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Bélgica Dagua, "On the origin of the kingfisher."

From interviews with Tod D. Swanson

Cite video as:
Tod D. Swanson, "On the origin of the kingfisher." Youtube video. 8:11 January 1, 2019.
https://youtu.be/hr2QOT3xq2s

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English Translation

Bélgica Dagua, “Kingfisher, Otter Woman, and Vulture: On the Origins of Sharing Fish.” I will tell the story of the Kingfisher which was told to me by the old people. Kingfisher used to be human. And when he was human he used to eat what he would catch from the river. He would catch fish with a little spear about this big. (It was about the size of what would later become his beak.) So he took that [spear] and went and caught [fish] in the river. So as he was perched there looking to the side like this. As he sat there [a fish] would be coming along and he would take his spear and tsak! he would spear it. As he was spearing and eating fish he heard a sound coming from downriver, "tupúk, tupúk" and then a woman arrived. And when he looked he saw that she was a woman with hair on the tips of her feet (otter woman). "What are you doing," she asked? "I am just here fishing and eating," he said. "Oh," she said. So why is it that there are not many fish close to where you are?” she said. They don't come because they can't see you. If they saw you in white they would come out of curiosity. If you startled them by looking good you would catch fish. Tie a white cloth around your neck!" she said. So he tied a white cloth around his neck. “Now I am going,” she said and she left. Now they will be impressed with me as a fisherman he thought as he sat by the edge of the stream. As he was thinking that a catfish passed by right before his eyes. And tsak! He speared and ate it. When the (speared) fish saw him (the kingfisher) it asked. "Why do you have such a narrow throat?" "I tied this white cloth on my neck so that it would look bigger to you" he said. "When I saw that I came closer to see what was tied around your neck like that," said (the speared) fish. As he was saying this another fish passed close by and tsak! he caught it. Thinking about that she (otter woman) turned and sent [fish his way] they say. When she turned she wanted to send more {fish. When he looked back he saw that the woman had again turned away going down river. Laughing happily she went diving and surfacing. "Come back here! he called her. You were right when you said that the fish would notice me if I wore white. I caught all of these! he said. (Before I met you) this morning I waited here and only caught two. I sat by the shore like that and now look! I ate till I am stuffed! "It is because of you that I caught of all this," he said (to Otter Woman). Yes. Since that is the case. Since you are someone who doesn't eat. Since you just eat two (little fish) you are all skinny" she said.I don't want to take away your food so I will just take one. You eat! she said. "No." He said " With what you have given me I will eat a lot. You take this" they say he said. So after saying that she agreed and took (the fish). And as she was taking them she said "Although I am going, some day we will meet again." So that woman left. When (the kingfisher saw that he also went (in that direction). And as he was going they say he saw that a man was going along. And then they say that (that man) asked (kingfisher)"Where are you going?" “I am looking for that woman who said she was going down river. When (kingfisher) said he was looking for a woman (the other guy said) "Go straight downriver and turn this way," they say he said. If you go straight that way (cutting through the forest rather than following the bends of the river) that is where the woman is he said. “Ok,” he said and began to cut through the forest. And as he began to go through the forest a man arrived. When he came and looked he saw fish! fish! Look! Look! There was no one. It was then that they say Siuka (the man who would become the vulture) arrived. They say that man was a Siuka (who became the vulture). They say he was looking for food. “Take this!” (Otter woman said)! But looking at them half of the fish were rotten. Then that Siuka came, that man came. When he saw (Siuka) Kingfisher hid. "He is going to beat me up," he thought. They say that that Siuka was a big man. "This guy is going to beat me up and accuse me of being in love with this woman," he said so he hid. So after he hid he gathered all of the good fish together and threw the rotten ones over there. Then Siuka man said "Sister, share some with me." "Take some if you want," she said. "This is the kind of food I like to eat," he said, (turning to the rotten fish). So then they say he ate that raw rotting fish Siin! siin! siin! siin! So as he was eating he said, Sister did you catch these yourself? No. I was given these they say she heard. "Who is this guy (who gave you the fish?). Introduce me to him!" they say he said. I want to make him my brother so that he gives me fish. I am not able (to fish) they say he said. I used to have a (magic) stone. But that stone was taken away from me. So now I have been left unable to fish. I am going to die of hunger.” So she said "Ok," That is all she said. He ran ahead climbing. Then they say he hid and then suddenly his face appeared. There he stood all by himself. It was that man. Then she said "Come here!" There is a man who wants to meet you." "They say he wants to make you his brother," she said. "He is just saying that to deceive. I am scared," While he is saying he likes me he is going to kill me. If he grabs me here he will cut me right through. He will bit me neck (off), they say he said. So then, she answered "No. Come! While I am looking you are not going to have you throat slit." "While I am looking, before my eyes you have become my brother," they say he said. Then, since he said that they say he came. Fearfully, fearfully he came following the river channel. Since he was a tall man and (the kingfisher)was little they say he looked up at the tall guy with fear. Brother! The fact that I look big doesn't mean anything. And you are a little guy but you catch all that fish. That is the kind of guy you are. "I just look like a tall guy," he said. I am a man whose [fishing] luck is jinxed. With that explanation they became brothers even though he was scared. When they became brothers he said, "Don't get mad at me brother. When I catch [fish] I will give you some," he said. Since that is how it is and he is that kind of man... Ever since they became brothers the kingfisher catches (fish) and the vulture takes them and eats them. Ever since they became brothers the kingfisher shares with siuka. That is all he eats, since he is lazy.

