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Luisa Cadena, "Reflections on the Life of an Unknown Sloth."

From interviews with Tod D. Swanson

Video contains a Pastaza Quichua woman's

Cite video as
Tod D. Swanson, “Luisa Cadena: ‘Reflections of the Life of an Unknown Sloth.’” Youtube video. 2:41.October 25, 2016.


Reflections on a sloth after fining a chewed bromeliad shoot beneath a tree. She implicitly compares the feeding sloth to an old woman in her manioc garden.

English translation

Poor sloth! She chewed it up to here. Look! With its dull teeth. They say it only eats the tender shoots. Poor thing! Now it is up there sleeping. Umm hmm. Sweetly. Look what it chewed! Look how she left it squeezed out tightly! It eats sweetly poor thing when it’s hungry. It makes its little greens and eats. These are its greens. Umm Hmm. It prepares its greens and eats. Now it is sleeping sweetly, poor thing! Look how sweetly she ate! And she is up there. Up there by her manioc garden. Umm hmm. Her manioc garden? Yes this is her manioc garden. Are sloths like humans? Yes! Like them (people). Poor things! They have gardens. Wherever there are a lots of bromeliads? That is where she will be. (The bromeliads are) growing! Growing! Then when that runs out she will look pitiful hanging up there! Aayy! She will take all day to get down! Sloowly. So they have gardens like us? Yes they have gardens like us. When they see this the men look for the (sloth) searching for the food in order to kill it. Look at that! They want to kill these (sloths). They eat the poor thing. I am not a (sloth) eater! Look if they come and see this they will watch the place, walking around and walking around (waiting for it to come down). When she finishes (the garden) she will climb down those vines pitifully. Then they will kill it and go eat it. They don't feel any pity for it. Who? The men who will take the sloth away to eat it. It ate this last night. Do you think those sloths old? Yes they are old people poor things! If you were to hit it there, it would hold itself there. Wherever you hit it that is where it will grasp. Wherever you hit it, that is where it holds (its wound). And when you do that the poor thing will die. I cried when I saw it. Where? In our community. Then what? It climbed up something like these. See! Like these vines. It climbed slowly to see where the bromeliads were. Poor thing! It was going up there to work in its garden. Then what? Since Leticia did not have anything to hit it with she cut a stick and whacked it and whacked it and whacked it. I left because I did not want to see it. She killed it and ate it. But I am not someone who eats (sloths).

Kichwa Translation

Pugri indillama! Kaygama mukushka riki! Payba rasun kiruwa. Llullullatashi mikushka pugri. Kunan away tiawn puñunmi payga. Aa aa. Mm mm. Llakilla pay... Riki pay mukushkata, Riki! Tiay llapi sakishka. Llakilla mikun ya pugri payga. Pay yuyuwata rasha mikun pay yuyusha. Payba yuyu mawn kayga. Mmm. Payba yuyuta yuyusha mikushka. Kunan, pay kunan llakilla puñun pugriga. Llakilla mikushka man. Awamami tiawn payga, awama. Payba mikuna chagra larumi. Mmm mm. Paywa chagra? Payba chagra kay. Mmm. Indillamaguna runa kwinta anun? Enda. Pay kwinta pugriuna, chagrayuk. Ashka kil tian? Chaybi payga tiawn. Wiñak! Wiñak! Ña chi tukurikpimi llakilla rikurisha warkurishaga aayyy! Shu punzha chishaktami payga raykunga. Allimaaanda! Shinakpi payguna ñukanchi kwinta chagrara charin? Chagrata charin ñukanchi shinallata payga. Mmm. Kariguna wanchingakga kasnata rikusha mikushkawata maskarikta. Chitara riki! Kaytaga wañuchingakga payna mikunawnmi pugritaga. Ñuka mana mikukcha ani. Riki payguna shamuna kasnata rikusha guardanawn. Purinawn, purinawn. Tukuchisha payga llakilla chi angugunata raykungami ña. Chita wañuchinun. Basta pacha! Rinawn mikungawa. Mana llakinawnzhu payta. Pita? Kariguna? Indillamata mikungak apawnguna. Mmm. Kunan tuta mikushka. Kan rikukpi chi indillama ruku anun? Rukuguna pugriguna. Kanga waktanguima, chimi apiringa. Maybi waktakpi, chimi apiringa, may waktakpi chimi apiringa. Ña chashna rawshami ña wañunga pugri. Ñuka wakak marani rikusha. Maybi? Ñukanchi llaktay. Chiga? Kasnata sikawshkara riki kasna anguta. Chiga? Sikawshka allimanda sikawshka rikukpi killga imacha sirira. Pugriga chitacha chagrangak riuralla. Chiga? Chiga chita chi Liticia illaka kaspita pitisha maka, maka, maka. Mana rikusha nisha rirani. Wañuchisha payga mikuk ashca, ñukaga mana mikukchu ani.

Spanish translation

Pobre perezoso ha comido hasta aquí, solo la parte tierna ha comido. Ahora está durmiendo él, triste debe estar, vea lo que ha comido solo ha dejado la parte dura. Pobre como con mucha tristeza, solo como el palmito. Es comida de él, ha comido solo el palmito y debe estar durmiendo ahora. Tristemente ha comido, él debe estar arriba, su comida está en la parcela. Su parcela? su parcela este todo esto. Son como los humanos ellos. Si, él está ahí por siempre. Cuando se acaba él se cuelga y baja, se demora un día por que baja despacio. Entonces ellos tiene parcelas igual que nosotros? si tienen igual que nosotros. Los hombres buscan esto lo que ha comido para matar. Vea esto, ellos matan al pobrecito para comer, yo no como eso. Ellos guardan estos mientras caminan. Tristemente el acaba de comer y baja ahí ellos matan. Los hombres no le tienen piedad, a quién? al perezoso lo llevan para comer. Anoche a comido, tú crees que los perezoso son ya viejos? si son mayores. Si tú lo golpeas ahí se coge, donde tú le pegas él se coge. Ya de tanto hacer eso el muere, yo lloraba viendo eso. Donde? en mi pueblo. El sube como por esta raíz, sube despacio y lo ves como una hoja. Ahi fue cuando Leticia cogio una rama y le pego y pego. Me iba como no quería ver. Ella sabia comer matando mientras yo no lo comía.


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