This is a legend from the Tsáchila people in the Santo Domingo area about the rebirth of the sun.
Many years ago in the heavens, there was huge jaguar that lived in the dark. It had enormous jaws, eyes like lightning, extremely powerful claws and a gleaming coat.
One day, the animal walked angry and hungry and ate the sun in one bite.
Darkness fell on Earth.
The Tsáchilas lived in an endless night.
They constantly bumped into each other, so they preferred to shut themselves in their homes and not leave.
There was no way to plant or hunt and food was scarce.
More than once the desperate cries could be heard of those who were attacked by jungle beasts that hid in the shadows.
Confused by the absence of the sun, the moon did not come out.
The birds died and the rivers began to dry up because the rain stopped, having no guidance from celestial stars.
The Tsáchilas tried to make their own light by setting branches on fire, but to no avail. The sticks would only light in the hands of the elders. But they, the weakest, soon died.
Meanwhile, the jaguar of darkness with its jaws wide open, moved ever closer to homes, frightening the Tsáchilas.
The shamans suggested they could make their own light by turning a young man into the sun.
The son of a single mother was chosen for this important mission. He was dressed in beautiful garments and wore a golden crown. The young man was invited to partake of the ceremonial chicha. Bright tears came from his eyes.
Through their spells and magic, the shamans were able to elevate him into the sky, until people lost sight of him.
The next day, everyone expected to see the long-awaited light. But it was cloudy and stayed like that for three gloomy days.
On the fourth day, there was an incandescent light so bright that people could barely open their eyes.
The light was coming from the two eyes of young man who became the sun.
The people threw a stone skyward, hitting its target.
The sun now shone with just one eye, enough for everyone to enjoy the benefits of the light once again.
Source: Libro El recuerdo de los abuelos: literatura oral aborige
Illustrations by Octavio Córdova
In my book, Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador. I talk more specifically about All. Things. Ecuador. Feel free to purchase my new book: Words To Thrive By for World Travelers: Footprints in Ecuador, available both on Kindle and Paperback formats.
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