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Traditions and Legends
There was a beautiful indian named Iasiga. The legitimate wife of a laborious Siboney called Maitio. They lived both in holy peace and harmony, altered only by light clouds dimming the sky of their domestic hapinness. While he was away for hunting and fishing, she prepared food, cared plantations, weaving nets and crates, fulfilled all the obligations of a dutiful wife. Iasiga was of a fiery and passionate temperament.
She loved her husband, but not so much that she only had eyes for him. And so much so, that the first time she saw Gaguiano, a handsome Siboney who loved to taste other people's fruits, she felt for him so fiery passion that forgetting the unsuspecting Maitio, she surrendered to Gaguiano without resistance, liking the pleasures of forbbiden love.
Many afternoons when returning Maitio noticed the absence of his wife, who upon returning apologized by saying she had gone to offer the Baga fruit to the dead relatives, when the truth was she was returning from her illegal activities. Everything has an end, and she had the confidence of Maitio.
Some day while comming back to his house, the cruel suspicion came to his innocent soul. Upon arriving at empty home, he did not just wait patiently. He asked the neighboors about her, who reported seeing her go out with a Baga, and that it was sure she had gone to visit the dead. Maitio did not relaxed. He went to the nearby shore and embarked on his pirogue, addressing to the caney.
From far ways he saw a couple on the beach, in eternal conversation. His heart turned upside down. He feared that the suspect became a cruel reality. He rowed with redoubled effort and finally managed to land without being seen. He moved cautiously and suddenly was presented to the unwary and unsuspecting lovers, who were none other than Iasiga and Gaguiano. Her lover fled cowardly, and a cry of anguish escaped from her chest.
Maitio, with his face contracted with pain, came over and said hoarsely:
- A thousand times damn you perjured woman. That Mabuya punish your infidelity, condemning you to wander eternally without hope of rest or inspire compassion.
She was instantly transformed into a sea monster that appears from time to time, silent, sad and supplicant, to lonely fishermen in their boats, canoes or caps. So at least it says the legend. Today there are people who beleive in this legend and guess that she is the manatee that comes to Jucaral waters, or some huge turtle entering the bay of Jagua.
(From the book: "Traditions and legends of Cienfuegos" Adrian del Valle, 1919)