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   The Sun, male: Greeted of a morning (195); eclipsed (196); origin of his warmth and heat (197). The Moon, also male: Cause of the "spots" (198); beliefs concerning the "new" moon (199); when eclipsed, a transformation of animals occurs (200); causes of eclipse (201-202). Comets (203). Stars: Morning and Evening, etc. (204); the Milky Way (205); Southern Cross (206); Babracote and Camudi (207); Pleiades—their story told by Arawaks (208), Akawais (209), Warraus (210), Caribs (211); Orion's Belt (211A). Other Sky Spirits derived from man (212). The Woman of the Dawn (212A). Rain: Can be made as required (213); punishment for infringement of taboo (214); can be stopped (215); Rainbow (216). Weather-forecasting (217). Thunder and Thunderbolts (218). Storms generally (219).

   195.* The Sun seems to have been regarded invariably as a male (Sect. 29): The Salibas of the Orinoco—certainly a section of the tribe—claimed to be his children (G, I, 113). At Enamouta Village, on a branch of the Ireng, it would appear to be the usual practice for the Indians to issue simultaneously from their houses at daylight and greet the morn with cries and loud shouts (Bro, 129). It was customary for the Otomacs to bewail the dead as a matter of daily routine. "Thus, as soon as the cocks crow, about 3 o'clock in the morning, the air is rent with a sad and confused sound of cries and lamentations, mixed with tears and other appearances of grief. They mourn not by way of ceremony, but in very truth. When day breaks, the wailing ceases and joy reigns" (G, I, 167). So also on the Vichada, a branch of the Orinoco, the Guahibos at sunrise come out with a pan-pipe and make the round of the village while playing on this instrument, but their purpose in doing so is not made clear (Cr, 554). Among the Wapisianas of the upper Rio Branco, the first to awake strikes a drum until all jump out of their hammocks, and, in the meantime, with a quick step, he will promenade around the maloka with his barbarous music (Cou, II, 268). With the Island Caribs the flute is ordinarily played in the morning when they rise (RoP, 509).

   196.* It is said by im Thurn that on one occasion, during an eclipse of the sun, the Arawak men among whom he happened to be rushed from their houses with loud shouts and yells: they explained that a fight was going on between the Sun and the Moon, and they shouted to frighten and so part the combatants (IT, 364). Brett speaks of Oroan,1 the great Demon of Darkness, who causes eclipses; he seizes p. 255 the Sun and strives to quench the fire, till scorched and blackened, he retires, only to return another time (BrB, 189). In Cayenne, eclipses of the Sun and Moon upset the Indians a good deal: they think some frightful monster has come to "devour these heavenly bodies. If the eclipse is total or of short duration, they consider it a fatal thing for them: they make a terrible noise, and shoot a volley of arrows into the air to chase away the monster (PBa, 232). Island Caribs attribute the eclipses to Maboia, the devil, who tries to kill Sun and Moon: "they say that this wicked seducer cuts their hair by surprise, and makes them drink the blood of a child, and that, when they are totally eclipsed, it is because the Stars, being no longer warmed by the Sun's rays and light, are very ill" (Ti, 1886, p. 227).



   Waiamari was the name of a young fellow staying at the house of his uncle. One day he went down to the water-side to bathe. When in the water, he heard some one running down the pathway and then a splash. This made him look around, and, recognizing his uncle's young wife, he commenced swimming to a distance. But she chased him. The girl wanted him very much, and as she got close to the spot where he was, whispered, "Don't you want me?" Instead of replying quietly, however, Waiamari loudly upbraided her by shouting Bila! Kwahoro! ["Incest! Shame!"], and the girl drew back. The uncle, hearing the noise up at the house, called out to his wife, "What's the matter? Don't trouble the boy," because he thought that she must be at fault, and not his nephew. At any rate the couple got out of the water, and came up to the house, which the aunt entered, the boy passing on to go to stay with his elder uncle, Okohi, at whose place he slept that night. Now, the very fact of not going home as usual with his aunt made Waiamari guilty in the eyes of her husband, who followed his nephew next morning to Okohi's place. When he reached there, he reproached his nephew for having attempted improper conduct with his wife, a charge which was indignantly denied. At any rate, they started fighting and the uncle was thrown down. They fought again and the uncle was thrown a second time. Okohi now interfered, and said, "Boy! That will do," and so stopped the contention between his brother and nephew. Indeed, to save further strife, Okohi thought it best to take Waiamari away with him on his journey, and told the youngster to prepare the waija [canoe], as he proposed leaving next morning. So Waiamari went down to the water-side and painted the sign of the Sun on the bows of the boat, while at the stern he painted a man and a moon.2 Next morning the two got away, the nephew paddling in the bow and the uncle steering: it was a big sea that they were crossing, and as the paddle-blades swept along one could hear the water singing Wau-u! Wau-u! Wau-u!3 At last they crossed this big sea and reached the opposite shore, where they landed, and then they went up to a house near by, where they met a pretty woman, Assawako.4 After greeting Okohi, and telling him to be seated, she asked him to let his nephew accompany her to the field, and, this permission being granted, the young couple started off. When they reached there Assawako told Waiamari to rest himself while she gathered something for him to eat. She brought him yellow plantains and pines, a whole bundle of sugar-cane, p. 256 some watermelons and peppers; he ate the lot and spent a very happy time with her. On the way back, she asked him whether he was a good hunter: he said never a word but stepped aside into the bush, and soon rejoined her with a quakeful of armadillo flesh. She was indeed proud of him, and resumed her place behind.1 Just before reaching home, she said: "We are going to have drink when we get in. Can you play the kahabassa?"2 "Yes, I can play it a little," was the reply. When they got back to her place Assawako gave him a whole jugful of drink all for himself, and this primed him for playing the music; and he played beautifully, making the kahabassa sing Waru-huru-téa.3 They sported all night, and next morning Okohi made ready to leave. Of course poor Assawako wanted Waiamari to remain with her, but he said: "No! I can not leave my uncle. He has been good to me, and he is an old man now." So she began crying, and between her sobs told him how sad she felt at his going away. This made him feel very sorry also, and he consoled her by saying, "Let us weep together with the kahabassa." And there and then he sang Heru-heru, etc., on the instrument, and thus comforted her before he left.

