Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
When a South American Indian or half-caste woman has anything to carry about, she will
always bear it on her back, wrapping the load up in a poncho or cloth. In Central America
things are carried by cleverly balancing flat baskets on the head, and I noticed that women
who are thus carrying things have an upright, swaying, and rather dignified way of walking.
Native women are much like their sisters all over the world when they are out marketing.
What ladies do in the large stores in the cities, these women do in the markets which are their
paradises. There they wander from stall to stall, fumbling the goods here, asking the price
there, testing, fingering, smelling and tasting, gossiping and chatting, laughing loudly, and
whispering softly, and generally buying but little.
In some parts of Central America a large spider which lives in holes in the ground is a
danger to horses. I heard several theories about how they are supposed to attack horses, but
was never able to ascertain to what extent they are correct. Some people say that the spider,
frightened by the heavy steps, comes out of its hole and squirts a liquid on the horse's legs.
Others believe that, in order to make its nest, it clips the hair off the pasterns, just above and
around the hoofs. I do not know how much truth there is in either theory, but the fact is that
terrible sores break out just around the upper or soft part of the hoofs, and, unless they are
promptly attended to, they will finally rot off. A mixture of tannic acid, iodine and glycerine,
mixed in even parts, is a good cure for this dangerous form of poisoning, or again, hot water
and salt, or just hot milk, are also said to give good results.
small adobe hut. During the night I was awakened by the music of a marimba , a kind of xylo-
phone of which Salvadorians, and to a greater extent the Guatemalans, are very fond. Marim-
bas are of ancient Guatemalan-Indian origin. The good people were giving me a farewell ser-
enade which they kept up till nearly sunrise. A good marimba band is well worth hearing, and
clever musicians will even play classical pieces on them, although the instrument is not ex-
actly appropriate for such music. Each man uses a separate marimba set, in appearance like a
long table full of wooden notes which are struck with two hammers, one in each hand. Young
menoftenhiresuchbands,andduringthenight marimba tablesaremountedinthestreet,out-
side some seƱorita's house, and a serenade is given. Many a night I was kept awake by such
notturnos , that become tiring in the long run.
wondering what the future had in store for us, and if luck would favour us as it had done all
the way to the point we had reached at the time.
Whenmyfriends,the marimba players,hadfinisheditwasnearlytimetorise,butmuchas
Iappreciated their attention Iheartily blessed them forhavingdonemeoutofseveral hoursof
much-needed sleep. I thanked them for the treat in the morning, after which I followed a good
road that led towards the now near Guatemalan border.
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