The Vitória-Régia Legend
The flower of Vitória Régia floating on the water, bordered by two leaves.
The largest water lily in the world is the Vitória Régia, a native of the Amazon River basin. Its round leaves attain 2 m in diameter and have a pronounced up turned edge. When floating on the water it can sustain heavy weights, such as rabbit sized animals. When it blooms, its petals are white, often slight pink, with red rims.
In olden times, on the margins of the majestic Amazon river, the beautiful young women of an indian tribe gathered to sing and dream of life. They stayed for long hours staring at the beauty of the white moon, and the mystery of the stars, dreaming of being one of them.
As the aroma of the tropical night pulled at their dreams, the moon laid an intense light on the waters, making Naia, the youngest of the tribe and a dreamer, climb a tree to try to touch the moon. She didn't succeed. The next day, she and her friends climbed the distant hills to feel with their hands the smoothness of the moon, but again they failed. When they arrived there, the moon was so high that all of them returned to the longhouse feeling disappointed and sad. They believed that if they could touch the moon, or even the stars, they would transform themselves into one of them.
The following night, Naia left the longhouse hoping to fulfill her dream. She took the river trails to stare at the river's waters. There was the full moon, resplendent, immense, quietly reflecting its image on the water's surface. Naia, in her innocence, thought the moon had come to bathe itself in the river and allow her to touch it. Naia dove into the deep waters and there disappeared forever.
The moon, feeling pity for the young lost life, transformed Naia into a giant flower - the Vitória Régia - with an inebriating perfume and petals that spread on the water to receive the full light of the moon.