“Digression on the Nature of the Country of the Apalachites, their Manners, their Ancient and Their New Religion”
Histoire Naturelle and Morale des Antilles de l’Amerique
The Caribbians were originally Inhabitants of the Septentrional part of America, of that Country which is now called Florida: They, came to Inhabit the islands after they had departed from amidst the Apalachites , among whom they lived a long- time and they left there some of their people, who to this day go under the name of Caribbians : But their first origine is from the Cofachites, who only chang’d their denomination, and were called Caribbians in the Country of the Apalachites, as we shall see soon.
The Apalachites are a powerful and generous Nation, which continues to this present planted in the same Country of Florida: They are the Inhabitants of a gallant and spacious Country called Apalacha, from which they have received their name, and which begins at the altitude of thirty three degrees and twenty five minutes. North of the Equinoctial Line, and reaches to the thirty seventh degree. This people have a communication with the Sea of the great Gulf of Mexico or New Spain, by the means of a River, which taking its source out of the Apalachian Mountains, at the foot whereof they inhabit, after it hath wandered through many rich Campagnes, disembarks it self at last into the Sea near the islands of Tacobago : The Spaniards have called this River Rio del Spirito Santo but the Apalachites call it still by its ancient name of Hitanachi, which in their Language signifies fair and pleasant. On the East-side they are divided from all other Nations by high and far-spreading Mountains, whole tops are cover’d with snow most part of the year, and which separate them from Virginia: on the other sides they adjoin to several inconsiderable Nations, which are all their friends and confederates.
These Apalachites make it their boast, that they had propagated certain Colonies a great way into Mexico : And they show to this day a great Road by land, by which they affirm that their Forces march’d into those parts. The Inhabitants of the Country, upon their arrival gave them the name of Tlatuici, which signifies Mountaineers or High-Landers, for they were more hardy and more generous than they. They planted themselves in a quarter like that from which they came, situated at the foot of the Mountains, in a fertile soil, where they built a City, as near as they could like that which they had left behind them, whereof they are possess’d to this day. They are so united there by inter-marriages and other bonds of peace, that they make up but one people with them nor indeed could they well be discern’d one from the other, if they had not retain’d several words of their original language, which is the only observable difference between them.
After the Apalachites had planted this Colony, the Cofachites, wholly more towards the north of America, in a fenny and somewhat barren Country, and who had continued in good correspondence with them, knowing that they were then far from their best and most valiant men, took an advantageous opportunity to fall upon their Neighbours the Apalachites, and to force them out of their habitations, or at least to participate with them of the land where they had settled themselves, after they should become Matters thereof. This design having been carried on very cunningly among the chiefest of the Cofachites, they afterwards publish’d it in all their Villages, and got it approvd by all the heads of Families, who instead of minding the business of Husbandry and setting things in order for the sowing of Corn at the beginning of the Spring as they were wont to do other years, prepaid their Bows, Arrows, and Clubs and having set their habitations on fire’, and furnish’d themselves with some little provisions out of what was left of the precedent Winter, they took the field, with their wives and children, and all the little baggage they had, with a resolution either to conquer or dye, since they had cut off all hopes of returning to a place which they had destroy’d and despoil’d of all manner of conveniences.
In this equipage they in a short time got to the frontiers of their Neighbours: The Apalachites who thought of nothing less than having an enemy so near them, were then very busy about the planting of their maize the roots from which they derive their ordinary sustenance: Those who liv’d about the great Lake at the foot of the Mountains, which they call in their Language Theomi having perceiv’d this powerful Army ready to fall on them, immediately made their retreat into the neighbouring Mountains, and left their villages and cattle to the disposal of the enemy; thence they took their march through the woods, to carry intelligence of this erruption to the Cities which are in the vallies among the first mountains, where resided the Paracoussis, who is the King of the Country, with all the considerable forces thereof. Upon, this so unexpected news, the said Prince, while he was making, his preparations to go against the Enemy, posted those who were most in a readiness for the expedition in the Avenues of the mountains, and placed Ambuscadoes in several parts of the great forests, which lye between the great Lake and the Mountains, and through which there was a necessity of passing to get into that pleasant and spacious valley, which is above sixty leagues in length, and about ten in bredth where are the habitations of the chiefest Inhabitants of the Country, and the most considerable Cities in the Kingdom.
