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Cipitio is a legendary character found in salvadoran folklore revolving around the Siguanaba and Cadejo legends. He is generally portrayed as an 8- to 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 Ziguet, now commonly known as La Siguanaba, and "Lucero de la mañana" (Lúcifer Morningstar). Cipitio is the child of this affair. When Ziguet's husband finds out about this affair he seeks 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 backwards feet, they follow the footsteps in the wrong direction.[1]

Cipitio is represented as liking to eat ashes,[2] throwing pebbles at beautiful ladies,[3] and preferring to eat a variety of banana called "Guineo Majoncho". He can also "Teleport" anywhere he wants.

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.

On 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 depicts the problems that Salvadoran children encounter in their communities, families and schools. Cipitio helps them while teaching morals and values.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kampwirth and Gonzalez 173.
  2. ^ Kephart.
  3. ^ Cordova 19.


  • Cordova, Carlos (2005). The Salvadoran American. Westport: Greenwood Press.
  • 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.