headgear which some Indians use for dancing on certain festive occasions. I agreed to kill as
many as they wished, but under condition that they cooked my ducks for me, fed the horses,
and gave me hospitality for the night.
The mutual bargain was immediately agreed upon, and not long after I was greedily de-
vouring some excellently roasted ducks whilst the Indians were sorting out their treasured
out some coca leaves and a few cigarettes and, after I had stuffed down as much duck as I
could hold, we started a merry conversation, my Spanish-speaking friend translating to those
who could not understand me. I told them the story about what had happened to me the night
before, and when they heard that I had tried to make the cacique come with me the listen-
ers jumped up, shouted and waved their arms. I thought they were angry with me for having
shown so little respect for a neighbouring chief, but my interpreter explained that they were
merely disappointed because I had not brought him along with me.
down in the valley were willing to accompany me, and they had offered to send along a wo-
man because they knew only too well that not even one of their enemies would harm her.
man they usually take off the large hats they wear over their woollen skullcaps and come
crawling up on their knees and often kiss his feet. This degrading custom dates back to the
Spanishtimes whenthenatives weretreated likedogs,althoughnotmuchworsethantheyare
being treated today.
Most government autoridades , who usually are repulsive mestizos, have a whip hanging
behind the doors of their offices, if such the miserable and filthy places can be called, and
with these whips, which are made of a certain part of a bull's anatomy, they frequently beat
the unfortunate Indians, whose wives and daughters they do not respect any more than they
do their property. My comments may sound rather hard and bitter, but it must be remembered
that I did not visit only the cities, but that I crossed the country from south to north and had
time abroad, or perhaps every few years come to La Paz, which is incidentally the only city in
Bolivia worthy of the name.
When the first streaks of violet and purple announced the dawn of another day, the horses
were saddled and, having taken leave of my Indian friends near the lagoon, I mounted, and
soon we were merrily jogging along a fairly good trail; our stomachs were full and so our
hearts were happy.
Here and there I saw herds of alpacas grazing and some lifted their heads to watch us with
curiosity. Alpacas are very much like llamas, excepting that they have much longer wool, and
some have such heavy and fluffy coats that they appear like huge woolly balls. During this
journey I saw a herd of vicuñas in the distance. These small and elegant animals belong to the
same family as the llama and the alpaca, they have the same type of long and upright neck as