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   Their presence due mainly to: Peculiarities in geological conformation, markings, etc. (171), for example, in legend of Kaieteur Fall (172), Rock-engravings (173); Actual Transformation of Sentient Beings into rocks and stones (174); Site of some long-past remarkable occurrence (175-176).

   171.* The belief on the part of the Indians in the presence of Mountain Spirits in certain localities would seem to have been due in large measure to one or another of three sets of causes: peculiarities in conformation, marking, position, and other features of the rocks (on the principle of suiting a picture to the frame); the supposed transformation of the person or animal into stone; or the association of the locality with some remarkable event that took place in the long-ago.

   There are an endless number and variety of Spirits connected with mountains, precipices, rocks, cataracts, etc. (cf. Sect. 58). South of the Takutu River is a mountain chain taking its name from a hill resembling a crescent in the distance, whence the Wapisianas have compared it to the moon (Kaira in their language), and designating it in consequence Kai-irite, or Mountains of the Moon (ScT, 48). Now all this country in Schomburgk's time was terra incognita to both Brazilians and Indians, and hence, as might have been expected, and as he tells us, "the Indian banishes all evil spirits to this region, while the Brazilian considers it the abode of wild Indians who massacre any person foolhardy enough to come within their precincts." So extraordinarily has nature molded her mountain forms in different parts of the Guianas, that there are seldom wanting resemblances, comparatively striking, to common everyday objects. I can quite sympathize with Schomburgk when he so much regretted that the little knowledge which he possessed of the Makusi language did not permit him to understand some of the many wonderful stories the Indians had to tell him of every stone they met on the road that was of more than ordinary size or fantastically shaped by nature (ScF, 199). Along the valley of the Unamara, a very good example is Mara-etshiba, the highest mountain, where the bulging out in the middle of this mass of rock has been identified with the maraka. Another is Mount Canu-yeh-piapa (lit. "guava-tree stump"), while a third is Mount Puré-piapa ("headless tree") (ScF, 197). Elsewhere, there is Mount Pakaraima, a singular isolated mountain which from its figure "has been called the Pakara or Pakal, meaning p. 236 a basket" (ScF, 221). Mount Sororieng, the "swallows' nest," an object of much dread to the superstitious, is another good instance (BW, 177). The Takwiari offset of the Twasinkie Mountains, Essequibo, derives its Carib name from a remarkable pile of large granite bowlders so placed as to resemble a water-jar, called Comuti by the Arawak Indians, and by this name they are more commonly known (ScR, I, 328). Ayangcanna Mountain can be seen in the distance from the upper Mazaruni, forming a most singular picture. The word means "lice-searchers," this disagreeable name being bestowed on account of a row of huge pointed rocks on the crest, which are sharply defined against the sky, and to the Indian eye resemble a row of women seated one behind the other, searching each other's head for vermin, a custom very prevalent among all Guiana tribes (Bro, 390). It must be admitted that such fancied resemblances are not always too clear to European eyes. Clear or not, however, once the resemblance admitted, then follow the explanation and the "padding," the pointing of the so-called moral to adorn the tale. Wayaca-piapa Mountain, northwest of Roraima, is the "felled tree" which, as the Indians say, the Spirit Makonaima cut down during his journey through these parts. On the Mazaruni, near Masanassa village, relates Boddam-Whetham: "We passed a peculiar rock in the middle of the river somewhat resembling a human figure: the Indians thought it was a river-god watching for pacu" (BW, 179). On some granite blocks, above the Waraputa Rapids, Essequibo River, "I found," says Schomburgk, "two impressions of a man's foot, as if he had sprung from one rock to the other. The imprint of each foot, even to that of the five toes, was really striking. The Indians told us that these were the tracks which the Great Spirit had left behind when he took his departure along this route from among their forefathers with whom he used to live" (ScR, I, 326).

   In passing the Carowuring [branch of the upper Mazaruni] the guide informed us that when high it is navigable for canoes for half a day's journey up, to the foot of a high fall, at which there is a large sand-beach, marked with mysterious footprints resembling those made by the human foot. The sand also is thrown up as if children had been playing there. If the Indians who visit the spot trample down these heaps, and go away for a short time, on their return they find them there again as before. The Indians believe that wild men live near the spot, but have never succeeded seeing them. [Bro, 385.]

