Rafael Seijas.

Venezuela-British Guiana boundary arbitration. Digest of evidence arranged according to subjects online

. (page 31 of 45)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

upon the females ; but, except in very flagrant cases, they do not treat them with
severity, and in all family arrangements they are consulted with considerable defer-
ence. There is no instance on record of an admixture of their blood with the
negroes, which is a common circumstance amongst the other tribes.

The men are uncouth in their manners, independent, and quarrelsome. Their
Captains are sure to be men capable of drubbing their followers into obedience,
which is the only way they have of enforcing respect.

In employing them care must be taken to have no communication whatever
with the inferior Indians. This is also applicable to all the tribes.

They occupy the country between the rapids and the Great fall of Demerary,
the Massaroony, and Upper Pomaroon. Same, p. 2y,

The Indians are, like all uncivilized nations, addicted to drunkenness. The
Warrows the most so, after them the Arawaaks, then the Caribisce ; and the
most sober are the Accaways. Same, p. 2j.

1841. R. H. Schomburgk.

The Kaituma is inhabited by Warrau and Waika [Akaway] Indians.

B.C., VII, 20.
1845. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

In consequence of the general indisposition that prevails amongst all classes
on the sugar estates of the Arabian coast, combined with the very great scarcity
of provisions that at present exists throughout most Indian settlements, the




Akuway Indians of Winey and Barama have destroyed their habitations, and
gone to reside with other Akaways in the upper parts of the Rivers Coyoney and
Massaruny. />'. C, VI, 141.

1846. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

Your reporter is gkid to be able to announce the return of several Accaway
Indians from the Upper Coyoney to Barama Creek, where they formerly resided.

Same, p. 144.
1848. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

Barama is a large tributary of the Winey River, inhabited by Worrows, Carra-
beese, and Accaway or Waika Indians. Same, p. i-j2.

1883. E. F. imThurn.

The population of the whole district is very scanty and is very scattered.
Most of the inhabitants are Red men — True Caribs chiefly on the Barama and
Upper Barima, Ackawoi on the Morooka and upper Waini, Arawaks on the
Morooka, and many Warraus everywhere at the mouths of the two rivers.

V. C, III, 317.

1888. E. F. im Thurn.

Different tribes of Indians living within the [Pomeroon Judicial] district, as
well as the special parts inhabited by each.

Ackawois [dwell at] Pomeroon, Issororoo Branch ; Waini, upper part.

B. C, VII, 2S7.

1889. Michael McTurk.

The Indians now inhabiting these parts [Uruan and Yuruari] are principally
Kamaracotas, who, although they do not call themselves Carabisce, speak that
language. There are also a few of the Accawois tribe from the Mazaruni.

Same, p. j22,
1898. E. F. im Thurn.

Some other tribal names occur in the documents in connection with the
present arbitration. Some of them are merely synonyms, e.g., Guaraunos for
Warows, and Waikas or Guaycas for Akawois. B, C.-C, App., 408.


. British Case.

The principal Indian tribes inhabiting the territory known as Guiana were the
Caribs, the Akawois or Waikas, the Arawaks, and the Warows or Guaraunos.

B. C, g.
1595- Don Felipe de Santiago.

Entering by any of the above-mentioned mouths, and going up the River
Orinoco in the direction of the new Kingdom of Granada, various territories of
several tribes of natives are met with, such as the Arnacas, Yayos, Sapoyos,
Caribs, and Napuyos. B. C, I, p.

1598. A. Cabeliau.

On the 17th [February 1598] there came on board from the continent, out of
the aforesaid river [Caurora] three other canoes, in which were about sixty
persons — men, women, and children, and this tribe, together with the tribes
Hebio and Arwacciis, continued to come on board. Same, p. ig.





1 615. Report on the West Indies.

The savag-es who live on the coasts of this river [Wiapoco] had fled — they
are called Noruacas [Arwacas]. B. C, I, 40.

1 619. Fray Pedro Simon.

The river Baruma, [Pomeroon] which is the first in those provinces where the
Arawak Nation dwells. U. S. Com., I, 23S.

1638. Maldonado.

The Chaguana Indians dwell about these territories [lower Orinoco], where
they have a village of about 1,000 able-bodied men, and another village of
Tivitives, and on this bank [north bank of the Orinoco], the village of the
Guayanos is also. . . . And on the other side of the river [is] the town of the
Aniacas, a very powerful people. B. C, 1, 120.

