Creation of the World (Myth)

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Andean mythology

In the beginning there was only smoke[1], and darkness was supreme, undeserving. So then, the Hanan Patsa emerged from the smoke, a place inhabited by Tayta Inti, with great golden hair; Mama Killa, his wife, the one with the silver smile; and their daughters, the Quyllur, always joyful on their radiance. There were also, among others, the dreadful Illapa, who glows and roars; the furious Shukukuy, also known as the strong wind; the playful Tamya; and the arrogant Turmanyay, always proud of his magnificent colours.

Later, the Kay Patsa emerged from the smoke as well. In this world lived, the huge Quchas, who would then become the humanity’s first paqarinas; the tall Urqus or Hirkas where the Awkis would go to live at; the Rahus with their albino clothes from where Yaku, life’s fundamental source, springs up uncontainable. All of them emerged from the smoke. But that was not it, much more was missing without a doubt.

Lastly, the Uran Patsa emerged, and so did its incredible inhabitants. Yaku lives in this place, too, but this one is different, this one is boiling and consumes it all; the Kuru who destroy everything they touch; Sachamama, the great two-headed snake, with her sons, the amarus; the little Ichik-Ullqu with their magical drums, who later on would be allowed to visit the Kay Patsa every now and then. And last, a gigantic, colossal, and reddish race appeared, the so-called Waris with enormous teeth, who came up from the fire which rules deep inside the Uran Patsa.

There was a time of conflict between the Hanan Patsa and the Kay Patsa. That would be the first Patsa Kuti, when harmony is lost and chaos reigns. Consequently, a thunderous earthquake divided the granitic Andean mountain range in two, and so the Callejón de Huaylas sacred valley was formed. When the world came back to peace, the Waris discovered crevices, fissures on the Hirkas. So, they, inquisitive and amazed, came to this world, the Kay Patsa. They were delighted by a beautiful region located between two extremely tall mountain ranges, one of them full of whitened peaks and the other full of darkened ones. The Waris were so pleased that they decided to stay in that magical place.

After a while, Tamya, as never seen before, was pouring from the Hanan Patsa all day long. She was unstoppable. It rained so much that the sacred valley was completely flooded. Huaicos and mudflows were devastating, it was a real deluge. Due to this new Patsa Kuti, the gigantic Waris had to emigrate to save their lives. Frightened and rushed, they went east to settle in Chavín, Marañon and Huacrachuco —trans-Andean regions. They did not know they were leaving a region protected by the magical mountain ranges, the famous Cordillera Blanca and Cordillera Negra.

When the Waris left the Huaylas sacred valley, their entrance to the Kay Patsa, they degenerated tremendously. Some of them turned into plants of all kinds: trees, bushes and achupallas. Others, howling powerlessly, turned into flying, crawling, slithering and four-legged animals. At the end, when only a group of them remained, they turned into human beings, made of bones and meat. Their name would be Nunas and would feel cold from then on as they were naked. Accepting their new reality in a humble way, they got ready to populate the Kay Patsa, the Earth; along with plants and animals, since they knew they were all siblings —the Patsa Mama’s children, fruits from the same tree; the fabulous Wari’s descendants.

[1] The smoke represents chaos as opposed to harmony, these two concepts, chaos and harmony are cyclically altered. The Andean divinities are in charge of regulating chaos.


Achupalla: South American plant, belongs to the Bromeliads family. Features: thick, scaly, twisted stem; alternate, wrapping, prickly leaves; sprig flowers; and its fruit is the pineapple. From its stem, a refreshing drink can be prepared.
Amaru: snake.
Awki: spirit that inhabits in or around hills or mountains, protecting them. Written as «Auqui» in Spanish.
Cultura Wari: Andean civilization that populated a large extent of the Peruvian territory. Also known as «Huari» or «Guari» in Spanish.
Hanan Patsa: hanan ‘above’, patsa ‘world’. The sky, the world above us.
Huaico: from the Quechua word wayqu, huge mud and rocks mass resulting from heavy rain in the Andes. This natural phenomenon provokes rivers overflow and flooding.
Ichik-Ullqu: elf (ichik ‘small’, ullqu ‘man’).
Illapa: lightning.
Kay Patsa: kay ‘this’, patsa ‘world’.
Kuru: worm.
Mama Killa: mama ‘mother’, killa ‘moon’. Written as «Mama Quilla» in Spanish.
Nuna: person, used for both man and women. In other Quechua variants, nuna means ‘spirit’. In some regions of Áncash runa is also used to mean ‘person’, too.
Paqarina: place of origin. Written as «pakarina» in Spanish.
Patsa Kuti: era when chaos reigns or harmony develops. Harmony and chaos are swapped from time to time. (literally: patsa ‘time’, kuti ‘repetitive’).
Patsa Mama: patsa ‘earth’, mama ‘mother’.
Qucha: lake or lagoon. Written as «Cocha» in Spanish.
Quyllur: star (quyllurkuna ‘stars’). Written as «Koyllur» in Spanish.
Rahu: ice. Written as «Raju» in Spanish.
Sachamama: also described as a gigantic boa. It is a mythological creature as well, it is part of the Amazonian culture.
Shukukuy: hurricane. Also known as «Shukukí».
Tamya: rain.
Tayta Inti: tayta ‘father’, inti ‘sun’. Written as «Taita Inti» in Spanish.
Turmanyay: rainbow. It is also written as «Turmanyé» due to its pronunciation in some regions of Áncash.
Uran Patsa: uran ‘below’, patsa ‘world’. the world below us, inside the Earth.
Urqu and Hirka: mountain or hill, both words are synonyms. Hirka is used exclusively in Áncash. Urqu is a word used in most of the Quechua variants. Urqu is written as «Orko» in Spanish.
Yaku: water. Written as «Yacu» in Spanish.
These words are written this way in Quechua I (Callejón de Huaylas). Keep in mind there are different variations.


Mejía, J. S. (2016). Tradiciones ancashinas. Huarás: Killa Editorial.

Ministerio de Educación. (2005). Yachakuqkunapa Shimi Qichwa. Lima: Corporación Gráfica Navarrete S.A.

REAL ACADEMIA ESPAÑOLA. Diccionario de la lengua española, 23.ª ed., [versión 23.3 en línea]. <; [09 de 09 de 2020].

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. «Creation of the World», a myth adapted and translated by Pablo Alejos Flores.

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