Page:Amazonian Tortoise Myths.djvu/47

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— 39 —

Eycobé chera main goé, hau' hau"—My grand-father, may you always be well!

In the myths I have given, I have interpreted the jaguar to be the moon, having been led to this opinion from analogy. It may, however, be fairly questioned whether it may not, at least, in some instances, mean the star just named. The question cannot be settled with the facts on hand. On another occasion I shall discuss this whole matter more thoroughly.

Since the above was in type, Dr. Silva de Coutinho has informed me that the Indians of the Amazonas not only give names to many of the heavenly bodies, but also tell stories about them. The two stars that form the shoulders of Orion are said to be an old man and a boy in a canoe, chasing a peixe boi, by which name is designated a dark spot in the sky near the above constellation. The Indians say that originally the old man, the large star, was in the bow, the boy, the small star, being in the stern, steering. When the man caught sight of the peixe boi he became too much excited to shoot, and so he exchanged places with the boy. There is a constellation called by the Indians, the palmtree, and near by is a line of stars which they call monkeys coming to eat the fruit. Another constellation is called the jaburú crane (Ciconia) and another the white crane.