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Ceremonial Deposits and Stone Symbols Brought Back--Explorer Sees Coast of "Treasure Island"


"Most of the traveling on my expedition in Northern Honduras last spring was done on a white road, the rapids of the Plantain river," stated Mr. H. J. Spindler '06, Curator of the Peabody Museum, in an interview yesterday. Mr. Spinden, an expert on the archaeology of Central America, is one of the leading investigators of the ancient Maya civilization, and has been on a number of expeditions to Yucatan and Honduras as a representative of the Peabody Museum. He is scheduled to speak at the Harvard Union. November 10, and will illustrate has talk with movies of the Honduras trip.

Paises Indian Skill

"If it had not been for the skill of the Paya Indians in navigating the tremendous rapids, it is doubtful whether I could have reached the interior," contained Mr. Spinden. "Although they are an extremely primitive people, dating back to pre-Columbian times, the Payas are boat-men of great daring and endurance, who drive forward in the face of the most tumultuous streams. I was alone with these natives during the course of my trip and found them a very interesting people, more humanly attractive than the comparatively civilized Maya Indians of Yucatan.

Find Ceremonial Deposits

"When we had penetrated upstream five or six days' journey beyond the last Indian village, we halted and searched for ancient ruins. Eight miles from the river, we discovered an old site that yielded ceremonial deposits of metates, or corngrinders, of many sizes and stone columns carved with symbols. We loaded some of the discoveries and brought them back with us, thereby increasing our navigation difficulties considerably.

Mosquito Coast Exploited

"The coast of Honduras along the Black River region and the socalled Mosquito coast of Guatemala are of great interest both historically and archeologically. The entire region was claimed by England early in the seventeenth century as a protectorate and a colony was established at Black River. About 1820, a man named Gregor McGregor started a land boom there in an attempt to exploit the natural resources of the country. This aroused the diplomats of both the Latin-American republics and the United States, and forced the English to give up all but what is now British Honduras. The kingdom of the Mosquito Indians was recognized in 1670 by Charles II of England as a brother nation under the protection of the British Empire. The Mosquito kings, thus formally established in their throne, ruled until 1894 a nation of 8000 Indians, never realizing that their dynasty was the fictitious product of English statecraft. Even recently, Hendy, a Mosquito Pretender, plotted in utter seriousness to regain the realm of his ancestors.

Sees "Treasure Island"

Off the Nicaraguan coast, lies Santa Catalina island, called Providence by the English, but known to the world of readers as "Treasure Island" This little isle made famous by the magic of Robert Lonis Stevenson's pen is a barren but romantic spot with a rocky cliff towering 180 feet in the air. This entire coast was once the haunt of the buccaneers, and the people of the island still show traces of the freebooters.

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