Macanao and the ValleS. Juan,) and in the cordillera of theIſthmus of Araya, which contains the mi-caceous ſchiſtous mountains of Manigu-ares, Chuparipari, Diſtilador, Cerro-Grande, the mountain of St. Joſeph andof Paria: the remainder I have accurate-ly examined, and found in them the ſame |233| |Spaltenumbruch| ſtructure, the ſame direction, and the ſameinclination of the ſtrata. The three hol-lows, or valleys of Caracas, Aragua, andMonai, are remarkable on this account,that the level of them is above the ſurfaceof the ſea; they become lower by grada-tions, and the higheſt ſtep is the eaſtern,which may ſerve as a proof that they wereformed at an earlier period than the Lla-nos, whoſe declivity proceeds from eaſt toweſt, like the whole continent of SouthAmerica. By repeated barometric mea-ſurement I found the height of the val-leys of Caracas to be 416 toiſes, of Ara-gua 212 toiſes, above the ſurface of theſea; the Llanos of Monai, the weſtern ba-ſon, appears to have an elevation of nomore than eighty or one hundred toiſes.—The valley of Caracas has once been alake, which formed for itſelf an effluxthrough the Quebrada de Tipe, Catia,and Rio Mamon; the baſon of Aragua appears, on the other hand, to have be-come dry by gradual evaporation; forthe remains of the old water (loaded withmuriate of lime,) are ſtill ſeen in the lakeof Valencia, which becomes leſs everyyear, and diſcovers iſlands which areknown under the name of Aparecidas.—The height of the cordillera of the coaſtis commonly from 600 to 800 toiſes; thehigheſt peaks, Sierra de Nevada de Meri-da and the Silla de Caracas, (to which weundertook a laborious journey with ourinſtruments,) are 2350 and 1316 toiſes inheight. To the weſt they always becomelower, and the height of Cape Codera isonly 176 toiſes. The Macanao, on theiſland Margaretha, which I meaſured tri-gonometrically, is not more in height than342 toiſes; but this ſpeedy depreſſiontakes place only in the primitive moun-tains of the cordillera. On the eaſterncoaſt ſecondary accumulations of limeriſe from Cape Unare to a more conſider-able height than the gneis and micaceousſchiſtus; theſe calcareous rocks, whichare covered with ſandſtone of a calcareousbaſe, and which accompany the cordilleraof the coaſt in its ſouthern declivity, arevery low on the ſide towards Cura, butriſe in a maſs towards the eaſtern extremi-ty of the continent. In Bergantin they are 702 toiſes high,in Coccollard 392, in Cucurucho du Tu-miniquiri (the higheſt ſummits of the pro-vince of Cumana) 976 toiſes, and the py-ramid of the Guacharo riſes above 820toiſes: from Cape Unare they form a ſe-parate ridge of mountains, in which theoriginal ridge totally diſappears; theyare connected alſo with the micaceous |Spaltenumbruch| ſchiſtous cordillera of Maniquare andParia only by the Cerro de Meapire,which, analogous to the branches of To-rito and los Teques, which ſeparate thebaſons of Monai, Aragua, and Caracas,extends north and ſouth from Guacharoand Catouaro, to the mountain Paria, andſeparates the valley of Cariaco (the dried-up bank of the Gulf of Cariaco) from thevalley of St. Boniface, which formerlybelonged to the Golfo Triſte. It will beſeen hereafter, that the accumulation ofcalcareous formation on the eaſtern partof the coaſt of this country ſeems to havebeen more expoſed to earthquakes; andthat the Cerro de Meapire, at the time ofthe irruption of the Gulf of Cariaco, andthe Golfo Triſte, prevented the waterfrom converting the land of Araya andthe ridge of Paria into an iſland. The declivity of the cordillera of thecoaſt of Venezuela is gentler towards theſouth than towards the north, which isparticularly ſtriking when one deſcendsfrom the heights of Guigue, through St.Juan, Parapara, and Ortiz, towards theMera de Paja, which belongs to the greatLlano de Calabozo. The northern de-clivity is every where very ſteep, andthere is ſcarcely found, Mont Blanc ex-cepted, above Courmayeur, a morefrightful precipice than the perpendicularwall of Silla de Caracas, beyond Caraval-ledo, which riſes to the height of 1300toiſes. An accurate meaſurement of thiswall of rock was of great importance tonavigators, as they could find its diſtancefrom the coaſt only by taking the angleof its elevation: its longitude, therefore,of 60° 37′ 32″ weſt from Paris will en-able them to diſcover it. The phenomenon of a more gentle de-clivity towards the ſouth ſeems to contra-dict the obſervations made in other cordil-leras of the earth, as it is aſſerted thatthey all decline more abruptly towardsthe ſouth and weſt. This contradiction,however, is only apparent; as the north-ern part of the cordillera, during the greatcataſtrophe which produced the Gulf ofof Mexico, was torn away by the forceof the water; and therefore the northerndeclivity might at that time be gentlerthan the ſouthern. If the form of the coaſt be conſidered,it appears to be pretty regularly indented.The headlands of Tres Puntas, Codera,S. Roman, and Chichibacoa, on the weſt,from Cabo de la Vela, form a row of pro-montories, the weſtern of which runs moreto the north than the eaſtern. To thewindward of each of theſe capes a creek |234| |Spaltenumbruch| has been formed; and one cannot helpſeeing, in this ſingular formation, theaction of the tropical currents, whichmay be called the currents of the earth’srotation; an action which ſhews itſelf alſoin the direction of the coaſt from Cuba,St. Domingo, Porto Rico, Yucatan, andHonduras, as