Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Indigenous Stories > Mapuche > Kai Kai y Treng Treng

A long time ago, in Mapuche territory, an enormous serpent rose up from the sea and began crying, kai, kai, kai, louder and louder, shriller and shriller. The serpent’s cries caused a great rain to fall. And the rains turned into a storm and then a deluge, flooding all the earth.
To save themselves, the Mapuche people ran to the mountaintops. Just when they could ascend no more, they heard a voice coming from deep within the earth, calling treng, treng, treng. It was the divine serpent come to help them. And thus began the battle between Kai Kai and Treng Treng. As Kai Kai howled louder and louder, Treng Treng caused the earth to shake, and it rose up higher and higher. Seeing he was vanquished, Kai Kai sank back into the depths of the sea, and has never been seen again.

And since that time, whenever the earth shakes and the sea floods the land, or when the rain lashes down from the heavens and the rivers and lakes rise up, the Mapuches hear Kai Kai’s cry. Luckily, Treng Treng is on the watch, and before Kai Kai can harm the Mapuche people he stops Kai Kai’s cries with the deafening sound of the earth rising up.