Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Amazon Dolphin Love


Dolphin Love in Northwestern Amazonia
There are dozens of myths in the Amazon basin that have helped maintain an otherwise very fragile social fabric. Tunchis — ghosts — in the woods keep most people out of the woods at night when the predators feed. Chuluchaqui, a sort of Pan character, can confuse you to the point where it might take days or weeks to return to your home from a walk to your fields — chacras. But mythical Chuluchaqui is vitally important because of the habit riberiños have of leaving their families to visit friends for days or weeks at a time when they get the urge. They might or might not bother to tell anyone. Abandoning your family is not good but when they get the urge it is irresistible and they have to go sometimes. Having a convenient Chuluchaqui to blame smooths everything over.
Dolphins are also vital to the social fabric: The pink dolphins are sirens: They call out to the men and the men cannot resist their charm. The men dive into the lakes and make wild love with them.
The blue dolphins can transform themselves in the evening to irresistibly handsome young men. When they call to the women coming from the chacras or neighboring villages, there is no way to turn away: You must make love, and it is a ferocious, wild, wonderful making love.
The stories may or may not be true, but they are very important in Amazonia, where making love with people outside of your husband or wife is a pretty regular part of living. A woman coming home at dawn with her neck covered in hickeys is completely forgivable if she was seduced by a dolphin, whereas if the wife had simply screwed the neighbor it might lead to a machete or shotgun anger-killing. Similarly, a man coming home drunk with hickeys is forgiven if the cause of the problem was a pink dolphin, rather than the neighbor woman.
The myths of Amazonia are wonderful survival tools.

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