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Chañares de la india dead

This is the name given to a paramo located a few kilometers from Tunuyán, in Mendoza. This is the story of the dead Indian.

Before telling the sad story of the dead little Indian, it is important to put the story into context and make known some customs of the time. We're talking about  the middle of the sixteenth century.The weather, enemy tribes and getting food were just some of the things you had to deal with every day . In Mendoza, the harpes   occupied almost the entire area of our territory, from the north to the south . The settlements were located near watercourses, which allowed them to practice rudimentary agriculture of maize, zapallo and mate.

Feeding was supplemented, to a lesser extent, with the  collection of fruits, eggs and roots or fishing in the Huanacache lagoons, and hunting for guanacos, hares, ñandoos and viscachas, in the pedemonte and the   Cordillera .

 The story of dead india 

A young  girl named Macia was bought from her family for a few animal hides , which is why she had to travel from the distant northern lands to the  Uco Valley , where she  was married a young huarpe . After the long-awaited union, they went to live in a small ranchito de pirca, near the creek Grande. The new life brought him happiness, wonder, new habits and neighbors, to which he not without difficulty adapted gradually.

 One morning, like all the others, he went into the pedemonte to collect chañar fruits to make  arrope , wood to stoke the fire and herbs that would bring to his meals the aromas he treasured from his distant home.

That particular day, it took longer than usual. The rumor of the Grande stream had enraped her, with the infinite account of the crystal clear water, which ran without a certain destination, carrying confidences of the snow. With a certain laziness he filled his pots with water, to embark on his return. He had not taken a few steps yet, when  thick columns of smoke rising over the horizon towards his home, drew his attention mightily . The vessels slipped between his fingers, crashing into the ground and his steps began to accelerate, in a race that competed literally with the heartbeat.

As he approached, the smoke, the smell of burning and the screaming became more intense and incessant.  A girl, who was curled up behind a jarilla bush, called her between sobs. He warned him that they were being attacked by a group of savages coming from the south, killing the men mercilessly, to take the women and children captive.  

In the face of terror, Macia took the flight with the firm intention of not letting himself be caught. The thorns, the cold, the blows and the stones, mercilessly punished its thin structure, but failed to stop it.

At dusk he kept himself in a small forest of chañares, asking for protection from the god Hunuc Huar, to dispel the horrible nightmare he lived.  The cold night and the long wait took over his soul. When dawn came, the young woman's body lay inert, surrounded by a few chañares who have accompanied her since then, giving the name to the place. 

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