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p. 271


   Omens, tokens, auguries, etc., dependent on—human beings (220-221); quadrupeds (222); birds (223); insects (224-225); plants (226). Ordeals, Preparatory Charms, for the Chase, with: Incisions, mutilations, nose-stringing (227); frogs, toads (228-229); caterpillars and ants (230); perhaps have a physiological basis (231). Hunting-dogs have to undergo similar ordeals (232). Attraction charms, Binas (1) for hunting: Plants, used on hunter (233), or on his dog (234), originally obtained from a snake (235). Animals used on the hunter and on his dog (236); (2) for sexual purposes: Plants (237); animals (238). Talismans, Repellent (and so Protective or Defensive) Charms: Plant (239), animal, tooth (240), blood and red paint (240A), stone (241).

   220.* Omens, tokens, auguries, etc., are known to the Arawaks as adibuahu, to the Warraus as asijatai-ahá. Lucky indeed are those children who are born with a caul (shibo-addahu), because they are going to see spirits (Yawahu) and so become more clever. If the husband is away fishing or hunting, and any little child of his, boy or girl, takes up a pot, and puts it on the fire pretending to cook something (leaves, etc.), the mother can rest assured that their father is bringing something home with him. If a healthy person is suddenly overcome by a sleepy feeling, or if during sleep he happens to spit, this means that he is about to be visited by some one (Arawaks). During sneezing and yawning, the spirit temporarily leaves the body through nose and mouth (KG, II, 152). To point the finger at a fellow creature (Sect. 263) is to offer him as serious an affront as it would be to step over him when lying on the ground; in the latter case, the recumbent person would rightly say, "You can cross me when I am dead. I am not dead yet!" (Arawaks). Our old chieftain, says Schomburgk, had during the morning sprained his foot, while jumping from rock to rock, an accident to which he paid little attention, but which showed he was unable to proceed on the journey to Nappi: this accident was taken as a bad omen by both the Makusis and Arekunas who, with the exception of those who were bound to us by agreement, all turned back to their settlement on the following morning (ScR, II, 291). If the occupants of a settlement [Pomeroon Caribs] wish to assure the victory for their warriors on the march, and want to assure themselves at the same time of the issue of the battle, perhaps already fought, they place two boys on a bench and whip them without mercy, especially over the shoulders. If the boys bear the pain without shedding a tear or uttering a groan, victory is certain. One of the boys is then placed in a hammock, from which he has to shoot at a target fixed to one of the roofs: as many arrows p. 272 as hit the target, so many of the enemy will be killed by the warriors (ScR, II, 431). If after their descent upon the Arawaks, they are discovered before striking the first blow, or a dog yelps at them, the Island Caribs take the incident for a bad augury, and return to their boats; they believe that hostilities, begun openly, will not succeed (RoP, 529).

   221.* As a matter of fact, anything that occurs out of the ordinary is accepted in the light of a token of something evil about to happen. For examples of this, I am taking at random the following extracts from the legends already given:

   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 [Sect. 4].

   And when asked how she knew [that the Bush Spirits were coming to spoil the drink], she told them that she had received a sign, or token, because when she was weeping for her late husband, he suddenly appeared before her and told her to cease to cry [Sect. 109].

   The elder brother then recognized that it [the fact of the younger persistently making a noise while fishing] was a token of something that was about to happen [Sect. 113].

   The wife also met her death shortly after, and they then remembered having noticed the token: she had omitted to bathe after a meal, some days before (Sect. 119).

   Her visitor eating the frogs raw was a sign of something wrong somewhere, causing the girl to become suspicious (Sect. 120).

   It was not long before the brother again put his feet into the fire, a fact which, considering that he was not drunk, led his brother to believe that it was a token of some evil about to befall (Sect. 126).

   When the husband claimed the beast which he had not killed, as his own, the wife realized the token that something unusual was about to happen (Sect. 136).

   While eating the beetle grub out of the Mauritia palm, the elder brother heard it whistle: he knew this to be the sign or token that he was about to die (Sect. 139).

   221A.* The token or augury may be in the nature of an indescribable sort of feeling.



   An old man asked a woman to come and live with him. She, however, was young and wanted a younger husband, so she declined him. This made the old man much vexed, and he threatened to punish her badly. By and by the woman took as husband a young man. He was a splendid hunter, and always killed anything and everything; even at night, if he heard a tiger growling anywhere in the neighborhood, he would never hesitate to go out into the darkness and slay it. One day he went into the bush to cut out honey, his wife accompanying him. "That will do," she said when she thought he had cut enough, but he wanted to cut one more tree. "No, don't cut another," she repeated, "I feel frightened. I feel strange, as if something were about to happen."1 But he insisted upon cutting one tree more, and no sooner had he done so than two creatutes like tigers rushed out of a neighboring thicket and killed him. They were not exactly Hebus, and they were not exactly tigers: they were Spirits of some sort whom the old man had sent to revenge himself with. Now the deceased husband had left two brothers behind him, and when they heard of his death, they made inquiry and examined the place in the forest where he had p. 273 been attacked, but could find no trace of the body. The young widow then wanted to take unto herself one of these brothers-in-law, but he was afraid after what had happened to her first husband. Nevertheless, she loosened her hammock, and slung it next to his; she even brought him food, water, and other things, but he refused to handle anything that she offered. Had he done so, she would have said to herself, "He loves me" [Sect. 275]. Nevertheless, she persisted in her attentions, and followed him everywhere; where he went, she went. He told her he was going to cut out honey and that she must go back; she refused, so he threw her into the river. She did not mind, but clung to the edge of the corial, and though he bashed her fingers with the paddle, she refused to let go her hold—well, at last he gave way and let her join him. So they went together to the place where the honey was to be procured, and filled all their goblets,. The woman said, "Don't cut any more. I feel strange. Something is about to happen." He stopped cutting, and helped to pack the corial ready for the return journey. While doing so, the two Tiger creatures came from out of their hiding-place and killed him. And the woman was for the second time a widow. The remaining brother and other members of the family came and visited the spot as before, but there was no trace of the body to be found. It was this remaining brother that the woman next wanted, but after what had happened, he was too much afraid to have anything whatever to do with her. However, she persisted so much, that he was finally forced to consent. They went for the honey as before, the strange feeling came over her, she warned him to stop, they started packing, and the two Tiger creatures appeared. On this occasion, the man killed one of his assailants before being himself dispatched by the other. At any rate, the woman was for the third time a widow. Did she then marry the old man who wanted her originally? No; she would not even look at him.



