I Foresee My Life [Kayabi tribe which immigrated from the Tapajo`s river basin to the Xingu` river basin in Mato Grosso]


7. (pp. 161-71) "Cosmic Management of Voices".

p. 162 the 4 consecutive worlds

"According to Kayabi cosmology there were two earths (awa) prior to the present one.

The first was destroyed by a flood. It now exists where these floodwaters still persist, "down below" on the river bottom.

The second one arose when the water receded and ended when the sky was formed, creating that which is "above."

We currently live in the third mode of existence, between the river bottom and the sky.

A fourth mode of existence will come about when the sky eventually falls back down to earth, reunifying earth and sky but crushing all those below."

p. 162 persistent existence of primal entities

"once something is ... – a person, animal, plant, or object – even though it is destroyed and disappears from sight, its soul (>ang) exists permanently, somewhere. {Is it implied that it likewise always prae-existed somewhere, not being able to be created out of nothing any more than it can vanish into nothingness?} These former beings, however, inhabit a different type of reality than presently living beings. Shamans, because they travel in dream all over the cosmos, know where they reside and can tell about their current existence. {So, is it implied that the "former beings" likewise prae-existed in the dream-world before they came into any of the [past or praesent] physical worlds, and that the dream-world thus prae-existed the physical worlds and will post-exist them?}

Myths or ancestors’ stories describe what these creatures were like in former times, when they were still alive." {If they are now dead and in the dream-world, would not this imply that the world of the dead (or at least its divine part) is the dream-world?}

p. 184 the 1st era

p. 184, n. 7:2

"The Masters of the Fish, the Karuat, are the remnants of the first earth, which is now covered by water."

{This would correspond to the era of the [Maori god] Tangaroa, master of fishes.}

pp. 163-5 the 2nd era

p. 163

In the "time before earth and sky were distinct levels, humans, animals, objects, and spirits were also not yet distinct from each other."

"many of the beings who lived on the second earth (called, as a group, the Aejewu>jap) were simultaneously objects and people or simultaneously animals and people ... .

In ... shamans’ dream accounts ..., the Masters of Game are one contemporary vestige of this population. In keeping with their previous manifestation when they were alive, the Masters of Game are still described as being simultaneously animals and people ..., such that at one moment they are described as looking like a particular animal and at another moment as having human features (see also Travassos 1984, 11)."

"During the second epoch the earth was also simultaneously populated by superpowerful shamanic beings, called the Mait, and human persons. Among the Mait were personages who could come back to life after being shot full of arrows or who could make a full meal out of just one bean. ... the Mait also had many magical implements ... – an arrow that would return after being shot and garden tools that worked by themselves to clear fields and plant crops. ... .

... it was near the end of the second earth when animals and humans divaricated and began to live separately. The story about the origin of deer, for example, describes how a character called Deer, a person-animal who spent his days farming in the forest, had his body turned into the shape of a deer’s body. A certain Mait did this ... . ... This Mait continued to play similar tricks until all the contemporary animals were formed into their present shape.

p. 164

It was shortly after this moment that the character Tujurare went looking for a wife and finally married one of the People-without-Understanding. One of the important things he taught his in-laws was how to see animals as animals, not as people [cf. p. 137], such as how to kill them ... and how to eat their meat. Prior to this time the People-without–Understanding would eat only fish and treated animals {beasts/mammals} as if they were human. ...

Discovering that his new wife among the People-without-Understanding was unfaithful, Tujarare killed her. ... her brothers set out to avenge her death. To serve as his warriors, Tujarare created the first Kayabi from ... muddy water, manioc porridge, necklaces, twine, toucans, foxes, and jaguar. A war ... ensued".


