The Creation of Man, the Sun and the Moon -- Chibcha Legend

Once the earth was created, there was still no sun or moon to illuminate it and no people to enjoy it. All was lonely and as dark as a night without a moon. Something had to be done.

With Chiminigagua, were 2 men -- the first caciques, Sugamuxi and his nephew, Ramiriquí. Their first assignment was to create man. In order to populate the earth, they decided to make men and women. In order to create the first man, they used yellow dirt. Then, they used herbs and stems to create women.

Yet, all was still dark, so the cacique Sugamuxi ordered his nephew to go up into the sky and become a sun that could illuminate and give life to the earth. This, Ramiriquí did at once and the earth was bathed in heat and light.

Once this was done, however, there was still concern that there was no light to rule the night. So, the cacique Sugamuxi went up into the sky and became the moon.

When the Spanish arrived they experienced firsthand the Chibcha celebration of the Sun and the Moon. In Sogamoso, annually at the end of December, a festival was held in memory of Sugamuxi and Ramiriquí. The festival was called HUAN. At this festival, 12 Indians, dressed in brightly colored clothing, carried feathered strings and small birds in a parade through the village. In front of the 12 was a beautiful woman dressed in blue. All would sing and cry out, "We are all mortal, and will someday become as the dust of the earth, without knowing what will be the end of our souls." The Spanish reported that the event was very somber and sad, yet very moving.

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