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Martyr who used his work in Spanish is conclusive that his name was Ramon. Ramon, too, is a common Catalan name. Such few writers on early American religion and folk-lore as use his work directly resort either to the Italian text or some of the translations or to Peter Martyr's epitome in the 9th book of the first of his decades of the Ocean. Few, if any, make a critical comparison of these two forms of his work and none so far as I know have supplemented such a comparison with such of the material in Las Casas's Apologetica Historia as was derived from Ramon's work in the original.
The interest and importance of the subject justify it seems to me a critical study of Friar Ramon's work as the earliest detailed account of the legends and religious beliefs and practices of the long since extinct natives of Hayti. The range of its contents is considerable. It contains a cosmogony, a creation legend, an Amazon legend, a legend which offers interesting evidence that syphilis was an indigenous and ancient disease in America at the time of its discovery, a flood and ocean legend, a tobacco legend, a sun and moon legend, a long account of the Haytian medicine men, an account of the making of their cemis or fetishes, of the ritualistic use of tobacco, a current native prophecy of the appearance in the island of a race of clothed people and lastly a brief report of the earliest conversions to Christianity in the island and of the first native martyrs.
To facilitate a study of this material in its earliest record I have translated Ramon's treatise from the Italian, excerpted and collated with it the epitomes of Peter Martyr and Las Casas and have prepared brief notes, the whole to form so far as may be a critical working text of this source for the folklorist and student of Comparative Religion in America. The proper names in each case are given as in the 1571 edition of the Historie. Later editions of the Italian and the English version to be found in Churchill's Voyages (vol. II.) and Pinkerton's Voyages (Vol. XII) give divergent
forms. At best the spelling of these names offers much perplexity. Ramon wrote down in Spanish the sounds he heard, Ferdinand, unfamiliar with the sounds, copied the names and then still later Ulloa equally unfamiliar with the originals copied them into his Italian. In such a process there was inevitably some confusion of u and n and of u and v, (Spanish b.) In the Italian text v is never used, it is always u. In not a few cases the Latin of Peter Martyr and the Spanish of Las Casas give us forms much nearer those used by Ramon than the Italian.
LIST OF MODERN WORKS DEALING DIRECTLY
WITH THE TREATISE OF RAMON PANE OR
BACHILLER Y MORALES, ANTONIO. Cuba Primitiva: Origen, Lenguas, Tradiciones e Historia de los Indios de las Antillas Mayores y las Lucayas. 2nd. Ed. Habana, 1883. The fullest study of the subject with full vocabularies of extant aboriginal words and a dictionary of historical names and traditions. Contains also a translation of the part of Ramon Pane's treatise that relates to primitive religion and folklore.
BASTIAN, ADOLF. Die Culturländer des Alten America. 2 vols. Berlin, 1878. The second vol. with the sub-title, Beiträge zu Geschichtlichen Vorarbeiten auf Westlicher Hemisphäre, devotes a chapter, pp. 285-314 to the Antilles. It consists of rough notes assembled from Ramon Pane and Peter Martyr and other writers relating to the religion and folklore of the aborigines of the Antilles.
BLOCH, Dr. IWAN. Der Ursprung der Syphilis. Eine medizinische und Kulturgeschichtiche Untersuchung. Erste Abteilung, Jena, 1901. An elaborate critical and historical study which definitely establishes the American origin of Syphilis. The evidence from Ramon Pane is discussed on pp. 201-204.
Douay, LEON. Affinités lexicologiques du Haitien et du Maya. Congrès International des Américanistes. Compte Rendu de la 10éme session. Stockholm 1897, pp. 193-206. Reproduces in parallel columns with the corresponding Maya words the Haytian vocabulary compiled by the Abbé Brasseur de Bourbourg.
DOUAY, LEON. Études Étymologiques sur L'Antiquité Américaine. Paris, 1891. Etymological interpretation of proper names in Hayti and the non-Carib Antilles, pp. 26-30.
EHRENREICH, PAUL. Die Mythen und Legenden der Südamerikanischen Urvölker und ihre Beziehungen zu denen Nordamerikas und der alten Welt. Berlin 1895. Supplement zu Zeitschrift für Ethnologie 1905. The author of this very valuable introduction to the comparative study of American Mythology has used Ramon Pane only in Peter Martyr's abstract.
GILIJ, FILIPPO SALVADORE. Saggio di Storia Americana o sia storia Natural, Civile, e sacra de regni e delle provincie Spagnuole di Terraferma nell'America Meridionale. Roma MDCCLXXXII, 3 Vols. In vol. 3, pp. 220-228 is a vocabulary of the Haytian language compiled from Oviedo, Peter Martyr (Ramon Pane) Acosta and other writers. This vocabulary is sometimes reproduced by later writers with revisions.
LOLLIS, CESARE DE, ED. Raccolta di Documenti e Studi. Pub. dalla R. Commissione Colombiana, etc. Roma, 1892. Parte I, vol. 1, 213-223 contains text of Ulloa's Italian translation of Ramon Pane with an apparatüs criticis.