   Now when at last uncle and nephew got back to their own country, old Okohi bathed his skin, and after seating himself in his hammock, gathered all his family around and spoke to them as follows: "When I was young, I could stand traveling day after day, as I have just done, but I am old now, and this is my last journey." So saying, his head "burst," and out of it there came the Sun's warmth and heat.

   198.* The Moon also is clothed with male attributes, and among the tribes here dealt with, as is the case with many another savage race, is held responsible for certain conditions met with during the child-bearing period of woman's life. I have heard the following tradition among both Arawaks and Warraus:



   Long ago a brother and his sister were living by themselves. Every night after dark some one used to come and fondle and caress the sister, attentions which she was very far from being averse to, but she was very curious to discover who her unseen visitor was. She could never find out. She therefore blackened her hands one day with the soot from the bottom of the pepper-pot, and when her lover came that evening, she smeared her hands over his face.4 When day dawned she thus came learn that it was her own brother who had taken advantage of her. She was extremly angry, abused him roundly, and told the neighbors, who in turn spread the story of his conduct far and wide. The result was that everybody shunned him and he became at last so thoroughly ashamed of himself that he declared he would keep away from everyone, and live by himself. He is now the Moon, and the marks which can still be recognized on his face are those which his sister imprinted with the soot (or blue paint) years ago. Even to this day women do not trust him, and no matter whether he is new, full, or on the wane, there will always be found somewhere a female who is in such a physiological condition as will preclude all possibility of the moon wishing to pay her a visit.5

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   199.* A peculiar custom among the Makusis, practised as soon as the new moon is visible (Sect. 227), is that of all the men standing before the doors of their huts, and drawing their arms backward and forward in its direction at short intervals: by this means they are strengthened for the chase (ScR, II, 328). "As soon as the new moon appears, they all run out of their huts and cry Look at the moon! . . . They take certain leaves, and after rolling them in the shape of a small funnel, they pass some drops of water through it into the eye, while looking at the moon. This is very good for the sight" (BBR, 228). The first night of the incoming moon was considered the proper occasion for obtaining clay for the manufacture of pots and other utensils which, it was believed, would not speedily be broken (Sect. 258).

   200.* With regard to the explanations given as to the nature of the eclipse of the moon, I have obtained the following at first-hand from the Pomeroon Arawaks. The phenomenon is due to its traveling along the Sun's path, falling asleep, and so not being able to get out of the way quickly enough. With the object of awakening the Moon members of this tribe strike drums, blow shells, and make a big noise generally, whenever the eclipse takes place. They must also keep themselves lively and active, and during the whole night must eat absolutely nothing; were they to break the fast, they would change into whatever animal or plant they might be eating (Sect. 248). Indeed, it is a common belief among these people that, at the time of an eclipse, there is a constant change or transformation-scene taking place on Nature's stage, in both animal and vegetable kingdoms, owing to this cause. The transformation is not necessarily sudden but may take time. I can call to mind an old Arawak story of a hunter who had gone to visit one of the streams away back from the Moruca River: On the first occasion he sees a huge land-camudi; on the second, at the time of an eclipse, he finds the snake changed into a tapir; and on the third he sees it swimming in the water as a manati.

   201.* As to the Orinoco Indian tribes, Gumilla has left us some very interesting records concerning the eclipse of the moon. Some of these nations believed that it was about to die: others that it was angry with them, and that it would give them no more light. The Loláca and Atabáca Indians held to the death theory (G, II, 274) and were under the conviction that if the Moon were indeed to die, all exposed fires would be extinguished. Their women, crying and yelling—an outburst in which the men joined—accordingly would each seize a glowing ember and hide it, either in the sand or underground. Moved by their tears and entreaties, the Moon however recovers, and the hidden fires are extinguished: but were he indeed to die, the concealed embers would remain alight. The Salivas had different views (G, II, 277). All the warriors stand up in rows facing the Moon, offering him their prowess and strength and entreating p. 258 him not to leave them. The young men, of 15 to 20 years of age, stand in two rows apart while certain old men roughly thrash them in turn with whips. Finally, the women, in a sea of tears bewail the Moon's projected departure and fatal absence. The idea would seem to be that the Moon has enemies whom, through fear, he is anxious to avoid, and he is therefore desirous of giving the benefit of his light to other nations. It is only the promises of these Indian warriors to fight in his favor which allay his fears, and hence there is no necessity for him really to take himself off. As soon as the Guayánas (G, II, 278) recognize an eclipse of the moon, they take up the implements used in cultivating their fields. With much talk and gesticulation, some cut the undergrowth, others clear it, and others again dig up the ground, all of them loudly proclaiming that the Moon has cause for being annoyed, and particularly good reason for forsaking them, considering that they had never made a field for him. They accordingly beg him not to go, because they are now providing him with a field, in which they propose planting maize, cassava, and plantains. With these promises and entreaties they continue at their task, working on it with vigor so long as the eclipse lasts; and as soon as it is over, they return to their houses overjoyed. But there is no more working on the field in the Moon's behalf until the next eclipse takes place! Among the Otomacs (G, II, 279), when the event occurs, the husbands aimlessly take up their weapons, skip about, and yell beyond measure, stretch the arrow on the bow in sign of anger, and ask, beg, and implore the Moon not to die. While they continue in their grief, the Moon goes on diminishing and languishing. Recognizing from this that their actions are not understood, they run back to their houses, where they bitterly reproach their wives for not grieving over and bewailing the Moon's sickness. The latter make not the slightest sign that they understand what is expected of them, and answer never a word. The men then change their tactics and start begging and beseeching their wives to cry and weep, so that the Moon may revive and not die. Still the women act as if they do not understand what is besought of them. So the men give them presents—glass-beads, monkey-tooth necklaces, jewelry, and the like. The women now understand in truth, and saying many prayers soon make the Moon shine as bright and clear as before—for doing which they earn their husbands' gratitude. According to their idea it is the female voices that move the Moon to take compassion on them, and save them from extinction.

