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MYTHS: Leokina Qhocha
LEGENDS: P'utusi Orqo - Kachi - Wari - Thaqo - Surimana - Inkaj Minasqan - Layqasqa Chhalana - Sara Chojllu - Para - Inkawaqana - Tanga Tanga - Telesita - Wak'ayasqa Sipas - Guatavita Qoya
FOLKTALES: Qori Chujchita - Supaypaj Wawasnin - Atoj Antoño - Kuntur - Chullpa Tullu - Tiri - Jukumari - Duikwan Mitschawan - Lari-Lari - Ch'useqa - Tigre Runa - Mayupi Kaj Wañusqa Killa
STORIES WITH A MORAL: Llant'eroj Hachan - Wañuypatapi Chajra Runa - Kawsayninchik - Luqt'u Kayqa Allin
TESTIMONIES: Qhoyas Llank'ay - Tiay Prima - Tata Pukara Fiesta
HISTORICAL STORIES: Malagüero - Tumbez-Tunupa
ESSAY: Campo Kausay
This text constitutes the myth of the origin of the precolumbian nation Cañari of Ecuador. The title means: "Lake Leokina". It narrates the following events:
A giant snake was born of Lake Leokina. In turn, this snake gave birth to the human race. Then she taught them civilization. After a time, some bad men and women made the snake angry, who reacted by attacking all human beings. The men and women sought help from Lake Leokina. The Lake tied up the snake with its rivers and buried it at the bottom of the lake. And so mankind could enjoy peace and fraternity again. This myth explains the ancient custom of making offerings to lakes.
There follows here a translation of this myth into Ecuadorian Quechua:
Kay Ecuador llaktapi rukukunaka willan kashna:
Ancha ancha ñaupapachapi, nin, karka shuk manchanaypa hatun amaru; kay manchanaypak amaruka llukshimushka karka shuk Liukina nishka kuchamanta.
Ñukanchik runakunata kay amaruka wacharka. Paypak wiksamanta llukshimurka warmikuna. Ñauparak karikuna llukshimurka, katipi warmikunaka.
Kay amaruka yachachirka runakunata chakrakunata rurana, chaki yapunatapash rurachirka. Warmikunamanka kurka Mama Ninata, paypak kununakunata katishpa runacunaka kallarirka wayramantawan tamiamantawan katari chukllakunapi.
Shuk puncha, shuk mana alli runakuna, mana allikunata ruraskamanta, piñachirka amarutaka; chaymanta paypak ruashkamanta piñarishpa kallarirka runakunata wañuchi, paykunapak chakrakunata puchukachi paypak venenoyuk kirukunawan manchanaypa hatun ancha sinchi chupawanpash, maykanmi hakanninashina karka. Ayllukuna chinkarka, chay runakunata pimi mana amarumanta mitikurkachu, llakilla amaruka wañuchishka karka.
Chaykipa chay runakunaka kuchamanta mañarka jarkachun. Kutin Mama Liukinaka, paykunamanta llakishpa, yanapayta mañarka puyukunamanta wayrakunamantapash. Shuk ancha piña makanakuy karka; kuchapak yaku chirpuyarishpa timpuhurka shuk manchanaypak kaparishkawan; chaymanta kinkraykunamanta shitarishpa panpakunata pukrukunatapash huntachirka...
Shuk puncha, piña yakukunawan waskakunawanshinalla, ancha hatun piña yakukunawan Mama Liukina watarka paypak hataririk puchukachik wawata, kutin kasilla sakirishpa, pamparka chay paypak amaruta wiñaypak watashkata kuchapak uku pampapi. Manaña kutin runakunata mikunmanchu, mana kutin paykunapak llaktakunata puchukachinmanpashchu, nishpa. Tukuy allipi kawsankunaman, ayllumashikunakari allpata tarpui tukunkunaman llanpu shunkuyukta, wawkikunashinalla, shuk taytapak wawakunashinalla nishpa.
Chayrayku runakuna kuchakunaman kamarikunata kuk karka, "mama kucha" nishpa, imarayku chay kuchakuna talliri ushankunaman, millay wiwakunata rikurichinkunamanpash.
abreviaturas: (L.C.) = Luis Cordero. (dwe) = diccionario web de Ecuaventura. (R.B.) = Robert Beér.
|ruku||- anciano (L.C.)|
|manchanaypa hatun||- enorme (L.C.)|
|manchanaypak||- terrible (L.C.)|
|wiksa||- estómago (dwe)|
|ñauparak||- primero (dwe)|
|katipi||- luego (L.C.)|
|chaki yapuna||- arado de pie (R.B.)|
|yapui||- arar (L.C.)|
|kununa||- consejo (en: "Los cuentos de cuando las huacas vivían.")|
|katari||- traduce "protegerse"|
|mana allikuna||- cosas malas|
|puchukachi||- destruir (L.C.)|
|veneno||- (cast.) veneno (sinón.: jampi)|
|sinchi||- fuerte (L.C.)|
|maykan||- traduce "la cual"|
|hakannina||- rayo (vocabulario de quechua ecuatoriano en disco compacto "101 Langua-|
|ges of the world)|
|ayllu||- comunidad (dwe)|
|pi||- traduce "quien", "que"|
|mitikui||- fugarse (L.C.)|
|chaykipa||- después de eso|
|harkai||- traduce "proteger"|
|kutin||- traduce la idea de "de su parte"|
|pillamanta llaki||- traduce "compadecerse de"|
|shukmanta llakik||- compasivo (L.C.)|
|piña||- traduce "feroz"|
|makanakuy||- batalla (L.C.)|
|chirpuyari||- encresparse (R.B.)|
|chirpuyashka||- crespo (L.C.)|
|kinkray||- ladera (dwe)|
|panpa||- valle (dwe)|
|pukru||- hondura (L.C.)|
|waska||- cuerda, soga|
|hatariri||- rebelarse (R.B.)|
|kasilla sakiri||- sosegarse, calmarse (L.C.)|
|allipi kawsai||- vivir en paz (R.B.)|
|ayllumashi||- traduce la idea de "comunero"|
|tarpui||- traduce "cultivar"|
|tukui||- poder (en: "Los cuentos de cuando las huacas vivían.")|
|llanpu||- blando, suave (dwe)|
|kamari||- regalo (L.C.)|
|imarayku||- traduce "porque"|
|talliri||- rebosarse, desbordarse|
|millay||- malo (dwe)|
fuente: Franklin Barriga Lopez – "Los mitos en la región andina: Ecuador." ("Leoquina.") 1984.
Ecuador kichwaman tikrachik: Robert Beér
"P’utusi Orqo" (in English: "Potosí Mountain") is a legend which narrates the history of the "Cerro Rico" ("Rich Mountain") of Potosí, beginning with the discovery of its silver by the Inca Wayna Qhapaj, until its rediscovery during the colonial era by the Indian Wallpa, and its subsequent transfer to the Spanish Crown.
