Goajira

Goajira, in the most northern portion of South America, is a peninsula running into the Caribbean Sea from the Serrania del Perija mountains range.

It was the subject of a dispute between Venezuela and Colombia in 1891, and on arbitration was awarded to the latter and joined to its Magdalena Department. The area of the peninsula is about 5500 square miles. The scenery of Goajira is very picturesque; the temperature in the plains is very high, but temperate in the mountains. There is a good supply of cabinet wood in the country, but not much trade.

The inhabitants, who numbered 80,000 (50,000 Catholics) in the early 20th century, are mostly of Indian or mixed race; one of the region's autochthonous peoples is also called Goajira. They are tall and well made. Formerly they were very intractable, but the Capuchins, who were in charge of the Catholic missions, have had a great influence over them, and large numbers have been converted. The language spoken is an Indian dialect of the Arawak-Maypure group (see ARAWAKS). The chief towns are Paraguaipoa, Calabacito, Maricha, Marocaso and Soldado.

The Gojira Indians

The following is taken from Papillon.

The Goajira Indians are seafarers who fish for pearls. Their primary diet is said to consist of fish, turtle meat, turtle eggs and big green lizards, most likely Iguanas. Men and women are dressed only in a loincloth which covers their crotch.

Missionary history

The mission of Goajira was erected by Pope Pius X on 17 January 1905, into a vicariate Apostolic, dependent on the Congregation for Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs. Mgr Attanasio Maria Vincenzo Soler-Royo, O.F.M. Cap., was appointed to the vicariate, as titular Bishop of Citharizum, on 18 April, 1907.

See also

* Distocyclus goajira, an Electric fish
* T-63 Goajira, a ship the of the Navy of Venezuela
* Guajira Department and the La Guajira Desert in neighboring Colombia

Source

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06606a.htm]


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