   The torrential streams which so suddenly gush down from the heights of Roraima are but the sorrowful tears of the Mother of Pia and Makonaima—she who had been left behind on top of this mountain by the former (Da, 342). At least that is what the Makusis affirm. Some people say that over the tops of Roraima and Kukenam are spread seas filled with all kinds of fish, especially dolphins, and continually circled by gigantic white eagles, which act as perpetual watchmen (ScR, II, 265).

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   172.* Another example of this series of cases is the legend relative to the calebrated Kaieteur Fall (pl. 4), which I give here in the words of Barrington Brown (Bro, 214), the discoverer of this wonder-spot:

   Once upon a time there was a large village above the fall, situated on the little savanna, amongst the inhabitants of which was an old Indian, who had arrived at that period of human existence, when his life had become a burden to himself and a trouble to his relatives. Amongst other duties, there devolved upon his near relations the tedious one of extracting the jiggers from his toes which there accumulated day by day. These duties becoming irksome at last, it was arranged that the old man should be assisted on his way to his long home, that spirit land lying two-days' journey beyond the setting sun. He was accordingly transferred, with his pegall of worldly goods, from his house to a woodskin on the river above the head of the great fall, and launched forth upon the stream. The silent flood bore him to its brink, where the rushing waters received him in their deadly grasp, bearing his enfeebled body down to its watery grave in the basin below. Not long after, strange to relate, his woodskin appeared in the form of a pointed rock, which to this day is seen not far from our lower barometer station; while on the sloping mass of talus to the west of the basin, a huge square rock is said to be his petrified pegall or canister. Thus has the fall been named Kaieteur in memory of the victim of this tragic event.

   173.* The remarkable petroglyphs, scattered through tha Guianas, to which so many travelers have drawn attention, are in the same way credited with a supernatural origin. Thus Schomburgk relates, when at the Waraputa Rapids: "I was most anxious to carry away part of one of the rocks . . . and neither threats nor promises could induce any of our Indians to strike a blow against these monuments of their ancestors' skill and superiority. They ascribe them to the Great Spirit, and their existence was known to all the tribes met with. The greatest uneasiness was depicted upon the faces of our poor crew; in the very abode of the Spirits, they momentarily expected to see fire descend to punish our temerity" (ScG, 275). The Piapocos of the lower Guaviar River ascribe such rock-gravings to their Mami-naïmis, or Water Spirits (Cr, 525, 529). The amount of intelligence displayed by the expression of such a belief was however, within comparatively recent times, paralleled by that of a European Power, for on the Montagne d'Argent on the coast between Cayenne and the River Oyapock, the rock-carvings were claimed by the Portuguese to represent the coat-of-arms of Charles V when they had a dispute with the French over their boundary line (Cr, 145).

   174.* The existence has been shown (Sect. 58) of a belief in the origin of human and animal life from rocks or stones and in the transformation of such sentient beings into the inorganic material similar to that from which they have sprung. This transformation is regarded not only as a natural departure from the normal course of events; but also in the light of a punishment (Sect. 67). At Aramayka, a settlement on the Mazaruni, close to Karamang River, the cliffs of Mara-biacru become visible to the height of about one thousand feet, with perpendicular faces on the north. A remarkable detached peaked p. 238 rock on the western face of the cliffs is called the Caribisce. The legend says it is a man of that nation turned into stone for attempting to scale the cliff (HiA, 32). The Nation of Stone-adzes, where all the people are really stones, has been mentioned (Sect. 158). But however produced, these inorganic objects with human instincts, powers, and ideas, so to speak, all play a more or less important part on the world's stage. Thus, a rugged rock, a real good friend, comes and quells the fountain which threatens to overwhelm the nation (BrB, 106). In those cases in which the transformation is the result of punishment it might only be expected that the propensities of such rocks and stones would be directed into channels other than good. Perhaps it was some idea similar to this which led to the loss of Schomburgk's geological specimens: "One of the Indian carriers said he had lost my geological specimens: my brother had previously warned me of this—the Indian thinks it something evil, and will secretly throw it away" (ScR, I, 433). The same may possibly be said of the following: Above the cataracts of the River Demerary are abundance of red and white agates, which remain untouched by the natives, who avoid them from a principle of superstitious veneration, as they are dedicated to the service of their magical invocations (Ba, 21). Probably some idea of this nature may form the basis of the practice noted by Brown, in the Cotinga District, in connection with certain small artificial stone-heaps on the sides of the paths over the Savannah Mountains. These were 3 or 4 feet in height. The Indians with him, in passing, had added to the heaps by dropping on them stones picked up near by; he could never learn their object in so doing, for when questioned about it, they only laughed (Bro, 276). (In the Gran Chaco, the Indians, on going over a pass, will place a stone on the ground, so that they will not get tired on the way (Nor, 12).)

