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The Pajes (witch doctors) say that the sound predicts the next person of the tribe that will die.

The bird's daring to be lodged in the vicinity of the village and also to watch what happens there, explains the villagers saying that the bird is an agent sent by the demon (Jurupari) to peek at them. Others believe that the Caracara injects the souls of the deceased into other animals (1). No less significant in the eyes of the

Caoa, the Astur Cachinnans,

Indians is the Caoa (Acauang, Oacooam, Astur Cachinnans, Spix) (2), also a small vulture, whose main nutrition consists of snakes. They consider him a protector against snakes, saying that he cries out his name to scare away the poisonous snakes, and the Indians throw him on the ground, when they pass in paths where they fear to find snakes, with the aim of scaring them. The beak, or bones, say the indians, should be taken reduced to powder, as an excellent cure for snakebite. Effective yet at the highest degree, is the antidote of the inhuma

Palameda cornuta

(Palameda cornuta, L.), especially when taken from the horn that the bird has on its forehead. A paste of the powder, made with wine or water, seems to heal the person already completely deflated as a result of the bite of a poisonous snake. Animal medicines, identical to the ones mentioned above, which are equally attributed to efficiency, the American savage holds in the same high regard, when they are now abandoned in Europe. Burned horn, in which ammonia develops, serves them with great result, just as the water of Luce or spirit of salt ammonia works for Europeans. Sometimes on the coast, the cornea tip, which arms the tail of the stingray, is used in the wounds made by this fish or by snake bite. With the deer antlers, the


(I) This superstition is based perhaps on what is usually said, in explaining the character. They are the great mammals who eat the insect larvae, which nest in in the trees. Some verses in the general language are also evidence of the poetical spirit on the part of the Indios, as they refer to a small falcon, the Caracarai (Polyborus Chimango, Vieill,):

Polyborus caracara

"Chamanu ramae Curi / tejerru iascho / aiqui Caracarai / Serapiro Arumucuri / Chamanu ramae curi/ SE mombore caa puterpi / aique Armadillo Memboca / se jutu ma aramu curi."
"When I one day die / and do not want to cry/ woe is the Caracarai /that I have to mourn /when I one day die / just throw me in the bush/ where lives the Armadillo / who has to bury me."

(It is known that Armadillo Focila digs the graves and eats the cadavers).


The Guaicurus of Paraguay have the singular legend that the first people on Earth were created by Caracari.. This committed creator gave them weapons and told them that with them they could make war on other nations and enslave them. Besides, these savages don't worship people, and they kill them as easily as they would kill any bird.
(2) Note the difficulty with which Martius struggled to graph with exact physiology the name Acaua, which, according to Teodoro Sampaio and Corrutela, of aca-ua is a contraction of aca-uara, meaning "The Eater of heads (of snakes) ". There are also the Caua and Macaua forms. Says our leader, cited above, that among the Guarani the bird is called Macagua. (Rev. Note, Inst. Hist. and Geogr. Bras.).