MARTIUS, DR. CARL F. Ph. v. Beiträge zur Ethnographie und Sprachenkunde Amerika's zumal Brasiliens. 2 vols. Leipzig, 1867. Vol. II, pp. 314-18, contains a Latin-Taino vocabulary based chiefly on Rafinesque's collections.
MONTEJO Y ROBLEDO, DR. BONIFACIO. Procedencia Americana de las Bubas. Actas del Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, 4' Reunion. Madrid, 1881, pp. 334-419. Evidence from Ramon Pane discussed pp. 358, 360.
MUELLER, J. G. Geschichte der Amerikanischen Urreligionen, Basel, 1855. pp. 155-185 are devoted to the religion of the non-Carib aborigines of the West Indies.
PESCHEL, OSCAR. Geschichte des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, 2** Aufl. Stuttgart, 1877. On pp. 147-48 the cosmogony of the Haytians is briefly described.
RAFINESQUE, C. S. The American Nations; or Outlines of their General History, Ancient and Modern, etc., etc. Philadelphia, 1836, pp. 162-260. Interesting linguistic material with much highly fantastic conjecture.
How the men were divided from the women.
It came to pass that one man whose name was Guagugiona* said to another whose name was Giadruuaua,t that he should go to gather an herb called digo with which they cleanse the body when they go to wash themselves. He went before day, (but) the sun seized him on the way and he became a bird which sings in the morning like the nightingale and is called Giahuba Bagiael. Guagugiona seeing that he whom he had sent to gather the digo did not return resolved to go out of the cave Cacibagiagua.
That Guagugiona resolved to go away in anger, seeing that those whom he had sent to gather the digo for washing themselves did not return; and he said to the women “Leave your husbands and let us go into other lands and we will carry off enough jewels. Leave your sons and we will carry only the plants with us and then we will return for them.”
Guagugiona set forth with all the women and went off in search of other lands, and came to Matininof where he left the women; and he went away into another region called Guanin and they had left the little children near a brook. Then when hunger began to trouble them, it is related, that they wailed and called upon their mothers who had gone off; and the fathers were not able to give help to the children calling in hunger for their mothers, saying "mama" as if to speak, but really asking for the breast. $ And wailing in this fashion and asking for the breast, saying "too, too,''| as one who asks for something with great longing, and very urgently, they were changed into little animals,
*Vaguoniona in Peter Martyr. Bachiller y Morales, thinks the proper form is Guagoniona. See his discussion of this and the two following names, Cuba Primitiva, 275.
This name is omitted in Peter Martyr. IUsually identified with Martinique. This passage is convincing evidence that the Amazon legends in America were indigenous and not transmitted there or developed by the misapprehensions of the first discoverers. Ehrenreich is convinced that these legends are indigenous although he does not refer to this evidence. See his Mythen und Legenden, 65. Columbus early and frequently heard of the island of Matinino which was inhabited only by women.
$La letta, Apparently the Italian text used by the translator of the English version of the Historie read "la terra" in this passage for it is there rendered "to beg of the earth"
|| Toa, toa, in Peter Martyr.
I write this are of the island Española; because of the other islands I know nothing never having seen them. Likewise they know from what direction they came and whence the sun had his origin and the moon and how the sea was made and whither the dead go. And they believe that the dead appear on the roadways when one goes alone, wherefore when many go together they do not appear to them. All this those who have gone before have made them believe, because these people know not how to read or to count beyond ten.
From what direction the Indians have come and in what manner.
Española has a province called Caanau* in which there is a mountain which is called Cantat where there are two caves, the one named Cacibagiagua and the other Amaiuua. From Cacibagiagua came forth the larger part of the people who settled in the island. When people were in these caves watch was kept by night and the care of this was given to one whose name was Marocael;$ and him, because one day he delayed to come back to the door, the sun carried off. And when it was seen that the sun had carried him off they closed the door; and so he was changed into stone near the door. Next they say that others going off to fish were taken by the sun and they became trees, called by them Iobi,|| and otherwise they are called mirabolans. The reason why Marocael kept watch and stood guard was to watch in what direction he wished to send or to divide the people, and it seems that he delayed to his own greater hurt.
whose dwelling place and habitation is heaven, and they named him Yocahu Vagua Maorocoti
... With this true and catholic knowledge of the true God they mingled these errors to wit, that God had a mother and her brother Guaca and others of this sort." Docs. Ined. LXVI. 434.
*Caunana in Peter Martyr.
Cazibaxagua and Amaiauna in Peter Martyr who says in Decade vii, chap 8, that in the ancestral lore of the Haytians the island was viewed as a great monster of the female sex and that the great cave of Guaccaiarima was her organs of generation-Cf. Peschel, Zeitalter der Entdeckungen, 147 and Ehrenreich, Die Mythen und Legenden der Südamerikanischen Urvölker, 33.
$Machochael in Peter Martyr. This is apparently the correct form. Cf. Bachiller y Morales, 315.
||Iobo (Jobo, or hobo). The name of this tree and fruit is still in use in Santo Domingo, Bachiller y Morales, 300.