top of page
  • lizziedunn

Tequendama quycaua / The story of Tequendama

Written by Brenn Romero. Muysc cubun translations & narration by Brenn Romero. Illustrations by Camilo Conde. English translations written by Mariana Suarez and edited by Ana Bonifacino. English narration by Lizzie Dunn.

This story was brought to you by our amazing partners at Latin America CAPE. Find the full 'Legendary Links' project and other language combos for this story here.


Muysc cubun


Sas quyhyn, quycaua azonuca zac hatac ubuc aguequa xie fuyzegue, iotu fuyzygue, umza fuyzygue.

In the beginning, the world was in permanent night—all water, all coldness, all darkness—like a massive lagoon without a shore.

Xiua hatacuhumin guehespqua yn aquyhycaz aguezac aguene. Ie ficaz aquyne xin chimucanzanan nohocan, xis xiena chunsuaguiaz fac abiquy nga chunsuaguia npquaca chituz aga com chitu npquaca chunsuaz aga.

We don’t know how long it took, but the tunjos (deities) emerged from this lagoon. Then, either they brought the heat with them, or because of the heat, the tunjos were able to continue to exist.

Ys cuhuc quycauaz axiquys amnys hicha nxiez aga.

Thus, the world began to dry, and the soil of the earth appeared.

Xis xiua quyhyn zona guy uaia Bague, nohoscaz aguene. Ngaban Chunsuaguia azonuca uaia, Bague, achuta muyhyca hatacuhumin:

​Some say that this ancient lagoon is Bague, the mother of all tunjos. ​Bague gave birth to the most powerful deities:

Chiminigagua (sas quyhyn chie gaia), Cuhuza Fiba (guatquycan zona chuquy), Bozica (psihipquas tybasa huc gaia) nga Chichybachunez (Funza bosan suza quyca ahue) abxiquy.

​Chiminigagua (the very first light), Cuhuza Fiba (the rainbow in the sky), Bozica (the master of chiefs and captains), and Chichybachune (Lord of the lands around Funza River).

Chunsuaguiaz yn apquyquyne, ficaz aguene chimucanza, xis chunsuaguia muyhyca guy hatacuhumin ocasac chigusqua.

​There are many other tunjos, too many for us to even know, but these four are the greatest.

Quycauaz axiquynxie iez aquyne, nga quyca xies fac suzaz hich quyca buchua uaiaquyn muyhyca agyna suzac aga.

​As time went by, the world started to dry up. ​Land emerged from the water, forming the dry world of the earth, supported by four Guayacán trees*.

Nga zaitanie chicaca chiuexica sas quyhyn xiuan fac abiquys, Funza xie amuyquy azonucana abizinsucac agas aue abquys amny.

​That is when our grandmothers and grandfathers of the oldest times were born from the lagoons** and began to inhabit the valley of the Funza River in the houses they built.

* It is thought today that these trees were literally under the earth, like pillars supporting the world above.

** Muysca descend from people of the lagoons. Many of their stories talk about this transition from a wet/humid landscape to a dry landscape and how their people transformed and adapted with it.

​Ngaban Hue Bozica—com Chimizapquagua— aba nxiez foi achihiquy nxiez muysca huc amnys, huc abga. Ynacan, muyscaz ta abquys amny.

​​​Lord Bozica (also known as Chimizapquagua) then gave them maize and taught them to paint textiles.

​​La gente empezó a construir labranzas.

​​People began to farm.

​Quyca cuhuma yn Funza xie cosynnuca ahue guy Chichybachune. Nga as chunsuaguia npquaca, muysca mabien anyia afoi choz aguensan nohocan, muysca mabie ahue achiez aguzas afan abquys en abgas eca aguquy.

​​The Lord of the great land where the Funza River flows was Chichybachune. ​​Thanks to him, people enjoyed good clothes and gold. ​​However, many gossiped about him, dishonouring and disrespecting him.

​Muysca quyia, uzaz Chunsuaguia Chichybachune huc achuenzac aga apquas apquys azaza nzone agec aga.

​​Chichybachune didn’t like what the people were saying and doing. He thought they were wrong, and because of that, he became angry.

Ynacan, Paba Chichybachune agegue, Tivitó xie nga Sopó xie aie amimy, axie fiez Funza muyquyca absoquy.

​In his anger, Lord Chichybachune changed the course of rivers Tivitó and Sopó, diverting them to the Valley of the Funza.

Ys cuhuc, Chunsuaguiaz Funza xie cuhuminc abga, nga xie ysquie muysc tac azas muysca ahichaz aguezac aga.

This made the Funza River enormous. The amount of water was such that people were left without crops or soil.

Muysca, ahichaz aguezac, eba aiomgy abxiquyza, achahasgans, guac zos aiansucac aga.

