“The gold prospectors became very many in our forest highlands, destroying the river’s headwaters and killing their inhabitants with their diseases. The gold miners are earth-eaters, evil beings! Their thought is empty and they are full of epidemic smoke! We must prevent them soiling our rivers and chase them out of the forest.
All the most valiant xapiri spirits come down to fight the xawara epidemic and gather in an innumerable troop to confront it. When it really becomes too dangerous and they must save their people from death, our shaman elders even make the epidemic’s own image dance … once it becomes a xapiri spirit, it bravely fights the white people’s dangerous metal smoke… This is how our great shamans sometimes succeeded in driving this fierce disease away and curing its victims in the past. Yet most often the xawara epidemic proves tougher to fight…and the xapiri’s efforts to destroy it remain in vain. Very high in the sky, its smoke becomes far too aggressive and powerful.
The xawara epidemic is very hard to fight because it is the trace of other people. It does not come from our forest. Its evil xawarari beings are more numerous than the gold miners and even than all the white people.”