Brown 1 2 3 4


Michael F. Brown, Tsewa’s Gift: Magic and Meaning in an Amazonian Society. Smithsonian Institution Press. 1986. p147  


A.25

Waníg, waníg [an insect]

Waníg that does not anger

Waníg, waníg

The little women

Let them join

Waníg, waníg


The unidentified insect waníg insect…lives in holes in tree trunks and, as Samuel [Wajajái] explained it, “Many waníg live together with out fighting.  Brown, p 147.


Renealmia has one continuous root tuber from which many stems sprout.

Chiág, chiág [Renealmia sp.  A plant in the ginger family]

Chiág, chiág

Chiág that does not separate

Chiág that grabs

The stems

Chiág that grabs

Not angering

Chiág, chiág

Question:  How do images from nature in these songs help people to work together in harmony?

Puush, the Wood-Quail


Puush, push [a wood-quail,Odontophorus sp.]

Puush, push

Puush that does not anger

With their husbands

The puush join  together

The puush following

Their husbands

The puush following

Behind, the puush

Their food

The puush eating together

Puush, push


“The species of wood-quail called push is said to travel in groupd, with a male in the lead and the females following obediently behind him.  A man sings this kind of song before bringing home a new wife in hopes of preventing a violent outburst on the part of his first wife.”  Brown   p.147-148.