And the Indian women also look for the rocks which are discarded around the mouths of the mine, which is called "pallar," that is, to break them up and choose those of value and separate them from the rest. And these are all sold at mid-day in Potosi. And before that hour, no Spaniard can buy anything from an Indian, and this is so that the Indians have a chance to buy these metals, as there are many Indians who buy them for their furnaces. And for this reason, kindling is very expensive, because of these furnaces. Even cattle fesces is worth money in Potosi, and Indians walk around in the fields picking up the droppings of the cattle and for each little piece of it the owners of the refineries pay them a peso. And because of the rising cost of everything having to do with this, I say that even the excrement of people is worth money and is sold, and for this reason they have in Potosi some corrals where the Indians who walk the streets go to defecate; and these excrements are dried out in the sun and pressed together into large bulks and for a certain amount of this material they are paid eight reales , in order to burn the gray metal and refine it and enhance it with the opaque metal.
The Famous Cerro de Potosi and Customs of her People.
Friar Diego de Ocana, 1599
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