The Arche-Episode of the Mith of Fire (JÊ GROUP)

Aurora Fornoni Bernardini

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The Arche-Episode of the Mith of Fire (JÊ GROUP)

Aurora Fornoni Bernardini

Russian Department, Full Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Abstract

To work out this paper, which we did after considering the possibilities of applying to non-literary texts the model “Subject - Text”, proposed y the Russian semioticians Iu. K. Scheglov and A.K. Jolkovsky in their work Towards a Description of the Conjunction Text, (Russian original) we used a selection of ten versions of the myth of fire, given by Brazilian Indian Tribes of the Jê Group (Northern and Central Brazil) and we translated each version into English. According to the theory of the mentioned semioticians, the plot is the most important intermediary link, i.e., it is the level which is to e found between the siujet (a system of semantic oppositions) and the text (a linear construction which realizes these oppositions according to the different requirements of expressiveness, economy and naturalness. For this reason we reduced all the versions of the myth of fire of the Indians belonging to the Jê group which were available to a single, abstract and comprehensive plot. We called it the arche - episode. It can be considered the semantic invariant of the versions. The blanks in parentheses, both in the original and in our translation, are to be filled in by the mythic variants of each version, i.e., by the EP-VARIATION (according to Scheglov-Jolkovsky terminology, EP stands for “Expressive Prioms”(expressive proceedings), as will be seen in Step II of our paper. Arche-episode is obtained by superimposing all the versions. Common elements are maintained, using the terms that most stick to the text and/or those which are as comprehensive as possible, as will be seen in Step O. Elements, which are different from one version to another are incorporate as alternatives or left out (Step II), as far as they do not have the local, social or moral characteristics that are typical of the myth and not of the tale(cf. Lévi-Strauss, Jakobson, Bogatirev et alii). Finally, we return to the arche-episode and subdivide it into episodes or model situations (Step III), which we analyse and re-arrange, in order to obtain a structural description (Step V). Comparing it with the more general one, proposed by the myths of the type called “Reluctant Provider” (Xavante Indians), we can verify its being satisfactorily contained.

Cite this article:

  • Bernardini, Aurora Fornoni. "The Arche-Episode of the Mith of Fire (JÊ GROUP)." Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 2.1 (2014): 11-16.
  • Bernardini, A. F. (2014). The Arche-Episode of the Mith of Fire (JÊ GROUP). Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, 2(1), 11-16.
  • Bernardini, Aurora Fornoni. "The Arche-Episode of the Mith of Fire (JÊ GROUP)." Research in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences 2, no. 1 (2014): 11-16.

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1. Introduction

To work out this paper, which we did after considering the possibilities of applying to non-literary texts the model “Subject - Text”, proposed y the Russian semioticians Iu. K. Scheglov and A.K. Jolkovsky in their work Towards a Description of the Conjunction Text1,we used a selection of ten versions (2) of the myth of fire, given by Brazilian Indian Tribes of the Jê Group (Northern and Central Brazil).

According to the theory of the mentioned semioticians, the plot is the most important intermediary link, i.e., it is the level which is to e found between the siujet (a system of semantic oppositions) and the text (a linear construction which realizes these oppositions according to the different requirements of expressiveness, economy and naturalness. For this reason we reduced all the versions of the myth of fire of the Indians belonging to the Jê group which were available to a single, abstract and comprehensive plot. We called it the arche - episode. It can be considered the semantic invariant of the versions. The blanks in parentheses are to be filled in by the mythic variants of each version, i.e., by the PE-VARIATION (according to Scheglov-Jolkovsky terminology, PE stands for “Expressive Prioms” (expressive proceedings), as will be seen in Step II.

Arche-episode is obtained by superimposing all the versions. Common elements are maintained, using the terms that most stick to the text and/or those which are as comprehensive as possible, as will be seen in Step O. Elements, which are different from one version to another are incorporate as alternatives or left out (Step II), as far as they do not have the local, social or moral characteristics that are typical of the myth and not of the tale(cf. Lévi-Strauss, Jakobson, Bogatirev et alii (3).

