National Geographic : 1950 Oct
A Bromeliad Arch Marks the Home of a Chief Wife and son are two of the 2,000 Sibundoys. who live in the Colombian Andes not far from the Ecuadorian border. Unlike the Quechuas and Aymaras, some of whom have received admixtures of Span ish blood, the Sibundoys re main a pure Indian strain. They form part of a large tribal group called the Quilla cingas. meaning Moon in the Nose, a name derived from their former custom of wear ing golden crescents as nasal ornaments. Like their llamas, Andean Indians are perfectly adjusted to the cold, thin mountain air. While the heavily clad author chattered and shivered, his barefoot helpers uncomplain ingly accepted hardships they had known all their lives. Left: the chief's wife wears her dazzling crown on impor tant occasions. Each streamer tells an ancient tribal legend. The arch, which designates the home of the chief, is fash ioned of reeds and palm fronds and decorated with colorful birctndos (bromeliads). Right: the chief's 14-year old son produces bassoonlike tones with his 3-foot flute, which he plays at festivals, funerals, and religious ccre monies. Its varied tonalities result in some interesting mu sical combinations. Iiodachronm siy .lulford R. Fster 47.