Kichwa Translation

I will tell the story of the Kingfisher which was told to me by the old people. Kingfisher used to be human. And when he was human he used eat what he would catch from the river. He would catch fish with a little spear about this big. It was about the size of what would later become his beak So he took that [spear] and went and caught [fish] in the river. So as he was perched there looking to the side like this. As he sat there [a fish] would be coming along and he would take his spear and tsak! he would spear it. As he was spearing and eating fish he heard a sound from downriver, "tupúk, tupúk" and then a woman arrived. And when he looked he saw that she was a woman with hair on the tips of her feet (otter woman). "What are you doing," she asked? "I am just here fishing and eating," he said. "Oh," she said. So why is it that there are not so many fish close to where you are? she said. They don't come because they can't see you. If they saw you in white they would come out of curiosity If you startled them by looking good you would catch fish. Tie a white cloth around your neck!" she said. So he tied a white cloth around his neck. Now I am going she said and she left. Now they will be impressed with me as a fisherman he thought as he sat by the edge of the stream. As he was thinking that a catfish passed by right before his eyes. And tsak! He speared it and ate it. When the fish saw him (the kingfisher) it asked. "Why do you have such a narrow throat?" "I tied this white cloth on my neck so that it would look bigger to you" he said. "When I saw that I came closer to see what was tied around your neck like that," said this fish. As he was saying this another fish passed close by and tsak! he caught it. Thinking about that she (otter woman) turned and sent [fish his way] they say. When she turned she wanted to send more {fish.. When he looked back he saw that the woman had again turned away going down river. Laughing happily she went diving and surfacing. "Come back here! he called her You were right when you said that the fish would notice me if I wore white. I caught all of these! he said. (Before I met you) this morning I waited here and only caught two. I sat by the shore like that and now look! I ate till I am stuffed! "It is because of you that I caught of all this," he said (to Otter Woman). Yes. Since that is the case. Since you are someone who doesn't eat. Since you just eat two (little fish) you are you are all skinny" she said. I don't want to take away your food so I will just take one. You eat! she said. "No." He said " With what you have given me I will eat a lot. You take this" they say he said. So after saying that she agreed and took (the fish). And as she was taking them she said "Although I am going some day we will meet again." So that woman left. When (the kingfisher saw that he also went (in that direction). And as he was going they say he saw that A man was going along. And then they say that (that man) asked (kingfisher)"Where are you going?" I am looking for that woman that said she was going down river. When (kingfisher) said he was looking for a woman (the other man said) "Go straight downriver and turn this way," they say he said. If you go straight that way (cutting through the forest rather than following the bends of the river) that is where the woman is he said. Yes he said and began to cut through the forest. And as he began to go through the forest a man arrived. When he came and looked he saw fish! fish! Look! Look! There was no one. It was then that they say Siuka arrived. They say that man was a Siuka. They say he was looking for food. Take this (Otter woman said)! But looking at them half of the fish were rotten. Then that Siuka came, that man came. When he saw (Siuka) Kingfisher hid. "He is going to beat me up," he thought. They say that that Siuka was a big man. "This guy is going to beat me up and accuse me of being in love with this woman," he said so he hid. So after he hid he gathered all of the good fish together and threw the rotten ones over there. Then Siuka man said "Sister, share some with me." "Take some if you want," she said. "This is the kind of food I like to eat" he said, (turning to the rotten fish). So then they say he ate that raw rotting fish Siin! siin! siin! siin! So as he was eating he said, Sister did you catch these yourself? No. I was given these they say she head. "Who is this guy (who gave you the fish?). Introduce me to him!" they say he said. I want to make him my brother so that he might give me fish. I am not able (to fish) they say he said. I used to have a (magic) stone. But that stone was taken away from me. So now I have been left unable to fish. I am going to die of hunger. So he said "Ok," That is all he said. He ran ahead climbing. Then they say he hid and then suddenly his face appeared. There he stood all by himself. It was that man. Then she said "Come here!" There is a man who wants to meet you." "They say he wants to make you his brother," she said. "He is just saying that to deceive. I am scared," While he is saying he likes me he is going to kill me. If he grabs me here he will cut me right through. He will bit me neck (off), they say he said. So then, he answered "No. Come! While I am looking you are not going to have you throat slit." "While I am looking, before my eyes you have become my brother," they say he said. Then, since he said that they say he came. Fearfully, fearfully he came following the river channel. Since he was a tall man and (the kingfisher)was little they say he looked up at the tall guy with fear. Brother! The fact that I look big doesn't mean anything. And you are a little guy but you catch all that fish. That is the kind of guy you are. "I just look like a tall guy," he said. I am a man whose [fishing] luck is jinxed. With that explanation they became brothers even though he was scared. When they became brothers he said, "Don't get mad at me brother. When I catch [fish] I will give you some," he said. Since that is how it is and he is that kind of man... Ever since they became brothers the kingfisher catches (fish) and then siuka takes them and eats them. Ever since they became brothers the kingfisher shares with siuka. That is all he eats, since he is lazy.

