Nantu: The Legend of Moon

22:39 M.K.Orange 0 Comments


Long ago, the moon was a man called Nantu and he had a wife called Awju. Neither one of them liked to eat cassava (yuca) so they ate pumpkins and so every day when Nantu went hunting he sent his wife out into the fields to collect some pumpkins. However, after hunting Nantu waited for a long time for his wife till she finally arrived, bringing with her green pumpkins and this was not the first time this had occurred so Nantu decided he would spy on his wife. One day while spying on her, he found his wife eating the ripe pumpkins until she could not eat no more and all the while back at home she would keep her mouth closed so Nantu could not see the evidence of her greed. One dark night Nantu made a rope and started to climb up to the heavens and did not stop till he reached the place where we see the moon today. He left Awju sleeping below, on awaking and realising the absence of Nantu, Awju started to frantically climb the rope calling out his name. Just before she could catch up with Nantu, Nantu cut the rope and she fell to Earth and on crashing all the pumpkin she had ever eaten exploded out of her stomach and mixed with the soil creating clay and her body became a bird. This bird supposedly only sings during the New Moon and cannot be heard at any other time of the year. This legend was written in a book that was published in 1988 called Aldeas sumergidas. 

Cultura popular y sociedad en los Andes by Efraín Morote Best. 


However, the legend originally comes from the Aguaruna people, indigenous people that live in the Peruvian jungles (regions like: Amazonas, Cajamarca, Loreto, and San Martín.) Regarding the legend in the language of the Aguaruna people, the moon is known as Nantu and the birds that sing only during the New Moon are called Awju.

By: GringoPeru

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