“Jilucu with the Moon”   1 2 3


Translated by Tod Swanson from the Kichwa text in Cuillurguna, Orr and Huddleson 1971

In beginning times the Cuillor twins did not exist.  Before they were born a boy used to come in the night to play with his own sister.  [To find out] who it was that came to play with her by night [the girl] waited with her hand dipped in huituc [a dark blue die used for body paint). She waited lying there for him to come back to play again and then with her hand full of huituc she marked his face.  With his face marked he got scared and ran. 

    In the morning [her brother] did not get up, he just lay there inside his mosquito net.  When she saw that he couldn't rise [from the covers] she asked him, "Why don't you get up?"  When she said this her brother got up quickly. He took the chicha [she brought him] and drank it, hiding his face he drank it.  When his face appeared all blackened the sister got scared. When that sister saw it, deep in her heart that sister recognized her beloved brother as the man who had played with her. When it became apparent that she was pregnant their mother and father got angry.  "It is no good to make love with your sister," they said.   The brother's face turned the color of corn gruel.  He was angry.  Full of anger he said "I am going away.” To the woman [his sister] he said "I am certainly going away.  Come quickly," he said. "I want you and I to go away together."  Talking like this, each afternoon he harvested pindo river cane, bundles and bundles.  He lived harvesting [that cane].  When he had done this he began to shoot arrows of pindo cane into the sky, they say.  With this chain of arrows he made a ladder into the sky.  He began to climb up and his sister followed him.  But in her hurry the girl's skirt kept coming loose and she fell behind.  Then the arrows loosened and the ladder came undone so she returned to earth.