Tag Archives: walleechu

Rio Negro – Indians

Text:

Shortly after passing the first spring we came in sight of a famous tree, which the indians reverence as the the altar Walleechu. It is situated on a high part of the plain, and hence is a landmark visibile at a great distance. As soon as a tribe of indians come in sight of it, they offer their adorations by loud shouts.  The tree itself is low, much branched, and thorny: just above the root it has a diameter of about three feet. It stands by itself without any neighbour, and was indeed the first tree we saw; afterwards we met with a few others of the same kind, but they were far from common. Being winter the tree had no leaves, but in their place numberless threads by which the various offerings, such as cigars, bread, meat, pieces of cloth, etc., had been suspended.

Poor Indians, not having anything better, only pull a thread out of their ponchos and fasten it to the tree. Richer Indians are accustomed to pour spirits and mate into a certain hole and likewise to smoke upwards, thinking thus to afford all possible gratification to Walleechu. To complete the scene, the tree was surrounded by the bleached bones of horses which had been slaughtered as sacrifices. All Indians of every age and sex make their offerings; they then think that their horses will not tire and that they themselves shall pe prosperous.

The Gaucho who told me this said that in the time of peace he had witnessed this scene and that he and others used to wait till the Indians had passed by for the sake of stealing from Walleechu, the offerings.

Traducere:

Putin dupa venirea primaverii, am ajuns la faimosul copac pe care indienii il numesc altarul lui Walleechu. E pozitionat pe o parte inalta a campiei si este un reper vizibil de la mare departare. Imediat ce un trib de indieni il vad, incep sa strige aratandu-si astfel respectul. Copacul in sine este scund, cu multe ramuri si spinos: chiar deasupra radacinii are un diametru de aproximati 3 picioare [1 metru].  Nu sunt alti copaci in apropiere, si a fost intr-adevar primul copac pe care l-am vazut; ulterior am intalnit cativa de acelasi fel, dar nu erau comuni. Pentru ca era iarna, copacul nu avea frunze si in locul lor erau multi spini de care erau suspendate diferitele ofrande cum ar fi : tigari, paine, carne, bucati de material textil etc.

Indienii saraci, neavand ceva mai bun, desira un fir din poncho-urile lor si le leaga de copac. Indienii mai bogati sunt obisnuiti sa toarne alcool si mate intr-o gaura si sa impinga fumul de tigara in sus, pentru a oferi toate multumirile posibile catre Walleechu. Pentru a completa imaginea copacul era inconjurat de oasele albite ale cailor ce au fost sacrificati. Toti indienii, indiferent de varsta si sex trimit ofrande; ei cred ca astfel caii nu le vor obosi si ca ei insisi vor trai mai bine.

Localnicul ce imi spunea acestea, mi-a povestit ca in timp de pace a fost martorul unor scene asemanatoare si ca el si altii obisnuiau sa astepte pana cand indienii plecau cu scopul de a fura ofrandele lui Walleechu.

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Filed under Quotes, Voyage Of The Beagle