Amerindian tribes’ Mythologies – with WEBLINKS


South America


Warani` constellations




(p. 48 "SYNOPSIS OF JKYO AEMODÏ") "Jkyo aemodï are spiritual beings, which are

conceived to be a nuclear family—consisting of male and female spouses

and their children—and which seem to be equivalent to the "masters of

the animals" reported in the ethnographic literature for other Amerindian

groups (see Reichel-Dolmatoff 1971; Århem 1996a; Viveiros de Castro

1998, 2003; Erikson 2000; Cormier 2003a). ... .

An animal’s jkyo aemo possesses specific trees or fungi ... .

... hunters need to keep themselves on good

terms with all of the animals’ jkyo aemodï. It is the jkyo aemodï that decide

when, how, and where its kind can be hunted and how many of them are

able to coexist in a particular time and space."


p. 50 "The first woman was carved by the last jkajo ja (generic term: "wise

man," "survivor of the last total destruction") from a tree, and then she

bore the first two of men. These first adult males became fully human when

their mother gave them a bath with the first mushroom that sprouted from

her foot when she was very old. Another set of humans was modeled by

the yowale (Didelphis marsupialis, the opossum) in the underground with

the discarded skin of plantains and bananas. There are different versions

of human creation stories that are associated with different Jotï bands or

descent lines. ... The pertinent

myth tells how humans became animals after singing in and around the

tree trunk of jkyo jkwë jyeï (Virola spp.) in primordial times, when they

decided to walk from the west (where the sun dies) to the east (where the

sun is born) following the suggestion of a clever man who transformed

[p. 51] himself into the uli jkwayo (Ateles belzebuth belzebuth, the spider monkey)."


"In the beginning there was no light and only Nápiruli, the Creator, could see through the darkness. First he made Dzuuli, his younger brother. The creation of men and women came next, followed by that of the world, light, land, water, plants, and animals. Nápiruli made the seeds of each plant: one of yucca, one of pineapple, one of sugarcane, and one of plantain. Then he taught the women to plant, to harvest, and to weave the catumare, the magical basket used for collecting and transporting food."


"When the world began, everything in nature was asexual, including the stars. Yamádu, an evil spirit, governed nature with the help of his assistants, long-armed dwarves with flowing hair. Although the clever Bare feared them, the dwarves were actually not as evil as they seemed, often more mocking than menacing."


"After death, the soul of the De’áruwa shaman travels to the place of the winds on top of the mountain. There he inhales yopo and sings. The shaman’s throat becomes a flute that preserves his songs. A jaguar is born from his breath and bees, from his eyes. The souls of the common people return to their original sphere. There they copulate with siblings of the opposite sex in a barren, incestuous encounter."

E>n~epa / Panare

"Mareoka created everything for the E’ñepa: fire, water, the sun, day, night, plants, and animals. He taught the E’ñepa how to make hammocks, blowpipes, bows and arrows, weave baskets, and how to play flutes and sing. One day, Mareoka asked each person: What do you want to be? Do you want to be a person? Do you want to be a deer, an alligator, an armadillo, a monkey, a turtle, or a bird? Each had to choose. Those who chose to become animals were still E’ñepa, only in an animal incarnation. For this reason, the E’ñepa do not eat the animals they consider to be their ancestors."


"Though the world was created all at once, it took the hero Kúwai several attempts to make the Hiwi people. First he made them out of clay, but the clay crumbled in the rain. He then tried wax, but the wax melted in the sun. Finally he made them out of hard wood, and a mythical rat gave them genitalia and the power of procreation. The Hiwi were given two souls – Yéthis and Húmpe. The first is invisible and leaves the body during sleep to appear in others’ dreams. The second soul travels to the home of Kúwai after death, where it lives amongst wealth and an abundance of food."


"It is said that the Hotï shamans can kill with a single breath. When provoked, they blow a magic powder, called madúa, into the air that causes sickness. The powder also protects them from the dangerous animals of the jungle. Yet the Hotï shamans also cure. They do this in curing sessions performed in complete silence, without singing, the playing of maracas, or the use of tobacco or other substances."


"Túpana, the Creator, descended from the world of the sky, reached into a hole at the center of the earth, and pulled men into being. When he saw that they were midgets, he blew through a tobacco leaf and made them big. Then, he taught them the ways of the world. The men did not appreciate his efforts and instead plotted to kill him. So Túpana created the goddess Yopinai, who gave women the power to enslave men."


"When the world began, the Creator, Kúwai-Séiri, lived in the region of the torrents of Ayarí with his wife and relatives. The Tsase fished, gathered wild fruit, and hunted. Kúwai-Séiri introduced them to agriculture and, above all, the bitter yucca. The Creator taught them how to plant this sacred food and how to turn it into cassava and manioc."


"In the land of the Wakuénai, there was a hole that contained every seed in existence. From this hole, the Creator Iñapirrikuli pulled out all living beings, including Indians and white men. He showed the Indians books and asked them if they wanted them. They answered no. He then showed them bows, arrows, canoes, and blowpipes, and immediately, they said yes. When he pulled out the white men and showed them books, they said yes. It was in this way that he brought each being into the world, asking them what they wanted to be. He gave the animals their colors and songs and thus created the world."


"Before Nápiruli created the world, the bee-men and the bird-men fought for control. Kuwai, the Creator, came to the human realm to bring order to chaos. He expanded the territories and gave light to the world. With the help of his relatives, he taught the Warekena about food, music, technology, daily life, religion, and the customs that distinguish the sexes."


"The moon dwelled in the body of a grand shaman. When he died, she was free to wander in space but instead returned to the earth to eat his incinerated bones. When the shaman’s relatives discovered this outrage, they attacked the moon with arrows but the arrows fell harmlessly to the earth. The moon tried to evade the arrows by hiding in the clouds, but at last one arrow penetrated, and her blood spilled to the earth. From the drops of her blood the Yanomami were born."

Ye>kuana / Makiritare

"In earlier times, men did not know fire. A woman named Kawao owned the fire. She would hide it in her stomach and would not show it to anyone, not even her husband. When she was alone, Kawao would turn herself into a frog, open her mouth, and spit the fire under her cooking pots. When her husband arrived, food was always ready. He would ask: How did you do it? And she would answer: I cooked the food under the sun. She tricked him, and he believed her. What she did not know was that when he left, he turned himself into a jaguar."

Timote-Cuica Caribay

Karin~a Twins

Pemon Makunaima Tree of life Great flood

Warao Origin of stars Owner of the sun

Wayuu / Wahiro Way of the dead Pulowi Kasipoluin Origin of fire


Central America


Q>eqc^i>'S+MARRIAGE.pdf [pdf]