   202.* The Uaupes River (Rio Negro) Indians believe that at an eclipse, Jurupari (Sect. 101) is killing the Moon; they make all the noise they can to frighten him away (ARW, 348). So again, the Island Caribs say that Maboya (Sect. 84) is eating the Moon on such an occasion: they dance all night, and rattle their calabashes with p. 259 little pebbles inside (RoP, 461). Schomburgk points out the curious fact that the Taruma word for a moon eclipse is piwa-toto, the literal translation of which is 'Moon-Earth' (ScR, II, 469).

   203.* Any reference to comets in the Indian literature is extremely scarce. With regard to the one that was seen by Schomburgk in the early forties, the Arekunas and Makusis regarded it as a sign of pestilence, famine, and disaster. One night they all emerged from their huts . . . men, women, and children extended their arms expressive of supplication and beseeched it to leave the heavens, so that they should not come to grief under its influence . . . the Makusis called it Ca-po-eseima, "Fire-Cloud," or Wae-inopsa, "Sun that throws its rays behind"; the Arekunas gave it the name of Wa-taima, and the Wapisianas Capische, both terms signifying "Spirit of the Stars" (ScR, II, 308). The Pomeroon Arawaks speak of the present year's (1910), Halley's, comet, simply as Wiwa-kihi-koro (lit. "Star-tail-with"), but have no information to furnish concerning it. Among the Island Caribs, Limacani is a comet sent by Coualina, the "boss" of the Chemeens [i. e., Familiar Spirits] to cause evil when he is vexed (BBR, 231).

   203A.* In the Makusi legend of Murapa-yeng (lit. Bat Mountain, one of the Pakaraima Range) the phenomenon is ascribed to an old woman carrying a fire-stick under somewhat pathetic circumstances: Schomburgk tells the story.



   A long, long while ago, an immense Bat lived on the mountain and spread fear and terror among the Makusis. As soon as the Sun had sunk in the west, the huge creature left its unknown dwelling, swept down upon the happy homes, and, swift as an arrow, pounced upon and carried off anyone whom it found out of doors: it carried the individual in its powerful claws up to its unknown nest and there devoured him. Fear reigned of an evening throughout the settlements and in the huts, and lamentation filled the air of a morning when often two, sometimes three, persons would be missing; not a night passed without an abduction, the tribe daily numbered less, and its entire annihilation seemed at hand. The medicine-man exorcised the Spirit; it returned again: the men went to discover the residence of the cursed murderer, but they did not find it—Makunaima was not with them. To prevent the total destruction of her tribe an old woman arose and declared herself ready to sacrifice herself for the good of her nation. When night fell, she stationed herself, with a covered fire-stick, in the middle of the village while the remainder of the people crouched in terror within their houses. The fluttering of the wings is heard, and the heroine, seized in the creature's frightful claws, is carried aloft to the charnel house. She now uncovers the fire-stick, which like the Sun throwing its rays backward (the Comet), shows by the streak of light thus produced the direction that the people must follow to find the mortuary house of their brethren. The high flames of fire from the burning nest upon this very mountain showed the folk next morning where to go: they succeeded in killing the creature. History does not say whether the old woman lost her life in this heroic deed; but even now immense heaps of bleached bones are to be found there. (ScR, II, 189.)

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   204.* Arawaks, Warraus, in fact all the Indian tribes of whom we have reliable accounts, possess myths and legends indicative of more or less animistic conception of the stars and constellations.

   Dance (270) says that Eweiwah, or Huewah (Arawak), and Koiunuk (Akawai) are the names of the Morning and Evening stars interchangeably, these tribes supposing that they are one and the same. Brett (Br, 107), on the other hand, gives the Arawak name for Venus as Warakoma [Warukóma], and that generally used for Jupiter as Wiwa Kalimero (i. e. the star of brightness). The Warraus here on the Pomeroon call the Morning Star Okona-kura. She it was who stuck in the hole when her people first came down from above the skies to populate the earth (Sect. 51). The Makusis speak of the Evening Star as Kai-wono, wife of the Moon, because she is to be seen in his near neighborhood, and also on account of her shining more brightly than all the other stars (ScR, II, 328). According to Father Gili, the Indians of the Casiquiare believed that the dew which falls by night was the spittle of the stars (AR, 207), a belief similar to that reported of the Makusis. The Caribs ascribed it to the urination of the stars (ScR, I, 429). The Makusis speak of shooting stars as Wai-taima (ScR, II, 328). The Island Caribs regarded all the heavenly bodies as Carib. Father de la Borde mentions some five or six stars in their cosmogony, but unfortunately has apparently not identified them. Racumon was one of the first Caribs made by Louquo; he was transformed into a large snake with the head of a man; he was always seated on a cabatas (a hard and high tree); he lived on its fruit, which resembles a large plum or small apple, and which he gave sometimes to those who passed; he is now changed into a star. "Savacou was also a Carib. He was changed into a large bird; he is the captain of the Storms and Thunders; he has caused the heavy rains, and is also a star now. Achinaon, a Carib, at present a star, causes light rain and strong winds. Couroumon (a Carib), also a star, causes the heavy sea waves, and upsets canoes; he is also the cause of flood and ebb." (BBR, 229.)

   205.* Arawaks speak of the Milky Way under two names, one of which signifies the Path of the Maipuri (Tapir), and the other is the Path of the Bearers of Wai-é, a species of white clay of which their vessels are made. The nebulous spots are supposed to be the tracks of Spirits whose feet were smeared with that material (Br, 107). On equally reliable authority we are told that the three nebulæ within the Milky Way represent a tapir being chased by a dog, followed by a jaguar, who is not particular in choice, so that he take either the dog or the tapir. Another legend is that the nebulæ were formed by celestial wild hogs rooting up the white clay (Da, 296). The Makusis call the Milky Way Parana, a term which they apply also to the sea.

