A Creation Myth

22 Jan

The Canari are the indigenous people of the Azuay region of southern Ecuador and the lower Andes where Cuenca is found. This story of the creation of the Canari is retold from generation to generation throughout the province of Azuay.

In the time before, the Pachamama inundated the land with rain. It rained so hard that the people found it impossible to escape the floods that poured from the mountains. Two brothers climbed the side of the tallest mountain they could find. The higher they climbed, the higher the water rose until they found themselves at the top of the mountain. They feared for their lives. When the rain subsided, the brothers found themselves to be the only survivors of the great flood.

The waters slowly receded. The brothers began their new life. They survived by eating roots and the few greens they could find. They missed the food made by their mothers and their sisters.

One day, while foraging the brothers found a cave. Inside the cave they found food and chicha. They ate until their stomachs were bursting and drank until their thirst was more than satisfied. Only then did they wonder the source of their feast.

The next day the brothers entered to find the same meal. But this time while they were eating two brilliant macaws swooped into the cave. They circled the brothers, then landed, flapping their colorful wings. The brothers could see that these beautiful and brightly colored macaws were actually two women who had prepared the meals. The brothers fell in love.

With the sun and the moon and the stars bearing witness, the brothers soon married the sister macaws and together they traveled down into the fertile valley left by the receding floodwaters. They gave birth to many children who in turn gave birth to more. These people are the forebearers of the modern Cañari.

If you ever wondered why Cañari women wear vivid colors of hot pinks, brilliant reds, and stunning blues, look no further than this myth. The colorful skirts are a reminder of the dazzling plumage of their macaw ancestors.

3 Responses to “A Creation Myth”

  1. Victoria Lovett January 22, 2019 at 4:25 pm #

    What a beautiful, colorful story of the creation of the people of the land of Cuenca. This earth is a story land made from stories. Storytellers sharing magical stories, weaving magical happenings in a magical world.
    Shapeshifters apppearing as colorful birds to feed their tummies and hearts then to be partners to dance in love, as love on the path of love 💕💚💜❤️💗
    Beautiful pictures
    Beautiful story
    Beautiful you two.
    Thank you
    Victoria and Fanny

    • Jill and Dana January 22, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

      Storytelling reveals the heart of a culture for me. We see the mixture of the “old” and “new” cultures of Cuenca as we walk through the town everyday. Time is woven here. So glad you enjoyed the story of the Canari.

      • Victoria Lovett January 22, 2019 at 9:34 pm #


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