Hiko’ovila is the Hiaki name for a small worm that lives deep in the throats of moreakame (people who practice witchcraft) and also some animals like paro’osim (rabbits) and maasom (deer). This worm is what allows a moreakame to bewitch people, though hiko’ovilam also grant animals a similar power. If a hunter is pursuing a particular yoawa and he takes aim and fires at the animal, the hiko’ovila may protect the animal from harm caused by the arrow or bullet. The hiko’ovila may also allow the yoawa to curse the hunter. The animal will turn and face the hunter and let out a puff of air, and once that air reaches the hunter, it will cause him to fall ill and eventually die.

For all of the power that hiko’ovilam grant people and animals, they can’t seem to handle spicy food. It is said that bewitchers cannot eat spicy food because it disturbs and harms hiko’ovilam, and this is also likely why many animals avoid hot peppers.

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