Chapter Index

× Proem 1. Which Tells When the Fleet Sailed, and of the Officers and People Who Went with It 2. How the Governor Came to the Port of Xagua and Brought a Pilot with Him 3. How We Arrived in Florida 4. How We Entered the Land 5. How the Governor Left the Ships 6. How We Entered Apalachee 7. What the Land is Like 8. How We Left Aute 9. How We Left the Bay of Horses 10. Of Our Skirmish with the Indians 11. What Happened to Lope de Oviedo with Some Indians 12. How the Indians Brought Us Food 13. How We Found Out about Other Christians 14. How Four Christians Departed 15. What Happened to Us in the Village of Misfortune 16. How Some Christians Left the Isle of Misfortune 17. How the Indians Came and Brought Andrés Dorantes and Castillo and Estebanico 18. How He Told Esquivel's Story 19. How the Indians Left Us 20. How We Escaped 21. How We Cured Some Sick People 22. How They Brought Other Sick People to Us the Following Day 23. How We Left after Having Eaten the Dogs 24. About the Customs of the Indians of That Land 25. How the Indians Are Skilled with a Weapon 26. About the Peoples and Languages 27. How We Moved On and Were Welcomed 28. About Another New Custom 29. How They Stole from One Another 30. How the Custom of Welcoming Us Changed 31. How We Followed the Corn Route 32. How They Gave Us Deer Hearts 33. How We Saw Traces of Christians 34. How I Sent for the Christians 35. How the Mayor Received Us Well the Night We Arrived 36. How We Had Them Build Churches in That Land 37. What Happened When I Wanted to Leave 38. What Happened to the Others Who Went to the Indies
La relación - p.73

After departing from the Indians whom we left weeping, we went with others to their dwellings and were well received. They brought their children for us to touch their hands and gave us much mesquite flour. The mesquite is a fruit like the carob. It is very bitter while on the tree, but when eaten with dirt, it is sweet and good to eat. This is how they prepare it: they dig a hole in the ground as deep as they wish. They put the fruit into this hole and grind it fine with a pole as thick as a leg and one and a half fathoms long. Besides the dirt, which sticks to the fruit, they add other handfuls of dirt to the hole and grind a while longer. Then they put this into a basket-like vessel and cover the mixture with water. The one who has ground it tastes it and if he does not find it sweet enough he asks for more dirt which he stirs into it. He does this until he considers it sweet enough. All the people sit around and each one takes what he can with his hand. They toss the seeds and the hulls on a piece of hide. The person who did the grinding takes them and puts them into the basket, adding water as before and squeezing the juice and water from them. Then they toss the seeds and hulls onto the piece of hide once again. That way they grind and regrind each batch three or four times. The people who are present at this banquet, which is a great one for them, find that their bellies are swollen by the water and the dirt that they have consumed. With this the Indians had a great celebration for us and they held many dances and areítos while we were with them. While we slept during the nights, six men guarded each one of us, keeping a careful watch at the entrance to our shelters and not allowing anyone to enter until after sunrise.

When we were ready to leave them,