798. Rubber.—The only important industry of this vast forest region is that of gathering rubber. This is done by native Indians, mestizos, and mulattoes, from the east coast of Bra zil. In the dry season they work hard cutting paths through the jungle to reach the scattered rubber trees, from which they gather the. sap each day. In the rainy season the people have to leave the rubber camps, and they gather in Manaos and smaller river towns. They speak of these towns as "end of troubles," because they go to them in the season when they do not work. While the flood covers the forest, the people loaf and often listen to phono graphs, and thus they pass the time pleas antly. A little of the rubber goes over the Andes to Pacific ports, but most of it goes downstream to Para, or Belem, which for a long time was the greatest rubber market in the world. Why is it not so now?„ (Sec. 705, Fig. 674). Most of the great Amazon forest belongs to Brazil, but other countries own some of it. What countries are they? 799. Cacao and Brazil climate of this forest region is perfectly suited to the cacao tree. (Sec. 800). There are a few cacao plantations near the mouth of the Amazon, and room for thousands more.
A fewof the Brazil nuts that grow wild in the forests are gathered for shipment to northern lands. Millions of pounds of them rot.
is but one port, Buenaventura, having a route of any importance to the interior, and that is only a mule road. Professor E. A. Ross, who made a journey inland from this place, said: "Behind Buenaventura, and reaching to the foothills of the Coast Range, is a jungle, called the Choco, where it rains every day. Here no one lives save the descendants of the negro slaves. . . .
"They live in palm-thatched bamboo huts, raised about a yard above the ground. The bamboos of the frame are tied together with lianas (vines), and the sides are of bamboo split and flattened into a kind of board. The builder needs no hammer, saw, nail, or screw; only the machete. Nor does the jungle black enslave himself to hoe or spade or plow or clothes. He slashes away the jungle, starts a patch of plantains, or cooking bananas, and sows a little corn. His sugar cane he crushes in a hand-mill, and boils the juice down to sugar. He fishes, hunts, converts molasses into rum, and rolls stalwart cigars of his own tobacco leaf. So he eats, drinks, smokes, loafs, and lets time pass, with no vanities, no interests, no ideas, no standards, no outlook, no care for the future PP