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Mitos y Leyendas: The Two Rivers

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  • Genny de Bernardo shares with you the legend of the two rivers.
  • It is a story in which two friends compete to please a girl.
  • In the end, a god intervenes and his fury leads to the end of one of the characters.

A long time ago, in the days when lakes looked like crystal mirrors and mountains resembled soft mounds of clay, two Mapuche tribes inhabited the region of Patagonia.

The sons of the leaders Limay and Neuquén shared a deep friendship.

Together they used to fish and swim, but one day, while they were near a lake, they heard a melodious song…

The voice belonged to Rahiue, a young indigenous woman of dazzling beauty. The young men fell hopelessly in love with her.


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From that moment, the friends who were like brothers realized that something had come between them.

The leaders of their tribes, observing the growing distance between the young men, sought the advice of a machi, a wise soothsayer.

The machi soon unraveled the mystery surrounding the situation and wanted to speak with Rahiue.

When they were alone, the soothsayer asked the young indigenous woman what her deepest wish was, and she replied that she longed for a seashell.

The Fury of the Wind God

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The young men had to venture to the sea and bring back a shell. After consulting the gods, they agreed that the fastest way to reach the sea was to become rivers.

And so they did, and the two friends, transformed into water, began to flow towards the sea; Neuquén from the north and Limay from the south.

However, as often happens in stories, an unexpected obstacle arose: the spirit of the wind had not been consulted, and his fury unleashed malignant winds.

Rahiue pleaded with the gods for the souls of the young men as her own body slowly transformed into a tree.

The Tragedy Unites the Rivers

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The fury of the wind was so intense that it altered the course of the rivers.

When Limay and Neuquén learned of the tragic death of Rahiue, they embraced fraternally.

Thus, united in their pain, they wept for the young indigenous woman, and their torrents of water created a river that still remembers her sadly today: the «Río Negro.»

Mitos y Leyendas bids you farewell for now and hopes that you enjoyed the legend of the two rivers. Until next time!

Mitos y Leyendas
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