On the Idol Human Head of the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador. Exhibited by Don R. de Silva Ferro, Chilian Consul, F.R.G.S., F.G.S.
, etc. With a Translation of the Spanish Document Accompanying it, the History of the Jivaros, and Their Conspiracy against the Spaniards in 1599 Author(s): William Bollaert Source: Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London, Vol. 2 (1863), pp. 112-118 Published by: Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3014308 . Accessed: 12/06/2013 15:49
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E. Ecuador. ofthe Spanish Legation. it would do nothing for its owner.G. William Bollaert.?I your request information about the idol head of the Jivaros . By Chile. this calls the tribe together for the feast of triumph. When the head is prepared. Chilian Ecuador. however. how I obtained it. TRANSLATION. of the Amer. who then went on a hunting expedition.73. and how it had been prepared by them. He made a Jivaro believe that following plan into execution.204. 15th of August. when he undertook the commission to procure one of these idols. Macas.G. the tunduli or war drum is sounded. Consul. A Jivaro of the Tambos tribe was baptized. his idol wished to travel a little. and it is reduced to a miniature size.. What I now communicate to you. is the result of more than two years research. The bap? tized Indian brought it to me. otherwise the spirits of those (of their party) who had fallen would not be satisfied. F. This is how I understood the matter . Bollaert?The
of the Ecuador. I may not have well understood the process. the History of the Spanish Document accompanying in Jivaros. 1860.G.R. which has to be celebrated before nine days have passed since the fight.S. With a Translation of the it. They seat themselves far or near from the idols according to their rank in the tribe. de Silva Ferro.. however. returning with many presents to the owner. etc. and their Conspiracy against the Spaniards Mem.S. Quito. To the Secretary
This content downloaded from 164. After a war.].4 on Wed. F. F. 1599. which turned out well.
Head the Idol Human VII. Univ.B. the nent position. Corr. in which you the letter of received Sir. without its loss of the features. neither could the head be deified. females especially. suggesting that the idol should be handed over to him so as to make a trial. On the tenth day the feast begins. the Jivaro who has an idol head suspends it with those of others on an upright pole in the centre of a habitation. desiccation goes on.no.. heated by fire is introduced into the skin of the head. Soc. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
..?On of of the Jivaro Indians Exhibited by Don R. the The following year he put the first year he was unsuccessful. The fame of such success may facilitate the journeying of more of these idols. etc. the idol head of the feast having a promi? The invited are dressed in all their finery. Etb.112
W. the victors cut off the heads of their victims [the a stone skull and its contents of course being removed?W. 2nd Dec.S. for being in a sort of imprisonment.
12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. coward 1 Some brother of mine will revenge me/' The Jivaro has been unable to support this speech against his bravery. and raising his lance he strikes and wounds the head of his enemy in the fkce . or more days. with short intermissions. concluding After a brief silence the priest utters with certain gesticulations. hold? ing on by eaeh other. The Jivaro who may have given the victim the second wound. etc. and abuses the head roundly. to which the head is made to reply in similar terms. and if three or more have assisted. thou didst tremble at the sound of my name. in which they alone dance. The head is again tied to the pole. in this case. the women commence the feast of supplication. the priest being the spokesman for the head or chancha. and holding it up by a string.W. the priest takes the head of the vic? tim. questions being put to it when the inquirer is under the spell of some strong narcotic Now commences the dance. the ceremony is performed upon the head of a sow. after a year of severe fasting. This is the greatest honour that can be conferred on a Jivara. She holds on to the waist of the victor. who concludes his part shouting in the name of the " head. The victor suspends the idol (on a pole) in the open air. they have successively their feasts. a piercing cry. It sometimes happens that. forming a chain. and thus condemns his idol to eternal silence. ex? cepting as an oracle. being hard pressed by the enemy.and the head thrown into the woods. Coward! when I was in life thou didst not dare to insult me thus.73. for two. all the men joining in a similar manner. that it was worthy of adoration. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. makes a long speech. From this moment the idol is speechless. the valour he showed at his death. he remains near the head armed with a lance.204. They go on dancing round the interior of the habitation. when all rise on their feet. When the fruits of the earth are not abundant. the anger increasing on both sides to its utmost extent. after which he sews the mouth up. Each plays upon some musical instrument or other. the hair is shaved off. etc. the fame of his ancestors. excepting the victor . and the female he most esteems follows him to perform this act. the old priest or capito carrying the idol. wildly singing the song of triumph. which is adored as if it were an idol head. The women dance apart. making a loud noise. and their stock of domestic animals does not rapidly increase. when they all take their seats. they have not the time or opportunity to cut off the head of a fallen foe. three. The preceding is what has appeared to me the most interesting I
This content downloaded from 164. eulogizing the feats of arms the owner of the head had done in his lifetime.