Finally, we return to the arche-episode and subdivide it into episodes or model situations (Step III), which we analyse and re-arrange, in order to obtain a structural description (Step V). Comparing it with the more general one, proposed by the myths of the type called “Reluctant Provider”(Xavante Indians) (4), we can verify its being satisfactorily contained.

2. Steps for Obtaining the Arche-Episode

Divided into 5 sections: I,II,III,IV,V. Gradual superimposition of the versions (omitting the passages of similar versions, omitting personal, psychological or essentially literary elements, when they are not bound to the myth, but to the narrative of the myth);

Step I. Reduction of the versions to a single one;

Step II. Single version, incorporating in parentheses alternatives which are not personal etc., and excluding insertions of secondary myths, which appear in some versions;

Step III. Subdivision of the arche-episode into episodes or situations;

Step IV. Progressive outline of the structural organization of the situations and its abstraction;

Stpep V. Scheme of the way of obtaining the abstractest subject, applying the method of Jolkovsky-CScheglov to the outline of the structural organization.

The arche-episode of the myth of fire.

2.1. Step I (Reduction of the 10 Versions to a Single One):

A man () takes his youngest brother-in-law () with him, to catch araras ( ) out of a nest, which was in a steep area ( ).

The man leans a support ( ) against the area ( ) so that his brother-in-law does not take the araras.

The man removes the support, goes away and does not come back ().

The brother-in-law is abandoned for a while ( ) on top of the steep area.

The jaguar, coming from some place (), passes y and notices () the brother-in-law. They start talking together (). At last the jaguar convinces him, among other things (), that he is not going to hurt him, and he takes him () home.

The jaguar’s wife () does not like the brother-in-law and does not want to give him a certain kind of food (). She threatens him (), not respecting the jaguar’s wish.

Following the jaguar’s advice, the brother-in-law returns () the threats of the jaguar’s wife and goes back () home (), taking boiled meat () with him.

The brother-in-law comes back to his village. The village people () discovers about the fire and decide to get hold () of it. The fire is carried () in a glowing trunk ().

There is no fire left for the jaguar ().

2.2. Step II (Single Incorporating Version):

A man (an Indian) takes his youngest brother-in-law (a young boy, a lad) with him to catch araras (nestlings of araras) in a hole (on top ) of a steep area (of a stone; of a tree).

The man leans a support (a pole; a trunk) to the wall, so that his brother-in-law can climb up.

The brother-in-law (for fear of the outcry of the birds; because there are no nestlings; because there are only eggs or stones there) does not catch the araras.

The man removes the support, goes away and does not come back (he explains why to the people of the village or he does not; he feels deceived by his brother-in-law).

The brother-in-law is abandoned for a while(five days, three days, for a long time) on top of the steep area.

The jaguar, coming from some place (the source of the river; the hunting place) passes by the wall and notices (because of the shadow; because of something that falls down) the brother-in-law.

They start talking (the lad is afraid; the jaguar calms him) and the jaguar convinces him (he gives him something to drink; he gives him boiled meat, etc.) that he will not hurt him (that he will help him) and takes him home (on his back; on his head, etc.).

The jaguar’s wife (Indian woman; animal ; woman-animal) does not like the lad and does not want to give him some kind of food (a certain kind of meat; a typical Indian dish (beiju).

She threatens him (shows him aspects of her feline nature), not respecting the jaguar’s wish.

Following the jaguar’s advice, the lad returns the threats of (injures; kills) the jaguar’s wife and goes back (according to the jaguar’s instructions; fleeing; loosing his way) to his village (to his family’s house) taking with him oiled meat (the glowing jatobá; the beiju, etc.).

The village people (the relatives; the village men) hear about the fire and decide to get hold of it (to accept; to steal).

