Of other useful trees on this island and others on the Mainland, called ciguas.

Translated by Lucy Brown ’23

Ciguas[1] is an exceedingly convenient tree in these parts, because of its uses. Its leaves are fresh: its fruit is not good. What this tree, which is exceedingly large, is most useful for is for making shafts for gineta saddles,[2] because the wood is flexible and very light, and very good for making light-weight objects. And among the other uses for which this wood is very suitable material is for the most damaging thing that all the ingenuity of men has conceived and invented to curtail life and destroy buildings, walls, and strong houses through gunpowder. I have made His Majesty’s artillerymen in the fortress of this city of Santo Domingo on this island of Hispaniola experiment with coal made from this cigua; and the coal made from this tree is excellent and makes very singular gunpowder, and it is praised as the best to be found or had for the purposes I have described.


[1] Nectranda coriacea or lancewood.


[2] Gineta was a style of horse riding with shortened stirrups originally developed in North Africa and brought by the Spanish colonizers to the new world.