top of page
Pedro Andi - "When the Musician Wren Plays the Agoutis Dance"
From interviews with Tod D. Swanson
English subtitles only.
Cite video as:
Tod D. Swanson, "Squirrel Cuckoo: A Bird That Lies and Sometimes Tells the Truth.’" Youtube video. 2:40. Feb 28, 2021 https://youtu.be/rBWtgWwJLNg.
Pedro Andi, “How the Agoutis Dance to the Flute Bird” We call it the flute bird, the flute bird. It sounds like a flute. It sings like a pinguli flute. That is how it sings. And in the swamp, where there are thickets, the agoutis lift up their hands and move their heads (to the music) like this. The agoutis? Yes, the agoutis. My father used to say that if you go out to the swamp at the time the bird sings you can kill an agouti. If the agoutis are there they will leap up when it sings, that bird that makes the agoutis dance. What time do they sing? Late in the afternoon, 5 o’clock. And also they sing early in the morning. (When the flute birds sing) the agouti will be close by there enjoying it. My father used to say that it was the agoutis’ music, their dancing music. (It was sung) for them to dance. If you go at that hour they will be moving their heads like this. They won’t notice when the hunter comes because they are paying attention to the music. They will be standing up and moving their heads like this. Meanwhile the hunter comes looking for them. He shoots and kills them while they are moving their heads to the beat. It is true. True? Yes I am telling what I have seen. You have seen it. Yes I have killed one. Yes. I hit it on the head. You killed one? Yes I killed one. The bird was singing but it fell silent when it heard my shot. When you shot? Yes. I shot "tiauun! and it fell silent right then. It saw that the dancer it was playing for had died so it stopped.
bottom of page