"it was a young Mait called Moon (Jay)

{The name /YAI/ ("Jay") is cognate with /YA<Ur/ (Strong’s 3265), meaning (according to Strong’s 3293) ‘honeycombed’, viz. ‘hexagonal’ : this the 6-petalled waterlily ("SSC’") Svadhis.t.hana, enclosing a MOON. As a lunar month hath some 30 days, so Ya<ur had 30 villages (S^PT.YM 10:4).}


who began the process of diminishing mankind’s access to the Mait’s powers. Moon ... destroyed all of their tools ... . ... Because the sun shone all the time, Moon’s elder brother had been making a basket for shade. When it was done,


Moon asked if he [Moon] could hang it in the sky. His brother gave him the basket but warned him not to travel too far. Moon could not resist the temptation,

{cf. North American Indian mythic moon-basket ("BWMS"; M, p. 183); African Kono mythic basket being carried to the moon ("D"). Among the Maori Kahungunu, "the basket carrying the moon was Te Kauhanga" ("FL").}

p. 165

however, and as a consequence he and the basket became stuck in the far distance, creating the sky. ... .


... two Mait brothers ... were making an incessant among of noise, Kayabi women began to complain ... about them. The brothers, not wanting to live with people who spoke poorly of them, convinced all Mait to move to the newly created sky. Their departure left humanity alone".

Strong = Hebrew & Aramaic Dictionary of Bible Words.

"SSCh" = "Svadhisthana, the Second Chakra" http://theresaann.hubpages.com/hub/svadhisthana-the-second-chakra

"BWMS" = "Basket Woman, Mother of the Stars" http://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/BasketWomanMotherOfTheStars-Unknown.html

M = Jules Cashford : The Moon : myth and image. Four Walls Eight Windows, NY, 2002. http://books.google.com/books?id=Kpfwhg1hE6QC&pg=PA183&lpg=PA183&dq=moon+basket+myth&source=bl&ots=wFbkXrsy3c&sig=0fuubNeZNjApCFMPhS6jN0wzkwo&hl=en&ei=SD5QTr-zFsnW0QHEzIGmBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CD8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=moon%20basket%20myth&f=false

"D" = "Darkness" http://www.themystica.com/mythical-folk/~articles/d/darkness.html

"FL" = "The family of light" http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/ranginui-the-sky/4

p. 165 the 3rd era

"Currently there are two groups of Mait, one that is hostile toward humans below and one that is friendly toward them and considers themselves to be the "grandparents" of the Kayabi. Those Mait who are hostile to the Kayabi are scheming to chop down the celestial tree and occasionally manage to begin work on this project.

Each time they do, however, the Mait who are humanity’s allies prop the tree back up and save those living below."

{with Kayabi /MAIT/ cf. Polynesian /MAuI-Tikitiki/ who "raised the sky" (Luomala 1949:119, quoted in "CB&T", p. 219).}

Luomala 1949 = Katherine Luomala : Maui-of-a-Thousand-Tricks. Honolulu, BERNICE PAUAHI BISHOP MUSEUM BULLETIN 198.

"CB&T" = Raden S. Roosman : "Coconut, Breadfruit and Taro in Pacific Oral Literature". J OF THE POLYNESIAN SOCIETY, Volume 79 (1970) pp. 219 232. http://www.jps.auckland.ac.nz/document/Volume_79_1970/Volume_79,_No._2/Coconut,_breadfruit_and_taro_in_Pacific_oral_literature,_by_Raden_S._Roosman,_p_219_-_232/p1

p. 165 the 4th era

"The present way of life will come to an end when the sky falls down and the Mait will come again to live on earth."

"Though collapse of the sky will crush those on earth, it will ... also bring about a reunification of perspectives. ...

The distant past and the distant future are related in a manner similar to the way Benjamin Lee Whorf described the Hopi universe : in the inconceivable distance from the observer – from all observers – there is an encircling end and beginning of things (1979, 63)."

Whorf 1979 = Benjamin Lee Whorf (ed. by J. B. Caroll) : Language, Thought, and Reality. Cambridge (MA) : MIT Pr.


Suzanne Oakdale : I Foresee My Life. U of NE Pr, Lincoln, 2005.