Och Kapitel 17



Chapter 18


Kapitel 17

VII. Wohnung, Lebensart, Nahrung, Trank, Kleidung, Lustbarkeiten und Sterben der Indianer (243)

Indianer, welche unter Spaniern und in Städten wohnen, haben ihre guten Häuser ohne besonderen Hausrat durchgehends aus Adobes (oder an der Sonne gebackenen Steinen) gebaut, wozu man auch so viel wie möglich die entfernteren Indianer in den Missionen anhält. Ja, wir haben sie dazu gebracht, daß sie Haus an Haus in einem völligen Viereck ihre Dörfer anlegen, so daß ich aus meinem Fenster auf alle Türen des ganzen Ortes sehen konnte, was ihnen auch gegen den Angriff der Wilden diente.

[In this matter of centralized dwellings my colleague, Father Pfefferkorn (who would not have been out of place in a company of violin virtuosos) accomplished with music what he could not with exhortation; namely, that his audience of Indians in the village of Ati gathered around so that when he looked through his window he could see old and young dancing. Little by little all the houses surrounded his, for some of the sturdy inhabitants pulled up their house walls and pushed them, thatch-roof and all, nearer to his dwelling.

The Indians’ branch houses were easily constructed and were always burned when anyone died in them. There were Indians like the stupid Papagos who dug holes and slept in them at night. In winter they built fires in these badger-holes to heat them, then swept out the coals and stretched out in them to shelter from the cold. In some ways they did not seem to mind the cold. …

The also still their hunger with whatever they can get; herbs, roots, leaves of trees, skinned snakes or large field rats half-roasted in a fire. Rats are usually found in the wheat fields where they grow quite large and fat at harvest time. The Indians are so greedy for these rats that all wish to cut wheat, though they are more interested in the rats than in the grain. With a reaping hook made of bone they knock them dead, hang these trophies around their bodies by fastening the nails in their belts, and enjoy them in the evening.

For another brew certain roots similar to our ferns are chewed by the women, and the juice spat into a pot Water is then poured into the pot; the mixture is allowed to ferment to make an appetizing drink for the Indians. They were offended if the Father would not join them in this; at least he had to pretend to take it, by placing his lips to the gourd. They made an agreeable beverage using Indian fig or the excellent pitahaya fruit [the fruit of the saguaro cactus] whose juice is pressed out by hand in astonishing quantities by old women using mortars hollowed out in the rocks. This juice is blood-red in color and if it were not squeezed and pressed under such filthy conditions would be found palatable even by the finest gentlemen. In this and other ways they prepared their drinks. These have now all been forbidden and the making of them is punishable. At times, however, they crave one or the other of them but they still do not risk having one of their drinking bouts until they have first got the Father out of the way and distant from the village through some deception.]

(250) Der von Zuckerrohr oder aus gebratenen Aloewurzeln gezogene starke Brandwein (der erste Rum, der andere Mescal genannt), welchen die Spanier ihnen heimlich beibrachten, war für die Indianer eine besondere Magenstärkung. Nur ein wenig davon warf sie sogleich zu Boden. Sie waren in diesen Trank dermaßen verliebt, daß sie nicht nur alles, was sie hatten, dafür hingaben, sondern auch als Sklaven den Spaniern in Bergwerken zu dienen sich verführen ließen. So oft Spanier durch meine Dörfer zogen, wo sie den vom König verbotenen Weinhandel treiben wollten, schickte ich gleich den Alguacil oder Häscher mit einem großen Stock, ihnen ihre Brandweinkrüge zusammenzuschlagen, falls sie nicht augenblicklich abziehen würden, was mir und anderen Missionaren großen Haß von diesem Lumpengesindel zuzog, welches nur das Verderben und Verführen der Indianer anstrebt.

[The most dangerous drink of all which we sought to break them of using was prepared of pure water and crushed toloache root. It is so powerful that it overcomes people and renders them almost insensible. The intoxication and sleep last for two or three days. During this time the Indians who are eager for a glimpse of the future see in their dreams the most fantastic things which they firmly believe. The root itself has medicinal value but through misuse the users become delirious. They babble about everything seen in the dream, and other stupid Indians regard these babblings as coming from an oracle. Some continue to sleep as though they will never awaken, and a few never do. The latter are then not buried in consecrated ground. The missionaries, therefore, sought everywhere to destroy this root so as to remove from the Indians the opportunity of participating in such shameful and dangerous drinking bouts.

