Sacred-Texts Native American South American Index Previous Next
Alubiri or Hubuiri; Hariwali and the Wonderful Tree (3-8); The Story of Haburi (9-18). Kororomanna: his Adventures (19-28). Makunaima and Pia; or, the Sun, the Frog, and the Firesticks—Warrau version (29-34), Carib version (35-38), Makusi version (39-41). Amalivaca (42).
3.* Some of the mythic Heroes have a history peculiarly their own, of which it is now proposed to give a few particulars.
I will begin with Alubiri, or Hubuiri, for whom Hilhouse, as already stated (Sect. 2), found a place in the Arawak cosmogony, a view which Schomburgk indorsed, with a reference to him, however, as one "who does not trouble himself about men." In Brett's time, however, and at the present day, throughout the Pomeroon district the Hero seemingly appears only under the name Haburi. The Pomeroon Warrau now claim Haburi as their particular Hero, in just the same way as Brett (BrB, 76) did for them under the name Abore. For my own part I suspect that the term Alubiri is but another form of the name Oruperi, the mythical Carib snake (Sect. 235), which gave rise to all the hunting binas, and that Haburi has some philological connection with Yaperi-Kuli, the Hero (Sect. 45) of the Siusi branch of the Arawak stock. It is only for the reason that an old Arawak friend identified Hariwali (cf. Arawanili, Sec. 185) with Haburi—an identity which I admittedly can neither confirm nor challenge—that I propose beginning with these mythic Heroes by introducing the story of—
*HARIWALI AND THE WONDERFUL TREE (A)
Hariwali was a clever, painstaking piai, who spent most of his time in clearing the field for his two wives. These two women, their children, and his brother lived with him at his house. While felling the timber, the wives undertook, turn and turn about, to bring their husband some cassiri daily. It happened now that while carrying the usual refreshment one of the wives was met by the brother-in-law, who was bringing in some itiriti strands to weave baskets with. "Hullo!" he said, "where are you going?" to which he received reply, "I am taking cassiri to my husband; the field.—But I like you. Do you like me?" "No, I don't," he answered, "and even if I did, my brother, being a medicine-man, would find it out very soon." She tried him again, and tempted him sorely, and then she threw her arms round him. He was but mortal. . . . She assured him that her husband would never find out what had happened, and both went their respective ways. Before she reached the field, however, she broke the calabash; then with a pointed stick she cut her knee, causing it to bleed. When Hariwali saw her coming slowly along with a limp carrying the broken calabash, he asked her what had happened. All she could do was to point to the scratch and blood on her lame knee, and tell him that she had p. 121 had an accident, having fallen on a stump. He was a shrewd piai, however, and knew exactly what had happened, and though he said nothing then, he determined not only upon getting rid of her, but of his other wife also; he just then, however, directed her to return home.
4.* Next morning he bade both the women accompany him, as he intended fishing in the pond, and he merely wanted them to do the cooking and make the fire. When fire had been made, he brought them a turtle, which they put on the hot ashes without killing it, so it promptly crawled out; they pushed it on again, but with the same result. It was the omen betokening their death. The semi-chichi [medicine-man] had bewitched them and they thought they had already killed the turtle. What they imagined was that the fire was not hot enough, and so the faithless spouse went to look for more dry wood. Now, as she was breaking up the timber she found it very hard work, and exclaimed Tata—Ketaiaba (lit. hard—to break), but no sooner were the words out of her mouth, than she flew away as a hawk, the "bul-tata," which can often be heard crying bul-tata-tata-tata. . . . Of course it was her husband who had done this. The other wife said she felt hot and would bathe her skin; no sooner had she ducked into the pond, than her husband turned her into a porpoise—she was the very first porpoise that ever swam in these waters.
5.* Hariwali thus punished his wives, and now pondered over what he should do with his brother. While returning home, he met the very man with bow and arrows starting out to hunt, but neither spoke. That same afternoon the brother, who had never missed a bird before, made a bad shot every time now, the arrow invariably flying absurdly wide of its mark. This was really all Hariwali's doing. At last the brother did manage to hit a bird, but only just hard enough to knock a few feathers off, nothing more. "Don't do that again," said the bird, "and now look behind you." And when he did so, there was a large sheet of water, and he realized that he was upon an island. But how to escape? Round and round he wandered, until he finally found a path; no ordinary path, but a Yawahu's path leading to the Spirit's house. Arrived at the house, the Yawahu caught him, and took all his bones out except those of his fingers; this was done only out of kindness, so that he could not escape, the Yawahu putting him into a hammock and paying him every care and attention.1 The bones themselves were tied up in a bundle under the roof (as bundles are kept by many other Indian tribes). The Yawahu was quite a family man, with plenty of youngsters who were always practising with their bows and arrows; when their arrows got blunted they had only to go up to the captive's hammock and sharpen them on his bony finger tips. All this time, Hariwali's mother would cry regularly every night over her absent son, whose whereabouts and condition she was absolutely igorant of. So at last the piai's heart became softened, and he determined on going to fetch his brother home again. It was all due to his "medicine" that his brother fell into the clutches of the Spirits. He told the old woman to pack up everything, because when he returned with his brother they and all their family would have to leave the place forever.
6.* The night previous to their departure, he "played the shak-shak" (i. e., called up his Spirit friends with the rattle), and next morning hosts of parrots were passing overhead. His children called his attention to them; so he went out and asked the birds to throw down a seed of a certain tree the bark of which he used medicinally. This they did, and though the youngeters saw the seed falling, directly it touched ground the father put his foot on it, and look as much as they could, the children could not find it. As he did not want them to know what he was doing, he told them that nothing had fallen, that they must be mistaken, and that they must run away now. Young folk are not allowed to see what the old medicine-men practise. When left alone, Hariwali planted the identical seed just where it had fallen, and that same evening p. 122 repeated the performance with the rattle; by next morning a stately tree had grown from that one seed. He told his mother to tie all the things which she had packed up, on the branches of this tree (Sect. 286), and to await his and his brother's return.
7.* It was not long before he reached the Yawahu's place, where, the family being away, he had no difficulty in releasing the captive, untying the bones from the roof, and making good his escape. Unfortunately the Spirit returned earlier than was expected, and seeing the empty hammock and no parcel of bones, was not long in concluding what had happened. He recognized the fresh tracks, and put his dogs on the scent. Poor Hariwali and his brother! They heard the barking of the dogs and the whistling of the Spirit, and barely had time to crawl into an armadillo hole. They just managed to get out of sight when Yawahu came up, threatening that if they did not come out, he would drive a stick into them; the fugitives laid low, and said nothing. Yawahu then shoved a stick in, but Hariwali touched it with his hand, and changed it into a bush-master snake. (This is why, even to the present day, a bush-master snake is always found in an armadillo hole.) At any rate, Yawahu on seeing the serpent thought he must have been mistaken in folowing the tracks and retraced his steps. Having put the bones back into his brother's skin, and waiting till the coast was clear, Hariwali led the way home.
