Account by Antonio Pigafetta. dated 1525. The voyage and explorations among the Moluccas, made and described by Antonio Pigafetta, gentleman of Vicenza, Knight of Rhodes, dedidated to Philippe de Villiers l’Isle-Adam, Grand Master of Rhodes, said Voyage Having begun in the year 1519 and ended on the eighteenth day of September 1522. pp. 1-149 (in) The Voyage of Magellan. The Journal of Antonio Pigafetta. Translated by P.S. Paige. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1969.
And they sailed southwest until they came to a land called the land of Verzin [Italian term for brazilwood: Caesalpina sappan] in 33 degrees, 30 minutes of south latitude, which is the land south from Cape St. Augustine…And there they made refreshment on batatas [sweet potatoes], which are eaten like chestnuts and as long as a turnip, sweet pineapples, a very delectable fruit. The flesh of the anta [tapir], like that of beef, sugar cane, and numberless other things that we will not mention for the sake of brevity … This land of Verzin is very vast and larger than Spain, Portugal, France and Italy combined, very vast indeed … The people have no religion and they live by the laws of nature and reach an age of 125 and 140 years. Both the men and the women go naked, and they live in long houses that they call boii, and they sleep in a cotton net that is tied to two large trunks in the middle of the house, and they build their fires inside on the ground … They have boats made out of a single tree trunk that they call canoes, which they hollow out with stone axes, for they work with stone as work with iron, which they do not possess … The men and women have the same form that we have. They eat the flesh of their enemies … And they do not eat them all up at once, but on one day they smoke a piece. And a week later they roast another, and then they cook another piece some other way, in order to remember who their enemies are … There are Gas Mimonnes [gattomammone: Italian for witches’ cat, probably monkeys of the genus Cebus], small and very pretty, and they eat them. They make a round white bread from the pith of a tree, and it is not very good … They [the crew] remained in this place for two months and it did not rain … It would be easy to convert these people to the faith of Jesus Christ (pp. 5-9).
[In Patagonia] When these people feel sick to their stomaches, they thrust an arrow into their throats to a depth of two palms and more and vomit up a green colored substance mixed with blood, because they ate certain thistles. When their head aches, they give themselves a slash across the forehead, and also on the arms and legs, and all over the body they draw much blood (pp. 16-17).
The Captain General [Magellan] called these people Patagonians. The people dress in the skins … they do not have houses, but a cabin made of … skins … which they take with them from place to place, and they live on raw meat and a sweet root that they call capar [chapae]. the one [Indian] that [we] captured would eat a whole basket of biscuits at a single meal. And he would drink half a bucket of water at a single gulp (p. 18).