Atlantis origins in Bolivian Legend, Legend of the Desaguadero.

There exists in Bolvia a legend in which the gods decide to punish a city on the edge of a lake by submerging it in a day of earthquakes and floods. The principal god, Tunupa, a god of the sea who had tried to persuade the people to amend their degenerate ways is cast by the people adrift on the lake in a reed boat which is then carried southwards to crash against the southern shores of the lake. A great aperture opens up in the side of the lake, carrying the god southwards in a great flood of water until he reaches Lake Poopo where he disappears into the waters in the region of Pampa Aullagas. Other versions say the waters continued south in a great wave even reaching Chile where a giant petroglyph representing Tunupa can be seen in the Atacama desert.

leyenda del desaguadero p01 cover   leyenda del desaguadero p02
"La Leyenda del Desaguadero" illustrated version published by the University of La Paz

tiwanaku atlantis city on the lake
In the opening cartoon, the city is shown quiet and peaceful on the edge of a lake
"Riches were so plentiful that there were no poor people. Life was a continual happiness
and as there were no sorrows or illness, their hearts grew hard."

Isn't that so like the tale of Atlantis, where the gods decide to punish the city because of their greed and misbehaviour, submerging the city in a single day and night of earthquakes and floods?

And since the tale of Atlantis came from Egypt and presumably originally with travellers from the Atlantic Island itself, isn't it possible that in fact what Plato was repeating was this legend of a drowned city which originated in Bolivia?

atlantis the Gods decide to punish the city
Because of the greed and misdeeds of the people the chief of the Gods decides to
punish the city and bring against it earthquakes, floods and bolts of lightning.

tunupa cast onto raft
The god, Tunupa also known as Pachacama or sometimes Viracocha, tried to change
the ways of the people, but they rejected his advice and tied him to a balsa raft.

desaguadero waters
The reed boat was cast adrift in the lake wherupon it drifted away and crashed into the southern shore of Lake Titicaca.

desaguadero waters
When the boat crashed into the shore, it opening up a passage way which carried Tunupa all the way down to Lake Poopo (also known formerly as Lake Aullagas) where he disappears beneath the waters at Pampa Aullagas.

legend desaguadero tunupa pachacama
Tunupa disappears beneath the waters of Lake Poopo at Pampa Aullagas
- the very site of the mountain with the concentric rings similar to the Atlantis story.

route of tunupa raft
The route of the balsa raft carrying Tunupa from Lake Titicaca to lake Poopo

tiwanaku atlantis inhabitants flee city
The inhabitants of Tiwanaku are destroyed by earthquakes and the rising waters of the lake.

desaguadero atlantis city submerged
The city is submerged by the lake

The above version appears to be based upon a work, "Leyendas de mi tierra" (Legends of my land) of Antonio Diaz Villamil (Libreria - Editorial "Juventud") Spanish version and English version

According to the above version of the legend, the inhabitants of the city shown as Tiwanaku were drowned by the rising waters of Lake Titicaca in the southern part of the lake today known as Winay Marka.

Message from Eduardo Montaña of AtlantisBolivia
"The 21st of June I was in a rowing boat on lake Wiñaymarca (the smaller part of the lake to the south of Lake Titicaca) celebrating the Andino New Year. In the early hours of the morning with the first rays of the sun and a full moon, we found ourselves in the interior of the small lake where we saw these (underwater) structures, which surely belong to the "eternal city" of Wiñaymarca, buried under Lake Titicaca. Then the Legend of the Desaguadero (of Thunupa) is true."

eternal city Wiñaymarca  eternal city Wiñaymarca
Stones beneath the waters of lake Wiñaymarca from the eternal city

Atlantis of the andes
We can now add further, that the expedition of Josh Gates, "Adventures Unknown" and which has been named "Atlantis of the Andes" found and filmed further stuctures under Lake Wiñaymarca, stones and walls which they declared to be "multiple buildings down here."
Thus the legend of the Eternal City submerged beneath lake Titicaca is true.