Spanish Translation

Contaré la historia del pájaro ? que me contaron a mi los abuelos. El pájaro solía ser humano. Y cuando era humano, él solía comer lo que atrapaba del rio. Él atrapaba peces con una pequeña lanza de este tamaño. Era del tamaño de lo que luego sería su pico. Entonces él tomó [la lanza] y se fue a pesca en el rio. Él estaba parado ahí buscando a los lados así. Mientras él se sentaba ahí, [un pez] venía y él [pájaro] tomaba su lanza y tsak! le lanceaba. Así como estaba lanceando y comiendo pescado, él escuchó un sonido rio abajo. Tupuk, tupuk..y una mujer llegó. Y cuando él miró que ella era una mujer con pelo en la punta de los dedos [mujer nutria] - qué haces? ella le preguntó. - Estoy solo pescando y comiendo, dijo él. - Oh, dijo ella. Por qué no hay muchos peces cerca de donde tu estas?, ella preguntó. - Ellos [los peces] no vienen porque no pueden verte. Si ellos te ven en blanco, ellos vendrán de curiosidad. Si los sorprendieras luciendo mejor, los atraparías. Amarra un paño blanco alrededor de tu cuello, dijo ella. Entonces él se amarró un paño blanco alrededor del cuello. Ahora me voy, dijo ella y se fue. Ahora ellos estarán impresionados conmigo como pescador, pensó él mientras se sentaba a la orilla del rio. Mientras el pensaba eso, un bagre pasaba justo por sus ojos. tsak! Él le lanceó y lo comió. Cuando el pez lo miró [], le preguntó: Por qué tienes tan delgada tu garganta? "Me amarré este pañuelo blanco en mi cuello para que parezca grande para ti, dijo él. "Cuando ví eso, me acerqué para ver que era lo que estaba amarrado alrededor de tu cuello", dijo el pez. Mientras estaba diciendo eso, otro pez pasó cerca y tsak! El [] lo atrapó. Pensando acerca de lo que ella [mujer nutria] se convirtió y envió [los peces hacia él], ellos dijeron: "cuando se convirtió, ella quería enviar mas [peces]. Cuando el miró atrás, él vió que la mujer se había ido rio abajo. Riéndose alegremente, ella se fue buceando y flotando. "Regresa acá!", él le llamó. Tenías la razón cuando me dijiste que los peces se darían cuenta de mí si usaba blanco. Pesqué todo esto! dijo él. Esta mañana esperé aquí y solo cogí dos. Me senté en la orilla así y ahora mira! Comí hasta llenarme! "Gracias a ti yo pesqué todo esto" le dijo. ah ah entonces tu comerás, como no sabes comer... Pues como solo comiste dos [pequeños peces] tu estas todo flaco, dijo ella. No quiero quitarte tu comida, voy a coger solo uno. !come tu! dijo ella. "No" dijo él. "Con lo que me has dado, comeré bastante. Toma esto!" Ellos [los abuelos] dijeron que él dijo. Entonces luego de decir eso ella estuvo de acuerdo y tomó [los peces]. Y mientras ella los tomaba, dijo: A pesar que me voy, algún dia nos veremos de nuevo. Entonces la mujer se fue. Cuando el martin pescador vió eso, él también se fue (en esa dirección). Y mientras iba, ellos dicen que él vio eso. Un hombre estaba yendo junto. Y luego ellos dicen que (ese hombre) le preguntó (al martin pescador): A dónde vas? Estoy buscando por la mujer que dijo que iba a ir rio abajo. Cuando (el martin pescador) dijo que estaba buscando por una mujer, (el otro hombre dijo): "Ve recto rio abajo y gira así", ellos dicen que él dijo. Si vas recto