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Uexic quycaua / Grandfather's story

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

This story was brought to you by our amazing partners at Education New Zealand. Find the full 'Legendary Links; project and other language combos for this story here.


Muysc cubun


Sua atan, guasgua fuhucha ahyca Faua, auexica bohoza aquyc quyes emzac asyns gua achiegue cuhumaca ananan, quye aquyhytuca mabie, gua abiquez ys muynec gaia, ta achihizaz aguezac aga abchiby.

One day, a little girl called Faua was walking with her grandfather towards the sacred mountains, when she saw with bewilderment many trees chopped down, the mountain's colours fading, and the crops losing strength.

Sas quyhyn Faua ipquabe apquyn abgan xie, auexica hatac ubuc quyca achiegue yc agusqua npquaca, ys abchibyn bohoza Faua pquyquyz atyquyne, apquas xis quycaz muyquy apquanuca aquye ata mabiez amnyquysuca ocasac aguquy npquaca.

As soon as she saw this, her heart was saddened. Since she could remember, her grandfather had told her that the earth was sacred and that they should always work towards conserving the native forests who look after them and offer them a home.

​Uexicaz achune pquyquy asucan mague abchibynan, 'ipquo mahas aquynsucabe,' yc abzi.

​The grandfather saw her heart’s sadness and asked her, 'What happened?'

Ynacan guasguaz 'zyquycaz ys cuhuc aga bchiby nzona zypquyquyz asucane, aiusuca.'

She replied, 'It makes me sad to see our land like this.'

​Obac aguquy ynacan auexicaca 'ipquo chibgas chiquinga, chiquyca achihicha choc chibchuenioa uacaco be,' abzi.

She asked him, 'Is there anything we can do to make it better?'

​Faua uexica apquyquychieguez achune quycaua yc agungaz abga. ​Uexica yn guasgua chac aguequan, zinac chunsua tyna, gat chiec asucuns, xis Sie aquycaua amnypqua.

The wise grandfather decided to tell his grandchild a story he had heard in his own childhood during nights of campfires and chicha (an ancestral drink) at the temple.

​Siez fuhucha mecpquaoinc aguen npquaca, nga as fuhuchan muysquyn azonuca quycan suzaz amuysquynynga uaca pquyquychiez aguen npquaca, zaita muysca mabie Sie chunsuaguia oasac aguquy.

This is the story of Sie, a woman many considered a goddess because of her exuberant beauty and her magic powers to bring life and fertility to the land at dawn, when the light was born.

Sua pquynuca suas aganan, xis apquyquychie nxiez aga. Sie apquyquychie bohoza quycana quychyquyz aguene nzone auaque azonucac atyzyn sucac aga.

Sie was loved in her community for her gifts because they conserved the land and provided food.

Ys nohocan, hycatan suzansuca muysca fuhucha amuyiague, ahyca Zinac guiscaz abosuago. Siez muyscac atyzy guy npquaca, Zinac auahaicansucac aga.

But in one of the community’s caves lived Zina, a woman with bad intentions, who envied how the whole community was so fond of Sie.

Sua atan, Sie uta auaquez achoquyioa hatan aquyns, Sie choc guec abquys abohoza atamsagosquanan, ipqua atabe Zina huc amnyza npquaca, Zina agec agaz yn apquyquyne, fuhuza abchu ie yc absun ypquana apquyquyz uahaicac ami.

One day, Zina became enraged when during a minga (a community gathering), the people cherished and celebrated Sie and made offerings to her but offered nothing to Zina. After some time of thinking, an idea came to her.

​'Suaz agazacuca, Siez me abgazanynga npquaca hycata yn chasuzan zanynga Sie auec inanga,' abga.

​Before sunrise, she would leave her cave to stop Sie from using her powers.

​Zina apquyquychie bohoza umza apquasqua npquaca, Sie bosan suza azonuca umzac abga nga Siez me abgaza.

So, in the early morning, Zina used her dark powers to bring darkness to the land, causing Sie not to wake up.

Suaz agazanan Sie nxiez aquypquan fac azazan, auaque apquyquyz aians achahane. Siez aguezac apquas apquyquychiez aguezac, quyca, muyquy, muysc ta, muysca nxiez ys abcanga nzona, uaque apquanucaz hatan aquyns, Siez quypquan fac abtaioa nga Zina eban abtaioa, han ubin quyi acubune.

The people were terrified when they saw that day had come but Sie had not emerged. They were very worried because, without Sie, their crops, nature, the land, and their community would perish.

Ynacan, muyscaz fuechyz abquys amny, Uexica Gata ahycaz abzis achi achi abgas quycaz uexic chiec azas ysn muyian aquynga nga Siez me abganga yc abzi.

So, they decided to gather and organise themselves. To get Sie to emerge and defeat Zina, they lit a fire and invoked the Grandfather of Fire. His flames would illuminate the land and awaken Sie.

Uaquez abtynan, hymne abgaipqua sucanan, Muysc pquyquy Sie pquyquyz Uexica Gata achie cuhuminc apquyquy. Ys bohoza, Siez me abga. Nga Zinaz Gatchiez abchiby bohoza Zina apquyquyz ingue zungac aganuc quycagataz ys amuyne.

Through chants and incense-burning rituals, the grandfather of fire burned with great light, warming the heart of the community and the heart of Sie, getting her to awaken.

​​Ynacan gatchiez apquyquyc azanan, Zina yn muysquyn xie sas quyhyn amon mague cuhuc aga. Ys quihichana, Zinan iahacaguen Sie auaque obaz abzisquaz amnypquao npquaca, 'achi chaquyia aapqua miguzinga' muyscac abzis Zina hycatac ana.

Zina, upon seeing its brightness was overwhelmed and perplexed. The light of the fire reached her heart and she felt the heat for the first time. She understood why the community needed Sie to exist, so before returning to her cave she asked the community for forgiveness for all that she had done.

Uexican quycaua achune Fauaca aguquy ypquana, quyca choinc chibquyioa, muysca hatan aquynuca cuhuc chichonga chibtynga abga. Sie quycauan aquynuca.

When the grandfather finished telling Faua the story he said that to save the land, the community needed to be strong and unite through minga and be open to knowledge sharing, like the story of Sie that he now passed on to her.

Apquas 'zaitania cacas uexicas ahyca cuhuminc aguene npquaca ahycaz chibzinganan, aty chipquen chibganganan, zaitan muysca acaque chipquyquy fihistac chipquynganan, chichihichaz choc aganga ocasac zygusqua,' abga. Ys cuhuc, zaitan chiuaque chihuc gaia bohoza, quyca, utaz chimnyquysuca.

He spoke about the importance of invoking the elders, remembering their songs, and maintaining their journeys alive in our hearts, harnessing ancestral knowledge to ensure the land is conserved and the community is kept safe.

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

Huge thanks to Education New Zealand for making this story possible.



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