8.* And how glad their mother was to see them! She had everything packed away in and among the branches of the big tree, and she herself, her daughter, and the grandchildren were all prepared for a long journey. As night fell, they all, big and little, climbed up into the lower branches, finding shelter among the leaves while Hariwali made his way up to the very summit and began again the shak-shak performance. This continued till quite into the middle of the night, when all of a sudden, the family below felt the tree shaking, and heard rumbling noises, followed by a quivering, and experienced a sensation of the trunk being rooted out of the sand, and starting to fly up into the air. Now, it was just about the moment when they were off on their proposed journey that the old woman's daughter, the piai's sister, felt a bit chilly, and casting her eyes downward, remembered that she had left her apron behind in the house. All she could do was to shout out to her brother above, Dekeweyo-daiba (lit. "my apron back"), "I have forgotten my apron," and he told her to slip down quickly and fetch it. But by the time she had reached the old home, she was changed into a wicissi-duck (Anas autumnalis), which even yet can always be heard saying dekeweyo-daiba, but as it only whistles these two words, they do not sound so distinctly as if they were spoken slowly. As to the rest of the family—well, we know that the wonderful tree flew away somewhere, but we have never heard anything more about the people who were on it.
*THE STORY OF HABURI (W)
9.* Long ago, there were two sisters minding themselves; they had no man to look after them. One day they cut down an ite tree (Mauritia), from which they commenced to manufacture flour. It was now late, so they left their work and went home. Next morning when they went back, the starch was lying there all ready prepared, and they were much puzzled to know how this came to be so. Next day, the same thing happened—all the ite starch was found ready; and this happened again, and often. So one night they watched, and about the middle of the night they saw one of the leaves of the neighboring manicole tree (Euterpe sp.) bend gradually over and over until it touched the cut which they had made in the trunk of the ite palm lying beneath. As soon as the leaf actually touched, both sisters rushed up and caught hold of it, begging it earnestly to turn into a man. It refused at first; but as they begged so earnestly it did so. His name was Mayara-kóto. The big (elder) sister was now happy and by-and-bye she had a beautiful baby boy, called Haburi.
10.* The two women had their hunting ground near two ponds; one of these ponds belonged to Tiger, but the other one was their own, in which they therefore used to fish. And they told Mayara-kóto not to go to Tiger's pond. The man, however, said, "Our pond has very few fish in it, but Tiger's has plenty. I am going to fish in his." He did so, but Tiger came along and caught and killed him for stealing his fish. Tiger then took Mayara-kóto's shape and form, and returned to the spot where the two women were camped. It was very late when he came and quite dark. With him he brought not only Mayara-kóto's waiyarri (a temporary openwork basket made of palm-leaf) but in it the fish the latter had stolen before being killed. Tiger put down the waiyarri, as is customary, before coming into the house, and after telling them good-night (lit. "I am come"), said he had brought some fish. Both women were astonished at the coarse, rough voice. He then said he was much tired, and would lie down in his hammock, telling them that he would nurse Haburi, who was accordingly brought to him. He told them also that he was going to sleep, and that they must bring up the fish and cook it, but not to mind him. The women cooked the fish. When cooked, and while the women were eating it, the man fell asleep and began to snore very curiously and loudly—indeed, so loud that you could have heard him on the other side of the river. And while snoring, he called the father's name—Mayara-kóto. The two women looked at each other, and they listened. They said "Our husband never snored like that; he never called his own name before." They therefore stopped eating at once, and told each other that this man could not possibly be their husband. And they pondered as to how they were going to get Haburi out of the man's arms where he was resting. Making a bundle of a particular kind of bark, they slipped it under the child and so got him away; then they quickly made off with him while the man was still snoring. With them they also took a wax light and a bundle of firewood.
11.* While going along, they heard Wau-uta singing. Wau-uta was a woman in those days, indeed she was a piai woman, and she was just then singing with her shak-shak (rattle). The two women went on and on, quickly too, for they knew that once they arrived at Wau-uta's place they would be safe. In the meantime, the Tiger-man woke up and found the bark bundle in his arms instead of little Haburi, and both the sisters gone. So he got angry; he changed back into his animal shape, and hurried after them. The women heard him coming and hurried still more. They called out "Wau-uta! open the door." "Who is there?" said Wau-uta, to which she received reply "It is we; the two sisters." But Wau-uta would not open the door. So the mother pinched little Haburi's ears and made him cry. Directly Wau-uta heard it She shouted out, "What child is that? Is it a girl or a boy?" "It is my Haburi, a boy," was the mother's reply, upon which Wau-uta opened the door immediately and said, "Come in! Come in!" Just after they had all got in, Tiger arrived and, calling out to Wau-uta, asked her where the two women and the baby had gone. But Wau-uta lied, telling that she had not seen them, that she had seen no one. Tiger, however, could tell by the scent that they were there, so he waited outside, and refused to go away. This vexed Wau-uta, who became very angry, and told him that he might just put his head in, and have a look round, and if he saw them, he could eat them if he liked. But the door was covered with pimplers (thorns) and as soon as silly Tiger put his head in, the old woman closed it, and so killed him. The two sisters remained there, and cried much; they grieved for their husband. They cried so much indeed that Wau-uta told them to go into the field, gather some cassava, and make a big drink. They accordingly got ready to go, and were about to take Haburi with them, but Wau-uta said, "No. I am quite able to look after the child in your absence." So they did as they were told and went away to the field.
12.* In the meantime Wau-uta made the child grow all at once into a youth, and gave him the harri-harri to blow and the arrows to shoot. As the mother and aunt p. 124 were returning with the cassava, they heard the music playing and said to themselves, "There was no man or boy there when we left the house; who can it be? It must be a man playing." And though ashamed they went in and saw the youth blowing the harri-harri. As soon as they had taken the quakes (baskets) from off their backs and placed them on the ground, they asked after Haburi, but Wau-uta said that as soon as they had left for the field, the child had run after them, and she had thought it was still with them. Of course all this was a lie. Old Wau-uta was desirous of making Haburi grow quickly, with the intention of making him ultimately her lover. She still further deceived the two sisters by pretending to assist in the search which was then undertaken in the surrounding bush, but she took good care to get back to her house first, and told Haburi to say she, Wau-uta, was his mother, and gave him full directions as to how he must treat her.
