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josiembrum at Oct 08, 2018 10:04 AM




[tains, which they fancy to be of a similar appear-
ance, and which, of course, as they suppose, must
possess the same property of floating upon the
water, assigning as a reason, that they are fearful
after an earthquake that the sea will again return
and deluge the world. On these occasions, each
one takes a good supply of provisions, and wooden
plates to protect their heads from being scorched,
yjrovided the Thegtheg, when raised by the wafers,
should be elevated to the sun. Whenever they
are told that plates made of earth would be much
more suitable for this purpose than those of wood,
which are liable to be burned, their usual reply
is, that their ancestors did so before them.

15. Division of time.— ‘Time is divided by the
Araucanians, as with us, into years, seasons,
months, days, and hours, but in a very different
method. Their year is solar, and begins on the
22d of December, or immediately after the southern
solstice ; for this reason they call this solstice
ihaumathipantu, the head and tail of the year,
and denominate June Udanthipmtu., the divider
of the year, from its dividing it into two equal
parts. These two essential points they are able
to ascertain with sufficient exactness by means of
the solstitial shadows. The year is called tipaniu,
the departure, or course of the son, as that lumi-
nary departs, or appears to depart, from the tropic,
in order to make its annual revolution : it is divid-
ed info 12 months of 30 days each, as was that of
the Egyptians and Persians. In order to com-
plete the tropical year, they add five intercalary
days, but in what manner they are introduced we
are not able to determine ; it is, however, probable
they are placed in the last month, which in that
case will have 35 days. These months are called
generally ci(/e«, or moons, and must have originally
been regulated wholly by the phases of the moon.
The proper names of them, as near as they can be
rendered by ours, are the following, which are
derived from the qualities, or the most remarkable
things which are produced in each month :
Avun-cujenj January, The month of fruit.
Cogi~cujen, February, The month of har-

Glor-cujen, March, The month of maize.
JUnm-cujen, April, The first month of the



J nanthor-enjen,



May, The second month of the

June, The first month of foam.
July, The second month offoahi.
August, The unpleasant month.
September, The treacherous

Hueul-cujeny October, The first month of new

Inanhueul-cujeny November, The second month of
new winds.

Huetiru-cujeny December, The month of new

The seasons, as in Europe, consist of three
months ; the spring is called peughen, the sum-
mer ucan, the autumn guafug, and the winter pu-
chnm. To render the distribution of the year
uniform, they also divide the natural day into 12
parts, which they call gliagantu, assigning six to
the day, and six to the night, in the manner of the
Chinese, the Japanese, the Otaheitans, and seve-
ral other nations. Thus each gliagantu, or Arau-
canian hour, is equal to two of ours. Those of the
day they determine by the height of the sun, and
those of the night by the position of the stars ; but
as they make use of no instrument for this purpose,
it follows that this division, which must necessarily
be unequal, according to the different seasons of
the year, will be much more so from the imperfect
manner of regulating it. They begin to number
their hours, as is general in Europe, from mid-
night, and give to each a particular name. In
civil transactions they calculate indifferently,
either by days, nights, or mornings; so that three
days, three nights, or three mornings, signify the
same thing.

16. Astronomical ideas.— To the stars in general
they give the name of huagleny and divide them
into several constellations, which they call pal
or ritha. These constellations usually receive
their particular appellations from the number of
remarkable stars which compose them. Thus the
pleiades are called cajupal, the constellation of
six ; and the antarctic cross, melerithoy the con-
stellation of four ; as the first has six stars which
are very apparent, and the last four. The milky
way is called rupuepeu, the fabulous road, from
a story which, like other nations, they relate of it,
and which is considered as fabulous by the astro-
nomers of the country. They are well acquainted
with the planets, which they call gau, a word
derived from the verb gaun, to wash ; from whence
it may be inferred, that they have respecting these
bodies the same opinion as the Romans, that at
their setting they submerge themselves in the sea.
Nor are there wanting Fontenelles among them,
who believe that many of those globes are so many
other earths, inhabited in the same manner as
ours ; for this reason they call the sky Guenu-
mapuy the country of heaven ; and the moon,
Cuyen-mapUy the country of the moon. They
agree likewise with the Aristotelians, in maintain-]