por ese lado (a través de la selva en vez de ir siguiendo las curvas del rio) la mujer fue por ahí, le dijo. Sí, el dijo y empezó a cortar la selva. Y mientras cortaba la selva, un hombre apareció. Cuando él vino y miró, él dijo: pez! pez! mira! mira! No había ninguno. Entonces apareció Siuka, ellos dicen. Ellos (los abuelos) dicen que el hombre era un Siuka. Ellos dicen que estaba buscando comida. Toma esto (la mujer nutria dijo)! Pero mirándoles la mitad de los peces estaban podridos. Entonces ese Siuka vino, ese hombre vino. Cuando él vió (a Siuka) el martin pescador se ocultó. "Él me va a pegar", pensó él (martin pescador). Ellos dicen que ese Siuka era un hombre grande. " Este hombre me va a pegar y acusarme de estar enamorado de su mujer", él dijo y se escondió. Entonces luego de esconderse, él juntó todos los buenos pescados y tiró los podridos por allá. El hombre Siuka dijo: Hermana, comparte algo conmigo. "Toma algo si quieres", dijo ella. Este es el tipo de comida que me gusta comer, dijo él (mirando a los peces podridos). Entonces ellos dicen que él comió esos pescados podridos... Siin! siin! siin! siin! Mientras comía él dijo: Hermana, pescaste esto tu misma? No, me dieron esto, ellos dicen que ella dijo. "Quién es este hombre (que te dió los peces)? Presentámelo! ellos dicen que dijo. Quiero hacerlo mi hermano, así él me dará pescado. Yo no puedo (pescar), el dijo. Yo... Solía tener una piedra (mágica). Pero esa piedra me quitaron. Ahora me han dejado sin poder pescar. Voy a morir de hambres, él dijo. Entonces él dijo: Ok. Eso fue todo lo él dijo. Él corrió adelante escalando. Luego ellos dicen que se escondió y de repente su cara apareció...Ahí se quedó solo. Era ese hombre. Luego él dijo: "Ven acá". Hay un hombre que quiere conocerte. "Ellos dicen que él quiere hacerte su hermano", ella dijo. "Él esta diciendo eso para engañarme. Estoy asustado". Mientras él dice que le gusto, él me va a matar. Si él me agarra aquí él me cortará de una vez. Él If he grabs me here he will cut me right through. Él me morderá el cuello. Entonces él respondió: "No, ven! Mientras estoy mirando no vas a tener cortada tu garganta" "Mientras miro, ante mis ojos tu te has convertido en mi hermano! dijo él (Siuka). Luego de decir eso, ellos (los abuelos) dicen que él vino. Miedoso, miedoso él vino largo. Él era un hombre alto y (el martin pescador) era pequeño, ellos dicen que él miró al hombre alto con miedo. Entonces dijo: Hermano! Verme alto no significa nada. Y tu ers un hombre pequeño pero tu pescaste todos los peces. Ese es el tipo de hombre que eres. "Solo luzco alto", él dijo. Soy un hombre con mala suerte para pescar. Con esa explicación, ellos se convirtieron en hermanos pero aun así él estaba enojado. Cuando ellos se convirtieron en hermanos, él dijo: "No te enojes conmigo hermano". Yo te daré algo cuando pesque. Así es como ahora es y él es ese tipo de hombre...Desde que se convirtieron en hermanos, el martin pescador pesca y luego Siuka los toma y se come. Desde entonces ellos se convirtieron en hermanos. El martin pescador comparte con Siuka. Eso es todo lo que come porque el es perezoso.

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