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Mitos y Leyendas: The Legend of the Origin of the Yaraví

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Chasca Ñaui was the youngest daughter of a Quechua couple who lived in a tribe among the mountains of the north.

Still a child, she heard about a nearby lagoon that, according to legend, granted maidens who bathed in it the chance to find the husband of their dreams.

As Chasca Ñaui grew and became a beautiful young woman, she longed, like the other young women of the tribe, to find a love that would reciprocate.

One day, determined, she headed towards the lagoon while the flowers of amancay and broom perfumed the air. Hoping to find her partner, she submerged herself in the waters of the lagoon.

Chasca Ñaui meets a young man

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However, while she was in the water, she heard the sweet sound of a quena approaching. She came out of the water and prepared herself, dressing in her tunic and arranging her hair with wild flowers.

The sound of the quena grew closer, and she soon met a handsome young man named Hayri.

The music of his enchanting quena filled her heart with hope and love. Chasca Ñaui and Hayri began to see each other frequently, and their love grew deeply.

Finally, Hayri asked her to be his wife, and they soon married, living happily in a cabin near the forest.

Hayri begins to play a sad melody

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However, one day, on their return from the lagoon, they encountered a Spanish chief and his soldiers, who belonged to the conquering force that had stripped the Incas of their lands.

The Spanish chief was captivated by Chasca Ñaui’s beauty and forced her to follow him, despite Hayri’s desperate efforts to stop him.

Devastated, Hayri tirelessly searched for his beloved, but he could never find her.

Finally, he took refuge in the lagoon, where he played his quena day and night, remembering his lost love.

The yaraví

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The music became melancholic, reflecting his pain. The sad melody of Hayri’s quena persisted even after his death.

Much later, a young Indian found the quena and, when playing it, only the melancholic melody created by Hayri before his death emerged.

In the tribe, the song remembered the couple: «Two mourning doves pine, sigh and cry and dwell in old trees alone with their sorrow.»

In this way, the yaraví was born. Mitos y Leyendas says goodbye for now and thanks you for your attention. See you next time!

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