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   206.* With regard to the Southern Cross, Dance talks of it as being the great White Crane, and gives a legend relative to it (Da, 296). Arawaks and Warraus, however, have told me that this represents the powis (Crax sp.), the nearer "pointer" to it being the Indian just about to let fly his arrow, the farther one indicating his companion with a fire-stick running up behind. This constellation serves also as an indication for the hunting of the bird, Schomburgk recording (ScT, 23) how, when the Cross stands erect, the powis commences its low moan (Sect. 98). The Makusis apparently regard the Southern Cross as the home of the Spirit of this bird.

   207.* There are two groups of stars described by the Arawaks and certain of the Warraus, as the Babracote and the Camudi: four bright stars (Pegasus) with four imaginary connecting lines constitute the square frame of the former, another thick cluster (Scorpio) representing the Snake. This is the Arawak story:



   There was a man living with his wife and mother-in-law in the same house: the wife's father had been dead a long time. The man was always going out hunting, but, although he started early, and returned late, luck never seemed to attend his efforts. This made the mother-in-law very angry, and one day she said to him: "You are a worthless son-in-law. Day after day, you go out hunting, and you bring back nothing. Day after day, you go out fishing, and bring back nothing." The man made no reply to all this, but just laid himself quietly down in his hammock where he remained until next morning. Next morning he called his wife and told her to pack the hammocks with sufficient cassava for two or three days, as he intended taking her out hunting with him. After they had traveled a long way, he killed her, cut her into pieces, and dried the flesh on a babracote. Next day he returned home with his victim's liver, and handing it to his mother-in-law said, "Here's the liver of a tapir for you. The wife is laden with the flesh and is slowly coming on behind." The old woman, who was so hungry, spared no time in eating it, and when finished got into her hammock quite satisfied, anxiously looking down the pathway for her daughter. After watching for some hours in vain, she began to think that the alleged tapir's liver must really have been her daughter's. Turning to her son-in-law, she charged him with having killed her daughter, because it was then very late and still she had not returned. He denied it and swore that she would soon be coming, but the woman would not believe him. She continued watching until late in the night, and then she knew that the liver she had eaten was indeed her own daughter's. Of course she slept but little, and early next morning crept quietly out of the house, and made her way to her brother, the large camudi, that lived at the head of the neighboring creek. She told him how her son-in-law had killed her child, and given her the liver to eat. She told him also that she would send the culprit along that very creek, and that as soon as he got within reach he was to catch and swallow him. When she reached home again the old woman said nothing, but next day told her son-in-law that she was feeling very hungry, that he must go out hunting, and that if he went up to the head of the creek, he would find plenty of game to shoot. The son-in-law suspected something, so he went to a younger brother of his and told him to put in a day's hunting at the head of that very same creek, while he took good care to take his bow and arrows in exactly the opposite direction. That same evening, instead of returning to his own place, he came back to his younger brother's house. No brother returned p. 262 that night, nor the next day. Indeed, he never came back, because he had been killed and swallowed by the camudi, who had mistaken his man. The son-in-law, after waiting there a few days, then knew what had happened, and made his way to another settlement, far, far from the nagging old woman. On a clear night you can still see the babracote where he barbecued his wife, and close to its side you can just make out the camudi with its swollen belly, due to the younger brother being inside.

   208.* The Pleiades, the Seven Stars, bore a very important rôle in the daily life of the Guiana Indians in that, among several other reasons, their rising from the east marked the commencement of their new year: this measurement of time was adopted from the Orinoco to Cayenne. All the legends relating to the constellations Taurus and Orion have something in common in the detail of an amputated arm or leg. Dance speaks of the Stars forming the belt and sword-sheath of the constellation Orion (Da, 343) as Mabukuli (Arawak) or Ibbeh-pughn (Akawai). Now the word Mabukuli signifies "without leg," and the corresponding little story which he relates (Da, 296) will not prove out of place here: "A huntsman being unsuccessful in the chase one day, and being loth to return without flesh for his stepmother, whom he loved, cut off one of his own legs, and wrapping it up in leaves, presented it to her as veritable game; and then ascended into the heavens as Mabukuli (Ibbeh-pughn) or one-legged."

   209.* The Legend of the Tumong, or Seven Stars, as told by Dance (296), apparently from Akawai sources, is this:



   A man having lustful inclination toward his brother's wife killed his brother while hunting in his company, and cutting off an arm of the murdered man, presented it to the widow as a proof of her husband's death. He then took her as his own wife. But the spirit of the murdered man haunted a tree near by his brother's house, and filled the air at nights with his laments, so that the widow, discovering the treachery of her new husband, became disconsolate. The fratricide, from vexation, decided to rid himself of her, and of her little child. For this purpose he took her ostensibly to hunt with him, and observing a hole at the root of a large tree, he desired her to stoop and search therein for a suspected acouri. While she looked in, he pushed her in completely, and also her child after her, and then stopped up the hole. On that night the spirit of the murdered man appeared to his brother and informed him that he knew of his deed of violence, and was not angry; for his wife had been transformed into an acouri, and his child to an adourie, so that his unnatural malice, save by the infliction of death, could not any more affect them. For himself, he would not cease to render the murderer's life miserable so long as his own mangled body remained unburied. But if the wicked brother would disembowel the body and scatter the entrails, after interring the other remains, not only would the dead cease to be a terror, but at that season every year an abundance of fish would gather in the river. The wretched brother then went to the place of the bloody deed, and did what he was told, when the scattered entrails of the murdered man floated upward to the skies, and assumed the appearance of the Seven Stars. And truly, as was predicted, on the annual appearance of those stars, the yarumak [Pimelodus maculatus], tibicurie [Prochilodus rubro-teniatus], caburessi [Chalceus tæniatus] and several other excellent fishes are abundant in the rivers.