Posnansky thought that Tiwanaku dated as far back as 15,000BC and that the city had been at one time submerged by the waters of Lake Titicaca due to higher up lakes bursting their banks and pouring water down into Lake Titicaca. His opinion was based upon materials found in excavations at the Kalasasaya in Tiwanaku. His findings are rejected by modern archaeology, but local legends also talk of submerged buildings beneath the lake. Evidence of submerged terraces were found by divers of the Akakor expedition and historically, the levels of the lake have always risen and retracted as a result of climate change. It is possible that an older city awaits discovery beneath Tiwanaku or the nearby lake.

Evidence of destruction of ancient agriculture by earthquakes can be seen on Google earth for the regions around Tiwanaku.

In other local versions of the story, Tunupa subsequently re-emerges in female form, known as Thunupa and marries a god called Asanaque who lives on the hill on the opposite side of the lake to Pampa Aullagas (just like in Plato's version it was Poseidon who married Cleito who lived on a hill). In the Bolivia version Thunupa subsequently runs away from Asanaques and lays down on the hill at Pampa Aullagas thus forming the ringed formations which are found there.

Sources: also local legends from the Huari village near the Asanaque volcano.

Interpretation: The Altiplano is known to have sunk at its southern end as can be demonstrated by the shorelines of former lakes which instead of being horizontal, are now inclined towards the south.

The Akakor expeditions which began in the year 2,000 have discovered sunken walls, terraces and temples below the water of lake Titicaca in the southern Winay Marka part of the lake. These are thought to date to around 4,000BC.

It seems probable that sometime after 4,000 BC, possibly as late as 1200BC, the passageway today known as the strait of Tiquina opened up allowing the waters of Lake Titicaca to flow south, drowning all the inhabitants of Winay Marka and sweeping south in a wall of water which also wiped out everything in the lake Poopo region of the Altiplano.

altiplano flooding
The water overspilling from Lake Titica would have swept south destroying everything in its path.

legends of Bolivia
This illustration by Rene Rojas from "Legends of Bolivia" shows the city being overcome by a wall of water.

After the earthquakes and floods: did the earthquakes cause tsunamis?
Did the sinking of the southern Altiplano cause Lake Titicaca to overflow its banks
and sumberge the southern zone in a giant tidal wave or tsunami?

Altiplano sinking
top figure. Lake Tauca 11,000BC. The Desaguadero is horizontal and parallel to the lake level.
Prior to the arrival of the lake, water drains from the Salar de Uyuni northwards.

Altiplano flooding
Present day shore lines. At some time after lake Tauca in 11,000BC, the northern end has risen and the southern end has sunk given the slanted ancient shore lines. Water today drains from Lake Titicaca southwards to Lake Poopó and Uyuni. Source: Bellamy "Built Before the Flood"

altiplano sunk
Combining the two drawings shows how the land has sunk at the southern end.

Altiplano earthquakes and floods
If this happened suddenly... the water from Lake Titicaca would flow southwards in a giant tidal wave......
wiping out everything in its path and submerging the island of Atlantis in Lake Poopo

Altiplano flood animation
animation showing how the altiplano may have sunk in the south
and been flooded by water from Lake Titicaca.

Akakor press release 2009 relates discoveries under Lake Titicaca to Atlantis
akakor expedition Akakor video footage     Akakor press release 2000

Lake Titicaca underwater expeditions

BBC report on Akakor underwater expedition

Atlantis origins twin sons atlantis twin sons legend click here    

Bolivian Legend and Plato’s story of Atlantis: additional material ….What Plato says in the beginning…In the centre of the level rectangular plain at a distance of 50 stades from the sea was a mountain that was low on all sides. Theron dwelt Cleito, and Poseidon being smitten with desire for her wedded her, and to make the hill whereon she dwelt impregnable he broke it off all round about, and he made circular belts of land and sea enclosing one another alternately, which he carved as it were out of the midst of the island. The island later disappeared into the sea in a single day of earthquakes and floods.

Poseidon… Greek name for the god of the sea and of earthquakes.

Tunapa...Bolivian name for the god of rivers and lakes.

Pampa Aullagas. Area surrounding a low mountain with broken off rings of land and formerly sea, destroyed and submerged by earthquakes, located at the southern end of Lake Poopo.