When they have feasted. repeats the scenes of the first feast (excepting the first part of the ceremony).4 on Wed. If the head does not work a miracle.
* This head was placed in the Ecuador Court of the International Ex" hibition. Pastaza. This custom is common among the tribes of the Tumbas. also by those on the Morona. (Signed) R DE Anambi. de Sanqtjericio y Ayua. Professor Cassola. The Charge' d'Affairs of H.204. idol head. It was sup? posed to be the head of a hostile chief. 1862. The preceding has been translated by the undersigned. Guambinima. and was worn in battle as a charm. add that. Tutamagosa. however. Achmiles.
of the savage customs of the infidels inhabiting our eastern Cordilleras. Jurumbaini. Huamboga.4 on Wed. shewed me in London.C. that a party exploring the river Pastasa observed it in a small temple. Wm. (Signed) General Secretariat of the Provincial Government. (Signed) C.-fA string was attached to the top of the head.
This content downloaded from 164. as well as the inhabitants lower down. fessor Cassola told me. only the skin and hair remaining. Mendes. and at night stole it.M. London. January 15th. etc. on his way from Ecuador to Italy. I may. 2nd January. Another string was passed through The ears had been perforations in the lips.but erroneouslycalled the Head of an Inca"! + The Chunchos of Peru adorn themselveswith the skull of a vanquished enemy.114
W. and hanging down. preserving somewhat of the features. and the extracted brains they eat. so that it could be worn round the neck. Spanish Legation to Ecuador.M. the first specimen from the Jivaro country of the peculiarly reduced cutis of the It was reduced to about one-fourth the natural size. in all probability. of those they kill in battle.* In June 1861. 1861. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. Bollaert. and as used by the Secretary-General of the Government of Ecuador. Jose Felix Barriero. Quito. from these they tear out the heart. that those of the Morona are really cannibals.73. Chiguavida. The above signature and rubric are those of the present politi? cal chief of Macas. Guambisa. The above signature and rubric are authentic. they do not make idols of all. with this difference. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. All the bone had been Of this head Pro? removed. but only of such who have shewn them? selves most brave.
and manage the shield well. Agapicos. but a rising on one day in 1599 destroyed the work of many years. It struck me that it might have been shrunk and dried over a fire. have black eyes. and easy to learn. Quito. and.W.73. 1855. as has occurred in Canelos. etc.4 on Wed. 166. names of the rivers on which they live. with some of the Jivaros of the Pastassa. 1859. This great nation is found between the rivers Chinchipe and it is composed of numerous and large tribes. other Researches in New Granada. 1707. in Expeditions into the Valley of the Amazons. Although the Jivaros are of so unbending a character. Some Observations on the Jivaros (Jdbero. They use the lance with great dexterity. are bent nosed. Mr. p. and the nostrils were in one and filled with black resin. and the villages of Santa Teresa and See Samuel Fritz's Map. taking the Pastasa. for the sake of getting rid of al] undigested food. and have entered the towns. but without success. the Spaniards succeeded in reducing them. Pastassas. Peru. seeking peace and trade. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. and Heraldo de Lima. etc. 96. pp. and have teeth as white as ivory. from Antiquarian. 152 . Since then some attempts have been made to subdue them. iii. Historia de Santiago. Cotapassas. Zamoras. and Chile. p. Villavicencio . They are active and muscular. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. The Incas of Peru tried in vain to conquer them . which is clear. London: Triibner. going to the chase with an empty stomach. as Moronas. By W. Bollaert. and harmonious. 12
This content downloaded from 164. some Jivaros are reported to have destroyed the ancient town of San Borja. small. they show a bold front. Many of them are whitish and bearded: it is believed this whiteness comes from the Spanish women they stole when they rebelled in 1599. Translated from Villavicencio's Qeografia del Ecua? dor. Pindos. founding cities in their country. and they have even learnt the Quitu lan? guage. Gualaquisas. In 1855. Markham. Other tribes have crossed the Cordillera. inviting them to open roads.