1665. British Case.

Next in importance to the Akawois was the tribe known as the Arawak
nation, who were described by Scott in 1665 as being " the best-humoured Indians
of America," being both very just and generous-minded people, and as inhabiting
the region between the Rivers Corentin and Waini. Nearly two hundred years
later they were described by Hilhouseas " of all the tribes the most docile, cleanly,
and of the best stature and personal appearance " but at the same time as being
immoral, fickle, and inconstant, and possessing none of the warlike spirit of the
Caribs and Akawois.

The Dutch employed them at the Post of Moruka ; for the fishery in the
Orinoco, and the salting fishery generally; and also in the recapture of fugitive

After the British took possession of the Dutch Colonies the Arawaks readily
sought employment as laborers, especially on the plantations up the rivers, though
averse to labour among the negroes on the coast. The Arawaks were regarded
as the aristocracy of the Indian tribes and superior to all of them in the scale of
civilization. No precise locality can be indicated as their usual place of abode.

B. C„ lo-ii.

1666. Major John Scott.

From the west side of Curianteen to Wina there lives about 8,000 families of
Arawagoes [Arawaks]. B. C, I, i6g.

1673. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Peace had been made with the Caribs in Barima and the Arawaks, and they
had intercourse with each other. Satne,^, JJJ.

1758. Commandant of Guayana,

The Ariiaca Indians, dwelling there [Moruca] for the purposes of trade, are
divided into three settlements or villages, each of ten or twelve small houses, for
an Indian family. And the villages are separated the one from the other by a dis-
tance of more than a league, and are situated on the banks of the said River
Moruca. B. C, II, 142.



1776. Director-General and Councillors of Essequibo and Demerary.

Some nation which, according to old custom or their relations with us, it was
not permitted to bring to slavery, such as the Carib, Arrowjik, Warrow and
Akowa nations. B, C., IV, 141.

\77g. Don Jose Felipe de Inciarte.

Having asked the said Piache [an Arawak Indian doctor] how many families
there were in the Creek of the said Bauruma | Pomeroon], he told me that there
were thirteen of his relatives alone, the total as he showed by adding them to-
gether might reach 200 persons, without counting boys and children.

The Ariiac Indians are in general of well proportioned stature, most of them
have handsome features, and are not greatly enervated. They are disposed to
farm work, but still more to barter or trade, and consequently do not fly like the
rest when they see white people. Their clothing is simply a loin-cloth of linen,
they paint themselves slightly with annatto, but they are very fond of turtle
grease for anointing their heads, to protect them, as they say, from the power of
the sun.

The women are well made and have better features than the men, they are very
neat and wear their hair in Catalan fashion, making a plait and rolling it up and
sticking a large, broad silver pin through it to keep it in its place. Their clothing
is simply an apron of one span square, worked and woven with beads of various
colors. They are very fond of combs, scissors, ribbons, earrings, finger rings of
silver, small crosses of the same, garnets, mirrors and other trifles ; but what they
appreciate most are certain kinds of beads which the Maipures Indians make out
of tiny shells, and which the said Aruacs call Quiripa. B. C.-C, App., 2j6.

The whole of the aforesaid Bauruma is inhabited by Indians of the Aruaca
tribe who have most beautiful farms of yucca, corn and other fruits.

V. C, II, 438.
1802. Commandant of Berbice, Demerary and Essequibo.

The interior of Guyana is inhabited by various tribes of Indians, who are gen-
erally termed " Buks." Those residing nearest the sea, and, consequently most
frequently come among the settlers, are the Arawaak, the Akawye, the Worrows
and the Charibbs. But of late veiy few of them have made their appearance, and
it is to be apprehended that this circumstance has arisen from dissatisfaction.
It would, however, be better policy to keep these people in good humour, and
as their wants are but few, and of the most trivial description, their attachment
may be secured at a very small expense. B. C, V, i'/2-i'/j.

1823. William Hilhouse.

The Arawaaks. — Of all the tribes these are the most docile, cleanly, and of
the best stature and personal appearance. Living in the immediate vicinity of the
white settlements, they are the most civilized, but they are also the most indolent
and deceitful, and cowardly, and of the most debauched habits.

They have no scruple in forming connection with the whites, negroes, or any
colour, and have not the least idea of national or personal pride or honour. They
treat their women in the most brutal manner on the slightest grounds of
offence, and are fickle and inconstant to a proverb amongst the other tribes.