"Kachi" (in English: "Salt") is a legend of the origin of salt. The legend relates that in times past there were two villages ("ayllus") which were enemies. And the village chiefs ("kurakas") forbade their respective inhabitants to leave the villages or "ayllus", as they used to be called. To this end, guards were placed on the outskirts of each village. And anyone they found leaving was sanctioned with the death penalty. In one of the villages lived a young girl who was ill and wanted to go to the village on the other side. Dressing herself in leaves, she succeeds in slipping past the guards and in entering the "ayllu" on the other side. There, she enters an old woman’s hut, and the old woman gives her some food with salt. She wasn’t familiar with salt, because there was none in her village. Thus, grateful for the taste of salt, she asks the old woman to give her a little to take home. Then, when she returns to her "ayllu2, she hides the salt under a tree in the patio of her house, and every time she had something to eat, she would take out a little salt to sprinkle over her food. Finally, her salt runs out, and then she decides to go back to the enemy village. But, this time, she is caught by her village’s guards, and the village headman pronounces the death penalty. The villagers lock her up in her house, where she confesses to her mother the reason why she committed her crime. Before dying, she asks her executioners to bury her under the tree where she used to hide the salt. When, a short time after, her mother goes to her daughter’s grave, from the place where her tears fall, appears a stream of salt. And in this fashion the inhabitants of her village also became familiar with salt.
This legend could be called the emblematic legend of Oruro. It relates a struggle between twp gods, Wari, who lives inside the Uru-Uru mountains, and Inti, the sun-god. Inti has a daughter, called Intiwara, the Dawn. When Wari begins to show his love for Intiwara, her father shuts Wari away inside a mountain.
In this region live some people from live by breeding llamas. The name of this region is "Uru-Uru". These people worship Inti as their god. Furious with Inti, Wari began to corrupt these people, making them leave off worshipping Inti and start to lead a bad life.
Then, after a time of this, in the midst of a terrible natural cataclism, a beautiful "ñust’a" (Inca princess) appears before them. This splendid woman taught the people of the region a new language, Quechua, and made them mend their ways. They returned to being religious and moral as before.
Seeing this, Wari swears revenge and send an enormous serpent to plague them, but the "ñust’a" cuts it in half with a flaming sword. Then he sends a gigantic toad, but the "ñust’a" kills it with her sling. Next he dispatches an enormous lizard, whose head the "ñust’a" cuts off. This and other monsters the "ñust’a" turns into stone. Finally, a host of enormous ants sprang out of the lizard’s head, which the "ñust’a" turned into sand.
Even today Wari betrays his presence with dark volcanic clouds which burst out of the mountain in which he is shut away. The people of Oruro identify the "ñust’a" with the "Virgen del Socavón" (patron virgin of Oruro, the mines of Oruro and the Oruro Carnival) or with "Pachamama" (Andean Earth-Goddess).
This Peruvian legend is about the origin of the "thaqo" (in English: "Carob Tree", in Spanish "Algarrobo"). The legend relates how in the days of the Incas people lived well with an abundance of agricultural produce; they also venerated their gods. At one point in time, however, they began to fall victim to excessive drinking and an immoral lifestyle. Seeing this, Inti, the sun-god, sends a terrible drought. Weighed down by the suffering caused by the drought, a woman has recourse to an "apacheta" (an altar made of piled-up stones on mountain summits and passes) to beg assistance from "Pachamama" (the Andean Earth-Goddess). While she falls asleep under a tree there, "Pachamama" appears to her in a dream and instructs her to pick the fruit of the tree under which she was sleeping and to distribute this fruit to everyone to calm their hunger. This is how the Carob Tree originated.
In very ancient times in the Callawaya region there once was a "mallku" (Aymara prince or chieftain). He had a beautiful daughter called Surimana. In the same region lived a poor young peasant called Walaychu. The poor peasant and the princess got to know each other and fell in love with each other, seeing each other every day.
However the mallku’s witchdoctor informed the mallku of his daughter’s infatuation with the young peasant. As he isn’t of noble or royal blood, the mallku has Walaychu locked up in prison. One day Surimana manages to enter the prison cell where her loved one is imprisoned and releases him from his chains; instead of escaping, Walaychu commits suicide. During his funeral procession, an old woman informs everyone that Walaychu’s mother was a princess. Repentant the Mallku gives orders that Walaychu’s body be buried in Surimana's "chacra" (farm, piece of agricultural land). For a long time after Surimana went every day to cry over her loved one’s grave. Then she, too, commits suicide, throwing herself off a cliff. Greatly distressed, the mallku orders that Surimana be buried beside Walaychu. A new species of potato miraculously springs up from Surimana’s grave. From being a cruel and wicked governor, the mallku becomes compassionate and kind-hearted, inviting the poor to his palace and giving them food and clothing; he lived to a ripe old age highly regarded by his subjects.
The title of this legend means "The Inca’s Loved One". Set in Chuquisaca, the ancient Sucre of the Incas, it relates how the Inca-governor of Chuquisaca swore fidelity to his loved one, the daughter of the high priest of Chuquisaca, and promised to eat her heart, if he didn’t comply with their love and she were to die. When this really happens, her father the high priest demands that the governor eat his daughter’s heart, because he had overheard the governor’s oath. The Inca-governor refuses to eat the heart but the priest insists, and when he threatens him with an axe, the governor carries out his promise. Then the priest is satisfied and declares: "Now I can bury my beloved Kimsa!"
The title of this legend means: "The Enchanted Totora-reed Boat". The following events take place in the legend:
During the Conquest some Spanish soldiers arrive at the "Island of the Moon" ("Isla de la Luna") on Lake Titicaca where there is a convent of virgins dedicated to the Moon, and seize the gold and silver which they find there. With them are some Aymaras who had given up worship of the Sun. The guardians of the convent, virgins dedicated to the Moon-Goddess, hide in a cellar under the convent. Anxious to seize these virgins, the Spaniards decide to spend the night on the island. Although the Aymaras refuse to reveal to them where the guardians are hiding, the Spaniards follow an old Aymara man, as he goes to visit the guardians. Thus discovering their hideout, they capture the majority of the Virgins. But before they can touch them, the Virgins kill themselves stabbing themselves with their gold cloak-pins. However, some other Virgins manage to escape to a jetty and board some totora-reed boats. When the Spaniards pursue them, they are shipwrecked on some rocks in the Tiquiña Strait. And the image of the Virgin they most wanted to seize, a young girl, appears on nights of full moon on a golden totora-reed boat lying on a "llijlla" (piece of native Indian woven cloth) with her clothes floating in the wind.
This is a legend of the origin of maize. "Sara Chojllu" means "Maize Cob".
In times gone by there were two "ayllus" (tribes, communities) in Qollasuyu (Bolivia): Chayanta and Charkas. Once a year these two "ayllus" used to meet in a battle or fight called "tinku". The Charkas fought with bows and arrows and the Chayantas with slings. Among the Chayanta tribesfolk there was a young man called Wiru, and among the Charkas a young girl called Sara Chojllu, who fell in love with each other and got married. When the day of the "tinku" arrived, Wiru had to fight against his wife’s "ayllu". To prevent them being on opposing sides, Sara Chojllu decides to assist her husband passing him stones for his sling. Then, there is a terrible occurrence: Sara Chojllu is pierced by several arrows, and dies. Wiru and his tribesfolk bury her in the place where she fell, and Wiru wept all night over her grave. Watered by his tears, a beautiful plant appeared; it was Sara Chojllu in another form and resembled her with its cob like a heart pierced by the end of the stalk which resembled an arrow. And the juice inside the stalk is Wiru’s tears.
