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Meicuchuca (died 1470) was the first ruler (zipa) of Bacatá, currently known as the Colombian capital Bogotá, as of around 1450. His zaque counterpart ruling over the northern area of the Muisca territory was Hunzahúa.

Meicuchuca-Zipa por Andrés Bohórquez.jpg
Meicuchuca, first ruler of Bacatá
Reign ~1450–1470
Predecessor Muisca myths
Successor Saguamanchica
Born unknown
Died 1470
Muisca Confederation
Dynasty Bacatá



Little is known about Meicuchuca and many stories about his reign are more mythical than historical. He ruled the southern Muisca territory from around 1450 to 1470 and was succeeded according to Muisca heritage laws by his nephew Saguamanchica.

Meicuchuca and the snakeEdit

The legend of Meicuchuca and the snake tells the story of the zipa who already had many wives. Polygamy was common practice with the Muisca and the higher the rank, the more wives could be held. The highest position of zipa could allow to have and sustain 300 wives, while the lower rank cacique "only" made 100 wives possible.[1]

Meicuchuca allegedly fell in love with a woman outside of the Muisca community. He only had eye for her and spent day and night with the beautiful stranger, forgetting all his other wives.

His primary wife (Chibcha: gui chyty)[2] became very jealous and sought the help of a Muisca priest; chyquy.[3] He recommended her to fast and not bathe herself for twelve days. The first wife did what the priest had told her but the lack of food brought her close to death. The priest offered golden figures to the gods and ordered the wife to take a bath, put on new clothes and head to the bed of her husband. She was surprised to find Meicuchuca sleeping in the bed and next to him an enormous snake.

The primary wife returned to the priest and told him what happened. The priest ordered the wife next day to take a bath in the Bogotá River close to the Tequendama Falls with the lover of Meicuchuca and other women of Bacatá. The women went bathing in the river and suddenly the lover of Meicuchuca transformed in a snake again and disappeared in the water. Meicuchuca, terrified by the snake transformation, found the love for his wives again.[4][5]

Meicuchuca in Muisca historyEdit

History of the Muisca
Sutagao peopleGuayupe peopleTegua peoplePanche peopleMuisca peopleAchagua peopleMuzo peopleGuane peopleU'wa peopleLache peopleBattle of TocaremaBattle of ChocontáBattle of PascaSagipaTisquesusaNemequeneSaguamanchicaMeicuchucaHistory of Bogotá#Pre-Columbian eraNencatacoaHuitaca (goddess)ChaquénCuchaviraChibchacumBochicaChía (goddess)SuéChiminigaguaSpanish conquest of the MuiscaAquiminzaqueQuemuenchatochaMichuáHunzahúaTunja#HistoryThomagataThomagataPacanchiqueGoranchachaMonster of Lake TotaEl DoradoSugamuxiNompanimIdacansásiracaTundamaDuitama#HistorySpanish EmpireMuisca Confederation 







El Dorado




See alsoEdit


  1. ^ (in Spanish) Polygamy in Muisca culture Archived 2015-09-23 at the Wayback Machine. - Banco de la República
  2. ^ (in Spanish) Muisca dictionary: chyty
  3. ^ (in Spanish) Muisca dictionary: chyquy
  4. ^ (in Spanish) Meicuchuca and the snake
  5. ^ (in Spanish) Meicuchuca, the lover of the snake - Pueblos Originarios