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Mitos y Leyendas: The Tears of Potira

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the legend of the origin of diamonds.
  • This is a Brazilian legend that tells of a young couple deeply in love.
  • Potira, the protagonist, patiently waits for her beloved to return from an enemy invasion.

Before the arrival of European colonizers to the populated lands of the interior of Brazil, numerous indigenous tribes already inhabited the region.

Some in peace and others in conflict, each following their own traditions.

From one of these tribes, which had maintained peace with its neighbors for a long time, were Potira, a beautiful indigenous woman endowed with the beauty of flowers by Tupá, and Itagibá, a young strong and brave man.

The custom of the tribe dictated that women marry early and men do so when they became warriors.

Potira marries Itagibá

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When Potira reached the age to marry, Itagibá became a warrior.

Both deeply loved each other and had decided to share their lives, sharing joys and difficult moments as companions.

Although other young men also sighed for Potira, she had no doubt and joined Itagibá in a grand wedding celebration.

They lived in times of tranquility and happiness accompanied them.


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The periods of separation that arose when Itagibá left on trips to contact other tribes or for hunting, only made their union stronger.

The joy of each reunion compensated for the nights they spent alone.

However, a day came when the tribe was threatened by greedy neighbors who desired the abundant game of the region. Itagibá left with his men for war.

Potira saw the canoes departing downstream, prepared for confrontation, without knowing precisely what she felt, apart from the sadness of separating from her beloved without a specific date to expect his return, without being able to count the days…

Waiting for her beloved

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But she did not shed tears like the old women of the tribe, perhaps because she had never witnessed a war before.

Every evening, she sat patiently on the riverbank, waiting in silence.

Oblivious to the laughter of the children, she simply waited and listened to the murmur of the water, trying to hear the sound of an oar hitting the surface and visualizing the outline of a canoe appearing in the distance.

When the sun set, she returned to the village with the image of Itagibá still in her mind, smiling because somehow she had shared the afternoon with him in her imagination.

A different feeling

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Many similar evenings passed, one after another, and melancholy began to set in.

But Potira returned each evening with the same hope of reuniting with her beloved, and that hope kept her getting up every morning.

She carried out her tasks with a smile on her face because she knew that sooner or later they would meet again. If not that evening, then the next…

On one of the evenings when she used to go to the riverbank to scrutinize the horizon for the figure of her beloved, something changed.

Potira’s cry

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The song of the araponga echoed in the trees, and at that moment, Potira’s face darkened and her smile faded into the river’s waters.

Because everyone knew that the melancholic song of the araponga only announced sad events.

Our Indian, as beautiful as a flower coveted by many men, understood that nothing mattered anymore, that nothing made sense, because the song of the araponga had announced the death of her beloved.

And for the first time, she cried silently, without uttering words, as she would never do again.

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She cried incessantly, her tears flowed without stopping and as they ran down her face they became solid and shiny in the air.

In the end, they finally fell into the riverbed where her beloved had begun his journey.

It is said that Tupá, moved by this overwhelming pain, turned those tears into diamonds, thus ensuring the eternal preservation of the memory of a deep and pure love.

Mitos y Leyendas thanks you for your attention and hopes that the legend of the origin of diamonds has been to your liking. See you next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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