Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

Beagle Channel in the Patagonia

April 13, 2013

THE AMANCAY, A FLOWER FROM SPANISH AMERICA



HULLO!

A few days ago I came across an article about the legendary Amancay, the “Flor del Amancay” as it is called in the regions of Chile where the ethnic Mapuche still live.

This reminded me of the period in my life when I lived in Osorno, Chile, and attended the German School there.

Osorno is in the Lake District of Chile; the scenery is a beautiful mixture of mountains, rivers, lakes, forests and fields.

The Amancay grows wild, adding color to the scenery.


THE AMANCAY, GROWING LIKE A WEED ALL OVER THE CHILEAN COUNTRYSIDE! 

The view includes the Volcan Osorno in the background







Source: Jason Hollinger CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



WHAT EXACTLY IS THE AMANCAY?

THE AMANCAY




Source: Magnus Manske - CC BY SA 3.0. Wikimedia Commons



This lovely flower is a member of the Alstroemeria and is also known as the “Lily of Peru”, and as the “Flower of the Inca”.

The different varieties grow in Peru, Chile, Brazil and Argentina, under different names.

The name Alstroemeria was given to this gender by the famous botanist Charles Linneo in honor of his friend Clas Alströmer, the Swedish botanist who first collected the seeds of these species and introduced them in Europe in 1753.


THE MODERN DAY CULTIVAR CALLED "SATURNE"





Source: JJ Harrison, CC BY SA 30. Wikimedia Commons



SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PLANT.



  • The Astroemerias are perennials whose roots form rhizomes similar to those of the Iris.

  • The Alstroemeria aurea is native to the south of Chile (the Amancay!) and can grow to be about 1 meter tall.

  • The tuberous roots were consumed as food in the pre-Columbian period.

  • The flowers grow at the top of the stalk, usually in clusters.

  • The “aurea” is mostly yellow – to – orange in color.

  • The “haemantha” is native to the Valparaiso region of Chile and the flowers are deep red – to – orange in color.

  • The “ligtu”, another native of Chile, grows in the dry northern regions. The colors can vary from white through pink to lilac and burgundy.

AN ALSTROEMERIA GROWING IN ITS NATURAL HABITAT IN CENTRAL CHILE


 



Source: Pernarc, CC BY 3.0. Wikimedia Commons
 


  

MY PERSONAL ANECDOTE ABOUT THE AMANCAY.


AMANCAY IN A FOREST, VILLARRICA NATIONAL PARK





Source: Pablo Novoa, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons


My family and I had never heard of the Amancay when we moved from Concepcion to Osorno, so we were very confused when I was told to collect a bunch of Amancay for my Botany assignment at school.

We spent a desperate few days puzzling about it all, until the janitor at my Dad’s office told us to “just travel along any road leading out of Osorno” and we would see this yellow flower growing by the roadside all over the place.

Sure enough, that was the answer! We went touring that weekend and collected an enormous bunch!

I’ve never forgotten the name of the flower, and I’m happy to recognize it as the elegant Alstroemeria that is now an internationally famous cultivar. I still prefer to say Amancay!



THE LEGEND OF AMANCAY.


THE AMANCAY GROWING AT THE FOOT OF THE MAJESTIC ARAUCARIA

 VILLARRICA NATIONAL PARK, CHILE




Source: Pablo Novoa, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons


Many years ago, a small Mapuche tribe lived by a river that flowed down from a lake high up in the Andes Mountains.

The son of the tribe leader was Quintral, a good looking young warrior who loved to walk along the river edge, fishing and hunting. On one of his trips, he met a beautiful young maiden called Amancay and they fell in love.

Alas, this love was an impossible one, as the strict tribal laws would not allow him to marry a person of humble origin like Amancay, who had no dowry.

Then an epidemic struck the tribe, and Quintral fell deathly ill. So Amancay consulted a wise medicine woman, who told her she had to climb to the top of the mountains and pick the flower of a certain plant.

