Native American Legends
Fable of the Second Age
An Inca Legend
It is related that everything was destroyed in the flood called
uñu pachacuti. It must now be known that Viracocha Pachayachachi,
when he destroyed that land as has been already recounted, preserved
three men, one of them named Taguapaca, that they might serve and
help him in the creation of new people who had to be made in the
second age after the deluge, which was done in this manner.
The flood being passed and the land dry, Viracocha determined to
people it a second time, and, to make it more perfect, he decided
upon creating luminaries to give it light. With this object he went,
with his servants, to a great lake in the Collao, in which there
is an island called Titicaca, the meaning being "the rock of
lead," of which we shall treat in the first part. Viracocha
went to this island, and presently ordered that the sun, moon, and
stars should come forth, and be set in the heavens to give light
to the world, and it was so.
They say that the moon was created brighter than the sun, which
made the sun jealous at the time when they rose into the sky. So
the sun threw over the moon's face a handful of ashes, which gave
it the shaded color it now presents. This frontier lake of Chucuito,
in the territory of the Collao, is 57 leagues to the south of Cuzco.
Viracocha gave various orders to his servants, but Taguapaca disobeyed
the commands of Viracocha.
So Viracocha was enraged against Taguapaca, and ordered the other
two servants to take him, tie him hands and feet, and launch him
in a balsa on the lake. This was done. Taguapaca was blaspheming
against Viracocha for the way he was treated, and threatening that
he would return and take vengeance, when he was carried by the water
down the drain of the same lake, and was not seen again for a long
time. This done, Viracocha made a sacred idol in that place, as
a place for worship and as a sign of what he had there created.
Leaving the island, he passed by the lake to the main land, taking
with him the two servants who survived. He went to a place now called
Tiahuanacu in the province of Collasuyu, and in this place he sculptured
and designed on a great piece of stone, all the nations that he
intended to create.
This done, he ordered his two servants to charge their memories
with the names of all tribes that he had depicted, and of the valleys
and provinces where they were to come forth, which were those of
the whole land. He ordered that each one should go by a different
road, naming the tribes, and ordering them all to go forth and people
His servants, obeying the command of Viracocha, set out on their
journey and work. One went by the mountain range or chain which
they call the heights over the plains on the South Sea. The other
went by the heights which overlook the wonderful mountain ranges
which we call the Andes, situated to the east of the said sea.
By these roads they went, saying with a loud voice "Oh you
tribes and nations, hear and obey the order of Ticci Viracocha Pachayachachi,
which commands you to go forth, and multiply and settle the land."
Viracocha himself did the same along the road between those taken
by his two servants, naming all the tribes and places by which he
At the sound of his voice every place obeyed, and people came forth,
some from lakes, others from fountains, valleys, caves, trees, rocks
and hills, spreading over the land and multiplying to form the nations
which are today in Peru.
Others affirm that this creation of Viracocha was made from the
Titicaca site where, having originally formed some shapes of large
strong men which seemed to him out of proportion, he made them again
of his stature which was, as they say, the average height of men,
and being made he gave them life.
Thence they set out to people the land. As they spoke one language
previous to starting, they built those edifices, the ruins of which
may still be seen, before they set out. This was for the residence
of Viracocha, their maker. After departing they varied their languages,
noting the cries of wild beasts, insomuch that, coming across each
other afterwards, those could not understand who had before been
relations and neighbors.
Whether it was in one way or the other, all agree that Viracocha
was the creator of these people. They have the tradition that he
was a man of medium height, white and dressed in a white robe like
an alb secured round the waist, and that he carried a staff and
a book in his hands.
Besides this they tell of a strange event; how that Viracocha,
after he had created all people, went on his road and came to a
place where many men of his creation had congregated. This place
is now called Cacha. When Viracocha arrived there, the inhabitants
were estranged owing to his dress and bearing. They murmured at
it and proposed to kill him from a hill that was near.
They took their weapons there, and gathered together with evil
intentions against Viracocha. He, falling on his knees on some plain
ground, with his hands clasped, fire from above came down upon those
on the hill, and covered all the place, burning up the earth and
stones like straw. Those bad men were terrified at the fearful fire.
They came down from the hill, and sought pardon from Viracocha for
Viracocha was moved by compassion. He went to the flames and put
them out with his staff. But the hill remained quite parched up,
the stones being rendered so light by the burning that a very large
stone which could not have been carried on a cart, could be raised
easily by one man. This may be seen at this day, and it is a wonderful
sight to behold this hill, which is a quarter of a league in extent,
all burnt up. It is in the Collao.
After this Viracocha continued his journey and arrived at a place
called Urcos, 6 leagues to the south of Cuzco. Remaining there some
days he was well served by the natives of that neighborhood. At
the time of his departure, he made them a celebrated huaca or statue,
for them to offer gifts to and worship; to which statue the Incas,
in after times, offered many rich gifts of gold and other metals,
and above all a golden bench. When the Spaniards entered Cuzco they
found it, and appropriated it to themselves. It was worth $17,000.
The Marquis Don Francisco Pizarro took it himself, as the share
of the General.
Returning to the subject of the fable, Viracocha continued his
journey, working his miracles and instructing his created beings.
In this way he reached the territory on the equinoctial line, where
are now Puerto Viejo and Manta. Here he was joined by his servants.
Intending to leave the land of Peru, he made a speech to those he
had created, apprising them of the things that would happen.
He told them that people would come, who would say that they were
Viracocha their creator, and that they were not to believe them;
but that in the time to come he would send his messengers who would
protect and teach them. Having said this he went to sea with his
two servants, and went traveling over the water as if it was land,
without sinking. For they appeared like foam over the water, and
the people, therefore, gave them the name of Viracocha which is
the same as to say the grease or foam of the sea.
At the end of some years after Viracocha departed, they say that
Taguapaca, whom Viracocha ordered to be thrown into the lake of
Titicaca in the Collao, as has already been related, came back and
began, with others, to preach that he was Viracocha. Although at
first the people were doubtful, they finally saw that it was false,
and ridiculed them.
This absurd fable of their creation is held by these barbarians
and they affirm and believe it as if they had really seen it to
happen and come to pass.
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