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And the uniform!

More fun in the Orinoco:

[His tribe has compelled John Bober to wear thehateful boots, the Spanish uniform, and the Jaguar skin to a Judgment of Ants ceremony in the village of the Warao]


Gourds with kashiri were constantly circulating from hand to hand, but I took smaller and smaller sips, and finally, I only wet my lips. Despite this, completely unaccustomed to liquor, I felt slightly dizzy and terribly hot. In the cruelly steamy air, sweat poured off me in streams, and not only off me—off everyone.


At one point, in a fit of frustration and despair, I peeled off the jaguar’s skin, threw it onto the pier, and stamped on it passionately with my boot. I thought people would be outraged, but—no. On the contrary. Jekuana accepted my acti on with admiration, as a symbol of domination over the nature of the jaguar, and he cried out, clapping his hands:


“White Jaguar!… Our brother: White Jaguar!”


Encouraged by this, I stripped off my captain’s uniform and just as vigorously trod it on the ground. The Indians, led by the same intuition, took this as a sign of my contempt for the Spaniards, and they rejoiced amid shouts:


“The tamer of the Spaniards! The killer of the Spaniards!”


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