Spanish Essay

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Used to the heat of the rain forest, Arawak families lived without clothes. Arawak men had never done gardening or work around home. They only hunted fish, and let the women do the rest. Even women expecting babies, or with little ones in their care, worked in cassava patches while men sat in hammocks under the shade. When asked if they wanted to get married did not seem in a hurry. The Indians kept themselves cleaner than the Europeans. Believing that sweat weakens the body, they bathed frequently throughout the day. In their houses—thatched shelters without walls—they sat on clean sand, and they treated one another very politely. Young people called their parents and others of that age “honoured ones.” Older people called all young men “handsome ones” and it took them a while to learn the European titles for women, girls and children, and how to use them. Even though the Arawaks did not have an exact word for humility, they well knew the attitude. One should not look another person in the face while speaking “like a dog,” they believed. Rather, one should rise so that others might sit and count it a privilege to give. Arawak hospitality always involved eating and drinking together and even drank of fermented cassava, held frequent love feasts, and fought at their festivals. Assembly of Arawaks at Mahaiconi, from Indian Tribes of Guiana, by W. H. Brett (1844). The villagers showed an interest in learning and, after two learned to read, they began to hold classes for the rest. They helped the missionaries translate scriptures and songs into their language. The Arawak and Europeans did not share a common understanding of right and wrong. They lived according to rigid ethics of their own, something the Europeans realised they could learn from the Arawaks. Soon Pilgerhut, with its hour-a-day meetings (and monthly all-day meetings) attracted up to one hundred and

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