In Memorium

To the great regret of family, his friends, and his colleagues, Charles Hogue died suddenly in mid-1992, while the manuscript for this book was being typeset. The Press would like to thank his son, James Hogue, for skillfully and meticulously seeing the book through the final stages of proofreading and printing. His care ensured that Latin American Insects and Entomology, Charles Hogue's last major work, would appear when and as his father would have wished.

The ubiquity of spirits and the impossibility of killing them seem to personify a feeling of helplessness in the face of an environment so beautiful and so cruel. On the river or working in a garden the sun hurts, "It is eating," the Sharanahua say, and heads ache for the rest of the day. The incessant gnats feed all day, and, as one lies in a hammock, someone leans over and slaps hard and says, "sandfly," and a black fly, fat with human blood, falls dead. Sundown is a moment of relief which even a hundred mosquitoes cannot mar.

In the forest someone shouts to warn of an uula, the huge stinging ants that make one drunk with pain, and, reaching for a handhold on a tree, one must avoid a swarm of red fire ants. Returning, one looks for ticks, huge tapir ticks, gray and voracious, or worse, the almost invisible tiny red ticks that burrow into the skin and hurt for a week. The women dig the egg sacs of chiggers out of toes skillfully so that the sac does not break to leave a budding worm to swell the foot, and they break each and every tiny egg with a needle so that it does not lie in wait for another bare foot. An infected gnat drops a worm's egg into the leg while sucking blood, and two weeks later the pain of the worm turning in the leg is excruciating, and it must be removed by daubing an old, foul, drop of tobacco juice on the skin and slowly winding the worm out on a stick. Women and girls pick lice out of men's hair and their own, break them in their teeth and eat them. When faced by a new animal or insect, I learned to ask both, "Do we eat it?" and "Does it eat us?"

Janet Siskind, To Hunt in the Morning r

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