"Yara, or Maria Lionza as she was known afterwards, was an indigenous princess. She was the daughter of Yaracuy, the chief of the Nivar tribe, the granddaughter of Chief Chilua and the great-granddaughter of Chief Yare, all great warriors and leaders. The shaman of the village had predicted before Yara was born that if a girl was born with strange, watery-green eyes, she would have to sacrificed and offered to the Master of the Waters, the Great Anaconda, because if not it would lead to the ruin and extinction of the Nivar tribe.
However, her father was unable to sacrifice her and so he hid the little girl in a mountain cave, with 22 warriors to watch over her and stop her from leaving. She was also forbidden from looking at her image reflected in water.
But one day, her guards were mysteriously put to sleep and the beautiful young girl left the cave and walked to a lagoon, where she looked into the water and saw her reflection for the first time. Captivated by her own image, she was unable to move, but her presence awakened the Master of the Waters, the Great Anaconda, who emerged from the depths, fell in love with the girl, and drew closer to take her away. When she resisted its advances the anaconda swallowed the girl, but immediately he began to swell up, forcing the water out of the lagoon, flooding the village and drowning the tribe. Finally, the anaconda burst and Maria Lionza was set free, becoming the owner of the lagoon, the river and the waters, the protecter of the fish and later of all the plants and animals."