Chilote mythology

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The Chilote mythology or Chilota mythology is formed by the myths, legends and beliefs of the people who live in the Chiloé Archipelago, in the south of Chile. This mythology, reflects the importance of the sea in the life of Chilotes.

Chilote mythology is based on a mixture of indigenous religions (the Chonos and Huilliches) that live in the Archipelago of Chiloé, and the legends and superstitions brought by the Spanish Conquistadores, who in 1567 began the process of conquest in Chiloé and with it the fusion of elements that would form a separate mythology.

Chilota mythology flourished, isolated from other beliefs and myths in Chile, due to the separation of the archipelago from the rest of the Spanish occupation in Chile, when the Mapuches occupied or destroyed by all the Spanish settlements between the Bío-Bío River and the Chacao channel following the disaster of Curalaba in 1598.

The Gods of Chiloe[edit]

The gods played an important role in Chiloe's mythology. There were deities that were very powerful, such as Pillán, who was the god of lightning and producer of destructive volcanic eruptions. Auchimalgen defended the people from dangerous and evil spells, saving many people's lives. There were also many evil gods, such as Huecuvus, who caused sickness and unfavorable climate changes. Many gods were murderous as well as evil. Gods such as Chonchonyi, who sucked its victim's blood until they died, as well as Pihuechenyi, a vampire god who sucked blood from "sleepy Indians," are prime examples of how nefarious some gods could become. With a balance of good and evil, represented by gods, a new generation of monsters and legends that shaped the identity of the island's culture was born.[1]

Hierarchy of mythical creatures[edit]

The highest rank belongs to Tenten Vilu and Caicai Vilu, who, in a legendary, titanic battle, created the Archipelago. Below Caicai Vilu is the Millalobo as the king of the seas, and his wife, the Huenchula. Their three children, the Pincoy, the prince of the sea, and the Pincoya and Sirena chilota, princesses, aid them in the work of ruling the seas. Below these are the different mythical creatures, given ranks by the Millalobo.

Earthly creatures have no hierarchy.

Human Beings in Mythology

Certain people are said to have magical powers. Witches have the ability to fly and have various creatures such as the Invunche under their command. In addition there are machis, people who play an important role in Mapuche culture and religion, though their functions and characteristics for the Chilote are somewhat different.

Other creatures[edit]

Creature Description
El Basilisco This creature sucks the saliva out of its victim, killing the prey.[1]
El Caballo Marino Chilote He carries wizards and dead sailors to El Caleuche.[1]
El Caleuche "A phantom ship" and sometimes rides near the shore of Chiloé. It carries wizards and dead shipwrecked sailors. It is controlled by Millalobo's orders.[1]
The Camahueto A special calf with a silver horn. It is said that wizards can use it to cure "sexual dysfunctions".[1]
Cherruves With the body of a snake and the head of a human, he controls the "appearance of comets" and is responsible for bringing misfortune to whoever he visits.[1]
La Furia She arouses sexual desires in men. When she is "satisfied", she drains the victim of his energy, which kills him. She is married to El Trauco.[1]
Huallipenyi With the body of a goat and the head of a cow, it is symbolized with fog, and causes babies to have physical mutations when born.[1]
La Huenchula She is the wife of Millalobo.[1]
Meuler A lizard who causes storms and hides underground when the storm is active.[1]
Millalobo He has the body of a seal, and a head of a combination of a human and a fish. He is covered in gold, thus the name, meaning "gold wolf". He controls the population and actions of most sea creatures. His three children are La Pincoya, La Sirena, and El Pincoy.[1]
El Pincoy With the body of a seal and head of a man, he helps carry out his father's commands.[1]
La Pincoya She influences the outcome of the day's fishing; the fish will not appear by the shore if she faces the shore, and the fish will come if she faces the sea.[1]
La Sirena chilota With the tail of a fish and the upper torso of a beautiful blonde teenage girl, she is responsible for the herding of fish and the guiding of drowned souls to Caleuche. The daughter of Millalobo, and thus the sister of Pincoy and Pincoya.
El Trauco He "is aggressive to men" and arouses sexual desires in women. He is married to La Furia.[1]
La Vaca Marina La Vaca Marina: She lives in the sea, and is sexually attracted to bulls. When she sees one near the coast, she leaves the sea and seduces it, and returns to the sea.[1]
La Viuda She also arouses sexual desires in men. Unlike La Furia, she only kills the victim if he refuses to sleep with her.[1]

Legends and mythical creatures[edit]

Icon in the church of Dalcahue: Christ being surrounded by mythological creatures of Chiloé

Myths and mythical creatures of Chiloé, in southern Chile include:

Media[edit]

The myths from Chiloe appear in The Luke Coles Book Series by Josh Walker, a Young Adult Urban Fantasy series where the myths form the base for much of the lore in the novels.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Baker, Thomas Jerome. "Chapter 3." Myths, Monsters, & Love From The South of Chile. N.p.: n.p., 2015. 16-19. Print.
  • Martinez Vilches, Oscar (1992). Chiloe Misterioso: Turismo, Mitologia Chilota, leyendas (in Spanish). Chile: Ediciones de la Voz de Chiloe. p. 179. ISBN 0-19-451308-4. 
  • Isabel Vidal Miranda. Folklore, mitos y leyendas del archipielago de Chiloé. Mito, 1976. (Spanish)

External links[edit]