Nordenskiöld, Erland, 1877-1932. An historical and ethnological survey of the Cuna Indians

Table of Contents

Publication Information

Part A. The Country And Communities Of The Cuna Indians .

I. Geography And Population Statistics .

I. Territory Of San Blas .

A) The Mountains Of San Blas: There Are Plenty Names Of The Mountains Of Our Territory And We Only Write In This Book The Following; But You Will See In The Maps:

B) The Rivers Of San Blas: The Principal Rivers Of San Blas Are:

C) The Points [ Peninsulas ] Of San Blas: The Points Of The San Blas Coast Are The Following:

D). The Islands Of San Blas . The Islands Of The San Blas By The West To The East:

2. Population Of San Blas .

3. Names Of Mountains, Reefs, And “piryas” .

A) Los Nombres De Cerros .

B) Arrecifes .

C) » Piryas ».

4. Geographical And Historical Information On A Number Of Cuna Villages .

A) Geografia De [unknown]ucupă ( Gm. 31.27.28.a ) :

B) Geografia De Irgandi . ( Gm. 31.27.28.b ) :

C) Geografia De N[unknown]iatúp . ( Gm. 31.27.28.c):

D) Geografía De Cartí . ( Gm.31.27.28.d):

E) Geografia De Aidirgandi . ( Gm. 31.27.28.f. ) :

F) Geografia De Tupac Ó Isla Pino . ( Gm. 31. 27. 20—21 ) :

Ii. Organization Of The Family And Community; Social Relationships .

I. Marrlage And The Organization Of The Family .

2. Organization Of The Community.

Appendix To The Foregoing Section . 1

3. Feasts .with Appendix: Description Of The Objects Used At The Feasts .

Cuna Description Of The First And Second Menstruation Feasts .

Additional Cuna Document With Description Of The Feast For The Girl .

Text For The Drawings Showing The Placing Of Officials And Guests At The Second Menstruation Feast .

Fig. 6 . — The Second Puberty Feast For Girls, Innasuit .

Fig. 7 . The Placing At The Agouti-dance Which May Take Place During The Menstruation Feasts .

Fig. 9 . The Placing Of The Women Around The Girl In The Surba .

Appendix: Ruben Pérez Kantule: Description Of Objects Used At The Feasts .

Fig. 10 A . Catalogue Number 27.27.1349, From Kaynora .



Fig. 10 B . Catalogue Number 27.27.1189, From Cuepti .

Object: (the Text Refers To 27.27.873., A Rattle Of The Same Type From Rio Caimanes):


Fig. 10c . Catalogue Number 27.27. 1217, From Kaynora .



Fig. 10 D . Catalogue Number 27.27.1206. »cuna» .



Fig. 10 E . Catalogue Number 27.27.1221, From Ustúpu .



Fig. 10 F . Catalogue Number 27.27.1212. A, From Kaynora .



Fig. 10 G . Catalogue Number 27.27.1351, From Kaynora .



Fig. 10 H . Catalogue Number 27.27. 1296, From Kaynora .



Figure Ii . Catalogue Number 27.27.1204, A—b, From Tupac .

Object: (the Text Refers To 27.27.1207 A—b , A Similar Set Of Pan-pipes From Cueptí. The Picture Here Given From Izikowitz, 1935 , Fig. 249.)


Fig. 12 A—b . Catalogue Number 27.27.883. A—b, From Rio Caimanes .



Fig. 13 . Catalogue Number 27.27.1422, From Ustúpu .


Translation .

4. Social Forms And Salutations .

Iii. Political Leaders And Documents .

I. N[unknown]eles .

2. Fragmentary Biography Of Nele De Kantule In Ustúpu 1 .

2. Speeches By High Chief Simral Colman .

A) Speech Given In Ailigandi January 17th, 1926 .

B) Speech To The »soldicrs» ( »para Los Soldados» ). ( No Date ).

C) A Speech »para Las Mujeres», To The Women .

4. Diverse Political Correspondence.

A) Anonymous Letter From Colon To San Blas . Dated March 8, 1929. Typed Page, Gm. 31.27.13 .

B) Anonymous Letter From Colon To The Chiefs In San Blas . Two Typed Pages, Gm. 31.27.16 . Dated March 8, 1929.