In the Greek legend, it is Poseidon, god of the sea who marries a woman living on a hill and creates the ringed island of Atlantis. But Plato says the legend was given Greek names to make it agreeable to his readers. In Bolivian legend, it is Tunapa, god of the sea (lakes and rivers) who created the ringed formation at Pampa Aullagas.

The following extracts show how the story varied from place to place, Tunapa sometimes being seen as a male god and at other times as a female.

From … summary

"Thunupa appears in different guises -- godlike and man-like. I explore what it might mean to have the same name applied to a female mountain peak in the south who is wedded to a man/god/ mountain who is the highest peak in Condo's territory.

…In several chronicles the god Thunupa is a god who leaves the region of Lake Titicaca. He sails down the Desaguadero River (opening up the route as he goes), ending up in exile in Lake Poopo, where he sinks

In the legend of Azanaques and Thunapa, gender, marriage, and the violence of husband against wife frame the story of their relationship and point to a link between the behavior of gods and humans.

Bouysse-Cassagne, indicating that Thunupa was a god venerated in the sixteenth century by Aymara speakers, notes that Thunupa may have well existed in earlier times (1988: 77). Wachtel (1990) claims even greater antiquity for Thunupa than for Viracocha, arguing that Thunupa may be a pre-Aymara god, perhaps of Puquina origin. Thunupa, thought to be especially important to the area round Lake Titicaca, is particularly associated with water (Molina R. n.d.). Wachtel describes him as the maker of terrestrial water.

this altiplano water course system. The travels of Thunupa also mark what Wachtel calls the "aquatic axis" of the altiplano from Lake Titicaca to the great salt pans of southern Bolivia

On this watercourse Thunupa went sailing until "the Aullagas" [another name for Lake Poopo] where "the waters vanish into the bowels of the earth" …..

Thunupa was deposited on the shores of Lake Poopo to take up residence alongside Azanaques

From "La Ruta Tarapaca" summary. "According to these legends the old Asanaques married a woman called Tunapa."

"Tunapa decided to rest in the region of Quillacas, where she built an oven in order to cook, thus forming the peaks of Santa Barbara and San Juan Mallku, where later the actual village of Quillacas was founded.

The following day, she headed to the west, to cross the River Marquez, Tunapa left one of her sandals in a place today recognised by a small mound known as Sato. On the other side of the river she decided to rest leaving traces of her resting place in the formations of the peak Pedro Santos Willka, site of the people and village of Pampa Aullagas."

Inca Creation Myth from "The Incas" pub Blackwell 2002
"In ancient times before there was light the creator Wiraqocha Pachayachachic (creator of all things) fashioned a race of giants to see if it would be good to make humans on that scale. He saw that they were too large, and so he made humans his own size. But they were filled with hubris and greed, so the Creator turned some to stone, and others to diverse forms, and some were swallowed up by the earth or sea. And he caused a great flood to cover the land, destroying all that was upon it, save for three men, whom he saved to help create humans anew.

From …..abridged version

Magazine: Anthropological Quarterly, October 1999


By Sikkink, Lynn ; Choque M., Braulio


On the southern Bolivian altiplano the fight between a male and a female mountain peak marked the region in distinctive ways, defining physical space and humans' relationship to it. Considering landscape from the perspective of one community, we learn about the reworking of history and gender, and individuals' ability to use the story creatively. [storytelling, Andes, landscape, gender, mountains]

"Azanaques got married to a woman from the south named Thunapa... "(Braulio Choque).


Arriving as an outsider to take up residence on the Bolivian altiplano, I did not realize that even the landscape was beyond my reach. What I initially saw was flat expanses of sandy pampa bounded by hills, some of them standing alone, the watery vision of Lake Poopo with its salty outline to one side of my new home, subtle changes in color from salt to desert sand to rusty browns. This initial impression of desolate beauty had little to do with how Condenos viewed this scene. Little by little, learning the "stories" or "legends" about the gods who animated this terrain, I was taught to identify the personages here and there and the marks of their relationships and disputes: that rock catapulted from a sling during a fight, this hill as a hat knocked off during a fight, this salt and sand a trail of breast milk and barley flour, this hill an abandoned child, those red rocks the blood of a wounded mountain/ god. But surprisingly this learning process did not result in the exchange of one vision of the landscape for another. Rather in the listening and looking I learned to apprehend always-unfolding possibilities for considering the scene around me, some of them contradictory. Stories about important mountains, overseers of Condeno communities, were recounted differently by various community members, not necessarily in conformity with each other. The telling of folk tales is influenced by the age and sex of the individual storyteller, as well as by the community affiliation of that person and which parts of the landscape are particularly important to him or her.