pierced. Hakluyt Soc. Upanos. on a mould of clay. states that the Jivaros take a strong emetic every morning in the shape of an infusion of the leaves of the guayusa (sometimes called the tea-plant).204. energetic. Achuales. All these speak the Jivaro language. Jivira). Ethnological. Ecuador. Professor Owen thought it had been reduced by tanning the skin. Velasco. thin lipped. and very animated. entering into rela? tions with them. some of the tribes approach the conquered settlements. Pautes.
one Sevilla del Oro. one of their chiefs. This order was resisted by both Spaniards and Indians .4 on Wed. when he was tauntingly told the moment had arrived to give him the gold they had col? He was stripped. his hands and feet tied. the him with gold the Indians had collected for the coro? taking nation gift. Conspiracy
This content downloaded from 164. They now poured the melted metal down his throat until his bowels burst within him. the Jivaros of Quito did the same. but the Jivaros would not. The massacre of the Spaniards now commenced.204. vately informed the Spaniards that he only expected each to give according to his means. and secondly to collect even more gold than was required by the governor's order. so that the Spanish soldiers should have no opportunity of assisting the inhabitants. the same year the Araucanos rose in Chile against the Spaniards. Quirruba got all the Jivaros of the Morona to join in the con? spiracy . They opened the governor's mouth with a bone. though The governor now priit should cost more than the donation. told them such was Morona. 152. a portion took possession of the various barracks. The Macas and Huamboyas submitted to the order. putting all to fire and sword. or perhaps not intimated. and were about resolving to shake themselves off from the Spaniards and retire to the banks of the river But Quirruba. some of the Indians were upbraiding him.
From Velaseo's Historia de Quito. Translated by W. the former. to the Indians. the Macas and Huamboyas promising to assist in the massacre of all the Spaniards in that region on a certain day and hour.73. The cause of the terrible revolt is mainly attributed to the avarice of the Governor of Macas. resolving to defray the expenses of the feasts themselves. He advised first that great secresy was absolutely necessary . the mom began of exultation. rather to remain for the present. B. but this was not explained. In 1599. Twenty thousand Indians under Quirruba surrounded Logrono at midnight. iii. and that he would lay plans before them for revenge. and the governor was soon made prisoner. whilst lected. who issued an order that a donation should be given by Indians as well as Spaniards. Quirruba marched upon the governor's house. however. Quirruba was to go with a sufficient force to Logrono (where the said governor would be). and. others were melting the gold in crucibles. saying they would now see if he could be satisfied for once with gold. of the Jivaros. etc. p. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. the other Huamboya. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. and other two chiefs were to enter. not the way to rid themselves of the yoke of the Christians . when they raised their shout This act having been perpetrated. so as to celebrate with due pomp the coronation feasts of Philip III of Spain.116
About nightfall a portion of the inhabitants of Huamboya (sixteen leagues distant) arrived at Sevilla. They were followed by the Indians. An armed expedition under the governor went to Logrono. there perished of the Sevilla had 25. Terrible conflicts and slaughter ensued on both sides . The Macas.4 on Wed. whilst his force descended the river.204. and children. as did the Viceroy of Peru. the younger females being reserved as their prize. and rafts to Logrono.000. one quarter Spaniards 12. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. Bealde. When the Jivaros were seen marching upon Sevilla del Oro. Loja and Quijos. having expended all their ammunition. or that they did not dislike the Spaniards as the Jivaros did. The Jivaros nearly destroyed the neighbouring dis? tricts of Yaguarzongo and Jaen. where he built a fort. and de-
This content downloaded from 164. who set as much of the city on fire as they could. the others having gone towards Biobambo. some of the Jivaros having retired into the eastern Cordillera of the Yaguar? zongo.