   A party of women and girls went to gather wild pineapple. They traveled in a large corial, and at last landed. Having roamed the bush and gathered a number of pines, they all sat down in a circle to eat them, and commenced laughing and chattering, as women do. Now there was a little boy among the party, who climbed up all overhanging tree, where the corial had been tied up at the water-side, in order to keep watch; he was afraid that something was going to happen.1 After a while he called out that some men were swimming across the stream, but all that the women jokingly said was: "All right. Let them come. We will have some sport and fun with them." But the men were really Carib cannibals, and as soon as they reached land, they rushed upon the women, slaughtered every one of them, and began cooking the flesh. The boy up the tree was much frightened at seeing all this, but did not dare descend just yet. The Caribs were watching the corial lest anyone should come and fetch it away, and at irregular intervals would wander backward and forward from the scene of the outrage to the landing-place. It was during one of these intervals that the youngster slipped down the tree, and, breaking his arrow, rubbed the pieces over his body to make him brave [Sect. 331]. He then slipped off into the corial, and as quickly as possible reached midstream. By this time the Caribs had recognized him and shouted for him to return. "Come back! Come back!" they screamed: "Your sister is alive and calls you," but the lad knew better and, paddling strongly, got home safe. He told his father and other relatives all that had happened. These hurried back, only to find that the Caribs had made their escape, and so they "received no payment" [i. e. they did not get their revenge on them].2

p. 274

   222.* With regard to animals, let us see what they or their actions can presage.

   Serious sickness or death is indicated by either small or large species of armadillo (yeshi and monoraima, respectively), of the jaguar, burrowing or digging up, for the purpose of covering its excreta, any portion of the road leading up to the house. Similarly it is a bad omen for any droppings of the buhürri (a bat) to be found on the pathway (Arawaks). There is a frog with a spotted back which jumps well, and is known to the Pomeroon Arawaks as sorukara. A pregnant woman will tickle it to make it jump, and according as it lands on its back or its belly, so will her child prove to be girl or boy. The Island Caribs regarded bats as their guardian Chemeens or Familiar Spirits, and believed that whoever killed them would become ill (BBR, 235). When the warritimakáro (Bradypus tridactylus), the smallest kind of sloth, which has a curious habit of always covering its face with its crossed hands, uncovers its face, it is a sure token that some one is going to die (Arawaks).

   223.* Birds of ill omen are present in plenty. Chief among these is the goat-sucker (Caprimulgus). Writing from the Takutu, Schomburgk says that—

   The Indians have the greatest superstition with regard to this bird, and would not kill it for any price. They say it keeps communication with the dead, and brings messages to their conjurers. Even the common people on the coast retain in a great measure this superstition, and hold the bird in great awe. Its nocturnal habits, the swiftness and peculiarity of its flight, and its note, which breaks the silence of the night, have no doubt contributed to the fear which Indians and Creoles entertain for the Wacarai or Sumpy Bird [ScT, 67].

   As is the case with even far more civilized nations, owls are of equally evil portent and may indicate sickness, death, the presence of an as-yet-unborn babe, or a birth. Thus, among the Pomeroon and Moruca Arawaks, the boku-boku, and the waro-baiya or maletitoro (both of them species of night-owl), and among the Demerara River Arawaks, the hututu (night-owl) and makudi (small owl) are said always to be heard when a person is sick or about to die. In the Pomeroon the morokodyi (night-owl) cries when a female in the house is enciente. On the Demerara, when the night-owl calls cuta! cuta! cuta! quickly, it is to notify that one in the family is about to give birth to a child; and when that bird mews like a cat, it is the notification of death (Da, 269). In French Guiana, on the upper Parou River, at an Apaläi vinage, Crévaux had a curious experience: "Arrived in the forest where we proposed camping, we heard the notes of a bird which I have reason to believe is a kind of screech-owl. A panic seized my escort, the torches were put out, and men and women saved themselves in the obscurity of the night. We were obliged to return to the village for our night's rest" (Cr, 300). On the Pomeroon p. 275 and elsewhere, probably from their custom, when in large numbers, of flying in pairs, one behind the other, the baridi hawks are taken as an omen of a funeral. On the lower Amazon, a black eagle (Milvago nudicollis) locally known as the caracára-i, is considered a bird of ill-omen by the Indians; it often perches on the tops of trees in the neighborhood of their huts and is then said to bring a warning of death to some member of the household. Some say that its whining cry is intended to attract defenceless birds within its reach (HWB, 146). With regard to remaining species of birds, the Pomeroon Arawaks believe that if the koko-bero flies over the house, some one in it will shortly prove pregnant, that or a little baby is about to be taken sick. The voice of the kwa-kwarra brings an evil message, similar to that of the boku-boku. The karéo-obannahu is a small night-bird, so named after its note, karau! karau! and obannahu (the liver, the color of which it resembles). If its note is heard but faintly, some individual must be exceedingly ill: if distinctly, the patient is getting better and stronger. When the beletika cries, some one is about to be married; hence this token may be both of good and bad omen. Another set of bird-tokens may indicate approaching rainfall as well as accident (Sect. 217). There is still another class of omens, indicative of either prospective good luck or bad luck. Thus, when on a hunting expedition, one hears the karrasuri, a small bird, uttering a kind of laugh, he is sure to kill something, but if it should cry shirai, he will get nothing. According as the bukulaura, another bird, turns its back or its breast toward a person, so will fortune or misfortune attend that person's wishes in obtaining whatever food he wants. [Furthermore, when walking along the pathway one must not mind if a munirikuti (species of black ant) bites his foot, because this means that he will obtain something very good and satisfying.] Some Indians will never turn their back on a trogon: "He [the Indian] attributed his safety (from drowning) to the strictness with which the Indians had observed the proper respect due to a trogon that had flown over our heads in the morning: they have a superstition that if, on setting out on a journey, they should turn their backs to this species of bird, ill luck will surely follow." (BW, 146: on the Mazaruni, with an Arawak and Akawai crew.) The following are some miscellaneous examples of bird-omens: On the Pomeroon one must not gaze too long on the great red macaw, unless the individual wishes to become bald, presumably in view of the bird having its cheeks so markedly devoid of feathers. The advent of strangers is notified by the warracabba (trumpeter-bird) when it is seen playing about near the house, having in its mouth a leaf with which it is believed to be building a banab. On the Orinoco, in token of the Father coming to visit them, the Cacique said that on the previous day he had seen a bird with peculiar feathers and colors passing over his house: it gave p. 276 them notice of his approach (G, I, 311). Children are discouraged from picking up certain feathers, as these tend to weaken memory, and the handling of the feathers of a scissor-tail hawk, called by the Atorais chaouneh, conduces to insanity (Da, 250).



