The historical, geographic, and ethnographic description of the Capim River by João Barbosa Rodrigues

2017-12-05T15:52:22Z (GMT) by Cláudio Ximenes Alan Watrin Coelho

Abstract In 1871, the botanist João Barbosa Rodrigues (1842-1909) was commissioned by the Imperial government to explore some rivers of the Amazon Valley in order to complete the section on palm trees in the expansive “Flora Brasiliensis” by Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius (1794-1868). Barbosa Rodrigues consequently explored the Capim River, and the results of this trip are contained in “Exploration and study of the Amazon Valley: Capim River”. In this report, the botanist not only described the geography and hydrography of this river in great detail, but also analyzed aspects related to its flora, fauna, and human occupation through archaeological and ethnographic observations. Consequently, the objective of this article is to establish how Barbosa Rodrigues’ studies of the Capim River contributed to the development of scientific knowledge of the Amazon in the state of Pará within the political and scientific context of nineteenth-century Brazil, which was dominated by the Brazilian Historical and Geographic Institute.