La leyenda de Guatavita

La leyenda de Guatavita

“Por el crimen de amar fue condenada y con su pequeña huyó buscando amparo, así el refugio que los hombres le negaron las aguas se lo dieron. Por su gentil belleza el dragón rey de la laguna se desposó con ella. Guatavita, su esposo inconsolable, ordenó a los jeques en vano rescatarla. Desde entonces, en noches de luna, sobre el lago aparecen, anunciando fantásticos sucesos. Hoy las vemos flotando sobre el agua, como símbolo eterno del amor.”

Ines Elvira Ortiz heard this story in the outskirts of Colombia, the indigenous workers would tell her these stories by the campfire.  This story, in particular, is about a women condemned for the crime of loving another person.

The English Translation:

“Long ago, before the conquistadors arrived in the country of the Muiscas, the inhabitants of the region of Guatavita, east of the Savannah of Bogota, worshiped a princess who, on the nights of full moon, left the bottom of the Lagoon and walked on the water in the thick fog.

They say that a great cacique of the Guatavitas, of the same dynasty that would give rise to the government and the empire of the Muiscas, was married to the most beautiful lady belonging to his tribe: a noble princess whom all the villagers loved and their home Had been blessed with the birth of a beautiful girl who was the adoration of her father.

After some time, the cacique began to distance himself from the princess: his many occupations in government affairs as well as other women, kept him away from the heat of his home. The princess endured for a few months, as she did, a woman of her rank, her long absences and her husband’s continuing infidelities, but one day they were more lonely and sad than the rigid social norms, and she fell in love with one of the Nobler and handsome warriors of the tribe. To his happiness and fortune he was entirely reciprocated.

They say that the lovers could not see each other as soon as they had wanted to, since the great cacique was in those days among his own. But one night after one of the accustomed celebrations of the president, the couple could consummate their love, while the people slept. Suspecting something, the cacique entrusted to an old woman the task of watching the princess. One night, the old woman discovered what was happening and brought the news to the boss.

The next day, the cacique organized a big feast in honor of his wife. The princess was served a tasty venison heart. As soon as she finished eating the delicate dish, the people-with the cacique at the head-burst into a horrible laughter, which made her understand the truth; His lover had been murdered, and his heart had been fed.

Desperate, she decided to flee from her husband’s side. Some days after the tragedy, he took his little girl and left for Guatavita. They say that when he arrived, almost at midnight, he paused for a moment on the shore to contemplate the lagoon, from which rose a thick mist; Then looked lovingly at the child and threw herself into the water.

Upon hearing the news, the cacique ran to the lagoon and called his wife several times, without getting more response than the silence of the night. They say that he ordered his priests to seek it. The Mohanes or priests did spells and rites on the banks of the lagoon, and one of them descended into the depths to find out what had become of the princess and her daughter.

They say that shortly after finding her, returned with the corpse of the girl and said that the princess was alive and happy in the kingdom of waters. Since then, on the nights of the waning moon, the princess appeared in the thick fog, to hear the pleas of her people, and the lagoon became a sacred place.”