13.* Haburi was a splendid shot—no bird could escape his arrow—and Wau-uta directed him to give to her all the big birds that he killed, and to his mother and aunt all the little ones, which he had to pollute first by fouling them. The object of this was to make the two sisters so vexed and angry that they would leave the place: but this they would not do; they continued searching the neighborhood for their little child. This sort of thing went on for many days, big birds and dirtied little birds being presented by Haburi to Wau-uta and the two women, respectively. Haburi, however, did one day miss a bird for the first time, his arrow sticking into a branch overhanging a creek where his uncles, the water-dogs, used to come and feed. It was a nice cleared space, and here Haburi eased himself, covering the dung with leaves. He next climbed the tree to dislodge the arrow, but just then the water-dogs arrived, and, scenting the air, exclaimed, "What smell is this? That worthless nephew of ours, Haburi, must be somewhere about." So they looked around, and down, and up, and finally discovering him on the tree branch, ordered him to come down. They then sat him on a bench, and told him he was leading a bad life, that the old woman was not his mother, but that the two younger ones were his mother and aunt, respectively; they furthermore impressed upon him that it was very wicked of him to divide the birds so unfairly, and that in future he must do exactly the opposite, giving his real mother, the bigger of the two sisters, the larger birds. They told him also to let his real mother know that the way he had hitherto treated her was due entirely to ignorance on his part, and that he was sorry.
14.* So when Haburi got home that day, he carried out the instructions given him by the water-dogs, handing the dirtied little birds to Wau-uta, and making a clean breast of it to his mother. She, poor thing, felt very strange that day, and could not bring herself to speak to him as "my son" all at once, but when he explained that it was only Wau-uta who had made him a man quite suddenly, she believed him, and became quite comforted. Old Wau-uta, on hearing all this, worked herself into a great passion, and, seizing Haburi by the neck, blew into his face (Sect. 85), and told him he must be mad; so angered and upset was she that she could eat nothing at all. She spent all that day and night in nagging him, and telling him he had left his senses. Haburi went away next morning as usual, returning late in the afternoon, when he again gave the big birds which he had shot to his real mother and the dirtied little ones to Wau-uta. The latter, as might have been expected, gave him no peace.
15.* Haburi, therefore, made up his mind to get out. So telling his mother that they must all three arrange to get away together, he made a little corial (a dugout canoe) of bees'-wax, and when completed, he left it at the water-side; but, by next morning a black duck had taken it away. He therefore made another little clay corial, but this was stolen by another kind of duck. In the meantime he cut a large field, and cleared it so quickly that the women with their planting could never keep up with him. They required plenty of cassava for their proposed journey. At any rate, while the women planted, Haburi would often slip away and make a boat, always of a different kind of wood and of varying shape, and just as regularly would a different p. 125 species of duck come and steal it. At last he happened to make one out of the silk-cotten tree and this particular one was not stolen. It was thus Haburi who first made a boat and taught the ducks to float on the surface of the water because it was with his boats that they managed to do it; indeed, we Warraus say that each duck has its own particular kind of boat.
16.* But what was more curious, the last boat to be manufactured was found next morning to be very much bigger than it was the night before. Haburi told his mother and her sister to collect all the provisions and put them aboard in anticipation of their long journey. He himself returned to the field, bringing the cassava cuttings for old Wau-uta to plant in their respective holes, and so they both continued working hard. By and bye, he slipped away, went back to the house, took his arrows and ax, and proceeded down to the water-side. But before he left the house, he told the posts not to talk, for in those days the posts of a house could speak (Sect. 169), and if the owner were absent a visitor could thus find out his whereabouts. There was a parrot, however, in the house, and Haburi quite forgot to warn him to keep silent. So when the old woman after a time found herself alone, she went back to the house, and seeing no Haburi, asked the posts whither he had gone; they remained silent. The parrot, however, could not help talking, and told her.
17.* Wau-uta thereupon rushed down to the landing, arriving there just in time to see Haburi stepping into the boat to join his mother and aunt. She seized hold of the craft, screaming "My son! My son! you must not leave me so. I am your mother," and though they all repeatedly struck her fingers with their paddles, and almost smashed them to pieces on the gunwale, she would not let go her hold. So poor Haburi had perforce to land again and with old Wau-uta proceeded to a large hollow tree wherein the bees had built their nest. Cutting down the tree, Haburi made a small hole in the trunk, and told the old lady to get in and suck the honey. She was very fond of honey, and though crying very hard all the time at the thought of losing Haburi, crawled through the little opening which he immediately closed in upon her. And there she is to be found to the present day, the Wau-uta frog which is heard only in hollow trees. And if you look carefully, you will see how swollen her fingers are from the way in which they were bashed by the paddles when she tried to hold on to the gunwale. If you listen, you can also hear her lamenting for her lost lover; she still cries Wang! Wang! Wang!
18.* The tree-frog above referred to is probably the kono(bo)-aru, or rain-frog, the name given to the old woman in the Carib version of the story (Sect. 35). The croaking of this creature (Hyla venulosa Daud.) is an absolutely sure sign of rain. This frog lives only in the trunk of the Bodelschwingia macrophylla Klotzsch, a tree found on the Pomeroon and Barama (ScR, II, 419). Though the Warraus are believed to have been the first of the Guiana Indians to use boats, the invention of the sail has been credited to the Caribs. A modern addition to the above version of the story is that Haburi sailed away, found new lands, and taught the white people all their arts and manufactures, all about guns and ships, and for many years used to send his old Warrau friends certain presents annually, but they never come now—an unscrupulous Government detains them in Georgetown!
19.* With regard to Koroiomanna, or Kururumanni, the same remarks concerning his tribal origin apply as in the case of Haburi. Hilhouse and Schomburgk (ScR, II, 319) seemingly would have him an Arawak, but Brett undoubtedly makes him a Warrau, the view which p. 126 is held by the present-day Warraus and Arawaks on the Pomeroon. He is said to be the creator of the male portion of mankind, another Spirit, Kulimina,1 being responsible for the female. Uri-Kaddo and Emeshi are his two wives, one name signifying 'darkness-people,' 'a worker in darkness,' and the other a large red ant that burrows in the earth; "together, they are typical of the creation of all things out of the earth in the dark" (HiC, 244). Kororomanna would seem to have experienced a remarkable number and variety of adventures some of which are given here.
*THE ADVENTURES OF KOROROMANNA (W)
Kororomanna went out hunting and shot a "baboon" (Mycetes), but as it was already late in the afternoon, in trying to make his way home he lost his way in the darkness. And there he had to make his banab, and to lie down, with the baboon beside him. But where he lay was a Hebu road; you can always distinguish a Spirit road from any other pathway in the forest because the Hebus occupying the trees that lie alongside it are always, especially at night, striking the branches and trunks, and so producing short sharp crackling noises (Sect. 104). It was not pleasant for poor Kororomanna, especially as the baboon's body was now beginning to swell with all the noxious humors inside; lest the Hebus should steal it from him, he was obliged to keep the carcass alongside and watch over it with a stick. At last he fell asleep, but in the middle of the night the Hebus, what with the knocking on the trees, aroused him from his slumbers. Now that he was awake, he mimicked the Spirits, blow for blow, and as they struck the limb of a tree, Kororomanna would strike the belly of the baboon. But what with the air inside, each time he struck the animal, there came a resonant Boom! Boom! just like the beating of a drum.2 The Hebu leader heard the curious sound, and became a bit frightened: "What can it be? When before I knocked a tree, it never made a noise like that." To make sure, however, he struck the tree hard again, and Boom! came once more from the carcass. Hebu was really frightened now, and began to search all around to find out where the extraordinary noise could possibly come from; at last he recognized the little manicole banab, and saw Kororomanna laughing. Indeed, the latter could not help laughing, considering that it was the first time he had heard such a funny sound come out of any animal.
