folklore and legends

The City Hidden between Two Mountains

Looking for El Paititi (Wayra)

From ancient times the legend of the city made of pure gold called El Dorado or Paititi inspired travelers to search for it, though without luck up to today. We do not hear much about this golden city anymore. Nevertheless, an elderly man in Cusco tells a story that reminds us of it.

There was once an expedition of young people who went to seek ethnic groups in the Peruvian jungle. It was composed of 15 researchers, both young men and young women. They reached a village where civilization had not yet come. It rejected them and they were forced to retreat.

More than half of them gave up on the expedition and went home while four decided to continue on. They were tired and hungry when they saw among the buses a person who was not from the civilization they came from but was like the Inca ancestors.

They followed him until they reached an opening between two mountains. To enter there you needed to be pure and fulfill the three norms, ama sua, ama quella, and ama llulla (don’t steal, don’t be lazy, and don’t lie). Only two of them met the requirements. While the other two returned home these were given a test. They had to choose between a bar of gold and an ear of corn.

Forgetting about their hunger, one of them decided to choose the gold bar and the other chose the corn. They both went in and found a city made of pure gold from its foundations to the roofs of its buildings. They also met people who lived there. The one who chose the corn was given the opportunity to stay and live in the beautiful city while the other lost his memory of where the city was though he still remembered how it was.

The young man who chose the bar of gold returned home, happy to have seen the city. He still had the bar of gold, but the time that had elapsed was not just months. They became years. All of his generation of friends had died and with them the memory of the trip they had made.

The memory of the golden city was now merely something the now old man who chose the gold and not the food thought about and dreamed.

 

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