Archive for April 3rd, 2011

The Devils Excrement circa 1535

April 3, 2011

Friend @chegoyo, sent me this interesting historical tidbit about what may be the earliest use of the term “Devil’s Manure” in history.

It is a page from “Colony and Republic” of Rafael Arraiz. The Chapter is entitled “Stone Oil: Obssesion and sign” and it says:

“It was Gonazlo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes the first one to leave a written mention of Venezuelan oil in 1535, when he say it sprout without mixing with oil in a side of the island of Cubagua. It is written in his “Natural and General History of the Indias and the mainland of the Ocean Sea” in which he talks about a “source of a licquor like oil next to the sea” to later stigmatize it, among us, forever “some who have seen it say the locals call it Stercus Demonis” (Devil’s Manure)Thus, Fernandez de Oviedo was the first one to leave written record of its presence and at the same time, the pioneer that coined the term that many critics of national life have called it “The Devil’s Manure””

There you have it for history and the record, Perez Alfonso popularized the term, but the natives had it down pat earlier on.