Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

Carl Sofus Lumholtz
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 450 pages of information about Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2).

Another dog indigenous to Mexico is the hairless dog, also a pet, found throughout the republic among the Mexicans.  It is credited with possessing curative properties, for which reason people keep them in their beds with them at night.

Chapter XII

The Tarahumares Still Afraid of Me—­Don Andres Madrid to the Rescue—­Mexican Robbers Among the Tarahumares—­Mode of Burial in Ancient Caves—­Visit to Nonoava—­The Indians Change their Minds about Me, and Regard Me as a Rain-god—­What the Tarahumares Eat—­A Pretty Church in the Wilderness—­I Find at Last a Reliable Interpreter and Proceed to Live a l’Indienne.

As I travelled along I found the natives unobliging and afraid of me.  One man who had hid himself, but was after a while forced to reappear, bluntly asked, “Are you not the man who kills the fat girls and the children?” At another time I was taken for Pedro Chaparro, the famous robber, who had notoriously deceived the Indians.  The guide took only a half-hearted interest in me, as he feared that by being seen with me he was ruining his trade with the natives, who were especially suspicious about my writing in my note-book, taking it as a proof of my design to take their land away from them.  Still, I accomplished a good deal and made interesting observations, though the difficulties under which I had to labour were quite exasperating.

It was a positive relief, when in the beginning of August, six weeks after my start from Guachochic, I arrived at Guajochic (guajo = sancudo, a small mosquito), one of the stations where the bullion trains stop on their travels between Batopilas and Carichic.  The man then in charge of this rather lonely looking place, Andres Madrid, turned out to be very interesting.  Born of Tarahumare parents, in the town of Carichic, he had received quite a liberal Mexican education and was virtually a Mexican, though in hearty sympathy with his native tribe.  His grandfather had been a noted shaman, or medicine man, whom Don Andres, as a boy, had accompanied on his travels.  He was intelligent, lively and imaginative, of a strong humourous vein, and very entertaining.  Generous in giving information about the Indians, and speaking the native language, he would have made an ideal interpreter, except for the fact that he grew tired too easily.  Only by piecemeal and when having an abundance of time could an ethnologist expect to take advantage of his accomplishments.  As he was honest, and helpful to the Indians, and besides was a representative of the Mexican authorities, the Indians had unlimited respect, nay, adoration, for him.

Knowing all that happens in the sierra, he had already heard of me some time ago, and laughed at the cannibalistic propensities attributed to me.  He immediately sent a messenger to el capitan at Nararachic, to advise him of my arrival, and to request him to tell the Indians to present themselves to be photographed by a man who came from Porfirio Diaz, a name to conjure with in Mexico, who wanted to know all about the Tarahumares.  Nararachic is an insignificant pueblo, to which the Indians of this locality belong.  The name means “where one was weeping.”

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Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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