This legend of the origin of rain is taken from an Inca poem, which belonged to Father Blas Valera who had it on a "quipu" (coloured strings with knots which were used as a form of writing by the Incas, mainly for accounting but possibly also for narrative) and which was saved by Inca Garcilazo de la Vega. "Para" means "Rain".
The legend relates that in ancient times there was a llama-shepherdess, who used to go everyday to a river to bring water for her family’s domestic use. There she used to bathe in a pool in the river where there was also a waterfall, and she used to turn into a beautiful "Ñust’a" (Inca princess). One afternoon, as she was bathing in the river, in a contemplative mood, she asked the river where it came from. The river answered that he and the Sun would carry her up into the clouds, that she would find her dead brother, and that there, too, she would discover where the river came from. And so they carried the young girl up into the clouds. Her parents, relatives and friends looked for her everywhere, but couldn’t find her. Then one day the young girl in the clouds appeared before her father, the village headman, and explained to him how she made it rain by sprinkling water from an earthen jar or when her brother broke it while playing. People in ancient times believed that this was how it rained.
"Inkawaqana" means "The Place where the Inca Weeps". This legend describes a rock where there seemed to appear an eye that wept eternally, which is the eye of a chieftain who was transporting gold to ransom Inca Atawallpa and wept forever when he heard that the Inca had been killed by the Spaniards. Nearby graze some enchanted guanacos (small cameloid animals like llamas) which alone are allowed to drink from the weeping eye.
This legend begins with a scene in which a line of Indians driving llamas loaded with gold is making its way towards Cajamarca to ransom Inca Atawallpa. The chieftain who is leading this expedition is called Tanga Tanga. They are in the mountains overlooking Chuquisaca (Sucre) when the news reaches them that the Spaniards have killed the Inca. Dismayed, they shut themselves away with their treasure in a nearby cave, forever…
When the Spaniards had already settled in Chuquisaca, a young Spaniard falls in love with an Indian girl, but threatens to go away to Potosí in search of silver to get rich. The Indian girl promises him all the silver he desires and takes him to the cave of Tanga Tanga, making him cover his eyes so he doesn’t see the way. The Spaniard takes as much gold, silver and precious gems as he can, and for a while the two live happily. Then the Spaniard demands that they go again to the cave. This time the Spaniard scatters maize grains in order to return alone to the cave. The Indian girl is aware of the Spaniard’s trick, and, when they are inside the cave, runs off and shuts the entrance to the cave with rocks, so that the Spaniard could stay with his treasure and never come out.
The translator who translated this legend into Bolivian Quechua, Fernando Mena, has given me the following information about the Indian girl Telesita:
"It seems that in Santiago del Estero [Telesita] is considered a saint and people go on pilgrimages to the place where she died. [Besides her figuring in an Argentinian song] El Chaqueño Palavecino (an excellent singer, currently very popular in Bolivia) also composed a song about her. Deep down it’s a sad story: the murder of a poor half-mad girl discriminated against for being Indian." (The words in square brackets are mine (R.B.).)
This legend has been translated into the Quechua of Potosí.
The original version in Quechua of Santiago del Estero and its translation into Spanish can be found at http://tq.educ.ar/grp0134/frame.htm ("Literatura quichua santiagueña").
The title of this legend originally in Ecuadorian Quechua means "The Girl Turned into a "W’aka" (idol, god of a locality)". The content of the legend is as follows:
A "wak’a" carries off a young shepherdess to his dwelling at the bottom of a lake. When the girl’s parents give a party, he lets her visit them. She arrives with a baby fathered by the "wak’a". She warns her parents not to look at her baby and goes out to fetch water. Overcome by curiosity, her mother has a look at the baby and sees a golden boa constrictor. When the girl comes back, she notices that her mother has looked at her baby and she flees with it returning to the bottom of the lake.
It may be observed that this kind of story of a young shepherdess carried away by a "wak’a" is very typical in the Ecuadorian oral tradition. There is also another somewhat different version in which the "wak’a" feels sorry for the girl and lets her live permanently at her parents’, giving her as a present two golden and two silver maize cobs.
"Guatevita Qoya" means "The Queen of Guatevita" and the original title of this Colombian legend is "The Princess of Guatevita". This legend goes as follows: In days gone by there lived a monarch and his queen and they had a daughter. One day the queen falls in love with a warrior from another nation. An old woman discovers their love affair and tells the monarch. The monarch prepares a party for his wife and orders her lover’s heart to be served up to her. Later the queen realizes what her husband has made her eat, and together with her daughter disappears into the depths of Lake Guatevita (near Bogotá), to appear as a spirit before the local inhabitants who go there to pray. It is also told that the local inhabitants threw enormous quantities of gold into the lake in honour of the lake deity.
Many thanks to Jorge Andrés Mier Gómez for obtaining a copy of this legend.
"Qori Chujchita" is a traditional folktale with an amalgam of features which are similar to some which are found in other known folktales (see "Kuntur" below, "Goldilocks" in the European tradition, although this may be purely coincidental, and "Wawa Uywaq Aguilakuna" ("The Eagles which Brought up a Baby Girl") in Johnny Payne – "Cuentos cuzqueños". Cuzco). "Qori Chujchita" means "Strands of Golden Hair" or "Little Golden Hair" and is the name of the main protagonist in the story.
The story is about a baby who is born in strange circumstances from a lump in a man’s calf. The baby has golden hair ("qori chujcha"). The man takes fright and abandons her, then she is carried off by a condor. The condor brings her up and soon she is a young girl. One day, the girl goes to the river to wash clothes, and there she meets a gallant young man who begins to court her, and, noticing her golden hair, asks her for a strand. Although the girl refuses, he steals a strand of her hair. And, when the condor returns to its nest, it counts the girl’s strands of hair and finds that one is missing. The girl blames the cat and the condor kills the cat. Another day the same thing happens and this time, the girl blames the parrot. The same thing happens again, and she blames the monkey. Then, the fourth time, the young man persuades "Golden Hair" to go away with him, and they go to his parents’ house. The condor looks everywhere frenziedly for its adopted daughter, and finally finds her in the young man’s house. She is hiding under an earthen jar, and adamantly refuses to leave her loved one and go back with the condor. Then, the condor, furious and vengeful, carries out a magic procedure, "sucking her" and reducing her to a pool of blood.
The title of this story means "The Devil’s Children". It conscribes to the traditional category of Quechua folktales which involve the devil.
The content is as follows: Many years ago there was a very isolated village in Bolivia. There lived there a shepherdess called Catalina, who lived with her parents. A young man called Paulino, who was a tradesman from outside the village, fell in love with her. When the shepherdess’s father heard about this romance, he shut his daughter away in a room in his house. By some mysterious means, Paulino manages to enter this room which was locked, to be at her side. After a while, Catalina became pregnant. To find out where Paulino came in and went out, one day Catalina ties a woollen thread to the young man’s waist, and sees that he has gone out through an opening in the window through which her mother passed her her food. One day, she persuades her mother to let her leave the room, and, following the woollen thread, encounters in a ravine a serpent with two heads. When her parents see that she is pregnant, they wonder how she could have got pregnant when she was locked up in the room. Then Catalina gave birth to two children who were half human and half serpents. The village folk and the village headman call seven priests, to bless the village and burn Catalina’s children. Just as the priest was about to burn them, Paulino appeared and asked him not to. From this time on, that village is bewitched, Catalina and her parents never grow old, looking after the serpent-men, and all the other villagers have disappeared. Only someone who is completely good and innocent can break the spell under which the village finds itself.
