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It was around the year 1550 in the Valley of Sébaco, in the Spanish province of Nicaragua, whose name in Nahuatl “Cihuacuatl” means Serpent Woman, lived a nation of Matagalpa Indians under the leadership of chief Yamboa.

Among the animals that they hunted for food were the turkey, the quail, the agouti, the guardatinaja (a species of agouti particular to Nicaragua) and the deer. As for metals, they obtained and worked gold, given its malleability and beauty. They had discovered deposits of this precious metal in a cave in the mountains north of their settlement. It is believed that this cave was connected to a cave on the banks of the Rio Grande with a cave near Estelí. They jealously guarded this secret, especially when they realized that the Spanish were looking for gold with unbridled ambition.

When incursions of soldiers under the Spanish crown began to arrive, the “Cacique” (chieftain) received them cordially. Meanwhile, the Spanish discovered that some relatives of the cacique displayed necklaces containing gold nuggets the size of tamarind seeds. Soon, they got some little nuggets through flattery and others by exchanging flashy cloth and other items, like iron knives.

The Cacique offered presents of gold nuggets to the Spanish king; legend speaks of several leather bags filled with gold nuggets. For this reason, they are known as royal tamarinds. This gift only succeeded in arousing the ambition of the conquerors, who came more aggressively the next time and erected a protective shelter or garrison for the soldiers very close to the indigenous settlement. The Indians resented being forced to hand over the gold. This resulted in some skirmishes and deaths on both sides.

Meanwhile, in Córdoba, Spain, lived a family whose father, José Lopes de Cantarero, a lieutenant in the Armada, had been sent to a province of Nicaragua and had been reported killed in a region called Cihuacóatl in combat with the Indians who lived in that area. The news reached the peninsula several months later. When his widow, María Tinoco de Alburquerque, received the notification, her son, José, was a thirteen-year-old mother. He couldn’t foresee a future for himself with the loss of his father’s salary. She made the decision to take her son to a Franciscan monastery that was close to her home. He spoke with Fray Domingo Cáceres and managed to get José admitted to the monastery to study in the hope that he would eventually become a priest.

Jose was nice and smart. During these years he learned Latin, Geography, History, Oratory, Sacred Scripture and Theology. With only a few months left before his ordination, the anxious young man decided that the priesthood was not his calling. He was ambitious. He wanted to go to the place where his father had died and seek adventure in that mysterious land, known at the time as the West Indies.

He remembered that when he was little, his mother had taken him to the port of Cadiz to leave messages there for his father when he served the crown in America. Now that he was nineteen, he took advantage of an authorized visit to his mother to confess that he would not return to the monastery and that he wanted to do something he had always dreamed of. It would take several changes of direction and many years before there was any news that he was a successful man. His mother cried, but finally hurt him and sent him away.

He collected more information about his father and instead of returning to the monastery, he went to the port of Cádiz. There, he looked for a ship headed for America. He found one who was traveling to Cartagena de Indias and convinced the captain that he was a friar who could offer religious services to the crew, as well as the protection of the Lord during the voyage.

José embarked for the New World. Arriving in Cartagena de Indias, he waited two weeks before taking another ship to a small port called David. He crossed the isthmus of Darien en route to Panama. There he took another boat bound for the port of La Posesi-n de El Realejo, in the small province of Nicaragua. Arriving in León, he stayed there for a few months. There he left the priesthood behind and celebrated his 20th birthday.

He inquired about enlisting as a garrison clerk coming to Sébaco. He found one that came from Muimui and signed up with them. He arrived in Sébaco and asked for permission to stay since it was one of the most important ports. [during the rainy season].

After locating and investigating the history and conditions of the place, he learned that his father, Lieutenant José Lopes de Cantarero, had died because a captain named Alonso had snatched gold pieces from some Indian women. The Indians responded by killing some of the soldiers the captain had ordered to protect him. It was this ambitious captain who committed his troops, resulting in the loss of the lieutenant and several soldiers. José investigated the fate of this captain and discovered that he had previously died trying to forcefully discover the sources of the gold.

Meanwhile, José tried to make friends with those close to the cacique. Being a cunning and educated young man, he found a way to meet the Cacique’s daughter, Oyanka. He spent several months trying to establish this relationship, learn the language of the Matagalpa Indians, and teach her Spanish.

Since they were both young and charming, they fell in love. She was seventeen years old, tanned skin, amber eyes, fine features, sexy and with beautiful long hair. He fell in love with her, the first woman in his life, but he did not ignore his intention to get rich. Talking with her, he managed, under an oath of secrecy, to get her to take him to the place where his father extracted the golden tamarinds.

Without telling anyone, José and Oyanka walked two hours from the Sébaco settlement to the mountains near Estelí. Three leagues north of the community, there was a secret and hidden cave. José and Oyanka entered the forbidden cave with a lighted ocote pine torch. Frightened by the light, bats came out and numerous snakes slithered to safety.

José could see a quarter vein ahead of him in which large chunks of the precious metal were embedded. I could not believe it. They were within arm’s reach. With little effort, he dislodged what appeared to be large golden buttons the size of tamarind seeds. He placed seven of them in his sack and thanked his girlfriend. They admired the beautiful scenery of the valley and the sunset in the western mountains and returned to the village late.

Meanwhile, Oyanka’s father inquired about his daughter’s whereabouts. Upon receiving the information about the direction they had taken, he thought that they had headed towards the secret cave. Distressed, he ordered the couple’s capture and imprisoned the young princess. He was unable to eliminate José for fear of the soldiers quartered in Metapa. Hearing of an incursion by the Yarince Indians of the Caribbean race, who used to attack at night to take Spanish women and children, he sent a message to the Yarince that if they did not attack his people, he would send them gold nuggets and a tall Spanish youth. rank whose rescue could be negotiated in the future with the Spanish crown in Cartagena de Indias from where the incursions of the Caribs arose. He sent an advance party of Matagalpa Indians to meet them near Mui Mui and made the treaty.

In this way he was able to get rid of his daughter’s boyfriend without having to kill him. Oyanka, deprived of liberty and learning that her lover had been fired, became depressed to the point of not wanting to eat anymore. Her anguished father tried to convince her, but the young woman in love told her that she could not live without José and that she would fall into a deep sleep from which, according to her, she would not wake up until her father returned her lover.

It couldn’t be helped. At first, a thoughtful Oyanka lay down with his eyes open. After a few weeks, he fell into a deep sleep that was not death itself, since his body did not undergo decomposition; a dream only her lover could wake her from.

Four hundred years later, Oyanka has turned into stone and can be seen from her town of Sébaco, El Guayabal (San Isidro), La Trinidad, Chaguitillo, Carreta Quebrada and for generations to come, perennially… and such. once for an eternity.


How to watch Oyanka

Traveling on the paved road from Sébaco to Matagalpa. A little before crossing the Sébaco bridge, or at the beginning of the road to San Isidro, the Oyanka hill can be seen on the northwest horizon. In the background on the right is the Mocuana hill. But if we continue to the right towards the highway to Matagalpa, in the profile of the hills to the north, we can see the silhouette of the princess lying on her back, her beautiful head with long hair, her chest bare, one leg slightly raised, her another leg and arms resting on the knoll, and his young abdomen slightly pronounced. With child?

how to wake her up

Look for a young man with brown hair and honey-colored eyes, about eight and a half feet tall, slim, but athletic. They say that he escaped from the Caribs on the coast of the Antilles and is wandering in search of his beloved, whose love lasts longer than gold.


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