National Geographic : 1907 Jun
AN IMPRESSION OF THE tions are on the shores of the rivers, and the great forest-covered country beyond is termed the "Bush.". In recent years it has become the field for gold-hunters. Surinam's sugar and cacao plantations can be reached by the one railroad of the country, forty miles in length, which in the future may connect the capital with the gold fields. Since the fall in the price of sugar, the country has not been self-supporting and is maintained by Hol land through the prosperity of the big sister colony, Java. Paramaribo is built on a shell reef, and many of its streets are well paved with a mixture of shell and earth. "Heeren straat" is the city's most attractive avenue-broad and lined with ancient mahogany trees. The story is current that the sum of forty thousand dollars has been offered for these trees, but, being the colony's pride, they are in no grave danger of being sacrificed. The hotel which we patronized was a clean, airy house, with wide verandas. The rooms were large and finished in SGUIANA WILDERNESS 373 natural wood, the table simple but whole some. Unfortunately, however, this hostelry overlooks the market (pleas antly situated near the city's main sewer), and our room was just above a group of cabins occupied by laundresses, who kept up a steady stream of "Taki-Taki" all day long and late into the night. It seemed to us to be the most "actively conversational language" we had ever heard. The market-place is a narrow platform shaded by a peaked roof, and the women sit on the floor beside their wares, re sembling huge mushrooms in their stiffly starched, "Kottomissi" costumes. A picturesque and an interesting city is Paramaribo, with its glistening white streets, its majestic trees, and its old fashioned buildings; its blending of many types-European, Asiatic, and creole! Surinam does not seem to us to form a part of South America. * We associate it rather with the West Indies, to which it is allied by ties of history, race, and commerce. AN IMPRESSION OF THE GUIANA WILDERNESS* BY PROFESSOR ANGELO HEILPRIN OF YALE UNIVERSITY AND EDITOR OF LIPPINCOTT'S "GAZETTEER" IN assigning to me "The Guianas" as a topic in the course of lectures on Latin America, I assume that the Board of Directors has taken for granted a special knowledge on my part of this most interesting section of the earth's surface. In fact, however, the knowl edge that I possess, so far as it relates to a personal contact, is derived from a sin gle brief journey made to this region in the spring of last year, undertaken almost wholly for the purpose of satisfying an old-time desire to see the great South American forest, illumined by the writings of Humboldt, Schomburgk, and other great masters, before it was de spoiled by man. The conditions of na ture in this region as they exist today differ but little from those of a hundred years ago. It is true the force of civiliza tion has invaded the wilderness in spots; has marked out villages here and there; but the aspects of this progress lie mainly toward the ocean front, and the traveler has but to travel a short distance into the interior to find the wild and untrammeled nature which so delighted Waterton. In the vast area that stretches between * Abstracted from an address delivered before the National Geographic Society, February 8, 1907.