Monday, August 08, 2016


A friend alerted me to a recent article in the New Yorker magazine about an isolated, indigenous tribe in Peru, the Mashco. According to the article, "The Mashco had a ritual greeting: they hugged visitors, put their heads on their shoulders, and then felt inside their clothing, as if to ascertain their sex."

This reminded me of an Ocracoke Newsletter I published in February 2013:

If, in the unlikely event, you visit the Mashco in the Peruvian jungle you may experience this ritual greeting, but rest assured, you will no longer encounter a similar ritual on Ocracoke. It has been forty years since I have witnessed Ocracoke's variation.

By the way, I just learned that tomorrow is International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

Our latest Ocracoke Newletter is the story of Augustus Cabarrus, early inlet pilot, and the present day d'Oelsnitz family. Click here to read the Newsletter: Ocracoke...The French Connection.  


  1. Julie S.7:25 AM

    Does "thigh" on Ocracoke euphemistically mean genitals? Was this a sitting down or standing up greeting? I can't picture it - seems awkward either way! Thanks.

    1. It would certainly seem awkward today, but, years ago in a close-knit community where the gesture (simply a hand on the inner thigh...never sitting down) had a long tradition with no sexual or sensual element to it, it was simply another greeting among friends.

    2. Anonymous8:37 AM

      Yes, J. S., Suppose something got lost in the translation??. Now it makes hearing "kiss my ass" as something down right friendly.DD

  2. Julie S.12:22 PM

    Oh I'm sure it had no sexual intention, I was just thinking how physically awkward it would be to actually do that - standing or sitting. Maybe that is why the handshake became the popular greeting!! Thanks Philip.

  3. Anonymous12:38 PM

    A silly request, perhaps, but...maybe consider it in the spirit of "preserving island traditions." Might it be possible to post a video demonstrating the...mechanics of this greeting? In trying to envision it, there seem too many possibilities. For example, I can see a friendly, "pat-on-the-back" sort of gentle "slap" administered simply enough to the inward side of the upper thigh of someone who might be sitting down. More like a pat-on -the-leg sort of greeting. But I don't think this is what you're describing. Similarly, two gents standing up would seem to necessitate almost some sort two-for-fliching, half-leaning-over "feint" toward the other fellows..."inner thigh." The sort of move that might spark a reflexive, hands-over-the-crotch, defensive flinch if someone were to venture such a greeting today (again, understanding that this was reserved only for close friends and acquaintances). And if posting something here might be beyond your interest, perhaps the folks at the Preservation Society might take up the task. In any case, I've said it before, you ALWAYS keep things interesting here, Philip--enough so to spark even the occasional odd request such as this one. Thanks, as always, for fielding our inquiries.

    1. I have actually thought of this, but haven't been brave enough to ask any of my friends to volunteer for such a video! We'll see.


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