National Geographic : 1957 Jun
We had heard much of this extraordinary prac tice. At the end of the last century, a Macushi Indian from the savan nas visited a Christian mission. Returning to his tribe, he claimed to have visions of a great spirit called Papa high in the sky. Papa told the Indian to spread a new religion, called "Hallelujah." Near-by tribes picked up the new beliefs from the Macushi. Mission aries, apparently not real izing the Christian foun dation of the religion, condemned the Hallelujah practice as pagan, but it has persisted. Ceremony Filmed We asked King George if we might film the cere mony. He grunted an as sent, and we settled down to wait. In midafternoon the hunting party returned, clad in loincloths. Slung over their backs in woven baskets were loads of smoked fish, plucked car casses of birds, and kipper-brown joints of smoked tapir flesh. One man carried a gun over his shoulder; the rest were armed with blowpipes and bows and arrows. Without speaking to anyone, the men ap proached the main hut, the floor of which had been brushed and sprin 866 Swinging Machetes, Women Gather Cassava in a Village Garden Many South American In dians cultivate the cassava plant for its starchy rootstock, their main staple of diet. These Acawai women dig plants along a tributary of the Mazaruni.