Amancay duly climbed up the mountains and picked the flower, but as she started down again, the threatening figure of Condor cast its shadow over her.

The bird of prey demanded that she relinquish the precious flower, but Amancay refused to do this.

Condor then proposed that she should leave her heart in exchange for the flower, and Amancay accepted this deal in order to save her beloved Quintral.

So Condor, the “King of the Andes”, took her tiny heart in his claws and flew off to his home at the top of the mountain.

The bleeding heart left droplets of blood on the way up, and for each drop a yellow flower was born, speckled with red dots from the blood of Amancay.

These flowers are called Amancay in her memory and are therefore a symbol of everlasting love.

A lovely legend for a lovely flower!


AMANCAY, A LEGEND OF LOVE




Source: Pabloendemico, CC BY 2.0. Wikimedia Commons



SPANISH VERSION


(This Blog is bilingual)


Este post se refiere a la Flor del Amancay, especie nativa que crece en las regiones sureñas de Chile, específicamente en la Región de Los Lagos donde todavía residen los Mapuche, representantes de las etnias originarias 

En un período de mi vida me correspondió vivir con mi familia en la ciudad de Osorno, muy cerca de varios de los grandes lagos, donde el paisaje se caracteriza por presentar una bella combinación de montañas, ríos, lagos, bosques y praderas y donde  asistí al Colegio Alemán de Osorno por un par de años.

La llamada Flor del Amancay corresponde a un miembro del género de las Alstroemerias, nombre creado por el famoso botánico Linneo en honor a su amigo Alström, quien llevo por primera vez las semillas de esta planta a Europa en 1753.

Se le denomina también como la “Flor de los Inca” o “el Lirio de Perú”. Crece como especie nativa en Perú, Brasil, Chile y Argentina.

Una de las características más importantes de esta planta, está la de tener raíces tipo rizoma, lo que le permite ser perenne.

L a planta en Chile recibe diversos nombres según la zona geográfica, lo que también define su color. Se distinguen tres tipos principales, a saber la “aurea” en tonos de amarillo – naranja, la “haemantha” en tonos rojo - naranja y la “ligtu” de colores blanco, rosado, lila y burdeos.

Como anécdota personal, puedo contar que durante mi estadía en Osorno me correspondió recoger un ramo de flores de Amancay como tarea para una clase de botánica. Con mi familia estábamos muy perplejos porque nos habíamos trasladado desde más al norte y nunca habíamos escuchado este término. 

El auxiliar de servicios de la oficina de mi padre nos solucionó la incógnita indicándonos que sólo debíamos salir a recorrer cualquier camino cercano a la ciudad y veríamos la flor creciendo por las orillas. Así fue efectivamente, ¡ahí estaba la Flor del Amancay por todos lados!

Se cuenta también una bella leyenda de amor sobre esta flor, según la cual las pintas rojas sobre el fondo amarillo de la flor representan la sangre de la bella Amancay, que entregó su corazón al Cóndor de Los Andes para salvar la vida de su amado Quintral.

Desde entonces la Flor del Amancay representa el amor romántico y eterno.

¡Una bella leyenda para una bella flor!

En los tiempos actuales, la Flor del Amancay, elemento de las tradiciones y del paisaje de la etnia Mapuche originaria de Chile, se ha transformado en la elegante Alstroemeria cultivada internacionalmente como flor de corte y de adorno sofisticado.

 ¡Yo prefiero decir Amancay!



More about similar topics in a future post.     Más sobre temas similares en un próximo post.



LANGUAGE TIPS FOR ENGLISH



Words that go together!  * Make progress  - * Do the housework  - * Make a noise   - * Take a rest   – * Save energy 



LANGUAGE TIPS FOR SPANISH.



Expresiones de uso frecuente: * A la buena de Dios  - * Ser un aguafiestas  - * Tropezar dos veces con la misma piedra 



How is your level of comprehension?   ¿Cómo está su nivel de comprensión?



© 2013  joanveronica  (Joan Robertson)



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