A Gruta de Maquiné e seus arredores : reconhecimento topográfico


  • Afonso de Guaíra Herberle


This paper describes the calcareous cave of Maquiné, in the State of Minas Gerais, which is one of the principal among the famous caves, owing to the discovery there of Indian utensils, and of skeletons of pre-historic animals and primitive inhabitants of Brazil.The author visited the Maquiné cave and made a detailed description of it with the spirit of a Iover of nature and with the precision of a surveyor. The chart then made is a perfect guide to the future visitors.

            After describing the landscape of the surrounding countryside he enumerates all the details of the several divisions of the caves with their wonderful ceilings and stupendous columns of stalactites and stalagmites, the fissures in the calcareous soil, the watercourses, the recristallized concretions and many other curiosities which are referred to minutely.

            The author lays particular stress on the curious formations of the calcareous masses which remind one of gigantic animals or cyclopic statues, thereby constituting special attractions to visitors. He recalls the difficulties which existed to visit this cave owing to the absence of a road from Cordisburgo, which there is nowadays and visitors are more frequent.   He ends by suggesting the construtcion of a shelter for the excursionista and the installation of light and water in the cave itself so as to attract more visitors to this notable natural curiosity. He then describes the Saltpeter cave - Iess important than Maquiné - and a few farther aspects of the neighbourhood, specially the disappearance ("sumidouro") of the Cuba brook and the concavity of Saco do Campo.