1885 Thurn - Perkins - MOUNT RORAIMA ASCENT - British Guiana - COLOR MAP - 8


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Signed & Inscribed

Sir Richard F. Burton

Everard im Thurn
First to Summit Mount Roraima - British Guiana
Two Accounts and a Map

Titles: The Ascent of Mount Roraima. Notes on a Journey to Mount Roraima, British Guiana.

Authors: Everard im Thurn; H.I. Perkins
Publisher: London: Edward Stanford, 1885. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society.

Notes & Condition: 8vo. Two accounts contained in one issue, pertaining to the same expedition. 25, 15 pages respectively, plus a two-part folding colour maps, in the first showing Thurn's route of exploration, and secondly illustrating topographical surveys of Mts. Roraima and Kukenam. Thurn was successful in ascending Mount Roraima, being the first to accomplish this previously insurmountable feat! At the time

Being a highly educated and learned man in a few areas of expertise, Thurn's recollection of the expedition is a veritable pleasure to read, eloquent, descriptive, vivid, and even intimate, as he engages directly with tribes to learn about them and their customs. Particularly fascinating was their use of plants and the making of rudimentary yet effective implements, affording us, even now, a glimpse into early civilizations.

In the second account, Harry Perkins, Assistant Crown Surveyor who was also living in British Guiana, and accompanied Thurn on the expedition, brings to light some of the pain-staking obstacles, and subsequent innovative solutions devised to carry on. This included a damaged and abandoned boat, and the decision to purposely abandon a chronometer. He also expounds on the most momentous occasions such as making the first acquaintance of some chiefs, and his rendition of making stone implements, most conceivably the very pinnacle of their time with the indigenous people. Perkins further describes, in brief, anthropological features of the different tribes, An equally engaging account revealing yet more of this important expedition, and putting into perspective the arduous challenges faced by early explorers and colonists.

Mount Roraima had long presented an interesting problem to geographers and natural philosophers. It was known only to be an isolated mountain nearly 9000 feet in height, the last 1500 to 2000 of which formed an indomitable precipice. This expedition is significant in that it was the first to reach its summit and also to survey the surrounding forests.

Excerpts from the text: "Three days of most dreary and wearisome walking through the forest in a south-westerly direction, the path very frequently leading up the hills of steepness very formidable to us heavily loaded as we were, brought us to the first human inhabiation, a small settlement of Partamona Indians, called Araiwaparu."
"... one's whole attention is ever occupied and strained; for underfoot, the apparently smooth carpet of dead leaves is really most treachorously spread, not on earth, but over, and hiding, a dense and intricate network of tree-roots... while overhead, hang down numberless coiled and looped and tangled bush-ropes and pendant branches of trees, each ready to catch round the neck of the walker..."

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