National Geographic : 1957 Jun
women assiduously chewing cas sava into paste, which then is allowed to ferment to make casiri. Had this been prepared that way? Repeatedly, a small calabash was poured full and passed around the hut. At length it came to me. Knowing it would be most impolite to refuse, I lifted it to my lips. Though my stomach heaved, I held the gourd to my mouth until I had drained it. I handed back the bowl and smiled weakly. King George leaned out of his hammock and grinned. "Eh, you!" he called to the man in charge of the calabashes. "Dayveed like casiri and gets big thirst. Give 'im some more." I was immediately handed an other brimming gourd. As quickly as possible, I poured the liquid down my throat. I man aged to discount the odor and decided that although casiri was a bit gritty and lumpy, its bit tersweet taste was not wholly unpleasant. I sat listening to the unintel ligible conversation until early morning, often tempted to run back to our hut and bring a flash camera to catch the scene. Yet somehow it seemed an in fringement of hospitality offered me. A day later we were back amid the modern streets and buildings of Georgetown. Our last animal hunt was planned for the coastal swamps and creeks that divide British Guiana's great sugar planta 870 Lianas Stream from a Mora Tree Like Shrouds from a Giant Mast Climbing vines grow 600 feet long in the moist air and high temperatures of tropical forests. One variety of liana is known to the Acawai as "granny's backbone." Another species, immersed in water, gives off a mild poison that stuns fish and leaves them gasping on the surface. Jack Lester stands dwarfed by a 200-foot mora.