While the Cofachites were busy about the plundering and pillaging the houses they had found near the great Lake, the
Apalachites had the opportunity to prepare themselves for the reception of them; But the former, instead of taking the ordinary Roads and ways which led to the flat Country, which, as we said, lie between the Mountains, having left their Wives and Children near the great Lake, under the guard of some Forces they had drawn off from the main Body, and being guided by some of the Apalachites, whom they had surprized fishing in the great Lake, cross’d through the woods, and made their way over mountains and precipices , over and through which the Camels could hardly have pass’d, and by that means got into the heart and centre of the Country, and
found themselves of a sudden in a Province, called that of the Amanites : They without any resistance surpriz’d the chiefest places of it, wherein they found to guard them only Women, Children, and some old men, such as were not able to follow their King, who with his people lay expecting the Enemy at the ordinary descents which led into the Country.
The Cofachites perceiving that their design had prov’d so successful, and that there was a great likelihood that in a short time they should become Masters of the whole Country, since they had met with good fortune immediately upon their first appearance, prosecuted their conquests further, and having Cities for their retreat, where they had left good strong garrisons, they marched towards the King of Apalacha, with a resolution either to fight him, or at least oblige him to allow them the quiet possession of some part of the Country. The Apalachite was extremely surpriz’d, when he understood that the Enemy, whom he had all this while expected on the Frontiers, and at the known avenues of the Country, had already possess’d himself of a Province that lay in the centre of his Dominions, and that he had left garrisons in the Cities and most considerable places thereof : However, being a magnanimous and gallant Prince, he would try whether the chance of Arms would prove as favourable to him, as he thought his cause good and just, he thereupon came down with his people out of the Mountains, where he had encamped himself and having encourag’d those that were about him to do their utmost, he confidently set upon the vanguard of the Cofachites, which was come out to observe his motion: having on both sides spent all their arrows, they came to a close fight, and having taken their Clubs, there was a great slaughter in both Armies, till that night having separated them, the Cofachites observ’d that they had lost a great number of theirs in the engagement, and found that they had to do with a people that behav’d themselves more valiantly than they had imagined to themselves they would have done and consequently that their best course would be to enter into a friendly treaty with them, rather than venture another hazard of their Forces in a strange Country.
Upon this they resolv’d^ that the next morning they would send ambassadors to the King of the Apalachites, with certain Overtures of Peace and in case of a refusal (dissembling the loss they had receivd in the former Engagement) to declare open War, and to challenge him to be immediately ready to receive their Charge, which should be much more violent then what they had met withal the day before; and that then all their Forces were come together.
The Paracoussis of the Apalachites having given audience to these Ambassadors, desir’d that days time to consider of the
propositions which had been made to him and thereupon having requird of them the Articles and Conditions under
which they would Treat with him, in case he might be inclin’d to Peace they told him, That they had left their own Country with a resolution to plant themselves either by friendship or by force in that good and fat Country whereof he was possess’d and that if he would condescend to the former of those means they desired to become one People with the Apalachites to dwell in their Country, and to cultivate it, and so to supply the empty places of those who not long before had gone from among them to plant a new Colony in some remote parts of the World.
The Apalachite assembled his Council upon these considerations, and having acquainted them therewith, he represented That the Army of the Cofachites hindered the coming in of the Assistances which they might receive from the other Provinces that had not been ready to come in to them at the beginning of the War; That by the same means the passage of provisions was absolutely obstructed; That the Enemy was Matter of the Field, and that without any resistance he had got into one of the best Provinces of the whole Country, where he had also possess’d himself of places of Importance; and, That though in the precedent Engagement he had taken particular notice of the incomparable fidelity and gallantry of his People,in setting upon and fighting against the Enemies, over whom they had very considerable Advantages, yet had that good success been bought with the loss of his most valiant Captains, and the best of his Soldiers and consequently it concern’d them to bethink themselves of some means to preserve the rest of the Kingdom by sparing what was then left of the choicest Men : And since the Enemies were the first Proposers of the Conditions of Peace, it would be the safest way to hearken thereto if it might be done without any derogation from their Glory, and the great Reputation they had acquired before; inasmuch as there was waste grounds enough in several places, and that the Country, by reason of the transplantation of some part of their Inhabitants, was spacious and fertile enough to sustain them all.
