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Narcisa Dagua, "Bitter, Bitter, Ayambi: a magical song against anger."

Bitter Ayambi (recorded and translated from Kichwa by Tod Swanson) is a magical song meant to protect the singer from the anger of her relatives.   The song works by linking the identity of the singer to that a large iguanaesque lizard called an ayambi.  The ayambi works as a poignant image for an elderly lady because it has loose rolls of scaly skin that jiggle when it walks and it is almost always seen alone.   Because of the magical song, when those who are angry see an ayambi their anger will be changed to compassion for the elderly singer.

Cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,  "Narcisa Dagua, 'Bitter, Bitter, Ayambi: A Magical Song Against Anger."' Youtube video. 1:46  March 25, 2012.

A Rubber Gathering Woman: Going to Steal a Charcoal Trader Man."


This Pastaza Kichwa song expresses the foreboding love of a rubber gathering woman for a charcoal trading man.  The unspoken difference separating the woman from the man is that in the Ecuadorian Amazon region rubber gatherers were indigenous people who lived off the forest while charcoal traders were settlers that burned and destroyed it. 


Cite video as:

Tod Swanson, "Narcisa Dagua, 'A Rubber Gathering Woman: Going to Steal a Charcoal Trader Man'"  Youtube video. 1:03  May 2, 2012.

Narcisa Dagua, Onculu Warmi Simayuka Song

Cite video as:

Tod Swanson, "Onculu Warmi Simayuka Song'"  Youtube video. 4:03  May 23, 2013.

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