   Boku-boku, the Night-owl, married the bats' sister, and often took his brothers with him at night to rob peoples' houses. One night they came across a house where the people were drying fish on a babracote: just to frighten them, they all sang out, boku! boku! boku!—this made the occupants run out into the bush, and so gave the bats their opportunity for stealing the fish. The trio played the same trick at many a settlement, until one day the owl told them he had to travel about for a while, and that during his absence they must behave themselves, and stay indoors at night, as otherwise trouble would be sure to happen. But no sooner had Boku-boku turned his back, than the bats, unable to resist temptation, continued their evil courses, They got to a place one night where the fish were being dried, but having no owl with them on this occasion, they could not shout boku! boku! boku! as loudly as they did before; hence, the people not being so frightened now, ran away only a little distance, just far enough to be able to watch everything and to see that it was only the bats who were stealing their food. But the bats, remaining undisturbed, thought they could now do what they liked with impunity, and hence returned again upon the following evening, when the people remained just as they were, some seated, some lying in their hammocks. The bats still thought of course that nothing bad could happen them, and were laughing chi! chi! chi! for very joy. But the house master took out his bow and arrow, the latter tipped with a knob of wax, with which he shot one of them on the rump, stunning it.1 The other bat, escaping into the forest, met Boku-boku, who had just returned from his travels, and to whom he narrated the circumstances of his brother's untimely death. Nothing daunted, the two returned to hunt that night, and on this occasion the noise of their voices, now that it included the owl's, created such a stir that the folk ran as before into the bush, while Boku-boku and his brother-in-law stole the fish. But lying on the babracote was the dead bat, which they took home with them, and there they soundly smacked him on the spot where he had been struck with the arrow: this brought him round, the fire not having withered him up beyond recovery, and he laughed chi! chi! chi! on awakening. And although Boku-boku was prevented accompanying them the following evening, the two bats insisted on repeating their nocturnal excursion: as before, the folk were not frightened, and again one of the bats got shot in his posterior. Next night, the surviving bat returned with Boku-boku, and they found as before upon the babracote, the body of their relative: this they took away with them, but on this occasion, when they smacked the corpse, it never woke—it had been dried too much over the fire. The surviving bat however continues to take his revenge upon people and sucks them and their fowls, as well as doing other damage, while the presence of Boku-boku, his brother-in-law, invariably means mischief: when heard at night, some one is surely about to sicken and die.

   224.* There are two bees which indicate the arrival of a stranger. One of these insects (honorari) comes in the morning early, and in the afternoon late, while the other (wariro) lives in the ground; when either of these buzzes Arawaks are convinced that people are about to visit them. The modudu is another bee that flies round p. 277 somewhere between 4 and 5 a. m.: should a young person hear it buzzing he (or she) must immediately get out of the hammock, on penalty of having pains all over the body. The Arawaks of the Pomeroon believe that if a candle fly, Pyrophorus noctilucus (koko-i) is seen coming into the house, it may mean three things: supposing it falls to the ground, this indicates the near death of one of the inmates; if it falls into the fire, this shows that a deer has sent it along to fetch a light for him; but if it settles down under the roof, the arrival of a stranger is to be expected. The bite of a certain ant is lucky (Sect. 223).



   Five men formed themselves into a hunting party, and went out into the forest. At nightfall they built themselves a banab, and next morning they all started in different directions to scour the neighborhood. Late in the afternoon they had returned to the resting place, all except one. Three of the four said, "Our friend is either lost or a tiger has eaten him," but when they discussed the matter further, they remembered that they had seen no tracks of a tiger throughout the district. The head-man was therefore right when he said, "No. He must be lost." This was really what had happened to the fifth man, who, penetrating deep into the forest, was overtaken by the darkness, which made him miss the track. He wandered on and on, and laid himself down under a tree. By and by, a Pu-yu [candle-fly] came along and asked him what he was doing all alone there: when it learned that he had lost himself, it offered to show him the way. But the man doubted how such a little thing could help him, and it was only when the Candle-fly told him that it intended warming itself at the very fire which his four friends had made at the banab, that he agreed to follow it. And as the two approached the camping-ground, they heard the voices of people talking. "Listen!" said the little Fly: "That's where your people are. We are going there." When they at last reached the shed, the Candle-fly flew in ahead, and told the four men that it was bringing them their lost companion; the latter then came in, and his four friends were right glad to see him.

   226.* The only example of plant-life in connection with omens and auguries so far met with is that recorded by Bernau: "Marriage is frequently contracted by parents for their children when infants; and trees are planted by the respective parties in witness thereof: it is considered a bad omen if either tree should happen to wither as in that case the party is sure to die" (Be, 59).

   227.* The Guiana Indian voluntarily submits to various painful ordeals or preparatory charms, previous to setting out on, and with the object of winning success in, the chase. He believes in priming himself whenever his hunting powers appear to be impaired, and may spend some two or three months or more in the process; during this period he abstains from salt and peppers, also perhaps from sugar. The ordeals apparently consist in the "mortification of the flesh" by scarification, etc., and its irritation with various frogs, toads, caterpillars, ants, or by special nose-stringing apparatus. I purposely use the term "apparently" because their real signification p. 278 (see Sect. 231) is evidently not even known to the Indians who practise them. In Surinam, among both the Ojanas (Caribs) and Trios (Caribs) it is customary (Go, 21) to slash arms and legs with a knife, and the scars may be rubbed perhaps with turalla (Caladium bulb). An Ojana told de Goeje that he cut his arm in order to be able to shoot the quatta monkey well. A Trio slashed his arm and forearm and rubbed earth into it, to become a good hunter; another cut his thigh in order to become a strong mountain climber; some women also had on the outer side of the thigh scars from wounds inflicted to make themselves strong. With the Island Caribs, the forehead and nose were flattened artificially (RoP, 437). This was done as soon as the infants were born by exerting pressure in such a way as to cause a slight backward slope of this part of the head. Besides being considered a sign of beauty, this shape was said to be advantageous in shooting arrows from a tree-top, in securing a foot-hold, etc. (RoP, 552). Among the Yaruro Indians of the Orinoco, in order to become skillful with the bow and arrow the men submit to a sexual mutilation with a sting-ray "barb", which is made to pierce the prepuce (Cr, 570). The Cayenne Caribs never go on a big hunting expedition without drawing a little blood from their arms to prevent them shaking when pulling the bow: to give them greater strength for paddling, the young men scarified themselves on both arms. Similarly, before undertaking a journey on land they never fail to make incisions at the level of the calves (Cr, 280). Schomburgk reports seeing Indians bleeding each other as a remedy for over fatigue (ScF, 235). There is still a nose-stringing procedure to be mentioned: "In most Indian houses pieces of thick roughly-plated fiber or cord, as thick as codline, and a yard in length, are seen hanging up in the roof. These have all been used once . . . that is, passed up through the nose of the owner of the house, and drawn out by the mouth, for the purpose of giving him good luck in hunting" (Bro, 302). The string tapers "from a very small point at one end to a considerable thickness at the other end, where the fibers hang loosely in a bunch . . . the thin end [is passed] up his nostril . . . employed by Makusis, Arecunas, and Ackawoi" (IT, 228). The "exercising" of the limbs at each new moon may perhaps be regarded in the light of a preparatory ordeal (Sect. 199).

