Many societies seem to have a mythological ogre-like creature in their cultural histories.
According to their own legends, the Mapuche or so called Araucanians by the Spanish, arrived in southern Chile about 3.000 ago at Homer’s time. Arrival date is not exactly known. They have the proof that this approximate date can be factual and not a myth: An astounding observation that they have recorded and it has survived all these years: they mention that after they arrived the sea level rose and the peninsula now called Chiloe became an island! Nobody has investigated when that happened. Geography teaches us that the rise in sea level took place at the end of the last Ice Age some 8,000 years BC when the sea level rose by about 100 metres. Therefore, it is possible that the early settlers arrived before 8,000 BC. If we look at the map of Chile today, we don’t find any peninsula. Instead we find an island called “CHILOE”. This Greek word means edge or land having the shape of lips and as a name peninsula, only in Greek and has survived since before the rise in the sea level when it was indeed a peninsula. This is remarkable! Chiloe is the heartland of the Araucanians (Mapuche peoples) in the past and it is today as well. Chiloe is the southernmost habitable part of Chile. Further south the land is inaccessible to humans due to treacherous mountains and violent volcanoes. Therefore, Chiloe is the “Hele” of the country, its most notable landmark. No wonder it has survived as the name of the country CHILE.
Several countries in this world have a rich culture and history along with some popular folklore that enriches the countries. Chile is no exception. Chilean folklore explains the origin and creation of the otherworldly collection of natural, attractive destinations and extreme environments discovered across the nation. According to one Chilean legend, there was a little bit of everything when the Earth was created, including some mountains, rivers, lakes, volcanoes, a few glaciers, along with some eclectic distribution of flora and fauna with some extra bits. Those extras were all dumped onto the Pacific coast of South America, creating a diverse land that we know as Chile. Before we find out about Chilean folklore, we should be informed a bit about the country itself.
La Sirena Chilota
La Sirena Chilota is an aquatic creature belonging to the Chilote mythology. Perhaps its origin is due to binding of the myths of the Sumpall of the Mapuche mythology and the Mermaid of European mythology. Like to the mermaids, the siren chilota is characterized by a body half fish and half woman, with blond hair and golden scales; and her human side would look like a very beautiful teen. She would be the youngest daughter of Millalobo (king of sea, in Chilote mythology) and the human Huenchula. Commissioned by her father, she has the task of caring for all fish. Also helps her siblings (the Pincoya and Pincoy) to carry the bodies of drowned sailors, toward the Caleuche, for the purpose of reviving the sailors and to be happy. Sirena Chilota have very large flukes and strong tails so they can swim long distances while carrying victims of tragedies. It is also said that a Sirena chilota’s tears are very delicate and, if used in a spell, is very powerful.
Rapa Nui offers a world of inquiry that have remained unanswered for centuries. Questions abound surrounding the origins of the people and their culture, the Moai statues, the Tangata manu – Birdman cult and the history of the Islands racial extermination, ecological and natural disasters. Discover Myths and Legends of the Moai on Rapa Nui-The Easter Island. The unique culture that emerged on the Easter Island produced more than four thousand petroglyphs and moai, the imposing monolithic statues carved in stone. The art on Easter Island both embodied and signified the supernatural power of the gods and the chiefs who were believed to be their direct descendants. To harness this power, their artists created small wooden images and Moai, enormous stone images, of diverse supernatural beings, who mediated between the divine and material worlds and sought to tap the supernatural power, or mana, of the gods for the benefit of human society.
A mix of elements from Indigenous religions and beliefs a well as superstitions brought by the Spanish Conquistadors, the Chiloté mythology shows just how important the sea is in the life of the people living in the Chiloté Archipelago. Isolated on the Archipelago, the Chiloté mythology developed independent of the other beliefs in Chile. Central to this mythology is the story of the sea serpents Caicai Vilu and Tenten Vilu, whose legendary battle was what led to the creation of the Archipelago itself. The vast majority of Chiloté mythological beings were said to live in the sea.
There are no written records of the Mapuche Mythology’s legends or stories prior to the arrival of the Spanish. Theirs is an oral tradition, passed down generation to generation, which means there are a number of variations and versions of their myths. It also incorporates several elements from Argentinian and Chilean folklore. This ancient belief system, common to the various groups that make up the indigenous Mapuche people of Chile, tell of the creation of the world and the gods and spirits that inhabit it. Cosmology and the belief that spirits coexist with humans in the natural world are central to the Mapuche Mythology.