   175.* Again, just as in the Old World, the scene of some tragedy, apparition, or of any untoward event—real or imaginary—may ultimately assume by the addition of tale and fable a halo of reputed sanctity, so may many a local feature of natural scenery in the Guianas constitute the landmark as it were of some notable occurrence—a death, a bloody feud, the appearance perhaps of some extraordinary animal—with the result that such a spot becomes weird and eerie, and all kinds of fanciful stories are told in connection with its immediate neighborhood. The Indians have a tradition that the cliffs, hillocks, and other places, about a mile from Kayiwa on the Corentyne are inhabited by a large snake, which from time to time goes to drink the water of the river, and that its passage thither has deprived the cliffs of vegetation (ScC, 289). On a low hill above the Waiquah River, a branch of the Cotinga, Barrington Brown "observed p. 239 a huge artificial mound of earth and small stones, which the guide said was the grave of Makunaima's brother. It would seem that the Great Spirit is a dweller in this region, for an isolated rocky mountain, seen from the Cotinga lower down, at the head of the Mauitzie River, is called Makunaima-outa, which me ans the 'Great Spirit's House'" (Bro, 276). In the Pakaraima Mountains there is a singular rock called by the Makusis Toupanaghœ, from its resemblance to a hand. The Indians make it the seat of a demon and pass it under fear and trembling (ScG, 256). At the Merume escarpment, upper Mazaruni, says Brown, "the Indians begged my men not to roast salt fish on the embers, fearing thereby to rouse the ire of a large eagle and camoodie snake, which they said lived on the mountain side, and would show their displeasure by causing more rain to fall" (Bro, 399). According to the tale told by a medicine-man, Mount Roraima was guarded by an enormous camudi, which could entwine a hundred people in its folds. He himself had once approached its den and had seen demons running about as numerous as quails (BW, 225). Another Indian in the same neighborhood objected to camping near what he believed to be the cave of a celebrated "water-mama," near which it was dangerous to sleep (BW, 210).

   176.* Sometimes the facts of the original occurrence have been lost sight of and only a memory remains, but this memory is grafted on the minds of the Indians apparently in the form of a Spirit, if we are to judge by the procedures adopted on their visiting such localities—these must neither be approached too closely, nor pointed to and sometimes not even looked at, or spoken of. Although it is permissible to single out a person by a nod with the head, to point the finger at a fellow-creature is to offer him as serious an affront as it would be to step over him when he is lying on the ground (Sect. 72); in the latter case he would tell you that he is not dead yet, and that you must wait until he is. To point the finger at a Spirit must necessarily be a much more serious matter. We have the Old Man's Rock in the Essequibo, which a murdered buckeen continually haunts, and at which it is dangerous to point the finger (A, I, 93). So also, there is a large bare rock (the Negro Cap) standing with its head about six feet above the water, close to the Three Brothers Islands, in the same river, concerning which the natives entertain a most curious superstition. They believe that if any individual points at this rock a heavy storm will immediately overtake him for his audacity (StC, II, 37). The dangers consequent upon talking about Spirits have already been dealt with (Sect. 124), hence the following allusion from im Thurn is of interest: "In very dry seasons, when the water in the rivers is low, the rocks in their beds are seen to have a curious glazed, vitrified and black appearance, due probably p. 240 to deposits of iron and manganese. Whenever I questioned the Indians about these rocks, I was at once silenced by the assertion that any allusion to their appearance would vex these rocks and cause them to send misfortune" (IT, 354). The most curious, however, of all the procedures indicative of a Spirit's presence somewhere in the immediate neighborhood is that which concerns the sense of sight; several examples of this temporary occlusion of vision are recorded elsewhere (Sect. 252).