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Traditions and Legends
Southeast from the beautiful bay of Cienfuegos, there is a lagoon, to which part of the Arimao river flows into. This is the Guanaroca lagoon, in which smooth surface the pale moon reflects itself, the sweet Maroya of the Siboneyes, considered to be the producer of dew and which is the protector of love.
According to the legends of the Siboney, the Guanaroca lagoon is the true representation of the Moon on the Earth. Dear reader, do you know this poetical tradition? It has a rough and primitive taste, accordingly to very simple people who lived in direct contact with nature.
During the most remote times, Huion, the Sun, would periodically abandon the cave where he found shelter to raise over the sky and lighten Ocon, the Earth, lavish and savage, but alone and not populated by humans. Huion had a desire: to create human beings to adore and love him and whom would wait every day form him to raise over the sky bringing heat, light and life.
Hamao, the first man on Earth was created by the spell of Huion. And so the Sun already had someone to adore him, someone to greet him every morning with a respectful joy through the mountains and valleys. This was enough for Huion and so he did not concerned any more about Hamao, to which the love of his creatures was not enough. He was alone, in the middle of nature, which was populated by creatures made to love each other.
And so in the middle of such expressions of life and love Hamao felt his spirit to faint living a lonely life. So the sensitive and sweet Maroya, the Moon, took pity on Hamao, and in order to sweet his life gave him a woman to accompany him, Maroya created Guanaroca, the first woman. The man´s joy was huge. He had at last someone to share his life with, his joy, his sorrow, his work and free time. The both loved each other with frenzy, with an endless passion, not knowing yet what boredom was. From this union Imao, their first son was born. Guanaroca, as a true mother gave all her love to the child but the father was jealous and started to conceive a criminal plan to take the child away from the mother.
One night, when Guanaroca was still sleeping he took the tender child and took him to the Woods where the child died of heat and hunger. Then, he tried to hide his crime taking a huge güiro where he made a big hole and putt he cold body of the child and hang it on the branch of a tree.
As soon as Guanaroca noted that her husband and her child were missing she started to look for them immediately. She wandered all the woods, calling them en vain and finally tired by her searching she fainted over the soil when suddenly the strident yell of a black bird made her look upwards. Then, she saw something hanging on a tree.
A strange feeling invaded her and so she approached the tree and took the güiro. She observed that it had been perforated and frightened she saw the body of her child. Her pain was so intense that she faded and the güiro escaped from her hands and fell to the ground breaking into pieces. Then, from the broken guiro appeared fish, turtles and a great amount of liquids running down from the hill.
And so, something happened that was the greater event saw by Guanaroca: the fish formed the rivers of Jagua, the biggest turtle of all created the Majagua and the rest formed the keys of the bay. While the tears of the sad mother created the lagoon and the labyrinth named after her.
(Taken from the book: "Traditions and Legends of Cienfuegos", by Adrián del Valle, 1919.)
Translated by: Osmany Ortiz González (Azurina)