5 - Myths
Two brothers will fight over the love of Pachamama. After she chooses Pachacamac, his brother Wakon will unleash his fury over nature. In time Wakon will find the opportunity to avenge his bitterness. In the afterword, we talk more about who were the two male deities that were later adopted by other South American cultures.
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Sources: 1. Warriors, Gods, and Spirits from Central and South American Mythology, text Douglas Gifford, illustrated by John Sibbic.
2. Handbook of Inka Mythology by Paul R. Steele with the assistance of Catherine J. Allen published by ABC Cleo.
Pachacamac and Wakon
This story was based on the text written by Fran Gonzales (narradores del misterio.net) in July 2014.
Adapted by Carolina Quiroga-Stultz
In the lands where Inti, the sun, soars the skies visiting the world as the graceful and fearless Mallcu, the condor; where giants once fled to caves and springs as the radiant giver of life, Inti, rose up one morning; where the mountains move as they wish across the landscapes; where space is time, and time is Pacha; where the first humans long ago were transformed into monkeys, foxes, and jaguars; Eons ago began a mortal rivalry among two gods, two brothers: Pachacamac and Wakon.
Both had the power to create and destroy. Both had proved their skills in battle. Yet the beautiful maiden Pachamama chose Pachacamac over his brother Wakon. Soon, the latter, having lost the support of his peers, was expelled from Hanaq Pacha, the world above, as the winner had decreed.
Jealousy and anger drove the sore loser to unleash his destructive wrath upon the Kay Pacha, our mortal world. Major disasters shook the earth. Melting droughts, and weeping floods brought starvatio,n and death. With his painful defeat, Wakon took away the waters that nurture all mortal beings. His vengeful act was a direct attack on Pachamama's choice (the maiden).
Where once she had governed over a plentiful nature, now she had to govern were deserted landscapes. Moved by pity over the orphan, and miserable state of Kay Pacha or fearing that by out casting his brother, Wakon had been pushed over the edge of madness; Pachacamac resolved to intervene and put a halt to Wakon's vicious tantrum.
Pachacamac and Pachamama descended from Hanaq Pacha to our earth, and a second battle was fought. To each stroke, the earth trembled, to each punch, the Kay Pacha shivered in fear. Wakon did not run, his anger loaded his desire for revenge, his desire for his brother's death. Long the gods fought, long the Andean Mountains feared to crumble down.
Still, for a second time, Wakon's fighting skills were outshone. Now, he was cast out to roam away, in the shadows of strange, and far away landscapes, bound never to return. As he walks towards his new fate, the waters came back, and with-it nature had a respite.
Peace reigned again on earth with Pachacamac and Pachamama leading and teaching. Time passes, and the happy couple had twins. A boy and girl called the Willcas. But an ill fortune awaited. Not fully grown, the children lost their father. One day, while climbing up a rocky mountain, Pachacamac slip and fell in the deep waters of Lurin. Pachacamac drowned, yet his body was transformed in an island. Pachacamac the light of the world was now extinguished. Darkness engulfed the Kay Pacha. La Viuda, the widow, and her Willcas now were doomed to wander surrounded by total obscurity.
With each step, into the unknown, the family tries to mitigate the pain, the absence of their protector, their provider, their light. Long time they wandered. Always fearing, hiding, battling, and fleeing terrible monsters that cut their path at each curve, at each mountain.
One day, after they had quenched their thirst in a lake, the family finally caught a glimpse of light. Up on a mountain cave, in the heights of Canta, the boy Willca said:
- My dead father could be there!
As they approach, darkness closes in, making that inviting light to seem brighter. But, monsters, and wild animals await at each step. The road up is a challenge. Fear wants to take over but Pachamama moves forward. That light is hope. Oh! If only she had known. That hopeful light is an illusion that will lead them into a trap.
Oh! They are so close. Pachamama encourages her children. They had climbed mountains, they had crossed valleys, and creeks, they are not going to give up now. One more step, one more rocky mountain to climb. In the face of despair, when their bodies want to give in due to exhaustion, that glimmering light promises rest, and warmth.
At last, after a long, and dangerous journey, they reach the light. Then, from the mountain cave came out a man half naked. Far from handsome yet welcoming. Pachamama did not recognize him. Oh! They were so hungry, and the kind promise of papas guisadas, potato stew, put away any suspicions.
For the first time in a long, and ill odyssey, Pachamama and her Willcas sat by the fire, and warmed themselves. Finally, feeling safe, Pachamama lets down her guard, and begins to recount to her host their recent misfortunes. If only grieve, and the desperate seek for consolation had not tricked her senses. Pachamama would have soon recognized, and prevented her own ill future. The humble host was no other than the once rejected suitor. The same who brought destruction with his fury, Wakon.