   228.* In British Guiana, on the Kaieteur savannah, a frog is rubbed on the transverse cuts made adown either side of the hunter's chest, a different frog being used for different game. In the same district a small live toad is said to be swallowed for the promotion of general success in hunting.1 "Having scratched his wrist with the telson or sting of a scorpion to insure precision in darting the arrow from the bow, and cut his arms and legs with the flakes of a broken bottle, he p. 279 rubs the back of the kunaua toad over the wounds; the virus of the reptile burns like fire" (Da, 253). In the Pomeroon District, in addition to abstention from salt and peppers, cuts are made on the arms, and the spawn of the akura frog (Sect. 229) is rubbed not only into the incisions, but also into the mouth, nose, eyes, and ears, where it is said to cause acute irritation. It is difficult to understand the relationship, if any, between the frog or toad, and success in the chase (Sect. 144), except on a basis of some original belief in the divinity (Sect. 46) of these batrachians, as we know to have existed in other parts of the Guianas (Sect. 349). The following is an Arawak story:



   There was a man who though he went off regularly to the forest; never managed to bring home anything, while his brothers-in-law, who seldom went out, always returned with plenty of game; but they gave none of it, either to him or to their sister. She, however, determined on asking other people how she could teach her husband to be as lucky as her brothers, and after a long long time she found out what to do. She then took him one day into the bush to hunt for the akura frog, and when they had found the nest she introduced some of the spawn into his ears, eyes, nose, and mouth. This burned him terribly, and made him vomit, so much so that he was obliged to roll about in the sand to ease the pain. After this, she made him bathe, and then brought him home. She next asked her brothers to make a small bow and some arrows for her, and with these she sent her husband out to shoot small birds only, and not to shoot more than four. While he was away she made pepper-pot, using very few peppers and no salt whatsoever. He returned with the four little birds, which she cooked, giving him two, and retaining two for herself. The same procedure was repeated daily for a week. The wife then destroyed the small bow and arrows, and asked her brothers to make bigger ones, and instructed her husband to shoot bigger birds with them; this also continued for a week. She next sent him out with this big bow and arrows to hunt game of all and any description, but with a certain proviso: as each animal or bird would approach him in answer to the "call" which he would imitate, he was not to shoot, but merely to point his arrow at it; only when it was time to return home in the afternoon was he to kill one animal, and fetch it to her. At the beginning of the fourth week, she sent him out hunting again with fresh instructions: he was now to shoot and kill everything that he could. He killed and brought home plenty. From that time he and his wife were never in want of food, and they took care to treat her brothers as they had treated them. What they could not eat, they would barbecue, and then hide. The selfish brothers accordingly wondered how their sister's husband now always managed to kill more game thnn they did. They asked their sister, but she refused to tell them.

   230.* In the Pomeroon District a hairy caterpillar may be rubbed into incisions made on the wrists and thighs. This creature, obtained on the Rupununi and brought down here in barter, is said to be soaked in water the whole of the night previous to the solution being applied, by means of cotton-wool, to the cuts. I have also seen a Pomeroon Arawak wear one on his neck. Im Thurn (230) speaks of caterpillars "the hairs of which break off very readily, and have a great power of irritating flesh. These caterpillars he rubs on his p. 280 chest or thighs, and thus produces a considerable and very painful-looking rash." This method employed by Makusis, Arekunas, and Akawais. Or the hunter may mortify his flesh with ants, a practice indulged in by a member of any of these three tribes who—

   Takes a small mat, about six or eight inches square, made of narrow parallel strips of the skin of a reed-like plant [Ischnosiphon] tied together somewhat as are the laths of a Venetian blind. Between each two of these strips he inserts a row of living ants, their heads all one way. The strips are exactly at such distance apart that the ants when once inserted can not extricate themselves. The huntsman then presses the whole mat, on the side on which are the heads of the ants, against his own chest; and the ants, which are of a large and venomous kind, bite most painfully." [IT, 229.]

   231.* While recovering from the effects of his self-inflicted cuts and other injuries, the Carib and Akawai nimrod may be waited upon and nursed by some woman, but she must be past the climacteric; he is strictly forbidden to take liberties with any female. Though, at first sight, the inconvenience and suffering entailed by certain of the above procedures might seem to constitute a sort of sacrifice or free gift for favors to come, or at all events expected, I am afraid all the evidence is in the negative. On the other hand these practices may have a physiological basis of fact, and so of reason. The passing of the nose-string would certainly tend to clean the nasal mucus membrane, and so render the olfactory organ more keen; the prohibition of women combined with an enforced diet would certainly tend to make the individual more fit and thus get him into better training; the stimulation of all his sense organs with the particular frog slime may possibly hypersensitize them: while the infliction of physical pain within certain limits can reasonably be expected to irritate the nervous system to such an extent as to render it responsive to but the slightest external stimulus—qualities, all of them, advantageous for the hunter to insure success in the chase. It is perhaps on somewhat similar lines that, with a view to stimulating the child quickly to learn to walk, the Arawak mother will get a tibi-tibi lizard and encourage it to "bite the infant's feet and knees; the child is also incited to activity by putting a small stinging ant on him (Da, 250). But it is certainly difficult to understand how the artificial flattening of the children's foreheads by the Carib Island mothers can be vindicated in the belief that it helps the victims in years to come the better to fly their arrows from the tree-tops by securing firm foot-hold for them (RoP, 552).

   232.* Hunting dogs are also made to undergo similar ordeals, but whether as part and parcel, or independent, of their general training (Sect. 234) it is difficult to say. On the Pomeroon in addition to, or in lieu of, the rubbing of a leaf (Sect. 233) the animal's snout may be rubbed with a certain tree-bark peculiar in that, when squeezed in the hands, a sort of frothiness exudes [? a species of Inga]. Or p. 281 again, the Pomeroon Indian will gash the snout with a sting-ray barb and pour on the raw surface a few drops of a solution made as follows: Some of the hot test kind of peppers are squeezed into a swab of cotton already moistened with a little water; a sugar-loaf funnel is then made of a suitable leaf, the cotton swab expressed into it, and a few drops allowed to trickle down through the funnel on the incisions. It is said that in two or three days' time the animal is ready to hunt, and when on the chase will keep his nose close to the ground, this action allowing of all grass and undergrowth being well turned over and scoured. Ants are also sometimes made to bite the creature's snout; or the same hairy caterpillar previously mentioned (Sect. 230) is rubbed into it. There is reported, however, an equally painful method as practised by the Makusi, Arekunas, and Akawaios.

