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Mitos y leyendas: The Legend of Corn

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  • Mitos y leyendas shares another version of the corn legend.
  • In this one, a young man volunteers to appease the wrath of the god Tupá.
  • This man achieves his goal, and gold is born in grains.

The legend of corn, an emblematic plant of America, is a story that must be told. For indigenous people, this plant was always seen as a divine gift.

There are several versions of this legend, but the most well-known and considered true is the one that has been passed down from generation to generation, like the one we hear from the indigenous people of Pilcomayo.

It happened at a critical moment when survival was at stake. Everything indicated that tragedy was imminent, as for months not a single cloud was seen in the sky.

The rivers were drying up, the trees were withering, and the animals were dying of thirst. Sandstorms swept through the desolate fields. The patience of the people was wearing thin, and desperation was growing.


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Despite all the pleas, there was no response. It was then that the tribe chief, in a connection with celestial spirits, revealed the secret:

«Tupá is angry with his children and punishes them with hunger, thirst, and death because they do not pay attention to him,» he said solemnly.

The people repented and promised love and respect for divine laws, but that was not enough. To appease Tupá’s wrath, the sacrifice of one of his children was required.

A young warrior volunteered, despite the tears and sadness of his loved ones and the people. The chief, with pain, accepted the sacrifice.

Corn is born

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They walked to a treeless place, dug a pit, and the young man willingly buried himself, leaving only his nose above the ground.

At that moment, a storm broke out on the horizon, and abundant and sweet rain fell all night long, saving the people from drought.

The next day, the tribe returned to the site of the sacrifice to show their gratitude, but instead of finding the young man, they saw a plant with long green leaves and golden spikes sprouting from the ground where he had been buried.

It was corn, which they called «abati,» meaning «Indian nose.» Mitos y leyendas bid you farewell for now and hopes that the legend of corn has been to your liking. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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