C) Letter Signed M. G. To Nele ( ? ). Typed Page, Dated May 8, 1929. G.m. 31.27.18 .

D) A Plea Selling Forth The Desires Of The People Of San Blas, R. De P .

E) Diverse Correspondence Concerning The Republic Of Panama’s Law 59 Of December 12,1930, Regarding The Reservation Of The Cuna Indians’ Land For The Natives .

F) Letters From Nele De Kantule To Panama’s President And Other Authorities Regarding School Matters In The Cuna Villages .

Editor’s Appendix To Part A: Lionel Wafer’s Route Across The Isthmus Of Panama In 1681 According To Explanations Given By Ruben Pérez Kantule .

Part B. Cuna Documents Of Mythological — Historical Content .

I. The History Of The Cuna Indians From The Great Flood Up To Our Time .

Ii. History Of, And Names For, Neles; Ibeorgun’s Life .

Gm. 31.26.7 , Handwritten Paper By Pérez.

El Rio Donde Habitaron .

The Rivers Where They Lived .

Ibeorgun’s Life .

La Vida De Ibeorgun .

Habla Sobre La Manera De Hacer Inna .

Lo Que Pasaron Carban, Calib Y Acban .

Continuation, Gm. 31.27.2 . (two Last Pages, Handwritten By Pérez).

Continuation .

Continuation, Gm. 31.26.7 .

Continuation .

Iii. Traditions Concerning N[unknown]eles .

1. Organ .

1. Organ .

2. The Life Of Tiegun .

2. The Life Of Ti[unknown]egun .

3. The Life Of Nele Sibu .

4. Nele Pailibe .

» Lugar Donde Descendió El Pailibe:

The Place Where Pailibe Came Down:

Iv. Glossary Of Cuna Mythological Characters .

Part C. Cuna Indian Ideology .

1. About Purba, Niga And Kurgin .

Niga . 1

Kurgin .

Ii. Birth And The Coming Into Existence Of A Human Being .

Iii. Word Taboos And Figures Of Speech .

Iv. Relations Between Human Beings And Animals .

Appendix To »relations Between Human Beings And Animals»: The Creation Of The Turtles (la Creación De Las Tortugas) .

V. Incantations For Thunder, Rain, Storms, Etc.

Vi. Sympathetic Magic .

Vii. Snakes And Snake Bite, With Appendix: Snake Medicine Song .

Appendix: Naibe Ina — Snake Medicine Song .

Viii. Decoration. Body And Face Painting . With Appendix: Dark Indians And White Indians .

Appendix: Dark Indians And White Indians . 1

Ix. Picture-writings .

X. Are Nuchus Representations Of Saints?

Xi. Conceptions Relating To Dreams .

Xii. The Concept Of God .

Xiii. The Realm Of The Dead, And Ideas About Life After Death, With The ”nalub Nacruz Igala” Song In The Original .

Part D. On Illnesses And Their Treatment, Medicine Men, Prescriptions And Medicine Songs .

I. Illnesses .

Appendix: Extracts From »report Of San Blas Medical Survey» . 1

Summary .

Ii. Notations Concerning Medicines; Baths, Hygiene, Etc.

Iii. Medicine Men .

I. Absogedi .

2. Inatuledi .

Iv. Prescriptions And Medicine Songs .

1. Medicine For Curing Hemorrhage .

2. Medicine For A Quick Tongue .

3. Medicine For Lost Potency .

4. Sore Throat .

5. Medicine For Facilitating Child-birth .

6. Against Evil Dreams .

7. For Boils .

8. “hen-pecked” Medicine And The Song For It .

9. Symptoms Of, And Medicines For, “purua”, Epilepsy .

10. Song For Curing Nele When He Has A Headache .

11. Prescription For Sick » Kurgin ».

12. Additional Prescription For Sick Kurgin .

13. Six Prescriptions For » Kurgin ».

14. Song For Drunkenness .

15 . » Akŭ[unknown]al[unknown]el Igal And Otammipoet ». The Song Of Akŭ[unknown]alele For Returning To The Body The Souls Abducted By Evil Spirits .

16. Picture-writing On » Nelenusa » The Stone For Fever .

17. Siaigal — The Song About The Cocoa .

18. Kurg˘in Igal — Song For Headache .

Part E. Texts For Hunting Magic .