All the chief Commanders of the Apalachites having heard what had been propos’d by their King, and concluding it was
not fear that obliged him to hearken to an Accommodation with the Cofachites since that the day before he had ventur’d his Person among the most forward; but that it proceeded purely from the desire he had that they might not be rashly expos’d to further danger, and his care of preferring his People, which was already at the mercy of the Enemy ,who had possess’d himself of one of the richest Provinces; and having also understood by some Spies who were come into the Kings Army by some secret ways,and made their escape out of the Cities where the Cofachites had their Garrissons, that they treated with great mildness and respect the women and old men whom they had found there; having, I say, taken all these things into consideration, they unanimously subscribed to the sentiments of their Prince, and made answer, That there was a necessity of condescending to an Accommodation, and making some Agreement upon the most advantageous Conditions they could, according to the present posture of their Affairs ; And after they had confirm’d this resolution by their Ha Ha, which is the sign of the applause and ratification wherewith they are wont to conclude their Deliberations, they Signified the same to the Ambassadors of the Cofachites, who expected it with impatience.
This news being carried over to the Camp of the Cofachites, was receiv’d with great joy, as being consonant to the end they had propos’d to themselves when they first undertook the War and left their Country : They thereupon immediately deputed some of the chiefest among them to agree with the Apalachites about the absolute conclusion of that Peace; and to sign the Articles of the Treaty. these Deputies being come to the place where the Prince of the Apalachites expected them, attended by the most considerable persons about his Court, fitting on a Seat somewhat higher then any of the rest, and cover’d with a rich Fur, were very kindly received; and having taken their Seats, the King drank to them of a certain Beverage called Cassina, out of a Bowl of which he first tasted himself: All that were present at the Council drank afterwards in order, which done, they fell upon the business of the Treaty, which was concluded upon these Conditions,
That the Cofachites would inhabit promiscously in the Cities and Towns of the Apalachites; That in all respects they should be esteemed and accounted as the natural Inhabitants of the Country; That they should absolutely enjoy the same Priviledges; That they should be subject to the King, as the others were; That they should embrace the Religion, and observe the customs of the Country; Or if they would rather, the Apalachites would resign up to them the rich and great Province of Amana, to be enjoy’d only by them, according to the limits which should be agreed upon: Provided nevertheless, That they should acknowledge the King of the Apalachites for their Sovereign, and that from thence forward they should render him reasonable homage.
This Agreement being thus reciprocally concluded, was attended with mutual acclamations: Not long after,the Deputies of the Cofachites having given an account of their negotiation to their Commander in chief and his Councel, and represented to them the choice which had been left them either of living promiscously among the Apalachites, or being sole possessors of the Province into which they were entered; they unanimously accepted of the latter, and so became absolute Masters of that Province of Amana, whereof the King of the Apalachites put them himself into quiet possession: The Women, Children, and Old men, who had been left behind, when all such as were able to bear arms had follow’d their Prince, were transported into some of the other Provinces, where the King appointed a settled habitation for them, and all the gallant men of that Province who had ventur’d their lives against the Enemy, and for the preservation of their Country.
All things being thus settled, both parties laid down their arms, and the Cofachites went to fetch their Wives, Children, cattle, Baggage, and the Souldiers they had left near the great Lake of Theomi; and being safely return’d, they dispos’d themselves into the Cities appointed them, congratulating their good fortune in the conquest of so noble a Country, answerably to their expectation at the first undertaking of the War.
From that time the Apalachites gave the name of Caribbians, or as the French would have it, Caraibes, to those new comers, who of a sudden and contrary to their expectation, forc’d themselves upon them, to repair the breach which had been made by the transplantation of some of their people into another Country of America: so that this word Caraibes signifies, in their language, a sort of people added, or suddenly and unexpectedly coming in strangers, or stout and valiant men; as if they would express, that a generous people, whom they expected not, were come upon them, and had been added to them; and this denomination continu’d to these new comers instead of that of Cofachites, which hath been kept up only in some weak and wretched Families which liv’d more towards the north of Florida, and after the departure of the true Cofachites possess’d themselves of their habitations, and would also have pass’d under the name of those who had preceded them in the possession of that Country : Whereas on the other side, these true Cofachites were known by the name of Caribbians in the Province of Amana, and therefore henceforward we shall speak of them, and the Colonies which they have since sent abroad;, only under that name.
