The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 8 South America

South America

Español: Estatua monolítica de la cultura muis...
Estatuamonolítica de la culturamuisca o chibcha, del altiplanocundiboyacense (Colombia). Encontrada en Mongua. Boyacá. Dibujo a tintas de Fabio BarreraTéllez. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Chibcha-speaking people that formed the Muisca Confederation of the central Andean highlands of present-day Colombia‘s Eastern Range, in particular the Altiplano Cundiboyacense, the Muisca, as one out of four advanced civilizations of the Americas (apart from the Aztec, Mayas and Incas) has also the enriched culture of ‘life stories’

Already active since the Archaic stage at the beginning of the Holocene era, the Muisca have a long oral history. Like the other formative-stage cultures of America, the Muiscas were in a transition between being hunter-gatherers and becoming sedentary farmers.

Oral tradition suggests that every family gave up a child for sacrifice, that the children were regarded as sacred and cared for until the age of 15, when their lives were then offered to the Sun-god, Sué, Suá, Zuhé or Xué (The Sun god): he is the father of the Muisca. His temple was in Suamox, the sacred city of the Sun. He was the most venerated god, especially by the Confederation of the zaque, who was considered his descendant.

 

Salto del Tequendama. Río Bogotá. San Antonio ...
Salto del Tequendama. Río Bogotá. San Antonio del Tequendama, Cundinamarca. Colombia. Photo: zeafra / Oxigénate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Huitaca, a beautiful and mean woman, flooded the land. Bochica: though not properly a god, enjoyed the same status as one, listened to the complaints of the Muisca about floods. With his stick, he broke two rocks at the edge of the Tequendama Falls and all the water came out, forming a waterfall. Bochica punished Huitaca and Chibchacum, the protector of the farmers. He made Huitaca an owl and made her hold up the sky. Chibchacum was tasked with holding up the Earth.

The Muisca mythology is well documented. Many of the writers who contributed to the Chronicles of the West Indies were based in Bogotá. They recorded many of the myths as they were interested in the traditions and culture of the conquered people.

Also the Cañari Confederation (in Kichwa: Kañari) the indigenous ethnic group traditionally inhabiting the territory of the modern provinces of Azuay and Cañar in Ecuador, have creation stories, similar to those of the Bible and Gilgamesh. According to their myth, it was said that a giant flood occurred in which everyone perished except two brothers who had perched on top of a high mountain. After the flood, both brothers returned to their hut. They found it had been repaired and stocked with prepared food. Every day when they returned to the hut, they found prepared food. This went on a few days until Urcocari (male hill)[1], one of the brothers, decided to stay around. He learned that a woman with a macaw face had made the food. He took her as his wife, and they repopulated the world.

[1] http://www.enciclopediadelecuador.com/temasOpt.php?Ind=354

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Preceding articles

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 1 Flooding and Water-waves

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 2 Mythic theme 1 God or gods warning

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 3 Mythic theme 2 Hebrew story of the flood

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 4 Mythic theme 3 Chinese mythology

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 5 Indian region

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 6 European myths

The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 7 North America

Next: The flood, floods and mythic flood stories 9 Australia

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