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p. 170


   Various names applied (94); the Yàwahu—Tukuyuha, Dai-dai, etc., general appearance (95), and special association with the silk-cotton tree (96); Ekkekuli and Mansinskiri (97); an unusual form of Bush Spirit (98); the Hebu (99); the Immawari (100); the Yurokon, etc. (101). But Bush Spirits may be zoomorphic—able to change into animals, as Tigers, Goat-suckers (102, 103). They can be recognized by Sound (104) or by Smell (105).
   They are very shrewd; can bring the dead to life, and render themselves invisible (106); may occasionally do kindnesses to people (107), but generally prefer mischief, though this may be due to the Indians' own fault (108); they cause all the mishaps and accidents of daily life (109)—damage crops, raise disputes, bring death and sickness, produce transformations (110-115); they are excellent hunters (116).
   They are fond of women, human flesh, and children at the breast (117-120), and of tobacco (121-122); are usually of abnormally large size (123); shrink from exposure of all descriptions; as to daylight, or in connection with name or origin (124); can not endure being mimicked or chaffed (125).
   It is best to leave these Bush Spirits strictly to themselves, as they bring only harm in the long run (126-128); if circumstances force one into their company, measures can be taken to rid the house and neighborhood of them (129); also the road when one is traveling (130).

   94.* Those Spirits which, emanating from the human corpse, ultimately find a resting place in the tree, field, forest, or bush, are known collectively as Forest Spirits or Bush Spirits. But let us not forget that certain of the Bush Spirits may arise from the dead bodies of animals and birds, and may even develop spontaneously. The generic term applied to them varies with the tribes: thus, in Cayenne there is Hyorokon (Galibi) or Hyrouca (LAP, II, 223), Amignao and Anaanh (Arroua), Maboya (Carib) (PBa, 206) and Yolok (Carib); in British Guiana, Yawahu (Arawak), Hebo or Hebu (Warrau), Yurokon (Carib), and Immawari (Akawai); on the upper Orinoco, the Atabapo, Inirida, and Guainia (i. e., upper Rio Negro), it is Iolok-iamo (AVH, II, 362, 385); on the Aiary River, Iya-imi (Siusi) (KG, I, 113); on the Orinoco, Tanasimi (Achagua), Memelü (Betoyes, Jiraras), and Duati (Guajivas) (G, II, 24); on the Amazons, Caypor (HwB, 279), Curupari (ibid., 36), and Jurupari (ibid., 381), but this word is said to be Lingoa Geral (KG, I, 113). It will be noticed how the term Yurokon, in the form of Hyorokon, Hyrouca, Yolok, Iolok-iamo, Iya-imi, is spread throughout the extent of the Guianas, while in the form of Juluca (Sect. 216) it is met with on the islands, as the personification of the Rainbow. I have also p. 171 shown the probability of its identity with the Shadow Spirit (Sect. 68). Equally striking is its resemblance to the word Huracan, the name given by the Aztecs to the autumnal equinox. (Cordonazo de San Francisco). Huracan means the Spirit (corazon) of the Sea, the Spirit of Heaven and Earth: the Nahuas were unable to conceive of the author of the universe except in a cataclysm. Cyclone, Hurricane, or Cordonazo de San Francisco are names of the same phenomenon. Hurakan of the Quiche myths is the Kukulcan of the Maya, the Quetzalcouatl (morning-star) of Mexican mythology. Yawahu, the Arawak generic term, includes the Tu-kuyuha, the Ekkekuli or Manahau, and the Mansinskiri Spirits, the Tu-kuyuha being subdivided into Konoko-(Tu)kuyuha and Adda-(Tu)kuyuha, according as they are more specially associated with the bush and forest, or trees, respectively.

   95.* Each tribe seems to exhibit variations in the ideas held as to the form, shape, and peculiarities assumed by its respective Bush Spirits. Of some of these I am able to furnish the following particulars: Starting with the Arawak Yawahus, there are the Tukuyuhas, the Konoko variety of which are spoken of by the Akawai as Arai-dai or Dai-Dai, and by the creoles of the Colony as "Bush devils." An Arawak woman told me that such Spirits are hairy people having so much hair that one can not see their faces. They live underground in the forest; they may be men or women; they are met with suddenly, but may often give a premonitory sign or token of their coming. The token varies greatly, and even when taken note of is usually recognized only after the event of which it has given warning has taken place (Sect. 220 et seq.). Having no bows and arrows, these Spirits are accustomed to fight only with their limbs, so that when an Indian has been attacked and returns home, where he is sure to die shortly after, no marks will be found on his body. Sometimes the Konoko-(Tu)kuyuha will not even allow the victim to return alive, but will eat him, causing him to disappear totally; the friends and relatives never see any further signs of him. The attack may be made at any time, day or night. Now, because these beings (Sect. 331) have no bows, or rather what bows they have are broken, the old-time Arawak people used to call them Shimarabu-akaradáni (lit., bows-broken), and when returning home from some hunting or trading expedition, would sing out that name before reaching their houses, with the view of preventing these undesirable Spirits making an entry (Sect. 129).

   96.* The Adda variety of Tukuyuha Spirits, particularly associated with trees, are sometimes in the shape of birds: among such notable trees are the silk-cotton (Bombax sp.) and the kofa (Clusia grandiflora). In Cayenne it would seem that the Hyrouca [Yurokon] was specially attached to a tree known as panacoco (LAP, II, 223), p. 172 which thus far I have not been able to identify. The Indian guide breaks his arrow and asks pardon from the Spirit for his European visitor having touched the timber with unclean victims—a fish and an agouti.1

   97.* When perceptible to human eyes, the Ekkekuli or Manahau have the appearance of black people (negroes): they are of a savage nature, killing Indians, and abducting children. If anywhere in the neighboring caves and gullies and their names be loudly called in the forest, they will materialize. The Mansinskiri (Arawak), or Maihisikiri (Warrau) is a particular Yawahu wandering about the bush, and in and among the trees, of which the native women, subsequent to certain regular occasions, have to be especially careful. Such Spirits can assume the identical material appearance of their real husbands or lovers, but woe betide those poor women who yield to their solicitations, for they will surely die in a few days. On the other hand, provided the woman is shrewd enough, she can invariably tell whether she is dealing with the real man or not—she has only to look at the left foot; in the case of a spirit wooer, this is always minus the big toe. During February, 1910, an Indian came and gave me particulars of his wife's death, with details as to name, place, and surrounding circumstances. The wife had been out getting firewood in the bush, and had unexpectedly met what she had believed to be her husband. When she got home there was her husband lying in his hammock; she expressed surprise at seeing him, still more so when he assured her that he had not been away from the house that day. Like a good wife, she told him what had happened to her. Within the week the woman died.



   A man went out hunting, leaving his wife behind by herself. It was then that a Maihisikiri appeared, and believing it to be her husband, the woman allowed him to act like one, but he went away shortly before the time for her real husband to arrive. The same thing happened on a second and a third occasion, but on the last visit, knowing that her husband had gone to a distant locality, she expressed her doubts by asking Maihisikiri, "How can you be my husband? he is gone far away." It was only then that he admitted who he really was, a Bush Spirit in her husband's likeness, and he told her to come away with him. When the real husband returned, the house was empty, and no wife visible, but he could hear her laughing in the distance, and approaching the spot found her prostrate, still laughing. She was laughing because the Maihisikiri was sporting with her: her husband of course could not see the Spirit for the reason that he was invisible to the male sex. Now, when he seized his wife's arm to drag her home, it was all soft, with no bones in it, and then feeling her all over realized that she had not a single bone in her body, which was all soft. Returning home, he waited a while, and then returned a second time to fetch her; but she was still all flesh and skin, and so he left her severly alone. All she could say to him was: p. 173 "I do not really want to leave you, husband, but the Maihisikiri is too strong for me, I am now a Bush Spirit. And though you must not be sorry for me, I am indeed sorry for you, for you will have to die before you can become one."

   98.* An unusual form of Arawak Bush Spirit is that of the scrub-turkey (Tinamus sp.)—a woman's leg: there are several references, however, to a leg in the folk-lore (Sects. 38, 208, 362). The connection between this astral limb and the bird under consideration is that when the "leg" is above the horizon just before daybreak, then will the scrub-turkey's "call" be heard.1



   There was a man celebrated for his skill in hunting "maam" (Tinamus sp.); he would regularly bring home four or five of these scrub-turkeys, and people warned him that if he continued in this way he would get into trouble with the maam's "mother," (i. e., Spirit), for killing so many or her brood (Sect. 242). But he did not care, and went on destroying the birds in the same wasteful manner. On one occasion he stayed out later thau usual, waiting to see on which particular trees the maams were going to roost. He could hear their peculiar call in all directions around; indeed, the birds were so plentiful about, that he was somewhat at a loss to know which particular one to follow. However, he proceeded to track one, but the farther he went, the farther off sounded the note, until at last he found himself deep in the forest. As night was beginning to fall, he had to hurry home, not daring to remain out in the dark for fear of the Yawahu (Spirit of the Bush) catching him. The same thing happened next day; he heard many birds calling, and, following one, again found himself deep in the forest, but this time he succeeded finally in coming up with the quarry. Locating the tree, he peered in among the branches to see where the bird was "hollo"-ing, but could see only a woman's leg. Recognizing this to be the Arch Spirit of the maams (Sect. 210), he took careful aim, and shot an arrow right into the center of the foot. The leg fell down, and directly it touched ground, changed into an extraordinarily big scrub-turkey, which he immediately killed and carried home. There his friends knew it at once to be the maam's "mother" (Spirit), and advised him to cook and eat the whole of it himself, and not give away even the smallest particle of it. He did what was advised, and in subsequently hunting for maam he was invariably even more successful than before. And now that he had destroyed the maam-Spirit, he was not afraid of killing as many birds as he liked.

