“‘How do you make sound with them’? Made-from-Bone said after he tried to blow through the sacred flute. ‘It’s not like that’, said Squirrel, who took out a feather from a large hawk. ‘With this you can make sound’, he said to Made-from-Bone. Made-from-Bone blew air with the hawk feather, and it made a sound. ‘Heee’, and then the world opened up again, from here to there, this entire world. The sound went up into the sky above. All the sounds of Kuwái spoke —waliáduwa, máaliawa, all of them. Made-from-Bone heard how this one sounds, how that one sounds, how the other ones sound. ‘Now’, said Made-from-Bone, ‘These are going to belong to us men, and we will hide them from the women. This is the son of First-Woman, but we must keep it hidden from her’, he said. Then Made-from-Bone lived with the people and began to hold dabucurí and kwépani ceremonies. First-Woman was furious. ‘Made-from-Bone believes that I don’t know that this is my son’, she said.”

Jonathan Hill, The Celestial Umbilical Cord

Humboldt may have witnessed one. Thirion-Montauban also, though details are sketchy. By the middle of the 19th century, though, travellers meeting the Wakuénai people in Southern Venezuela and Northern Brazil’s Rio Negro region were reporting on them again and again: big ritual get togethers where neighbouring villages exchange gifts, play sacred flutes and dance.


What the ritual means is contested. Some think they’re about subjugating the women folk, others about integrating neighbouring villages. One thing you don’t find in the ethnographic literature, at least on a first approach, is any mention of curses or slow painful deaths inflicted on unjust rulers. Deserved though they may be.

None of this prevented a social media explosion yesterday when Amazonas state governor Liborio Guarulla prounounced the Curse of Dabucurí on the perfidious government officials who disqualified him from running for office for the next fifteen years.

I assure you that their deaths will not come without torment, that before they die they will begin to suffer and their soul will wonder through the darkest and most pestilent places before, somehow, they close their eyes.

Sources tell us that Guarulla is dead serious about this. That he brags that his enemies are all in the cemetery. That this isn’t the first time he’s invoked Dabucurí.

At this point, we’re so far through the looking glass, part of me goes into de que vuelan vuelan mode. I mean, it’s insane. But we’ve tried everything else. Why not Dabucurí?

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  1. Millions worldwide have seen “flying saucers”, many throughout recorded history, many have seen “Bigfoot”, ghosts, fairies, et. al., others have suffered the effects of Haitian black magic, yet none of this “scientifically” exists, as science also conveniently explains away thousands of inconvenient cattle mutilations/crop circles/et. al.–we’ll see how the Curse of Dabucuri works out….

  2. So he cursed the boliplugged to suffer the socialismo del siglo XXI como el pueblo mejmo then? :V

    Dude, that’s hardcore.

  3. Dunno. I think that maybe what he wanted to say is that he would hold one of those sacred meeting things and there ask the present to curse the government.

    In any case, in a country where almost all politicians call on God, even the marxists, well, this guy has his own “tiempo de Dios” thing going for him. Probably as effective, although a bit more psychologically satisfaying.

  4. It doesn’t matter if any of us think it works.
    The first soldier that is diagnosed with cancer will wonder if it worked.
    Any misfortune, incurable disease, bad accident and the morale gets more shattered.
    A high profile member of the gang of thieves having an unfortunate accident would be wonderful!
    The lower ranking officers in the military along with the foot soldiers are already becoming paranoid.
    Whatever it takes.
    Once this starts to get in superstitious peoples heads, the regime will be that much more challenged.
    Who knows, this may make the difference between a soldier shooting someone and deliberately missing to avoid the curse.

    • My mother-in-law is a great dermatologist, yet she would not let the ‘moon-light’ shine over her daughter’s faces while they slept because she was told as a child that it could blemish your skin. She would diligently close the shades.

      Stuff like this has an effect, and Garcia Marquez captures it in magic realism.

  5. Hey, anything that helps to gain momentum is welcome.
    At this point that is the name of the game.
    We are getting closer to the tipping point.
    Many celebrities and sport figures are joining their voices in droves
    Perception is reality.
    Rats will defect once the inflection point has been crossed.
    Lets keep this momentum going until the end.

  6. Once paranoia starts to take over the morale of any group, crazy things can get a life of their own.
    I am sure these criminals are already on the verge of cratering. The irrational acts and more brutal oppression shows that the protests are working. If they were not worried, they would not be reacting in these ways.
    Nancy Reagan used to consult an astrologer after president Reagan was shot. She tried to organize his travel and public appearances after these consultations in an irrational desire to keep him safe.
    We may never what goes through the minds of people with this much stress and fear already haunting them.
    I don’t care what it takes, as long as this nightmare comes to a quick end and the job of rebuilding can begin.

  7. Gas masks, wooden shields, gardening gloves: How Venezuela’s protesters are protecting themselves

    Guinand is part of a widening international campaign to crowdfund the protests, with some online drives raising more than $24,000 in less than a month. As many as 17 campaigns to solicit money for food, medicine and protest gear such as protective goggles, heavy gloves and gas masks can be found on the website GoFundMe.

    A 65-year-old woman who has joined recent marches said she carries two essentials in the streets. “A gas mask for myself and a spray bottle full of antacid to help those who don’t have a mask,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal. The antacid alleviates the burning, she said.

  8. With how superstitious the chavistas are I think this is excellent. Just making their lives a bit more difficult and stressful is quite useful.

  9. Every time I read Guarulla’s words I get the chills. He *is* dead serious. I’m moderately skeptic in general about that kind of stuff but this Dacuburí thing is too “ayy chiamo” for me to ignore.

    Taking into account that chavistas are quite superstitious, I bet a few of them must be shitscared. Probably rallying their babalawos and reading cigars and all that jazz.

    Good stuff.


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