from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A large clay trumpet formerly used by certain Indian tribes of the Orinoco region.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
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Their cult centered around a sacred earthenware trumpet, called botuto, which was periodically sounded in elaborate ceremonial processions under the palm trees to insure abundant fruit, was consulted as an oracle, and for a woman to approach within sight of it, the penalty was death.
The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 9: Laprade-Mass Liturgy 1840-1916 1913
Savage notions love noisy music; the drum and the botuto, or trumpet of baked earth, in which a tube of three or four feet long communicates with several barrels, are indispensable instruments among the Indians for their grand pieces of music.
Some old Indians pretend to be better instructed than others on points regarding divinity; and to them is confided the famous botuto, of which I have spoken, and which is sounded under the palm-trees that they may bear abundance of fruit.
The soldiers called them together by the sound of the horn, or a botuto of baked earth, whenever any hostile attack was dreaded.
The piaches, or Indian jugglers, go into the forests, and sound the botuto (the sacred trumpet) under the seje palm-trees, to force the tree, they say, to yield an ample produce the following year.
On the banks of the Orinoco there exists no idol, as among all the nations who have remained faithful to the first worship of nature, but the botuto, the sacred trumpet, is an object of veneration.
Sometimes the Great Spirit himself makes the botuto resound; sometimes he is content to manifest his will through him to whom the keeping of the instrument is entrusted.
Father Cereso assured us, that the Indians speak of the botuto of Tomo as an object of worship common to many surrounding tribes.
If the people of Guiana had remained masters of that vast country; if, without having been impeded by Christian settlements, they could follow freely the development of their barbarous institutions; the worship of the botuto would no doubt become of some political importance.
To be initiated into the mysteries of the botuto, it is requisite to be of pure morals, and to have lived single.
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