Their docility, vicinity, and knowledge of fire-arms makes them very eligible
for sudden calls and expeditions of no great duration or import ; but for protected




I ? protracted] service, or one in which resistance is expected, they are not to be
depended upon. They are prone to desertion, and have none of the warlike
spirit of the Caribisce or Accaways.

Their cultivation is very trifling, so much so that they live principally on plan-
tains procured from the plantations, and they are in consequence called plantain-
eaters by the other tribes. They are good fowlers, but indifferent huntsmen, and
worse fishers ; their principal forte is making pegals, bows and arrows, and In-
dian toys.

It is of these Indians, who principally compose the Missions of the Oronoque,
that Father Gomillo [Gumilla] speaks, when he describes them as deficient in
intellect, poor in spirit, and in every way inferior to the negro, whom they will
readily obey, though no negro will acknowledge obedience to them.

B. C, VI, 2T.
1 83 1. William Hilhouse.

Many Indians live between the Falls of the Essequibo and the mouth, particu-
larly Arrowacks in the Tapacouma Creek.

There are tribes of Arrowacks ; . . . there are upwards of thirty. The
tribes move much about from place to place amongst each other, frequently
change their residence. Same, p. 41.

1833. Protector of Indians in Pomeroon.

In the district of your reporter the principal tribes who inhabit nearest the
cultivation are Caribs, Arrowacks, Warrows, and some Spanish Indians.

Same, p. 4S.

1834. Wm. Hilhouse.

Of the Arawaaks and other tribes in the district of the Pomeroon Post I can
only say that the last ten or twelve years has reduced them to a state of mental
and physical degradation which has no parallel in any other European pos-
session. Same, p. J2.

1836. Postholder in Pomeroon.

There are three tribes of Indians within twenty-four hours' journey from this
Post, say Warrau, Arawacks and Caribs. There are in all about from 700 to
800, including males and females. There are also about from 200 to 250 Spanish
Indians, residing about six hours' distance from this Post up the Morocco
Creek. Satne, p. 61.

1839. Wm. Crichton, Superintendent of Rivers and Creeks.

The Indians ... of the Arawack nation . . . are decidedly superior
to all the others in the scale of civilization. Same, p. yS.

1840. R. H. Schomburgk.

The Arawaaks and Warraus live at the coast regions, and their small settle-
ments extend scarcely one hundred miles inland ; I estimate their number at

3,150- v.c, 111,314.

1843. W. C. McClintock, Superintendent in Pomeroon.

The Arrawack Indian, although so frequently employed on the sugar estates
of the Arabian coast, have notwithstanding the greatest aversion to perform any
kind of labour connected with the manufacture of sugar, but however averse they
may be to field work, their services as jobbers are greatly valued and much
encouraged by the planter. B. C, VI, isy.


INDIANS. . 261



1883. E. F. im Thurn.

The population of the whole district is very scanty, and is very scattered.
Most of the inhabitants are Red Men — True Caribs chiefly on the Baraina and
upper Barima, Ackawoi on the Morooka and upper Waini, Arauaaks on the
Morooka, and many Warraus everywhere at the mouths of the two rivers.

V. C, 111,317.

1888. E. F. im Thurn.

Different tribes of Indians living within the [Pomeroon Judicial] district, as
well as the special parts inhabited by each.

Arawaks [dwell at] Tapacooma Lake ; Arapiakroo River ; Wakapoa Lake ;
Arooka River. B. C, VII, 2jy.

1897. George L. Burr.

For the earliest period . . . the Waini, unlike the rivers to the east of it,
was the home, not of the mild Arawak, but of the Carib. V. C.-C, II, no.

Though Arawaks, like Raleigh's pilot, lived scattered among the Warrows
of the coast to the west of the Pomeroon, yet, according to all the early narra-
tors, this region was mainly Carib ; and they agree ... in making the
Pomeroon, or its little neighbor, the Moruca, the first occupied by the Arawaks.

Same, p. 116.

1898. Michael McTurk.

The Arrawacks, who appear to have come to the territory in question from
the West Indian Islands, appear to have chiefly occupied the territory between
the Orinoco and the Essequibo wherever they found any place of some elevation
above the surrounding flat country. B. C.-C, App., 404.

1898. E. F. im Thurn.

There are three chief Indian stocks in this part of Guiana, the Warow,
Arawak, and Carib, each using a distinct language, and that of these stocks at
least one, the Carib, is distinguishable into a number of sub-tribes — Macusis,
Arekunas, Akawois or Waikas, Partamonas, and others — each of which uses a
dialect of the stock Carib language.