   99.* The Hebus are more or less hairy beings, recognizable in a near view by the absence of buttocks, their place being taken by a fire-hearth, with glowing embers, giving rise to the name Huta-kurakura, "Red-back," which is often applied to these folk (Sects. 21, 27). Another peculiarity they possess is the extraordinary prominence of the eye-brows (supra-orbital region), which prevents them having a look at the skies except when standing on their heads (Sect. 22). Perhaps this conception is a survival of the custom of artificial head-compression which certainly used to be practised in the Guianas. As is the case with the Yurokons, Hebus may sometimes appear in the form of skulls or skeletons (Sect. 26). Like all other Forest Spirits they have strong patriarchal tendencies. They seem to be specially digtinguished by the size of their purses [scrotums].

p. 174



   A woman, having to go to make starch out of the ite (Mauritia) tree, left her little children, two girls, behind the house. While she was away Kau-nassa, a Bush Spirit came along, disguised as their old grandmother, and said, "Come along, my little girls. I will take you to your mother." But instead of doing that, the Hebu led them away far into the bush, till they reached a creek where the old woman sat down and made a basket. When it was completed, she told the youngsters to get inside; once they were in, she closed the top, and threw it into the water, where the children were soon drowned. Kau-nassa then went to another house, where a little boy and girl had been left in charge during their parents' absence and, similarly disguised as their grandmother, repeated her story. She led the children as before to the creek, where she proposed making another basket, and they started playing around her. "You children," she said, "must not play behind my back. Play in front of me where I can see you." Now the very fact of being told not to go behind her made the boy all the more anxious to do what had been forbidden. So while playing in front with his sister, he made an excuse to slip away behind, and then he saw the lower part of the old woman's back, which was all aglow with the fire that she carried there. He now knew that she was a Hebu, and getting back to his little sister, carried her home But before going he called out, Kau-nassa! Kau-nassa! So angered and dismayed was the Spirit at being discovered and hearing her name called (Sect. 124) that she burst into wind and flame and flew away.

   100.* Of the Immawari I can not get much information, there being few reliable old Akawai in my district: on the authority of Warraus, however, these Spirits have two immense teeth protruding from their stomachs. Had elephants roamed the country within recent geological periods, one could perhaps have obtained an insight into the origin of so extraordinary a belief: on the other hand it is possible that it may be an idea borrowed from the African (Sect. 113).

   101.* So also with the Yurokons. All I can glean is that, in common with the other Forest Spirits, the face, body, and limbs are covered with a luxuriant growth of hair. As to the Caypor, a kind of sylvan deity similar to the Curupira, the belief in this being seems to be common to all the tribes of the Tupi stock: according to the figure they dressed up at Ega (upper Amazon) he is a bulky misshapen monster with red skin and long shaggy red hair hanging halfway down his back (RWB, 279). The Curupari (Jurupari, or Demon) is a mysterious being whose attributes are uncertain, for they vary according to locality: sometimes he is described as a kind of orang-outang, covered with long shaggy hair and living in trees; at others he is said to have cloven feet and a bright-red face . . . he sometimes comes down to the rocas to steal the mandioca (HWB, 36) on the upper Aiary River (Rio Negro) the bad forest demon is a bearded dwarf: he jeers the hunters and drives away the quarry from right under their very noses. At times, he kills people with his poisoned arrows (KG, I, 137).

   102.* But the Spirits of the Forest need not necessarily be anthropomorphic. They may take the likeness of animals (e. g., "tigers," birds), an especially favored feathered form being the goat-sucker p. 175 (Caprimulgus). These physical attributes of some particular creature or other they may permanently retain, or on occasion discard, as when playing the rôle of a kanaima, or blood-avenger. At the head of the Arapu River near Roraima "in traversing the country between Waetipu and Ipelemouta . . . we were startled by a most singular prolonged cry. . . . The Indians . . . said that the sound must have proceeded from some Arecuna who, having killed one of his own people, had been turned into a wild animal" (Bro, 123). Among the Trios of Surinam certain of these Spirits are Akalamano, the carrion-vulture (Sarcorhamphus); Soni, a kind of vulture or falcon, etc. As with animals, so in the case of birds, those of them which are Bush Spirits bent on inflicting punishment, in the way of blood revenge or otherwise, upon poor mortal man, may be killed by him with impunity. "One small bird which in the early morning and in the evening flits, with a peculiar and shrill whistle, over the savannahs and some times approaches the Indian settlements, is looked upon with especial distrust. When one of these is shot, the Indians suppose that they have one enemy less, and they burn it, taking great care that not even a single feather escapes to be blown about by the wind; on a windy day on the savannahs I have seen upwards of a dozen men and women eagerly chasing single floating feathers of these birds" (IT, 332). On the other hand, there are certain birds—owls, goat-suckers, and others (undoubtedly Bush Spirits in the sense that they have been derived from human beings)—which must not be killed under any pretence whatever. Such birds do not wish to injure "we Indians," but they often come to give us a warning or token. "You will never persuade the negro to destroy these birds [goat-suckers], or get the Indian to let fly his arrow at them. . . . They are receptacles for departed souls, who come back again to earth; unable to rest for crimes done in their days of nature; or they are expressly sent by Jumbo, or Yabahou [Yawahu], to haunt cruel and hard-hearted masters, and retaliate injuries received from them. . . . If it be heard close to the negro's or Indian's hut, from that night misfortune sits brooding over it; and they await the event in terrible suspense" (W, 177). Reference has already been made to the "souls" of people departed being changed into goat-suckers in the cavern of Guacharo (Sect. 82).

   103.* The following legend, current among both Caribs and Arawaks is of special interest in that the bird in question is derived from the head of the Spirit itself:



   A man went out hunting for land crab, and was waiting for the rain to fall, because it is only under this condition that the animal creeps out of its hole into the swamps. Now, when the rain fell, it wet his hair; to protect himself, the huntsman, using his p. 176 calabash like a cap, pressed it firmly down upon his head, so that but a little of the hair projected from beneath its circumference. Just then a Konoko-kuyuha put in an appearance, and seeing the man in this guise, and not knowing what it was, could not help exelaiming, "What a fine smooth head you have! How did you manage to get it?"1 The man told him that he had just taken a knife and cut his head all the way round, and that if he wished he would gladly do the same for him. The Spirit was delighted, and allowed the skin all round his head to be cut, and peppers to be rubbed over the raw surface to make it heal the quicker; the latter process, however, caused him to groan in pain, but by this time the huntsman had quietly slipped out of sight.2 A long time afterward, many years in fact, the same man, going out into the bush close to the neighborhood where the above event had occurred, met the same Konoko-kuyuha, whom he recognized by the peppers on his head, which had grown into big bushes. The recognition was mutual, and the Spirit reproached him after this manner: "You are the man who peeled off my head. I will kill you." But the man replied: "No. You are mistaken. The person who really did it has been dead a long time. Come with me and I will show you his bones." And he led him to a place where there was a stack of deer bones. These the spirit took up and threw one by one into his waiyarri. He then said to the man, "Let us dance, and make his bones rattle." Whereupon they both started dancing, and while dancing they sang; the song of the Spirit was "Bassana! Bassana! [lit. meaning unknown.] It was you that peeled my head. It was you that punished me. How do you like to hear your own bones rattling for music?" After a time, the man remarked, "This is not a good place to dance. Come over there where I can see a fine flat baking-stone that will suit better." So they shifted their quarters, and the Spirit recommenced dancing on the flat stone. "Bend your head lower," said the man, "you are not doing the figure properly." So the Spirit bent his head lower, but his companion told him that even this was not low enough; so he tried again, and directly he had bent his head quite close to the stone upon which he was dancing, the man suddenly crushed it thereon. The Spirit's brains thus were scattered, and from each piece there 'grew' a wokorai-yu (goat-sucker). This is why we Indians always dread these birds, and leave them severely alone; they come from the Spirits of the Bush, and give us warning of evil—a token that we may expect trouble of various sorts.3

   104.* Speaking generally, the Spirits of the Forest can be recognized, even when invisible, by means of the whistling sound which they make. "The first night after leaving Peaimah [Mazaruni River] we heard a long, loud, and most melancholy whistle, proceeding from the direction of the depths of the forest, at which some of the men exclaimed, in an awed tone of voice, 'The Didi' [Dai-dai]. Two or three times the whistle was repeated, sounding like that made by a human being, beginning in a high key, and dying slowly and gradually away in a low one" (Bro, 87). But instead of a whistle (Sect. 118) they may indicate their presence by a noise somewhat like the neighing of a horse, in places where horses are known not to exist. p. 177 They are then described as Kawaiho-Kuyuha, evidently so called from the corrupted Spanish form caballo, and with anthropophagous tastes have unconquerable attraction toward infant at the breast and women encientes (Da, 183). The Hebus, after dark, make sudden sharp noises like the sounds caused by the breaking of branches: as stated elsewhere (Sect. 19), "You can always distinguish a Spirit's road from any other pathway in the forest, because the Hebus occupying the trees that lie alongside it are always, especially at night, striking the branches and trunks, and so producing sharp crackling noises." Of course, in the case of Bush Spirits that are zoomorphic the sounds they make depend on the nature of the particular animal whose form they have assumed. The Caribs in the Pomeroon plant a certain species of caladium in the neighborhood of their settlement, to give warning of the approach of a Yurokon at night: the plant gives a double signal, a soft yet high-pitched whistling sound, and at the same time somehow contrives to shake the hammock with force sufficient to wake the sleeper and warn him of the coming danger. The following extract is from Bates, with reference to the lower Amazon: "At one time I had a Mameluco youth in my service . . . he always went with me in the forest: in fact I could not get him to go alone, and whenever he heard any of the strange noises mentioned above [due to the Curupira] he used to tremble with fear" (HWB, 36). Dance (262) writes on this same subject of what the duties of a traveler are, and how the influences of evil Bush Spirits may be avoided (Sect. 128).

   105.* Bush Spirits may also be recognized through the sense of smell. "When the Island Caribs smell something offensive in a place, they will say 'The Evil Spirit (Maboya) is here: let us therefore go away.' . . . They also give the name of Maboya to certain plants, to toadstools, of a bad odor, and to eyerything that is capable of imparting dread to them" (RoP, 464). The Pomeroon Arawaks have the same idea.

   106.* Bush Spirits are certainly very clever people; nothing comes amiss to them, and they can even bring the dead to life. They may render themselves invisible (Sect. 119).