The fire is carried (with an instrument; by turns) in a glowing trunk (on a jatobá trunk).

There is no fire left for the jaguar (who went away; who was plundered; who will only eat raw meat from now onwards).

2.3. Step III (Situations/Episodes of the Myth of Fire):

1. Man (elder brother-in-law) and lad, in a relationship of mutual help (friendship).

2.Man and lad in an ambiguous relationship and later rupture. (The man removes the support and abandons the lad). For this reason the lad will get to know the jaguar and the secret of fire.

3. Lad and jaguar in a friendly relationship (the jaguar takes the lad home).

4. Lad and jaguar’s wife in an ambiguous situation and later rupture. (The antagonism of the jaguar’s wife, first disguised and then quite obvious, induces the lad to go away, taking with him the secret/evidence of the existence of fire.

5. Lad and jaguar in a relationship of connivance (the jaguar gives instructions to the lad and tells him how to return his wife’s threats).

6. Lad and village people/family meeting again like friends.

7. Jaguar x lad x village (the jaguar will start eating raw meat, for this reason he will represent a danger for the human being).

2.4. Step IV (Structural Organization of the Situations and Its Abstraction):

Type: Involuntary provider/giver (the jaguar, who provides the village with fire)

I - The character (lad) lives in peace with the man (brother-in-law)

II - The character leaves the village because of his first antagonist (brother-in-law) and meets the jaguar

III - The character lives together with the provider, who has a secret.

IV - The character leaves the provider because of his second antagonist (the jaguar’s wife) taking with him the evidence of the secret.

V. The character returns to the village and reveals the secret. The community (male) of the village decides to get hold of the secret.

VI - The provider is deceived (they go to his house without his knowing it) or: the provider is in connivance with them (he himself allows the secret being taken to the village).

VII - The provider loses his characteristic of provider (because there is not firebrand left to him, because he himself decides to start eating raw meat) and he becomes a potential enemy of mankind.

2.5. Step V

Appendix (English Version)

Progressive version of the myth of fire (Jê Group) collected by researchers, (AL: Anton Lukesh; CN: Curt Nimuendau; LB: Lux Boelitz Vidal; L-S: Lévi-Strauss;), from different tribes:

A = Apinayé

NC = Northern Caiapós, Caiapós Setentrionais

E-T (TO) = Eastern Timbira, Timbira Orientais

GK = Grupo Kraho

KG = Kayapo-Gorotiré

KK = Kayapo-Kubenkranken

Xa = Xavante

X = Xerente

and compiled by Sergio Medeiros.

An Indian LB (a man)CN took his brother-in-law whose name was Botoque KG (a boy, a lad) to poach (unnest )L-S macaws(araras) The macaw’s nest was on a wall (in a hole) (at the [steep] top) AL of the stone. The Indian put a rod for his brother-in-law to climb on. The boy climbed.

CN: the boy tried to catch the macaw’s nestlings that scarred him with cries.

LB: he didn’t catch macaws because he was afraid.

AL: the boy put his hand inside the hole and without noticing he caused a stone to roll down which hit his brother-in-law’s hand, breaking his finger.

BG, AH: the lad deluded his brother-in-law saying that there were no nestlings (there was the macaw flying over the lad’s head) (instead of throwing eggs, he threw a white stone that fell into the man’s hand) (the man fainted. When he came to, the lad said that there were nestlings of macaw, but he had already been deluded).

KG: the lad says that there are two eggs (it is not known who is lying). He throws the eggs that are transformed into stones that hurt his hand.

K.K.: Inside the nest there are only round stones. The lad throws the stones on purpose hurting his brother-in-law.

A: The boy gets scared because the macaw’s couple protects its nestlings. Eastern Timbira: The macaws defend themselves and the lad does not dare to catch them.