This is a story of the fox called in Quechua "Atoj Antoño" ("Anthony the Fox"), the most typical protagonist of Andean folktales. It relates three different episodes in which the fox is tricked by his arch-enemy the guinea-pig ("Kumpa Conejo"). In the first episode the guinea-pig makes the fox believe that it’s going to rain fire, making him get into a hole, covering him with branches and earth, and then pricking his hand with thorns. In the second episode, Anthony the Fox finds the guinea-pig holding back a large rock. The guinea-pig explains to him that if the rock falls the world will be destroyed, and asks him to hold it while he goes to eat. The fox complies with the guinea-pig’s request, but the guinea-pig doesn’t return. In the third episode, the fox finds the guinea-pig whistling, and asks him to teach him to whistle. The guinea-pig tells him that he has to sew up his mouth except for a small hole so that he can whistle better, because his mouth isn’t suitable for whistling. After having it sewn up, the fox sees a pheasant, opens his mouth to eat it and rips all his mouth open!
"Kuntur" (In English: "Condor") is a traditional folktale, and perhaps somewhat typical of the high plateau, told by an Indian girl from Ayopaya (Cochabamba Departamento). The theme of a shepherdess being carried away by a condor is very common in Andean folklore.
The content is as follows: A condor disguises himself as a young man to court a "cholita" ("Indian girl") who lives in the country. While they are playing at loading "aguayos" (bundles made of cloths decorated with typical patterns) onto their shoulders, the condor lifts the girl up onto his wings and takes her to his nest. After first of all bringing her a lamb, the condor brings her successively donkey meat and mule meat, to her disgust. In the meantime, she becomes pregnant. At her home, her parents notice she is missing. Their parrot, Lorenzo, tells them that he knows where she is, and they entrust him with bringing her back. The girl on the crag gives birth to two baby condors. Then Lorenzo arrives and they plot her escape. Because they can’t take the babies with them, they kill one of them, whilst the other gets away. When the surviving baby tells the condor that the girl has escaped, he swears he will kill the parrot. He flies to the girl’s house to sue him. And when her parents refuse to hand her over, they find that only bones remain of what was their daughter.
"Chullpa Tullu" (in English: "The Mummy Bone") is an imaginative and fictitious (perhaps not so fictitious) story about some Inca-Aymara ruins near Capinota (Cochabamba Departamento).
This is the plot of the story: A girl, called Gabina, one day doesn’t go to school for fear of an exam she has to do. She runs away to a mountain called "Poqotayka". Hiding in some bushes there she sees a dog "as big as a cow". The dog goes off and the girl follows it. At the foot of a mountain she sees an Inca village. Approaching the ruins, she admires what she sees before her. Near the ruins lives an old Indian peasant, Akino Machu, who, introducing himself as the place’s guardian, warns her not to touch anything she might find there, because she could be carried away by the "Mummy Bone". Disregarding the old man’s warning, she touches an artefact and a strange whirlwind blows her hand away. She goes along a plain and towards a column of smoke that she sees. She returns carrying a little monolith and a little pot. At midday she returns home and puts the two artefacts on a table in her room, without telling her parents about her find. That night she goes to bed and begins to reflect on the old man’s warning. Just at that moment the whirlwind arrives and plagues her sleep. When she awakes the next day, she finds that the two artefacts have disappeared.
The text presented here is part of a long Yuracaré folktale (the Yuracarés inhabited, and still inhabit, the tropical province Chaparé of the Cochabamba Departamento) included by Alcide Dessalines d’Orbigny in his book "Journey to South America", which, it is supposed, he took from the manuscript of a missionary, Father Lacueva, who lived for eighteen years among the Yuracarés; the French traveller D’Orbigny was in South America from 1826 to 1833.
Chapter I: Creation, destruction and re-creation of the jungle world. This first part begins with the creation of the world, which took place in the Yuracaré jungle. Some time after, an evil spirit set all the jungles alight. Only one man survived this disaster. The evil spirit, "Nina Runa", felt sorry for this single human being, and gave him a handful of seeds. When the man sowed these seeds, a whole new jungle sprang up.
Chapter II: The girl and Ulé. The man found a woman, and had several children by her, among whom there was a girl. One day, as she was walking in the jungle, this girl’s attention was caught by a beautiful tree. Her desire that it turn into a man becomes true and that night she sleeps with him, with this lover of hers called Ulé (derived from "uli" in Yuracaré which means male member). But the next day he fails to return. Taking her mother’s advice, when Ulé reappears a few days later, the girl binds him with mulberry bark, and in this fashion blackmails him into marrying her. For a while, they live without incidences, until one day Ulé is killed by some jaguars. When the woman arrives at the scene of her husband’s death, she carefully picks up the parts of his body, and, when they are put together, Ulé is miraculously resuscitated. (In this translation the intervention of Pachamama has been invented.) On the way home, Ulé stops on the bank of a river, and, looking into the clear water, notices that a piece of his cheek is missing. This makes him declare that he no longer wants to live with his wife, and that she should leave him, warning her not to look back if she should hear a large leaf fall from a tree. While she is walking alone, sure enough she hears a leaf fall, and imprudently disregarding Ulé’s instructions, she is overcome by delirious dizziness and loses her way. Only when she sees before her a hut in a clearing does her delirium leave her.
Chapter III: The jaguars’ house. The hut belongs to some jaguars. The woman finds the mother of a jaguar family, who hides her from her sons, who at the time aren’t at home. But when they return, they smell her presence and they order her to pick out some poisonous ants from their heads. To protect her, the mother jaguar gives her some pumpkin ("zapallo") seeds, telling her to throw the ants onto the ground and eat the seeds. While three of the four jaguars don’t notice her ploy, the fourth one has two additional eyes at the back of his head and, seeing her eating the seeds, seizes her and kills her, and takes out a baby from her womb, which he gives to the mother jaguar as her share of the food. However, the mother jaguar doesn’t eat the baby, instead she keeps it in a cooking-pot in the kitchen.
Chapter IV: Tiri. Without letting the other jaguars discover it, the mother jaguar brings up the human woman’s baby. The boy’s name is Tiri. He is now grown up. One day, the mother jaguar sends him to drive out a bird that is eating the pumpkins ("zapallos"). (This bird is called "ysheté" in Yuracaré; in the translation we have used the word "yuthu" ("pheasant" in Quechua) as this animal occurs frequently in Quechua folktales.) Tiri’s arrow only cuts off the bird’s tail. In gratitude for not having killed him, the bird tells Tiri that the jaguars killed his mother. Tiri swears revenge; he climbs a tree to ambush the killer jaguars. He kills the first three, but only manages to wound the fourth one which has four eyes; to escape from this jaguar blinded with rage Tiri climbs above the trees. He begs protection from them, and from the moon, which, at hearing him, invites him to hide in its face. From that time on, the Yuracarés believe they can make out the shape of Tiri in the moon and they say that is why the moon has dark marks.
This is a story about a bear ("Jukumari"). It is a very common folktale, of which there are different versions, in Bolivia, Peru and perhaps also Ecuador.
