The Legend of Yacumama

Sara B
YacumamaTravel Latin

Do you know Yacumama? Maybe you have visited the Amazonas and have heard the legend of the Yacumama.

Yacumama is from the Quechua language (the language of the Inca Empire), meaning Mother of Water. Yaku-Water, and Mama-Mother.

So what is a Yacumama exactly? It is an enormous snake, serpent, or water animal believed to live in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle. The mother of all water creatures.

The legend says, ¨Yacumama would suck up any living thing that passed within 100 steps of it; the indigenous people living in the Amazon jungle are said to blow on a conch horn before entering the water to protect themselves¨. The legend says that if the Yacumama is present, she will reveal herself if in the area.

The Yacumama is said to be 100 feet long. And has been around for hundreds of years.

It started with a tribe near the city of Pucallpa, in the rainforest of Ucayali, Peru.

A fisherman from the tribe went canoeing in the jungle and made his way to a quiet, hidden lake along the river Ucayali. He thought it looked like an excellent spot for fishing, as the lake appeared untouched by the human hand.

So he ventured in and cast his net. Shortly after, the fisherman witnessed the water stirring, and when he looked up, he saw the head of a serpent. The head was bigger than the fisherman; as she looked at him, he ran to the shore, leaving his boat.

When he turned to see her, she was moving toward him. Yacumama is known to kill anyone who disturbs her waters. According to legend, the fisherman prayed to be saved, and four tapirs fell from the sky and distracted Yacumama long enough for him to escape.

He ran back to his tribe and told them what had happened. He may have escaped, but Yacumama was disturbed from her lake.

Now she can be found in any river or inlets in the Peruvian Amazon. Many have claimed to see her, and disappearances still exist today.

Would you dare to enter the Peruvian jungle alone? What do you think tall tale or Yacumama exists??

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I share legends, myths, and bizarre history, sometimes news. Living nomadically since 2018, currently in Colombia.

Pasadena, CA

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