The Natives of this land affirm that in the beginning, and before
this world was created, there was a being called Viracocha. He
created a dark world without sun, moon or stars.
Owing to this creation he was named
Viracocha Pachayachachi, which
means "Creator of all things." And when he had created the world he
formed a race of giants of disproportioned greatness painted and
sculptured, to see whether it would be well to make real men of that
He then created men in his likeness as they are now; and they lived
Viracocha ordered these people that they should live without
quarreling, and that they should know and serve him. He gave them a
certain precept which they were to observe on pain of being
confounded if they should break it.
They kept this precept for some time, but it is not mentioned what
it was. But as there arose among them the vices of pride and
covetousness, they transgressed the precept of Viracocha Pachayachachi and falling, through this sin, under his indignation,
he confounded and cursed them.
Then some were turned into stones, others into other things, some
were swallowed up by the earth, others by the sea, and over all
there came a general flood which they call uņu pachacuti, which
means "water that overturns the land." They say that it rained 60
days and nights, that it drowned all created things, and that there
alone remained some vestiges of those who were turned into stones,
as a memorial of the event, and as an example to posterity, in the
edifices of Pucara, which are 60 leagues from Cuzco.
Some of the nations, besides the Cuzcos, also say that a few were
saved from this flood to leave descendants for a future age. Each
nation has its special fable which is told by its people, of how
their first ancestors were saved from the waters of the deluge. That
the ideas they had in their blindness may be understood, I will
insert only one, told by the nation of the Caņaris, a land of Quito
and Tumibamba, 400 leagues from Cuzco and more.
They say that in the time of the deluge called
uņu pachacuti there
was a mountain named Guasano in the province of Quito and near a
town called Tumipampa. The natives still point it out. Up this
mountain went two of the Caņaris named Ataorupagui and Cusicayo. As
the waters increased the mountain kept rising and keeping above them
in such a way that it was never covered by the waters of the flood.
In this way the two Caņaris escaped. These two, who were brothers,
when the waters abated after the flood, began to sow. One day when
they had been at work, on returning to their but, they found in it
some small loaves of bread, and a jar of chicha, which is the
beverage used in this country in place of wine, made of boiled
maize. They did not know who had brought it, but they gave thanks to
the Creator, eating and drinking of that provision. Next day the
same thing happened. As they marveled at this mystery, they were
anxious to find out who brought the meals. So one day they hid
themselves, to spy out the bringers of their food.
While they were watching they saw two
Caņari women preparing the
victuals and putting them in the accustomed place. When about to
depart the men tried to seize them, but they evaded their would-be
captors and escaped. The Caņaris, seeing the mistake they had made
in molesting those who had done them so much good, became sad and
prayed to Viracocha for pardon for their sins, entreating him to let
the women come back and give them the accustomed meals.
The Creator granted their petition.
The women came back and said to the Caņaris,
"The Creator has
thought it well that we should return to you, lest you should die of
They brought them food. Then there was friendship between
the women and the Caņari brothers, and one of the Caņari brothers
had connection with one of the women.
Then, as the elder brother was drowned in a lake which was near, the
survivor married one of the women, and had the other as a concubine.
By them he had ten sons who formed two lineages of five each, and
increasing in numbers they called one Hanansaya which is the same as
to say the upper party, and the other Hurinsaya, or the lower party.
From these all the Caņaris that now exist are descended.
In the same way the other nations have fables of how some of their
people were saved, from whom they trace their origin and descent.
But the Incas and most of those of Cuzco, those among them who are
believed to know most, do not say that anyone escaped from the
flood, but that Viracocha began to create men afresh, as will be
related further on.
One thing is believed among all the nations of these parts, for they
all speak generally and as well known of the general flood which
they call uņu pachacuti. From this we may clearly understand that
if, in these parts they have a tradition of the great flood, this
great mass of the floating islands which they afterwards called the
Atlanticas, and now the Indies of Castille, or America, must have
begun to receive a population immediately after the flood, although,
by their account, the details are different from those which the
true Scriptures teach us.
This must have been done by divine Providence, through the first
people coming over the land of the Atlantic Island, which was joined
to this, as has been already said. For as the natives, though
barbarous, give reasons for their very ancient settlement, by
recording the flood, there is no necessity for setting aside the
Scriptures by quoting authorities to establish this origin.