National Geographic : 1934 Feb
MRS. ROBINSON CRUSOE IN ECUADOR Photograph by Violet Ohlsen "MAKING UP" WITH THE ACHIOTE POD Three of the author's jungle friends paint their tribal and regional marks on their faces. Among the Indians of Ecuador the men paint their faces even more than do the women; but here the practice is not purely esthetic, as the marks serve the practical purpose of showing whence a tribesman comes (see page 168). necessary. My peons disapproved of this idea of interior decoration, and Guillermo was disgusted that I did not use delicately tinted silks instead. We have no glass in our windows. Heavy shutters of wood can be closed when the rains beat down too heavily. The tempera ture is so constantly mild that we have no need for further protection. We did, how ever, find it necessary to screen the win dows and doors against a small black fly which, while it carries no disease, bothers all newcomers considerably. Because we could not bring in bed springs on muleback, we remembered how our grandfathers had arranged their beds, and did likewise. We wove wet rawhide strips in and out of holes made in a strong wooden frame, so that when dry they became taut and were an acceptable substitute for metal springs. Our kitchen is always a source of wonder to our Indian friends. We purchased a small wood-burning stove in Guayaquil and packed it in to the ranch in sections on muleback. When the new kitchen was com pleted, we built a small platform for the stove and set it up. ZOILA IS SKEPTICAL OF A SMOKELESS COOKER When it was finally ready for the first fire, we placed wood in the firebox and lighted it. As we put the covers back on the stove, Zoila said to me, "But you must leave these covers off, otherwise you can never cook. Why, we cannot see the flame and where is the smoke?"