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   There were once two brothers: the elder, a celebrated hunter, was called Nohi-abassi; I do not know the name of the younger one. Every day Nohi-abassi went farther and farther afield in the pursuit of game, and at length he reached a creek, where he climbed a tree, watching for the animals to come and quench their thirst. While waiting among the branches, he saw a woman wading up the creek toward the tree and noticed that every time she put her hand into the water she drew out two fish: one of these fish she put into her mouth; the other she put into her basket. She was a very big woman, Nahakoboni by name.2 She was carrying a calabash upside down, like a cap, upon her head, and would every now and again toss it into the water; as she jerked it in, she made it swirl round and round like a top, and there she would stand a few minutes watching it spinning on the surface. Then she would proceed on her way, put her hand into the water, draw out two fish again, devour one, and place the other in her quake. And so she proceeded on her way, passed the tree where Nohi-abassi was in hiding, and still catching two fish at a time, went on her way to the creek-head. Night caught the hunter, and so he had to sleep up the tree. Next morning he reached home, and told his brother what he had seen. The latter said, "I should like to see such a woman, who can catch so many fish, and can eat them as well." But Nohi-abassi answered him: "No! I don't care to take you with me to show her to you: you are always laughing at everything, and you might laugh at her." And it was only when his brother faithfully promised not to laugh at anything that he might show him, that Nohi-abassi agreed to take him. So they started on their journey and reached the creek where the adventure with the big woman had taken place the day before. Nohi-abassi climbed the identical tree whence he had originally seen Nahakoboni, this tree being situated a few yards away from the creek bank. His brother, however, who wanted to get a good look at the wonderful woman, insisted upon climbing a tree close to the water's edge, and made his way up and along a branch which overhung the stream. Both brothers sat quiet, and by and by Nahakoboni came along as before, doing just the same thing, spinning her calabash, putting her hand into the water, drawing out two fish at a time, one of which she put into her mouth, the other into her basket. At length she came along right underneath where the younger brother was in hiding, and recognized his shadow in the water. This shadow she tried again and again to catch; she put her hand in quickly, first this side and then that, but of course she did not succeed, and what with all her queer gesticulations and funny capers made so ridiculous an appearance that the brother up above could not resist laughing at her vain attempts to seize the substance for the shadow. He laughed again and again and could not stop laughing. Unfortunately for him, Nahakoboni, hearing the sound and looking up, recognized not only him who was just over her head, but also Nohi-abassi, who was on the other tree some few yards distant. Furious at being ridiculed [see Sects. 59, 125], she ordered the former to come down, but he would not. So she sent the "yackman" ants [Eciton sp.] up the tree; and when they reached him, they bit him, and stung him so hard that he had to pitch himself into the water, where she caught and ate him. She then ordered Nohi-abassi to come down, but he would not either, and so she played him the same trick by sending the yackman ants again in pursuit. These forced him to come down, and so soon as he reached the ground Nahakoboni caught him, put him into her basket, which she tied up tight, and carried him home. Arrived there, she placed the quake in a corner of her house, covering it with leaves and bushes, at the same time giving her two p. 264 daughters strict injunctions that they were under no pretext whatever to touch it during her absence. Directly her back was turned however—and it was not very long before she remembered that she had to go to her field to pull cassava—the two girls wanted to see what their mother had been at such pains to hide from them. They said, "Why did mother tell us not to trouble the basket?" and, promptly removing the bushes and leaves, cut open the quake and found a real live man inside. They took him out to have a good look, and the younger sister could not help exclaiming, "Oh! what a fine fellow he is, isn't he?" They then asked him if he was a good hunter, and he answered them that he was and would always bring them plenty of game. Both girls therefore fell in love with him, and the younger made him hide in her hammock. Now, when old Nahakoboni returned with her cassava, she busied herself grating it, and it was not until everything else was prepared for the feast that she went to the quake to kill Nohi-abasi with a view to eating him. Judge of her surprise when she found it empty! When asked about it, the girls admitted that they had been to the basket and let the captive free, the younger one adding, "and as he said he was a good hunter, I took him for my husband." The old mother was quite satisfied with this arrangement, and said: "All right! You can have him for your man, so long as he regularly brings me something to eat, but remember, on the very first occasion that he returns home with nothing, I shall eat him." From next day on, Nohi-abassi started going down to the sea regularly to catch querriman [Mugil brasiliensis] for her. No matter the size of the load of fish he procured, old Nahakoboni would eat the whole lot, except two. Fishing like this day after day soon had its effect upon poor Nohi-abassi, who got heartily sick of the task of having to procure so much food for his mother-in-law. His girl fell in with these views and consented to release him from so thankless a task by running away with him. So on the last trip he intended making in the way of bringing home fish, he left his corial, with the catch in it, a little farther out from the bank than had hitherto been customary with him; indeed, he anchored it in deep water and told a shark to lurk underneath. When Nohi-abassi reached home he told his wife as usual to inform her mother that he had brought home a load of fish in the corial, and that she must go down to the water-side for it.1 So old Nahakoboni went down the pathway, reached the creek, and went into the water to haul in the corial with the load of fish, but as soon as she reached the deep part of the stream, the shark seized and devoured her.2 In the meantime, our hero and the younger daughter made preparation for their journey, but the elder one, beginning to feel anxious about her mother staying away so long, went down to the water-side to seek the cause, which she was not long in discovering. She returned in haste, and could hardly speak for passion. She sharpened her cutlass and slashed a tree with it; the cut reached only half through. She sharpened it again, and slashed another tree-trunk; the blade cut it clear through. When Nohi-abassi saw what she was doing, he recognized that his sin had been discovered, and without further loss of time made all speed with his wife to run away. Now, although they had a good start, Nohi-abassi soon recognized that his sister-in-law was quickly gaining on them. He therefore made for the nearest tree and, telling his wife to climb quickly, helped her up with an occasional push behind, he following closely at her heels. He had just made his third step up when his sister-in-law reached him with the cutlass, and making a slash, managed to cut off a portion of his leg, which stuck upon one of the branches. This leg makes a noise like the "maam"—it is in fact the mother or spirit of the maam [Tinamus sp.] [Sect. 98] and when people are out shooting this bird, it is this same leg which occasionlly falls down and kills the hunters. We can still see Nohi-abassi's wife climbing the p. 265 tree: she is what we call Kura Moku-moku [lit. stars little, i. e. the Pleiades]. Behind her is Nohi-abassi himself [the Hyades], and farther back is his cut-off leg [Orion's Belt].

