Traditional Stories About Qinti
The Inca believed that the hummingbird was a messenger from heaven. The condor, which has the position of “king of the skies,” conceded its status as the primary spiritual messenger of the “upper world” to the hummingbird. The hummingbird is key to the next stage of development of human consciousness.
Incan legend tells about a contest between the condor and the hummingbird to see who would be king. The condor said he could fly to the edge of the sky, and the hummingbird said he could fly beyond that to the center of heaven. When it came time for the contest, the hummingbird didn’t show up. The condor took off and passed the edge of the sky. At that point, the hummingbird emerged from the condor’s feathers and flew beyond to the center of the upper world, where he met Wiraqocha, the metaphysical god of the Andes, who allowed rewarded Qinti by allowing him to drink the nectar of the gods.
Another Incan legend talks about the contest between the eagle of the North and the condor of the South after the Great Spirit announced that only the greatest avian would be able to drink the nectar of the gods. As the condor and eagle boasted and fought over who had the most outstanding wingspan, the hummingbird used its excellent flying ability to fly beyond the edge of the sky and thus winning the contest and drinking from the nectar of the gods before the eagle and condor even realized it had flown past them.
The ancient Central American civilization of the Mayans revered the hummingbird as a magical being. They believed that the bird was really the sun in disguise, appearing as a hummingbird to court a beautiful woman, the moon.
Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec deity of the sun and war, actually means “hummingbird on the left.” He wore a bracelet of hummingbird feathers on his left wrist. The Aztecs believed that if they died battle, they would also reincarnate as a hummingbird.
The Mayan legend about Tzuunum is about a tiny hummingbird created by the Great Spirit with a plain appearance but incredible flying ability. When it came time for her to wed, her friends, who were brightly colored birds, donated some of their own red, green, blue, and gold feathers to make her wedding dress. Tzuunum was so surprised and humbled that the Great Spirit sent word that she could wear her wedding gown for the rest of her life.