1. About The Bisep Plant .

1. Bisep Igal .

2. Explanation For The Picture-writing, Plate Xii , Treating Of Origin Of » Bisep » .

Ii. A Song About ”uéko” — The Bird Which Catches Snakes .

1. The Song About ”uéko” .

2. The Incantation To Precede The Uéko-song .

Part F. Songs For Pleasure .

I. » Machikŭnŭ[unknown]adil .»

Ii. The Song Of The Shell .

Publication Information

Paragraph Subjects (OCM)

Publication Information The main body of the Publication Information page contains all the metadata that HRAF holds for that document.

Author: Author's name as listed in Library of Congress records

Title: An historical and ethnological survey of the Cuna Indians

Published By: Original publisher Göteborg, Sweden: Göteborg Museum. 1938. xxvii, 686 p., plates ill., maps

By line: Author's name as appearing in the actual publication Erland Nordenskiöld, in collaboration with the Cuna Indian Ruben Pérez Kantule ; arranged and edited …by Henry Wassén ; preface by Walter Kaudern ; editorial chapter by Henry Wassén

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: Human Relations Area Files, 1999. Computer File

Culture: Culture name from the Outline of World Cultures (OWC) with the alphanumberic OWC identifier in parenthesis. Kuna (SB05)

Subjects: Document-level OCM identifiers given by the anthropology subject indexers at HRAF

Abstract: Brief abstract written by HRAF anthropologists who have done the subject indexing for the document The material in this document was arranged and edited from the manuscript and notes of Erland Nordenskiöld by Henry Wassén and from the original Cuna documents at the Gothenburg Ethnographical Museum. Many of these manuscripts were brought to Sweden by Nordenskiöld's native assistant, Ruben Pérez Kantule, who assisted in arranging and interpreting materials for Nordenskiöld and Wassén, after the death of the former. Wassén had for six months assisted Nordenskiöld and later made a trip to the regions occupied by the Cuna in order to study them so he was qualified to take over the task of putting in order the vast amount of material left by the author when he died. Wassén is responsible for the arrangement of the material because Nordenskiöld's manuscript was not completed and the comparative part of the work was entirely unwritten when editorial work began. For the complete story of the work of Nordenskiöld, Wassén and their informant, Ruben Pérez Kantule, see pages i-xxvii of the text. The excellent, original material appearing in this document is divided into seven parts covering the following topics: geography and population statistics; family and community organization, and various types of social relationships; political leaders; some Cuna texts; Cuna Indian ideology; medicine men and the treatment of various illnesses and disease; the use of magical songs in hunting, and songs sung primarily for pleasure. There are excellent plates of Cuna picture writing included. Throughout a great deal of this book the original text of various manuscripts appears on the left hand side of the page and the explained and translated text appears on the opposite side.

Document Number: HRAF's in-house numbering system derived from the processing order of documents 1

Document ID: HRAF's unique document identifier. The first part is the OWC identifier and the second part is the document number in three digits. sb05-001

Document Type: May include journal articles, essays, collections of essays, monographs or chapters/parts of monographs. Monograph

Language: Language that the document is written in English with some Spanish and Cuna

Note: Includes bibliographical references (p. 680-683)

Field Date: The date the researcher conducted the fieldwork or archival research that produced the document 1927

Evaluation: In this alphanumeric code, the first part designates the type of person writing the document, e.g. Ethnographer, Missionary, Archaeologist, Folklorist, Linguist, Indigene, and so on. The second part is a ranking done by HRAF anthropologists based on the strength of the source material on a scale of 1 to 5, as follows: 1 - poor; 2 - fair; 3 - good, useful data, but not uniformly excellent; 4 - excellent secondary data; 5 - excellent primary data Ethnologist-5

Analyst: The HRAF anthropologist who subject indexed the document and prepared other materials for the eHRAF culture/tradition collection. Leila Small ; 1951 ; 1966

Coverage Date: The date or dates that the information in the document pertains to (often not the same as the field date). historical period to 1927

Coverage Place: Location of the research culture or tradition (often a smaller unit such as a band, community, or archaeological site) San Blas, Panama

LCSH: Library of Congress Subject Headings Cuna Indians


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