FINCA TATIN, Izabel, Guatemala- One of our dogs was off in a nearby jungle village biting people yesterday. Apparently, the dogs that live at the finca where I am currently working followed a tour group out to an indigenous village — as they often do, this is normal, we live in the jungle, all dogs run wild. There are plenty of other dogs in this village, some pariah, some kept, and all of this action sometimes drives our younger Rottweiler a little berserk — he is half pariah jungle dog.
He bit the guide of the tour group, who lives in the village. He bit a kid and drew blood.
The guide from the village came down to the finca to let us know what happened. He showed us the slight blemish on his leg where our dog bit him, he informed us that a kid was also bitten and the skin was broken.
He was not angry, he was not yelling. No money was demanded, no doctor visit requested, no compensation was requested beyond a little hair from the dog. This was all the village wanted as retribution for our dog’s rampage.
He wanted hair from the dog for a ceremony would need to be performed in the event that the kid who was bitten becomes ill. If this were to happen, the dog’s hair would need to be burned.
I agreed to cut the hair. I found a pair of scissors and made for the big Rottweiler who often sleeps outside my door at night. This dog is still a puppy, he is only a year old, but has a bum rear leg — any action that occurs near it is met with a big chomp from his jaws. I went to cut hair from the dog’s body, away from his injured leg, but the man from the village informed me that the hair would need to be from the dog’s tail.
Apparently, the ceremony called specifically for the hair from the tail of the offending canine.
I moved to the rear of the Rottweiler, he became anxious. I cut the hair in little tufts, my hands were chomped aggressively, but the dog would not bite me.
There was a big question about how much fur would be enough. It has to be enough to burn, I was told. My hands were being snapped at as I cut tufts from the dog’s tail. I offered one amount of fur, but was told that it would not be enough. The jungle villager was anxious to get the proper amount of fur, he pointed and gestured nervously. I cut more.
I then wrapped the fur in a piece of yellow lined paper, and handed it over to the man from the jungle. He took it and broomed the floor with his fingers to get as many odd strands of hair as he could. He was very serious.
The man then thanked us and took the yellow paper filled with dog hair back to his village, apparently, to place in safe keeping — just in case the boy who was bitten becomes ill and needs it to be burned.
Maya ceremony — burn hair from tail of dog if bitten
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