   There being nothing to do in the field, a man told his wife one day that he was going to another village to do some work for the headman. She said she would accompany him, but he explained that this was impossible as there were only men there. However, she was so importunate, that although it was quite contrary to his own wishes, he yielded to her entreaties, and took her. But he insisted on her traveling in male attire. She therefore cut her hair short, hid her breasts by means of numerous cotton and hog-tooth neck-chains, and covered her nakedness with a strip of bark. When they reached the settlement, they started work in company with all the other men, and as soon as the day's work was done, they all went down to the riverside to bathe. p. 178 The woman was at a loss to know what to do: she was alarmed at the prospect of exposure and yet did not want to draw too much attention to herself. All she could do was to wait until the others had finished and then bathe alone. This went on for some days, until the others remarked upon it, wondering why the new-comer would never go into the water with them, but always waited until they had finished bathing. Two of them accordingly set watch, and as a result discovered that it was a woman who had come among them. They thereupon determined on killing the husband so as to secure possession of the wife. They tried twice, but on each occasion something went wrong with their plans. The third time, they tied him in a corial and let it drift out to sea, but the sea cast it back on shore, where a tiger, scenting him, gnawed through the ropes, and set him free. Tiger did not, however, go to all this trouble for the sake of kindness, but for pure selfishness, telling his captive that he now intended punishing him. "Don't do that," pleaded the man, "haven't I been punished enough in losing my wife?" This was but reasonable, and Tiger let him go. The man then walked along the shore a good distance, until he came to a house, which he was afraid to enter; but the house-master bade him welcome, provided him with a stool to sit on, and with food to eat. Having been asked what he was doing, and whither he was going, the wanderer related how he had been robbed of his wife, what he had suffered on her account, and that he intended seeking her. Now, the house-master was really a Spirit, and knew perfectly that what had been narrated was the truth. He told the man to shut his eyes, and when he opened them again, a third person, another Spirit, was present. "Go with this friend," said the house-master, "and you will find your wife." So they went, and traveled far, and eventually came to a house, where they slung their hammocks and rested. In the meantime, the wife had been taken possession of by a "keeper," and was living in the near neighborhood. The guilty couple used to pass regularly the very house where the husband was resting, and when the wife saw him she exclaimed, "Look! there is my husband," but the keeper said that it could not be, because he had been tied inside a corial and allowed to drift out to sea. However, to make sure, they went in, and when they recognized the husband, they chopped him up with an ax. But the Spirit friend restored him to life, and when the wicked people passed again next day, the wife exclaimed as before, "Look! there is my husband!" So they killed him a second time, but the Spirit again made him whole. And the couple passed the house a third time, and just the same thing happened, except that the keeper burned the body, and scattered the ashes. This, however, made no difference, because the Spirit collected the ashes together in a palm leaf, and made them into a living person again. The resurrected husband, acting under advice, then went and destroyed his faithless wife as well as her paramour: their friends and relatives tried to piece the bits together and "make them alive," but this they could not do. It is only Spirits who can do such things.

   107.* Certain of the Forest Spirits have come from the bodies of old-time medicine-men: the present-day celebrant invokes them with his rattle (Sect. 309). Such Spirits may be considered beneficent in the sense of assisting the piai by giving him information concerning the source of the illness from which his patient is suffering, and in other ways. Evidently others have been kindly disposed occasionally in that they have conferred blessings and other gifts upon mankind. Thus, Arawak legends point to the Spirits of the Forest as the introducers among them of the flute made from the femoral bone of animals, and according to Akawai tales, of the sewehekuru, or lace-work of hard nutshells tied on the legs to give proper time to the movements in dancing (Da, 184). Sometimes these Spirits do positive good, as in p. 179 the Jurupari festival, whereby sicknesses can be dispelled, and large wounds healed (KG, I, 320).

   108.* Sufficient has already been said to indicate that the Spirits of the Forest may have their good points as well as bad; they may indeed have in their nature more of the imp than the rogue. They have not always borne bad reputations, but the very large majority of them certainly do so now. The Caribs, however, admit that they themselves are responsible for this, and concurrently for the introduction of pain, misery, and death.



   In the olden times, there was no contention, all were happy, and no one became sick or died. It was then that the Yurokons used to come and live among us as our friends and associates; they were short people like ourselves. One Yurokon in particular used to come and drink paiwarri with my people, whom he would visit for the purpose regularly once a month. The last time he came, he appeared as a woman with a baby at the breast. The Caribs gave her of the pepper-pot, into which she dipped the cassava, which she then sucked and ate. The pepper-pot was so hot, however, that it burned the inside of her mouth and "heart," and this made her ask for water, but her hostess told her that she had none. Yurokon therefore asked for a calabash, and leaving her baby up at the house, she went down to the waterside, where she quenched her thirst. On her return, she looked for her little child, but it was nowhere to be seen: she searched high and low, but all in vain, because during her absence some worthless woman among the company had thrown it into the boiling cassiri pot. By and by Yurokon went to stir the cassiri with the usual paddle-spoon, and, while she stirred, the body of her baby rose to the surface. She wept, and then, turning on the people, upbraided them: "Why have you punished me in this way? I have never had a bad mind against any of you, but now I will make you pay me. In future your children shall all die, and this will make you weep as I am weeping. And when children are born to you, you shall suffer pain and trouble at their birth. Furthermore, with regard to you men," continued Yurokon, as she addressed the male members of the company, "I will give you great trouble when you go out to catch fish." And so she did, because in those days we Caribs only had to go to the waterside, bail the water out with our calabashes, and picking up the fish that were left exposed at the bottom of the stream, just put the water back again to breed fish once more. Yurokon altered all this, and made us go to the trouble, annoyance, and inconvenience of poisoning the pools with various roots. What is more, Yurokon killed the worthless Indian who had thrown her boy into the cassiri, and then asked her children what had become of their mother. "She has gone to the field," they said. "No, she has not; she is hunting after genitalia unius personæ tribus meæ," was the insulting rejoinder, a reply which she purposely gave in order to provoke them into a rage. She asked them the same question a second time, and they told her she had gone to bake cassava. "No, she has not," replied Yurokon; "she has bored her way into my ear," an answer supposed to be even more offensive. And she asked them the same question a third time, but on this occasion they told her that she had gone to dig sweet potatoes. As soon as they mentioned the word "potatoes," Yurokon disappeared.2

   109.* The general tendency of these Spirits, however, is to do bad, the degree of wickedness of which they can be guilty varying with p. 180 circumstances and locality. Such a Spirit for instance may "be believed in simply as a mischievous imp, who is at the bottom of all those mishaps of their daily life, the causes of which are not very immediate or obvious to their dull understandings" (HWB, 381). When in the manufacture of their native drinks anything goes wrong with the fermentation, the Indians ascribe it to Spirit machinations. The following Warrau story is illustrative of this belief.



   A man went one day to visit some neighbors, but, when he arrived there, found they were all out: as it was already too late in the afternoon to allow of his getting home again before nightfall, he made arrangements to sleep there and return the following morning. He drew himself up on the manicole rafters and turned in. But before I go any further I must tell you that in this house there was a big jar in which drink was being prepared in anticipation of next day's festivities when the

FIG. 1.—Carib String Puzzle, designed to deceive the
Bush Spirits.
house-master, his family, and relatives would have returned. Our friend had not been long on the manicole flooring before he saw a lot of Hebus enter the place, and have a look round. He heard them say, "Hullo! here is some drink. Let us bathe first, and then come and taste it. It were a pity to let it spoil." So they all went and washed their skins, and then returned for a good carousal. But when they started drinking, they felt the want of some music, and so they arranged with a labba to play for them. All the tune it could play was its usual grunt, but they were quite satisfied with it, and really enjoyed their dance. Our friend watched them until daybreak, when they took their departure, the little labba tree sneaking away behind a plantain tree. Later on, the household returned, and said, just as the Spirits did: "Let us bathe first and then drink. It were a pity to let it spoil." But the watcher warned them not to touch the liquor because he had kept awake during the night, and had seen the Hebus sipping it. They therefore threw all the drink away. Now, among the household was a widow, who exclaimed: "Yes. I knew that the Hebus were going to spoil our drink." And when asked how she knew, 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.

   If an Indian loses his way in the forest, the Spirit is the cause. The Caribs, however, know how to circumvent the latter, by making a string puzzle, which is left on the pathway: the object of this puzzle consists in removing, without cutting or breaking, an endless string from off two sticks upon which it has been placed (see fig. 1). The Spirit coming along sees the puzzle, starts examining it, and tries to get the string off: indeed, so engrossed with it does he become, that he forgets all about the wanderer, who is now free to find the p. 181 road again. In this connection, it is interesting to note that Bates speaks of his Indian boy, on the lower Amazon, making a charm to protect them from the Curupari: "For this purpose he took a young palm-leaf, plaited it, and formed it into a ring which he hung to a branch on our track" (HWB, 35).1

   110.* On the Orinoco, the Mapoyes blamed the Spirits of the Forest for damage to their fields, the Guayquiries held them responsible for all their strifes and disputes, the Guamos ascribed sickness to their occult powers, while the Betoyes regarded them as the cause of the deaths of all their children whose necks they broke so silently as not to be felt (G, II, 23-26). This belief in their being the cause of sickness and death is universal throughout the Guianas. Among the Arawaks it is the Yawahu-shimara, or Spirit's Arrow, which has the property of inflicting pains or ills, the visible causes of which are not discoverable. The Arawaks, however, are not alone in this conception: it is apparently shared by the Caribs, from whom I learned the following:



   An Indian went into the forest to hunt small deer, and for this purpose built a scaffold upon the trunk of a locust tree (Hymenæa). When completed he sat on top of it, bow and arrow in hand, waiting for the animals to come and eat the seeds that had fallen around. By and by, a Yurokon woman came along with a baby slung over her breasts, and a quake over her forehead. She also was fond of locust seed, and when she saw the fine fruit all scattered about, she put her baby down on the ground right below the spot where the native was seated, and started going round the tree, picking up the seeds, and gathering them into her basket. But while thus engaged, the Indian shot the child, making it cry. The mother rushed back, to find her infant screaming for no apparent cause; she felt it all over, but could discover no arrow. So she took it to the piai of her tribe who soon discovered what was the matter, and extracted the weapon, which he showed her: he sucked it out of the child. "Very well," exclaimed the mother; "Just as that Indian shot my boy, so will my husband shoot his people's children, and make them cry without any one knowing the reason."