This tale of the Jukumari is as follows: Once there was a bear. This bear fell in love with a young shepherdess, and finally one day he took her to his cave. There they had a baby son. But, when she sees some people go by, the shepherdess begins to feel sad and yearn for her people. The bear became jealous and closed the entrance to the cave with a rock. The son promises his mother that he will move the rock when he’s bigger. And so, one day, the son moves the rock aside and the two of them leave the cave. In the world outside, the young son of the bear and the shepherdess has many adventures, in which he demonstrates an immense courage and superhuman strength. Then one day his mother is on the verge of death and she urges him to fetch his father, but she dies before her son can leave. Then the son is re-united with his father and the two of them live happily, until the father also dies. Then the son buries his father’s body in the same grave in which his mother is buried, and there the two bodies intertwined and made a beautiful tree appear. In this tree’s shade, lovers who have lost their loved one find solace and their hearts grow vigorous once more.
This is a folktale told by the Chimanés, a tribe that inhabit the jungle to the north-west of the Chaparé. The principal protagonists in this story are two gods who are brothers, Duik and Mitscha ("Duikwan Mitschawan" means "Duik and Mitscha"). Duik is the god of evil and Mitscha the god of goodness. When Duik steals Mitscha’s wife, Mitscha runs away from his brother, digging a tunnel through a mountain. Duik pursues him, and in the course of pursuing him, has various adventures with other inhabitants of the jungle, both animal and human. Finally, he arrives at a place called "warmiwarmi" (coincidentally "warmi" means "woman" or "wife" in Quechua) where the sky meets the earth and introduces a stick between the two to be able to pass through. After such imaginative and superhuman adventures, he catches up with his brother, who gives him one of his two wives, then this time it is Duik who leaves Mitscha.
According to the beliefs of the Callawayas, the Lari-Lari is a bird which kills its victims by stealing their soul.
Once, in the Bautista Saavedra province, a Callawaya was travelling to the jungle town of Apolo to bring incense. In a place where he stopped to spend the night he was approached by a Lari-Lari which tried to steal his soul imitating his loved one’s voice. Remembering the danger that this bird represented, the Callawaya pretended to be asleep, and then, when the Lari-Lari alighted on his heart, he seized it. Then he plucked it, cooked it and ate it. At this critical juncture, the place’s "awicha", a kind of bedevilled old woman, woke him from his sleep and threatenly told him that he would be dead in three days on account of having killed one of the Achachila’s (tutelary god of a mountain) creatures. Just as the "awicha" had pronounced, the Callawaya never woke from his sleep after three days.
The title of this story means "owl" in English. The story is about a girl who likes going dancing above all else, and who one day goes dancing leaving her ill mother at home alone, and when she returns finds her dead. So great is her remorse that she turns into an owl.
This story was told in the tropical Beni department, originally in Spanish, and is rather typical of its inhabitants in that they, like the girl in the story, seem to like dancing very much.
The title of this story means "The Tiger Man" in English. It is about a jungle Indian who turns into a tiger when he goes hunting. In the hacienda where he works, he is already suspected of being a witchdoctor. One day one of the hacienda farm workers overhears a conversation in which he tells his wife he is going hunting in a certain area of the jungle. The spying farm worker calls his fellow farm workers and they decide to follow the Indian with shotguns and dogs. In the meantime, the jungle Indian magically turns into a tiger to carry out his hunting plans. He is brutally attacked by the dogs, and when the farm workers arrive they find him very badly injured, in his human form again. He dies as they carry him back to the hacienda.
This story is about people from the tropical Santa Cruz province, or provinces, of Chiquitos, where there are still a number of native jungle Indians. Germán Coimbra Sanz, in his book "Relatos mitológicos y estudio analítico de los mitos vigentes en Santa Cruz." explains:
"The myth of the tiger man is principally confined to the chiquitano provinces, and those that are commonly called witchdoctors (brujos), trained in those regions, can be divided into two major categories: 1) The witchdoctors who practice medicine in a general sense using a small amount of superstitious practices and, 2) The witchdoctors (brujos, pichareros o hechiceros), who carry out the oboish (magic spell). Among the latter are those who have the power to turn into tigers or other animals. ..."
"In the myths of the primitive tribes who inhabit the East of the country, almost without exception, the belief is upheld that in ancient times there was no distinction between human beings and animals. The transformations ordered by the spirits, from man into animal and from animal into man, are frequent. Tiger Men are spoken of as a special race with cannibalistic habits, and in what amounts to a superficial approach they are considered as one more myth and not as a reality, namely as members of a very ancient secret society which subsists up to the present day. ..."
Doctor Wolf Lustig from the University of Mainz, an expert on Guaraní and author of a Guaraní-German phrase book, gave me the following information about this story: "a very similar mythological belief is that of "jaguarete ava" which is prevalent in all the guaranitic zone, and which could have penetrated from there into the region of the western Guaranís and as far as Santa Cruz."
We include here below translations into English, Bolivian Guaraní and Paraguayan Guaraní of this folktale:
The Tiger Man
Once there were some hunters; these men lived in the jungle of Santa Cruz. Every so often they went hunting in the forest, taking many dogs with them. They were the labourers on a landed estate (hacienda). And they worked on this estate growing rice and sugar cane.
In this same place lived a man called Miguel Chubé. This don Miguel was a Chiquitano jungle Indian, he had already been living on the estate for some time. He and his wife weren’t "jornaleros" ((day) labourers), they were paid according to work done. Miguel made things of leather, harvested rice, cut sugar cane, and he was paid according to the work done, and his wife was a laundress, and was paid for every dozen of clothing she washed.
Although don Miguel had been living on the estate for some time, the other labourers didn’t like him, perhaps because he was a Chiquitano jungle Indian, moreover because he had a reputation as a witch. The estate owner, a man who knew how to read and write, laughed at the way the labourers feared the Chiquitano, and defended Miguel.
One night some labourers from the estate were returning home after getting drunk. When they passed by Miguel Chubé’s house, they insulted him, shouting bad words at him. Don Miguel didn’t react, and in the meantime carried on skinning an "urina" (a kind of deer) in his patio.
One of the drunks, a man called Saravia approached him and asked:
"So you’ve got some fresh meat."
"So you were lucky hunting."
"How did you hunt it?"
When don Miguel gave no answer, the drunk lifted the urina skin and looked at it: it was torn along the neck and back. Then he put it back down.
"Let’s go, my friend." he said to the other drunk.
"Aren’t you going to buy his meat?"
"Not even if it was free!"
Saying no more, he went off stumbling towards his house, and his friend didn’t understand why he hurried. Catching up with him, he asked him why he was hurrying, and Saravia answered:
"Didn’t you see the urina skin? There was no bullet hole. How do you think that man killed it…? I think I already have an idea how."
Then all the labourers were talking about how that animal skin had no bullet hole. And Saravia observed don Miguel in secret, thinking he could be a witch, he spied on him in his home and in the jungle.
One day, hiding amongst some bushes near Chubé’s house, he overheard don Miguel say to his wife: "I’m going hunting in the forest. I want to eat wild boar." Saravia knew that the wild boar were to be found in a swampy place near the river Güendá. So, after he had told his friends, they went with their shotguns and dogs to that spot in the jungle.
Don Miguel left his house without a shotgun, then, following a narrow path, he entered the jungle. After walking for a while towards the swampy area, he stopped, listened to all sounds of the forest, and then it seemed to him that there was no danger; he broke the branches of some bushes and he scattered them on the ground in such a way as to form a bed. Then he took all his clothes off and rolled on the leaves… just by doing this he turned into a beautiful tiger.