in the ſeries of the Wind-ward Iſlands, Grenada, Orchila, Rocca, Aves, Buenos-Ayres, Curaçoa, and Aru-ba, the ruins of the cordillera from CapeChichibacoa, which are all parallel tothe equator. It was this headland of Chi-chibacoa, notwithſtanding its inconſider-able height, which, by its reſiſtance to theinflux, preſerved the kingdom of NewGrenada from loſing ſo much land as thegeneral government of Caracas. The ſecond original cordillera of SouthAmerica, which I have called the cordil-lera of the Cataracts of Orinoco, is yetvery little known. During the journeywhich we made on the Black River, tothe borders of the Great Bara, we tra-velled more than two hundred leagues,firſt from north to ſouth, from Cerro deUruana to Atabapo and Tuamini; thenfrom weſt to eaſt, from the mouths of theVentuari to Vulcan de Duida, which Ihave found to be in latitude 3° 13′ 26″,and longitude 60° 34′ 7″ weſt from Paris.Since the journey of Meſſrs. Ituriaga and Solano, a paſſage over theſe cordilleras,which may be called alſo Parima or Do-rado, (Golden) a name which has occa-ſioned ſo much misſortune in America,and ſo much ridicule in Europe, has beenpoſſible; but as all the European ſettle-ments on the Alto Orinoco, and the RioNegro, (Black River,) contain at thistime no more than four hundred Indianfamilies; and as the way from Eſmeraldeto Erevato and Caura has been totally loſt,our reſearches in a land ſo little civilizedpreſented more difficulties than Condamine experienced during his tedious navigationon the river Amazon, the banks of whichfor many years have been inhabited. The cordillera of the Cataracts, or ofParima, ſeparates itſelf from the Andes of Quito and Popayan, in the longitude offrom 3° to 6°. It extends from weſt toeaſt, from Paramo de Tuquillo and St.Martin, or the ſources of the Guaviare,the theatre of the gallant deeds of Philipde Urre, and the old reſidence of the Or-neguas, through Morocote, Piramena,and Macuco, ſtretching through thecountry of the Indians of Guajibos, Sagi,Dagueres, and Poigraves, according tothe direction of the great rivers Meta, |Spaltenumbruch| Vichada, Zama, Guaviere, and Ymerida,in the longitude of 70° weſt from Paris,between the high ſummits of Uniama andCunavami. They form the Raudals of Atures and Maypuré, tremendous water-falls, which afford the only paſſage bywhich one can penetrate into the interiorof the land in the valley of the RiverAmazons. Theſe Cordilleras of the Cataracts riſefrom the longitude of 70°, and ſpread outin ſuch a manner that they comprehendthe whole immenſe tract of country be-tween the rivers Caura, Erevato, Cavony,Paraguamuſi, Ventuari, Jao, Padamo,and Manariche, and then aſcend ſouthtowards the ſources of the Paſimona, Ca-chevaynris, and Cababury, towards theforeſts, where the Portugueze, penetrat-ing into the Spaniſh diſtricts, collect thebeſt ſarſaparilla known (Smilax Sarſapa-rilla. Linn.). In this diſtrict the cordil-leras of the Cataracts are above one hun-dred and twenty miles in breadth. Theircontinuation more towards the eaſt, be-tween the longitude of 68° and 60° weſtfrom Paris, is little known. I proceededwith aſtronomical inſtruments only, asfar as Rio Guapo, which diſcharges itſelfinto the Orinoco, oppoſite the Cerro de laCauclilla, in longitude 68° 33′ weſt fromParis. The Indians of Catarapeni andMaquiritares, who reſide in the ſmallmiſſion of Eſmeralde, came fifteen milesfurther eaſt over the mountains Guanajaand Yamariquin to the Canno Chiguire;but neither the Europeans, nor Indianswith whom Europeans have had any in-tercourſe, are acquainted with this ſourceof the Orinoco, which is here called CannoParagua, and is ſcarcely 150 or 200 toiſesin breadth, whereas at Boca de Apuré,in latitude 7° 32′ 20″, it is 4632 toiſes,as I myſelf found. The wildneſs ofthe Indians of Guaicas, who are onlyfour feet in height, but who are a verywhite and warlike people, and particularlythe ſavage ſtate of the Guajaribos, greatermen-eaters than any of the other nationswhich we viſited, prevent any one frompenetrating over the ſmall cataracts(Raudal de Guajaribos,) eaſt from Chi-guire, unleſs a military expedition wereundertaken on purpoſe. But by the won-derful journey undertaken by D. AntonioSantos, who married Onotho, and whodreſſed ſometimes as a Carib, and ſome-times as a Macacy, whoſe languages heſpoke, from Orinoco (the mouth of theRio Caronis) to the ſmall lake Parima andthe river Amazon, we have obtained in- |235| |Spaltenumbruch| formation reſpecting the continuation ofthe cordillera of the Cataracts. Underthe latitude of from 4° to 5° and longi-tude 63°, it becomes ſo narrow that itis ſcarcely ſixty miles in breadth. It aſ-ſumes here the name of Cerrania de Qui-miropaca and Pacaraimo, and forms achain of not very high ridges, by whichthe waters were divided. The water ofthe northern declivity, the Nocapray, Pa-raguamuci, Benamo, and Mazurini, flowtowards the Orinoco and Rio Eſquibo; thewaters of the ſouthern, the Rio Curuicana,Parime, Madari, and Mao, pour them-ſelves into the River Amazon. Some de-grees further towards the eaſt, the cor-dillera again extends in breadth as it aſ-cends ſouthwards towards the Canno Pa-rara along the Mao. It is here that theDutch give to the Cerro d’Ucuamo themagnificent name of the Gold Mountain,or Dorado, becauſe it conſiſts of a veryſhining micaceous ſchiſtus, a foſſil whichhas brought into celebrity the ſmall iſlandof Ypamucena in the Lake of Parima. |Spaltenumbruch|