   111.* In Cayenne, it is Hyorokon, the Bush Spirit, who strangles some, corrupts the blood of others, covers this one with ulcers, and that one inflicts with jaundice. The same Indians believe also in a Spirit called Chinay [thus far not identified by me], who is a real cannibal and sucks their blood, which accounts for their being so thin when sick (PBa, 206). This belief (in the work of the Spirits) explains a peculiar trait of Indian character which would otherwise be inexplicable. Believing that a child who has just fallen into the river or has gotten beyond its depth is being drowned by the will or agency of a Spirit, the Indian who passes by and sees the struggling child is afraid to incur the wrath of that Spirit, by any interference on his part to save the child. He thinks he will have done his utmost duty as a neighbor by informing the parents of the fate of their child p. 182 (DA, 290). So again, because sickness is regarded chiefly as due to Spirits, the method of cure is therefore mainly directed to driving them out by means of presents, through the agency of the piai, etc.1

   112.* Death, sickness, and other calamities may be inflicted by the Spirits upon mankind, not only out of pure malevolence, but also by way of punishment for transgressions committed against the recognized rules of law and order as understood in Indian society. The other calamities just referred to include, inter alia, transformation into various beasts and birds, and spontaneous disappearance. The following five legends from the Warraus and Arawaks illustrate these points pretty clearly.



   A party of Arawaks, all of them married men, once went to Morawinni, on the way to the Berbice, where they were murdered, Their wives whom they had left behind here [in the Pomeroon] took other men, all except one, who was very sorry at losing her husband, and would not take another one. She found consolation in her two little children. Later on, it happened that the whole settlement went off to a drink-party, but this same woman preferred to remain behind alone. When night came on, she heard the harri-harri (flute) playing in the river, and the sound gradually coming nearer and nearer. Recognizing it as her husband's, she turned to her child and said, "That tune is like what your father used to play. Perhaps he alone was saved when all the others were killed." As a matter of fact, it was indeed the man's Spirit trying to come back home again. On reaching the landing, he tied up his corial and came up to the house, when she recognized him. After saying "How-day?" he asked her if she were well, and then inquired after the two children. He next told her to sling up his hammock, for he was come back sick. When rested in his hammock, he began to relate all that had happened, and how he and his party had all been killed. By and by he said, "Go and fetch a light: there must be a lot of dog-fleas about: they are biting my back terribly." But instead of dog-fleas it was worms that were gnawing into him, and when she brought the fire-stick, his wife could see them all crawling in and out, and said, "No, No! There are no dog-fleas there." Now, from seeing all the worms she knew that it must be her husband's Spirit, and not his Body, that had returned, and it was a token of something that was to happen. Again, and still a third time, he asked her to pick off the dog-fleas, but she persisted in her "No, No! There are no dog-fleas there." At the same time she began to consider how she could best save herself. She began to spit, and continued spitting in the same spot until there was quite a pool of spittle, when she quietly slipped away from the house in the direction of a neighboring settlement. Now, when the Spirit again asked her to come pick off the dog-fleas, it was the Spittle that answered "No, No! There are no dog-fleas there." And so the same question and answer were repeated. But when the Spittle was finally all dried up, it could not speak any more, and as soon as no reply came, the Spirit got out of his hammock and followed his wife's tracks. Now, although the fire that she was carrying had gone out, she still went on in the darkness, the Spirit holloa-ing behind. As he was closing in upon her, she remembered an old armadillo hole, in which she hid herself, while the Spirit, rushing along, passed on. He, however, soon saw that he had been tricked, and returned to the place where she had so suddenly disappeared. Here he stopped and pondered a while, and she heard p. 183 him to say to himself: "I am dead. But though dead, I am looking for her, and I shall soon make her dead also," and with this she lost sight of him in the darkness. Emerging from her hiding place, she reached the next settlement, and told her friends exactly what had happened. And what the Spirit had said was quite true: she soon became sick, and died.



   Twenty men started out to hunt bush-hog, taking with them their hammocks, as they expected to be out some days. They soon picked up tracks and followed them until nightfall, when they camped. Next morning they continued on the tracks until about mid-day, when they noticed plenty of victuals all stacked ready for consumption: there were drink and meat, plenty of everything that an Indian can desire. They asked one another, "Are you going to eat of this?" Some said, "Of course I am. Why not? Isn't it all ready prepared for us?" But others said: "No. It is not ours. We will not eat what does not belong to us." The wishes of the majority prevailed, however, and all except two of the party partook of the fine food. When all was eaten, they resumed the trail until nightfall, and they again camped. The two, however, who had declined to eat, erected their banab at a distance apart from the others. And all, except these two, fell fast asleep. During the night the Hebu came along with a light in his hand, and approached the spot where the eighteen were sleeping. When he got close to the first man, he extinguished the light, and, sucking the air through his half-closed hand, extracted his victim's eyes, just as we suck the flesh out of one end of a crab-claw. He did the same thing in turn to each of the other seventeen, and then withdrew. The two who were camped in the banab apart from the others, kept awake, and watched everything that happened. Next morning early, as each of the eighteen woke, he exclaimed, "Me, eye out! Me, eye out!" The poor fellows who had thus been blinded called out to the other two who had not eaten of the food in question, and asked whether they had also lost their eyes. The latter said "Yes" at first, but being pressed again and again to tell the truth, were finally forced to admit that nothing evil had happened to them. Now, some of these blind people felt their trouble very keenly. Some of them had big women at home, and some had little girls there—little girls to whom they had looked forward to making their wives some day. Indeed, those of them who possessed such little girls grieved sorely, and said: "We have little girls at home, and as yet we have never had anything to do with them. Alas! Alas! If we had only made women of them before this trouble fell on us."1 So as to get home again, the blind ones told their uninjured mates to loosen the strings from all their bows and tie their ends together so as to make one long string of them. The eighteen held on to this string, and the two led the way, and so they proceeded on their journey homeward. But the two uninjured ones led the way, not homeward, as they had been told to do, but toward a big pond that contained a large number of pirai (Serrasalmo) fish. Reaching there, the two made the blind ones surround the sheet of water in the form of a circle, telling them that they were about to cross a river, and that when they heard a splash they must immediately rush in straight ahead. The two leaders then stepping behind, threw over the heads of their blind companions some heavy pieces of timber: as soon as these fell into the water, there was of course a splash, and all the eighteen blind ones rushed ahead only to knock up against one another in the middle of the pond, where the voracious fish mutilated and destroyed them. They were thus punished for taking food which did not belong to them.

p. 184



   Two brothers set out in their corial to shoot morokot (Myletes) fish, after telling their old father where they were going. The younger, who was steering, started singing. "Don't do that," said his brother; "if you make that noise, we shall get no fish and father will be disappointed." But he would not heed, and went on making a disturbance, so the elder one said: "This won't do. I will leave you on shore." The latter evidently had no objection, and with an "All right; leave me here," stayed on the bank where his brother left him, still continuing his singing, which, if anything, he now raised to an even higher pitch. The elder brother then recognized that it was a token of something that was about to happen, and paddled on by himself to shoot. He shot one morokot, then a second, and then a third, now that there was no noise about. Having shot enough, he went to pick up his brother at the river bank where he had left him, but found him singing even "more high" than ever before: indeed, so deafening was the noise—such a rolling and a roaring—that, becoming frightened, he went home without him. The father asked him where his brother was, and when he was told that he was screaming loud and that there was something wrong with him, he would not believe it, but said he would go to see for himself. So the two returned to the spot where the younger brother had been left; the old man heard the awful noise in the distance and followed the tracks from the waterside. The tracks were very prominent and the leaves on each side were much crushed and damaged, showing that a big carcass must have passed that way. At last the father came upon his son, and said, "Come! Come!" but all the reply he received was a terrible roar, which frightened him so much that he turned back, his son following. The latter had now been changed by the Hebu into an evil beast, which was ready to kill anybody and anything. On reaching the waterside again, the father told his elder boy his experiences with the younger one, that he was on the road behind, and that they must both be prepared to shoot as soon as he put in an appearance. At last the latter came out into the clearing and they shot him. It was lucky they did so, because he was already changed into a beast from the neck downward, with two big teeth on his belly (Sect. 100). Had he kept quiet when his brother warned him, all this trouble would not have happened.



   [Note.—It would appear that in the olden times, it was strictly "taboo" for anyone to take a meal after nightfall, though the true reasons for such a restriction are seemingly not now obtainable. (Sect. 246.) The certain punishment for infringement of this taboo was the transformation of the offender into some bird or beast. The following legend bears on this belief.]

   There were once two fishers. I do not know their names, but they were friends. They went out together one day to a neighboring creek, and started building a shed, as they intended setting their hooks in the course of the afternoon, remaining there all night, and visiting their lines next daybreak. The shed built, and the hooks all set, they came back late to the banab, and while resting there, they happened to notice near by a kokerite (Maximiliana) palm with a splendid bunch of ripe nuts. These they cut down and began eating after breaking them on the stones. They were delicious, and they continued eating, until one of them noticed that the Sun was about sinking on the horizon, when he warned his friend to stop, advising him to follow his example and turn into his hammock. But the warning was unheeded: he said they were so sweet that he couldn't stop, and he continued breaking and chewing the nuts until long after dark. Then, all of a sudden, instead of breaking the nuts with a stone, his friend in the hammock heard him breaking them in his teeth, and knowing well that no Indian could do this, the friend felt convinced that something had happened. He lit his wax torch, and instead of a man, he saw a tiger crunching the seeds. He slipped out of his hammock, wandered about till p. 185 dawn, picked up his hooks and hurried home. When his mate's mother asked him why her son had not accompanied him, he told her that he had persisted in eating after dark, and that he was now a Yawahu tiger. But the old woman would not believe him; he therefore advised her to come with him so that she could see for herself. He took her to the banab, and told her that her son was in the bush; so she went out and Hallekuba? (i. e., How are you?), and a deep rough voice answered, "That's your son," but again me would not believe. Wanting to see for herself, she went alone into the bush in the direction of the sound, although she was strongly warned not to do so. She went on and on, and at last met the tiger, who sprang upon and killed her. The mother was punished because me would not trust the man when he told her that the tiger really was her son.



