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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The Ananuca

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Ananuca – Chilean Legend

Chile has beautiful landscapes and natural environments. Its diverse climate allows for many different species to grow and embellish the land. The Ananuca is a Chilean typical flower that grows between the town of Copiapó and the Quilimarí valley in the Coquimbo region. It is well known that the Ananuca flower is one of the most beautiful of the city but not many know its origins.

Legend says that long long time ago, before Chile’s independence there was an Indian girl named Ananuca. She was the most beautiful girl of the region and every man in town wanted to marry her but the girl was expecting for someone awesome, someone she truly loved.

One day a handsome young miner looking for a long lost mine was passing by and met Ananuca. The sparkle was there. They knew they were meant to be together and fell in love instantly.

The boy decided to drop his miner plans and stay in Coquimbo with his one true love. They were very happy together and made lots of plans for the future.

One night the miner had a dream. A mountain elf visited him while sleeping and told him the exact location of the mine he was looking for. The miner, excited about this new information woke up and left immediately looking for the mine.

Ananuca waited and waited for him. Day after day she hoped for him to come back but he never did. Some assume he died in the desert or got attacked on his way back. The girl couldn’t bear to live without him and without knowing what happened to him. After a long time waiting she died of sorrow.

The villagers buried her up the hill on a rainy day and on the next morning after sunrise that same hill was covered with beautiful red flowers that now are named after the most beautiful woman that town ever saw.

ananuca flower chile

Ananuca flower – Chile

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El Tunche

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El Tunche – Peruvian legend

 

The Peruvian rain forest is amazing in every way. It has unbelievable biodiversity and magical landscapes but it also gives births to many myths and legends that will make your jaw drop.

If you ever find yourself walking alone in the middle of the jungle and suddenly hear a painful whisle-like sound just run, find more people and stick with them because El Tunceh might be after you.

This creature is according to the legend a demon or spirit that walks around the rainforest at night. It is the protector of nature and a lost soul condemned to walk around the same paths he walked when he was alive. He collects the souls of those who died in the rainforest and takes the life of those who harm it.

El Tunche will just scare you off if you are in good terms with nature and respect the regions fauna and flora. But if you are disrespectful and harm the regions plants and animals in any way then you are in big trouble and might not see the next day.

Some say that he whistles to deceit you in to answering by whistling back and giving away your exact location. Some others say that it can change its appearance in order to attract lonely travelers or that the only way of recognizing it is by looking to its goat-like feet.

There are different versions about this same myth and maybe this is just a made up story in order for tourists and children to take good care of the natural environment of the region. But maybe, just maybe El Tunche really exists. So behave and take care of nature. You never know…

el tunche amazon river

Amazon River – Peruvian Rainforest

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The Myth of the Condor

el mito del cóndor

Once upon a time there was an old shepherd who lived with his beautiful young daughter in a little village at the top of the Andes. The girl pastured the sheep, llamas and other animals from her father’s farm.

Suddenly a young man started to visit her at the mountains. He went to see her every day dressed in a very elegant way. Black suite and black hat (like if he was going to some sort of gala in the Andes) and a beautiful shiny white scarf. They hang out together during the day when he visited while she pastured the animals.

Eventually they became close friends and at one of this friendly visits he asked the girl to play a game. “If you pick me up, I’ll pick you up”. She trusted the man and lifted her arms facing him. He grabbed her and by making a quick jump into the sky he turned into a magnificent condor and took the girl to his nest.

They lived together in his nest for a long time. He brought her food and took care of her and she fell in love with him and gave him a beautiful baby. The girl loved them both but she missed her father deeply and cried every night thinking about how lonely her poor old dad was.

One day she saw a humming bird passing by and asked him for help. The bird would go to the village and bring her father to rescue her and her child and in reward the humming bird will have every flower in her dad’s farm for himself. The cheerful bird accepted and on the next day the girl’s father was there with a dead donkey to distract the Condor while they rescued the girl and her child.

Once they were gone and the Condor had finished eating he returned to his nest and instead of his family he found two green frogs in their place. The humming bird was waiting for him there and told him that the girl and their son turn into frogs right in front of his eyes and there was nothing he could do.

