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Amues^a of the Huancabamba river in Peru`


'' by author (p. viii) other phonetics
> glottalized vowels
c k
ch c^
sh s^
b: b~ bi (palatal)
c: k~ ki (palatal)
m: m~ mi (palatal)
p: p~ pi (palatal)
t: t~ c^i (palatal)
c:h c^. c^r (retroflex)
rr s. s^r (retroflex)
ts alveolar affricate
n: n velar continuant

ages of the world

p. age events
85 1st Heavenly reign of Kamuek-enets -- "there was no sun, moon, [n]or stars to give light to the earth." "The people only needed to cook a commonly found mushroom or else a hot pepper, and they immediately turned into meat and manioc." "None of these early inhabitants of the earth – human, plant, or animal – suffered death".
86 end of 1st, start of 2nd The Yato Kamuek-enets "retired downriver to his temple inside a large mountain west of the lower Pachitea river" {cf. [Daoist] divine heavens within earthly mountains}, and was succeeded (in rulership over the sky) by his son Yompor, who became the sun in order "to give heat and light to the earth."
2nd "Those Amuesha who obeyed the warning of the priests were saved from death ... For example, when YOMPOR RRET: made the earth shake with such force that it flipped over {cf. [Maori myth of] overturning of the earth by Mata-aho (TP)}, the people were instructed to tie themselves securely to the house posts. {cf. Odusseus tied, for his own protection, to the mast of his ship? (GM 170.q-r)} When YOMPOR RRET: turned off his light, plunging the world into darkness, the inhabitants were instructed to sing their songs ... to dispel the darkness once again."
87 end of 2nd, start of 3rd "YOMPOR RRET: sent ... the flood." "a priest ... constructed a large balsa raft, securing it to the earth with a long vegetable fiber rope. The raft was covered with dirt which enabled them to plant food craps on it." {cf. [Nahuatl, in Anahuac] c^inampa ‘floating garden’}
3rd "the priest ... ordered a virgin brother and sister to live alone ["on top of a certain mountain in the Oxapampa valley" : this mountain is Kes^pepen ‘savior mountain’ (p. 111)] ... Eventually the woman, without having had sexual contact with her brother, became pregnant with twins. {cf. the similar Philippine myth} Before she could give birth, she was devoured by the Mother of the jaguars. However, the twin children managed to escape and ...
end of 2nd, start of 3rd they became the sun, YOMPOR ROR (male), and the moon, YACHOR ARRORR (female), which shine today." ["Before going to heaven, YOMPOR ROR traveled throughout the ... world, reordering the original creation, transforming countless demons into rocks, cliffs, river pools, and other natural features, and transforming the non-human inhabitants – the plants, animals, insects, etc – into the form they take today." (pp. 87-88) {cf. [Oregon Territory] myths of traveling god who "transformed the world" (SSS)}]
88 " "Before he reached Metraro, YOMPOR ROR found one of his brothers, YOMPOR HUAR, having sexual relations with ROR’s wife, YACHOR COC. The angry YOMPOR ROR tore his wife apart, throwing her dismembered body in different directions : wherever a part landed, one finds coca leaf in abundance today." {cf. S`iva’s tearing apart the body of his wife Sati, and strewing athwart the earth those bodily parts, such that wherever a part landed, a temple was established for worship of that part (ShCS).} "While in Metraro, YOMPOR ROR received word that his brother, YOMPOR YOMPERE>, was waiting impatiently for him in Oxapampa. ... On arriving in Oxapampa, he fought with his brother, and then changed him (YOMPOR YOMPERE>), his wife (YACHOR MAMAS), and their children to stone, ordering him to stay on this earth and hold it together as long as ROR continued to shine." {cf. the transformation, by Perseus, into stone of Atlas (GM 73.i)}
89 " "YOMPOR ET:ETAR ... admonished his brother never to tire of giving light" [so that, on account of that admonition, Ror, unlike R^et~, hath remained unable to turn off his own light?]. "Toward the end of the party YOMPOR ROR went to the top of a mountain where a rope was lowered to him from heaven. He grasped it and was pulled to heaven. {cf. [Bodish] legends of "the luminous rope by which the dead king ascended to heaven" (HT, p. 224)} Meanwhile, many of the powerful divinities at the party rose to heaven while dancing ... to become the stars of today’s heaven.
3rd The third epoch begins at this point when YOMPOR ROR and YACHOR ARRORR take over the heavens from YOMPOR RRET:, whom
90 they banished to the outermost heaven. {cf. "cast into outer darkness"} When YOMPOR ROR left the earth it became "dead earth" (RROMAPATSRO) since all those left behind began to suffer death. The lesser divinities left behind by YOMPOR ROR hid from the sight of the mortals, disappearing into their homes inside mountains and rivers, where they continue to live today. The human forms of the plants and animals disappeared ..." ["they left behind their cushma or outward appearance which serve ... today as useful items." (p. 108)]
end of 3rd, start of 4th "The Amuesha ... anticipate the return of YOMPOR ROR to the earth {cf. [the Hawai>ian] anticipation of the return of Lono}, and with his return, a new epoch in which all the inhabitants of this earth will return to their former state of immortality."
111 " Kamuek-enets "will come first, emerging from his mountain to walk around his creation, causing severe earthquakes. {cf. the earthquakes caused by the promenade of Vamana} He will then call YOMPOR ROR and all the divinities in heaven to come back to earth."
112 " "When it has burned completely, he [Yompor Ror] will cause the earth to flip over {or rather, could he not simply flip over the already-burnt 4th world?} so that the burned surface is down and the underside will be on top. On this surface, he will create a new world, sanctifying it and immortalizing all of its inhabitants The MELLAPO begins then.
107 4th Melapo is "a miraculous time, a fortuitous time, when strange things happen." ["During the past MELLAPO, everything on this earth had a human form (PACHEN:AR). Animals, birds, insects, plants, pots, cooking vessels, water, etc. were all people (ACHEN:) ... They all had songs which they performed in front of everyone." (p. 108)]
112 " "everything which exists on this earth will return to its human form ... only OSHE>T:, a thorny vine
113 and PARANT, the banana plant, will not turn into people; and, for that reason, he advised the Amuesha to cultivate these plants in anticipation of the MELLAPO when there will be no [other] food available. The MELLAN:oT:eN:, the lesser divinities living on this earth, will emerge from their hiding places to become visible once more to the Amuesha."


