Of the tree called copey[1], on whose leave one can write.

Translated by Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert

Copey is a very good tree of fine wood, and its leave is almost like that of the guiabara or uvero as described in a preceding chapter. But the copey (or cupey) is a much larger tree, and its leave is smaller than that of the guiabara; but it is thicker, about twice as thick, and more apt to write on it in the manner I described in the chapter before this one, with a pin or the end of a knitting needle. And the veins of these leaves are thinner and less troublesome than the ones described above. And in those early days of the conquest of this and other islands the Christians made playing cards from the leaves of the copey to play with them, and much money was lost and won with such cards, lacking any better, and on these leaves they drew the kings and knights and jacks and points and other figures and values that usually appear on playing cards, as I drew in these five oros[2]. And since these leaves are thick, they could bear well what was drawn on them; and shuffling them, after cutting them in rectangles and making the cards, did not break them. I have not seen the fruit of this tree, although I have seen the leaves and the trees many times.

[1] Clusia rosea or the autograph tree.

[2] Golden coins that feature on Spanish playing cards or naipes. (See Lámina 3, figura 6.)