The Legend

Legend has it that during the "era of the Gentiles", two brothers, residents of the Moche territory, found a small snake with two heads which they adopted, bringing it to live with them. This animal was not a common snake; it was a demon that grew exponentially day by day, as they fed it.  When the snake reached the size of a man, the villagers forced the brothers to get rid of it because it endangered not only the lives of the animals they raised, but of the people themselves. Reluctantly, the brothers led the snake to the sea where, with trickery, they abandoned it.  Upon realizing that it had been abandoned, the snake began the journey back to the brothers’ house.

Along the way, the two-headed snake ate everything in its path, including men and large animals such as llamas, and grew bigger and bigger. One of the villagers saw it coming in the distance and raised the alarm in the village. All the inhabitants began an escape that took them to the foot of the hill now known as Cerro Blanco (White Hill).

Just as the two-headed snake arrived to devour the villagers, the White Hill opened and all the villagers fled inside.  The White Hill closed when all the villagers had entered, and when the danger passed, they emerged from the depths of the mountain. A black line that crosses the White Hill is said to be the scar that remains after this supernatural experience. Seeing that this hill was magical and that the Mountain God had helped them hide from the snake, the men built the temple we now know as the Huaca dela Luna (Pyramid of the Moon) in the god’s honor and lived at its feet.  They founded the city that archaeologists and conservationists now try to understand, working to unravel its mysteries from the world.

Designed by
This website has been produced thanks to financing from:
Fondoempleo - Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon Archaeological Project - National University of Trujillo - Pyramids of the Moche Valley Board
Translation: Elizabeth Pratt
Jr. San Martín 380, Trujillo Perú. Telefax (51-44) 221269
March 2011