   211.* Brett's account (BrB, 191) is of interest in comparison with the Warrau story, and I accordingly adapt it here from the metrical version. Before doing so, however, I can but express the probability that the idea of making Aldebaran (the Bull's-eye in our constellation Taurus) the organ of vision for the Tapir—making, in fact, the Tapir correspond with the Bull—is the result of contact with African or European influences. Brett calls the myth the Legend of Sirikoai, and from internal evidence (cf. Sect. 38) I am inclined to think that he must have received it from Carib sources. Sirikio is the Carib name for a star, Wailya for a watchman, and Wawa (cf. Wawaiya) for a sister or a wife: on the other hand, Sahtai is the Akawai name for an ax.



   Wawaiya, the lately-made bride of Serikoai, was one day off to her cassava field, when she met a Tapir. He said his name was Wailya, that he liked her, and for the same reason had assumed that form so as to have the chance of coming near her. He came the next day, and the next, and every day while Wawaiya was on her way to the field, and she became fonder and fonder of him. He finally tempted her, and promised her that if she followed him to the eastward, until earth and sky met, he would resume his human shape and take her to wife. But she refused. So he charmed her ax, and assured her that if she did what he told her to do, she would be safe with him. Soon after, Serikoai asked Wawaiya to come with him and gather avocado pears [Persea gratissima], which were now ripe, so that while he climbed the trees, she might collect firewood. She did so, and while her husband was up a tree, she went to grind her ax, but every time it touched the stone it called out, "I must cut. I must wound!" [Sahtai!]. She asked her husband whether he could hear it talking, and he said, "Yes;" that it always spoke like that when being sharpened there, but she must not worry over it. However, while Serikoai was descending the tree she cut his leg clear through and took to flight. Though exhausted by loss of blood, Serikoai plucked an eyelash, and blew it into the air, where it became a beautiful little bird, which he told to fly away to his mother's place and call his name. When the latter heard her son's name, she did not know what the bird meant, and so sent the bird back again to find out. On its return, she immediately rushed off and nursed her son so tenderly that he recovered of his wound. Serikoai now managed to walk about with a crutch, and took up the search to find his wife, but all traces of Wawaiya had then disappeared, what with the lapse of time and the heavy rains. Nothing daunted, however, he traveled on and on, until at last he discovered a sprout of avocado pear. A little farther on he saw another, which revived his hope of finding her, because he now knew that she who had taken the pears must have eaten them on the road, and cast the seeds by the wayside. Traveling on and on, always to the eastward, he saw at last Wawaiya's and Wailya's footprints, and a little farther on saw them conversing right ahead of him. He thereupon shot the Tapir and, cutting off its head, implored his wife to return, saying that if she refused he would follow her forever. She did refuse, nowever, and hurried on with her lover's spirit still after her, and her husband behind them both. Still rushing headlong, the husband reached the earth's steep edge, where Wawaiya threw herself into the deep blue sky. If you watch on a clear night, you can still see Wawaiya p. 266 [the Pleiades] with the Tapir's head [the Hyades: the red eye is Aldebaran] close behind, and Serikoai [Orion, with Rigel indicating the upper part of the sound limb] farther back—all three in pursuit.

   211A.* Orion's Belt is part of the leg of a woman (Sect. 98)—of Mabukuli (Sect. 208), of Nohi-abassi (Sect. 210), of Makunaima (Sect. 38)—and the arm of the murdered husband (Sect. 209).

   212.* As has been already mentioned, the Spirits of people departed may wander upward to join other Spirits in Sky-land (Sect. 81). Some of these may pass their existence happily, and harm no one, or in the course of their transformation (Sect. 69) they may become changed into birds—perhaps into birds of ill omen sometimes—and so have their place in the heavens. Again, the Spirits of good medicine-men travel upward to Cloud-land, and may be invoked by their surviving professional brethren with the aid of the rattle and tobacco (Sect. 309). There are a few other Spirits of the Sky who are essentially bad-minded in the sense of bringing sickness into the world: these also are referred to elsewhere (Sect. 309).



   Plenty of people went out to hunt, but on the way back, four of them were caugt by nightfall when far away from home. These four comprised a man, his wife, and two daughters; and a long, long way behind them was yet another man. This last man shouted out to the four others, "Hi! Stop! wait for me! wait for me!" to which they replied, "Come along quick, and follow us." But as he could never reach them, he kept on singing Mawa-kakotú [lit. "for me—wait"]. He is the little night owl, who still sings like this. The darkness was now so thick that the four could get no farther. They had to remain where they were, and though they waited and waited, no daylight came. In the meantime they made a fire from ite-palm leaves, but it burned away too quickly; it was no good. They then rolled some wax in a leaf, but this also burned away too quickly: it too was no good. The parents, seeing a little dawn a long distance away in the bush, sent the elder daughter to go and bring it. She went on and on, but zigzag and crossways just like a drunken man, a token that she would never obtain the daylight. She walked in a crooked way because she had already had dealings with a man. Finally she reached the spot where the daylight was, and there she came across an old man and his wife. She asked for his son, but as he was out at work, the old man bade her to wait. When at last the old man's son did reach home, the mother said: "A friend has come to see you. She has waited long. You had better ask her what she wants," And when he asked her what she wanted, She told him how her father had sent her to fetch some daylight. [Extrahens suum clavem, incepit arcam intrare], but the key1 would not fit, the lock1 having been tampered with, and he therefore sent her home again. When she got back, empty handed the younger sister said, "I will try to get some daylight," and although her father told her she was too young to go, she insisted, and went. She did not stumble on the road from one side to the other because as yet she had never had anything to do with a man, and she reached the spot without trouble. Like her sister, she had to await the young man's return, and when he did arrive, his old mother said: "I don't know what is the p. 267 matter with your friends. They have never come to visit you like this before. There is another young woman come to see you." On learning that she had come to fetch daylight [inseruit clavem in arcam eius et demonstravit quoquo modo opportuisse uti]. He gave her the Daylight, which she brought back to her parents and sister.

