South America - A General History And Collection Of Voyages And Travels - Volume 7 - By Robert Kerr
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They have very fair wheat, the ear of which is two hand-breadths long
and as big as a great - Page 400
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They Have Very Fair Wheat, The Ear Of Which Is Two Hand-Breadths Long And As Big As A Great Bulrush, The Stem Or Straw Being Almost As Thick As A Man's Little Finger.

The grains are white and round, shining like pearls that have lost their lustre, and about the size of

Our pease. Almost their whole substance turns to flour, leaving very little bran. The ear is inclosed in three blades, each about two inches broad, and longer than the ear; and in one of them I counted 260 grains of corn. By this fruitfulness, the sun seems in some measure to compensate for the trouble and distress produced by its excessive heat. Their drink is either water, or the juice which drops from cut branches of the palmito, a barren palm or date tree; to collect which they hang great gourds to the cut branches every evening, or set them on the ground under the trees, to receive the juice which issues during the night. Our people said that this juice tasted like whey, but sweeter and more pleasant. The branches of the palmito are cut every evening to obtain this juice, as the heat of the sun during the day dries up and sears over the wound. They have likewise large beans, as big as chesnuts, and very hard, having shells instead of husks or pods. While formerly describing the fruit containing the _grains_ or Guinea pepper, called by the physicians _grana paradisi_, I remarked that they have holes through them, as in effect they have when brought to us; but I have been since informed, that these holes are made on purpose to put strings or twigs through, for hanging up the fruit to dry in the sun.

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