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

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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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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

 

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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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The Calchona

La calchona

The Calchona – Chilean Legend

Once upon a time there was a happy family that lived in the Chilean Mountains. The mother was devoted to weaving, cooking and taking care of their two beautiful children while the father worked very hard in the field.

They appeared to be a normal country side family however, they did not know that the woman, the mother, was a witch. She kept several jars with creams and potions at home that, when applied on her body, enabled her to become a certain animal she chose.

Every night she sedated her husband and kids, covered herself with ointments, turned into an animal and went for a walk through the fields. Every morning before her family woke up she returned and applied some more cream regaining her human form. Her family never suspected anything weird.

Time passed and one day she forgot to sedate her children so they woke up in the middle of the night and saw her covering herself with funny ointments and becoming a sheep. When she was gone the kids took some of the creams and covered themselves as well, turning into foxes and headed outside to play.

When the kids got tired of playing around and returned to their home they didn’t know how to turn back into humans so they started to cry. Their bawl woke up their father. He was a wise man and immediately figured it all out. He turned his children back into humans and took them far away from their mother but not before throwing away every cream jar he could find.

When the mother returned home she realized her kids where gone and so where her creams. She tried and scratched the last drop of a leftover jar she found on the floor but that was only enough to turn her face back into human form. The rest of her body was forever turned into a black sheep.

Now when farmers hear a sheep bleating at night they know it is The Calchona and leave a plate of food for her since they know she is completely harmless and very sorry for committing the acts of witchcraft that led to the loss of her family.

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Chilean Countryside

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The Sacoman

sacoman -

The Sacoman

We all have been told scary stories when we were little in order for us to be obedient and do as we are told to. This Latin American folktale is one of the best known among parents in order for them to have their kids obeying them and in bed at no time.

The Sacoman

Legend says that if you are not a good son or daughter and you don’t behave, this scary old man will come from where ever he is, put you inside his sack and take you away forever.

Some say he will punish you by eating you bit by bit and some others say that he will just keep you as a pet, serving him for all eternity. The truth is, no child wants to find out.

He is an old man around 50 years old, average height and always wearing worn clothes, a sack and a hat. He walks hunched and showing constant tiredness making people feel sorry for him and deceiving anyone from his true evil intentions.

People say this is just a legend originated by the bad reputation of some beggars or homeless people that wonder around the city carrying their belongings inside a sack. Some others say that The Sacoman legend is based on a true life story about an American serial killer that used to pose as a poor old man that loved children attracting them by offering them candy from his sack.

The truth is that no matter where the legend came from, it works wonderful when parents need their kids to be obedient, go to bed early, do their homework or even eat every single one of their vegetables.

So now you know, be obedient and never accept candy from strangers.

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The legend of the colorful Bat

Plumas de colores

Colorful Feathers

 

Once upon a time there was a beautiful bat. He was the most beautiful creature that ever existed, because in his quest to look like the rest of the birds, he rose to the sky and asked the creator to give him feathers.

The creator told him that if he really wanted feathers he could ask the other birds if they could provide him with some of theirs. And so he did. He worked day and night to collect those beautiful feathers. He asked the most amazing specimens for just one of their very pretty feathers.

When he was done he was very proud of his accomplishment. He looked spectacular and loved swaggering his new looks in front of every animal in the world. He was so beautiful that with the echo of his flight he made wonderful rainbows.

Every animal looked at him with admiration. They couldn’t stop watching fascinated by the dazzling image. However, the flattering started to take its toll on him and pride took over. He began to look down on every other bird since he considered they were not as marvelous as he was.

He started criticizing other birds and comparing himself to them. Always pointing out the fact that he was the most beautiful creature that ever existed.

Since no one likes to be humiliated and looked down to, the bat’s lack of humility became unbearable for the entire animal kingdom and those comments reached the ears of the creator. The creator decided to call the bat for a brief meeting.

The presumptuous animal thought he was being called to receive some sort of award or flattery for his beauty and his ego rose with him beyond the clouds.  He was so happy he flapped again and again, shedding unconsciously all its beautiful feathers. Suddenly, he was naked, black and wrinkly as he was at the beginning of times.

Day after day the sky was filled with color and beautiful rainbow feathers were falling from the clouds as if it was some kind of paint filled rain.

The bat was so embarrassed, he went down to earth and took refuge inside caves refusing to see anyone. He lived in the dark, lamenting his selfish attitude and was never able to see color again.

Bat

Bat

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The moon and a flower – Vitória Regia

This is one of the most famous and traditional Brazilian legends. According to it, in the beginning of the world, every time the moon (Jaci) was hiding on the horizon, looking down from behind the mountains, it was taking one of its favorite virgins to live with it. It also said that, if the moon liked a young girl, it would make her a star in heaven.

Legend has it that an Indian called Naia, contemplating the moon shining in the sky felt in love with it and after learning about the legend, Naia dreamed of one day turning into star alongside Jaci.

Lenda_da_Vitoria_Regia

So every night, Naia would leave home to watch the moon and wait for the moment that it would reach the horizon and rush out to try to catch it. Naia repeated this search  every night, until one day, while trying to reach the moon,  Naia saw its reflection in the stream of water and without hesitating dived in an attempt to touch it and ends up drowning .

Jaci is touched with the effort of Naia and transforms the large flower of the Amazon, the Victoria Regia, which only opens its petals in the moonlight.

vitoriaregia

 

Açai, the legend!

Pretty much everyone knows by now the benefits of eating Açai but besides being delicious it has a very interesting and tense legend behind it and we are here to share this incredible story with you!

açai-roxo-cestos

Rumor has it that a long time ago, before the city of Belém existed in the north of Brazil, the area was home to a pretty large indigenous tribe.

As the food was insufficient and it was becoming very difficult to get enough food to feed all the Indians of the tribe, the Itaki cacique decided that from that day on all  newborns would be sacrificed to prevent the increase of his tribe.

But everything changed when the daughter of the cacique, called IACA, gave birth to a beautiful girl, who also had to be sacrificed. IACA was desperate, crying every night longing for her little girl and she asked Tupã to show his father another way to help his people, without the sacrifice of children.

One night, IACA heard a child crying and as she approached the door of her hut, she saw her beautiful daughter smiling at the foot of a palm tree. but as she tried to hug her, the little girl mysteriously disappeared.

IACA, inconsolable, cried until fainting and on the next morning, her body was found embracing the palm tree trunk, but her face still wore a happy smile and her black eyes gazed at the top of the palm tree, which was filled with dark little fruits.

Itaki then collected the fruits, which offered a reddish juice,  and named it ACAI, in honor of his daughter (inverted IACA). He fed his people and, from this day, he suspended his order to sacrifice children.

G.S