Xerente: The lad lied when he said that there were eggs only. In the face of his brother-in-law’s insistence, he takes a white stone that he kept in his mouth and threw it. When the stone fell down it was transformed into an egg that fell splat onto the floor.

Kayapó-Xikrin of Cateté River (Lux Boelitz Vidal); the man became infuriated, removed the rod and left. The boy stood up there, he ate what he defecated and drank what he urinated. There was nothing on the top of the stones.

Eastern Timbiras (Curt Nimuendayu): The man ordered him not to delay throwing them down, and when the boy still showed fear, the man got furious, knocked the tree over, and left.

The boy sat in the nest. The macaw’s nestlings realized his fear and the flying macaws defecated over his head. Worms grew.

K-G. Infuriated, the Indian leaves after he had removed the ladder without understanding (...) that the birds were (...)

Botoque stays for several days at the top of the steep rock: he looses weight, he feeds himself on his excrements.

K-K: (L-S): The man tells his wife that the lad got lost and he pretends to go looking for him. Meanwhile, the lad feeds himself on his excrements. He looses weight.

A: (L-S): Infuriated, the man throws down the ladder and leaves. The boy is stuck, thirsty and covered with bird’s excrements, until worms come and the macaw’s nestlings do not fear him.

GK: (L-S): Within two days, the birds got used to him. They defecated over his head, where worms came. He was hungry.

X: Upset, his companions deserted him at the top of the tree where he was stuck for five days.

Northern Caiapós (Anton Lukesch): The man was furious. He took the trunk of the tree that was leaning over the steep rock, as a ladder, and threw it into the bush.

He went home leaving his young brother-in-law alone, in the forest. He stayed on the steep rock, without being able to go down, until the jaguar appeared.

Xa: The brother-in-law threw the stick far away. The brother-in-law did not return, he left without feeling pity. He stayed in the macaw’s place. Three days went by. He was thirsty.

KX: The jaguar went hunting collared peccary. When the jaguar was coming back it saw the shadow of the Indian on the ground. It looked up and saw the Indian. The jaguar went hunting collared peccary. When the jaguar was coming back, it saw the Indian’s shadow on the ground. It looked up and saw the Indian. The jaguar placed the rod for him to come down: when he was coming down he grabbed the macaw’s nestling and threw it to the jaguar to eat. Then the jaguar carried the boy on its back to its home.

E-T: The jaguar went by the bottom of the steep rock. It saw the boy’s shadow. It looked up and saw him. The boy threw to the jaguar macaw’s nestlings. The jaguar carried him to a shallow bowl, it let him drink and took him home.

K-G: The boy sees a jaguar carrying a bow and an arrow. He wished to call it, but he is afraid. The jaguar sees his shadow on the ground. It raises its eyes and puts back the ladder. It invites the boy to come down and to go with it, on its back, to its home, to eat grilled meat. The boy doesn’t know what is grilled meat, but he accepts the jaguar’s invitation.

A: The jaguar passes by, sees the shadow and tries to catch it. The Indian spits and starts the dialogue. The jaguar asks for the two macaw’s nestlings that are thrown to it. It eats them. It puts the ladder back and invites the boy to come down, claiming that it will not eat him, instead it will give him water. The boy hesitates, but goes down. The jaguar takes him on its back to a river. The boy drinks and falls asleep. The jaguar wakes him up, cleans him and tells him that it wants to adopt him, since it does not have children.

X: (L-S): A jaguar passes by, notices the boy at the top, wants to know about his adventure, demands the two macaw’s nestlings to eat, invites him to jump, grabs him on its paws. The boy is afraid, but he jumps and the jaguar doesn’t hurt him. It takes him up to a river, on its back. He drinks only on the third stream and he goes to the jaguar’s home.

CS: (AL): A big jaguar passed by, coming back from a hunt to its hut, carrying game. The jaguar noticed the boy’s shadow.