   Returning on his way home from the bush one afternoon, a hunter met a Konoko-kuyuha making a basket, but though he did not actually recognize it as the Spirit of the Bush, he certainly recognized the uncanny appearance it presented on account of its having the entire face, body, and limbs covered with thick hair. He asked the Spirit what it was doing, but the only word it deigned to answer was bako, the shortened form of bako-ké.1 At any rate, when he reached home, he related his experiences to his family and friends, and advised them strongly not to go to sleep that night, because It, whatever it was, might pay them a surprise visit after nightfall; all he could tell them was that it was covered with hair, and that it was making an eye-socket basket. But they all laughed at him, and turning into their hammocks as usual, told one another stories, and soon fell off to sleep. The man who had warned them alone kept awake, and, recognizing the low whistle in the distance, tried to arouse his friends by shaking their hammocks; but it was all in vain, and he had only just time enough to clamber up into the roof, when It, which he now recognized to be a Konoko-kuyuha, entered the house. Once in, the hunter was able to watch its movements without being himself seen. He saw the Spirit stealthily approach each hammock and remove both eyes of the snoring occupant without waking him. These eyes it carefully placed in the now completed basket, and then it left the house. Next morning, when all the people awoke, they discovered that they could see nothing, and they wondered what had happened, but he who had previously warned them told them eyerything. They said they were not now fit to live on the land, and that he must take them to some waterside. He thereupon tied them one to the other, and when they reached the stream he tied the last one to a tree: they could not lose their way now, and they knew where they were. He accordingly left them, as he thought, in perfect safety, promising to visit them shortly. After a time he redeemed his word, but he found that all of them had in the meanwhile been under water, and had changed into fish, the one exception being the individual tied to the tree who, being able to get into the water only up to his middle, had turned but halfway into a fish. So the man went away, promising to come again. He was a long time returning, so long, in fact, that the Spirit took pity on the last man, and completed his transformation, giving him back his own two eyes, which "are all very fine and large," so to speak, especially for a haimara fish (Hoplias malabaricus), which was what the Spirit changed him into. And when their old friend did return at last, he cut the rope from the tree, thus allowing the haimara and other fish to play about with perfect freedom in the water, where they have since remained. They were punished for their unbelief.

   116.* Bush Spirits are excellent hunters, and some of them even know how to employ the rattle, just like a medicine-man.

p. 186



   A man with his wife and two sons went one day to a neighboring settlement to join a drink-party. In the house they left their two girls, who were busy making cassiri, and this is what happened to them. Going to fetch some more water from the creek, they heard, as they strolled along, a peculiar sort of cry. It was really Siwara, the Hebu (Bush Spirit), intentionally misleading them by imitating the call of the oto, a bird bigger than the Baridi hawk. So they challenged it in the usual way (Sect. 130), shouting, "Don't cry, but show yourself, or kill something for us." They saw nothing, and they heard nothing further. However, after reaching home, and resting awhile, a young man approached the house, and greeting them with "Good-day, Cousins!" he entered.1 "Where are your parents?" was the next inquiry of the stranger, who of course was no other than Siwara, he having put in an appearance in obedience to the challenge to show himself. And the girls, telling him that they were all away at a paiwarri, offered him cassava and drink. When he had partaken of this, Siwara told them to go and fetch in the powis which he had brought for them: this done, he asked them to bring in his hammock, as he proposed staying over night. They fetched the hammock and slung it at that end of the house farthest removed from their sleeping quarters. "Don't be afraid! I am not going to trouble you." And he spoke true, because the girls slept right through the night without being troubled by him. Next morning early Siwara returned to the bush, but before taking his departure warned them not to tell their parents that he had paid them a visit. Not long after, the father and mother came home, and seeing the dried powis, exclaimed, "Hullo! How did you manage to get that?" The girls lied, saying, "We came upon an oto hawk who had caught it, and we took it away from him." By and by, the powis was cooked and eaten, and as the old father was chewing the portion he had just picked out of the pot, he came across a piece of arrow in it, a kokerite one.2 Turning to his daughters, he inquired of them: "If an oto killed the bird, how did this kokerite arrow get in?" and they had to admit that the powis had been brought to them by their "uncle."3 "Then why did you not tell me so at first?" he rejoined. "Why did you not let me know that he had visited you while your mother and I were away? Go straight away now, and call him in!" So they went outside and shouted, Daku! Daku! and who should immediately answer the summons but Siwara himself. As he entered, the house-master welcomed him, and he sat himself down on the chair-bench that was offered him. "Thanks! Thanks!" he exclaimed; "I was here yesterday, and kept the girls company." Now the old father, who had been to the drinking party, was still fairly bemuddled and hardly knew what he was doing; at the same time, although he had not the slightest idea who Siwara was, he certainly offered his elder daughter to him, provided he liked her. It so happened that Siwara liked her very much, and he therefore turned to her mother and asked her whether she would care to have him for son-in-law. She said, "Yes, very much." And thus it came to pass that the Hebu obtained his wife, and arranged to take up his abode with her at her father's place. Siwara, however, proved himself a very good husband and son-in-law, and always returned from his hunting expeditions well loaded with game. He also took the trouble to teach his wife's brothers how to shoot bush-hog. Formerly, whenever these two fellows went out and brought back a bird, they would say they had brought back bush-hog. You see, they did not know what a bush-hog really was. So he took them out one p. 187 day, and when the reached a suitable spot, he shook his maraka (rattle) and bush-hogs came rushing up in obedience to the summons. "This is hog; shoot," said Siwara, but the two brothers, who had never seen one before, were frightened and climbed up a tree, so he had to kill three or four by himself, and these they subsequently took home. Time passed, and, his wife having presented him with a baby, Siwara became a recognized heir of her family's possessions, and removed his own property, which he had hitherto kept in the bush, into his father-in-law's house, which henceforth became his own hearth and home.1 Among the property which he brought with him to his new home were four rattles used for bush-hog only. There are two kinds of hog, the timid (eburi) and the very savage (eburi-oriassi), and there were a pair of marakas for each kind: one rattle to call the beast, the other to drive it away (Sect. 298). So after he had hung them up Siwara warned his wife's people that on no account must they touch these marakas during his absence, because trouble would be certain to ensue. Siwara soon afterward went away to cut a field; during his absence one of the brothers-in-law came home, and, seeing the prettily feathered rattles all in a row, could not resist the temptation of taking one down and scrutinizing it closely. While absorbed in its contemplation, he forgot all about the injunction, and started shaking it. Good Lord! It was the wrong rattle—the one for the wild bush-hog! And now these savage beasts came trooping in from near and far, leaving the poor mother, her two brothers, and the old people barely time to escape with their lives up the nearest trees. In the hurry and excitement, however, the mother had forgotten her baby, which the hogs tore in pieces and devoured. On seeing all this happening below, the fugitives yelled and screamed for Siwara to come quickly and get rid of all these beasts, so that they might descend in safety. Siwara came and, shaking the proper rattle, drove the brutes away. When they had all dispersed, and his relatives had joined him, he looked for his baby, but of course did not find it. He blamed them for disobeying his orders, and was so angered that he left them. It is very hard for them to get food now.

   117.* The Spirits of the Forest are blessed, or cursed, with strong patriarchal tendencies, are very fond of women, and of human flesh generally. They have an unconquerable attraction toward suckling babes and pregnant women (Da, 183), a statement which appears to be confirmed in the accompanying legends. I do not know the reason of their supposed relationship to children, but certain it is that among the Pomeroon Arawaks, it was the Yawahus who were asked by the piais to bring babies to those women who wanted them (Sect. 302). On the upper Orinoco it was the Bush Spirit Iolok-iamo who, together with the tikitiki bird, was considered responsible for the deformities of new-born children (AVH, II, 249).

p. 188



   This is another story about a man who went out hunting one day and took his wife with him. But when he left her as usual one morning at the banab, he did not know anything about a Bush Spirit in the neighborhood and hence could give her no warning as to how she should behave herself. At any rate, it was not long after her husband had taken his departure that a Kokono-kuyuha came to the house and asked her how she fared and where her man had gone. She told him that he had gone out hunting and that she did not expect him until late in the afternoon. The Spirit went away but not before mentioning that she might see him again in the course of the evening: you see, he was greedy and thought it would be less trouble to kill and eat them both at one and the same time. Now, when the husband did return, she told him that a Something had been to see her, and that It intended coming again that very night. "You are not speaking the truth," was all the thanks she got for the warning which she gave him, and after eating his meal, he turned into his hammock where he soon fell asleep and snored heavily. By and by the Konoko-kuyuha came along, giving warning of his approach in the usual way we Indians always signal when we approach a dwelling, that is, by striking a few times on the buttresses of the trees. The wife heard the noise, and recognizing what it was, tried to wake her husband, but was unsuccessful: he slept too soundly. She quickly hid herself. Once in the banab, the Bush Spirit approached the sleeping man's hammock, and tried to wake him: failing in this, he broke his neck, drank his blood, and left him dead. The Spirit then wandered all over the place looking for the wife, but could not find her. She, however, could hear him saying, "If I had known that she intended giving me the slip, I would have finished her off this morning." She saw him leave the banab and go back into the bush, but she remained in her hiding-place until the dawn, when, after burying the body, she ran back home and told her brother all that had taken place, and that she was now a widow. The brother was exceedingly angry, and determined upon killing the Spirit. Next day, he went with his sister to the same banab where the late tragedy had taken place, and the following morning left her by herself there, just as his poor brother-in-law had done, but instructed her to fool the Konoko-kuyuha, should he come, by telling him that her husband was still alive and that he would be glad to see him in the evening. The Spirit did appear again, and was certainly surprised to see her there: he asked her as before, how she fared, and where her man had gone. She told him that he had gone out hunting, that she did not expect him until late in the afternoon, and, if he liked to pay them a visit in the evening, that her husband would be very pleased indeed to see him. The Spirit was only too glad to have the opportunity, and promised to come: in his mind, he said that if he broke the man's neck-bone this time, he would make sure of killing him, and then deal with the wife. As had been previously arranged, the brother returned to the banab soon after midday, and made a special arrow while his sister did the cooking. After partaking of the food, he instructed her how to tempt the Spirit into having a dance with her, and at the same time showed her how to hold his hands, and not to embrace him too closely, so that when he let fly this special arrow it might not, by any chance, strike her. He then went and hid himself. By and by, just as the darkness began to fall, the Konoko-kuyuha walked up, and asked her where her husband was. After telling him that he had not yet returned, she obtruded the glory of all her charms and asked him to dance with her. The Spirit, yielding to her temptations, only too readily agreed. They began to caper, and holding him as she had been warned, she circled him round and round, closer and closer to where her brother lay ambushed. It was not long before the latter was able to take good aim, and, letting fly the special arrow, sent it right through the wicked Spirit who fell mortally wounded. Before dying, however, Konoko-kuyuha looked reproachfully at the woman and said, "I did nothing to you, to make you wish to kill me," but p. 189 when her reply came, "No, indeed, but you wanted to," he closed his eyes. How glad the brother and sister were! and the brother said, "We had better tarry awhile, because Konoko-kuyuha's wife will come and look for him." Sure enough, they soon heard the moaning of the Spirit's wife as she came along crying, and saying, "I must get payment for my husband" (i. e., her husband's death must be avenged). So they both hid themselves, and as the Spirit woman passed along, the brother shot her also, and cut up the bodies. When they both got home, they told their friends and relatives about all that had happened, and everybody was delighted.