   Two holes are dug in the ground, and by pushing a stick from one to the other of these, and then withdrawing this, a tunnel or covered passage is made between the two holes. A fire in which parings of the hoofs of tapirs and other animal substances are burned, is then kindled in one hole; ants and wasps are also put into this hole, and it is then covered over with sticks and earth. The smoke . . . passes through the tunnel into the second hole. The poor dog is then caught, and its head is held down in the second hole, until the animal sometimes drops senseless from pain. [IT, 228.]

   233.* Bínas are charms, plant or animal, which effect their purpose by enticing or attracting the particular object or desire yearned for, whatever it may be—from the capture of an animal to the gratification of a wish. The real source of the term bín-a is from the Arawak bia-bina, meaning "to entice, attract," etc., and so comes to be applied to all those things, plant or animal, which act on those lines. I have found nothing of this nature in the inorganic world, unless the quartz-pebbles within the piai's rattle are to be considered such. As against this view, it might be urged that the medicine-man's tobacco-smoke constitutes the real or at least co-equal attraction for the Spirits (Sect. 170). Im Thurn is certainly incorrect in speaking of the word being of Carib origin. As a matter of fact, the Carib term is turallári; for example, the Caribs speak of the bush-hog bina as ponjo-turallari. The Warrau word is aibihi; for instance, toma-aibihi means the bina for meat, in general. As a rule there is but one bina for each special object or thing, but not necessarily. I know of one that is employed for small hog, deer, and acouri; and with very few exceptions, the plants employed as binas are the different varieties of caladium. Indian huntsmen place great value on the use of the caladia, each variety being a bina or charm to assist in the taking of a particular kind of game. Not only do these plants grow spontaneously in old fields, but the Indians carefully remove and plant in the immediate neighborhood of their dwellings the most valued kinds, as the binas for tapir, wild hogs, deer, labbas, turtle, and those for the various p. 282 kinds of fish (Da, 253). As a rule, women are supposed neither to see nor to handle such plants thus cultivated. Even in so comparatively civilized a district as the Pomeroon and Moruca, I have collected more than a score of such plants, the respective leaves of which in the majority of cases bear some real or fancied resemblance to the animal for which they are reputed to have so peculiar an affinity. Thus the bush-hog bina has a leaf easily recognizable by the small secondary leaf on its under surface, representing the animal's scent-gland, though some Indians say that it indicates the tip of the nostril; the deer bina shows the horns, in its general contour, and the coloration of the fur in its venation; the armadilio bina typifies the shape of the small projecting ears; the lukunanni bina bears a variety of colors resembling those around the fish's gills; the gillbacker bina develops the same yellowish color as the fish which it attracts; the labba bina has the typical white markings; the powis bina bears the identical shape of that bird's wing-feather—and so on for turtle, huri, etc. Some of these binas seemingly must be of comparatively widespread use; thus, that for the bush-hog is known in the Makusi country, those for the turtle, and armadilio, in Surinam (J. Rodway), etc.

   The hunter puts the particular plant to use by taking off a young as-yet-unopened shoot, and placing it, in the rough, in his powder-flask, or rubbing it up into the paint, with which he smears his face and body, but especially all the main joints; or, on the other hand, he may employ only the leaf, which he rubs on his arrow, his fish-hook, his gun-barrel; or on his dog. In Cayenne, these binas (des herbes enchanteresses) are said to have been hung up on the trees (LAP, II, 221).

   234.* In Cayenne, the dog was also rubbed with "simples," for which procedure Pitou gives the negative reason, "so that the game should not take itself off on its approach" (LAP, II, 220). The Roucouyennes, a Carib nation of the same colony, cuitivate in their clearings the Hibiscus abelmoschus, from which they make a musk-scented infusion for washing their dogs before taking them to hunt jaguar (Cr, 330): this, however, has nothing to do with the binas, the object of its application being to prevent the tiger biting the dog, owing to the pungency of the smell. Hunting dogs are also rubbed over with ruku (Bixa orellana) both by Indians (Trios, Ojanas, and others) and Bush Negroes (Go, 3): in British Guiana the practice said to keep off certain ticks (Ki, 184). The methods adopted by the Corentyn Arawaks for "training" (Sect. 232) their dogs to hunt may be included here. While the procedure may be correctly given, the statements relative to the naming of the particular leaf after the animal which feeds on it and the alleged odor are of course imaginative. These Arawaks first choose the dogs for hunting various animals, according to strength, having p. 283 each one broken for hunting a different species of game; taking the largest for the wild hog, and the smaller ones for the smaller animals. When about six months old they are taken to the hunt with their sires, having previously gone through the process of being washed and rubbed over with a particular leaf named after the animal which feeds on it, and which the dog is intended to hunt; and it is curious that these leaves should partake of the odor of the animal. The game being discovered, the young dog is taken forward, and set on him; but he generally turns tail for the few first times, as this breed is naturally without spirit. He is then taken up, and again goes through the same process of washing and rubbing with the leaf; and at length he is treated to a piece of the animal's flesh, which

FIG. 2. Carib drinking-cup, Pomeroon River, bearing design showing
the two trees (a) in the tops of which lives the wonderful Aramári
Snake (b), while the roots (d) are surrounded by scorpions (c).
makes him more keen and ravenous. In this manner, exerting patience, of which these Indians have a most abundant stock, and seldom correcting the animal, it becomes in time a reliable and valuable dog (StC, I, 315). The method sometimes used by the Záparo Indians of the Napo River (upper Amazon) in training their celebrated hunting-dogs consists in putting a dose of tobacco down the animal's throat, his nose and mouth being then also stuffed full of it, until he nearly chokes; this is to clear his scent and sharpen his perceptions (AS, 169).

   235.* Old Caribs, Warraus, and Arawaks of the Pomeroon and Moruca Rivers agree in telling me that they originally obtained their hunting binas—they are not so sure about the binas employed for other purposes—from certain very large snakes, which are invariably to be met with only in localities so far distant from the source of information as to preclude the possibility of my ever obtaining specimens. The Caribs refer me to two snakes, the Orupéri (Sect. 3) and the Aramári (fig. 2). The former lives on the ground, beyond the Waini and the Barima. The latter, which is much the bigger, lives in the tops of trees and catches its prey by pouncing upon it from above: it p. 284 is also the more dangerous because from it can be obtained binas which, in addition to attracting all kinds of game, can attract thunder, lightning, and rain. The Warraus admit that almost all they know about the binas has been taught them by the Akawais and Caribs. The Arawak serpent is known as Oroli (Sect. 363), or, on account of its rate of progression, Kolekonáro (the slow walker). The traditions of all three tribes agree in that, after having been killed, the snake was carefully burnt, and that from the ashes there subsequently arose all the different plants, mostly, but not all of them, caladiums, which are now employed as binas (Sect. 168A). The Arawaks say that—

   A long time ago people noticed how every now and again one of their friends would leave his house, go into the forest, and never be seen more, They accordingly made up a big party, and tracked the latest victim to two immense silk-cotton trees, and there was the huge serpent stretched across, somewhat like a bridge, from the summit of one tree to the other. They found out that from this serpentine bridge, pieces of the flesh would fall to the ground where they took on the form of dry firewood, which the innocent folk passing by, would gather up in mistake: that immediately upon just touching this dead timber the awful snake pounced down and seized its human prey. It was accordingly agreed that Oroli must be killed, a deed which they succeeded in effecting by means of blow-pipes and poisoned arrows. The carcass was then covered with bushes and saplings, and set fire to; as already mentioned the binas all grew out of the ashes.

