The legend of Mariana and the golden cross

mariana cross

Once upon a time there was a very rich Spanish man named Antonio who lived in a small town south of Michoacan, State of Mexico. He had great riches but his greatest treasure was his teenage daughter Mariana who was so beautiful some believed she was an angel on earth.

Mariana fell in love with a handsome Indian boy from the village. He was very brave and had true feelings for the beautiful girl. Unfortunately for the young couple, Don Antonio would not allow her to marry anyone. He was very selfish and excessively jealous so to avoid ever losing his greatest treasure on May 2nd he hiked the devils hill where it was well known men with horrible wishes went to make even more horrible deals with the devil. Antonio didn’t find the devil so when he reach the top of the hill he cried “I would rather Mariana and everyone around me die than to see her being taken by another man!”

The next day during the Celebration of the Holy Cross, Mariana’s boyfriend gave her a small cross made of gold that belonged to his ancestors as a symbol of the union of a heroic race with another of talent and nobility. At that exact moment the earth began to tremble and there was a terrible cataclysm. An atmosphere of fire and earth invaded the village killing many people and Mariana, her Indian boyfriend and her father where never found under the mud.

The few that managed to escape believe the devil fulfilled the jealous father’s request. They transmitted the story from generation to generation. Today you can see the remains of that terrible event at the San Antonio hill, also known as Mariana. People gave the mountain the name of the beautiful girl since it seems that it is she who is laying there, waiting for her beloved boyfriend for all eternity.

Every year on May 3rd during the celebration of the cross many assure to have seen a beautiful young girl singing a sad song and kissing a small gold cross hanging from her chest. They claim to have seen her walking towards the hill and disappearing suddenly.

mariana and the golden cross

Mariana Mountain

CDLG

“Bumba my Ox”- a Brazilian folk dance

Mixing up things a little bit! Today we are going to talk about the folk dance of “Bumba my Ox”, which is one of the outstanding cultural traits in Brazilian culture, especially in the Northeast of the country.

The dance appeared in the eighteenth century as a form of critic to the social situation of blacks and Indians. The “Bumba my Ox” combines several elements, such as comedy, drama, tragedy and satire to demonstrate the fragility of man and the brute strength of an ox.

Legend says that once there was a very rich farmer who owned a beautiful ox. In his farm, lived Father Chico and Catirina, his pregnant wife. One day, due to her pregnancy cravings she told her husband that she really wanted to eat a ox tong, and afraid to lose his son, the man decides to steal the ox from his boss to meet the desire of his wife.

Captura de Tela 2016-05-03 às 01.30.12

According to one of the many versions of the legend,  Father Chico then kills his boss preferred steer, but felling regretful about it, he seeks a shaman to resurrect the ox.

When the ox is reborn, everything turns into a big party, and everyone celebrates the ox health with a great feast.

The interesting part of the story is that it remains a strong cultural expression in Brazil and every year thousands of people celebrate the legend dancing around the characters. During the dance the ox is killed, just then being resurrected by a tug on the tail and back to dance! Are you curious to see hoe does it look like? Check out this  video and let us now how you fell about it!

GNS

 

 

 

Princess Hapunda and the Patzcuaro Lake

Yunuen white Heron

Princess Hapunda turned into a white heron

Hapunda was a beautiful princess that lived on the Yunuen Island on the Patzcuaro Lake. She was not only gorgeous but also very kind and the most beloved person in the entire island.

Stories about her exceptional beauty and kindness started to spread around the surrounding villages and finally got to the ears of some Chichimecas  warriors. This unwanted characters decided to kidnap the princess and take her to their king as a gift hoping for glory and gold in return. The princess’ brothers offered to defend her but she knew that the enemy army was much bigger and powerful and her brothers would probably not succeed and die defending her.

She was not going to surrender easily either so she decides to escape in the middle of the night. She run to the Patzcuaro Lake who she believed was her one true love and poured her dramatic story into his waters. The lake felt her sorrow and despair and asked her to dive into his waters so they can be united forever and so she did. After going into the deepest end of the lake she emerged, reborn into a mighty white heron and forever stayed around her beloved Patzcuaro flying and feeding from it for all eternity.

Yunuen

Patzcuaro Lake

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Boitatá, the fire snake…

For the night is dark and full of terrors.

Sorry, I’m not talking about Game of Thrones, I got a little caught up, but this legend is somewhat as dark as GOT. Rumor has that a certain time in Brazil the woods were in darkness, without any sign of sunlight. Heavy storms had felt, causing flooding in the forests, leading to the death of many animals.

Of the few animals that remained, a snake was left without food, making it eat the eyes of the other dead animals that it could find. Because of that, the light of these eyes started to build up inside the snake’s body, leaving it totally transparent and illuminated.

However, feeding on animal eyes left the snake weakened and after a while, it  could no longer resist. They say that the internal light that came out of the snake turned back into the sun, bringing light back to the world.

The snake came to be called Boitatá and according to the legend it protects the  forests against fires.

G.N.S

The Zirahuen Lake Legend

Zirahuen Mermaid

Princess Erendira – Mermaid

Twenty kilometers away from the city of Patzcuaro, center of Michoacan State, Mexico, we can find the city of Zirahuen. This is a city mainly known for their wonderful artisans and rich gastronomy. It’s beautiful lake located right in the heart of the city makes this an amazing touristic destination and a quiet and relaxing place to spend your holidays.