   When going to a party it is customary among us Indians for the man to start early in the morning, leaving his wife to follow in the course of the afternoon. Well now, on one such occasion, after the house-master had left for the drink-feast, another man came and paid the spouse a visit, telling her that she must come with him to his place. She said: "No! You are not my husband, so I cannot do that." But when he threatened to kill her if she refused, she agreed to accompany him, although her little child told her not to go. This man was really a Hebu, and when he arrived with her and the child at his house, he told her she could have whatever she wanted, pointing at the same time to all the dried meat—game, fish, bird, and human flesh—that was hanging around. Picking what she required, she placed it in the pot and this she put on the fire. All the time she was thinking how she could fool the Hebu, so that when he called her to come into his hammock, her plans were quite prepared. She joined him in his hammock, but refused to lie down in it, and when he told her to kiss and coddle him, she said she couldn't do so because he was covered over so much with hair. He told her where to find a bamboo-knife, and she commenced shaving his face; while holding up his chin, she stuck the knife into his throat and killed him. Rushing off now with her child, the woman joined her husband at the drink-party, telling him exactly what had happened: how the Hebu had made her come to his house, where she had killed him. And when the sport was finished next morning she took her husband to the scene of the tragedy. As soon as he saw the dead Hebu's body lying in the hammock, he was satisfied that she had told him the truth.



   There was a man with his wife living in a house. One afternoon, the husband went to watch for an acouri. By and by she heard a whistling sound, and a man came and paid her a visit: 'tis true he was like a man, but yet different, because there was hair growing all over him. He was really a Konoko-kuyuha, but she did not know this at the time. "Where has your husband gone?" he inquired; and when she told him he was out hunting the acouri, the stranger asked her whether he was very far away, and she replied, "Not very far." To make sure that the husband might not suddenly return and frustrate his wicked designs, the Spirit made the wife shout out three times, and as no answer came, he knew he would be safe. He told her to dance for him, and then came very close to her. This she thought somewhat strange, because she was heavily enciente, but she did what she was told. At last he took his departure, and as he went along he knocked the tree-buttresses with a stick, to make the woman think that it was her husband coming. So the wife was content in her mind. However, it was a long wait for her until her husband did finally come; he had wandered far, and found no acouri. Like a good wife, she made a clean breast of all that happened in his absence, describing minutely how she had been visited by one who was like a man, but yet different, because there was hair growing all over him, and that he had been close to her. The husband laughed, and said: "Nonsense, wife! It must have been some old sweetheart of yours." She replied, "Nothing of the sort;" but p. 190 he reiterated, "Yes, it must have been so." It being now already late in the evening, they turned into their respective hammocks, and the husband soon fell into a deep slumber. His spouse, however, could not sleep; she heard the Spirit's warning approach—a low whistling noise—and got up to wake her man, but, tug and push as much as she would, she could not rouse him—he slept too soundly. She drew to one side just in time to see the Spirit enter. She saw him kill her husband and then eat him, and when he had finished, she heard him say: "That was good. But the sweetest morsel has gone—the woman with a baby." She ran away as quickly and as far as her legs would carry her.



   Once upon a time there was a good old man who, possessed of a young wife and a field well planted, lived happily and contented. When off to his field one morning, he met a young man coming in the direction of his house, and noticed that, during the greeting which they gave each other, the stranger kept his eyes fixed hard on his wife in the dim distance. On his return home in the afternoon, he met the stranger again in just about the same place, where his movements seemed very suspicious: he rightly concluded that he was dealing with a Hebu and went on home. Arrived there, he told his wife he was going to hunt a little, and took his bow and arrow with him; but what he really did was to hide in the immediate vicinity. And from his hiding place he saw the Hebu steal into the house and wrestle with his wife, who was just about grating the cassava: he heard her say "No! No! Oh, if only my man were not so far away!" So taking aim, and waiting for a chance not to hurt his wife, he let fly and shot the Spirit. Both Spirit and wife simultaneously disappeared.1 It would seem that the Hebu had dragged his victim to the water's edge and thence thrown her in; fortunately she had caught hold of the bushes alongside the river bank, and came up to the surfuce. On meeting her husband, she told him she thought she had been dead and never expected to see him more; she told him also how the Hebu had threatened to visit their place again. They therefore went over to her mother's home, and stayed there a long while. At last the old man thought it was time to look over his cassava and plantains, and with his wife and brother-in-law returned to the scene of the outrage. The brother, who was a powerful medicine-man, led the way. As he went along he was accosted by a beautiful girl, who, staring into his eyes, rushed up ready to put her arms around his neck, and then drew back. Now, except at a drinking feast and when she is drunk, no Indian woman would behave in this bold manner, and it was thus that they recognized her to be the Hebu. The medicine-man just looked at her in silence, and she fell dead. 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. But the parents of the deceased girl were very fond of their good old son-in-law, and gave him the younger of their two remaining daughters as a helpmate.2 But the elder one becoming jealous, went over to the husband's place and picked a quarrel with her younger sister; this made the latter go and tell the old man that she was afraid to remain with him any longer. But he said: "No! I don't want your sister. She is much too passionate for an old man like me, whereas you and I get along very well together." The parents then gave a drinking party, at which the old man got so drunk that he fell into his hammock; whereupon the elder sister got in also. He was not so drunk, however, as not to be able to turn her out, which he did. She then said that they would have to kill her before she would let p. 191 him alone. And so the brother killed her. On seeing all the trouble that had arisen, and recognizing how he had been the cause of it, the old man offered to go away, but the brother said he would kill him before he would let him go. And so the old man stayed with his wife's parents in the customary way, and continued to live long, happy, and contented.



   A family received an invitation to go to a drink-party, and they all accepted except the daughter, who, in spite of her parents' wishes, refused to go. And so she was left at home, all alone. By and by, late in the afternoon, there came to see her a young-woman friend whom she had not seen for a very long time; at least she thought it was her old friend Dai-adalla (lit., 'My-Knife'), but in reality her visitor was Yawahu, who had taken on the real friend's shape and appearance, the better to carry out his evil designs.1 Being such supposedly good friends, the Yawahu addressed the girl as Dai-adalla, and asked what she was doing at home all by herself.2 When the girl had told her that she had refused to go to the drink-party, the Yawahu said: "Oh, very well. I will stay to-night and keep you company," and so she did. In the evening when darkness was coming on, a lot of frogs were to be heard croaking, which made the girl ask her friend whether she ate those creatures, and finding that she was really very fond of that dish, they agreed to go straightway and catch some. They went out together into the darkness, each in opposite directions, and after a time they began to call out, the one asking the other what she had caught. The Yawahu answered, "Plenty, but I am eating them as fast as I can gather them." Now, this peculiar reply—eating the creatures raw—frightened the girl, who thereupon recognized for the first time the real nature of her fictitious friend. And when the Yawahu called out, "Dai-adalla! how many have you got?" the girl responded, "Plenty, but I am putting them into my calabash." The latter was thinking hard all the time how to escape from her companion to a place of safety; she knew only too well that, notwithstanding the darkness, the Yawahu could tell her whereabouts by the sound of her voice. So when Yawahu called out to her once more, the girl shouted back: "Hush! Don't speak, or make such noise. The frogs are getting frightened, and I shall not be able to catch any more!" When silence reigned again, the girl stealthily retraced her steps to the house, crept gently in, and without the slightest sound turned all the pots upside down. This done, she threw all the frogs away, and climbed up on the roof to await developments. These were not long in coming, nor was the Yawahu, for, waiting a while, and receiving no response to his call, he recognized that he had been tricked and hurried back to the house. Here he groped about in the darkness, and turned up pot after pot, but his prey was nowhere underneath. "Ah!" he exclaimed loud enough for his intended victim to hear, "I would have eaten her at the same time as the frogs if I had thought she was going to get away from me." And so he searched unsuccessfully—there were many many pots—until dawn, when he had to leave. The girl then descended from the roof and waited for her people to return, and on their arrival she told them how the Yawahu had visited her in the disguise of her friend. The father said, "Next time we tell you to come with us, you will obey."

   121.* Since Spirits are supposed to have a peculiar fondness for tobacco (Sect. 27), and to be continually inhaling its fumes, the smoke of the fragrant weed is largely used in their invocation (Sect. p. 192 308). Among the Caribs, the first two Spirits that are called on by the medicine-man with his rattle are Mawári (Sect. 309) and Makai-abáni. The latter puts in an appearance with the tobacco smoke, in which he is enveloped: otherwise he remains in the rattle (maraka), coming out only when this is shaken. The former's weakness for tobacco constitutes the subject of the Carib legend here given.



   There was once an Indian who was extremely fond of smoking: morning, noon, and night he would bring out his little bit of cotton, strike the stones together, make fire, and then light his tobacco. Even when walking out in the bush he would continue smoking. While thus trudging through the forest one day and puffing out clouds of smoke, Mawári, one of the Yurokons, or Bush Spirits, smelt the tobacco, and, taking such a fancy to it, sent his daughter to fetch the man in. She was a pretty woman and, approaching the Indian, asked him whither he was going. He told her he was searching for game, but she advised him to come with her to her father's place; in fact she warned him that as the old Bush Spirit had really sent for him, it would be wiser on his part not to refuse. And perhaps because she was indeed so pretty, he did not hesitate to accompany her. When he reached her home, Mawári asked him a lot of questions about the tobacco, and begged him to teach him how to smoke. Having learned the art, and taken a violent fancy to it, Mawári next insisted upon the Indian remaining, and preparing the tobacco leaves as they might be required. And so it came to pass that the latter took up his abode with the Bush Spirits as the son-in-law of a Yurokon. When he was given the alligator stool to sit upon, he felt a bit scared, but his wife told him not to be afraid, because the creature would not bite him.1 He remained a long time with these Spirits, so long indeed that a luxuriant growth of hair began to cover his face, body, and limbs. His marital relations prospered, Mawári's daughter in the meanwhile having borne him three children. One day his wife advised him to go visit his mother, so, making ready for the journey, he started off. On reaching his old home, his mother was very glad to see him, but noticing how he was covered all over with hair, remarked, "Where have you been all this while? You have turned into a Yurokon, I think." Although her surmises were not very far from the truth, her son denied all knowledge of those people, and thought it prudent not to remain too long in case he should be asked some more equally awkward questions. And when he took his departure, he carried away with him the cassava which his mother had baked; but neither he nor his wife ate of it, he having become so accustomed now to the various bush friuts and she never touching that kind of food. The Indian never returned home again to his mother, being ever busy preparing the tobacco for his father-in-law.

