The Colibrie (Humming) Bird Legend

This legend is about the Chima Indians, a tribe which existed on the very spot where the present lake occupies. Apparently, after a victory, these Indians had jubilant celebrations which included a grand feast in which vast quantities of Colibrie Birds (Humming Birds) were cooked and eaten. The plumes of these small birds were used as accessories. The victory which had absorbed the minds of the Indians drowned the memory that the delicious Colibri Birds were really the spirits of their ancestors. As an act of punishment, the winged God opened up the earth and summoned up a lake of pitch which swallowed up the entire Chiama village and its people.

For the Amerindians, the pitch lake was a painful reminder that retribution for evil doing was always at hand. The lake was a symbol of emptiness, an absence of life and a physical manifestation of Celestial damnation.