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.

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India Mariana Monument – Pocito, Argentina

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The Sunflower Legend

 

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The Sunflower legend

The Sunflower or “Helianthus” name in greek after Hēlios which means “sun” and Anthos which means “flower”, is consider a genius plant with more than 70 species. Recognized around the world because for its beauty, is also an important source of food. Its oil and seeds are valued as healthy nutritious and ingredient of many foods.

The Argentinian legend about the Sunflower

The legend says that closed to the Paraná River in Argentina, two main tribes were located. One of them was closest to the river. His Cacique was called Pirayú. Nearby was another tribe and Mandió as his Cacique. Pirayú and Mandió were very closed friends. Both tribes were very close exchanging constantly handcrafts and food.

Parana River

Paraná River

Carandaí daughter of Pirayú was a quiet beautiful girl. She spent most of her time looking after the sun.  On cloudy days, she gots sad and mad. Meanwhile, on sunny days, she was the happiest and shinning girl in her whole tribe.

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The Sunflower legend

One day, Mandió woke up with the great idea of joining both tribes reason why, he asked Pirayú to marry his daughter. Pirayú uncomfortable with his friend petition, angrily said No, explaining that his daughter, Carandaí, offered her life to the God “Sun”. Mandió upset with Pirayú’s reply, promised revenge.

One day, Carandaí was in her canoe looking to the sunset, when she saw fire coming from her tribe houses. She swam as fast as she could. Once she got there, she tried to land, but she couldn’t. Some external power didn’t allow her to leave her canoe. Mandió with angry voice, started to scream at her “You’ll have to ask your god to save you from my revenge” …them laugh.

Sunflower legend sunset

The Sunflower legend

Carandaí started to pray and beg “Cuarahjí”, the God of sun: “please, please my god, don’t let Mandaio to end with me and my town, please Cuarahjí, please my god”. She didn’t finish her prayers when Cuarahjí sent over her some storm rays that surround her and suddenly made her disappeared.

On the same place where Carandaí was praying and then disappeared, a plant started to growth. It had a huge green stem and a bright golden yellow flower, that as the princess of the tribe, keep her face upon the sky, always following the sun course, giving birth to the Sunflower.

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The Sunflower Legend

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