   123.* Whenever my Indian friends wished to impress me with the power and importance of any of their legendary beings, they invariably ascribed to it great size: thus, a black tiger as big as a house meant a very dangerous brute; a bat as big as a tree indicated the "vampire," that sucks people's blood at night with fatal results. I learned that for similar reasons these Forest Spirits are always associated with unusually big things (Sects. 27, 147). Both Arawaks and Warraus have a story of this nature: I attach the former version.

p. 193



   A Konoko-kuyuka, meeting a man one day far out in the bush, asked him what he was doing there. Learning that he had come to hunt, he told him to go and catch some akara (a species of black land crab). After a while he returned to the banab bringing some with him, but when the Spirit saw them, he said those were not the kind he required. "Come with me. I will show you what I want." With this, he led the huntsman to a big hole in the ground, put his right arm in, and pulled out two armadillos. "This is the sort of akara that I need. What you brought me were only spiders." They returned to the banab, when the Spirit told him to go and fetch some cassava. Proceeding to the nearest house, the man soon returned with a few cassava cakes, but these were not what the Spirit wanted. They went to a neighboring tree, where, pointing to an immense toad-stool, the Konoko-kuyuha changed it into a cassava cake, explaining that this was what he meant.1 The Spirit then sent him for a cooking-pot, telling him that he would find one lying among the roots of a certain tree, which he described to him. The man went as directed, but could see only a bush-master snake. When he came back, and reported what he had seen, the Spirit said: "Didn't you notice that the snake was coiled up like a pot? Why didn't you bring it as you were told?" So the man again went on his way, and when he reached the spot, lo and behold! there was a real cooking-pot painted in all the colors of the snake. When he had brought it to the banab, the Spirit told him to bring firewood next. This he did, but when the Spirit saw it, he said, "That is not what I asked you for." So he took the man with him to a big dead tree, shook it a little, and made it fall, and then carried it to where they were camped. "That is what I call firewood," he said: "What you brought me was only birds' nests!" At any rate, they both soon had the fire lighted, and the armadillos cooked. The Spirit ate all his up in a few mouthfuls, but the man could eat only a portion of his. "Why haven't you finished yours?" remarked the former; "No wonder you Indians are so thin. Look at me. I am big and fat and strong because I have swallowed the whole of my armadillo."2 Having rested in their hammocks, they started hunting again, and by evening time returned with a large quantity of game. When their bellies were satisfied, they stacked and smoked the remainder of the meat on the babracote. After they had retired for the night, the Spirit said that he expected a tiger would come to steal the meat, and therefore instructed the man to keep good watch. By and by, the tiger came, and the man accordingly woke the Konoko-kuyuha. Raising himself from his hammock to get a better look at the creature, the Spirit said: "That is no tiger. That is what I call a yawarri" (opossum, Didelphys sp.), and turned round to resume his slumbers. The man pondered over all this for a long time, and remarked: "Well, if by my kind of tiger he means a yawarri, what sort of a thing does he mean by his kind of tiger?" He thus became much frightened, and cleared out, leaving Ronoko-kuyuha in the hammock.

   124.* To conclude this natural history, so to speak, of the Spirits of the Forest, it may be mentioned that, with very rare exceptions, as the Mansinskiri (Sect. 97), they shrink from exposure to sunlight or firelight, from hearing their names called, or particulars of their origin talked about. This idea explains why an Indian will almost invariably refuse to tell these spirit-legends in the daytime, when p. 194 he might be heard by the particular Spirit spoken about and subsequently be mysteriously punished.1 There are certainly many examples in the Indian folk-lore illustrative of the dire results consequent on mentioning either the Spirit's name or his particular origin (Sects. 99, 133, 135, 176).

   125.* To mimic the sounds of their voices is of course as bad as laughing at Spirits (Sect. 59) or mentioning their names.



   A man went out hunting one day, taking his wife with him.2 Leaving her one morning at the banab, he warned her that a Yawahu would be passing, and that he would be whistling like a bird, but that she must not imitate the sound in any way, because if she did each of her feet immediately would be turned into a sharp piece of stone. She had been by herself some time when she heard a bird whistling, and feeling somewhat lonely without any company, thought she would "call" it. No sooner had she imitated the sound than the Yawahu, which it really was, became extremely angry, and changed her feet into two sharp-pointed stones (cf. Sect. 126): more than this, the Spirit changed her heart into stone also, thus making her "wild" toward her husband. The result was, that when her husband joined her in the afternoon, she tried to kill him, but he, recognizing at a glance what had happened, turned on his heels and ran as fast as possible down to the creek, into which he ducked and dived across; coming up on the oppoaite bank, he rested himself awhile. It was not long before she reached the creek, and failing to see her husband, concluded that he must be in hiding somewhere among the rushes and mud, which she trampled in all directions with her stony spikes. Stamping here and there, she gave vent to her wrath every now and again, saying: "You brute! Wait till I catch you. I know what I'll do with you." She little knew that her husband was listening, and smiling at her all the while. And so she continued stamping and swearing until she at last stuck one of her feet into an alligator that was lying there, and hauled it up on the bank, "sticking" it again and, again, in the full belief that it was her husband. Thoroughly satisfied with her work, she now returned to the banab, her man making tracks for home. But when he got there, his brothers-in-law inquired of their sister, and would not believe what her husband aaid about her having mimicked the Yawahu, and her feet being changed into stone. Finally they tried to kill him. Seeing that they were threatening him, he offered to show them the actual place where it all happened. This being agreed to, they took up their bows and arrows to follow him, and finally reached the banab. No wife was there. So the husband imitated the Yawahu's whistle—now that the Spirit was nowhere in the neighborhood and well out of hearing, no harm could follow—and who should come running up but his stone-footed wife, storming with rage, ready to destroy not only her man but her brothers also. The latter, however, being forewarned, put an arrow into her, and she fell dead; they knew now that the man had spoken the truth.

p. 195

   126.* And so, when all is said and done, it is just as well that we should be circumspect in our conduct and not incur the enmity, with all its attendant consequences, of these denizens of the forest. Indeed, it is far better to keep out of the clutches of these Spirits altogether, and give them a wide berth. Just consider, for instance, what happened to the Warrau who would insist on associating with them.



   There were two brothers living together, both of whom used to go hunting. During the course of the day, when deep in the heart of the forest, they heard the sounds and revelry of a drinking-party, and this made the elder one say, "Come, let us go sport with those people." But the younger one replied, "No! It can not be a real party out here in the bush away from everybody: it can not possibly be proper people who are sporting; they must be Spirits of some sort." Now the big brother insisted, and, proceeding in the direction whence the sounds came, they reached a house where apparently real people were much enjoying themselves. The visitors were made to sit down and drinks were handed to them. The elder one indulged and was happy; the younger refused because he was afraid of what might happen to him. As a matter of fact, the latter's suspicions were correct, because the people at the house who were sporting were really not people after all but the Spirits of the Warekki, or large Rain-frogs, who had taken on human shapes.1 After awhile, both the men came away, and as night was fast approaching they made themselves a banab, and the elder sent the younger to fetch firewood; he did so. When the banab had been built and the fire lighted, they slung their hammocks. By and by, the elder brother told the younger to put some more wood on the fire, and when he had done so, told him that it was not enough: again he told him the same thing, and still once more the same, so that with all the extra fuel there was an immense fire blazing away now. After some time the younger man smelt a very peculiar strong odor, and looking around, saw his brother's legs hanging from out his hammock close over the fire. "Look out! your legs are getting scorched." But all his brother did was to say, Akka´! Akka´!2 and draw his feet into the hammock. And it was not long before he again put his feet into danger, a fact which, considering that he had not been drunk at the party, led the vigilant brother to know that it was a token of some evil about to befall them. At any rate, the latter, seeing that his warning was disregarded, bothered no more about the matter, but let his brother's feet continue burning. After a while, their owner realized for himself that his lower limbs were pretty well charred, and, looking down, saw that both feet were entirely gone, and most of the flesh around the shin-bones destroyed. All he did was to clean the flesh off in its entirety, and then, with his knife, scrape both shin-bones down to sharp points (cf. Sect. 125). There he lay helpless in his hammock. He could not hunt any more, though it is true that now and again when a bird flew past, or any little animal ran along, he would cock out a leg and spear it with the pointed tip, a trick in which he soon got very expert.3

   127.* His younger brother would sometimes carry him carefully to the shade of some bullet tree, and then climb the trunk and shake the branches, so as to enable him p. 196 to pick the fruit as it fell to the ground. At other times he would shoot little birds for him, so much that feathered game soon got to be very scarce in the immediate neighborhood, and herein began the trouble. The sick man never liked his brother to be out of sight and would always be calling him back, even before he had an opportunity of letting fly his arrow. At last the latter became exasperated at being continually called back before even taking a shot, and yet was afraid of running away because his brother had threatened to kill him should he ever dare to go out of his sight: he only waited his chance and it was not long in coming. One day he said: "Brother! Don't shout out for me just now, because my arrow has stuck up in a tree which I must go climb. It will be some time before I can possibly return." All this however was a lie, an excuse under cover of which he considered he could get away in safety. The sick man waited and waited in his hammock and at last holloa'd; but no brother came. Again and again he holloa'd, he shouted, and he screamed; still no brother came. He slipped out of his hammock and started in pursuit; to his astonishment he found that with his bone points he could travel a great deal faster than he could before on his feet. Thus walking and running, running and walking, along his brother's tracks, he started a deer. Mistaking the trail of the latter for that of his brother, he followed the creature and, soon getting within reach, threw himself upon it and pinned it with his bone points to the ground. And as he stuck it here and there, he excused himself by saying, "I am sorry, Brother, to have killed you, but it is your own fault; you tried to run away and leave me." On turning over the carcass, he noticed the animal's black mouth. "Ah! That has got stained from the bullet-tree fruit." But on looking at the fore-legs he noticed something strange. "Eh? Let me count the fingers—one, two, three. Now, how many have I?—One, two, three—four! five!! Let me look at the foot now. It has toes—one, two, three. I'll count mine now. One, two, three—four! five!!" And thus he pondered and finally concluded that the creature he had just slain could not possibly be his brother (Sect. 26). He thereupon returned to his banab, where he laid himself in his hammock.

