Guatavita, the sacred lagoon, which geographically and legally belongs to the municipality of Sesquilé, was the ceremonial site in which the indigenous worshiped Chie.
Their goddess of water through lavish ceremonies that gave rise to the legend of El Dorado, and according to which , the Muisca chieftain arrived accompanied by four priests on a wooden raft.
Before diving immersed in gold and loaded with the treasures he collected from the community in order to leave them in the water as an offering and symbol of worship.
For the natives, working in gold did not represent economic value but a way to get closer to their gods.
The legend of El Dorado refers to much more than the moment of the lagoon.
Nephew of Zipa, the cacique, was selected at the age of nine as a candidate for future boss.
Boy was transferred to a house, isolated from his family, where he was prepared to become a Zipa for another nine years.
When he was 18 years old, he was carried with four dancers who danced naked in front of him stroking him.
If he fell in front of a dancer’s charms, he was banished from the town.
If he passed the test, he took him to the lagoon, his body was covered with a sticky substance on which gold dust was blown – hence the Dorado – and they dressed him in heavy gold jewelry.
Along with four warriors, he rode a raft that took him to the center of the lagoon. Once there, he had to jump into the water in the sense of paying the gods.
In order to get back to the surface, he had to quickly shed all the weight – leaving the jewels at the bottom of the lake.
- At that time, the rest of the Muisca people, who had kept their backs to the lagoon so as not to see the future Zipa, turned and threw more gold offerings into the water.
Later they went to another lake and shared food and drinks.
All these jewels and offerings were what the conquerors were looking for and what unleashed their greed, breaking the mountain that surrounded the lagoon to drain it.
One of those Spaniards was the Sevillian Antonio de Sepulveda, whose documentation tells the following of his exploits to obtain the gold of the said lagoon.
The signature is in the General Archive of the Indies. General Indifferent Section. 415, L.1, F.284R-285V “Antonio de Sepulveda, shelf in the new Kingdom of Granada, says that last year, 1572, V.Mag.
He ordered the gesture, seat and capitulation, over the drain of the Guatavita lagoon, to discover the Guaca and the sanctuary of the hill that is next to it.
- Which works were stopped at his expense, in compliance with which, with the said works being from the beginning very difficult and very great due to the depth of the lagoon, its wide width and rough seating.
It has continued along with the discovery of the said sanctuary, which has not been less difficult, without missing them, ten continuous years.
With many and very large expenses of laborers, day laborers, slaves, officers, tools, food and other necessary things.
The lagoon in its beginning has 25 deep state and three thousand and six hundred sixty-six steps of roundness, all of manifest earth.
More than two parts have been undone in which most of the signs announced by some of the guides, which the said Antonio de Sepúlveda has for the discovery of treasures, to which he has given many gifts and gifts, have been discovered.
- As much gold as clothing. Secretly they tell him everything he must do, encouraging him to carry it forward, because there are some Indians who have passions with the chief and in revenge.They tell the secrets of this business so that it can be discovered.
The gold that has been removed so far is equivalent to about 2,000 pesos, has been put into a royal house, as evidenced by the testimony of the officers of V. Mag.
That if the Royal Court had not led to the sale of slaves and tools for debts that were increased by the said works.
This interests you:
However, they ordered the sale to be made
If your prosecutor had contradicted it by virtue of a certificate of V. Mag, in which they are ordered that they cannot be sold for debt, slaves or tools that are occupied in works where they are fifth for their real estate.
If these elements had not been sold, the lagoon and the said sanctuary would already have been drained, and the treasure that is in it had been removed.
Which is why it has ceased to be obtained due to the statements and the weakness of the Indians who have later worked, because not being as strong and handy as the blacks.
It has been occasion that the works have been delayed so much, and that the said Antonio de Sepúlveda, has spent a large sum of gold pesos as stated by V. Mag
To finish the works, S. Mag, has sent to these kingdoms, Baltasar de Sepúlveda, his son, to sell him his patrimony and take it away, used in blacks and tools and other suitable decorations to them.
- Which V. Mag , It was served to happen in the said works according to the capitulation in case the said his father died before finishing them.
That he was given a royal identification card, as stated by her.
It will continue with the works That the son Baltasar Sepúlveda
Will continue with the works because he started with his father and has practice of what is convenient, and relationship and news of the great riches of the said treasures.