these two Nations being thus united by the determination of their differences, and the period they put to a cruel war which might have ruin’d them both, lived afterwards in good correspondence for many years. But in process of time, the Caribbians finding themselves multiply’d in the Country which they had conquer’d by their arms, would not embrace the Religion of the Apalachites, who ador’d the Sun, as shall be shewn hereafter, nor be present at their Ceremonies in the Temple they had in the Province of Bemarin, where the Court was; nor in fine render the King the homages that were due to him for the Province they were possessed of, according to their promise,and the Articles of the Treaty.
This breach of promise on the part of the Caribbians, and that unjustifiable act, proved the occasion of many bloody Wars which happend afterwards between the two Nations:the Caribbians were surrounded of all sides by their adversaries, who kept them in so,that they could not any way enlarge their quarters; and on the other side the Apalachites had in the bowels of their Country a cruel and irreconcileable enemy, who kept them perpetually in alarms, and oblig’d them to be always in arms; during which, both the one and the other, sometimes victorious, sometirnes beaten, as the uncertain chance of war was pleas’d to carry it, liv’d a very sad life; insomuch that, many times, either for want of cultivating the ground, or by reason of the waste committed in the fields of one another, a little before the Harvest, they were reduc’d to such an extreme Famine, as destroy’d more people than the Sword.
Above an age was spent in these contests, during which the Caribbians, who had for their Commander in chief and King of their Nation, one of their molt valiant Captains, whom they called Ragazim, added to their former acquests another Province, which lay next to them on the South side, and is called Matica, which reaching through the Mountains by an interval that receives a torrent descending from the same Mountains, afterwards extends towards the West, as far as the River, which taking its source at the great Lake, after it hath made several islands, and flown through divers Provinces, falls at last into the Ocean : This is the famous River which the French have called the River of May; but the Apalachites name it Basainim, which signifies in their language,the delicious River, or abounding in fish. The Caribbians having thus dilated their territories, and forced their Enemies to retreat, made for some years a truce with the Apalachites, who being wearied out with the Wars, and discourag’d by the loss of a considerable Province, willingly hearkened to that cessation of arms, and all acts of hostility .
But these Apalachites being exasperated to see their Country grown less by one of the best Provinces belonging to it, taking the advantage of the opportunity of that Truce, secretly consulted several times among themselves how they might Carry on their designs more successfully against the Caribbians then they had done before, and having found by sad experience that they had not advanced their affairs much by assaulting their Enemies openly, and by settled Engagements, they resolv’d to supplant them by subtlety,and to that end to think of all ways imaginable to make a division among them, and insensibly to engage them in a Civil War within their own Country. This advice being received and generally approv’d of all their priests, who are in very great esteem among them, and have Voices in their most important assemblies, immediately furnish’d them with expedients, and suggested to them the means which were to this effect.
They had observ’d that those people who came in so slily and surpriz’d them in their own Countrv, were without Religion,
and made no acknowledgment of any Divinity, whereto they conceived themselves oblig’d to render any publick Service,and that they stood in fear only of a certain evil Spirit which they called Mabouya , because he sometimes tormented them; yet so as that in the mean time they did not do him any homage. Thence it came that for some years after their arrival, during which they had liv’d in good correspondence with them, they endeavour’d to induce them by their example to acknowledge the Sun to be the sovereign Governour of the World, and to adore him as God. These Exhortations and instructions had a great influence over the Spirits of the chiefest among the Caribbians, and had made strong impressions in them; so that having receiv’d the first Principles of that Religion while the time of their mutual correspondence continued, many left the Province of Amana wherein they had their habitations,and went into that of Bemarin, the principal Province of the Apalachites, whence they ascended into the Mountain of Olaimi, upon which the Apalachites made their solemn Offerings; and upon their invitation the Caribbians had participated of those Ceremonies and that Service: these priests, whom the Apalachites call Jaouas, which is as much as to say, Men of God, knew that the seeds of Religion are not so easily smother’d in the hearts of men; and that, though the long Wars they had had With the Caribbians had hindered the exercise thereof, yet would it be no hard matter for them to blow up, as we may say, those sparks in them which lay hid under the ashes.