   128.* In the meantime the fugitive reached home and told the others: "Something has happened to my brother. We can not be friends with him any more. We must kill him." So, leading the way, the others followed him into the bush where they surrounded the banab under which the elder brother was resting. They were afraid to attack him where he was, because of the skilful way he could use his bone-points as spears: their idea was to tempt him out into the open, where he would have to use these bones of his as feet, so they would be enabled to attack him with impunity. Thus, by sending a swift-flying bird to hover around his hammock, he would be sure to try to pin it in his customary fashion, and of course missing his aim, would jump out of his hammock in pursuit. With this design in view, they sent him a little huku-huku (hummingbird), which flew here, there, and in all directions around his hammock; but it was not swift enough, and after many trials he succeeded in spearing it. So they sent him húra (Sciurus æstuans), the little squirrel (Arawak, shimo-okóri), which is much swifter in its movements than the huku-huku. He had a good many chances, but every time it passed and repassed his hammock, the bone-point missed its mark, and thus the little creature decoyed him out onto the open, closer and closer to the ring of people around. And when he got quite near, they fell upon and destroyed him.

   129.* Should unforeseen circumstances, however, force one into close quarters with Bush Spirits, various procedures may be adopted to get rid of them. Warraus and Makusis took measures to exorcise evil spirits from the dancing-ground. Schomburgk describes how this was effected by the former tribe: Proceeding slowly to the spot chosen, with clanging Thevetia seeds, the Hoho-hit, or Master p. 197 of the Ceremonies, etc., blew upon a small flute, in imitation of a monkey's voice, which regulated the movement. Reaching there, the others made a circle round him, when a second signal on the flute warned them all to lay their instruments on the ground, and bend themselves down, until he had murmured some unintelligible words. At a third signal they picked up their instruments, straightened themselves, and were now allowed to pipe away (ScR, I, 153). With the Makusis, a deafening universal shout, like dogs howling, constitutes on every occasion the introduction and finale of their combined games and dances wherewith to expel the evil spirits from the neighborhood (ScR, II, 194). A somewhat similar course was followed on the Orinoco at the wedding festivities of the Guayquiries and Mapojes. As soon as day breaks, there comes from the bush close at hand a dancing party with flutes and kettledrums, which circuits backward and forward round the houses of the brides, whence presently there emerges an old woman with a plate of food, which she presents to one of the dancers; they then all return at top speed to the bush, where, scattering the plate and food, one of them will shout, "Here! you devil of a dog (perro demonio)! Take this food, and don't come and upset our fun!" (G, I, 160). To prevent the Bush Spirits coming into the house, a hunter, on his return from the chase, will shout out the name Shimarabu-akaradani (Sect. 95) before entering (Sect. 124). Other methods may be adopted for withstanding the vengeance of the Spirits of those animals which the hunter has just returned from slaughtering (Sect. 243). An alligator skull stuck up in a Carib house will prevent the Yurokon entering it (Sect. 251).

   130.* So also, when traveling in the bush, forest, and other places, where all these Spirits are lurking, one should never be without a companion, and it is always advisable to satisfy oneself as to the cause and origin of any unusual sound. "The Indian always prefers to travel in large numbers: his dread of evil spirits is so great, that he will subject himself to great inconvenience rather than travel alone" (ScG, 262). "It is a duty to one's self to turn and look about when a stick falls from a tree, or when a crackling of twigs is heard: for there walk together always a bad and a good spirit (Sect. 84)—the one wishing to injure, the other to protect living people. At sight of any one in the forest or on the river, the evil spirit is ready to harm: but the good spirit says, 'Stay! he may be a friend of mine. Let us see if he will show his face when I call.' He then breaks a twig or a branch. The person is saved from harm if he looks around, but is in danger of being hurt if he will not look." (Da, 262.) Whenever Indians—Warraus and others—traveling in the bush hear any unusual cry or uncanny noise, they will sing out, "Show who you are, or else bring something to eat!" or some similar expression (Sects. 116, 130). If a Spirit is met on the road, the Caribs know how to divert its attention (Sect. 109) with a string puzzle.

p. 198



   A party of hunters were walking along the pathway in the bush, one behind the other, the hindermost being a long way apart from the others. He heard the smaller Rain-frog [ho-ha´ra] croaking, so he shouted, "Don't make such a noise, Ho-ha´ra, but come out and show yourself!" and Ho-hara came up from behind in the shape of a woman. "Who calls me? You?" "Yes, I called you; you are a nice wench, too, and had better come home with me." She being agreeable, went home, and lived with him a long time. But his people were continually nagging at her. You see, being really a frog, she had no waist, her hips were narrow and her foot was long; and accordingly her step-parents would always be calling her names, as "Froggie, where's your waist?" "Small-hip," "Lanky-foot." Her life, once full of joy, was now replete with misery, so she determined upon returning to her own people. She went into the bush, and her man, following the trail, got almost in touch with her; but just then she jumped into a little puddle and disappeared. He put his hand in, and felt all the way round, but no further trace of her could he find. You can always hear her, however, at the commencement of the rainy season.



p. 172

1 Further details of this and similar association will be discussed in connection with plants (Chap. X).

p. 173

1 compare a similar connection between the powis and the Southern Cross (Sect. 206).

p. 176

1 Baldness is practically unknown among the Indians; thus far I have not come across any record of its occurrence.—W .E. R.

2 This is the first and only reference to scalping that has been met with in Guiana folk-lore. Scalping was practised both in the Guianas and elsewhere in South America, for example, in Ecuador (AS, 90).

3 Brett's version (BrB, 176) is as follows: Peaima was an Arai-dai who had become dissatisfied with his coarse and matted looks and wished them to be made like those of human beings. Pahadun, a captive, undertook to gratify him; he shaved his head close, and on the raw surface poured pepper seeds. Thus crowned with pepper seeds, the monster tried to slay the man in a long series of adventures, but the man with lying tongue outwitted his pursuer.

p. 179

1 See Sect. 100.

2 According to Carib tradition their Spirits of the Bush have a marked aversion to sweet potatoes.

p. 181

1 Compare the offerings to a medicine-man, or to his Spirit, in Sect. 286.

p. 182

1 I shall revert to this subject when dealing with the medicine-man (Chap. XVII).—W. E. R.

p. 183

1 It is not an uncommon thing to see an Indian who has already a wife and family of young children bringing up a little girl who will be his second wife (Br, 352).

p. 185

1 This word is the Arawak term for an eye-socket; it is applied to a particular variety of basket, characterized by having an oblong concavity in its base, a peculiarity which the name suggests.

p. 186

1 Ija-sanuka is Warrau for 'cousin,' the word used by the narrator. An Indian will greet any other female of his tribe in three ways: If older, as 'mother' or 'auntie'; if about the same age, as 'sister' or 'cousin'; and if much younger, as 'child,' 'daughter,' etc.

2 Kokerite is used only for the blow-pipe, that is, poisoned arrows.

3 The Warrau word for 'uncle' as used here is daku: not only does this mean the parents' brother but practically every male of about corresponding age.

p. 187

1 Among all these Indians, the husband becomes a member of his wife's family. His permanent retention of his wife depends on the satisfactory completion by him of various tasks, as the cutting or a field and the building or a house. The recognition of him and his acceptance of the responsibilities or the position as the lawful heir or his wife's family whose interests he has henceforth to protect and safeguard, commence with the appearance of the baby. So-called "marriage" to the Indian is a question of neither morality nor ethics, but one of policy. He takes up with a woman so that she may bear him children, especially daughters, whose husbands will have to provide for his old age, as by custom from time immemorial ordained. If she proves barren, he but naturally takes unto himself another. Without the advent of offspring, no woman is wanted. Hence, in those districts where missionaries have established themselves, the celebration of the marriage contract very generally takes place only after the bride-elect has proved herself an ideal woman by becoming pregnant. Sterility is regarded as a shame and disgrace by both sexes. Any physically developed woman, married or single, so afflicted, is described as a "mule" by English-speaking Indians; the Arawaks speak of such a female as massoronto (barren) in the sense of degradation and reproach.

p. 190

1 When a person suddenly disappears from any place without leaving a trace, under circumstances which in plain English would be described as murder and disposal of the body, the Indians ascribe it to the Evil Spirit.

2 Among many savage races, the husband has marital rights over his wife's sisters, and vice versa; I have found several traces of this communal form or marriage in the Guianas.—W. E. R.

p. 191

1 The "knife" which gave rise to the girl's name was probably the labba-tooth instrument employed by the old-time Arawaks. Among the other Indians there are records of knives and kindred implements being made from the teeth of the pirai fish, from a piece of bamboo, etc.

2 Intimate friends call one another by the identical name: the same thing occurs among men (Sect. 265).

p. 192

1 The stool upon which the Carib medicine-man sits during the incantation is generally in the form of an alligator.

p. 193

1 According to Dance (p. 202), the large woody fungi growing out of the fallen and decayed trunks of trees are named by the Demerara River Arawaks "kamara-sana" and also the "Bush-devil's cassava bread."

2 In the Warrau version of this story the Bush Spirit asks the man to bring him peppers, but he means a scorpion; then a hammock, but he means a tiger, whose color-stripes represent the cotton "cross-ties;" and finally a hammock-rope, but he means a snake.

p. 194

1 We ourselves are blessed with a corresponding weakness in believing that the best occasion for a real good ghost-story is when gathered around the fireside, and that there is much truth in the old adage, "Talk of the Devil, and He is sure to appear."

2 A man never takes his wife or child with him on the actual hunt, where one or the other would only be in his way. She always accompanies him if he proposes being out some days, when he will leave her during the daytime at the temporary shed, or banab, while he himself searches the neighborhood for game, returning to her before nightfall. As a matter of fact, even when men join together on a hunting expedition, and the banab has been made, it is the rule rather than the exception for each to go his own way and thus the better scour the surrounding country in all directions. It is the wife's business, if present, to erect the babracote, as well as dry and cook the food.

p. 195

1 These Rain-frogs are peculiar in that they make an especially loud noise at the time of the first rainy season after which they cease.

2 This is an exclamation denoting astonishment or surprise.

3 In a Carib version of the story, it is a Yurokon by name of Araiyokó who gives the brother his pointed feet, by way of punishment.