I often wondered why the Indians did not make use of wild grapes to make wine. These grapes grow plentifully in many places, either as wide spreading tendrils along the ground or as climbers in trees. The grapes grow in large quantities, though they are small in size. The individual grapes, coal-black and no larger than a juniper berry, contain six to eight seeds. Their juice is blood-red, tart to the taste, but has a penetrating aromatic flavor. The children gathered so many of them for me that I was able to fill a keg with must. I wanted to make vinegar of it, and for almost a year let the keg stand in the sun. However, the wine did not turn sour, but grew better and more pleasant to drink every day. Hence, I had to devise another kind of vinegar for the household.].

I could give them no greater joy than when I distributed to them little castanets which annually I had sent in large quantities from Mexico. These I handed around so that each boy could tie one over the calf of his leg, one on his ankle, and one around the neck. So equipped they stamped and pranced about joyously the entire day. They often requested additional ones, for the old dandies, their parents, stole them during the night and hung them about themselves.

The Seris achieved a particular decoration by boring a hole through the nose cartilage and hanging from it colored pebbles on strings so they dangled in front of the mouth. A certain blue-green pebble thus worn on the nose was supposed to given them protection. These pebbles were so highly prized that hey brought at least a horse or a cow apiece.

In the earlier days, according to what all Indians said, they had to deliver live fish from hand to hand, eighty hours distance, from Veracruz to Mexico for the table of the Emperor Montezuma,. All in a few hours time. This speed in running protects them from enemies, for they can quickly climb the highest mountains and from these heights injure the attacker with stones or arrows. In the open they can outrun the best horse; when neither rider nor horse can go farther because of fatigue, they turn unexpectedly, shoot down the spent horse and kill the rider.

Nor can the fleetest stag, hare, or other game to which they give chase ever outrun their stones or arrows. They indulge in hunting as a pleasure almost every Sunday, both mornings and afternoons, and at day’s end make a simple division of the booty. They sit around a large fire, throw the uncleaned, dismembered game on the coals for roasting, roll the pieces around in the ash as though it were salt, and tear off raw and bloody chunks with their teeth. After the meal they are accustomed to sing gaily and also to dance. Their singing, always in a monotone, is very disagreeable to the unaccustomed ear, especially because they repeat at thing twenty or thirty times. In singing, they praise the best shot of the hunt or boast about their imaginary deeds of bravery. For example: “There runs the deer, there runs the deer, the deer runs there” – and this twenty times repeated, the words being taken up now by the youths, then by the maidens in soprano, then by the old women, and finally by everybody, and being more bellowed than sung].

[One of their most artistic dances is called the Montezuma. In a nice open space they erect a tall pole with broad red and white silk ribbons, several ells long, fastened to its peak. Eight dancers take these ribbons, each holding up a ribbon with one hand so that together they form a sort of tent; in the other hand each shakes a gourd rattle. They dance in rhythm, braiding the ribbons in a beautiful pattern as they draw them closer to the pole. Then they dance in the other direction, unbraiding the ribbons, all the while performing wonderful pantomimes to represent the might and heroic deeds of Emperor Montezuma. The men always dance together, and the women separate from them, and all are decorated with beautiful varicolored feathers. This particular dance they perform especially at the consecration of a church or on the feast of a patron saint. On such occasions the dancing lasts for three days.]

Fragen zum Text

1.Beschreiben Sie die Architektur in Ochs Pueblo.

2. Beschreiben Sie, wie sich die ‘Papagos’ im Winter ein warmes Bett bereiteten.

3. Lesen Sie den nachfolgenden Auszug aus Leslie M. Silkos Erzählung “A Geronimo Story” (in: Silko. Story Teller, New York, 1981). Leslie Silko ist eine indianische Schriftstellerin aus dem Laguna-Pueblo in Neu-Mexiko. Vergleichen Sie Ochs Einstellung zum Kohlenbett der ‘Papagos’ mit der des Ich-Erzählers in Silkos Erzählung, einem jungen Laguna, der zusammen mit anderen Scouts von Captain Pratt angeheuert wurde, Geronimo aufzuspüren. Versuchen Sie, die unterschiedlichen Einstellungen zu erklären. Und was meinen Sie schließlich selbst dazu?

We ate dried meat and flaky-dry sheets of thin corn-batter bread; we all had tea with Captain. Afterward everyone sat near the fire, because winter still lingered on this high mesa where no green leaves or new grass had appeared. Siteye told me to dig a trench for us, and before we lay down, I buried hot coals under the dirt in the bottom of the trench. I rolled up in my blanket and could feel the warmth beneath me. I lay there and watched the stars for a long time. Siteye was singing a spring song to the stars; it was an old song with words about rivers and oceans in the sky. As I was falling asleep I remember the Milky Way – it was an icy snow river across the sky.