20.* Hebu then said to him, "Who are you? Show me your hand," to which Kororomanna replied, "I am Warrau, and here is my hand," but instead of putting out his own, he shoved forward one of the baboon's, and then held forward the animal's other hand, and finally both feet. Hebu was much puzzled and said he had never seen before a Warrau with so black a hand, and would not be satisfied until he saw the face. Kororomanna accordingly deceived him again and held out the monkey's, which caused Hebu to make the same remark about his face as he had done about his hands and feet.
21.* The Spirit became more frightened than ever, but his curiosity exceeded his fear, because he next wanted to know where all that Boom! Boom! sound had come from. And when he learnt its source of origin (breaking wind), he regretted that he had not been made like ordinary mortals, he and all his family having no proper posteriors, but just a red spot (Sect. 99). He thereupon begged Kororomanna to make for him a posterior which would allow of his producing a similar sound. So with his bow Kororomanna split the Spirit's hind quarters, and completed the task p. 127 by impaling him, but so rough was he in his methods, that the weapon transfixed the whole body even piercing the unfortunate Hebu's head. The Hebu cursed Kororomanna for having killed him, and threatened that the other Spirits would avenge his death; he then disappeared.
22.* Our hero, becoming a bit anxious on his own account, and, recognizing by the gradually increasing hullaballoo in the trees that swarms of Hebus were approaching the scene of the outrage, now climbed the manicole tree sheltering his banab, leaving the baboon's corpse inside. The Spirits then entered the banab, and believing the dead animal to be Kororomanna, began hitting it with their sticks, and with each blow, there came Boom! Our friend up the tree, whence he could watch their every movement, and their surprise at the acoustic results of the flogging, could not refrain from cracking a smile, which soon gave way to a hearty laugh. The Spirits, unfortunately for him, heard it, and looking at the dead baboon, said, "This cannot be the person who is laughing at us." They looked all around, but could see nothing, until one of them stood on his head, and peeped up into the tree.1 And there, sure enough, he saw Kororomanna laughing at them. All the others then put themselves in the same posture around the tree, and had a good look at him. The question they next had to decide was how to catch him. This they concluded could most easily be managed by hewing down the tree. They accordingly started with their axes on the trunk, but since the implements were but water-turtle shells, it was not long before they broke.2 They then sent for their knives, but as these were merely the seed-pods of the buari tree, they also soon broke.3 The Hebus then sent for a rope, but what they called a rope was really a snake. At any rate, as the serpent made its way farther and farther up the tree, and finally came within reach, Kororomanna cut its head off; the animal fell to the ground again, and the Hebus cried "Our rope has burst." Another consultation was held, and it was decided that one of their number should climb the tree, seize the man, and throw him down, and that those below might be ready to receive him when dislodged, the Hebu was to shout out, when throwing him down, the following signal: Tura-buna-sé mahara-ko na-kai.4 The biggest of the Spirits being chosen to carry the project into execution, he started on his climb, but head downward of course, so as to be able to see where he was going. Kororomanna, however, was on the alert, and, waiting for him, killed him in the same peculiar manner as that in which he had despatched the other Spirit just a little while before; more than this, having heard them fix upon the preconcerted signal, he hurled the dead Spirit's body down with the cry of Tura-buna-sé mahara-ko na-kai! The Hebus below were quite prepared, and as soon as the body tell to the ground, clubbed it to pieces. Kororomanna then slipped down and helped in the dissolution. "Wait a bit," he said to the Spirits; "I am just going in the bush, but will soon return." It was not very long, however, before the Spirits saw that they had been tricked, and yelled with rage on finding that they had really destroyed one of themselves; they hunted high and low for their man, but with approaching daylight were reluctantly compelled to give up the chase.
23.* In the meantime, Kororomanna had no sooner got out of their sight than he started running at topmost speed, and finally found shelter in a hollow tree. Here he discovered a woman (she was not old either), so he told her that he would remain with her till "the day cleaned" (i. e., till dawn broke). But she said, "No! No! my p. 128 man is Snake and he will be back before the dawn. If he were to find you here, he would certainly kill you." But her visitor was not to be frightened, and he stayed where he was. True enough, before dawn, Snake came wending his way home, and as he crawled into the tree, he was heard to exclaim, "Hallo! I can smell some one." Kororomanna was indeed frightened now, and was at his wits' end to know what to do. Just then dawn broke, and they heard a hummingbird. "That is my uncle," said our hero. They then heard the doroquarra: "That also is an uncle of mine," he added.1 He purposely told Snake all this to make him believe that, if he killed and swallowed his visitor, all the other hummingbirds and doroquarras would come and avenge his death. But Snake said, "I am not afraid of either of your uncles, but will gobble them up." Just then, a chicken-hawk (Urubitinga) flew along, which made Snake ask whether that also was an uncle of his. "To be sure" was the reply, "and when I am dead, he also will come and search for me." It was now Snake's turn to be frightened, because Chicken-hawk used always to get the better of him; so he let Kororomanna go in peace, who ran out of that hollow tree pretty quick.