   [Among the Paressi (Peru) there is a vaginal origin ascribed to both organic and inorganic nature (PE, 33).].

   213.* Rain can be produced as well as stopped by human, animal, or spirit agency, but at the same time would appear to have an independent existence. To make rain on the Pomeroon, one of the authorized methods consists in plunging into water a length of cassava stalk held at one extremity. Next the stalk must be tied up in the center of a bundle of other cassava stalks, and the whole left to soak in water: rain is sure to fall within twenty-four hours. Another method practised here is to wash in water the scrapings from one of an alligator's largest teeth. Arawaks as well as Warraus believe also in the piai or any layman burning the carcass of a camudi as an inducement for the rain to fall. The Oyambis of Cayenne have the same belief in the efficacy of the killing of a snake (Cr, 174). On the Kamwatta Creek, in the Moruca River district, there is a half-submerged tree stump, known as Ibúma (lit. "young woman," in the Warrau language), believed to be the site where either an Indian murdered his wife or where she killed herself. In dry weather the tree is exposed, and as the Indians pass it in their corials, they call out, "Ibúma!" and slash their cutlasses into it, with the avowed purpose of making the woman vexed, and so causing the rain to fall. Rain can also be made to fall in this district by cursing the black kurri-kurri bird as mentioned in the story of the Medicine-man and the Carrion Crows (Sect. 303). On the upper Mazaruni it is a large eagle and a camudi that can cause the rain to fall (Bro, 399); frogs are reputed to be able to do the same thing (Sect. 46).

   214.* The infringement of certain taboos can also entail a downpour of rain. For instance, when traveling on the sea or any other large sheet of water, as a big river, the Indians (Arawaks, Warraus, etc.) have to be very careful as to what they do with the pot-spoon, the haráro of the Arawaks (Sect. 193). After use they must wash it in the traveling boat or wait until they get on land, but never wash it in the river or sea: otherwise, big squalls and storms will arise. Nor must any fresh water be spilt in the traveling boat (Sect. 219). Near the Chichi Falls, upper Mazaruni, on giving the Indians rice to cook that evening, the men told them to wash it first by dipping the earthen pot into water, but to this they demurred, saying that if they placed their pot in the water the rain would fall more heavily (Bro, 397). In the same way a Cayenne bush-negro, in order to stop the rain, advises his fellow-servant not to wash the inside of the pot (Cr, 276).

p. 268

   215.* Conversely, the rain can be stopped. Near Mora Village, on the upper Rupununi, there was a hill close by on which, the Indian said, a "Spirit at the approach of the end of the rainy season, made a noise like the report of a gun to stop the rain" (Bro, 138). "We passed an old man," says Brett (Br, 169), "fishing in a canoe on the Manawarin. The clouds threatened rain, and when he perceived it, he began to use extraordinary gesticulations, flourishing his arms, and shouting his incantations to drive it away. It soon cleared up, and the old sorcerer rejoiced at his success, as he deemed it." So again, Dance (p. 234), on the Potaro: "A cloud was gathering windward, and threatened rain. The Indian who had the front paddle in my woodskin commenced to blow away the threatening rain cloud. This he attempted to do by blowing into his fist and dashing his hand upward toward the cloud." Schomburgk describes a similar manoeuver executed by a Warrau (ScR, I, 186). On the Pomeroon, should rain fall at a time when it is particularly not desired, as when traveling in an exposed corial, one of the occupants will address the "Boss" Spirit of the Rain somewhat as follows: "Pass on. We don't want you here. Clear out to the head of the river where you are wanted," at the same time pointing with his finger toward the direction he wishes it to take. Another of the occupants will as often as not then get up in the boat on all fours and, pointing his posterior in the direction of the Rain, will address it with an obscene remark. The Being thus addressed is Uni-shidu, so called by the Arawaks from Uni, the Rain, and Shidu, a term applied to any chief or boss. As first recorded by Bancroft (312), it is noteworthy that if it rains at the time, the medicine-man will postpone his incantations.

   216.* The Arawaks speak of the Rainbow as Yawarri (Didelphys sp.), the reddish color of its fur bearing some fancied resemblance to the coloration of the bow. These same people (certainly in the Pomeroon District) hold that white people are coming from the direction where they see a rainbow: On inquiry, I learn that the connection between this natural phenomenon and the European lies in the high arched forehead of the latter. The Island Caribs more or less personified it as Joulouca [? another form of the word Yurokon, Sect. 94], the Rainbow Spirit, which lives on fish, lizards, pigeons, and humming birds, and is covered with fine feathers of all colors, especially on the head. He is the rain-bow which we see: the clouds prevent us from seeing the rest of the body. He makes the Carib ill when it finds nothing to eat above. If this fine Iris appears when they are at sea, they take it as a good omen of a prosperous journey. When it appears to them while they are on land, they hide in ther homes and think that it is a strange and masterless spirit which seeks to kill somebody" (BBR, 231).

