Yakana Myth

For Andean inhabitants, most constellations visible in the sky were not made up of groups of stars but rather the black spots or empty spaces between them. This gives rise to the Myth of Yakana, or the constellation of the llama.

Members of Liceo Likan Antai’s Academy of Astronomy in San Pedro de Atacama, northern Chile, made a video of this ancestral myth with the help of their teacher, Carola Torrejón, and visual artist, Benjamín Quezada, with support from ALMA.

“We had to adapt the myth and create a new script, preparing the characters and background for the animation,” said Gabriela Aguilar, one of the 15 7th- to 11th-grade students in the Academy.

The group used the stopmotion technique to make the video, using handmade puppets of llamas and llama herders, and drawings, wool and cutouts for the scenery. Students learned about the photo process for animation and audio recording through 4 stopmotion workshops.

The videos were also recorded by children. In the Spanish version, 8-year old Emiliano Quezada recorded the voice, and in the English version, 10-year old Vivian Corder, daughter of one of the ALMA astronomers, recorded the voice.