National Geographic : 1912 Jul
are trusted to the earth, invocations in the form of recitals are sung by the men, and possibly offerings made, to propitiate the evil genius and call the blessing of the kindly God. I succeeded in obtaining a part of the invocation re ferring to the cacao crop. It seems to consist of an enumeration made to the lele of the several varieties of the cacao pods, and of an appeal to a being per sonified by the ever-traveling sun. The San Blas Indians are of small stature, with the body unusually long and broad-chested and the limbs short. The head is round and large and cheek bones very high, the nose long and often aquiline. The skin is dark reddish brown in the men, a few shades lighter in women. The hair is jet-black and as a rule cropped short, though a few of the girls wear it rather long, and the men have sometimes the whole mass of it cut straight, or bobbed, at the neck. Most women have remarkably fine white teeth. Polygamy is allowed, but seldom prac ticed nowadays. As a result of their frequent inter course with the outside world, the San Blas men have adopted the ordinary garb of civilized people, reducing it to the simplicity required by the warm cli mate. Their native hats are peculiar in having the form much smaller than the head of the wearer, so that they are kept in place only by the stiff, short hairs acting as a sort of clinching spring. Many men wear hanging from their ears large gold disks, often of the size and thickness of a $2o gold-piece. They are reticent as to the origin of the metal. In old times they probably obtained it by washing the sand of the rivers, several of which are said to be auriferous, but at present they very likely use for their personal adornment American and Eng lish treasure, having it modified to suit their taste by the native gold and silver smiths established in almost every vil lage (see page 647). The custom of face-painting is rapidly disappearing. At one of the villages some boys were seen wearing a single blue line along the ridge of their noses, Photo by H.-: ittier A CHOCO INDIAN MAN OFl THE SAMBU VALLEY IN EVERY-DAY DRESS and the lele, or medicine man, of Shia tinaka had evidently rouge (anatto dye) on his cheeks. These were the only in stances of this kind of ornamentation, formerly of much more general vogue. The Chucunaque and Bayano Indians, who, their scant clouts excepted, dis pense with clothes, are reported to paint their whole body jet black before start ing on their hunting or fishing expedi tions.