Cipolletti History and Legends


In June, 1879, the troops of the Argentine Army arrived to the junction of the rivers Limay and Neuquén (origin of the Río Negro), and built a military fortification that they called Fortín Confluencia, but after a short time, it burned down and was completely destroyed. Some months later, a new fort was built under the jurisdiction of the Primera División del Ejercito Expedicionario del Río Negro, and it was given the name Fortín 1ra División.
In the existing documents, the foundation date of the fort is September, 1879, in spite of the fact that militaries were already present in the area at the arrival of the troops in June. Anyway, the presence of native aboriginal settlers dates from many years before being submitted during the Campaign to the Wilderness. During this campaign, the military concentrated on the task of fostering and accompanying cattle raising and agricultural activities, to prepare the basement for the colonists who would settle in the newly conquered territories.
Then, the central government assigned fields to be sold and others to be distributed among the military who participated in the Campaign, and granted to Societies an important number of hectares to promote their development.
Among the societies operating in the area was the Vitivinícola Sanjuanina, which had been granted 50.000 hectares, but could not make important improvements , and sold the land to colonel Fernández Oro, who founded Colonia Lucinda, a spot that gained dynamism with the arrival of the railway and the imminent construction of the bridge over the Río Neuquén.
Fernández Oro decided to divide his property into lots to be sold from October, 1903, a date taken as a reference to commemorate the foundation of what was called Estación Limay in Colonia Lucinda.
The name Cipolletti was imposed by law in 1927 after one of the most outstanding persons who worked for the Valley, mainly the Alto Valle, to obtain its maximum development, Engineer Cipolletti.
Engineer César Cipolletti was born in Rome on 30th November, 1943. Between 1889 and 1890, he planned the construction of embanking docks in rivers Tunuyán and Mendoza, then on river San Juan, and in 1895, he built the dock that regulates river Salí in Tucumán. Later he studied the watershed of the river Negro from the Andes to the sea. He pointed out the actions to be taken against the flood of river Negro and the utilization of its water to cultivate on the valley. The shortage of resources made it possible to carry out only some of his projects, and the water was derived from from river Neuquén to the Vidal basin during big floods, thus originating lake Pellegrini.
At present, the city has more than 60.000 inhabitants and an important movement apart from a strategic location only 5 km. from the capital of Neuquén province, and an irrigation area of 8.000 hectares. It is the heart of the oasis of the Alto Valle del Río Negro y Neuquén, situated at the confluence of the rivers Limay and Neuquén, where river Negro originates.



Salamanca is not witchcraft, but an artifice to learn any craft, like learning to play the guitar. One asks to be a doctor, for example. In the past there were doctors, good doctors who could see the water of the person. The Salamanca was something to learn any craft. When someone can play the guitar very well, the others wonder wether he had been to Salamanca. They wonder that .
And if he is a good tamer, they say: "What a good tamer! He may have been in Salamanca. Now it does not exist. My mother who will soon be ninety met that boy who was in Salamanca. But if they made some mischief, they were caught . They turned into a stone, a stick, dung; people passed them by but did not realize they were people. In the Salamanca there were older people who learned that. There were older people who could ride on horseback without saddle or rein; they just grabbed the horse´s hair. That is Salamanca.
One had to say that a person was in Salamanca. He was no witch. Salamanca is where he learns taming, and stealing without being caught. The Salamanca is an artist, an old artist.
Isidro Morales.

Mexeush, the American Ostrich
The second bird to arrive late to its date to transfer El´Al to the Mapu was Mexeush, the American ostrich, who decided to leave immediately, as soon as Patenk told him. At that time, Mexeush could fly as well as any other bird, but when it was about to start flying towards its date, it discovered that on top of a mountain it should pass by was Goyse, another giant, brother of Nóshtex, who also participated in the search for El´Al. Then, frightened, he decided to walk in the opposite direction, stooping around through the pasture, so that the ogre did not see it. This caused it to arrive late to its date, and when it finally arrived, the child-god punished it saying:
-Since you have not used your wings when it was necessary, from now on I condemn you to move only on the ground, and not to use your wings any longer. That is the reason why Mexeush, inspite of having two big wings, is incapable of flying, and also the reason why he and Patenk hate each other, since the fox had fulfilled its mission. Nowadays, the American Ostrich, who used to rival with the xoiye on its long glidings over the highest peaks, must now be content to run fast around the pampa, desperately shaking its wings, in a useless attempt to recover the flight he was deprived of by El´Al.

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