Introduction:MaxakaliCreationStory
Long ago, in the time of the ancient Maxakali,Topar, the creator, gave
the Maxakali an otter.Topar said, ‘‘This otter is to help you fish so that
you always have something to eat. But remember,you must always give
the three biggest fish to the otter.You arewelcome to all of the rest.You
mayfillyoursacksfullofthelittlefishsothatthewholecommunitycan
eat,sothatnoonegoeshungry.Thethreebiggestfish,however,arethe
otter’s.’’ And this is how it was done for many years.
AndinthattimeoftheancientMaxakali,theson-in-lawoftheguard-
ian of the otter decided that he would like to go fishing with the otter.
Hesaid,‘‘Heygrandfather,I’dliketofishwiththeotter.Wouldyouloan
it to me?’’ The old man replied, ‘‘Sure, but remember this otter belongs
to the community and that we have an agreement with Topar that the
three biggest fish must be given to the otter. If you do not do this, then
everything will come to an end.’’
This man, the son-in-law, took the otterand went down to the river.
When he got there, he threw the otter into the water.The otter dove in
andafterafewminutescameoutofthewaterwiththreeenormousfish.
The otter tossed the fish onto the riverbank and quickly dove back into
thewaterinsearchofmorefish.Theotterbroughtbackmoreandmore
fish, until the man almost had his sack filled. But the son-in-law could
not keep his mind off the three enormous fish that the otter had first
brought out of the river. He thought to himself, ‘‘I’m not going to give
those three big fish to the otter. I’m going to take them for myself. Be-
sides, he’s not going to notice.That otter doesn’t know any better.’’ So
when the otter was making one of his last dives for fish, the son-in-law
put those enormous fish into his sack and left for the village.
The otter returned to find that his fish had been taken. So the otter
dovebackintotheriverandswamawaydownstream.Onhiswaybackto
the village, the man began to rethink his decision. He quickly returned
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