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The Miraculous Twins

This legend was translated into English for us by Paula Rezende.

In the beginning, there was no earth. There was only the sky, where everyone lived. One of the most powerful was Jaguar. One day, Jaguar caught a man and intended to eat him. "Wait!" said the man. "For I am a sorcerer, and I can help you. I notice that you have no wife. If you let me go, I will create a wife for you."

Jaguar was happy about that. So the sorcerer created a woman out of wood, and she became Jaguar's wife. Soon, she became pregnant. But one day, while Jaguar was out hunting, Jaguar's mother passed gas very loudly, and the woman laughed at her mother-in-law. Jaguar's mother became enraged and she killed the woman. Jaguar's brother saw what happened and he hurried to save the babies from his sister-in-law's womb. They were twins. Their names were Keri and Kame, sons of the Jaguar.

They grew up to be miraculous heroes. The first thing they did was avenge their mother. They set a fire and burned their grandmother to ashes. When Kame was burned, Keri used his powers to bring him back to life. When Keri was burned, Kame used his powers to bring him back to life. In this way, the twins survived the fire, but their wicked grandmother was killed.

Keri became the father of the Bakairi people. The Bakairi could not live well in the sky, so the twins created the earth and pushed the sky up far above it. Then they put the sun and moon into the sky for the people. In those days, the sun and moon belonged to the Vulture People, who guarded them carefully and did not let them out. Keri and Kame set a trap for the Vulture King by creating a dead tapir with a magic hide. When the Vulture King stuck his head in to eat the tapir, the hide closed around his neck and he couldn't escape until he sent the other vultures to bring the twins the sun and moon. Then the twins put the sun and moon into the sky for everyone to use.

They were great heroes and taught the Bakairi many things before returning to their father's home in the sky.

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More stories to read:

 Native American hero tales
 Native American creation myths
 Legends about jaguars
 Legends about vultures

Learn more about:

 The Bakairi Indians of Brazil
 Bakairi mythology
 Bakairi language
 Native cultures of Brazil



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