As soon as he realizes who she is, Wakon fakes sympathy for the orphan family, and invites them to stay with him. What a delightful struck of luck, it will be so easy to plan his revenge.
The very next day Wakon has devised the first part of his plan. There is no water in the cave, the Willcas should go fetch it, it will give the children something to do. Boy and girl accept the errand, not suspecting the trick that will delay the task. The vase they carry has a crack. It will take them several attempts to figure it out, and fix it. By the time they return to the cave, their mother is long gone.
According to the host, she went to a nearby town, and will be back later. In truth, early that day, Wakon insinuated to Pachamama that they should lie together. But, a second rejection relives the hurtful past, and the long-festering wound. Rancor, hate, ire furiously pumped through his fists as he beats Pachamama, over and over, until her death.
Then, still desiring to possess her somehow, Wakon devours Pachamama limb by limb. Her sadden soul flew away, and became nearby mountain. When the Willcas returned, upon hearing the news of their mother's sudden departure, they began to cry. Wakon was disgusted.
Nonetheless, in the madden darkness, not all was lost. The animals witnessing the dreadful fate of the family, decide to intervene. El Huaychao, the small bird that announces upcoming deaths, came to the cave, while Wakon was asleep, and told the children the sad news about their mother. Terrified about their imminent destiny in the hands of Wakon, the Willcas listened carefully, and followed the Huaychaos advice. They must flee but before they needed to gain time. While Wakon was soundly sleeping, boy and girl tie the cannibal's hair locks to rocks. Hoping that the huancas, the ancestors, could hold him back for a while.
Soon after, defying the darkness of the world that awaits outside, the Willcas left the mountain cave, not yet knowing where to go. Their fuel was the fear of being Wakon's next meal.
When Wakon woke up, maddened by the unpleasant surprise, he unties his hair, and runs after the Willcas. Although the twins have an advantage, Wakon is a great runner, and he knows the terrain like the back of his hand.
In the meantime, impotent, and distress, Pachamama observes, her children are helpless. Who will help them now? Soon, the Willcas run into Añas, the fox. Who feels sorry for the persecuted children, and offers them a safe shelter inside her cave. As they hide, Wakon's loud, and heavy steps are soundly heard, like echoes of a giant's footsteps. Along the way, Wakon runs into different animals. The Mallcu, Condor, the jaguar, and the serpent. Each time Wakon asked for the children's whereabouts, every time they nodded side to side; pretending not to know where the Willcas went.
When at last Wakon encounters Aña, the Willcas have already come up with their own plan to send Wakon off their scent. Thankfully the astute Aña has agreed to play along. Aña tells Wakon that indeed she has seen the children. They have passed by this road, running far away. But there is a way to spot them. All he has to do is climb up that rocky mountain, and while he does, make sure to call them.
Añas: Sign them a lullaby. Make sure that you sound like their mother, surely, they will come running back to you.
Oh! what great suggestion! Wakon begins to climb up, and sign. But as he does, the same darkness that concealed past traps engulfs Wakon. He sure knows these lands, but he forgets that the mountains, and rocks have their own will. Aña has set a trap for Wako,n and the huancas, the ancestors have agreed to play along. Ahead, a rock patiently awaits her turn to set the record straight. Wakon steps on the huanca, rock-ancestor, loses his balance, and sinks into the abyss. As he falls heavy earthquakes shake the Kay Pacha. What a similar fate welcomed the second brother.
The Willcas are now safe. Yet not knowing where to go, they agree to stay with Aña, who feeds them with her own blood.
The days passed, and although grateful, the children were sad, and could not help but to long for their parents.
One day, the Willcas were in the fields pulling out Papas, potatoes from the ground. When they pulled a big Oca, a finger-like tuber, that looked like a finger doll. Happy about the discovery, boy and girl played with the oca until it was torn in pieces. Heartbroken, the children cried until they fell asleep. Soon, the girl Willca was having a dream. As she threw her hat in the air, the hat did not return, it stayed up in the air.
When both children woke up, the girl tells the boy her dream, and together they tried to figure it out. But no matter how hard they try, they don't understand. Sitting by the field the Willcas rest, completely confused, not knowing what to do. When they saw two ropes hanging down from the sky. Surprised and curious, the Willcas began to climb up. To their joy, the ascent was easy, it was as if someone was pulling the ropes from the other end.
The Willcas made it to Hanaq Pacha, and were welcomed by their father. Pachacamac rewarded his children's bravery by transforming them. The boy became the Sun, Inti, and the girl the Moon, Killa. In this manner, the world began to have days and nights. Pachamama's loyalty was rewarded with rains. So, she can always govern over a plentiful nature. And let's not forget the animals. Añas, the fox, was granted the gift of finding the best hiding spots for her children, just as she had done for the Willcas. The Jaguar was given the title of the King of Creeks and the Forest. The Condor, Mallcu, became the lord of the Heights. The snake was given the venom, so she could fend for herself from her enemies. Finally, the Huaychau, not only announces upcoming deaths but the sunrise too.
