Mythological Creatures of Chiloé

For centuries Chiloé's distinctive mythology swirled through the foggy towns, blew from one island to the next and gave form to the culture of the Chilote people. Outside the commercial centers, these traditional beliefs are still very much alive today. The beliefs, syncretic with the island's Catholicism, weave a story of the creation of the island, tales of destruction on the stormy seas and warnings about straying from the 'clean' way of life.

Brujos (broo-hos) The center of Chiloé's mythology, brujos are warlocks with black-magic powers, bent on corrupting and harming normal Chilote folks. They are based in a secret location (most likely a cave) near Quicavi.

Cai-Cai Vilú (kai-kai-vee-loo) The Serpent God of the Water who waged a battle against Ten-Ten Vilú (Serpent God of the Earth) for supremacy over the domain. Cai-Cai Vilú eventually lost but was successful in covering enough territory with water that Chiloé stayed separated from the mainland.

El Caleuche (el-ka-le-oo-che) A glowing pirate ship piloted by singing, dancing brujos. Their melodious songs draw commercial vessels into El Caleuche's trap. It is capable of sailing into the wind and navigating under the water's surface.

Fiura (fee-oo-ra) A short, forest-dwelling hag with a ravenous sexual appetite and breath that causes sciatica in humans and is enough to kill smaller animals.

Invunche (een-voon-che) The grotesque guardian of the cave of the brujos. Invunche was born human, but the brujos disfigured him as he grew: turning his head 180 degrees, attaching one leg to his spine and sewing one of his arms under his skin. He eats human flesh and cat's milk, and is extremely dangerous.

Pincoya (peen-koi-a) A naked woman of legendary beauty who personifies the fertility of the coasts of Chiloé and its richness of marine life. On the rocky shores she dances to her husband's music. The way that she faces determines the abundance of the sea harvest.

Ten-Ten Vilú (ten-ten-vee-loo) Serpent God of the Earth.

Trauco (trow-ko) A repugnant yet powerful gnome who can kill with a look and fell trees with his stone hatchet. He is irresistible to young virgins, giving them impure erotic dreams and sometimes even a 'mysterious' child out of wedlock.

Viuda (vee-oo-da) Meaning 'the widow,' Viuda is a tall, shadowy woman dressed in black with milk-white bare feet. She appears in solitary places and seduces lonely men. The next day she abandons them where she pleases.

La Voladora (la-vo-la-do-ra) A witch messenger, who vomits out her intestines at night so that she is light enough to fly and deliver messages for the brujos. By the next morning, she swallows her intestines and reassumes human female form.