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Deer             Quichua: Taruga


Bélgica Dagua, "Why Deer Don't Have Masters." 

Bélgica Dagua argues that deer are unique in not having masters because they are the ghost of humans.   Most animals have an amu , a spirit master analogous to a Hopi Kachina who protects them and causes them to flourish.  To protect them these amus keep the species locked in corrals inside the mountains only letting out a few to be hunted. For this reason the animals are relatively scarce in the forest but plentiful inside the mountains.

Unlike peccaries the deer do not have amus  because deer are the transformed ghosts of people who die.  For this reason deer haunt the areas around their previous homes as well as their old manioc gardens. According to Bélgica there are many deer in her home community because the deer have no amu to lock them up. By contrast there are few peccary in the forest because the their amu keeps them protected inside local mountains. 

A western ecologist might attribute the relative abundance of deer to hunting practices.  Because deer are believed to be ghosts they are not hunted for food and consequently multiply. Peccaries by contrast are heavily hunted.

Please cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,   "Bélgica Dagua, 'Why Deer Don't Have Masters.'"   Youtube video.  1:29.  December 14, 2016.

Bélgica Dagua, "Deer Papaya: A Grandfather Returns as a Deer." 

Bélgica Dagua tells the story of a deceased man who returns to his grandchildren as a deer.  When the children are left home alone the deer comes out of the forest as a man and gives them what appears to be papaya.  He tells them he has much more out in his forest garden.  He lays down to take a nap and sends them off to look. But when they go look there is no cultivated garden but only wild forest variant of domestic papaya that deer eat.  When the return to question their sleeping grandfather they cannot find him.  But someone runs off as a deer.

Please cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,   "Bélgica Dagua, 'Deer Papaya:  A Grandfather Returns as a Deer.'" Youtube video.  3:12.  March 26, 2016.

Eulodia Dagua, "Dance Like a Deer.’”


In Pastaza Quichua with English Subtitles.

Cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,  "Eulodia Dagua, 'Dance Like A Deer.'"A memory painted on a Runa woman's face.’” Youtube video.  1:25. November 2, 2011.

Eulodia Dagua, "On Eating Deer.’”


In Pastaza Quichua with English Subtitles.

Cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,  "Bélgica Dagua and Eulodia Dagua, 'On Eating Deer.'"  Youtube video.  0:44. December 18, 2016.  

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