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Mayan Romeo & Juliet Story (Clarie Ward)

Once upon a time in a land far, far away (unless you are already in Guatemala) there took place a little Romeo and Juliet story set amongst the romantic ambience of lake Atitlán. As the story goes, there used to be two opposing villages on either side of the lake. They would often fight against each other hoping for supremacy and therefore control of the trading routes that crossed through the area. In one village lived a prince named Tzutujil and in the other a princess named Tchokomel.     


One day Tzutujil was dared by his buddies to row over in his dugout to the other side of the lake to steal the head-dress of a girl from the other village. Being the brave fellow that he was, Tzutujil at once jumped at the chance to prove his prowess and struck out with his paddle towards the opposite shore. On arrival he soon came across our fair maiden of this little tale, Tchokomel, who was down by the edge of the lake washing her hair. She had placed her bright red headdress on a rock behind her and was humming a love song as she combed out her raven-black locks.      


Tzutujil was for a moment enchanted by her lark-sweet voice but remembering the challenge he had been set, he saw his chance and was about to take the ribbon when he unwittingly displaced a rock .  Startled, Tchokomel turned to find Tzutujil standing above her. It took no more than a look into each other?s eyes and they were in love.        


For days and weeks they would steal away from their respective villages to meet up knowing that if they were found out they would be punished most severely. Eventually, suspicious minds led to their discovery and they were told that they were never to see each other again under punishment of death.       


Tzutujil, in his despair, decided that if he could not be with his one true love then he would give himself to the gods and so took his own life. On hearing this terrible news, Tchokomel rose up in misery and anger and called on the gods to help her. The gods helped her create a most ferocious wind that to this day crosses Lake Atitlán every afternoon whipping up the waves and rocking all the small boats attempting their crossing. If you listen very carefully, you may just hear Tchokomel´s love song in the wind calling out for her lost love......Tzuuutuuujiiil.

Lake Atitlan
Lago Atitlan
Mayan Myth
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