Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Indigenous Stories > Tehuelche > The Southern Cross

The Southern Cross holds special significance among all cultural traditions of the global South. The Tehuelche believe that this constellation was created by the ostrich Kakn, when he left the imprint of his foot in the firmament. According to the story, the great male ostrich Kakn was spied by some hunters, who chased him until he was trapped at the edge of a cliff. Kakn ran up a rainbow that stretched down to the edge of the abyss, and disappeared into the sky. One of the hunters threw a bola at the bird, but that, too, was lost in the sky. In his flight, Kakn stamped his foot in the sky, creating the constellation known as the Southern Cross. The bola that remained in the sky became the Belt of Orion. The people say that Kakn runs through the firmament to this day.

Myths of Chile
Dictionary of beings, magic and spells
Sonia Montecino Aguirre