to clawn. sent an armed force into the Indian country. where The they only found heaps of ashes and unburied bodies. in case of a retreat of his forces. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. Velasco. but very few men.000 inhabitants . but arriving there they only met with the ashes of their temporary dwellings . it is said. the Spaniards went out to meet them. Quirruba now sent a large force to attack Sevilla. Spaniards the general rendezvous of these Indians. and even to Popayan this conspiracy extended. He (his name is not given) went with canoes. failed to cooperate. The Spanish government gave up the idea of being able to punish the Indians. when a rich private individual of Cuenca undertook it. of these were saved. when the Spaniards had to retreat to the city. and at night they retired. and those distant from the capital retired to the forests before the arrival of the fatal day. who failed them. river the far as as in of the Jivaros went search Paute. but they did not reveal the sanguinary plans. He remained there in command. principally women and children. distant twentyThe conspiracy was only discovered there on the five leagues. In Logrono. Before midday the Indians learnt that the capital. fearful of suc morning of the fatal day at Logrono.W. the other into the almost impenetrable forests of the Paute.73. the President of the Audiencia of Quito. Sevilla del Oro. It however transpired that the Jivaros Moronas intended to destroy Sevilla and other places on a certain night (that night). when by this time every Spaniard had been killed?? men. barcas. had not been attacked by the Macas. for neither Spaniard nor Indian was found there. cess. The Jivaros lay in ambush. old women. It was never known what had been done in Mendoza.
like the Omaguas. Blake called the attentionof the Society to the fact that no crania of Indians fromthe headwaters of the Amazon exist in any of our public collections. or in any of the other tribes of Ecuador. arrived at Jaen. no traces are afforded Pastassa rivers.204. with a view to ascertainwhetherethnological distinctionprevails amongst the tribes on the eastern and westernside of the Andes.or Purus.118
W. Whilst we have skulls from the Tapengo Indians at the mouth of the Amazon. which also failecl. The other.73.
After six months. In the Life of Aguirre. might have emigrated from an adjacent locality since the year 1560. The Bishop of Quito then suggested to the Jesuits to go as missionaries amongst the Jivaros. I would stronglyurge upon any travellerwho may visit Ecuador to procure some skulls of the aboriginal tribes. Mr. Neither the unrivalled collection of the late Professor Morton nor the College of Surgeons' collectionafford us any evidence as to the shape of the skull of the Jivaro Indians. dual went with another expedition by the way of Loja.4 on Wed. his body full of wounds. so in 1633 two of the order embarked with some Indians on the Paute. Another expedition was sent from Cuenca by land.recentlytranslatedby Mr. those stroyed the whole of the expedition. The present specimen is thereforethe firstevidence which has been ever broughtto Europe. Unfortunately it is thus distorted. C. He applied to the Court of Spain for some recompense. which was found only after much search. which he did not obtain. in the fort at Logrono heard of the extermination of their comThe same indivi? panions. Bollaert?The
of Ecuador. the ruins of the city had been covered with vegetation in the space of thirty-two years. C. when all died excepting four. and from the banks of the rivers Tapajos and us of remains fromthe Ucayali. The Jesuits now alone journeyed through the wilderness in search of the Jivaros. 12 Jun 2013 15:49:22 PM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions
. Pray Pedro Simon make3 no allusion to the Jivaro tribes.
This content downloaded from 164. Marafion. after two years wandering. when they returned back to Cuenca. for Logrono. 1861. and in the end he had to beg for food in the very streets of Cuenca. Bollaert for the Hakluyt Society.and gives no approximation as to the normal state of the head. when one of them died. which. and nearly naked.