An early Portuguese description of Brazil,
This people hath not any knowledge of their Creator, not of any thing of heaven, nor if there be any pain nor glory after this life. . . .
This Nation hath no monie wherewith to satisfie the services that are done to them, but they live with bartering one thing for another. . . .
And the children are joyfull and given to play, and they play with such quietnesse and friendship, that among them is no bad name heard, or any scurrilitie, or calling any nickname one to anothers Father or Mother; and seldom doe they disagree when they play, nor disorder themselves for any thing, and verie seldome do they strike or fight one with another. The Fathers doe teach them from their cradles to dance and sing, and their dancings are not sundrie changes, but a continual stamping with the feet standing still, or going round about, or stirring their body or their head, and they doe it all by such compass, and pleasantnesse as can be defined. . . .
Before they had any knowledge of the Portuguals,
they used tools and instruments of stone, bone, wood, Canes, and teeth
of Beasts, etc. and with these they hewed down great Woods, with wedges
of stones, helping themselves with fire: and they digged also the ground
with certain sharpe stakes, and they made their Brooches, Beades of Wilkes,
Bowes, and Arrowes, as well as now having instruments of iron, but they
spent a long time in making of whatever thing; wherefore they esteeme the
iron verie much, for the facilitie or ease which they find in making their
things with it. And this is the reason wherefore they are glad of Commerce
with the Portuguals or white men.