The people could not grow maize or potatoes. They became hungry and were forced to flee to the mountains.

Muyquyta usaque, Suba usaque, Chia usaque nga psihipqua cuhumin uchas emzac agas, acuhuba atyba bohoza aquyi abzis, quyca azonucan psihipqua apquanuca bohoza acubune.

​The chiefs from Muyquyta, Suba and Chía assembled and spoke with every chief in the land. They asked their elders and captains for advice.

Fusagasugá nxie anyquys Tabioca anas, Facatatyba nxie Guasuhucaca nxie psihipqua azonuca Bozica achunsuueca aians, abohoza atamsago, fie azago, Hue Bozica achiegueca,

​From Fusagasugá to Tabio, and Facatatyba to Guasca, all of the leaders fled to the Bozica’s temple to make offerings. ​They fasted intensely and pleaded to Lord Bozica:

'Achi pabi hata umchiegue chie mhuizynynganan agachi chibgas umchihicha hatac ubuc chibchuenynga,' abzis acone.

'Oh, Lord of highest honour, if you save us from death, we will pray to you and thank you forever.'

Sua atan, sua mena, Muyquyta guan chican Guatquycaz atinans chuquyc gaia Paba Cuhuza Fibaz aga, nga as agyn Bozica nxiez ahuquy.

One afternoon, high above the mountains of Muyquyta there was a load roar in the sky and Cuhuza Fiba appeared in the form of a rainbow. Standing on top of this rainbow, there was Bozica.

Etan anyiachunez aguens, Bozica chican suza psihipqua cuhumin ahycaz abzis xis yc aguquy:

​With a golden stick in his hand, Bozica summoned the high chiefs and said to them:

'Chibusgua, xis chaguisca mimnypquanyngaco.

'Pay attention and listen to what I say to you.

Chichybachune ica zybohoza umsipquas agachi umga nga mie mnypquao guy nga mie btyzyne. Mie zyhuizynga bga. Zyhyca achiez umguquy npquaca, umtamsa zuhuc achuens zypquyquyz achuensuca npquaca.

I heard your moans and complaints about Chichybachune and I have taken pity on you. ​I want to save you, for it pleases my heart to see you honour my name and to receive your tributes.

Ngaban, xietoque boza, Chichybachune mimuysa soca, aguezac bgasquazasan nohocan, mitan miuen fac bzasqua. Xiez hatac ubuc aguezacan mitaz abgys mie channyca nxie mibgynga npquaca'.

​I will not take away the two rivers that Chichybachune diverted. ​However, I will remove them from your farms and houses because without water your farms will die and you as well.'

Ysnaia, anyiachune atan aguequa hyca cuhumaca abgyis hyca sacan abtas bozac abga.

​Then he threw the gold stick he was holding at a big rock and split it in half, causing the river to fall down to the bottom of the earth between both rocks.

Ys cuhuc, xie guan atas, hycas hichy etac aza. Fan, xie guan tasca ahyca guy Tequendama.

​Today, this water that falls down from above is called Tequendama.

Ys abquy ypquana, Hue Bozica Chichybachune abtyus quycaua azonuca agahan abtaioa nzone, fan Hue Chichybachune gahan aquycaua azonucaz aguens, apquaqueba amuyiac quycaz abtanan iez amisqua.

Next, Lord Bozica forced Chichybachune to carry the world on his back, and so when he changes the heavy load between each shoulder, earthquakes occur.

Fa Muyquyta yn chiabizan, xiuz atanz yn apquyquynan nohocan, sa xiez Tequendaman atansuca.

​Even if it rains a lot out here in Muyquyta, the water still falls from Tequendama.

Nga chita chiuez xie fuyzy nzinga npquaca, chicaca chiuexica sinca nxie suna nxiez abquy.

To avoid our houses and farms from being flooded, our ancestors built the channels that we know as Suna and Sinca.

Apquas, Chichybachunez quycaua azonuca agahan abtaioa antyusuca npquaca, Cuhuza Fiba chuquyc agan, chihas uahaicaz agaioa, quycaz chihas amuyioa, muysca achuta maba abza.

​Moreover, when Chichybachune was forced to carry the world on his shoulders and saw Cuhuza Fiba manifesting as the rainbow, he cursed the Muysca people so that plagues or evils would come upon us.

Nga Chuquy chiaguahaicanzanynga npquaca, chitamsa hoc chinynga cuhuc aguene.

That’s why we make offerings whenever we see the rainbow, so that it won’t hurt us.

Keen to support us to create more Indigenous stories like this? Please give us your feedback through this short survey. We've ensured it literally only takes one minute and we appreciate it so much!


Legendary, right? Find the other stories in this project, as well as this story in other language combos, here.

Huge thanks to Latin America CAPE for making this story possible.



bottom of page