||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Spanish Wikipedia. (March 2009)|
Cipitio is a legendary character found in salvadoran folklore. He is generally portrayed as a 8-10 year old boy with a big conical wizard hat. His name is taken from the Nahuatl word for child: "Cipit" or "Cipote". Some also relate his name to the deity Xipe Totec.
According to the legend, he is the son of a forbidden romance between an indigenous Mesoamerican queen called Sihuehuet or Ziquet, now commonly known as La Siguanaba, and "Lucero de la mañana" (Spanish for morningstar). Cipitio is the child of this affair. When Ziguet's husband found out about this affair he sought the assistance of the very powerful god Teotl. Ziguet and Cipitio were cursed and condemned by Teotl. Cipitio was going to live forever as a small boy with his feet in backwards position, as a reminder of the twisted and illicit affair of his parents. Stories are told of farmers that come to their fields and find the footsteps of a boy, but eventually get lost following them because, not knowing that Cipitio has his feet backwards, they follow them in the wrong direction.
A couple of short stories with this character can be found in the book Cuentos de Cipotes by the Salvadoran writer and poet Salvador Salarrué.
In a TV show for the Salvadoran Educational Television Station he is portrayed by Rolando Meléndez, who has played the role for several seasons. Each episode features the problems that Salvadoran children find in their communities, families and schools, Cipitio helps them while teaching morals and values.
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- Kampwirth, Karen and Victoria Gonzalez (2001). Radical Women in Latin America: Left and Right. State College: Penn State University Press.
- Kephart, Beth (2003). Still Love in Strange Places. New York: Norton.