24.* It was full daylight now, but this made little odds, because he had still lost his way, and knew not how to find the road home. After wandering on and on, he at last came across a track, recognizable by the footprints in it: following this up, he came upon a hollow tree that had fallen across the path, and inside the trunk he saw a baby. This being a Hebu's child, he slaughtered it, but he had no sooner done so than he heard approaching footsteps, which caused him promptly to climb a neighboring tree and await developments. These were not long in coming, for the mother soon put in her appearance; as soon as she recognized her dead infant, she was much angered, and, looking around, carefully examined the fresh tracks, and said, "This is the man who has killed my child." Her next move was to dig up a bit of the soil marked by one of the fresh footprints, wrap it up in a leaf tied with bush-rope, and hang it on a branch while she went for firewood. Directly her back was turned, Kororomanna slid down from his hiding place, undid the bundle, and threw away the contents, substituting a footprint of the Spirit woman. Then, tying up the parcel as before, he hung it where it had been left, and hid himself once more. When the woman returned with the firewood, she made a big fire, and threw the bundle into the flames, saying as she did so: "Curse the person whose footprint I now burn. May the owner fall into this fire also!" She thought that if she burnt the "foot-mark" so would the person's shadow be drawn to the fire. But no one came, and she felt that her own shadow was being impelled. "Oh! It seems that I am hurting myself; the fire is drawing me near," she exclaimed. Twice was she thus dragged toward it against her will, and yet she succeeded in resisting. But on the third occasion she could not draw back; she fell in, and was burnt to ashes; she "roasted herself dead."2
25.* Kororomanna was again free to travel, but which direction to follow was the puzzle; he had still lost his way home. All he could do was to walk more or less aimlessly on, passing creek after creek and back into the bush again, until he emerged on a beautiful, clean roadway. But no sooner had he put his foot on it, than it stuck there, just like a fish caught in a spring-trap. And this is exactly what the trap really was, save that it had been set by the Hebus. He pulled and he tugged and he twisted, but try as he might, he could not get away. He fouled himself over completely, and then lay quite still, pretending to be dead. The flies gathered on him and these were followed by the worms, but he continued to lie quite still. By and by two of the Spirits came along, and one of them said, "Hallo! I have luck today. My spring-trap has caught a fish at last," but when he got closer, he added, "Oh! I p. 129 have left it too long. It stinks." However, they let loose their fish, as they thought it was, and carried it down to the riverside to wash and clean it. After they had washed it, one of the Hebus said, "Let us slit its belly now, and remove the entrails," but the other one remarked, "No, let us make a waiyarri (basket) first, to put the flesh in." This was very fortunate for Kororomanna, who, seizing the opportunity while they went collecting strands to plait with, rolled down the river bank into the water and so made good his escape. But when he succeeded in landing on the other side, he was, in a sense, just as badly off as before, not knowing how to get home.
26.* Kororomanna next came across a man's skull lying on the ground, and what must he do but go and jerk his arrow into its eye-ball? Now this skull, Kwa-muhu, was a Hebu, who thereupon called out: "You must not do that. But now that you have injured me, you will have to carry me." So Kororomanna had to get a strip of bark, the same kind which our women employ for fastening on their field quakes, and carry the skull wherever he went, and feed it too. If he shot bird or beast, he always had to give a bit to Kwa-muhu, with the result that the latter soon became gradually and inconveniently heavier, until one day he became so great a dead weight as to break the bark-strip support. The accident occurred not very far from a creek, and Kororomanna told Kwa-muhu to stay still while he went to look for a stronger strip of bark. Of course this was only an excuse, because directly he had put the skull on the ground, he ran as fast as he could toward the creek, overtaking on the way a deer that was running in exactly the same direction, swam across, and rested himself on the opposite side. In the meantime Kwa-muhu, suspecting that he was about to be forsaken, ran after Kororomanna, and seeing but the deer in front of him, mistook it for his man and killed it just as it reached the water. On examining the carcass, the Hebu exclaimed, when he got to its toes (Sect. 126): "Well, that is indeed very strange. You have only two fingers;" and though he reckoned again and again, he could make no more—"but the man I am after had five fingers, and a long nose. You must be somebody else."1 Now Kororomanna, who was squatting just over on the opposite bank, heard all this, and burst out laughing. This enraged Kwa-muhu, who left the deer, and made a move as if to leap across the creek, but, having no legs, he could not jump properly, and hence fell into the water and was drowned. All the ants then came out of his skull.2
27.* Poor Kororomanna was still as badly off as before; he was unable to find his way home. But he bravely kept on his way and at last came upon an old man bailing water out of a pond. The latter was really a Hebu, whose name was Huta-Kurakura, 'Red-back' (Sect. 99). Huta-Kurakura, being anxious to get the fish, was bailing away at the water side as hard as he could go, but having no calabash had to make use of his purse [scrotum], which was very large. And while thus bending down, he was so preoccupied that he did not hear the footfall of Kororomanna coming up behind. The latter, not knowing what sort of a creature it was, stuck him twice in the back with an arrow, but Huta-Kurakura, thinking it to be a cow-fly (Tabanus), just slapped the spot where he felt it. When, however, he found himself stuck a third time, he turned round and, seeing who it was, became so enraged that he seized the wanderer and hurled him into a piece of wood with such force that only his eye projected from out the timber. Anxious to be freed from his unenviable position Kororomanna offered everything he could think of—crystals, rattles, paiwarri, women, etc., but the Spirit wanted none of them, As a last chance, he offered tobacco, and this the Hebu eagerly accepted, the result being that they fast became good friends. They then both emptied the pond and collected a heap of fish, much too large for p. 130 Kororomanna to carry home. So the Spirit in some peculiar way bound them all up into quite a small bundle, small enough for Kororomanna to carry in his hand.
28.* Kororomanna now soon managed to find the right path home, because each and every animal that he met gave him news of his mother. One after the other, he met a rat with a potato, an acouri with cassava root, a labba with a yam, a deer with a cassava leaf, a kushi-ant with a similar leaf on its head, and a bush-cow (tapir) eating a pineapple. And as he asked each in turn whence it had come, the animal said, "I have been to your mother, and have begged potato, cassava, yam, and other things from her." When at length he reached home, and his wife and mother asked what he had brought, he told them a lot of fish, and they laughed right heartily at what they thought was his little joke. So he bade them open the parcel, and as they opened it, sure enough out came fish after fish, small and large, fish of all kinds, so many in fact that the house speedily became filled, and the occupants had to shift outside. [Cf. Sect. 303.]
28A.* [Note.—In a Carib version of the story the hero's name is given as Kere-Kere´-miyu-au, and he finds his way back home to his mother's place through the help of a butterfly. When I happened to mention to the narrator that this was the first time I had ever heard a "Nancy" story about this insect, he told me that the butterfly was always a good friend of the Caribs. "Does it not," he added, "come and drink of the washings from the cassiri jar, and remain stuck in the mess?" (i. e., "Does it not come and join in our feasts, and get so drunk that it can not fly away?").—W. E. R.
29.* Makunaima, or Makonaima, the alleged God (ScR, II, 225, 515) or Supreme Being (IT, 365) of the Akawais, the Maker of Heaven and Earth (ScR, II, 319) of the Makusis, was one of the twin children of the Sun—in this particular all the traditions concerning him are in agreement. He and his brother Pia may be regarded as both Akawai and Makusi heroes. The name itself, Makunaima, signifies "one that works in the dark" (HiC, 244); the Being working in opposition to him, according to Makusi beliefs, is Epel (ScR, loc. cit.). I am fortunately able to give three versions of the tradition of these Heroes—from Warrau, Carib, and Makusi sources, respectively.