The tiger slowly began to move. Scratching, he dug his claws into the bark of a tree, then he opened his mouth showing his red throat, then roaring very loudly, he approached the swampy place without rustling the leaves on the ground. After walking a short distance, he stopped and scented danger. His whiskers moved and his ears gathered that something was wrong. Suddenly he heard the barking of dogs. Where dogs went, men probably went as well, he thought. He stopped for a moment to ascertain what was going on. He shouldn’t have done that, when a pack of dogs was approaching. He wanted to escape opposite, but the dogs, barking loudly, were about to appear, and he heard the speech of men. Although the tiger tried to get away, the dog were getting nearer and nearer. Then he jumped up into a tree, growling at the barking dogs.
The tiger heard the men’s shouts getting nearer, then he urinated on the ground below. Then, jumping down onto the ground, he rolled on that moist earth. But the dogs were biting him from every side.
When they arrived, the men found don Miguel naked, covered in blood from the dogs’ biting. The dogs were standing fiercely around that man. They no longer bit him, they only growled with their fur on end.
The men cut some sticks and made a stretcher, and they took him to the estate on this. But the man died on the way.
Oiko ndaye arakae guataregua
i Santa Cruz rupi patoroüpe oyeokuai yogu ireko
vae reta. Aipo iguatase ñogu inoi yave ombo avaiäetei opüa
oguata j imba ndive-ndive kaa kot i. Jae reta ip itepe
ndaye oiko metei mb ia jembireko reve vae, chiquitano ndaye jae,
Miguel Chuvé jee vae, erëi jae ndaye ima ngatuma oiko jokope
japicha retagui, jaeramo mbet ima mbarav ik i
ipo igue mbatee oyapouka ipatoroü chupe. Guasupi pegua mbarav ik iapo
re ndaye jae oiko, erëi ámope ojovi aró ipoope ani takuarëe iyas iape.
Jokuae-kuaere ndipo ndaye japicha reta oyambotaä nunga, jare jeräkua yoap ivi
ndaye mbaekuaape. Erëi ipatoroü ndaye oaiu yae Miguel, echa ïru ipeone retare
ipïrimbae aipo vaeno, täta ndaye oyuvanga jese reta, yepe teï ndaye tupapire
ave oikuaätei jokuae karai.
Metei pïtu ndaye mokoi osava
reta oasa Miguel jëta iv iri rupi yave opoko
oyangao reta ñee ñamboas i rapegue vaepe. Erëi ndaye Miguel
mbaet i oñangareko jese reta, jekuae gu irae
ndaye jae guasu imboipe oñembokepegua oiko joka rupi.
Jokoräi yaye ndaye Saravia
jee va oyemboya ikot
¿Rembae yuka echaguaa ñandeve?
i, nde mbopota aipo ñanderu reta.
¿Kiräi yera reyuka?
Kirïiño ndaye Miguel chugui.
Javoi ndaye oechama yave imbor
ikaä miaripe, opokoma aipo ombo ip i
omae oiko guasupire, oecha ndaye jaeñoma iñekäraiägue oyekuaa iyayu kot i,
jokuae oecha rupive omboguey i rai-rai.
Yajamo ree, jei ndaye iguata ïrupe.
Reguataä yera soo?
Añeteparee¡ Je ndaye.
Jaema etei aipo ambo
oguata jëta kot i oyepokua-pokuai ndaye ojo ip iroätape,
iguata ïru ndaye opatatamí vae ja ikue, erei oipokuaä etei
ndaye maerako gu iramoi peguaño Saravia oyemboambue vae.
Ayeapeägue ndaye gu iraja oipit i oparandu
¿Reecha yera guasupire mbaet
ietei mokava ijendague jese?
¿Kiräi rako oyuka?
Aramoete ndaye jeräkuama
jokoropi jokuae osava
ipogue reta oechague, erëi Saravia ndaye
jaema ombo ip i oipiäro v iari
Miguel, oipota etei ndaye oipokou añeteko imbekuaa vae.
Metei ara ndaye oendu Miguel
jei jembirekope. "Ajatama aguata ñandeve tiäro, mbov
ara yaema taitetu soo ayue aiko.
Jokuaeñoete ndaye Saravia
oendu jemai os
ii ojo ombeu japicha retape.
Jaema etei aipo opoko jae reta
räri oñemotenonde taitetu iy
iv ië kot i,
guata regua reta ramo jokot i voi opa imboka povëe-vëe yogu iraja.
Miguel ndaye oëvi oguata,
erëi imboka mbaeño ndaye jae ojo. Imangatuma oiko kaape yave ndaye op
omae kot i-kot i oipo jokoropi, oyeap isaka
yepi ndaye ámope, oechai ndaye kaa kirïi ngatu. Jaema etei aipo ombo ip i
ñana roo omondoro oip iso iv i
rupi, opa oyemboi javoi oyeapayere p ipe... jokaräi rupive
ndaye oyeapo yaguarä. Jaema etei aipo ambo ip i
oyembieka, ima katuma oguatama yave gu iramoiño iä-iä mbae
chupe, kirïi ndaye jokope iyap isa ombov ii-mobv ii
gu inoi, koo yepe ndipo ya imba reta iñaro
oendu, jaema etei aipo ombo ip i ikepegua oeka
keräi oñemi vaerä, ojo yeeti räri ndaye omae v iari räri
michi pegua, oechai ya imba opoñ iyee iv i
rupi yogueru ikot i, jaema etei ndaye oyeupi teï iv irare
chugui, erëi ya imba reta opavoima oñova igu i
mbove ndaye oendu kooñoetema mb ia reta yogueru, jaema etei
ndaye okuaru ivategui javoi oyap iraa
ikuaruguere oyeapayere, erëi ya imba reta ndaye ombo youpe-upe
jokope paravete, ya imba iya reta yogueru oväe jokope yave
ndaye oecha Miguel paravete jugu ipïra yee vae oï ya imba
p itepe, opaetei ndaye oyesuu-suuka paravete ya imbape.
Jaema etei aipo oyapo retaëi
ikara, gu iraja vaerä jëta kot i,
erëi tape rupiñoma ndaye omano paravete.
translated by:Guido Chumiray Rojas, Director of Teko Guaraní, Camiri, Bolivia. November 2006.
Oikóva mokôi mymba jukaha; ko’â tapicha oiko Santa Cruz ka’aguýpe. Sapy’ánte ohóva ka’aguýpe mymba jukávo ha oguereha hikuái heta jagua. Ha’ekuéra omba’apóva peteî estáncia-pe. Upépe oñoty arroz ha takuare’ê.
Upépe avei oiko peteî karai hérava Miguel Chubé. Ko karai ha’e ava chiquitano (chiquitano aty rehegua), ymáma oikóva upe estancia-pe. Ha’e ha hembireko ndaha’éi omba’apóva ára ha ára áæa katu ojehepyme’ê ichupekuéra tembiapo ojapomíva rehente. Miguel omba’apo vaka pire rehe, oñoty arroz, oikytî takuare’ê ha ojehepyme’ê ichupe tembiapo ojapomíva rehente ha hembireko oajohéi ichupe ha ojehepyme’ê hese pakôi repyrehe.