TP =


GM = Robert Graves : The Greek Myths. 1955.



ShCS =

HT = Alex McKay : The History of Tibet.

classes of deities, all named for kinship-terms (p. 94)

p. male female
96 Yato (‘grandfather’) deities [none] {primaeval divine procreation from a single male ancestor-deity who had no spouse is also S^into dogma (ShFJ)}
97 Yompor (‘father’) deities Yac^or (‘mother’) deities (wives & sistren of the Yompor)
95 Yemona>s^en (‘brother’) deities Yo>c^~ (‘sister’) deities


ShFJ = Jean Herbert : Shinto : the Fountainhead of Japan.

p. 95 deities who are members of those classes

class of deity ord. # name
Yato 1 KAMueK-enets (= [Kec^ua] Pac^a-KAMaK – p. 96, fn. 6) = [Hispanicized as] Yato Yos (Dios)
2 Yemats (‘tobacco’)
3+ [others]
Yompor 1 Ror {cf. RORaima}
2 Pueponc^.o {cf. PUElC^e, Arg.}
4 Kamant~er
5 Yompere>
6 Et~etar
7 War {cf. WARi, Peru`}
8 Onkoy [drum-dancing Pleiades – p. 89]
9 A>pener [chain-dance galaxy – p. 89]
10+ [others]
Yac^or 1 As.os.
2 Mamas {cf. MoMoStenango, Wat.}
3 Kok
4+ [others]
Yemona>s^en 1 C^.op [‘maize – p. 100]
2 Yes.
3 M~or^
4 On
5 Ac^alom [under waterfall – p. 100]
6 [Womenkes^a> ‘tornado’ -- p. 100]
7+ [others]
Yo>c^~ 1 R^arets [‘manioc’ – p. 100]
2 C^oc^ [‘beans’ – p. 100]
3 Wapnor [‘rain’ – p. 100]
4 Ayonapnor [‘rainbow’ – p. 100]
5 Mompelan [in mountain-lake – p. 100]
6 Petsopnor [‘honey’ – p. 100]
7+ [others]

p. 92 (Diagram 3) stacked worlds (enumerated upwards), each with its praesiding Yompor deity

world Yompor sun-god nature
5th abode of souls of murder- & of warfare-victims ["these souls eventually turn into the "fathers" of all the carrion eating birds which inhabit the ... world." (p. 93)]
4th [Kamant~er – p. 97] "burned-over clearing" {Yompor War’s En~enas valley was burned (p. 88), as was Yompor Et~etar’s Huancabamba valley (p. 89)} ["There is no nighttime nor rain in this world." (p. 93)]
3rd Pueponc^.o "the most sacred part of the universe" (p. 91) inhabited by immortals [Melanoten – p. 100]
2nd Ror [‘flower’ – p. 98, fn. 7] "dead earth" (p. 91) inhabited by mortals
1st ["Sparrow woman, a sister of YOMPOR ROR" (p. 91)] ["lower world" traversed (and lit up, as in the Kemetian scheme?) by Yompor Ror during the time which is night in the world above – p. 91]

p. 105 the shaman’s "six protective spirits"

straight-billed hummingbird
masupial [opossum]

Amues^a religous terms

p. term
101 kornes^a> ‘priest’
pueyoc^res^a> ‘followers’
103 c^oyes^e>mats ‘soul of the dead; shadow’
104 e>monetenets ‘to bewitch’
105 t~oretenets ‘ritual formula’
pokamken ‘human spirit’

pp. 103-107 religious practitioners

p. practitioner function
103 amaneset ‘witch’ (whose "helper" is the curved-bill hummingbird – pp. 103-104)
104 pa>ler ‘shaman’ ("invoking the spirit of tobacco" – p. 106)
106 diviner receiving advice from coca leaves
106-7 apartan ‘herbalist’

special communications from the deities

p. communication
110 "YOMPOR ROR himself and other divinities of his category have periodically revealed themselves to a particular Amuesha in visions and dreams as a means to renew the sacred word or to leave a CoSHAMN:ATS song".
"Some of the envoys have offered salvation to the Amuesha, promising to carry them off to heaven". {cf. Philippine belief in the coming of flying saucers to carry off the people to heaven}
111 The "special envoys from heaven" are called a>kes^p~atan : "He’s the one who will save the people when the world comes to an end in violent disaster."

Richard Chase Smith : Deliverance from Chaos for a Song. PhD thesis, Cornell U, 1977.