Song to the Mountain Toucan Gao Sicuanga











“Kunaga Gau Sicuanga Warmi Mani”

Now I am the Mountain Toucan’s Wife

Singer: Clara Santi, June 2008

Recorded and translated by Tod Swanson


I will  to sing to the Toucan

Now  I am the Gau Toucan’sWife

Yes, I am the Tucan’s Woman 

I am the Gau Toucan’s Woman

From a distant community

Inside the mountain it looks  green

I am standing inside the mountain

The Gau Toucan cries out

When he stands on the high branch

Looking out at each mountain

When he sings I will cry out [answering him]

“[I am] Your Santi Spirit Woman”

Just standing I stand

While he stands there eating fruits

I am the woman who  stands

Looking up,

Gau Tucan’s wife

Looking from the point of his beak

Looking at the point of his beak

He is the toucan who cries out 

While he looks at every person. 

When he calls his woman

I am the woman who stands calling out (an answer).

Gaouuuu Toucan, Gaou Toucan

When he eats shiwa fruit rolling it in his beak.

I am the woman who is standing there

When he rolls a fruit in his beak and drops it while feeding

 I am the woman who stands there eating that fruit, savoring it in my mouth.

From the top of the cliff on the banks of the Napo River

Gau Sicuanga

Where green wallis fruits spill from where he stands

I stand calling him

The woman who stands whistling

Santi spirit strength woman

Gau Sicuanga

I am the woman who stands smelling the beautifully liquefied drips from the fruit he eats

Gaousikuanga, gaousikuanga!

When he eats shiwa fruits

When he stands crying out his call

I am the human woman who stands watching

When the Gau Toucan drips liquid from the point of his beak

I am the woman who stands showing don Tomas how to catch it saying  “Just drink it”!


Drawing of Gau Sicuanga (Black-Billed Mountain Toucan Andigena nigrirostris) by Miriam Vargas Dahua



Sikuangatami kantangarauni

Kunaga  gau sikuanga warmimiani

Sikuangawarmimaani

Gaouuuusikuangawarmimaani

Karullaktamanda

UrkuiVerdella rikurishka

Urkuimi shayaunimarilla

Gaouuu sikuangalla kaparisha

Pay auya ramai shayarisha

Karan urkuman rikushalla

Kaparisha pai kantaushkai

Kanbak Santiwarmisupaiga

Shayaunilla shayaunimi

Paimi muyuta mikusha shayaushkai

Shayak warmima?arin

Jawaman rikusha

Gau sikuanga warmiga

Pay kiru pundai rikusha

Paiwa  kirupundatarikusha

Paiga sikuanga kaparisha

Pay karan runama rikusha

Paibak warmita kayaushkai

Ñuka kaparisha shayak warmimayarin

Gauuu sikuanga, Gau  Sikuanga

Pai muyuta chiwi muyuta amulisha mikushkai

Shayakwarmi mayarin

Pay muyu  mikushka muyuta amulishpai ichachijpi

Amulisha chi muyuta mikusha shayak warmi may(?)arin

Napo yaku urku pundai

Gau sikuanga ma ?arin

Llullu ruya walislla tallirishkai pay shayaushkai

Ñuka shayarisha paita kayasha

Silvashashayakwarmimay(?)arin

Santi warmi supaiga

Gau Sikuanga

Paiba upi shutaa sumac yakuyasha muktisha shayak warmi mayarin.

Gau Sikuanga, Gauusikuanga

Pai shiwimuyuta mikusha

Pay kaparisha shayaushkaii

Rikusha shayak runa warmi may(?)arin

Pai kirupunda manda Gau Sikuanga yaku shuyurishkata

Don Tomas apisha upinguilla nisha paita rikuchisha shayak warmimayarin


Biological information. See Robert S Ridgely and Paul J. Greenfield, The Birds of Ecuador, pp. 326-27, 329.a