p. 269

   217.* As will be seen from the following list, weather forecasting must be somewhat easy for the Indians. Unfortunately I have been unable to discover at first hand, the connection, if any, between the sign and the event, that is, whether it is a case of cause and effect, at the instigation of some Spirit, human or animal. On the Moruca River, rain will fall or an accident of some sort will happen to the person hearing the karra-suri (small kingfisher) or the fika-wanna (a little bird with red legs and its long tail) whistle notes; so again, certainly on the same river, if when the weather happens to be dry, the kaiokochi (crocodile) "barks" late of an afternoon, rain is certain to follow either that night or during the course of the following day. When the river ibis, or kurri-kurri (Ibis infuscatus), utters its cries in the evening, the natives of the Cuyuni say it is a sure sign that rain will fall during the night (Bro, 21). Gumilla makes the curious statement (G, I, 289) that the manati is to be seen taking big jumps out of the water a day before rain falls. On the Pomeroon and Moruca, among the Arawaks, when plenty of swallows are seen, or the toucans cry loudly, or various frogs (as the akura, tontonli, kure-kure, warra-raura) are heard, or a little insect (the kudu-kudu) chirps, or the yarau fish are found bearing plenty of eggs, wet weather is believed to be approaching. In Cayenne, the araqua or paraqua is the rain-bird of the Ouajana Indians. A long spell of dry weather may be expected when any large camudi is found high up on a tree, and a correspondingly short one if the serpent is but a small one and only a few feet from the ground (Arawaks and Warraus, Moruca River). Again, if a Pomeroon Arawak hears the kukui (a hawk somewhat like a 'carrion crow') he knows the sound presages prolonged dry weather; what is more curious still, he and his people when they hear this sound rush to the pepper trees around the house and shake them with a view to making them bear more peppers. There are two birds that I shall always be glad to hear singing, the warri-kuma and the dara ("bell-bird," Chasmarhynchus), because the Arawaks have taught me that they indicate the coming of plenty of sunshine. Some Indians enjoy the same prospect when they hear the baboon howling.

   218.* The Cayenne Indians are not so much afraid of thunder as of an eclipse; they believe the former is caused by piai who, climbing up into the skies, makes this frightful noise (PBa, 233). As soon as they recognize the approaching storm which usually accompanies the thunder, the Island Caribs at once make for their houses, and stepping into the kitchen, seat themselves on their little stools close to the fire. Here, hiding their faces, and resting their heads upon their hands and knees, they commence to cry, bewailing in their gibberish that Maboya (Sect. 84) is much angered with them. They do the same thing when there is a hurricane on (RoP, 486). The Uaupes p. 270 River Indians blame their corresponding spirit, the Jurupari, for the thunderstorms; it is at these times that he is angry with them (ARW, 348). The Kobéuas believe that at death separation of spirit from body is taking place (KG, II, 152). Warraus believe thunder to be the roar of Black Tiger (Sect. 148). The Surinam negroes regard the old-time Indian stone weapons as thunderbolts, and look on them as talismans with which they part only with reluctace (WJ, 71). Many people [? Indians, ? Spaniards] at Caracas and elsewhere wear them on their necks as amulets for protection against lightning and thunder (AR, 461).

   219.* With regard to storms generally, the Carib lslanders—

   When they have to cross over sea to go to another island—like St. Alousi or St. Vincent . . . no pure water is drunk, and they are very careful not to spill any in the canoe or in the sea (Sect. 193); it would cause the sea to swell and make rain and bad weather come. . . . They cannot pass certain places at sea without throwing over food: it is for some Caribs who have perished there, and now have their huts at the bottom of the sea. They could otherwise not pass without the boat capsizing. When a storm cloud is seen, they all blow in the air and drive it away with their hands to turn the rain in another direction. To make the sea calm, and allay a storm, they chew cassava, then spit it in the air and sea to appease the Chemeen (Sect. 89) who is perhaps angry because he is hungry. If they have an unfavorable wind, an old man out of the crowd takes an arrow and hits the hydrant of the canoe, which is supposed to let the canoe go as straight as an arrow: if a gust of wind makes them lose sight of land, they consult the devil. [BBR, 245.]



p. 254

1 Warraus tell me that this word is a form of Yurokon, the name of the Carib Bush Spirit.—W. E. R.

p. 255

1 This word okóhi smong the Warraus means the hottest part of the day; it refers to the warmth and heat of the sun as distinguished from its power of producing light.

2 Even up to very recent times the Indians' canoes were thus decorated with Sun and Moon.

3 This sound would correspond with the English "Swish! Swish! Swish!"

4 This is the Warrau term for any smart, sensible female.

p. 256

1 On the march the Indians always walk in file, the men leading.

2 This is the name of an obsolete form of musical instrument, which none of my Warrau friends have ever seen, but have only heard of, and hence can not furnish me with particulars. From indirect evidence, however, I am inclined to believe that it was some form or the "crow-skull" gourd-flute—the Warrau bure-akwa.—W. E. R.

3 This sound would correspond with our hootiti-tootiti, etc.

4 This is the Arawak version. The Warraus say that, instead of soot, she used the humatuba, the blue paint of the Caribs.

5 Ehrenreich (37) cites a somewhat similar story of incest and subsequent discovery, in which the girl, however, becomes the Moon, given by Barboza Rodriguez, from the Rio Jamunda.

p. 263

1 This name (lit. "Leg-half") is Warrau; its signification here will be seen below.

2 This female was really a Bush Spirit, or Hebu, and though of the same name has nothing whatever to do with the old man mentioned in the story in Sect. 29.

p. 264

1 He could not, of course, speak to the old woman directly, she being his mother-in-law; he himself was precluded from bringing the fish up to the house, as this procedure would spoil his luck (Sect. 244).

2 In another Warrau version of the same story, Nohi-abassi sets a big cage-trap for the fish, and asks an alligator to remain alongside, for the same purpose and with similar results.

p. 266

1 When I reminded the old Warrau informant that Indians had no looks and keys, she told me that the story as told above is just as she heard it, and that old time people do not like to mention bad (i. e. indecent) things.—W. E. R.