Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales

Long before people could read or write, they passed stories on by word of mouth. Every time they were told, they changed a little. From these ever-changing tales, myths and legends were born. Peru is no exception and many tales, myths and legends were composed in verse, which made them easier to remember.

Unfortunately, none have survived in the original form. But Spanish chroniclers who heard them during the first few decades after the Conquest and who wove them into European-style histories have left us reasonably trustworthy records.

Tales, myths and legends of old Peru are still related by the people of the country. Many have become traditions; others deal with political events; some tell of the adventures of the conquistadores and the Incas; others are just stories of love, and life, and death. All of them are fascinating, whether the person who hears them be of either a romantic or realistic turn of mind. Hoping a summary of a few of the tales of old Peru will help you absorb the atmosphere of this ancient country, our collection of tales, in condensed form, will be related in the present section.

31 results - showing 1 - 10
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Martin de Porres – The Rose in the Desert

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Ana Velázquez hurried out of the barrios of Lima and onto the plaza. She carried a quiet baby, wrapped closely so that no one could see him - but no one was looking. The enslaved boys sweeping the ...

Hualachi and the Magic Sandals

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Long ago, when men and women worshipped the sun for its warmth and life, there lived a mighty Inca Emperor. His name was Viracocha. Viracocha’s empire was large and rich.

Moon Rope

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Along, long time ago, when animals could still talk, Fox and Mole were the best of friends. On full-moon nights, they both liked to sit outside in the moonlight. They would often stay up late into ...

Chancay and the Secret of Fire

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Many, many years ago, before the building of the great city of Chan Chan, or the hidden mountain temples; before the grand pyramids of the Sun and Moon, there lived a man called Chancay. 

Coniraya and Cavillaca

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
The spirit Coniraya was at times mischievous. He even pretended to be the mighty Viracocha, who the Incas believed was the force behind all creation. But in ancient times he wandered the world in t...

People from Stone

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Long ago the people of ancient Peru believed that the god Viracocha created the world and its people. This is a story told by the Tiahuanacan. It tells about the beginning of the world. In the stor...

Place of Rainbows

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Between the ranges of the towering Cordilleras, which gleam as blindingly as though the Children of the Sun had covered them with gold leaf - just as they covered the tip of that grim red Rock at T...

The Burnt Skeleton in the Convent

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
Many years ago, a Peruvian family, with wealth inherited from its conquistador ancestors, founded the church of Nuestra Senora de los Dolores. They decided it that one woman of the family should al...

The Jeweled Frog and the Condor

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
By a quiet pond, at the side of a cloud-topped mountain in Peru, lived a small green frog and his large green family. When the early evenings darkened the sky, the frogs would gather on the slipper...

The Pied Piper of Peru

Peruvian Legends, Myths & Tales
My name is Juana. For many years I lived with a colony of mice in a priory in Lima, Peru. We had a good life with the friars who lived there and found plenty of food in the kitchen and pantry. We h...
31 results - showing 1 - 10
1 2 3 4

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