The Story of Suam, Chief of the Swami Tribe

There was once a splendid  plot of land of priviledged location that belonged to  one of the bravest and fiercest  indian chiefs. He was known as Suri The Great because he was one of the most corageous and fiercest warriors of the region. Suri had conquered this patch of land after long and bitter battles against  the Gageles Indians in which he had shown his outstanding   ability for war and his remarkable bravery  in the battlefield.

This most valuable piece of land of excellent qualities, sloped gently downwards towards the river Izaguel which zigzaged through the Patuel valley forming one of its borders. The whole of Suri´s territory was surrounded by magnificent rows of  larch trees. It was excellent for cattle pasture and its soil wonderful for agriculture. On its southern side stood some lovely woods of larch trees.

In spite of Suri´s superb qualities as a warrior there was a darker side to his temperament. When he was not involved in battle he was, unfortunately a drunkard and a ladysman and became deeply indebted due to his irresponsible, careless and disorganized lifestyle. His reckless habits made his debts grow larger and larger until he was forced to sell his land in order to pay off his creditors as soon as possible.

But he also discovered that the value of his land would not cover the amount he needed pay off his debts.

Suri realized as well and with great satisfaction that his precious piece of land was very valuable due to the numerous potential buyers who turned up, willing to buy his property. Consequently,  he decided to dishonestly  sell it twice and after such action move on to new adventures. Following his plan, the next morning Suri sold his land to one buyer and that same night to another one. The following morning he payed off his creditors, collected his war tropheys and abandoned his tribe forever in search of new horizons and was never seen again.

Suam, the old chief of the tribe, had to face serious problems after Suri had left, and after long years of disputes, battles and conflicts between the two innocent buyers, over the ownership of the twice sold land he managed to pacify the situation by solving the problem after great pains and difficulties and once the conflict had been solved swore to himself this would never happen in his tribe again. He summoned his sorcerer and following his advice ordered that in future land could be sold only if he was a witness to  such a sale. In addition, all sales would have to be duly registerd on goatskin parchment to avoid problems for ever. At that moment Suam, the old chief of the Swami tribe had given origin what is known as Land  Registry. There were never again double sales in the Swami Tribe.

(Cuento de José Ciampagna traducido al inglés por Susana Maqueda)

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