   How the special efficacy of each bina was originally discovered has been explained to me somewhat on the following lines: Trial would daily be made of one plant after the other. Taking, for instance, Plant No. 1: On the first day, the hunter might come across a tiger. A plant that enticed or attracted such an animal would certainly be of no use to him, and would accordingly be discarded. Another day, he might try Plant No. 2, and run across a snake; that plant also could be cast aside. If on the other hand, with Plant No. 3 he were to fall in with some scrub-turkey or similar game, he would reserve that plant for future use—and so on with each animal or bird of economic value. But of course nowadays since they know of and cultivate these different plants around their houses, such trials are not necessary; they are quite aware what particular plant will specially attract some particular animal.

   236.* Corresponding animal binas for attracting game must be somewhat scarce: I have succeeded in obtaining only the following examples. When Arawaks on the Pomeroon kill a bush-hog which happens to contain young, they bury the latter under the house in a spot below the place where the cassava is usually grated, the idea being that other bush-hogs may come near the house to the spot whither the young are calling them. So among the Uaupes River Indians, when they kill a bush-hog they bury the head at the spot where they first met the band, so that the latter may not stray away but return p. 285 there (Cou, II, 171). If a fisherman [Pomeroon Arawaks] has been unlucky, and finally catches any little fish, he will take it off the hook and, blowing into its mouth, say: "I will let you go again, if you tell your friends, the bigger fish, to come." Of course it tells them, and the fisherman's luck is rewarded. But the little fish is not given its liberty again as promised, for the Indians say that if they returned it to the water, it would tell its friends not to bite at the hook. There are three such fish that are thus supposed to act as binas: the wé-shi (Crenicichla saxatilis), "sun-frsh," the shiballi (Acara); "patwa,"—and the hura-diro (? Eigenmannia lineatus), a fish 12 to 14 inches long, but of which the long thin tall constitutes a good third. Similar ideas underlie a procedure reported from Caracas: "When an Indian slays a wild beast, he opens its mouth, and pours down its throat some intoxicating liquor, in order that its soul [Spirit] may inform others of a similar species of the kind reception it received, and that they may be encouraged to come and share the same favor" (FD, 52).

   Game, however, can be attracted to the hunting-dog. There is a certain ant (kudu-kudu-barilya of the Arawaks) which, after being roasted, is put inside a piece of cassava, and given to a dog to make it a good hunter of any animal; the dog is simultaneously trained to go into wood-holes and earth-holes by having its food placed inside a cassava-squeezer.

   237.* The next class of binas deals with phases of the sexual question: conjugal rights, mutual love and affection, and babies. Where plants take the title rôles, these are again mostly caladia. Arawak, Warrau, Akawai, and Carib women all have their own binas for managing the opposite sex. The Arawak young woman plants her hiaro (girl)-bina usually in some secluded spot known only to herself; she will bathe with a leaf of it, or carry it about with her, and, provided the opportunity offers, without her being seen, may rub it over her lover's hammock, or she may rub her own hands with it, and then touch his. In any case, the man must be ignorant of what is going on, and, provided the procedure is strictly carried out as described, he will never have any desire to transfer his affections elsewhere. Again, the same woman may employ another plant, not a caladium, called the kurua-bina, apparently a Rajania of the Yam family; she will similarly bathe with the leaf, but retaining the water in which she has thus made her ablutions, will strew it on the path along which her sweetheart is about to travel, tening it to make him return soon. The male Arawak has a corresponding belief as to the wajíli (man)-bina, the leaf of which he generally carries about with the object of brushing over his girl's face or shoulders: he is very intent on going through this performance when he notices that she has a weakness for other men. Other peoples (as the Caribs) have p. 286 similar practices, I know of three plants that are used by these people on the Pomeroon. Wai-áru: squeeze and pinch up a leaf or two in water, rub one's self now with the leaf, and throw the water just used in the direction of the person desired, at the same time calling his (or her) name. Wamba: used by the father for an absent elder son, or by the mother for an absent elder daughter; take a leaf with you in your hammock and call the boy's or girl's name. Akámi: when a person has come with the object of picking a quarrel, rub the leaf over one's head and face: it will make him quite amicable and friendly. So also among the Surinam Kaliñas (Caribs) de Goeje tells us that to evoke affection, one rubs the hands and face with turalla (Go, 14, 15): a woman, for instance, can do this when her man is away traveling, so that he may not forget her. When an Arawak or Warrau woman is desirous of having a baby, and none happens to appear in the natural course of things, she pounds up in water a certain fungus, and drinks the infusion. As I have shown elsewhere, the absence of a boy is a slur on the Indian's womanhood and entails many opprobrious epithets. The fungus in question, a species of Nidularia, is known to the Arewak as Kassato-lokono-biabina (lit., "baby-plenty charm"), or, in its shortened form, as Kassa-lo-bina, These women here never eat of a "double-fruit" which would mean twins for them (Sect. 284A).

   237A.* The following is one of the few legends met with that contains reference to the application of Binas:



