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The first journey he had to make was to go to the great lagoon of Guatavita, to make offerings and sacrifices to the demon which they worshipped as their god and lord.
Before taking office, he spent some time secluded in a cave, without women, forbidden to eat salt, or to go out during daylight.
In pursuit of the legend, Spanish conquistadors and numerous others searched Colombia, Venezuela, and parts of Guyana and northern Brazil for the city and its fabulous king.
In the course of these explorations, much of northern South America, including the Amazon River, was mapped.
The zipa used to cover his body in gold dust and, from his raft, he offered treasures to the Guatavita goddess in the middle of the sacred lake.
This old Muisca tradition became the origin of the El Dorado legend.
Important lakes were Lake Guatavita, Lake Iguaque, Lake Fúquene, Lake Tota, the Siecha Lakes, Lake Teusacá and Lake Ubaque.
El Dorado is applied to a legendary story in which precious stones were found in fabulous abundance along with gold coins.
By the beginning of the 19th century most people dismissed the existence of the city as a myth.
The Muisca occupied the highlands of Cundinamarca and Boyacá departments of Colombia in two migrations from outlying lowland areas, one starting c.
The original narrative can be found in the rambling chronicle El Carnero of Juan Rodriguez Freyle.
According to Freyle, zipa of the Muisca, in a ritual at Lake Guatavita near present-day Bogotá, was said to be covered with gold dust, which he then washed off in the lake while his attendants threw trinkets made of gold, emeralds, and precious stones into the lake.
They put on it four lighted braziers in which they burned much moque, which is the incense of these natives, and also resin and many other perfumes.