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The Pincoya

She is a mermaid of extraordinary beauty (with slightly tanned white skin and blond hair) whose job is to protect the sea, sowing it and rescuing the shipwrecked.

When the Pincoya dances facing the ocean, she is announcing that there will be an abundance of fish and shellfish. When she dances facing the coast, there will be a shortage.

In order to be in her favor, it is necessary to be happy; for this reason, fishermen surrounded themselves with chipper mates.

It is also said that if one fishes or picks shellfish too much at a single spot, the Pincoya gets angry and leaves the area, which then becomes barren.

The Pincoya is sometimes accompanied by the husband, the Pincoy.

There is another version of the origin of the Pincoya that says she lived in Huelde lagoon, near Cucao.

The mermaid inhabited a huge cave and used to bathe in the lagoon and in the Puchanquin river. From the rockeries, using a whistle, she made a log of solid gold rise from the bottom, which she climbed on to comb her golden locks. Sometimes, at night, she sung haunting love songs, which no one could resist.

In addition, many people sought out the woman to have favors granted, until she disappeared from the place. It is believed she was kidnapped from the Huelde lagoon in order to bring prosperity and abundance to faraway beaches.

From then one, the waters took on the dark color they have today, and despite the fact that many have tried to imitate the mermaid’s whistle, the golden log is still submerged, waiting for its owner. (Versions based on the compilations of Oreste Plath and Anibal Panichine).

The Caleuche

The legends says it is a ghost ship that sails and wanders through the seas of Chiloe and the south of our country and it is manned by very powerful warlocks.

It generally appears when there is fog, which it creates itself, and on dark nights it shines bright. It never cross the waters during the day.
In addition, it sails over and under the surface of the ocean at high speed. The warlocks of the ship are mainly dedicated to contraband, supplying merchants that have a pact with them. For this reason, it is said that when a merchant of the area gets rich fast it’s because they’ve made dark deals with the Caleuche.

Stories are also told that say great dances are held on its deck and it is possible to hear marvelous festive music. These very melodies are what attract shipwrecked people and crew members from other ships, who sign on as part of the crew.

When the ship is chased it becomes a rock, a tree trunk or simple seaweed in order to not be seen and thus avoid capture.

The punishment for those that gaze upon the Caleuche consists on leaving their mouths crooked, their heads backward or simply killing them suddenly.

But when this mysterious vessel takes control of a person, it transports them to the depths, showing them great treasures and offering part of said treasures to them under the condition that they never tell anyone what they have seen.

It is said that the sailors of the caluche have certain physical traits, like only one leg for walking, because the other one is bent across their backs; and it is also said they have no memory to prevent them from telling the secrets about what goes on onboard.

The Trauco

The Trauco lives in the forests of Chiloe. He is a deformed midget (measuring nearly 90 cm tall) with short, crooked legs that end in a stump with no heel and no toes. This causes him to not walk very well, so he uses a cane called pahueldun, which is as twisted as he is and is also his trademark.

Despite being a midget, he is very strong and uses a stone axe, which he uses to announce his presence by bashing the trees. He dresses in a costume made of quilineja and wears a cone-shaped hat, made from wild fibers.

He lives in holes found in trees or in natural caverns, feeding on forest fruits. However, the Trauco is a perverse character, for he settles on a tree trunk and as soon as someone appears he curses them with his stare or the awful power of his breath.

If the victim is a man, he will show him no mercy, causing a twisted neck, handicapped limbs and other ailments that intend to cause deformities similar to those of his own body.

If the surprised victim is a woman, he unleashes his own passionate instincts and tries to seduce them however he can to then abuse them. He will try to use magic, making them succumb to pleasant dreams, in which he will show up as a handsome heartthrob. (Version based on Floridor Perez’s compilation).

The Basilisco

It is a creature that has the head of a rooster with a red comb and a long neck like the body of a serpent.

It is born from a small, white egg with a thick, wrinkly shell that is nearly one centimeter in diameter. It is called a lloilloi (lloy lloy) egg or lloe egg and it is supposedly laid and incubated by an old chicken or a red rooster.

If the egg is not disposed of, in a few eeks it becomes the terrible and ruthless Basilisco.

When it is born, the creature has the form of a worm and runs like a lizard.

During the day, the Basilisco lives uncer the house of the owner of the chicken coop and at night it leaves its hideout while the family is asleep. At that moment, it lets out a hypnotic song similar to that of the rooster, which causes people to remain asleep. Then, it enters their bedrooms and sucks their breath and fluids. With this, the stricken person looses their appetite and gets thinner and thinner. Afterwards, a strong and persistent cough appears and it becomes harder and harder to breathe, until they finally die. The Basilisco only leaves the house when it has killed all who dwell within. In order to dispose of the creature, one must go to a warlock, which will employ tactics like throwing boiling water at it; burning down the place where the creature is; killing the chicken or rooster that lays the lloi lloi eggs; leaving the eggs in the middle of a fire until it is totally consumed and lighting the house where it attacks on fire.

Quicavi Cave

It is said that in the town of Quicavi (comuna (county) of Quemchi), there is a cave that is also called Casa Grande (Large House). It is allegedly the layer where the Supreme Warlock (a king or governor) lives and is supposedly guarded by an Imbunche.

Within, there is a series of objects for witchcraft, for example, one that reveals the past, present and future and anything else the Supreme wishes to know. There is also the Macuñg, which is a luminous vest worn by the warlocks at night that helps them fly. It is made out of human skin.

When the warlocks want to remain in the dark, they lower the poncho, and if they want light, they lift it up. Others say the Libro (Book) or Revisorio is there, an instrument used for an assortment of tests, as well as the Chayanco, used to watch over all of the members of the warlock community.

The entrance to the cave is supposedly in a gully and it measures approximately 200 meters long. It is an underground site with many rooms.

The Imbunche

Also called Vuta or Vutamacho, Machucho or Machuco. It is a creature that guards the cave of the warlocks. It was originally a normal boy who was given to the warlocks as a gift. They turned him into an Imbunche, deforming him from the first months, causing dislocations and twists.

This way, he is left with his face facing his back, and his ears, mouth, nose, arms and fingers are left crooked. He walks on one leg because the other one is stuck to his back. In addition, it is said that he doesn’t speak and only emits guttural sounds like the ones made by a goat.

Since he can’t get out –for his obligation is to guard the cave- the Imbunche is fed by the warlocks and his food consists of human flesh.

It is also said that despite the fact he has not been initiated in witchcraft, he was acquired a great deal of knowledge. Due to this, he counsels inexperienced warlocks.

The Imbunche only leaves the cave when it changes location or has been destroyed; or, when the warlocks need him to do harm. During his transportation, he screams, which scares the locals because he is announcing some soon-to-come misfortune.

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