1. Warum war die Getreideernte für Och wichtig, und warum für die “Papagos”?

5. Lesen Sie zunächst die folgenden zwei Passagen aus Ruth Underhills Papago Woman (urspr. 1936; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979: 40, 26). Versuchen Sie dann zu erklären, welcher irrtümlichen Annahme die Jesuiten bei ihrer Bewertung der ‘Trinkgelage’ unterlegen sind und was sie von den O’odham verlangten, als sie diese ‘Trinkerei’ verboten. Mit welcher Feier im europäischen/christlichen Jahreslauf könnte man die Feier der O’odham vergleichen?

[Chona, the ‘Papago Woman,’ about her childhood:] At last the giant cactus grew ripe on all the hills. It made us laugh to see the fruit on top of all the stalks, so many, and the men would point to it and say: “See the liquor growing.” We went to pick it, to the same place where we always camped, and every day my mother and all the women went out with baskets. […]

It was good at the Cactus Camp. When my father lay down to sleep at night he would sing songs about the cactus liquor. And we could hear songs in my uncle’s camp across the hill. Everybody sang. We felt as if a beautiful thing was coming. Because the rain was coming and the dancing and the songs.

Where on Quijotoa Mountain a cloud stands

There my heart stands with it.

Where the mountain trembles with the thunder

My heart trembles with it.

That was what they sang. When I sing that song yet it makes me dance.

Then the little rains began to come. We had jugs of the juice that my mother had boiled, and the women carried them in their nets as we came running down the mountain back to our village. Much, much liquor we made, and we drank it to pull down the clouds, for that is what we call it.


Then they began to drink. Making themselves beautifully drunk, for that is how our words have it. People must all make themselves drunk like plants in the rain and they must sing for happiness. […]

[Ruth Underhill, witnessing the celebration in 1931-1933] Then came the liquor. A way was made through the circle and there entered four young men wearing cowboy hats and carrying willow bowl-baskets filled with the lumpy, red navait. […] To each visitor in turn the basket was presented with the invitation: “Drink, Friend. Grow beautifully drunk.”


The day was almost closing when the four jars in the council house were empty. Men rose from their positions on the ground, some staggering a little. The young men mounted their horses and went tearing through the village. All had been drinking, but there was plenty more wine in the houses. For days, people went from house to house, where the pottery jars and the tin cups were waiting. One was expected to get drunk, Chona told me. He must be livened through and through with the sacred liquor as the earth would be livened with rain. The livening, I saw, caused a good deal of vomiting and Chona pointed: “See? He is throwing up clouds.”

I saw no drunken quarreling, though sometimes men rumbled before falling down asleep. They drank and vomited like ancient Romans until all the liquor at the council house and at private homes was gone. So I’itoi had planned it. My women friends shared a jar, and I tasted a little. Like spoiled raspberry jam, I thought privately. It would take a long time and considerable courage to drink enough for intoxication.

I’itoi’s orders had been that the wine must be all drunk on this occasion and no more made until the cactus flowered again. There were three or four days when the men lay about indoors or out, sometimes singing a little, and then sleeping. They and the earth were preparing for real activity.

A week after the Sit-and-drink, the rains came. […]

6. Wie stellte sich Och zu den Brandweinhändlern?

7. Warum ließ Och Unmengen von Kastagneten aus Mexiko kommen?

8. Wie schmückten sich die Seri?

9. Was sagt Och über indianische Läufer? Haben Sie Ähnliches auch über andere indianische Gemeinschaften gehört?

10.Der Montezuma-Tanz, bei dem die Tänzer mit bunten Bändern ein Muster um einen Baumstamm in der Kreismitte weben, ähnelt einem englischen Morristanz wie auch dem bayrischen Bandltanz. Wie würden Sie das erklären?

Zur Grammatik

Wiederholung: Bedingungssätze

1.  Drücken Sie den folgenden Bedingungssatz in literarischem Deutsch aus:

Die Häscher würden ihnen ihre Brandweinkrüge mit einem großen Stock zusammenschlagen, falls sie nicht augenblicklich abziehen würden.

2. Erklären Sie, wie dieser Satz auch als indirekte Rede aufgefaßt werden kann.

Kapitel 18