THE CARIBBEAN: The Quaint Men of Guajira

On the Guajira Peninsula, at the northernmost tip of South America, live 18,000 nomadic Indians who roam a sandy waste (part Colombian territory, part Venezuelan) mounted on horses or old Ford trucks. Anthropologists' accounts of the Guajiro Indians read like tongue-in-cheek parodies of all sober treatises on Quaint Customs of the Aborigines. Item: a thief hurt while trespassing on the property of an intended victim can demand, and get, compensation from the property owner. Item: suicide is a means of vengeance; the person who kills himself believes that he will suffer less than those who goaded him into the...

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