Jepe Karai Miguel aréma oikoha upe estancia-pe, umi omba’apóva upépe ndohayhúi ichupe ha’éguine ha’e chiquitano ka’aguygua, avei oje’égui hese avapajeha. Upe estancia jára, tapicha kapupyry ohai ha omoñe’êkuaáva; opuka hesekuéra okyhyjégui hikuái upe chiquitano-gui ha oipytyvô jepi ichupe.
Peteî pyhare, umi omba’apóva upe estancia-pe ojevýhína hógape omokômba rire. Ohasa jave Miguel Chubé roga rovái rupi, osapukái ichupe, he’i hikuái ichupe mba’evaieta. Karai Miguel ndojapói mba’eve ha oipire’o peteî urina (guasúichagua hatîva) ikorapýpe.
Peteî umi oka’úva
apytepegua oñemboja hendápe ha oporandu:
"Ha reguerekora’e so’o pyahu!"
"Ndepo’a ra’e mymba jukahápe".
Mba’éicha piko rejuka ra’e?
Karai Miguel nombohováimaramo iporandu, upe oka’úva omopu’â vaka pire ha oma’ê hese: oñeikytî ijapépe ha ijajúrape. Upéi omoî yvýpe.
"Jahápy che irû ", he’i upe oka’úva
"Nderejoguamo’âi piko iso’o"?
"Eme’ê reíramo jepe chéve, ndaipotái"!
He’iÿ rehe mba’eve,
osê oho hóga gotyo ñepysanga sangápe ha iñirû ndoikuaái mba’e rehepa
iñaæe. Ohupytývo, oporandu ichupe mba’e rehepa iñaæe ha Saravia
"Nderehechái piko upe vaka pire"? Ndoguerekói vála kuare. Mba’éichanepa ra’e ojuka...? Che aikuaanungáma mba’éichapa".
Ha upéicha opavave omba’apóva
upépe oñe’ê mba’éichapa upe vaka pirekue ndoguerekói vála kuare. Ha
Saravia oma’êñemi jepi karai Miguel rehe ikatúramo æuarâ ha’e peteî
ava paje; oma’ê ñemi jepi hese hógape ha ka’aguýpe.
Peteî jevy, okañy jave
ñanandýpe Chubé róga ypýpe, ohendu Karai Miguel-pe he’ívo hembirekópe:
"Aháta amymbajuka ka’aguýpe. Ha’use kure ka’aguy". Saravia
oikuaa kure ka’aguykuéra oîha kararuguaha rupi ysyryha ypýpe. Upéicha, he’i
rire iñirûnguérape, oho hikuái. ka’aguýpe imbokapuku ha ijaguaita reheve.
Karai Miguel osê hógagui imbokapuku’ÿ reheve, upéi oho peteî tape po’i rehe, oike ka’aguýpe. Oguatami rire oîha gotyo ka’aguy, opyta, ohendu ka’aguy ryapu, upéi oñandúvaicha ndaiporiha mba’eve ivaíva; omopê ñana rogue ha omosarambi yvýpe ojapo haæuáicha peteî tupa. Upéi oñemboipaite ha ojapajeréi yvyra rogue ári... ojapóvo upéicha oiko ichugui peteî jaguarete neporâva.
mbeguekatúpe oñepyrû omýi. Oikarâivo omoinge ipyapê yvyra rehe, upéi
ojejurupe’a ha ojehecha ijahy’o pytâha, upéi okororô mbaretépe oñemboja
karuguahápe ombopiriri’ÿ rehe yvyra rogue yvy rehe. Oguata mbykymi rire,
opyta ha oñandu oîha upe rupi mba’evai. Ijururague omýi ha inambi oñandu
oîha mba’evai. Peichahágui ohendu jagua oñarôva. Ohohápe jagua, ohóta
avei tapichakuéra, ojepy’amongeta. Opyta sapy’a ohecha haæua mba’épa
ojehu. Upéva, mba’e ndojapóiva’erâ jaguaita oñemoaæuigui. Okañyse
tenonde gotyo, áæa katu jaguaita oñarôva oæuahêpotaitéma, ha ohendu umi
tapicha oñe’êva. Jepe jaguarete okañyse, jaguakuéra oñemoaæuivéntema.
Peichahágui opo sapy’a ha ojupi peteî yvyra rehe ongururu jaguakuéra rehe
tapichakuéra osapukáiva ka’aguýpe oñemoaæuimaha, upémaro yvatégui
okuaru yvy gotyo. Upéi opo oguejývo, ojapajeréi upe yvy akÿme. Áæa katu
jaguakuéra oisu’u ichupe opa hendáguio.
Oæuahêvo, umi tapicha
ojuhu Karai Miguel-pe opío, huguypa oisu’uhague rehe ichupe jaguakuéra.
Pochy reheve, jaguakuéra ojerepa upe karai rehe. Ndoisu’uvéima ichupe,
ongururúntema ha hague pu’âmba.
Tapichakuéra oikytî yvyra rakâ ha ojapo peteî tupa’i ha ogueraha ichupe ipype estáncia-pe. Áæa katu upe karai omano tape rehe.
Prof. Lic. Mario Bogado Velázquez, Asunción, Paraguay. August 2006.
see his website "Guaraní
Mayupi Kaj Wañusqa Killa
The translation of the title of this story is "The Moon Dead in the River." It is the adaptation and free translation of the short story of the same name by the well-known
writer from Tarija, Oscar Alfaro; it is a very interesting short story. It is a love story between Indian campesinos with a tragic ending. Two Indian campesinos fall in love and meet every night after pasturing their flocks and every morning when the campesina goes to a nearby river to collect water. The campesino sings beautiful songs to his loved one, and two lines of one of these songs read:
"My life will follow the flower,
If the flower is carried away by the river."
The story contains a weight of destiny which comes true as foretold in the song when the girl is really carried away by the river during a tremendous storm and her loved one follows her to a shared death.
STORIES WITH A MORAL
The title of this story is "The Woodcutter’s Axe" in English. It is about a woodcutter who one day accidentally drops his axe in the river. A river nymph appears and offers him a golden and a silver axe, asking him if they are his, both of which he refuses, and he accepts only his own axe which the nymph offers him. As a reward for his honesty, the river nymph gives him all the axes. When the woodcutter tells his story to friends in his community, one of his friends decides to try to obtain golden and silver axes, and deliberately drops his axe in the river. When the river nymph appears and asks him if the golden axe is his, he lies and says it is. Realising how dishonest this person is, the river nymph disappears, and the man also loses his own axe.
This story was told to me by René Guillermo Romero Galarza, a languages teacher in Cochabamba. He said the story was taken from Tolstoy; however, it has several elements which coincide with ones often found in Quechua folktales, such as giving a reward of gold and silver, and the distinction between a good person who is rewarded and a greedy person who is denied the reward.
Wañuypatapi Chajra Runamanta
The title of this story is "About an Indian Peasant on his Deathbed" in English. In it, an Indian peasant on his deathbed tells his three sons that they will find gold and silver in the earth of the fields. When they don’t find any, the eldest son explains that their father meant that the agricultural produce they were to obtain from the land was to be their gold and silver.
This story was told to me by René Guillermo Romero Galarza, languages teacher in Cochabamba.