At the third time, the jaguar looked up and saw the boy. The boy told his story. The jaguar fetched a trunk of tree. The boy saw the jaguar’s gullet and teeth. At the third time the boy was still afraid. Then the jaguar promised him meat, cassava cake. The boy came down. He climbed on the jaguar’s nape, who took him, through the forest, to its hut.

X: The jaguar went hunting at the headwaters and arrived nearby.

It roared. It was dawn. Soon the day started. It was time to go back home. My grandpa: catch macaw’s nestling. The jaguar ate them. It put the stick to come down. It took the boy to the well (many wells). All dried up, it rested. It promised him game and took him to its home.

KX: (LB): When the jaguar arrived home the woman was weaving cotton. Then the jaguar said: “I brought a boy.” She gave him food. The boy called them father and mother. The jaguar told the woman to give him meat, whenever he was hungry. The boy was hungry and she didn’t give him meat.

Then he caught the meat and ran, afraid of her.

When the jaguar returned, he told it. The jaguar made him some arrows saying: “If she does it again, you kill her.” Then she started to pick on him and did not give him meat. The boy killed her.

ET: (CN): At the jaguar’s house there was a great amount of grilled meat, under sticks, forming a grill and an enormous trunk of jatoba (Brazilian cherry) burning.

The woman was pregnant and the jaguar went back hunting, after having giving the boy a big slice of grilled meat. The woman could not stand the noise the boy was making to chew. “My grandson”, she said to him and snarled at him. The boy was scared and told the jaguar when it returned. The jaguar made for him a bow and arrows and told him if she did that again he would hurt the palm of her hand and then he would run away through a path that the jaguar showed him, up to his house. She did that again and the boy hurt the palm of her hand. Since she was too heavy due to her pregnancy, she could not chase him.

KG: (L-S): At the jaguar’s house the boy saw a big trunk of jatoba that was being burned next to a heap of rocks of the Indian’s oven. He had his first meal of roasted meat. The jaguar’s wife (who was an Indian) did not like the boy who she called foreigner or abandoned. But the jaguar decided to adopt him, since it had no children. Everyday the jaguar goes hunting, and everyday the woman likes the child less. She gives him bad meat and leaves. When the boy complains she shows him her nails and the poor child takes refuge in the forest. The jaguar reprimands her but to no avail. One day it gives Botoque a bow and arrows, it teaches him how to use them and advises him to use them against his stepmother, in case it is necessary. Botoque kills her wounding with an arrow in her chest. Frightened, he runs away taking with him his weapons and a piece of grilled meat.

KK:(L-S): At the jaguar’s hut, the woman is weaving. She calls the boy “the son of somebody else”, but the jaguar says that he will be its companion and that it will fatten him. The jaguar’s wife doesn’t give him tapir meat, only deer meat and she threats him on every appropriate occasion. Advised by the jaguar that gives him a bow and arrows, the boy kills the jaguar’s wife and leaves to his village carrying the woven cotton, the meat and the live coals.

A: (L-S): At the jaguar’s house there is a big jatoba trunk that is burning, at one end. – What is the smoke there? – asks the boy. – It’s the fire. At night it will warm you up – says the jaguar. It gives him grilled meat. He eats over and over and goes to sleep. On the next day, the jaguar goes hunting and the boy seats on a branch waiting for it. At lunch time he asks the jaguar’s wife to give him something to eat. She draws back, snarls, shows him her teeth. When the jaguar returns, he tells it what had happened. The jaguar scolds the woman. But the scene happens again in the next day. Advised by the jaguar that gives him a bow and arrows, the boy kills the jaguar’s wife. The jaguar gives him a supply of grilled meat and explains to him how to return to the village following the course of the river. It asks him not to answer to the callings of the rotten stick, but only to those of the aroeira’s (Brazilian peppertree’s) and the rock’s. The lad forgets and answers to all the calls. That’s why the lives of men are short. Otherwise, they would have long lives as those of the steep rock or of the aroeira.

