The Treasure of Princess Nayuribe in Nicoya

    A historical narration of the region`s cultural heritage

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    There are several legends related to an indigenous princess named Nayuribe, where the heroic struggles that she waged against the Spanish invaders at the time of the

    conquest are mentioned.In a document from the National Archives of 1684, the Nandayori shipyard is mentioned for the first time, located 7 leagues from the town of Nicoya and which could be reached in 2 hours on horseback.

    But where did this indigenous name for that old port come from?

    There are several legends related to an indigenous princess named Nayuribe, where the heroic struggles that she waged against the Spanish invaders at the time of the conquest are mentioned, and incidentally highlight her legendary beauty. One of these legends indicates that the archaeologist José Fidel Tristán arrived in Nicoya, being guided in his investigations by an old Indian, who helped him locate a cave in the mountainous part, where he found rich treasures of the Chorotega culture. While he was resting on a stone after such a discovery, a beautiful woman appeared to him, who emerged from the calcareous rocks.

    In the middle of the silent afternoon, the woman approached him and told him that her name was Nayuribe, that she had been born before her tribe was dominated by chief Nicoa. After talking to her a bit about her town, she left for the forest, but not before telling her to leave the most valuable treasures in that cave, on pain of a terrible curse falling on her, and in exchange she could find her again on the Penanaguastehill.

    The archaeologist returned to Nicoya hiding some gold and jade objects but saying that he had only found a few potsherds and broken pots, to avoid theft, envy, and desecration of that sacred place. After a short time, he returned to the place to meet, according to him, with the beautiful princess. He looked for her through the forest, in the high hills and ravines, but the days passed and no sign of Nayuribe.

    After a time, he met the old Indian who had been his guide, who told him not to look for the princess anymore because several days ago her spirit had completely disappeared, since the tomb of her treasures had been destroyed. desecrated. So, the archaeologist returned to Nicoya very sad, to later move to San José.

    Back in the capital, when he opened the boxes that were still closed, where he had hidden several valuable gold and jade objects, he only found some clay pots and a few broken potsherds, the valuable objects of the treasure he had stolen mysteriously disappearing.

    A legend that lives on

    From what he could remember of the beautiful warrior princess, guardian of the treasure, despite having received the tender name of Nayuribe (water lily), at the time of the invasion she was the only woman who took up arms to repel the Spaniards, managing to bravely defend their land and their people, encouraging those who were losing their strength and desire to fight. He did so until he could not do anything else, and once expelled from his lands by the Iberian invaders, he entered the mountains with the few survivors of his tribe and hid in the bowels of the forest the precious treasures that they insatiably pursued. Those vultures with sword and Bible in hand, in an ambitious and ruthless way, remaining hidden in the jungle until today.

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