The Truce and Cessation of all acts of hostility, which had been concluded between the two Nations, presented the Apalachites with a favourable opportunity to prosecute their design; Whereupon the priests of the Sun advised, with the Kings consent, that there should be a publication made among the Caribbians, at the beginning of the Month of March, which they call Naarim in their language, they would render a solemn Service in honour of the Sun, on the high Mountain; and that the said Service should be attended with Divertissements, feasting, and presents, which they should liberally give to such as were present thereat. This Ceremony was no new thing among the Apalachites, so that the Caribbians could not suspect any circumvention, nor fear any surprise; for it was a very ancient custom among them to make extraordinary Prayers to the Sun at the beginning of the Month of Naarim, which is precisely the time that they have done sowing their Maize. That which they desire in this Service is, That the Sun would be pleas’d to cause that which they had recommended to his care, to spring, grow, and come to maturity. They have also the same solemnity in the Month of May, at which time they have got in their first harvest, to render him thanks for the fruits they conceive that they have received from his hands. Besides, the Caribbians knew well enough, that during these Festivals the Apalachites hung up their Bows and Arrows; that it was accounted a hainous crime among them to go arm’d into their Temple, and to raise the least dispute there; and that during those days of Selemnity, the greatest Enemies were commonly reconcile’d, and laid aside all enmity. In fine, they made not the least doubt but that the Publick Faith, and the promise solemnly made, would be inviolably observ’d.
Upon this assurance they dispose themselves to pass over into the Province of Bemarin at the time appointed; and that they might be thought to contribute somewhat on their part to the publick Solemnity, they dress themselves with all the bravery and magnificence they could; and though that even then they were wont to go very lightly clad, and expose their bodies almost naked, yet the more to accommodate themselves to the humours of their Neighbours, whom they were going to visit, they caused all the Furs, Spotted Skins , and Stuffs that they had, to be made into Cloaths : They forgot not also to cause their faces , their hands, and all those places of their bodies which lay expos’d to be seen, to be painted with a bright red; and they crown themselves with their richest Garland , interwoven with the different plumage of several rare Birds of the Country. The Women for their parts, desirous to participate of this Solemnity ; leave nothing undone that might contribute any thing to the adorning of themselves ; the Chains of Shells of several colours, the Pendants, and the high Coifs enrich’d with the precious and glittering Stones which the Torrents bring down along with them out of the high Mountains, made them appear with extraordinary lustre. In this equipage the Caribbians, partly out of curiosity, partly out of the vanity to shew themselves, and some out of certain motives of religion, undertake that Pilgrimage : And that they might not raise any
jealousie in those who had so kindly invited them, they leave their Bows, Arrows, and Clubs at the last Village within their jurisdiction,and enter into the Province of Bemarin only with a walking stick, singing and dancing, as they are all of a merry and divertive disposition.
On the other side, the Apalachites expected them with great devotion, and answerably to the Orders they had to that purpose received from their King, whose name was Teltlabin, and whose race commands at present among that people; they kindly entertain’d all those who came to the Sacrifice; nay, from the first entrance of the Caribbians into their Province, they treated them at all places as cordially as if they had been their Brethren, and that there had never been any difference between them: They seated them all along the way , and conduced them up to the Royal City, which to this day they call Melilot ,that is,the City of Councel, inasmuch as it is the habitation of the King and his Court: The chiefest of the Caribbians were magnificently entertain’d at the Palace-Royal, and those of the common sort were received and treated by the Inhabitants of the City, who spar’d no cost to heighten the satisfaction of their Guests.