   There was once a man with wife, two children, and his brother staying together in the one house. They were all Warraus. Going one morning to their field, husband and wife left the brother-in-law with instructions to go fishing so there might be something to eat on their return; but when they came back, they found he had been lazy, had never even been outside the house, and had eaten even the little that was in it. This made the man angry, and he upbraided his brother-in-law thus: "I have to go and cut the field. I have to go into the bush to get game, and down to the water to catch fish. I have all the work to do, while you do nothing but lie idle in your hammock all day. Although I am now tired, I must go and catch fish." Saying this, he took his harpoon1 and went down to the creek. The brother-in-law thereupon took up his cutlass, and after sharpening it followed him and got into his corial. They met just as the husband was returning with his boat, bringing a large fish that he had speared with his lance. "Hallo! finished already?" said the one. "Yes," replied the other, "I caught a fine fish, and have it here." "Well, lend me your lance," said the brother-in-law, "and I will go and shoot a fine fish also." The two corials thus drew near, and raising his lance, the man put it into his brother-in-law's boat. Just as he did so, the latter struck him with the cutlass and he fell dead after giving his assailant two cuts. The brother-in-law then tried to get rid of the corpse by throwing it into the water. Now it seems that when the sister saw her brother, after sharpening his cutlass, leave the house in a passion, she knew that some evil was about to happen, and said to the children: "Your uncle is vexed: he has sharpened his cutlass and followed p. 287 your father. Let us see what he intends doing." So with her children she followed the two men, and came upon them just as her brother was trying to throw over the body. "No! don't do that, brother," she said: "Since you have killed him, you must take the body back to his house and bury it there." He did what he was told: took the body home, and started felling a tree in which to bury it. In the meantime the woman sent her children to fetch the deceased's brother and his old mother, at the same time sending them a message that they must not be vexed. The mother and brother came, and as they drew near they saw the murderer finish scooping out the trunk and take it to the house, where he commenced digging the grave. The brother was vexed, but his mother said: "Don't trouble the man: we will see first of all what the widow intends to do. The latter, holding a cutlass in her hand, was watching the murderer dig; she told him to hurry and finish his task quickly. When the grave was finished, he put the coffin in, and then the corpse, which was properly dressed with paint and ornaments, and with which were placed knife, fish-hooks, and other things.1 As he was filling up the grave with earth, his hands all bleeding from the wounds the deceased had given him, his sister struck him from behind on his neck with her cutlass. After standing awhile, he dropped dead and a new grave was dug for him, alongside of the other. They put him into this bare as he was, without dress or ornaments, or any of his belongings; this was because they had no pity or sorrow for him. The mother and brother of the dead man returned to the old woman's home that very same day. They prevailed on the widow much against her will to come with them and bring the children. When they reached home the brother took charge of the widow, placed her in his hammock, and turning to his first wife said, "I am going to take this woman: she can make children: you cannot make them." But the two children that she had already did not like staying in their new home, and regularly every morning, after they had had something to eat, they would hurry off to their father's grave and would not return until late. On the third day of their visit to the grave they met a Hebu, but the children did not recognize him. He said to them: "If you want your father you must pick a leaf of a certain tree [which he mentioned] and rub it over the grave, when he will appear to you." "But we don't know the leaf," they replied: so the little man gathered some of the leaves for them. He told them to rub the leaves over the ground where the body was buried, directly they reached there on the following morning, and then to come again at mid-day, when their father would be present. They did exactly as they had been told next morning, and when they returned at mid-day they saw their father seated on a bench. They approached. He said, "Fetch me water to drink." After he had drunk, he said, "Where is your mother?" and when he learned that she was at their grandmother's he told them to go and fetch her. Now as soon as they reached their mother and told her all these things, she exclaimed, "How can this be? How can your father send for me when he is dead?" Thus it was, she would not believe all this at first, but when the boys pleaded, "Come, Mother! It is all true!" she went. The boys wished her to bring her hammock along, but she refused. "What is the use of it?" she said; for she did not believe as yet what they told her. However, she did go, and sure enough when she reached the place, she recognized the very man, her husband, seated there on the bench right in front of her. The first thing he asked her was, "Where is your brother?" to which she replied, "Why! I killed him, and buried him beside you." "Well," came the husband's answer, "you will never see him again." Now although her husband was very weak with all that he had suffered and passed through, she nursed him carefully and brought him back to health, so that within a week he was quite himself again.

p. 288

   238.* There are certain animal binas corresponding in their action with the plant binas just mentioned in connection with sexual matters. Among the Pomeroon Arawaks, when the husband is very jealous and ill-tempered, his wife will cut off the head of a small lizard (yamorro), burn it, and put the ashes into the water which she gives him to drink; any man or woman can then make the husband do whatever he or she likes. When one woman wants another's husband she will manage to put marabunta (wasp) eggs into his drink, which will make him leave his own wife and go off with her (the eggs are pounded up and roasted before mixing). On the upper Amazons, the native women, even the white and half-caste inhabitants of the towns, attach superstitious value to the skin and feathers of the papá-uira, believing that the relics will have the effect of attracting for the happy possessors a train of lovers and followers [The Indians have noticed these miscellaneous hunting parties of birds, but appeared not to have observed that they are occupied in searching for insects. They have supplied their want of knowledge . . . by a theory which has degenerated into a myth to the effect that the onward moving bands are led by a little gray bird called the papá-uirá, which fascinates all the rest and leads them a weary dance through the thickets. There is certainly some appearance of truth in this explanation; for sometimes stray birds encountered in the line of march are seen to be drawn into the throng, and purely frugiverous birds are now and then found mixed up with the rest, as though led away by some will-of-the-wisp (HWB, 346).] When it is known to her intimate friends and relatives that an Arawak woman wants an infant, they will give her to drink of a mixture, in which, unknown to her, they have placed the roasted and pulverized remains of either a cockroach (matero), the eggs of a certain spider, or the paw of an opossum (yawarri).

   239.* Talismans, the last group of charms to be dealt with, include those which repel evil, bad luck, and the like, and so have a protective or defensive character—those which endow the Indian with such superior advantages of body and estate as enable him to get the better of his fellow-creatures, human and animal. Matters of courage, health and strength, power to withstand sickness and his enemies, craft to excel in the chase, trade and barter, all find a place here. With regard to the chase, the provisions mentioned in Sect 243 might very reasonably be regarded as talismanic. Among the Trios (Caribs) of Surinam, says de Goeje—

   We saw afresh how one of our party rubbed the palms of his hands with turalla [caladiuim bulb] on arrival at a village of which they had much dread. A young man on the journey through the forest carried siinti [turalla] in a little palm-leaf box attached to the neck, in order to strengthen his head and shoulders. A child with fever was one afternoon washed by its mother with water into which finely ground siinti had been placed. As after two days, the fever again appeared, it was streaked with ruku paint, with which the same stuff had been mixed. [Go, 14-15.]

p. 289

   De Goeje states also that when making a purchase, the buyer will take a little turalla between his lips to prevent the seller overreaching him. According to Schomburgk (ScF, 215), the Maiongkongs used for necklaces a bunch of the slender stems of a cryptogamous plant, a fern called Zinapipo by them, to which they ascribed talismanic property.

