And this is where my story is headed. Rituals. The folk along this murky river bow their sweet heads to the crocodile. Every single dug out canoe was lovingly carved in honor of the same animal that takes many of their lives.
At the age of eight, there is a special ritual where they are first desensitized by being mildly whipped with a numbing cacti. They then are carved into with a knife and given amazing patterns of adornment. The fresh wounds are covered with sap which makes for the embossed skin. And so the crocodile is magically embedded within.