Friday, August 25, 2023


I noticed today in this interesting Guardian article about indigenous drug runners in the Amazon that they kept the term maloca and followed it with "circular communal house." That nagged at me because it does not convey that it is a traditional indigenous structure, nor that it is sacred and ceremonial space - and I know that some of them are not circular. Interestingly the wikipedia entry calls them "an ancestral long house used by indigenous people of the Amazon." Hmm, that also seems a bit off, because they are often round, not long (though in fact I've been in several long ones). I would certainly keep the word maloca and then describe it. I've seen it described as a "big house" in other places. I don't love that either, for the reasons above. I'm curious to hear how you have described malocas in your translation and interpretation. Please comment!