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Eulodia Dagua, "Widowed Toucans Sing Love Songs."  


Quichua/Shuar women use toucans to carry their love songs over distance.  Invoking the toucan the woman sings the song alone in a secret place.  The toucan flies to where the intended man is and sings.  When it does so he is filled with longing and goes to where the human singer is.   Why toucans? This video answers that question.  The reason women use toucans is that toucans travel in pairs.  When one of them is shot or otherwise dies, its mate, whether male or female, perches in the top of a tall tree and sings plaintively until a new mate arrives. By the end of the day it has its new lover. This is why toucan songs are particularly effective as singers of love songs.

English text of the interview


Cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson,  "Eulodia Dagua, 'Widowed Toucans Sing Love Songs.'''  Youtube video. 4:26.  December 9, 2016.

Delicia Dagua sings in response to hearing the call of a toucan.

Tod Swanson “Delicia Dagua, Singing with the Toucan's Orphans."  Youtube video. 4:57.  April 2, 2013 12:15 PM.

Eulodia Dagua, "Toucan Song for a Girl No One Wants."


​This song uses images from the life cycle of a toucan to create sympathy for a young girl who rejected in marriage. When baby toucans are inside their hollow tree nests they are dirty and often covered with worms. But when they learn to fly and wash in rainwater they become splendidly beautiful.  In traditional times marriages were arranged when the girl was 8 or 10 (and consummated after puberty). Like the toucan the rejected girl is still in the nest but when she flies she too will be beautiful.


Cite video as:

Tod Swanson,  "Eulodia Dagua, 'Toucan Song for a Girl No One Wants.'"  Youtube video. 3:29   January 1, 2017.

Eulodia Dagua and Pedro Andi, "A Bird That Cries When People Die."


In this video Tod Dillon Swanson explores Amazonian Quichua tradition on the emotional ties that bind a bird species to local residents.  This is part of a larger tradition in which land and people are tied together by a bond of "llaquichina," "pena," or "empathy". 

Cite video as:

Tod D. Swanson, "Eulodia Dagua and Pedro Andi, 'A Bird That Cries When People Die.'" Youtube video.  5:01. February 3, 2015.

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