First, I am interested in demonstrating how the landscape itself is gendered in the region surrounding San Pedro de Condo, and how stories about the landscape like the one I tell here take on specific gendered aspects in modern versions of folk tales. Second, I will contrast the local representation of the gender of two mountain peaks (Thunapa and Azanaques). I will examine how this representation differs from chronicled accounts in which Thunupa(n1) appears in different guises -- godlike and man-like. I explore what it might mean to have the same name applied to a female mountain peak in the south who is wedded to a man/god/ mountain who is the highest peak in Condo's territory.

Landscape, Gender, and Folk Tales

In the Andes the landscape is animated in specific ways. As the Andean geography is monumental, so are the beings that breathe life into mountains, plains, rivers, and rocky outcrops. For instance, a mountain is not just a place where a god walked, it is itself a god. A blocky rock the size of a small house is the missile flung from a sling in a fight between two peaks. Unlike other cultural landscapes that record in myths the passage of gods, ancestors, and trickster figures, and their effects on the landscape, Andean geography is a gargantuan arrangement of bodies, body parts, and the objects these beings used or left behind as they went on their ways in times past.

Locally told and recognized, the stories about the peaks Azanaques and Thunapa also provide a counterpoint to other stories about the Andean god Thunupa whose reputation is known throughout other parts of the Andes, but under a different guise.

…In several chronicles the god Thunupa is a god who leaves the region of Lake Titicaca. He sails down the Desaguadero River (opening up the route as he goes), ending up in exile in Lake Poopo, where he sinks

Condo was the center of the pre-Inca Asanaqi-Killakas Federation whose political structure is still reflected in modern day sociopolitical arrangements. Condenos in turn had the peak of Azanaques at the center of their identity, so stories about Azanaques today reflect in part the origin myths and political assertion of this old Aymara Federation. ….In the legend of Azanaques and Thunapa, gender, marriage, and the violence of husband against wife frame the story of their relationship and point to a link between the behavior of gods and humans.

A Modern Version of the Legend of Azanaques and Thunapa

This story was recorded by Braulio Choque, a young scholar of mythology who lives in Huari, five kilometers from Condo. As Choque grew up in this area hearing this story, he draws on his own knowledge of local lore alongside the information he collected from residents of Huari, Condo, Quillacas, and Pampa Aullagas. His version therefore is remarkably complete in that it draws on angles of representation provided to him by inhabitants of the areas through which Thunapa passed after her fight with Azanaques (see Figure 1). Although Thunupa is a male god when we encounter him in chronicled myths, the southern peak of Thunapa is almost always spoken of as a female,

In other Condeno versions the peak of Thunapa is labeled sometimes as a male,. Legend of Azanaques They say that in the vast region of Huari there lived a man called Azanaques. … One day Azanaques got married to a woman from the south named Thunapa. There were other marital differences -- During the party he drank a lot of alcohol and ended up beating Thunapa. She was badly wounded, harming also the child she was carrying in her womb. Because of the fight, Thunapa took Sullka and resolved to flee from Azanaques. Thunapa, badly wounded, stayed several hours on the outskirts of San Pedro de Condo. She found several medicinal herbs to help her, then continued on her journey. Along the way, however, she dripped blood, which today has been converted into three small hills of reddish earth, named Wila-wila ["red-red" or "blood-blood"].