TO: The jaguar’s female is pregnant and can’t stand noises. The boy hurts the jaguar’s wife on her paw and runs away. Because she is pregnant and heavy, she can’t reach him. He arrives at the village.

GK :(L-S): variant 1: the woman threatens to eat the boy. He hurts her on the paw and runs away.

variant 2: the woman was about to give birth. Everything was ready for the delivery. There was a good fire. The jaguar is the owner of the fire.

X: (L-S): The jaguar’s wife doesn’t welcome the child. “The child is thin and ugly”. She tells the boy to undress her and when he obeys her and she has him within her paws, she scares him, roaring. He complains to the jaguar that gives him a bow and arrows, ornament, roast meat and send him back to the village, advising him to kill the woman in her carotid if she chases him. Everything happens according to what was anticipated and the jaguar’s wife is killed.

CS:(AL): When arriving at the jaguar’s house, his wife asks: “What child of man are you bringing here?” It answers “mebemokké” (Kaiapó). She didn’t like the Indian, but subjects to the will of the jaguar. There were on the fire and on the stone oven plenty of roast meat, tapir, peccary, etc. tapioca cake, sweet potato, cassava. The jaguar told the boy for him to eat whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. It ordered the female to not scare him.

One day it went hunting. The woman was weaving cotton. The boy wanted to eat tapir meat, but the woman told him to eat peccary. They argued. She showed her teeth, her claws, shrank her body in order to jump. The boy complained to the jaguar. At the third time, it gave him a bow and an arrow and told him, if it was necessary, to kill the woman on her the left side, under the nipple of her breast.

“If my wife is killed, we will go away from here.” “You will go to your village, I will go into the forest.”

It happened all over again (detailed description) and the lad killed the jaguar’s wife, he waited for the jaguar to come back from its hunting and got ready to leave taking with him a big burning stick, a thread of cotton with the spindle, a piece of roast meat, and cassava cake, wrapped in banana leafs. The boy went back home, following the jaguar’s lessons and he saw the jaguar heading toward the forest.

X: Long narrative discussions. The grandma called her grandson to hunt for lice. The jaguar’s wife, with the louse’s excuse (dissimulation for her husband to not suspect) scared the boy, opening her mouth (without pity). The grandpa gave a rod of buritirama (multistemmed carana palm) to stick in grandma’s mouth and she became an anteater. The boy missed his mother. He made ropes, he made baskets to carry the meat. He put the meat over the rock, under the sun. Hey, don’t tell that I cooked with fire, tell that I heated with the rock. If you tell about the fire, I will eat you. Tell that you did it yourself and not me. It took the spotted boy to the edge of the forest.

KX:(LB): The boy made an oblong basket to carry berarubu (cassava meat cake). The jaguar (his father) showed him the path to the village. He took meat. He arrived and told what had happened and that there was fire. Everyone went there. They took a big burning jatoba and carried it on their backs. The jaguar was without fire so far. It eats raw food, it doesn’t eat cooked food.

ET:(CN): The boy went to the village, following the directions given by the jaguar. He told his father what had happened and that there was fire at the jaguar’s house and how good the roast meat was. The father told the village (the men). They decided to bring the fire to the village. The jaguar wasn’t there. They send to the jaguar’s house the best runner and the frog. The runner brought the burning jatoba. The jaguar’s wife asked them to leave some fire on, but the frog put all the fire out. There were messengers along the way. The runner gave the jatoba to the first messenger and then successively, until he arrived at the village with fire.

KG:(L-S): The boy arrives at the village his mother hardly recognizes him. He tells his story and distributes the meat. The Indians decide to take the fire. The jaguar isn’t home and the jaguar’s wife is dead and the meat is raw. They cook the meat and take with them the fire. They light the village and warm up themselves. The jaguar becomes furious with the boy who stole from it the fire and the secret of the bow and arrow. From there on it will eat only raw meat.

