Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Types of Rain in Northwest Amazonia

It rains so much in northwest Amazonia that the people have names for the different types. My mother-in-law, Lydia Cahuaza, two generations out of the woods--she always explained she wasn't an Indian by saying 'My mother wore shoes, my grandmother wore shoes', not realizing that only Indigenous people used that phrase to prove they were city folk--had names for six types of rain. I can only remember four.
You have Tempesto, which is like a devil rain, which comes in sheets and is accompanied by crazy strong winds from all directions, tearing at the canopy and bringing down great tree-tops in the forest while it tears the rooves off homes in the city.
You have the Borracho, the Drunken Father rain, which is full of lightning and thunder and hard driving rain that comes and goes in just a few minutes. It's like a drunk dad who comes home and yells at the kids and crashes into things, knocking them over, but the kids pay him no mind because they know he'll fall asleep in just a minute or two.
You have the Lluvia Loca, the crazy girl rain, which starts, stops, starts again, stops again. It's like a love crazy teenaged girl who falls in love with one boy, and then quickly falls out of love with him and into love with another, and so on. She just can't make up her mind.
And then you have the Warmi Lluvia, the Bitchy Woman rain. That's a rain that falls lightly but falls all day and night, like a woman bitching at you, picking, picking, picking at you until she drives you crazy.
Ain't that cool.
I miss you Lydia.


Frank Blank in Brooklyn said...

I've just recently become aware of gender associations with rain, such as, "The Male-Rain is the heavy storm-rain, with lightning and thunder; the Female-Rain is the gentle shower."
But it seems to have the capacity to be productive as in the promotion of fertility, and/or destructive with flooding etc.
It also has a spiritual side to it as though it was some sort of by product of god/life intersction....

Julio E said...

About the Rain:
There's the Warmi Lluvia "Lluvia Mujer" (Female Rain).. just like you said...

And there is the Qari Lluvia "Lluvia Hombre" (Male Rain), the strong and very short rain ... it comes without warning, it "wets" you (ladies), and then goes away quickly... like many men do (after a one-night stand)

This is what a boy told me at Oxapampa - Peru