In 1961, from the pueblo of Tiputini in the Ecuadorian jungle, my sister Terry and I hired a Jivaro Indian crew with a canoe to take us down the Rio Napo to Nuevo Roca Fuerte at the Peruvian border. The canoe was a long hollowed-out tree. One man stood at the back of the canoe, using a long pole to navigate and to test the depth of the shallow water, which was golden from the mud. Three men paddled it with paddles that were short and wide like Japanese fans. (Read the story at Ecuador Travel Adventures.)
Along the way, we were joined by a very pregnant Ecuadorian woman. As we floated along, she hummed a song. We loved the haunting melody. She taught us the words to Vasija de Barro.
“Yo quiero que a mi me enterran, Como a mis antepasados; En el vientre obscuro y fresco, De una vasija de barro. Cuando la vida se pierden, Tras de una cortina de anos, Vive en la flor del tiempo, Amores y desengano.”
Loosely translated it means: “I want to be buried like my ancestors in the dark and fresh belly of a clay pot. When life is lost beyond a curtain of years, loves and disillusion live in the flower of time.”
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