The geographical position of these tribes within the area seems to have been
much the same in the earliest recorded times as now, and is almost certainly
connected with the history of their respective migrations into the country. . . .
The Arawaks, probably somewhat late-comers, who formerly occupied some or
all of the West Indian islands, were gradually forced southwards, in front of
the great Carib migration, down that chain of islands and on to the mainland,
when they occupied the coast-land, from the Orinoco to the Essequibo and be-
yond, wherever it rose a little above the swamps. Same, p. 40S.


. British Case.

The principal Indian tribes inhabiting the territory known as Guiana were the
Caril)S, the Akawois or Waikas, the Arawaks, and the Warows or Guaraunos.

B. C, g.




. British Case.

Of the above tribes, by far the most numerous and powerful throughout the
whole period of Dutch occupation of Guiana was the Carib nation. In the later
period of British occupation, though still claiming and receiving precedence
among the aborigines of the Colony, and known as the warriors among the
native inhabitants, their numbers had become greatly reduced, and they had
become in some instances industrious cultivators of the soil. But in the early
days of the Colony the Caribs, surpassing as they did all other nations in personal
bravery, were the great freebooters on all the coast from the Island of Trinidad
to the Mouth of the Amazon. They were strong enough to control the waterway
of the Orinoco, and they permanently occupied the lower portion of the right
bank of the Orinoco as far as Barima.

In the interior of Guiana they were found on the Upper Essequibo, the Massa-
runi, the Upper Cuyuni, the Pomeroon, and the Barima, and they ranged at will
through the forest region. B. C, lo.

1593. Don Antonio Berrio.

All the conntry [along the banks of the upper Orinoco] is withont natives,
on account of the fleets of the Caribs, who ascend the river and have eaten
them up, and the others have abandoned the plain and gone to the woods.
. . . All the Indians assured me that in descending the Orinoco I should find
great settlements of Caribs, and lower still I should find a great river which is
called Caroni, which descends from Guayana, and, on account of a great water-
fall, cannot be navigated ; but that there, and a little above, where there is a
Chief called Morquita, the Cordilleras end. . . . God was pleased to send
us guides in tlie form of two pirogues of Caribs, who were stealing people
for their cannibal feasts and food, and who came with me for presents.
They were Caribs of Barima, towards which I journeyed in their company,
down the Orinoco as far as the dwellings of the River Caroni, which will be
more than 350 leagues; and during this voyage we experienced much friend-
ship, and two of their Chiefs came into my pirogue, and I gave them a Spaniard,
and they disclosed to me great secrets of the country, and confirmed all the in-
formation that I had received above, and I found all that had been told me true.
I asked these Caribs why they took such a long journey with so much labour,
when they were so numerous and courageous, and had Guayana so near.
They replied that the Guayenese were numerous and were very near, and can
make war upon them by land, and for this reason they wish to be friendly with
them. B. C, I, 2.

1595. Don Felipe de Santiago.

Entering . . . and going up the River Orinoco . . . various terri-
tories of several tribes of natives are met with, such as the Aruacas, Yayos, Sapoyos,
Caribs, and Napuyos. Same, p. g.

1598. A. Cabeliau.

On the 15th February [ 1598] we perceived a boat, called by the Indians a
canoe, which came about 2 miles from the continent out of the River Caurora,
in which were six men, one woman, and a little child of the (icribus | Carib]
and Jau nation, and they were quite naked, and it was long before they dared
to come on board. Same, p. iS.




1612. Sancho de Alqui§a.

Boats are not to be found when they are wanted in this town [St. Joseph de
Oruna in Trinidad], and when they are found, Indian rowers are not to lie got,
on acconnt of their having: l^een so harried hy the t'aribs, that in con-
sequence of the great ravages they make amongst them they have retired inland,
and do not come to this town unless they are fetched ; and this is a matter of
considerable difficulty, as not less than twenty-four soldiers can go at a time, for
if less go, it is like sending them to destruction. B. C, I, 2y.

1621. City of Santo Thome.

The enemy will come to an understanding with all the multitude of the Carib
nation, which dwells in those islands to the windward, such as those of
Tobago, Granada, Matalino, and Dominica, and many more besides, and the
sea-coast to the River Maranon, uniting with all the €aribs, natives of them,
who are the great pirates and freebooters and cannibals of all those coasts.

Same, p. j2.
1624. Sloane MS.

It [Ezikebe] is inhabited by Caribs and Aruakas. The Caribs inhabit the
upper part of the river and the others the lower part. Same, p. 61.

