Myths for Monday: Man's Arrival to Earth

The Indigenous people known as the Barí (also known as the Motilones) live on the boarder between Colombia and Venezuela on the Catatumbo river in the Department of Norte Santander. There are just over 3,000 members of the tribe. For nearly 400 years, they managed to resist colonization. Then in the 20th century, oil companies began to drill for petroleum on their lands. As a result, roads were built into the area and people began to move into the region. The reaction of the indigenous peoples was violent and there were many violent confrontations up through the 1960's. In an attempt to help pacify the Indians, missionaries in the area intensified their work and eventually the violence subsided.

Today's myth comes to us from the Barí -- and you science fiction fans will love this one.

Sent From Another Planet

The ancestors say that the Barí originally inhabited another planet. Unfortunately, they were not good stewards of that planet. They destroyed it through deforestation and other unsustainable practices. God, upon seeing this, was worried for his children. He began to look for another place for his children to dwell.

After observing many planets, he found one very special one. It was 3/4ths part water, and the land was covered with rich vegetation.

Happy with his find, he ordered all of his children to cut their hair, which was very long. Using the hair, he made a long braid. The braid was so long that it reached from one planet to the other. The end of the braid on the Earth side was on top of the Bobalí hill (in Convención, Norte de Santander). It was there that the first interplanetary travelers arrived.

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