   240.* On the Pomeroon one can string the tail-rings and claws of a scorpion, and tie it round his little girl's wrist. By and by, when she becomes a woman and makes paiwarri, the liquor will be "strong and biting."1 Tiger teeth, threaded and tied on the child, will also insure its gaining strength [Arawaks]; bush-hog teeth will make a good huntsman of him [Atorais and Wapisianas] (Cou, II, 315); tiger

FIG. 3. Carib goblet, Pomeroon River, decorated
with pot-hook (scorpion) pattern.
teeth or bush-hog teeth will preserve him, when he grows up, from being attacked by wild beasts [Uaupes River] (Cou, II, 171). Makusi women and children wear round their necks tigers' teeth, to which they ascribe talismanic power (ScT, 61; ScR, II, 83). On the Berbice the sticks cut down by the sawyer beetle are given by the Indians to children cutting teeth, to rub their gums with, under the impression that as a result the teeth will grow strong and sharp (Da, 15). With the Indians of the upper Napo River (Amazons) bracelets and armlets of iguana skin are much affected, as in some parts of Central America, with the same association of their imparting bravery and pugnacity to the wearer (AS, 154). To obtain sharp vision, a Kobeua Indian will rub his eyes with those of a certain falcon (KG, II, 153). The Caribs and almost all other Indians ascribe talismanic powers to the large teeth of an alligator (ScA, 336). West of the Orinoco alligator teeth are employed by the Indians as an ornament for the neck and arms; they are also regarded as an antidote for certain poisons, and as an alexipharmic in general (FD, 151). As an antidote for poison, within the Orinoco area, Gumilla speaks of alligator teeth mounted in gold or silver and tied by a small chain on one of the arms or p. 290 made up into rings worn on the fingers; but this would appear to be a discovery learned from the negro slaves (G, II, 225).

   240A.* The application of red paint was sometimes considered a talisman against sickness and disease. Thus, among the Makusis of the Rupunini the mothers ceremonially rub red (aromatic) paint on the heads of their children, who are then supposed to be protected from illness and the power of Evil Spirits (ScR, I, 366). The men [Guahibos of the Vichada River, Orinoco] then squatted on the little benches, and the women painted them from top to toe with a red paste; this, the women said, would protect them from sicknesses (Cr, 548). On the branches of the upper Rio Negro also red paint was considered a prophylactic against disease (KG, I, 158; II, 85, 150). The application of blood would almost seem to have had an antecedent origin, from which that of the red paint was but a development, and yet, strange to say, the positive evidence now available points rather to the reputed curative than the protective power of the vital fluid. Thus in some cases the father, when the child is weakly, has his own flesh cut in close parallel lines: the blood flowing from the wounds is mixed with water for washing and strengthening the child (Da, 250). Among the Island Caribs, after the couvade the child's face is smeared with the father's blood to impart courage (RP, 550). On the Orinoco, when the Guama women recognize that any of their children—nurslings or somewhat older ones—are sick, they transfix their own tongues with finely-ground bone lancets; the blood gushes forth in torrents and with it they bespatter their youngsters by mouthfuls, while, with their hands, they smear it all over them from head to foot (G, I, 164). In the same area, for older people it is one of the duties of the captains of the Guama nation to slash his flesh daily and drain off his blood in order to besmear the breasts of all those under his command who are sick (G, I, 164). Dance (250) speaks of an old man being washed in turtle's blood.

   241.* The widespread belief in Spirits connected with mountains, rocks, stones, etc., will probably help to explain the talismanic virtues ascribed to the green Amazon-stones (Lapis nephriticus), the piedra hijada of the Spaniards. Out on the islands "they also wear necklaces made out of large crystals and green stones which come from the mainland toward the Amazon River, and have a healing virtue; it is their precious ornament and is only worn at feasts" (BBR, 248). Humboldt found them among the Indians of the Rio Negro, where they are carried on the neck as amulets for protection against fever, and the bites of poisonous snakes (AVH, II, 395, 462); Martius found them on the Rio Negro among the inhabitants of Sylves, and Schomburgk in Demerara. The last-named authority says:

   Through the Caribs along the Guiana coast these stones were brought into Demerara where they are known as Macuaba or Calicot stones. On the Orinoco they are called p. 291 Macagua. They were formerly brought in considerable quantities by the Caribs to Demerara, but now very rarely . . . As I was told by people, these stones were also formerly brought to Demerara in the form of fishes and other animals, as well as with figures cut into the surfaces. . . . According to Barrere, they were treasured more than gold by the Caribs: such a stone was the price of a slave. Raleigh saw them on the Orinoko, and noticed that every Cacique had such a stone which was usually carried by his women: they treasured them more than gold. Lawrence Keymis says of the Carib and other tribes who dwell on the Arawari, below the Oyapoke: "Their money is white and green stones." He found the same thing on the Corentyn . . . According to Clavigero they are identical with the green stones of the Mexican Anahuacs: these people could cut all manners of figures out of this stone, and knew also how to cut diamonds. [ScR, II, 330-2.]

   These Amazon stones, as just mentioned, were highly valued by the Galibis of Cayenne, who called them takourave, about which Pierre Barrere has left us this account:

   This stone is of olive color, of a slightly paler green, and close to a pearl gray (presque d'un gris de perles). I have brought all colors from Guiana. The most common shape one gives to this stone is cylindrical, length of 2, 3, up to 4 inches, by six or seven lines in diameter, and drilled their whole length. I have seen some of them that were squared, oval, to which one had given the shape of a crescent and imprinted upon it the figure of a toad, or some other animals. This stone is known by lapidaries under the name of jade. It is highly polished, and so hard, that one can hardly work with it except with diamond powder. One has assured me that it is artificial: that a nation called Tapouye who live 150 leagues, or thereabout from Para, busy themselves in making them. [PBa, 175.]

   There is another interesting reference to these green and gray jade stones in Surinam. They are stones harder than jasper, susceptible of a fine polish and making fire with a steel, although oily to the sight and touch; they are extremely hard to work. The Indians also set such great store on them that they regard these stones as very precious jewels, with which they decorate themselves when disposed to, show themselves with an their fine attire (Fe, II, 351). I have come across a possible reference to them in a Warrau legend (Sect. 139). A comparison between these Amazon stones and the drilled stones of quartz imperfectly crystalized, used as neck ornaments and as symbols of authority by the chiefs among the Uaupes River Indians (ARW, 191), is well worth consideration.



p. 272

1 This was really the token.

p. 273

1 When I asked the narrator how the little boy knew that something exceptional was about to take place, she told me that when young people and children travel far afield, they often get frightened and nervous.—W. E. R.

2 For another Warrau version of this story, see Sect. 147.

p. 276

1 On the upper Airy the children's toy arrows are tipped with a button of black wax (KG, I, 106-7).

p. 278

1 H. W. B. Moore, in Daily Argosy, Aug. 12, 1910.

p. 286

1 Fish-lance with detachable head.

p. 287

1 It is usual among the Warraus, some six days or so after a death, to prepare a small quantity of drink, to cut the wife's hair, and make a bundle of the deceased's remaining belongings, which are then buried separately.

p. 289

1 This comparison between scorpions and strong liquor is very characteristic with the Pomeroon Caribs. A typical decoration on their drinking vessels is the pot-hook (i. e. the scorpion, fig. 3). See also around the central ring in fig. 2.