Friday, February 03, 2012
Western Hunter the blogger remembers his friend the witch doctor (in fact, his friend was a patient of the good doctor). I lived many years among non-Western peoples but never had the patience to explore their imbecile spiritual universe. When I worked in the Province of Corrientes I used to patrol like a fool the Ibera wetlands half in my official mission of controlling the carpincho skin trade, half trying to trap carpinchos for my self, and met many families living in the estero. They knew many clever tricks to prosper in the sand islands and never felt I was superior in any way. Yet I had a very wide range of knowledge, so made them many small favors like reading users instructions of drugs and remedies, and telling them things of general knowledge but that were unavailable in their environment. Those were times when even transistor radios were unknown in those parts. Soon they came to me and made me talk endlessly about everything, asking me about the Jewish religion, but after many turns the issue came to some physical ailment. Every boy-scout knows how to fix a broken finger or arm, how to stop a bleeding and so on. Soon they were calling me behind my back El Hüesero, the Bone Man, something like a witch doctor without the spiritual jumbo-mumbo. They brought me presents like a big fish, a live lamb or some other animal, and I shamelessly accepted all. I lived then with a mulatita who made wonderful soups from those fishes and unkosher animals. Pic. My parents visiting me. Yapeyu was a Jesuit mission where San Martin was born. His "Casa Natal" didnt exist, the place had maybe ten miserable ranchos and a museum (the big building behind) housing El Libertador's sword.