Abkhaz by B. G. Hewitt

By B. G. Hewitt

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A group of older men were sheltering there as well, and they took to telling stories. After warming up and having a drink, Luis joined in and told such stories that the mayor himself jumped up and gave Luis his bed to sleep in. (Ah, sighed Luis, feeling his eighty years. ) I took to playing my tapes for anyone willing to listen. Erasmo’s neighbors were eager to hear his recordings, and he was glad to have them do so. He was considered a particularly good storyteller; people commented that he had learned the stories by “going around” (puriy) a lot to other communities.

Emerging from the shadow of Ixchinu Hill into the bright morning sunshine, she glanced up at Luis Tayta’s mud-brick house. Another path passed above the house; it cut across the hillside, dropped into the ravine, emerged on the other side, and wound out of sight over the crest of the next hill. Luis said one of the Incas had followed that path, but he didn’t remember which one. Twelve Inca leaders with their families fled into the jungle when the Pizarrokuna2 arrived in Cuzco City. Right through Sonqo they went (some of them, anyway), for, like other communities in Colquepata District, Sonqo lies between the Cuzco Valley and the Upper Amazon forest.

21 22 foxboy SHALL I TELL YOU A STORY? Yes? Which one shall I tell you?  . There was a married couple . . Yes, I’ll tell you that one. Here I tell the story in my own words, following Erasmo’s narration but freely translating and summarizing. The chapters that follow contain a transcription and line-by-line translation of Erasmo’s own words. 6 be ginning There once was a couple, wife-and-man, who lived together. One day the man loaded up his llamas and went off to market, to buy corn, I think.

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