“Zirahuen” means “mirror of the gods” which pretty much explains the following legend.

The origins of Lake Zirahuen

Legend says that after the fall of Tecnochtitlan city, among the newly come Spaniards there was a not so handsome captain who fell in love with princess Erendira, daughter of king Tangaxoan.  He wanted to have her for himself so he kidnapped the princess and hid her in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains.

Princess Erendira cried day and night and prayed to her gods to save her and free her from her natural prison. The gods of day and night, Juriata and Jaratanga listened to her and decided to help her escape. They turned her into a beautiful mermaid and her tears were so powerful that a lake was form right in the middle of the valley and with the help of her fins she swam away and got her freedom back as she had prayed for.

Villagers say that the mermaid is still living under the deep end of the lake and sometimes around dawn she emerges in order to lure and punish men of evil hearts.

ZIRAHUEN

Zirahuen Lake

 

CDLG

The Indigenous woman

Indian mariana

“Pocito” is a place located in the province of San Juan in a southern region of Argentina. Its name, which means “Little pit” was originated because of a very popular legend among local residents.

The legend of Mariana, the indigenous woman

Legend says that every summer a woman came to town and stayed for the entire season. She was not tall but very very thin. Her skin was like rusty bronze, glowy but very wrinkled, probably because of all the sunbathing she did during the summer. Her look was deep and dark, it was like she was hiding some kind of aggressive behavior inside her eyes which changed color depending on the time of day.

She always worn the same big layered skirt, a washed dusty turban and a rugged “rebozo” raped around her shoulders and she was always seen with an old flimsy dog. The animal stayed with her for the entire season and never left her side.

Every year she did the exact same thing, sat on a side of the road under an old carob tree that seemed to magically bloom with her arrival and whither when she was gone. She sat there smoking big cigars and telling old stories to local children. The little ones loved her Indian tales and where lured towards her.

She spoke slowly, without looking at the motley circle of little children, in her voice, they found a world of superstitions and centuries that are already gone. People could tell she enjoyed it. Like if she was remembering some old anecdotes and childhood memories.

She knew every one of the kids by name and was very kind to them. She didn’t like adults, almost never spoke to them and always gave them a certain “evil look” some said. She only spoke to them to sell them the little golden nuggets she carried every summer with her. She said she collected them from a nearby pit that only she could find.

One day a group of Spaniards arrived to the city. They soon learned the story about an old indigenous woman and her golden nuggets. They couldn’t resist the temptation so they followed her into the dark in order to find the pit that would make them rich and steal all the gold. Instead they found Mariana’s dog, turned into an almost demonic creature with breath like fire and piercing red eyes. The men turned around and started running trying to escape the beast while hearing a witch like laughter coming from behind.

That same night a big earthquake hit Pocito city and Mariana was never seen again, neither was her dog or her golden nuggets.

Legend says that the Spaniards never came back. After several weeks only one of them was found. He was now a crazy man talking about ancient legends, demonic dogs, shiny magical caves and a beautiful queen, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

From that day on many looked for the pit where the golden nuggets could be found but no one ever found it.  The city was named after that same “little pit” and many still dream about finding it and becoming very very rich. Who knows? Maybe someday someone will.

india Mariana

India Mariana Monument – Pocito, Argentina

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The Ayar brothers

hermanos ayar ingles

Ayar Brothers – Peruvian Legend

The origins of the Inca Empire have many similar stories and the one of the Ayar Brothers is one of the most popular versions.

Long, long, very long time ago over the Pacaritambo Mountain, four young men and for young women emerged from the land. Ayar Manco and his wife Mama Ocllo, Ayar Cachi and his wife Mama Cora, Ayar Uchu and his wife Mama Rahua and finally Ayar Auca and his wife Mama Huaco. They were the Wiracocha god sons and daughters which meant they were brothers and sisters also.

Ayar Cachi was the strongest of all, he was so strong that every time he threw rocks with his slingshot, this rocks knocked down mountains or reached the highest part of the sky and made it rain and thunder.

The other three brothers where very jealous of his power and decided to leave Ayar Cachi out of the “Let’s build the Inca Empire” equation so they tricked him and his wife into going in to a cave to search for food and locked him up for good with a giant stone.   Legend says that his brother’s betrayal made Ayar Cachi so mad that his screams made the earth tremble and the skies shiver.

The other brothers continued their quest, eventually arriving to the Huanacaure Mountain where they found a stone idol. Ayar Uchu decided to destroy it but as soon as he touched it he was turned into stone.

The remaining brothers knew they had an important mission so they couldn’t stop to grieve. Ayar Auca miraculously grew wings and flew away hoping to find the place they were so desperately looking for in order to found the Inca Empire. He flew over a place called “Pampa del Sol” and decide to explore it. As soon as he landed he also was turned into stone.

There was only one brother left, Ayar Manco and as we mentioned in our Manco Capac & Mama Ocllo Legend, he is the one that received the honor and responsibility of leading the foundation of the Inca Empire.

He arrived to the city of Cusco, sunk his golden stick and started to build the new Inca civilization and Empire.

The Ayar Brothers Peru

Peru

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