Very well, friends, it is about time to talk about the story. In the Andean region Los Andes, we find two distinctive areas the highlands and the lowlands. The story that you just heard most likely comes from the low lands. That is from the coastal region.
In the book Warriors, Gods, and Spirits from Central and South American Mythology, text Douglas Gifford, illustrated by John Sibbic we find that the valleys have been inhabited for many thousands of years.
Pottery fragments have been found dating back to between 3800 and 1800 before Christ. So, these are ancient cultures. Between 603 and 100 before Christ, there was a culture there called the Chavin who were very influential in their style of art, textiles, and pottery. However, by the 900 A.C, the most powerful people in the area were the Chimu, whose city was Chan Chan. It was built near Trujillo near northern Peru, and had an area of 10 square miles of temples, palaces, and houses. They ruled over many of the neighboring valleys, and were powerful enough to organize the construction of a complex irrigation system connecting one valley to the next one.
The Chimu’s gods included the great creator Pachacamac, and when the Incas finally conquered the Chimu in the early 1460s, they incorporated Pachacamac into their own family of deities. Pachacamac became so important in the Inca religion that the principle nation's feast at the summer solstice was dedicated to him.
From the series of Handbooks of World Mythology in the Handbook of Inka Mythology by Paul R. Steele with the assistance of Catherine J. Allen published by ABC Cleo; Pachacamac appears with a diverse range of attributes and confronts a variety of mythic characters. Apparently, he had different wives, two of those were mama Hurpaiwachac and Pachamama.
Now here is where we are going to start talking about Pachacamac and Wakon. It seems that the name Wakon was a later version of the name Con. Con appears to be an older creator deity who had a relationship with the sun.
Antonio de Calancha in 1638 tells us that there was an earlier North coastal deity, and his name was Con, and he created the first race of humans. It appears that Con disappeared when Pachacamac came into the world. So, when Pachacamac came turned those first humans that Con had created into monkeys, foxes, and other animals, and then Pachacamac created a man, and a woman but did not provide them with any food, so the man died.
The woman began to pray to the sun. Well, the sun did not respond, but with his ray lights he impregnated her, and she had a child, Pachacamac's half-brother. Of course, Pachacamac did not like that, and he killed the baby boy separating different parts of his body or dismembering him. Each limb was planted in different places, and they all grew into food.
The teeth produced maze, the ribs, and bones sprouted manioc (yuca), and tubers, and from the flesh came vegetables, and fruit trees. The sun did not specifically like what Pachacamac had done to his baby boy, and he took the boys umbilical cord, and made another son who was called Vichama.
While father and son went to travel Pachacamac went to kill Vichama’s mother, and left her to the scavenging condors, and vultures. Next Pachacamac created an ancestral human couple whose offspring began to multiply. When Vichama returns, and finds out that Pachacamac had killed his mother, Vichama turned the people that Pachacamac had created into stones transforming them into Huacas, shrines.
Finally, Vichama asked his father to create a new race of humans. Inti, the sun, gave Vichama 3 eggs one of gold, one of silver, and one of copper. The golden egg hatched and produced the kings, and local chiefs. The silver egg produced high-status women, and from the copper egg came the male commoners and their families.
The author Rowtorowski suggests that the confrontation between Con, and Pachacamac represents a historical consciousness of a dispute between a coastal group, and the highland dwellers. Con may have represented the earlier cultures such as the Paracas, and Nazca, which could explain why the Chimu who had Pachacamac as their main God found Con to be an aggressor or an enemy because he was the god of the people from the Paracas, and Nazca.
If you remember the Nazca lines, you know what I'm talking about. In other words, the replacement of Con by Pachacamac represents the decline of the southern cults. Just as we heard the story of the Chichimec people, this is a story in which another culture comes, and takes over. Then another comes, and takes over, and they start building up layers upon layers of different cultures, absorbing the previous cultures, and giving a different interpretation to the gods to convince the people they had just conquered, that they are not that different.
Very well, friends, this is all, for now, my name is Carolina Quiroga-Stultz, and Tres Cuentos warns you that is best to have a good relationship with your siblings. Next time we will see how jealousy, and board um will drive one God to almost killing an innocent Goddess.
Nos escuchamos pronto, adios.
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The evening of departure by Twin Musicon, Creative Common Attribution License.
Realization - Hanu Dixit.
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Time Passing - Audionautics, Creative Common Attribution License.
The_Heartache -Ugonna Onyekwe
Reconciliation -Asher Fulero
Punulla Waway a Quechua Lullaby, Anonymous.
Undercover - Wayne Jones.