Perhaps best known for its lush rolling hills, green fertile farmland, and wooden Jesuit churches, Chiloe is a quaint albeit eccentric place that welcomes just a smattering of visitors each year. Isolated from the mainland and no stranger to rain, this dreary and overcast island has a number of terrifying legends which still prevail today. The most famous Chilot mythology surrounds the mysterious brujos, a coven of male warlocks who lived in caves and terrorized the townsfolk for kicks. The brujos are said to have inhabited the region since before Spanish rule, but it wasn’t until the nationwide witch hunts of the 1880s that the grisly details of their practice became widely known.
Legends from Chile’s many indigenous cultures explain the mysteries of the strange and beautiful in the extreme landscape of “the land of fire and ice.” Travellers in Chile should not miss an opportunity to experience the country through its myths and legends. Norte Grande: The origin of desierto florido. During Spanish rule, there was a young woman named Añañuca who lived in Monte Patria, a village near the Limarí River. Beautiful Añañuca drew the admiration of all the young men in her village, but none of them were able to win her love. One day, a handsome and enigmatic miner arrived, searching for a mythical vein of gold. When he saw Añañuca, he fell in love with her, and she loved him back. They lived happily together in the village for some time. But one night, the miner had a disturbing dream, in which a mountain spirit revealed to him the precise location of the gold that he was seeking. He revived his search for the gold, promising Añañuca that he would return.
Chiloe is an archipelago towards the south of Chile. Separated by water from the populous north and desolate Patagonia in the south, it has been isolated from the rest of the country and the rest of the world. Through its isolation it has developed a unique culture, within which are the tales of the creatures that inhabit the land. He lives in the forest and likes to attack women to steal their virginity. Even though he’s ugly, can only grunt for communication and has stumps for feet, he has the power to inspire erotic dreams in young women. He uses this power to lure them to the forest where he then ravishes them. Charming. Don’t rest easy, men, there’s a temptress after you too. Fiura is an ugly little witch who also lives in the woods. Dressed in moss and cursed with foul breath, she has a penchant for single men. She casts a spell over them and, once she’s had her way with them, turns her victims insane.
The people who live in the Chiloé Archipelago of southern Chile have developed their own unique mythology over the centuries which helps to explain their environment and its maintenance. Being islanders they rely upon the sea for much of their sustenance and they have evolved a hierarchy of divine figures who take care of the ocean. This hierarchy is made up of a Royal Family who consist of a king and queen, a prince and two princesses.
Millalobo is the king of the seas and was said to have been born from a union by a beautiful woman with a sea lion during the epic battle between Tenten Vilu and Caicai Vilu that created the Chiloé Archipelago. He had a human wife, Huenchula and they had a son, the Pincoy, the prince of the sea, and two daughters, the Sirena Chilota who was a type of mermaid and the Pincoya a sea nymph. The prince and the princesses helped their father and mother take care of the sea.
Myths and legends from Chiloé possess a multitude of creatures and a distinct and interesting history of male witches, Francisco Goya’s painting of witches did much to shape perceptions of sorcery in Spanish- speaking societies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Part of the attraction of Chiloé is the wealth of mystery that permeate the misty, foggy reaches of forest and remote beaches, where creatures and male witches dwell. Chiloé is traditional art, elaborate folklore, myths and legends. Green rolling hills with a rugged yet enchanting coastline; independent people; rain- and potatoes.
Cuchivilu – Chile myth: a half pig half snake, aquatic creature. When the fisherman would put in the fishing lines and take them out, full of fish, the cuchivilu would jump in it, destroy it, and eat all the fish. That part if water would then be cursed and no more fish would ever be caught there. This creature was actually based on the elephant seal.
The Chonchon is a mythological bird-like creature from Chilean and Argentine folklore. According to the stories, this creature is actually a sorcerer (Kalku) who took on a bird-like form. Out of all the Kalkus, only the most powerful can master this transformation. The process involves smearing a magical ointment on the throat, saying a magic sentence, and then detaching the head from the body. The head goes on to become a Chonchon and flies away, while the rest of the body stays behind. As such, it resembles a human head with enormous ears that function like wings (usually feathered wings, though some artists portray the creature with leathery wings instead). However, it is crucial that the sorcerer refrains from moving the body, because then the Chonchon is unable to reconnect and turn back into a human. It is possible to discover the identity of a Chonchon: when you hear the very distinct cry of a flying Chonchon, yell “come get some salt tomorrow!” and the next morning, the Kalku (sorcerer) will knock on your door to collect the salt that you offered him.
In the mythology of the Mapuche people of Chile, the lampalugua is a large, reptilian monster. It is sometimes said to be like a snake and sometimes like a dinosaur, but it is always describes as possessing large, fierce claws. The lampalugua is known for wreaking havoc, devouring humans and cattle. It is also accused of draining rivers and trampling crops.