The day dedicated to the sacrifice of the Sun being come, the King of the Apalachites with his Court, which was very much increas’d by the arrival of the Caribbians, and a great number of the Inhabitants of the other Provinces, who were come up to the feast, went up very betimes in the morning to the top of the Mountain of Olaimi, which is not a full league distant from the City : This Prince, according to the custome of the Country, was carried in a chair, on the shoulders of four tall men, attended by four others of the same height, who Were to relieve the former when they were weary : There marched before him several persons playing on Flutes and other musical instruments with this pomp he came to the place appointed for the assembly; and when the Ceremony was over, he made a great distribution of Cloaths and Furs, more than he had been accustomed to do upon such occasions before : But above all, his liberality was remarkable towards the most considerable persons among the Caribbians ; and in imitation of the Prince, the wealthiest of his people made presents in like manner to those of that Nation who had vouchsafed their solemn Sacrifice with their presence; so that most of the Caribbians return’d home well satisfy’d, and in better Liveries than they had brought thence with them : After they were come down from the Mountain, they were again treated and entertain’d with the greatest expressions of good will, in all the houses of the Apalachites, through whose habitations they were to return into their quarters : In fine, to encourage them to a second visit, there were solemn protestations made to them from the King and his Officers, that they should be at all other times receiv’d with the like demonstrations of affection, if they were desirous to accompany them four times in the year to the celebration of the same Ceremonies.
The Caribbians being returned into their Province could not make sufficient acknowledgments of the kind entertainment they had receiv’d : those who had stay’d at home being ravish’d to see the rich presents which their Country-men had brought home, immediately resolv’d to undertake the same pilgrimage at the next ensuing Feast : And the day on which it was to be drawing near, there was so great a contestation among them who should go, that if their Cacick or chief Captain, had not taken some course therein, the Province would have been destitute of Inhabitants : The Apalachites on the other side continu’d their entertainments and liberalities ; and there was a certain emulation among them who should be most kind to the Caribbians : Their priests, who knew what would be the issue of all this imposture, recommended nothing so much to them, as the continuation ; of those good Offices, which they said were very acceptable to the Sun.
Three years slipp’d away in these visits ; at the end whereof the Apalachites, who had exhausted themselves in liberalities
towards their Neighbours, perceiving they had gain’d extreamly upon their affections, and that the greatest part of them were grown so zealous for the service of the Sun, that nothing would be able to force out of their apprehensions the deep sentiments they had conceiv’d of his Divinity ; resolv’d, upon the instigation of their priests, for whose advice the King and all the people had great respects and submissions, to take occasion from the expiration of the Truce to renew the war against the Caribbians, and to forbid them access to their Ceremonies, if they would not, as they did, make a publick profession of believing the Sun to be God, and perform the promise they had sometime made of acknowledging the King of the Apalachites for their Sovereign, and do homage to him for the Province of Amana, upon which account they had been admitted to be the Inhabitants thereof.
The Caribbians were divided about these proposals: For all those who were inclin’d to the adoration of the Sun, were of
opinion, that satisfaction should be given to the Apalachites, affirming, that, though they were not oblig’d thereto by their promise, yet would there be an engagement to do it, though it were only to prevent their being depriv’d of the free exercise of their Religion, and debar’d their presence at the sacrifices made to the Sun, which they could not abandon without much regret: The Cacick or chief Commander, and a great number of the most considerable among the Caribbians alledged on the contrary, that they would not blast their reputation,and the glory of all their precedent Victories, by so shameful a peace, which, under pretence of Religion, would make them subject to the Apalachites ; That they were free-born and that as such, they had left the place of their birth, and transplanted themselves into a better Country than their own, by force of Arms ; That their greatest concernment was to endeavour the continuance of that precious liberty, and to cement it with their own blood, if occasion required; That they were the same men who had sometime forc’d the Apalachites to resign up to them the most considerable of their Provinces, such a one as was the centre, and as it were the eye of their Country ; That they had not remitted any thing of that generosity, and that that valour was so far from being extinguish’d, that on the contrary they had enlarg’d their jurisdiction by the acquest of a noble and spacious Country,which gave them passage beyond! the Mountains,whereby they were surrounded before , That having thus removed out of the way whatever might obstruct their designs, it would be thought an insupportable cowardice in them, only under pretence of Religion, and out of pure curiosity of being present at Sacrifices, to quit the possession of what they had reduc’d under their power with so much trouble and bloodshed: In fine, that if any were desirous to adore the Sun, they needed not to go out of their own Territories to do it, since he shined as favourably in their Provinces as those of the Apalachites and look’d on them every day as graciously as on any other part of the world ; and if there were any necessity of consecrating a Mountain to him, or a Grot, they might find among those which separated their Country from the great Lake, some that were as high and as fit for those mysteries as that of Olaimi.