Azanaques ordered a search. Azanaques and his henchmen followed Thunapa's path, but without success. Meanwhile Thunapa continued her journey, stopping to prepare a meal. She rigged a little oven, made of clay and granite rocks. A long time later the little oven became the village of Quillacas [today a pilgrimage site]. A resident says, "Thunapa cooked her meal in those three hills that you see there, at the top of Calvary Hill. And because of that, those three hills are black with the smoke of the fire -- it stained it that way forever .... "

She continued on across the flat pampa. On her way she left the marks of her dejection in the shape of gigantic sandal prints. Her full breasts spilled out milk on the pampa as she walked towards Pampa Aullagas, …At the first rays of dawn, Thunapa continued her hurried journey. In her haste she didn't suspect that her pito had been leaking out of a small hole in the ch'uspa and had spread across the length of the pampa. Residents say that this was converted into the current line of sand and dust marking her route. Along with this, the milk from her breasts continued to leak out, to be converted into salt. This salt now extends in small mounds to the village of Pampa Aullagas, even covering the environs of the village of Salinas de Garci Mendoza, where Thunapa set up her new dwelling, living peacefully, free from her pursuers.

Landscape and the body

One of the obvious aspects of the story of Azanaques and Thunapa, which as told in this version is like a serial origin myth, is how the landscape is represented as many bodies and is itself the result of the actions of these bodies as they shaped this space in the past. In the story the landscape is animated through its representation as living and dead gods, and as their body essences -- blood, breast milk, and urine figure as parts of the modem landscape.

As a present part of Condo's territory, how does the effect of Azanaques' body on the landscape differ from that of Thunapa's? Whereas Azanaques is encompassed by Condo's territory, Thunapa lies far away, in the territory of Salinas de Garci Mendoza (once called Salinas de Thunapa) and is the tutelary god of those inhabitants just as Azanaques is for the Condenos (see Figure 1). Thunapa is visible from Condo, and marks an important point on the horizon -- the direction of the great salt flats to the southwest of Condo. Condenos still travel to these salt fiats but did so much more frequently in the past, a point to which I return below. Thunapa is an important reference point on the landscape, and people name it frequently, while they may or may not point out other mountain landmarks within sight. Perhaps this is partly so because of Thunapa's commanding location beyond the shores of Lake Poopo and in the region of Uyuni and Coipasa. The orientation of Thunapa also marks the line of an old trade route to the Pacific Ocean through the Atacama Desert which highlanders used to travel. Thunapa also marks the western edge of the Federation of Asanaqi-Killakas' territory to which Condenos trace their history (Espinoza Soriano 1981). Within these old boundaries the distance between Thunapa and Azanaques also marks the wide extent of a common and old territory.

Thunapa's journey may also make reference to the historic migrations of the inhabitants

Gender: Local and Titicaca Variations on the Myth

In sorting out the various meanings and interpretations of this myth, I find that gender is a notable feature, especially in that the gender of Thunapa is inconsistent from account to account. (Compare the two quotations in the opening of this article.) The mythical action of the Condeno story revolves around a married couple, specifically marked in their human-like relations. Along with exploring this aspect of the story, I also wish to talk about how a local variant of this story links it to early colonial chronicled myths about the god of Thunupa. He is always depicted as a male, sometimes of the same stature as Viracocha (an ancient Andean god), and sometimes as Viracocha's son. Thunupa is variously depicted in these myths, sometimes with Christian-like aspects, and often with associations to water and water courses (Bouysse-Cassagne 1988; Guillen E. 1991; Urbano 1988; Wachtel 1990). Bouysse-Cassagne, indicating that Thunupa was a god venerated in the sixteenth century by Aymara speakers, notes that Thunupa may have well existed in earlier times (1988: 77). Wachtel (1990) claims even greater antiquity for Thunupa than for Viracocha, arguing that Thunupa may be a pre-Aymara god, perhaps of Puquina origin. Thunupa, thought to be especially important to the area round Lake Titicaca, is particularly associated with water (Molina R. n.d.). Wachtel describes him as the maker of terrestrial water (1990: 534). This role is demonstrated in Sarmiento's account (1942[1972]) when he casts Thunupa as the disobedient son of Viracocha. In this account, Viracocha punishes Thunupa because of his misdeeds. Viracocha's other two sons tie Thunupa by the feet and hands and toss him into a boat, which is carried down the Desaguadero River, that flows to Lake Uru-Uru and on to Lake Poopo (also cited by Bouysse-Cassagne 1988: 82). Ramos Gavilan (1976) elaborates by recounting that a strong wind blew on the aft of the vessel, carrying it towards Desaguadero -- which before this time did not exist -- and the prow of Thunupa's boat opened the outlet on this spot, providing enough space for the waters to flow out. On this watercourse Thunupa went sailing until "the Aullagas" [another name for Lake Poopo] where "the waters vanish into the bowels of the earth" (pp. 31-32). (See Figure 2.) Unresolved is the fate of Thunupa in this story -- did he sink into the lake or establish a new home? Given the local Condeno story it is tempting to postulate that the local story picks up where the Titicaca version leaves off; that is, Thunupa was deposited on the shores of Lake Poopo to take up residence alongside Azanaques. Although these two stories are not explicitly linked, they are symbolically connected beyond just the name. Thunupa, and then Thunapa, moves across the landscape, bisecting it roughly along the line between urco and uma(n5) which defined pre-Hispanic Aymara space (Bouysse-Cassagne 1986; Saignes 1984), continuing this process on land until reaching the salt flats, once a part of this altiplano water course system. The travels of Thunupa also mark what Wachtel calls the "aquatic axis" of the altiplano from Lake Titicaca to the great salt pans of southern Bolivia (1990: 527). Comparing the chronicled accounts of Thunupa to the local story there is a shift from water to land, but the shift in register is more than from sailor in his boat to a mountain god; it is from male to female.

