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 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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La Pincoya: The mermaid of abundance

This legend was originated at the Greater Island of Chiloé, off the Chilean coast, in the Pacific Ocean. During rainy winter nights, its inhabitants carry out an age-old tradition by sitting around a fireplace and telling children and/or foreign visitors about the different beliefs that gives this magic island its own special identity, and this is one of its most popular fisherman’s tale.

Rumors has it that this unique place was home to La Pincoya, a young and very beautiful mermaid with human characteristics and a long blond hair, daughter of the king of the sea.

 

According to this legend, when a fisherman witnesses La Pincoya dance, it’s a sign of abundance. She is responsible for patrolling the beaches and protecting the ocean, and her task is to fertilize the fish and shellfish beneath the water.

What is different about it though is that the amount of fish and seafood in the ocean depends on where La Pincoya faces while she dances. If facing the sea, then the people of Chiloé can rest assured that there will have an abundant harvest, but if she dances looking towards shore the fishes go away.

Another interesting factor about La Pincoya is that she likes to see people happy and cheerful,  so if she sees the fisherman’s having a good time it’s more likely that she will dance facing the sea.

So, next time you go fishing, we highly recommend that you go with friends rather than alone, and enjoy as much as you can, so you will have higher chances of catching something 🙂

G.S

 

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

The Ananuca

ananuca chile 1

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

tunche 1

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 Rabbit in the Moon

 

legend rabbit moon

The Rabbit in the Moon – Mexican Legend

Once upon a time the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl decided to explore the world. He turned himself into a mortal man and started his journey. He was amazed about how big and beautiful earth was. He was so excited that he forgot to feed and hydrate his mortal form. By the end of the trip he was exhausted and about to faint so he decided to rest on the side of the road.

Suddenly a small rabbit appeared and approached him.

conejo en la luna legend

“Are you ok?” The rabbit asked.

“No, I’m tired and hungry” The god replied.

Without knowing that he was talking to a deity the rabbit rapidly offered to share his food with Quetzalcoatl.

“Thank you, but I don’t eat plants” the god told the rabbit.

The small fury animal wanted to help the traveler so after further consideration he said:

“I have nothing else to offer, I am an insignificant creature and you need to recover your strength so please eat me and resume your travels.”

The god moved by the creatures’ noble gesture returned to his original godly form and held the rabbit so high that his shape was forever embedded into the moon.

He then gently put the rabbit back on the road and told him

“You might be a tiny creature but from this day on everyone in the world will remember you as the mighty rabbit in the moon”

mito el conejo de la luna

The rabbit shape in the Moon

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