National Geographic : 1957 Jun
+ Calabashes Line the Beams of a Palm-thatched Acawai Hut Few possessions clutter the Acawai home. Ham mocks, made of fine fibers from silk grass, palm, or cotton, roll into tiny balls for carrying. Gourds are used in the preparation of fermented casiri. and a few scraggly feathers poking through its naked skin (page 863). I could not refuse it, but if I was to keep the appealing little chick I had to learn how to feed it. The woman laughingly showed me what to do. First, I chewed some cassava bread. As the little bird saw this, it became tremen dously excited, flapped its featherless wings and jerked its head up and down in enthu siasm. I put my face close to it, and without hesitation the fledgling stuck its open beak between my lips. It was up to me to thrust the chewed cassava bread down its throat with my tongue. This seemed most unhygienic for both parrot and me, but the woman made it clear there was no other method of rearing a chick. Fortunately ours was quite old. A + Young Marksmen Send Blowgun Darts Streaking to the Target For small game, Acawai Indians prefer the silent blowpipe to the shotgun. Darts tipped with curare poison carry death several hundred feet. Agouti teeth, fixed to the 8-foot barrels, serve as sights. week later it was able to eat soft banana by itself, thus relieving us from chewing cassava every three hours. After several days' travel we had a chatter ing and squawking boatload of creatures monkeys, parrots, macaws, a large turkeylike crested curassow, several tortoises, and a half grown peccary, the South American wild pig. Acawai Celebrate with Hallelujah Rite We spent our last day near the mouth of the Kukui in King George's own village, which he called Jawala. The next day we were to catch a plane out of the Mazaruni. Most of the village men were off hunting, but King George said they would return that day. If their hunt was successful, they would sing Hallelujah in thanksgiving.