KK: The boy arrives at the village and is recognized by his sister and then, his mother. They call him to the men’s house. He tells his adventure. The Indians transform themselves into animals to take the fire: the tapir carries the meat, the peccary carries the cotton. The expedition is successful and the men divide the fire.

A.: (L-S): The lad arrives at the village and tells his adventure. The Indians (all of them) go after the fire with three animals: the birds jako and guans will put out the live coal, the tapir will carry the trunk. The janguar welcome them: “I adopted your son”, it says to the boy’s father. And the jaguar gives the fire to the men.

TO: The boy tells his adventure to his father. The messengers are placed along the way that takes to the jaguar’s house. The trunk goes from hand to hand up to the village. The jaguar’s wife asks in vain for them to leave her some fire: the frog spat and put all the fire out.

GK: The Indians organized themselves to take the fire in turns. Without the jaguar they would be eating raw meat until today.

X: The boy is on his way and hears some noise. It is his two brothers that run to the village to tell that he is alive. The boy hides for a while and only shows up at the day of the dead celebration, bringing the meat. – It was the sun – says the boy, but ends up telling the secret to his uncle. An expedition is organized to take the fire. The birds wattled curassow and moorhen carry the burning trunk and the guans puts out the live coals that fall down.

CS:(AL): The boy went to the village and didn’t show up soon. (Prologue)

He hid himself behind the family’s hut. He was recognized by his sister, but he was ashamed and returned to the forest. He only showed up on the next day and told his adventure. The men decided to take the fire. They transformed themselves into tapirs and peccaries, roe deers, ovenbird. At the jaguar’s house, the jaguar wasn’t there and the jaguar’s wife was dead. They found roast meat, tapioca cake, cassava, potato, spindle and cotton thread. They also took burning stick. They returned to the village and retransformed themselves into Indians. The fire has been with the Indians until nowadays.

X: The lad stayed at the edge of the forest waiting for his sister to recognize him. Dialogue with his sister (He painted himself with coal and annatto) to punish his brother-in-law who was a liar. His sister tells his mother, and his mother goes after him. He tells his mother his intentions of punishing his brother-in-law. His mother takes the meat basket to the village. The Indians are surprised and want to know who cooked it. – Where did you get annatto to dye your hair? – asked the Indians. The boy allows his brother-in-law to eat meat, but takes from him his sister, and orders him to go alone to his house, for he had taken away the stick.

Later, urged by his father, he ends up telling about the fire.

Later there was meeting. The tapir offered to pick up the fire. The deer also offered to do that. (Metalanguage: the Indian will only become a jaguar after stealing its fire).

They went to the house of the jaguar that was sleeping. First the tapir took the fire that passed over to the marsh deer that passed over to the red brocket deer that passed over to the deer that passed over to the rhea that passed over to the little deer that gave to the collared peccary that gave to the wattled curassow that passed over to the agouti. The fire almost fell into the water, but the swallow caught it. They did as the run of the moriche palm tree. When winter arrived, the jaguar woke up and became a jaguar. The men distributed the fire in every house. With the jaguar they also learned how to use the little stick to light the fire.

Notes

(1). A summary of the work of the semioticians may be found in nei Paesi Slavi (cf. Bibliography) as “Concetto di Tema e di Mondo Poetico”.

(2). Cf. the Phd research of Sérgio Luiz Rodrigues Medeiros A Trajetória dos Heróis:Um Estudo da Mitologia Jê - USP/FAPESP l994.

(3). According to Lévi-Strauss (cf. Bibliography) myth can be considered an amplified realization of subjects. P. Bogatiriov and R. Jakobson are referred here because of their essay of l931, we read in the italian translation “Il problema della demarcazione tra studio del folklore e studio della letteratura” in La Semiotica nei Paesi Slavi.(op. cit.).

(4). Cf. A Trajetória dos Heróis: Um Estudo da Mitologia Jê (op. cit.)

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