A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 3 - By Robert Kerr












































































































 -  They have few land animals, except a
kind of rabbits like those of Hispaniola; but to make amends for this - Page 640
A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 3 - By Robert Kerr - Page 640 of 789 - First - Home

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They Have Few Land Animals, Except A Kind Of Rabbits Like Those Of Hispaniola; But To Make Amends For This Want, They Have Vast Quantities Of Fish Both In The Sea And The Rivers:

Among these the chiefest is tortoises or turtles, in vast abundance, excellent of their kind, and very wholesome, which cure the leprosy and the itch, in such as are content to make them their constant food.

It produces maize or Indian corn in great abundance; and every thing considered, it may be pronounced the finest and best provided country in that part of the world. The natives of Cuba were of the same nation with those of the Lucayos islands, a good sort of people, and very well tempered. They were governed by caciques, having towns of 200 or 300 houses, in each of which several families resided, as in Hispaniola.

They had no religion, having no temples, idols, or sacrifices; but they had a kind of conjuring priests or jugglers, like those in Hispaniola, who pretended to have communication with the devil, and to obtain answers from him to their questions. To obtain this favour, they fasted three or four months, using only the juice of herbs; and when reduced to extreme weakness, they were worthy of inspiration, and to be informed whether the seasons of the year would be favourable or otherwise; what children were to be born, and whether those born were to live, and such like questions. These conjurors, who were called behiques, were the oracles of the natives, whom they led into many superstitions and absurdities; pretending to cure the sick by blowing on them, and other mummeries, muttering some unintelligible words between their teeth.

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