Legend says that now the Condor watches over the Andes trying to find a new girl to bring to his nest and just once in a while when he sees someone as beautiful as the shepherd’s daughter he becomes an elegant young man and visits them trying to trick them into playing a game with him.

condor legend Peru

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Torobochi Tree Legend

Bolivia is part of the Andean region and is full of extraordinary myths and legends. Each of their 36 cultures of Bolivia has its own legend. What it makes Bolivian legends different from the other Andean countries is that the stories are told in the native language like Guarani and Aymara. In addition, native rituals support the storytelling.

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Legend from Santa Cruz, Bolivia

The spirit of the darkness, in the beginning, when the world was created used to abuse and murder humans the legend says. These spirits called “Aña” went after the cacique Ururuti’s beautiful daughter who was pregnant and would give birth to a son who would punish them, so they decided to kill her.

Flower Torobochi Tree 2

Torobochi Tree

Her husband god Colibri (hummingbird) gave her a flying carpet and Araverá was able to escape from the village, but the spirits of the darkness kept following her. One day, tired of being harassed she decided to hide in the trunk of a Torobochi tree and gave birth to her son.

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Hummingbird

The boy executed the prophecy, revenging his mother, who had to hide inside the tree until she died. Araverá buried in the amphora-shaped trunk of a Toborochi tree likes to come outside to attract hummingbirds, in the shape of a beautiful flower to keep contact with her husband.

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The Cradle of The Inca Empire

Lake Titicaca is the larger lake in South America and is the highest navigable lake in the world. The Lake is 122 miles long with an average  width of 35 miles. For the Incas is the beginning of civilization and the origin of the Inca Empire.

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Lake Titicaca

The legend says that the god of the mountains Apus had put people in a  valley, where they can have a healthy live under his protection. The people were happy and things would stay that way forever as long as they obeyed Apus. He only had one prohibition: that they never escalate the mountain where a sacred fire burned perpetually. The Devil was unhappy and convinced  the people at the valley to disobey Apus.

The people at the village started competing among themselves to see who was courageous enough to defy the gods and escalate the forbidden mountain. Unfortunately,  Apus found out and exterminated them, and sent pumas to eat them.

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Lake Titicaca Bolivian Side

It was devastating for Inti, the sun god to see the  destruction of his creatures, he cried and cried for so long that  he inundated the valley. Only a couple survived this flood of tears in a reed boat. After the flood passed over, the couple found themselves in the middle of a great lake, which had drowned the pumas sent by the Apus, turning them into stone statues. The couple then decided to call the Lake Titicaca, which in their language means “lake of the stony pumas”.

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Manco Capac & Mama Ocllo

 

Manco capac y mama ocllo folktale

This is a story about the beginning of one of the biggest South American empires that ever existed.

It is about the founding parents of an entire civilization who did a super nice job laying the grounds for the construction of one of the most magical cities in the whole wide world.

The legend of Manco Capac & Mama Ocllo, the beginning of the Inca Empire.

Many many maaaany years ago before Taylor Swift, the iPhone or even Bernie Sanders existed, men lived in caves. They walked naked among each other hunting and collecting food in order to stay alive.

The Sun God, Wiracocha, saw this and decided to send his son Manco Capac and his daughter Mama Ocllo to teach this savages new awesome ways to do stuff and become civilized people.

Before sending them down to earth he gave Manco Capac a gold specter and said: “Manco and Mama, walk around the land and try to sink the stick in the ground. When it does sink then it means that you found the promise land and you should build our empire there”

The brother and sister/husband and wife (and they called the other ones savages) came out from the waters of Lake Titicaca in the highlands of Peru and followed their father’s command. They walked and walked trying to sink the specter in the land but the land was really really dry and the thing wouldn’t sink!

When they were feeling defeated and about to give up they decided to take a little break on the Huanacaure Mountain in the now well-known Cusco City. Suddenly the unexpected happened, yes, the specter sunk! It finally did! Both were over the top excited and probably danced around and had lots of fun.

Manco Capac was in charge of teaching the savage men how to take care of the land and show them about agriculture, finishing, construction, religion, etc. Mama Ocllo taught women about textiles and domestic labor (feminism was around seven centuries later).

And this is how the Inca Empire started and how Cusco city became the Capital of the Inca Empire, the “belly button of the world” and bearer of Machu Picchu, the hidden city of the Incas and world wonder.

machu picchu folktales imperio inca

Machu Picchu, Cusco Perú

 

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