Once upon a time, when no white man had still set foot on this land, there lived several ‘williche’ (‘willi’ = south; ‘che’ = people) families around Osorno and Calbuco Volcanoes. Their princess was Likarayen – the most beautiful and purest young woman, who was in love with Kitralpi, a handsome and brave ‘toki’ – a military chief. Both had fallen in love at first sight, and they were meant to get married the next spring.
However, Peripillan – an old ‘pillan’ or spirit who lived inside Osorno Volcano – envied Kitralpi. He could not resist the young couple’s true love and decided to interfere in their happiness. He started to vomit smoke and fire from Osorno Volcano, and made the earth tremble. The other mountains and volcanoes seemed to burn with fire, too. Their craters looked like the entrance to hell itself. The nights near Osorno and Calbuco volcanoes were lit with the huge flames coming from these giants.
The situation was worrisome, and the williche people decided to hold a council in order to find a way to stop the pillan’s anger. When they were in the middle of the discussion, an old ‘machi’ suddenly appeared among them. Nobody had noticed him before or knew him, but he said:
“If you want to get to the crater, you must sacrifice the most beautiful virgin of the community. You must take her heart and place it at the top of Pichi Juan’s hill covered with canelo leaves. Then you will see that a bird will appear soaring in the sky which will eat the heart and afterwards will take the canelo leaves to let them fall inside the crater of the pillan’s home”.
And after saying these words, he disappeared as fast as he had appeared.
The ‘logko’ – the leader of the mapuche community – wanted to know who the purest virgin was. Unfortunately, he found out it was his own daughter Likarayen. With tears in his eyes, the logko gave the bad news to his daughter – she was chosen to save them from Peripillan’s anger.
“Don’t cry, father” – answered the young princess – “I’ll die happily to save our people. Just do me a favor. Please, don’t use axes or spears to kill me, and I want my dying bed to be prepared by Kitralpi, who can be the only one to touch my heart, because he has been its owner since I met him.”