Those who maintained the service of the Sun, and were against engaging in a new war, which must be the sequel of refusing conditions which were as advantageous to them as to the Apalachites, made answer; that since they had for some years enjoy ‘d the sweetness of peace, and experienc’d upon so many occasions the kind entertainments and generosity of their Neighbours, it would be the greatest imprudence in the world to run themselves into new troubles, which they might avoid upon such easie terms, and that without any loss of the reputation they had acquired; That the acknowledgments which the Apalachites requir’d for the Province they were possessed of, might be such, and of so little importance, that it would not be any diminution of their Honour, or prejudice to their Authority ; That as to what concern’d the Service and Sacrifices of the Sun, they were not furnish’d with such priests as were instructed in that Science, and acquainted with the Ceremonies thereof; That it was much to be fear’d that if they should undertake to imitate the Jaouas of the Apalachaties they would, by the miscarriages likely to be committed therein, draw upon themselves the indignation of the Divinity which they would serve, instead of gaining its favor; That they had found upon enquiry, that there was not any Mountain in the whole Country so kindly look’d upon by the Sun, and so pleasant as that of Olaimi: Nor was there any other that had a Temple naturally made in the Rock, after so miraculous a manner, which was such, that all the art and industry of man could never bring to that perfection, and that it could be no other than the work of the beams of that Divinity which was there ador’d ; That though it were suppos’d they might find out a Mountain and a Cave that came somewhat near the other, which yet they thought impossible, it was questionable whether those Birds who were the Sun’s Messengers would make their habitation there ; And that the Fountain consecrated in honour of him, which wrought admirable effects, and unheard of cures, would be found there; And consequently, that they should expose themselves to the derision of the Apalachites, who would still have occasion to make their brags of an infinite number of prerogatives peculiar to their ancient Temple and Service, which the new one they pretended to build would never have. From all which considerations the Religious party concluded, that their best course was to make a firm peace, that so they might have the convenience of participating of the same Ceremonies for the future, which they had frequented during the Truce.
But those who were resolv’d on the contrary side were so obstinate, that all those remonstrances prevail’d nothing upon them, nor could in the least divert them from the resolution they had taken never to acknowledge the Apalachites for their Sovereigns, nor lose their liberty under pretence of Religion and way of worship, which their fore-fathers had been ignorant of: So that, in fine, this contrariety of sentiments made an absolute rupture among the Caribbians so as to divide them into two factions, as the priests of the Apalachite had foreseen whereupon being divided also in their Councels, they could not return an unanimous answer to the propositions of peace or war which had been made to them by the Apalachites: But either party growing stronger and stronger daily, that which voted for an allyance with the Apalachites, and stood for the adoration of the Sun, became so powerful as to be in a condition to oblige the other either to embrace their opinion, or quit the Province.
It would be too tedious a Relation to set down here all the mischiefs and miseries which that Civil War brought among
the Caribbians, who mutually destroy’d one the other, till at-last, after many fights, the Apalachites joyning with that party which carried on their interests, the other was forced to quit the Provinces of Amana and Matica, and to find out a more settled habitation elsewhere.
The victorious Caribbians having, by the assistance of the Apalachites rid themselves of those who were the disturbers of their Peace, fortified their Frontiers, and placed up and down on the avenues the most valiant and most generous of their Forces, to deprive the Banish’d of all hope of ever returning: That done, they contracted a most strict Alliance with the Apalachites submitting themselves to their Laws, embracing their Religion, and so making themselves one people with them; and that incorporation continues to this day; yet not so, but that those Caribbians do still retain their ancient name, as we have already observ’d in the beginning of this Chapter; as also many words which are common between them and the Inhabitants of the Caribbies : Of this kind are, among an infinite number of others, the terms of Cakonnes, to express the little curiosities which are preserv’d for their rarity; that of Bouttou, to signifie a Club of a weighty kind of wood; that of Taumali, to express a certain picquancy or delightfulness of taste; that of Banare, to signify a familiar Friend; that of Etoutou, to denote an Enemy: They also call a Bow, Allouba; Arrows, Alouani; a great Pond, Taonaba; the evil Spirit, Mabouya; and the Soul of a Man, Akamboue; which are the proper terms which the Caribbean Inhabitants of the islands make use of at the present to signify the same things.