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Mitos y Leyendas: The Hummingbird, a Guaraní Story

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the Legend of the Hummingbird, as told by the Guaraní people.
  • The hummingbird is a small bird with many beautiful versions of its origin.
  • Perhaps this story will resolve the question of why a sly person is called a hummingbird.

The elders tell a story about the justice and kindness of Tupá, which manifest when the intentions of human beings are just and noble.

In this story, the tale of Potí and Guanumby is narrated, whose noblest intention was to love each other deeply, transcending barriers like heaven and earth, time and death, life and humanity.

These two love-struck souls belonged to families from enemy tribes, and their hatred had been perpetuated for generations, with no one remembering the reason.

It is said that Potí radiated beauty, comparable to the freshness of dawn in spring, to the evening wind that carries autumn leaves, and to the sun that caresses faces and dispels winter shadows.

Potí and Guanumby

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Guanumby fell in love with Potí effortlessly, and she soon reciprocated his love.

They met secretly on numerous occasions, beyond a white hill, under the shade of a native willow tree, without being discovered by anyone.

However, one day, Potí’s sister became suspicious and followed her to the hill, where she discovered their secret. Without delay, she revealed the truth to her father.

The next day, Guanumby, as usual, crossed the white hill and waited under the willow, but Potí did not arrive. Desperate, he ventured into the village in search of his beloved, risking his own life.

A Flower

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There, he found Potí arguing heatedly with the chief of her tribe. She passionately told him that she was in love with Guanumby, but her father vehemently opposed it and forced her to marry someone from her own tribe.

At that moment, Guanumby emerged from his hiding place, and as if they had rehearsed it a thousand times, both shouted in unison, causing astonishment and horror in the chief. They pleaded with the great Tupá not to allow their separation.

The elders say that this was an unprecedented prodigy on Earth. Potí and Guanumby saw their own bodies transform in a surprising way.

Potí turned into a delicate flower, with a firm stem and skin soft as velvet, as beautiful as she used to be.

A Hummingbird

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On the other hand, Guanumby became light as air, developing two tiny and almost transparent wings that allowed him to fly. Desperate to find Potí, he awkwardly flew away from the place and has since been tirelessly searching for her.

He travels every hill and village, sniffing each flower and kissing with his beak the most beautiful corollas, with the secret hope of finding his beloved Potí.

Men who have seen him are mesmerized by the color of his feathers and the speed of his movements, and that’s why they call him «Hummingbird,» not knowing that in reality, Guanumby is only searching for the kisses of his beloved Potí.

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell and hopes you enjoyed the legend of the hummingbird. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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