1 63 1. Marquis de Sofraga.

They [corsairs] join with the Carib Indians who inhabit those coasts.

Same, p. yo.
1634. Bishop of Porto Rico.

Taking three armed vessels at my own cost with nearly sixty persons, soldiers
and Indians of war, as a protection against the numbers of Caribs who infest
these coasts, B. C.-C, App., 11.

1637. Don Juan Desologuren.

Between the coast and Cacanare there are 50,000 Indians, mostly Caribs,

and the others may almost be counted their subjects such is their fear of them.

B. C, I, 78.

1638. Maldonado.

From those places [Essequibo, Berbice, etc.] referred to there go forth every
year a number of pirogues of Caribs to murder and rob along the entire coast
during the summer, which is the most favourable time to do so. Same, p. 124.

1666. Major John Scott.

It is beyond all controversy that Gniana hath been time out of mind ye
station of ye Carrebs, and all the Indians on the island [Guiana is here taken
to be an island] owe their oridginall from thence.

The most numerous nacion of Indians in Guiana are ye Careebs, and these
are inhabited in Aricare about 6,000 Careeb families. In Wiapoca, Macorea,
and Abrewaco, 11,000 Careebc families.

In the River Marrawina, about 800 Cireeb families. Same, p. 168.

In Suranam, Commowina, Suramaco, Copenham, and Currianteen are about
0,000 Careeb families.

From Wina to the utmost part of Awarabish, on the west syde of Oranoque
and the Rivers Oronoque, Poraema, and Amacora, are about 20,000 Careebs
families. Same, p. i6g.




1673. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Peace had been made with the Caribs in Bariiua and the Arawaks, and they
had intercourse with each other. B. C, I, lyj.

1682. Commandeur in Essequibo.

Among: the natives of the country, thank God, there is peace as yet. . . .
On account of the war between tlie Caribs and Accoways the River Cuyuni no
longer furnishes provisions. Same, p. iSj.

1683. Commandeur in Essequibo.

I have sent a negro up in Cuyuni in order, if it be possible, to establish peace
between the Aliuways and tlie Caribs. Same, p. 183.

1686. Tiburcio de Axpe y Zuiiiga.

This nation [Carib] is very numerous (not, however, in those parts about
Guarapiche or the Golfo Triste, described by the Capuchins, where they are few
in number), for on the mainland various places are occupied by them, as, for in-
stance, Amana, Pao, Caura, and all the coast from the River Orinoco to the
Maranon. Same, p. ig^.

1686. Sancho Fernandez de Angulo.

The Carib Indians, . . . are a nation very numerous in various parts,
and in the Island of St. Vincent (one of the Windward Islands) they are proud,
valiant, warlike, and the arbiters of peace and war, and trample on the other na-
tions ; they eat human flesh generally, and every year at a fixed time they gather
together and go to the districts of the River Orinoco to make war on other
nations, and they eat the Indians whom they kill.

In these [cannibal] feasts . . . they usually decide on warlike expeditions
which are very pernicious, both against the Spaniards and against other Indian
nations. Same, pp. igy-igS.

1723. Viceroy of New Granada.

On the banks of the said river [Orinoco], and inland from it, are innumerable
infidel and Carib Indians who inhabit and people that region. V. C, III, j68.

1733. Father Bernardo Rotella.

I suppose, fourthly, that the Guayquiries, including the Aguaricotas, Mayopes,
and Salinas, are for the most part Caribs, some, because they are the sons of
Caribs, others through inheritances, marriages, and friendship ; and even if I
were to say that part of the Guayanese are the same I should not be wrong, for
from Guayana not only up to the mouth of the Meta, but up to the Maypures,
twenty-three days' sail or more, these are Caribs already, and consequently
traitors. B. C.-C, App., 168.

And those [Indians] who do not go over to their [Carib] side, they will sweep
away just as they have destroyed, at the present time, more than forty-two tribes,
of which there is one, namely, that of the Saypos, which was very numerous, but
whereof no more than one boy now remains. Same, p. i/o.

The Caribs, my friend, are overbearing, insolent and bold, and if they had
not met with resistance there would have been by this time neither Missions nor
missionaries. Same, p. 172.




1733. Father Bernardo Rotella.

Respecting what I say against Araguacare. This man, my friend, was loyal
until he was made a captain ; but now he is no longer Araguacare, but another
Yaguaria, and through him and the rest of the Caribs it is already known for