The title of this story is "Our Life" in English. It consists of an allegory of human life using as protagonists an apple tree and a child who becomes old. The apple tree and the child are friends. One day the child says he wants toys, so the apple tree says he can sell his apples. Then the child disappears for a long time and returns as a young man with family. He says he needs a house for him and his family, and the apple tree says he can build a hut with sticks and branches cut off his trunk. The man disappears again. He returns, much older, and says he needs a boat to sail in and to rest in, and the apple tree gives him his trunk to make a boat out of. The man disappears again.
When he returns again he is an old man, and all the apple tree can offer his friend are his roots to rest on. The two sit happily together. Then the allegory is explained: the apple tree stands for our parents, and just as the child mistreats the apple tree so too do we mistreat our parents, but they put up with it, and are there to help us.
The author of this story is Juan Revollo Valencia, from a community ("ayllu") called Kipallu ("Quepallu" in Spanish) in Linares province in the south east of the department of Potosí.
Luqt’u Kayqa Allin
The title of this story means "It’s Good to be Deaf" in English. The story is about some toads who are in a race to climb up to the top of a tower. Whilst they are making great efforts to be the first to reach the top, the spectators shout: "Oh, how sad! Those toads won’t reach the top... they won’t reach the top..." The toads get tired and stop before they reach the top, except for one, who manages to climb all the way. The other toads wanted to know how he managed it. When one of them asked him, they realised he was deaf. In other words, because he was deaf, he hadn’t been put off by the spectators’ pessimistic shouting. The story ends with a moral and a warning: Don’t let other people spoil your hopes, and remember that the words you hear can be very powerful. If anyone says you can’t achieve your goal, become deaf.
The author of this story is Juan Revollo Valencia, from a community ("ayllu") called Kipallu ("Quepallu" in Spanish) in Linares province in the south east of the department of Potosí.
This testimony ("testimonio") was dictated by Benjamín Ramírez, ex-miner from the "Siglo XX" mine.
The title means "Work in the Mines". It is a description of the principal experiences of a miner, both as regards being part of a commercial-foreigner concatenation, as well as regarding the foremost religious-superstitious aspects, which animate and encourage the miner in his hard work.
In a Quechua of Potosí, the narrator makes a novitiate convey the first impressions from inside the mine, which are of fright and disorientation, which develop into a dependence on the miners’ beliefs which are essential to survival in an evidently hostile environment.
The "Tío" (literally means "uncle" in Spanish), who is the Devil of the Mines, helps the miner progress in his work through the fear that he inspires, because it is on the "Tío" that all disasters are blamed. The miner can only achieve success and security if he manages to equal the "Tío" in strength. If an accident happens to him, he mustn’t fail to make offerings of coca to the "Tío" and to sprinkle ("ch’allar") him with alcohol. To this end, in every mine there is an effigy of the "Tío" in a niche near the entrance.
Originally, the "Tío" lived alone. Then he married Pachamama (Andean Earth-Goddess). Therefore, it is also customary to sprinkle alcohol in her honour every Tuesday and Friday.
Besides the "Tío", there is another Devil in the mines, which is the "Gallo" ("Cock" in Spanish), a real but invisible cock that enters the mone with the miners in order to extract ore. To bring them luck, the miners wear "foxes noses" as talismans.
The narration concludes with some details of the miners’ social life inside the miners’ compound, not forgetting to mention the infamous "mal de minas" ("mines disease") which they may contract.
The events in this testimony are presented as true, because that is how the narrator’s aunt told them to her. ("Tiay Prima" means "My Aunt Prima".) It is about part of her aunt’s life when she went to live with her loved one in the Chaparé. One day while she was bathing in the river a demoniacal force drags her under the water. So she doesn’t go home and her husband, Julián, gets desperate. Then one night she appears to him in the house, but disappears again the next day. When she fails to return, Julián goes to consult an "aysiri" (a kind of witchdoctor) who performs three "aysas" (sessions in which the witchdoctor tries to "pull" the spirit of a person who is lost or dead). During the third "aysa", Aunt Prima appears, and from then on Julián takes great care of her, so that no demoniacal intervention is repeated. The aunt said that a "maligno" ("evil one", "devil") had her in its possession, but that she had also been accompanied by a "wak’ita" ("little god") which appeared to her as a little Indian boy with "juk’utas" (Indian rubber sandals) and a little bag of coca.
Tata Pukara Fiesta
"Tata Pukara" is the name of the fiesta of Tarabuco, Sucre Departamento. The text consists of a description of the fiesta. This story tells of the origin of the "Kwichi", a tree branch in the form of a cross, describes the "Pukara" ("fortress"), an arch decorated with agricultural produce, the "Pujllay" ("game", "playing") which consists of dancing, the apparel of the dancers and the system of fiesta patrons ("pasantes" and "prestes").
"Mal agüero" is a Spanish phrase, also borrowed by Quechua, which means "ill omen", "bad sign". This is a historical story which takes place in the Cuzco of the Incas during the reign of Inca Wayna Qhapaj. It is the time of the "Inti Raymi", a splendid fiesta held in honour of the Sun-God. All the citizens of Cuzco are gathered in the square of Kusi Pata when an ill omen appears: an eagle, pursued by smaller birds, falls at the feet of the Inca. Several months later, another ill omen occurs: three aureoles appear around the moon. The wise men and coca-readers interpret these events as presaging the future fall of the Inca Empire. Sure enough, eight years later, the Spaniards arrive and annihilate the Empire.
"Tumbez-Tunupa" is a historical story and an attempt to unite European traditions and Andean history in the central moment that is the arrival of the conquistadores on the coast of Tawantinsuyu. "Tunupa" is the name of an Andean god who like a sort of Christ is represented walking from the Northern coast to the Southern Andes preaching as he went. The comparison is applied to the figure of Pedro de Candia, who arrived on the North coast of Peru at Tumbez and later lived and died in Chuquisaca (Sucre), Bolivia, although he was a soldier and not a preacher.
The first chapter narrates some events in the reign of Inca Wayna Qhapaj; this is when the Incas began to receive indications of the Spanish presence.
The second chapter relates the arrival of a Spanish vessel on the coast of Ecuador.
The third chapter narrates the next voyage of this group of Spaniards with Captain Francisco Pizarro and the pilot Bartolomé Ruíz, during which Bartolomé Ruíz boards a Chimú raft from the Inca Empire and during which Francisco Pizarro draws the famous line in the sand on the island of Gallo.
The fourth chapter narrates the arrival of a more ambitious expedition of the Spaniards who decided to accompany Pizarro and of reinforcements from Panamá during which they drop anchor in sea before Tumbez, and in which the reader, after getting to know the principal protagonist of this story, Pedro de Candia, reads about his adventures in the city of Tumbez. Also presented here is the future treacherous tumbesino Felipillo.
The fifth chapter narrates the civil war between Waskar and Atawallpa which the Spaniards learn about after the first contact between Spaniards and Tumbesinos, then the arrival of Pizarro’s definitive expedition, and consequent death of Atawallpa.
The sixth chapter centres on the later life of Pedro de Candia in the Southern Andes and Chuquisaca (Sucre), and on his participation in the civil wars between the supporters of Pizarro and Almagro.
"Campo Kausay" (in English: "Life in the Country") is a narration of the adventures and impressions of a town boy who goes to the country to visit his cousin. During his stay he comes to appreciate many aspects of life in the country, and at the same time learns of some of the beliefs of the Indian peasants.
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