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Mitos y Leyendas: The Aguada de Talacasto

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares the legend of the Aguada de Talacasto, a legend of the Huarpes.
  • The Huarpes were an indigenous people who lived in the Cuyo region of Argentina.
  • This is a legend where tragedy takes place because a man asks for punishment for the invaders, but it falls not only on them.

Indeed, the Huarpes were an indigenous group that mainly inhabited the Cuyo region in western Argentina, in areas that today are Mendoza, San Juan, San Luis, and parts of La Rioja and San Rafael.

The Huarpes were an indigenous people who spoke an isolated language known as the Huarpe language.

It is believed that they were descendants of pre-Incan groups and were established in the region long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

There are many legends of the Incas, and one of them has to do with contact with the Huarpes. Therefore, today, we share a story known as the legend of the Aguada de Talacasto.

Aguada de Talacasto

Machu Picchu, Arquelogía, Huarpes, MundoNow, Podcast

This story has been passed down to the white community by the Huarpes, who inhabited the Tucuma or Tulum valley.

The Huarpes were direct descendants of the Incas who invaded the region in the 15th century.

At that time, the Inca Tupac Yupanqui ruled in Peru and, attracted by the wealth of Chile, decided to conquer the land, sending Prince Sinchisuca in command of 10,000 soldiers.

In the valley lived a couple of young Indians, notable for their physical beauty and their deep love. They walked together hand in hand along the valley paths.


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One day, an unknown and terrifying army appeared before them, silencing any attempt at resistance. It was the invasion of the Incas.

The Huarpes showed brave resistance and, after inflicting a high cost on the invaders, finally mixed with the Quechuas.

The young Huarpes, desperate to see his beloved taken away by the Inca priests, followed her, tracking their capes until he reached a ravine that would later be called Talacasto.

Without having tasted food during his strenuous march, filled with anguish and impotent rage, he fell to his knees and asked nature for just punishment for his enemies.

The punishment reaches the woman

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In response, an intense storm followed by heavy rain that lasted several days caused an overflow of the waters.

The young Indian’s dream of vengeance was fulfilled when the Inca priests drowned, but unfortunately, his beloved also met the same fate.

The young Indian, seeing the corpse of his beloved floating in the water, began to cry bitterly. His tears ceased after several days of lament, and with them, his own life was extinguished.

The legend concludes by saying that where the young Indian died, a spring emerged that was called «aguada de Talacasto.»


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It was believed that these waters were the tears of the young lover, whose ashes mixed with the soil of the place and sprouted in the form of a spring.

Some more facts about the Huarpes before ending. Although the Huarpes population was significantly reduced in the colonial era, there are still descendants of this indigenous group in the Cuyo region.

Many of them have preserved elements of their culture and traditions over the centuries, and some are fighting to preserve their cultural heritage and improve their living conditions.

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now and hopes you enjoyed the legend of the Aguada de Talacasto. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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