National Geographic : 1938 Jul
THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE Photograph by F. oimpson CHAMORRO ROOFERS NEED NIMBLE FINGERS, NOT HAMMERS AND NAILS Fronds from coconut palms are plaited and tied to the framework, beginning at the ridgepole and working down the steep slope. Wooden walls are painted white, with blue slats covering the cracks. Huge hardwood logs, like those in the foreground, serve as foundations. They are hewn from ifil trees and last for generations. in which her machete was carried during those brief intervals when it was not in use, a small pouch containing her betel nut sup ply. To this she had recourse several times that day. The Chamorros do not carry water on the inland trails. They drink from any stream or pond, even when it is obvious that cara baos or other animals have recently been there. Besides, in the jungle one can al ways get a drink that will at least prevent actual suffering from thirst by cutting a couple of feet of guiji vine, which grows everywhere. Sap literally gushes from the vine so cut, and it is not unpalatable. One cannot go many miles here without coming upon a coconut plantation. It is generally understood that travelers afoot may help themselves to green nuts. This is another good reason for having an agile guide, for the trees are tall, and the only way to get the nuts is for someone to go up after them. One blow from a machete slices off the husk at just the right angle and at the same time cuts a hole of the right size in the nut itself, from which to drink. A good nut contains a pint or more of cool, not too sweet juice, which is sometimes referred to as "coconut milk." Real coco nut milk is that which is expressed from the ground or grated meat of the ripe nut after it has been steeped a short time in warm water. This product has many culinary uses in tropical lands. Could Mariquita climb a coconut tree and bring down the nuts? Mariquita was equal to any emergency and appeared to delight in seeing us refresh ourselves with the product of her strength and agility. THE HUSBAND TAKES THE MONEY TO BET ON COCKFIGHTS We found Dangis Bobo, and, just as the men of the party had suspected, it was no more than an outcropping of gypsum on a rocky slope. Late in the afternoon we com pleted our 18-mile circuit, Mariquita al ways trotting along ahead, eager to point out interesting things that we might like to see. As we left her, she dutifully turned over her guide's pay to the head of the family, who probably tucked it away in his cockfight purse.