*THE SUN, THE FROG, AND THE FIRESTICKS (W)
Nahakoboni (lit., the one who eats plenty) was an old man who, never having had a daughter, was beginning to feel anxious about his declining years, for, unlike the other old people around, he of course had no son-in-law to care for him. He therefore carved a daughter for himself out of a plum tree, and being a medicine-man, so skilfully did he cut and carve the timber that by the time the task was completed there was indeed a woman lovely to gaze upon. Her name was Usi-diu (lit., seed-tree) and her physical charms were almost, but, as we shall presently see, not quite, perfect. So attractive was she that all the animals, bird and beast, came from far to court her, but the old man liked none of them, and when they asked him for her as wife he gave them a curt refusal. The old man had a very poor opinion of the abilities of these prospective sons-in-law. But when Yar, the Sun himself, stopped on his journey, and paid the old man a visit, it was quite clear what his purpose was, and proof was not long in coming that his advances would meet with encouragement.
30.* Nahakoboni thought he would try Yar's mettle, and see what stuff he was made of. He told Yar to feed him, and made him fetch along all the barbecued meat that he had brought with him on his journey, and had left at the edge of the bush. He ate very heartily, as might have been expected from the name given him, leaving only a quarter of the meat for his visitor. He next told Yar to give him drink; the latter emptied a big jugful down his throat. His next order to Yar was to bring p. 131 him water to bathe with, and for this purpose gave him a quake.1 But when the poor fellow put the quake into the water-hole, and pulled it out again, the water of course all escaped; he tried many times, but it continued to escape. Just then he heard a rushing sound proceeding from the bush, and there appeared a Hebu: when the latter learned what he was trying to do, he offered his assistance, and made the water remain in the quake. The would-be bridegroom carried it to his prospective father-in-law, and bathed him. The old man then told Yar to shoot some fish for him; that he would find the corial at the waterside, a bench for it under the roots of a particular tree, and an arrow lying in the shade of another. It is true the corial was at the waterside; it was really lying under water and was a very heavy one—but the young man managed to haul it up at last, and then bail it out. Proceeding to the particular tree indicated, and looking in and among the roots he was surprised and frightened at seeing an alligator there; he held on to its neck, and it changed into a bench which fitted the boat.2 In the shade of the other tree he was similarly taken aback when a big snake came into view; he seized its neck, however, and it changed into a fish-arrow. The old man now joined him; they got into the corial and paddled down the stream. "I want some kwabaihi3 fish," said the old man, "but you must not look into the water. Shoot up into the air." His companion did as he was told, and so skilful was he with the bow that the arrow pierced the fish and killed it. So big was the fish that when hauled in it almost sunk the corial; they managed to get it home, however.
31.* The old man was now thoroughly satisfied with Yar's worth, and gave him his plum-tree daughter, Usidiu. Next morning the young couple went out hunting in the bush.4 When they returned late in the afternoon, father and daughter had a long and earnest conversation of a private and somewhat delicate nature, the outcome of which was that the old man learnt for the first time that the masterpiece upon which he had expended so much time, skill, and cunning, was not quite perfect. Her husband had found fault with her. Hunting was resumed the following day; a private conversation was again held in the late afternoon, the result of which showed clearly that the fault complained of still remained. The distracted father could only assure her that he could do nothing further to render her acceptable to his son-in-law. When the latter heard this, he consulted a bú-nia bird (Opistho comus), whom he brought back with him next day. While being nursed and fed in the girl's lap, the wretched bird forcibly took a very mean advantage of her innocence, and then flew away. This outrage having been brought to the knowledge of the father, he determined upon giving his daughter one more trial, with the result that he succeeded in removing a snake ex parte questa personæ eius. The difficulty was now remedied and the young woman went once more to join her husband. The following afternoon, on their return from the usual hunt, father and daughter met again in private conversation. Happy girl!—her husband was quite satisfied with her, having no complaint whatever to make.
32.* Now although the old man purposely evinced no signs of ill-will, he was greatly displeased with his son-in-law, not only for expressing discontent with the piece of sculpture when it first came into his possession, but also for having allowed the bunia bird to tinker with it. He bided his time, waiting for his revenge to come when the young man should complete the customary marriage tasks—the cutting of a field, and the building of a house for him. It was not long before Yar commenced cutting the field: he worked at it early, he worked at it late, and at last told his wife to let her father know that it was ready for his inspection. The old man went to have a p. 132 look and on his return home told his daughter that he found fault with it. The young couple then went off to inspect the field on their own account; they were much surprised to see all the trees and bushes standing there, just as luxuriant as before, little dreaming that Nahakoboni by means of his "medicine" had caused this rapid growth to take place only the night before. Yar had therefore to cut another and a bigger field, and just the same thing happened as before, the old father again expressing himself in terms of strong disapproval. "How is this?" said Yar to his wife. "I have cut a field twice, and yet the old man is not satisfied with it." She thereupon advised him to cut a third field, but on this occasion suggested, in addition, his pulling out all the stumps by their roots. Having cut the third field, he started pulling up the stumps; it is true that he started on many, but he did not succeed in pulling out one! He fell down exhausted. By and by, his old friend the Hebu put in an appearance, and seeing his distress, offered to do the job for him, advising him to return home at once and to tell his wife that the field was now thoroughly cleared. Nahakoboni went next morning to inspect, and planted the field with cassava, plantains, and all other useful plants; he returned in the evening, but spake never a word. This made Yar suspicious, so getting up early the following day, he was much surprised to find in place of an empty field, a beautiful crop of ripe cassava, plantains, and all the other good things that his belly might yearn for. But anger still rankled in the old man's breast, so that when his son-in-law started on and completed his other marriage task, the building of a house, the old man again found fault, pulled it down, and said he wanted it built stronger. Yar accordingly rebuilt it with purple-heart—the hardest timber he could find. Nahakoboni, pleased at last, took charge of the house, and lived there.