This analogy suggests that in mythically encountering the local god Azanaques, the founding symbol of the once huge Asanaqi-Killakas Federation, Thunapa would have found an immediate place in the local hierarchy if construed as a female rather than a male. Not only was she seen as a female, but she was mythically wed to Azanaques, symbolizing the unequal union of Aymara and other pre-Inca religious beliefs, perhaps associated with the regional fishermen of Uru or Puquina ethnicity. Thunupa, after all, is associated with water ways in the Titicaca story,(n6) while he/she goes on to shape the landscape and "produce salt" --logically related to water resources as one moves from wetter to drier parts of the altiplano (Titicaca to Uyuni). The local myth in some way domesticates Thunapa, planting her on the landscape as a creative force come to rest -- as the runaway wife of Azanaques who lost her dominion over the part of the landscape ruled by her husband.

By Lynn Sikkink, San Jose State University and Braulio Choque M., Huari, Bolivia

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From Ruta Tarapaca

Menciona que Calancha atribuye la muerte de Taapac (Tunupa) a los indios de las orillas del Titikaka, donde dice, el cuerpo fue colocado en una balsa:

"y las tranquilas aguas haciendo las veces de remo, los céfiros sirviendo de pilotos, el cuerpo navegó con tal velocidad que quedaron absortos y poseídos de temor que ellos mismos lo habían matado sin piedad... la balsa llegó a la playa de Chachamarka donde está el Desaguadero, la misma balsa abrió por tierra formando el Desaguadero, el santo fue hasta el pueblo de Aullagas y el Titikaka en dirección de la costa de Arica y Chile" ( Bandelier 1996:385).

Algo similar refiere Ramos Gavilán (citado por Ponce 1982:173-175), lo citamos desde que Tunupa llega navegando hasta Aullagas:

" y sobre ellas fue nauegando hasta los Aullagas; donde como arriba queda dicho, se hunden las aguas por las entrañas de la tierra, y allí, se dize, quedó el Santo cuerpo, y que cada año en vna de las Pascuas, o por aquel tiempo, se veían alli vna muy fresca, y verde Palma: aunque otros afirman, se vé esta Palma en vna isleta, que el desaguadero haze vezina a la costa de Chile sola, y sin que la acompañe otro arbol alguno" ( Ponce 1982:175)

El peregrinar de Tunupa hacia la costa: Historias indígenas

Los cronistas logran rehacer la ruta de Tunupa hasta que se pierde en la región de Aullagas, al sur del lago Poopó. Es claro que este peregrinar no termina allí, incluso los cronista mencionan una posible relación con la costa de Chile. Historias indígenas regionales respecto al volcán Tunupa, situado a orillas del salar de Uyuni nos permite extender el itinerario de sus viajes desde el altiplano boliviano hacia la frontera con Chile.

