How the Little Boy Escaped from the Caribs
This story comes from the Warrau (recorded on sacred-texts.com)
A party of women and girls went to gather wild pineapple. They traveled in a large corial, and at last landed. Having roamed the bush and gathered a number of pines, they all sat down in a circle to eat them, and commenced laughing and chattering, as women do. Now there was a little boy among the party, who climbed up all overhanging tree, where the corial had been tied up at the water-side, in order to keep watch; he was afraid that something was going to happen.
After a while he called out that some men were swimming across the stream, but all that the women jokingly said was: “All right. Let them come. We will have some sport and fun with them.” But the men were really Carib cannibals, and as soon as they reached land, they rushed upon the women, slaughtered every one of them, and began cooking the flesh.
The boy up the tree was much frightened at seeing all this, but did not dare descend just yet. The Caribs were watching the corial lest anyone should come and fetch it away, and at irregular intervals would wander backward and forward from the scene of the outrage to the landing-place. It was during one of these intervals that the youngster slipped down the tree, and, breaking his arrow, rubbed the pieces over his body to make him brave.
He then slipped off into the corial, and as quickly as possible reached midstream. By this time the Caribs had recognized him and shouted for him to return. “Come back! Come back!” they screamed: “Your sister is alive and calls you,” but the lad knew better and, paddling strongly, got home safe.
He told his father and other relatives all that had happened. These hurried back, only to find that the Caribs had made their escape, and so they “received no payment” [i. e. they did not get their revenge on them]
The Caribs, or Caniba, are where we get the word “Cannibal” from. The problem is, there is no scientific evidence which supports the idea that the Caniba or Caribs were cannibals at all. There were stories amongst the people in the Caribbean region which spoke of the Caribs being cannibals, such as the story above. But was it simply a myth that spread like wildfire and colored a group of people as “other” in order find reason to be against them? Was it a ritualistic practice exaggerated by the Spanish Migrants to the New World in order to justify to their Royal counterparts across the Atlantic all their interactions with the local population? Perhaps a mixture of both?
Today we know that we can see things and our perspective of the situation is formed based on our personal morals and the fact that we even see something at all. It would be very strange to discover that our ancestors were not the same way. That they were more open minded than we are about the complexities of society.
That isn’t to say that we shouldn’t shun acts which are against our very nature. Afterall, it is quite effective to change the environment around us when we cut things out of our lives and fight for good morals and values. A Jedi, at least in my mind, should not be a Moral Relativist. But we also shouldn’t be so hardline in our approach that it prevents positive change and growth. The more we grow a narrative, the more that narrative takes hold and creates roadblocks for people to transform and heal.
Today, we call these kinds of roadblocks “stereotypes”. They are so damaging that the create the very monsters our stereotypes breed in our head. Not just in our head, but they manifest in the people we assign those stereotypes. The more we hammer on a thought, the harder it becomes for people to demonstrate that they aren’t what you think they are. And as much as we would like to believe “Sticks and Stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, it’s simply not true.
Our words, and our actions towards others causes them to recluse, to find people that will accept them. And so many more times, it will cause people to break “well if that’s what you believe I am, that’s what I’ll become.” or “if I’m really beyond redemption, then I’ll go back to my old ways.”
The mantra “sticks and stones” is meant to help convince ourselves, not convince others. But it doesn’t work when you’re consistently broken down by the way that others perceive you. This is one of the major reasons it’s important that we cultivate a circle of people which support our efforts to be better than we were yesterday.
We will never know just how much the narrative around the Caribs was true or false. But we can look around ourselves and try to do better with our own words and actions to others.
If you want to read up more on the topic of how these stories impact the Caribbean world, check out the link below-
#Self-Awareness #Interior #Exterior #DutytoAll #RespectAllLife