National Geographic : 1949 Nov
"The 01' Swimmin' Hole" Attracts Naked Urchins near the Big Chief's Hut At the home of the chief of the Camaracotos, Alejo Calcaflo, the author and her four com panions were royally entertained during a three-day "welcome home" festival held in honor of some of the tribe's men who had been away in the jungle with the expedition's guide (pages 659, 662). Though irked by this delay in starting toward Angel Falls, all the author could do was wait. A pig had been killed that after noon and cracklings were being made. The explorers sat on real chairs, the first in days, and ate hot cracklings and cassava bread dipped in water. The Indians gave them a large, luscious pine apple and offered a queer drink made from yuca and another from the juice of sugar cane. Neither suited their palates. As the drink was passed around, they sipped only a taste from the enameled cup to be polite. These folk danced to the rhythm of a stick which the chief beat upon the ground. Men and women joined in singing a mourn ful little song, all the while hop ping slowly from one foot to the other. Far into the night the author, sleeping in her hammock, could hear in the distance the thump-thump, thump-thump of the chief's heavy bamboo rod pounding the ground. On taking leave, the author made arrangements with the na tives to have them fry some fresh pork tenderloin and bring it to the camp beside the river.