33.* Yar, the Sun, was now free to look after his own domestic affairs, and being well satisfied with his wife, they lived very, very happily together. One day he told her he proposed taking a journey to the westward, but that as she was now pregnant, she had better travel at her leisure; she would not be able to keep pace with him. He would start first, and she must follow his tracks; she must always take the right-hand track; he would scatter feathers on the left so that she could make no mistake. Accordingly, next morning when she commenced her journey, there was no difficulty in finding her way, by avoiding the feathers, but by and by she arrived at a spot where the wind had blown them away, and then the trouble began.1 What was the poor woman to do now that she had lost her way? Her very motherhood proved her salvation, because her unborn babe began talking, and told her which path to follow. And as she wandered on and ever on, her child told her to pluck the pretty flowers whose little heads bobbed here and there over the roadway.2 She had picked some of the red and yellow ones, when a marabunta (wasp) happened to sting her below the waist; in trying to kill it she missed the insect and struck herself. The unborn baby, however, misinterpreted her action, and thinking that it was being smacked, became vexed and refused any longer to show its mother which direction to pursue. The result was that the poor woman got hopelessly astray, and at last more dead than alive found herself in front of a very large house whose only occupant was Nanyobo (lit. a big kind of frog), a very old and very big woman. Saying "how day" to each other, the visitor was asked her business. She was trying to find her husband the Sun, but she had lost the road, and she was so very weary. Nanyobo, the Frog, therefore bade the woman welcome, and giving her to eat and drink and telling her to be seated, squatted on the ground close, and asked her to clean her host's head "But mind," continued the old woman, "don't put the insects into your mouth, because they will poison you." Our wanderer, however, overcome with fatigue p. 133 and anxiety, forgot all about the injunction, and picking out a louse, placed it, as is customary with the Indians, between her teeth. But no sooner had she done so, than she fell dead.1
34.* Old Nanyobo thereupon slashed open the mother, and extracted not one child, but two; a pair of beautiful boys, Makunaima and Pia. Nanyobo proved a dear, kind foster-mother and minded them well. As the babies grew larger, they commenced shooting birds; when still bigger they went to the waterside and shot fish and game. On each occasion when they shot fish, the old woman would say, "You must dry your fish in the sun, and never over a fire;" but what was curious was that she would invariably send them to fetch firewood, and by the time that they had returned with it, there would be the fish all nicely cooked and ready for them. As a matter of fact, she would vomit fire out of her mouth, do her cooking, and lick the fire up again before the lads' return; she apparently never had a fire burning for them to see.2 The repetition of this sort of thing day after day made the boys suspicious; they could not understand how the old lady made her fire, and accordingly determined to find out. On the next occasion that they were despatched to bring firewood, one of them, when at a safe distance from the house, changed himself into a lizard, and turning back, ran up into the roof whence he could get a good view of everything that was going on. What did he see? He not only saw the old woman vomit out fire, use it, and lick it up again, but he watched her scratch her neck, whence flowed something like balata (Mimusops balata) milk, out of which she prepared starch. Sufficiently satisfied with what he had witnessed, he came down, and ran after his brother. They discussed the matter carefully, the result of their deliberations being summarized in the somewhat terse expression, "What old woman do, no good. Kill old woman." This sentiment was carried into execution. Clearing a large field, they left in its very center a fine tree, to which they tied her; then, surrounding her on all sides with stacks of timber, the boys set them on fire. As the old woman gradually became consumed, the fire which used to be within her passed into the surrounding fagots. These fagots happened to be hima-heru wood, and whenevep we rub together two sticks of this same timber we can get fire.
35.* The Carib version of the tradition is noteworthy mainly in that the Hero ultimately finds a place among the stars.
*THE SUN, THE FROG, AND THE FIRESTICKS (C)
A long time ago; there was a woman who had become pregnant by the Sun, with twin children, Pia and Makunaima. One day the as-yet-unborn Pia said to his mother: "Let us go and see our father. We will show you the way, and as you travel along pick for us any pretty flowers that you may come across." She accordingly went westward to meet her husband, and plucking flowers here and there on the pathway, accidentally stumbled, fell down, and hurt herself; she blamed her two unborn children as the cause.3 They became vexed at this, and when she next asked them which road she was to follow, they refused to tell her, and thus it was that she took the wrong direction, and finally arrived, foot-sore and weary, at a curious house. This belonged to Tiger's mother, Kono(bo)-aru, the Rain-frog, and when the exhausted traveler discovered where she was, she told the old woman she was very sorry she had come, because she had often heard how cruel her son was. But p. 134 the house-mistress took pity on her, and telling her not to be afraid, hid her in the big cassiri jar, and popped on the cover. When Tiger got home that night, he sniffed up and down, and said, "Mother, I can smell somebody! Whom have you here?" And though she denied having anybody on the premises, Tiger was not satisfied, but had a good look round on his own account, and peeping into the cassiri jar, discovered the frightened creature.
36.* On killing the poor woman, Tiger found the two as-yet-unborn children, and showed them to his mother, who said that he must now mind and cherish them. So he put them in a bundle of cotton to keep them warm, and noticed next morning that they had already begun to creep. The next day, they had grown much bigger, and with this daily increase in about a month's time they had reached man's size. Tiger's mother told them that they were now fit to use the bow and arrow, with which they must go and shoot the Powis (Crax) because it was this bird which had killed their own mother. Pia and Makunaima therefore went next day and shot Powis, and these birds they continued shooting day after day. When they were about to let fly the arrow at the last bird, the Powis told them that it was none of his tribe who had killed their mother, but Tiger himself, giving them both full particulars as to how he had encompassed her death. The two boys were very angry on hearing this, spared the bird, and coming home empty-handed, informed the old woman that the Powis had taken their arrows away from them. Of course this was not true, but only an excuse; they had themselves hidden their arrows in the bush, and wanted the chance of making new and stronger weapons. These completed, they built a staging up against a tree, and when Tiger passed below, they shot and killed him. And when they reached home, they slaughtered his mother also.
37.* The two lads now proceeded on their way and arrived at last at a clump of cotton-trees in the center of which was a house occupied by a very old woman, really a frog, and with her they took up their quarters. They went out hunting each day, and on their return invariably found some cassava that their hostess had baked. "That's very strange," remarked Pia to his brother, "there is no field anywhere about, and yet look at the quantity of cassava which the old woman gives us. We must watch her." So next morning, instead of going into the forest to hunt, they went only a little distance away, and hid themselves behind a tree whence they could see everything that took place at the house. They noticed that the old frog had a white spot on her shoulders: they saw her bend down and pick at this spot, and observed the cassava-starch fall. On their return home they refused to eat the usual cake, having now discovered its source. Next morning they picked a quantity of cotton from the neighboring trees, and teased it out on the floor. When the old woman asked what they were doing, they told her that they were making something nice and soft for her to lie upon. Much pleased at this, she promptly sat upon it, but no sooner had she done so than the two lads set fire to it; thereupon her skin was scorched so dreadfully as to give it the wrinkled and rough appearance which it now bears.
38.* Pia and Makunaima next continued their travels to meet their father, and soon arrived at the house of a Maipuri (tapir), where they spent three days. On the third evening Maipuri returned, looking very sleek and fat. Wanting to know what she had been feeding on, the boys followed her tracks, which they traced to a plum-tree; this they shook and shook so violently as to make all the fruit, both ripe and unripe, fall to the ground, where it remained scattered. When Maipuri next morning went to feed, she was disgusted to see all her food thus wasted, and in a very angry mood quickly returned home, beat both boys, and cleared out into the bush. The boys started in pursuit, tracked her for many a long day, and at last caught up with her. Pia now told Makunaima to wheel round in front and drive the creature back to him, and as she passed, let fly a harpoon-arrow into her; the rope, however, got in the way of Makunaima as he was passing in front, and p. 135 cut his leg off. On a clear night you can still see them up among the clouds: there is Maipuri (Hyades), there Makunaima (Pleiades), and below is his severed leg (Orion's Belt.). [Cf. Sect. 211.]
