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Mitos y Leyendas: The Firebird

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the legend of the Firebird.
  • While you might think it’s a bird of rebirth, it has nothing to do with the protagonist.
  • The joy of the natives for Tahtla’s gift is just another version of the origin of fire.

The firebird is often related to the Phoenix, but the fact of being a firebird doesn’t mean it’s the same.

In many figures, these two elements are part of many fantastic stories. The most connected idea with this bird is that of rebirth, as the legend of the Phoenix is the most popular bird in terms of fire and birds.

However, the figure of birds plays an important role in many cultures, even if they are not firebirds. In fact, many birds have stories about their beliefs in ancestral cultures.

Returning to the topic of the firebird, to learn more legends that connect these elements, we bring you one in which it has nothing to do with the most common idea of this splendid figure.

The Firebird

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A long time ago, it is said that the first human beings faced the difficulty of not being able to generate fire, forcing them to consume raw meat in their diet.

This same situation was present in a place called the Paraguayan Chaco, where the natives who lived there were completely unaware of the brightness and heat of fire, relying exclusively on raw meat for food.

One day, a native went hunting very early but was unsuccessful in his search. When mealtime came, his hunger was unbearable, and he had to settle for some raw snails he found.

While eating the raw snails, he was surprised to see a gigantic bird carrying a snail in its beak. The bird flew to a tree located some distance away, placed the snail near the trunk, and left in search of more.

Snails on the wood

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The native watched all this and noticed that near the tree, there was a kind of cloud coming out of the ground. For him, it was something completely unknown, as he had never seen or heard of smoke.

When the large bird went in search of more snails, the native approached the place where the smoke was coming from and discovered a pile of sticks stacked on top of each other that were incandescent and emanated heat.

On these sticks, he saw the snails that the bird had placed to cook.

Fascinated, he approached and tasted some of the cooked snails. He found them delicious and at that moment decided that he, his family, and his friends would never again eat raw food.


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Without hesitation, he grabbed a handful of lit sticks and ran back to his village. He did not stop until he got there and showed the treasure he had found, which filled everyone with joy.

Immediately, the village members headed to the jungle to collect more wood and keep this valuable acquisition alive, which they called «tahtla» or fire.

That night, everyone was able to cook their meat and vegetables for the first time, marking a milestone in their dietary history.

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now and hopes you enjoyed the legend of the Firebird. See you next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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