Rabbit with fox

Conejo con lobo

Object Details

Subject LanguageQuichua, Imbabura
Language PID(s)ailla:119763
Title [Indigenous]Kuniju con lobo
Language of Indigenous Titleqvi
TitleRabbit with fox
Language CommunityThe northern highlands of Ecuador
Place CreatedIluma'n, Imbabura
Date Created2005-02-24
Description [Indigenous]
Language of Indigenous Description
DescriptionAlejandro Picuasi’s telling of “Conejo con Lobo,” as he titled it, emerged near the end of a very moving session of stories and good chat around the convivial glow of an early-evening fire, high on the hillside in Ilumán, a few miles north of Otavalo, in Imbabura Province of northern Ecuador. Alejandro’s wife María stoked a wood fire to heat a sweet tea which we consumed from tin cups, with pan, the delicious mounds of bread baked in the region. Alejandro first spoke about hacienda days, and tears came to his eyes as he recalled the cruelty and injustice he and those around him had known in those days. Changing themes, I asked him about legends involving the mountains and lakes, and he told some of the wonderful stories wherein these features of the landscape take on personalities, to court and quarrel with one another. He also did a version of the Our Lord story where people are asked what they are planting, and receive blessings or curses depending on how they respond. Finally, as we were preparing to shut down, Alejandro spoke up, with a sly smile on his face: “There’s one more.” He then related this version of the widely distributed tar-baby story, featuring the always tricky rabbit duping first one and then another dumb fox.

Alejandro told this story with evident glee, taking on the voices of story actors, and gesturing extensively with his hands, even animating his legs at times in accordance with plot elements, and the sly smile never completely left his face. The audience – his wife, daughter and son-in-law, plus visiting folklorist with his wife and son – was captivated by his performance, cleaving to the telling and tossing in laughter and comments at points along the way.

I should mention my collaborators in transcribing and translating Alejandro’s tale. This team consisted of three of Alejandro’s daughters – Maruja, Carmen, and Rose – plus Alonso Díaz and his wife Marta from Peguche, all gathered somewhat festively in our living room in Ciudadela Imbaya at the northern edge of Otavalo. It was at times a riotous but in the end highly effective gathering -- Alonso managing the tape recorder, I editing on the computer, and the women offering repetitions, interpretations, and translations. With such good advice from such a lively crew, surely any imperfections in the resulting text are of my own making.
Source Notekuniju-AILLA.doc
Contributor(s) Individual / RoleMcDowell, John (Researcher)
Díaz, Alonso (Recorder)
Picuasi, Alejandro (Speaker)
Picuasi, Carmen (Translator)
Picuasi, Maruja (Translator)
Picuasi, Rose (Translator)
Contributor(s) Corporate / Role

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