39.* In the story as told by a Makusi (Da, 339), there are but a few main variations from the particulars given by the Warraus (Sect. 29). These variations are as follows:
The Sun, finding his fish-ponds too frequently robbed, set Yamuru, the water-lizard, to watch them. Yamuru, not being sufficiently vigilant and deprivations continuing, Alligator was appointed watchman. Alligator, the depredator, continued his old trade while employed as a watchman, and at last was detected by the Sun, who slashed him with a cutlass within an inch of his life, every cut forming a scale (Sect. 141). Alligator begged piteously for his life, and to propitiate the Sun offered him his beautiful daughter in marriage. But he had no daughter. He therefore sculptured the form of a woman from a wild plum tree. He then exposed her to the Sun's influence, and fearing ultimate detection of the fraud, hid himself in the water, peering at the Sun; and this habit Alligator has continued to the present time. The woman was imperfectly formed, but a woodpecker, in quest of food, pecked at her body atque genitalia preparavit. The Sun left her and she, grieving for his desertion, said that she would seek him. [Then follows the incident of her advent at old Mother Toad's house, the sickness caused by eating the poisonous head-lice, the death of the woman, as in the Carib version, caused by Tiger, and the discovery of the two unborn children, who subsequently became the two Heroes.]
40.* Pia's first work was to slay Tiger and take out of his carcass the parts ot the body of his mother, who became whole and alive. [Next comes a repetition of the Warrau legend concerning the old toad guarding her fire-making secret.] But Makunaima had an appetite for fire-eating, and invariably devoured the live coals. The toad remonstrated, and Makunaima in anger prepared to leave and to travel throughout the land. To attain his purpose he dug a large canal, into which flowed water; and having made a corial, the first of its kind, he persuaded his mother and Pia to go with him. It was from Crane that the brothers learned the art of fire-making when he struck his bill against a flint and the friction produced fire. The brothers placed huge rocks in all the rivers to detain the fishes: the rocks thus placed caused the great waterfalls. Crane was at first accustomed to catch his own fish, but finding Pia and Makunaima more successful fishermen after the rivers had been dammed, kept near to them and took away their fish. Pia consequently quarreled with Crane, who, becoming angry, took up Makunaima (who had taken part with him against his brother) and flew away with him to Spanish Guiana.
41.* Pia and his mother, thus deserted, continued their daily employment of traveling together, fishing, and seeking fruits. But at last one day the mother complained of weariness and Pia conveyed her to the heights of Roraima, these to be her abiding place of rest. Then came a change of occupation for Pia. He abandoned the hunt as the sole or principal occupation of his life, and traveled from place to place, teaching the Indians many useful and good things. By him and his teachings we have the Piai men. Thus did Pia pursue his course of benevolence until he disappeared finally from men and remained awhile with his mother on Roraima. And when his time of departure from her had arrived, he told her that whatever of good she desired she would obtain if she would bow her head and cover her face with her hands (Sect. 256) while she expressed her wish. This she does in her need to the present hour. Whenever the mother of these two heroes of our race is sorrowful, there arises a storm on the mountain, and it is her tears that run down in streams from the heights of Roraima (Da, 342).
Mount Zabang, the Olympus of the Makusis, is the dwelling their great Spirit Makunaima (ScR, II, 188).
42.* Amalivaca (Sect. 2), venerated by the Caribs and more especially by the Tamanacs, is said to have arrived in a bark, during the subsidence of the great waters, and carved the sculptures now seen high on the perpendicular faces of the rocks which border the great rivers (Br, 387). He has a brother Vochi—together, they created the world. While making the Orinoco they had a long consultation about causing the stream to flow up and down at one and the same time, so as to ease the paddlers as much as possible. Amalivaca had daughters who were very fond of gadding about, so he broke their legs to render them sedentary, and force them to people the land of the Tamanacs. He also did many other things. He made the earth sufficiently level for people to dwell on. He seems to have known music. His house, consisting of some blocks of stone piled one on another, forming a sort of cavern, may still be seen on the plains of Maita, and near it is a large stone which the Indians say "was an instrument of music, the drum of Amalivaca" (AVH, II, 473). Strange to say, I can obtain no information first-hand from the Pomeroon District Caribs concerning this Amalivaca; even the name appears to be now unknown here.
1 Compare Kon, the boneless Tribal Hero of the Yunka Indians of Peru (PE, 29, 41).—W. E. R.
1 A name I have been unable to trace.—W. E. R.
2 One end of the drum is commonly closed with baboon hide.
1 The Hebus of the Warraus are believed to possess eye-brows so prominent that it is possible for them to look directly upward only when in this upside-down position. [Sect. 99.]
2 On the Amazons, before the advent of Europeans, we have Acuña's authority for stating that all the tools which the Indians employed for making their canoes, huts, etc., were axes and hatchets made of tortoise-shell (Ac, 90).
3 The seed-pod in question is about 10 in. long, much flattened, hard-shelled, with a curved surface, so that when the halves are split asunder, each bears a somewhat fanciful resemblance to a cutlass.
4 The first word is in Spirit language, i. e., not understood by the Warraus, who tell me that it is nothing more than a watch-word; the second means "to kill with the arm;" the third indicates "to fall down."—W.E.R.
1 This bird is the Odontophorus Guianensis. "The notes of this bird, from which it takes its name, are usually the first heard In the morning, and frequently before dawn" (BW, 183).
2 Present-day cursing, the hó-a of the Warraus and Arawaks, is done on somewhat different lines, usually by medicine-men or by very old people only.
1 The account given of Kororomanna's doings in this paragraph forms the complete story of an unnamed Indian, as related by the Caribs, who give the name Pupombo to the Skull Spirit.
2 Ehrenreich refers to the many examples of such individual giant heads or skulls in the North American legends (PE, 71).
1 It would seem to be an invariable practice with the Indians to bathe after a meal.
2 A very common form of house-bench is one in the shape of this reptile.
3 The name of a big species of lukunanni (Cicllia ocellaris).
4 Previous to the advent of civllizing influences among the Indians, the jus connubii was usually exercised during the waking hours.
1 In Sect. 223 there is mentioned a connection between certain feathers and loss of memory.
2 Dance (p. 340) In connection with the Makusi, says, "she plucked pretty leaves and flowers and placed them in her girdle . . . the same as we do now when our pregnant wives travel with us."
1 For further reference to head-lice in legendary lore, see PE, 78, 82.
2 I find it to be well known among the Indians that certain kinds of frogs, after dark, can be made to swallow glowing embers, which are then probably mistaken for various luminous insects.—W. E. R.
3 When I suggested to the narrator that the woman went eastward to meet the sun, he emphatically contradicted me, explaining that site went to meet him where he would fall to the earth again, at the distant horizon.—W. E. R.