More previous than before, when the earth was huge and few were the men who inhabited it, when the sky was more transparent, and the birds and the animals were lords of the air and the woods; when the rivers were playful children in the grass, and the fish, agile arrows of light; when the sea gently licked the beaches with its foam and the mountains lit up with the blue mystery of the distance ...
In that era, when the earth did not support the weight of huge cities nor was it decorated with arterial scars, there lived in the coasts of Manta (Ecuador) the Cacique Cuyaypag with his wife Pacarina. The justice and goodness which the Cacique imposed on all his acts were reflected in the respect and affection which the entire town had for him. Hunting and fishing, as well as the reaping of an infinite variety of wild fruits, provided food and also served to promote recreational activities (amusement) and parties among the inhabitants.
The Cacique's joy reached its high point with the birth of his firstborn (daughter): she was as beautiful as the reflection of the sun on the waters. Awed by so much beauty, both parents decided to offer her as the goddaughter to the good Father Inti so that he would be the one who would protect the young princess.
From all parts came the various families of the tribe with gifts of flowers, fruits and fish for the great celebration.
At the hour in which the sun removes the shadows / darkness from the land (much more poetic in Spanish), the whole tribe went out in a procession to the water's edge. Cradling her in his arms, the Cacique Cuyaypag submerged the little princess in the small waves and then he lifted her up above all heads amidst a cloud of flower petals and offered her as a gift to Father Inti. At that very moment, amid the silence, a gentle breeze whispered through the coconut fronds and the name, which came from the sky, was clearly heard: Cuyana!
Time passed pleasantly amidst the love and happiness which both the parents and the town bestowed on the little princess. The birds with their multicolored plumage came down from the skies and accompanied Cuyana with their trills as she took her walks through the rough parts of the woods and along the streams; the sea sprinkled the beach with stars, and all the animals became her playmates and served as her guardians when she took a nap.
And the good Father Inti from above kept vigil.
The beauty and grace of the little princess was transmitted from mouth to mouth throughout all parts of the kingdom and reached like an echo beyond the known land, climbed the mountains up to the icy crystals and descended to valleys unknown. Young princes and brave warriors from remote tribes and villages took part in the adventure to cross impenetrable forests, torrents and precipices, faced the rigors of the cold and the blinding heights of the plains in order to try to reach the kingdom of the Cacique Cuyaypag and enjoy with their own eyes such amazing beauty.
In the deepest caverns of the volcano Cotopaxi, charged with keeping alive the fire, which from time to time, hurled its sharp arrows of light against the sky, and with dull roars and huge rocks shattered on the earth, there lived alone the gigantic warlock Millanaypag. His name was feared by the few town folks who inhabited the slopes of the mountains and who, from time to time, in order to pacify him, offered him the most beautiful maidens, the ripest fruits and the greatest share of the hunt.
The name of the young princess Cuyana and news of the attributes of beauty which adorned her reached his ears. Knowing himself to be powerful and fearsome, he decided that the princess should be his and should cheer up his terrible abode. He sealed the entrance of the caves with huge rocks and increased the fire of the volcano to scare away, even more, anyone who dared to ascend to his domain during his absence. Using magical words, which only he and the evil spirits who dwell in the center of the earth understood, he transformed himself into an immense condor and rose up into the skies like an apparition and shed darkness over the earth.
The flapping of his wings, scraping the sky, generated strong winds which
destroyed the trees amidst dark clouds of dust; huge rivers and dense forests were left
devastated, resulting in a wide path of ruins. (Not a nice guy).
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Last updated 10/04/2004