His mission is to finish them and put an end so that the riches are manifested To V. Mag humbly pleads, that taking into consideration how much the said Antonio de Sepúlveda.
Has worked and that he has spent more than 25,000 thousand pesos of gold without that on the part of VM has been rescued, and it is already well spent.
- That what he has done has resulted in the service of God and V. Mag, for having taken away the opportunity that the natural Indians of said kingdom had in La Laguna de Guatavita (Colombia).
Gap for their offerings and ceremonies that they made, of which they are disappointed and that the Royal Treasury of S. Mag, has begun to be exploited and will be much more.
Because of the great hopes that the lagoon and hill have for its end and that the determination with which the aforementioned Antonio de Sepúlveda undertook and undertook the greatness of these works.
And has continued them without looking at the difficulty and greatness of they, only putting an end to serve God and V. Mag.
As everything consists of the information made ex officio by the bliss your Royal Audience. V. Mag has used himself in gratification, to give 100 licenses for black slaves so that he can take them to the Indies free of all rights.
To be able to continue and finish said works; since what has been taken out of the lagoon and put into the Real Casa matters as much as what the said hundred licenses may be worth.
The natives have cursed the Christians who attempt against the lagoon saying: that if some Christians wanted to disrupt and undo the lagoon and sanctuary in which they worshiped, that all would have to die immediately.
And that their gods would then kill and destroy them all. What was taken from La Laguna de Guatavita D. Gerónimo Tuesta.
Accountant of the Royal Treasury of S. Mag of the province of Santa Marta and of this new Kingdom of Granada, To all the gentlemen who present it, I certify and attest:
that by the real books of the accounting that are in my power, the items of what was taken out in the Guatavita lagoon appear and go as follows.
In Santa Fe, on June 29, 1576, Gaspar Núñez, who is Gabriel de Limpia Feijo, takes charge of 232 reales and ten grains of good gold value that is 450 maravedíes, which are therefore what they were worth.
The jewels and precious stones that until today have been taken from the Guatavita lagoon are: a cross-shaped piece with a mask for a sign and four statuettes and a long gold layer that weighs thirty-seven being 18 carats.
One piece Guala amanera of adarga stamped on it a Tunjo, weighing 75 kl. And four kilos came out of the 17-carat law. A transshear and two monkeys, an argole outside.
Three thin sheets of gold and a few pieces, and some broken jingle bells, and some raspberries.
Ninety-eight pieces of jewelery that were taken from the Guatavita lagoon were melted, I say that 108 of the jewels were melted.
Two emerald stones that were taken from the Guatavita lagoon one weighed two hundred and six grams
Over the centuries, other expeditions have tried, with little result.
To gut the secrets hidden in the bowels of Guatavita.
In the 19th century a company with German capital tried to dredge the lake.
As a consequence of the partial emptying, some few pieces of a certain value were obtained, but again the difficulties made the search abandon.
In 1911 the Franco-Saxon company «Contractors Limited» finally managed to dry up the lake.
- To achieve this, they built an underground tunnel that started from the center of the lagoon, with gates to regulate. Newer post Main page Old post Subscribe to:
Send Comments (Atom) Posted by Fermin Mayorga at 3:51 PM the flow of water and a filter mercury to collect gold objects and precious stones.
Very ingenious. So ingenious that it apparently worked perfectly.
Finally, after almost four hundred years, they managed to drain all the water from the lake.
I say the water, because nobody counted on the several tens of meters of mud and silt that completed the lake bed, so that nobody could step on the bottom without being swallowed by that mixture.
The next day, the sun cooked the mud and silt, giving the mud the consistency of cement with such force that it could not be penetrated.
- The fired clay blocked the floodgates, the tunnel was sealed and the lagoon was filled again thanks to the contribution of the groundwater it feeds on.
They found only objects worth about £ 500, insufficient to cover the entire cost of the operation. Obviously, the company went bankrupt and they abandoned the operation.
In later years, several more attempts were made to drain the lake, using drills and explosive material to break the silt layer, with little result.
Until in 1965 the Government of Colombia agreed to give the Guatavita lagoon and its surroundings the status of heritage. historical and cultural of the nation.
Lake Guatavita, although it showed signs of containing some 500,000 pieces of gold and precious stones, according to calculations made in 1807 by the naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.
never revealed its secret and enigma that remains an impenetrable secret protected by ancient gods against human greed .