Molina (1996), por otra parte, recogió una serie de leyendas que tienen al volcán Tunupa como personaje central. Estas versiones fueron recogidas en las zonas de Quillacas y Pampa Aullagas, Salinas de Garci Mendoza y Challapata, Huari y Sevaruyo. Según estas leyendas se dice que un día el viejo Asanaques se casó con una mujer llamada Tunupa y tuvieron varios hijos. El Asanaques era un viejo con barba blanca y el principal Mallku de la región. La Tunupa era una bella y joven mujer que llevaba doce polleras de muchos colores y doce enaguas. El viejo Asanaques era muy celosos de la bella Tunupa acasionádole muchos sufrimientos. Un día, tanto sufrir, la joven Tunupa decidió irse hacia la costa. En esa ocasión la Tunupa y el Asanaque tuvieron una riña en la que el Asanaque comenzó a castigarla. La Tunupa pidió auxilio y salió en defensa de su hermana, Chullasi, que se encontraba al otro lado del lago cerca a Orinoca. Chullasi, para defender a su hermana Tunupa lanzó una piedra, con una honda, a la cabeza del Ausanaques, hiriendo al Mallku para siempre. Es por esa razón que el mallku se encuentra inclinado hacia donde sale el sol y la piedra que le hirió se encuentra aún en la pampa cerca al camino, que llaman PacoKahua. Mientras el Asanaques estaba herido, la Tunupa aprovechó para marcharse, dejando atrás a sus hijos Wilacollo, Huatascollo, Huari y Sevaruyo (Cerro Gordo) (cerros menores que se encuentran al sur del lago Poopó).

Iniciando su camino hacia la costa, la Tunupa orinó en las pampas de Aguas Calientes, donde hoy existen brotes de aguas termales, consideradas saludables. Luego de transitar por las pampas de Condo,


la Tunupa decidió descansar en la localidad de Quillacas, donde se construyó un fogón para cocinar, formando así los cerros de Santa Bárbara y San Juan Mallku, donde luego se ubicaría el actual pueblo de Qillacas.

Al día siguiente, se dirigió rumbo al oeste, para cruzar el río Marqués, la Tunupa dejó una de sus abarcas, en el lugar hoy conocido por una pequeña loma denominada Sato. Al otro lado del río decidió descansar dejando rastros de reposos en los contornos del cerro Pedro Santos Willka, lugar de fundación del pueblo y ayllu de Pampa Aullagas.

Rumbo al sur, cerca de Tambillo, la Tunupa excavó la tierra para construir una Tiwaraña de piedra para preparar la quinoa. Continuando su trayectoria hacia el sur, en una localidad llamada Jayu Cota, excavó nuevamente la tierra para luego verter su leche y dejarle a su hijo menor que la seguía. Más adelante dejó en su camino a un hijo enfermo con viruela, llamado Saalviano, nombre de un cerro que tiene muchos huecos en su superficie.

Siguió camino hasta una gran planicie donde se perdía de vista el Asanaques y donde dicen que la Tunupa vertió grandes cantidades de leche para alimentar a sus hijos. En esta zona, conocida desde entonces como el Salar de Uyuni (o Aullagas) se encontró con dos jóvenes muy guapos, el Cora Cora y el Achacollo o cerro Grande, con los que entabló una buena amistad. Ellos la convencieron que se quedase por esos lugares antes de seguir rumbo a la costa.

Muy pronto los jóvenes se enamoraron de la bella Tunupa. y comenzaron a pelearse por su amor. Con un hondazo, el Cora Cora hirió el corazón del Achacollo, por lo que desangró mucho. Por su parte, el cerro Achacollo también le lanzó un hondazo al Cora Cora, hiriéndolo en la vejiga y habriéndole muchos huecos. Así ambos jóvenes pretendientes murieron por el amor de la Tunupa y desde entonces la Tunupa se quedó y permaneció para siempre en esta región de los Aullagas (Molina 1996:405-408).