La Pincoya: The mermaid of abundance

This legend was originated at the Greater Island of Chiloé, off the Chilean coast, in the Pacific Ocean. During rainy winter nights, its inhabitants carry out an age-old tradition by sitting around a fireplace and telling children and/or foreign visitors about the different beliefs that gives this magic island its own special identity, and this is one of its most popular fisherman’s tale.

Rumors has it that this unique place was home to La Pincoya, a young and very beautiful mermaid with human characteristics and a long blond hair, daughter of the king of the sea.

 

According to this legend, when a fisherman witnesses La Pincoya dance, it’s a sign of abundance. She is responsible for patrolling the beaches and protecting the ocean, and her task is to fertilize the fish and shellfish beneath the water.

What is different about it though is that the amount of fish and seafood in the ocean depends on where La Pincoya faces while she dances. If facing the sea, then the people of Chiloé can rest assured that there will have an abundant harvest, but if she dances looking towards shore the fishes go away.

Another interesting factor about La Pincoya is that she likes to see people happy and cheerful,  so if she sees the fisherman’s having a good time it’s more likely that she will dance facing the sea.

So, next time you go fishing, we highly recommend that you go with friends rather than alone, and enjoy as much as you can, so you will have higher chances of catching something 🙂

G.S

 

The moon and a flower – Vitória Regia

This is one of the most famous and traditional Brazilian legends. According to it, in the beginning of the world, every time the moon (Jaci) was hiding on the horizon, looking down from behind the mountains, it was taking one of its favorite virgins to live with it. It also said that, if the moon liked a young girl, it would make her a star in heaven.

Legend has it that an Indian called Naia, contemplating the moon shining in the sky felt in love with it and after learning about the legend, Naia dreamed of one day turning into star alongside Jaci.

Lenda_da_Vitoria_Regia

So every night, Naia would leave home to watch the moon and wait for the moment that it would reach the horizon and rush out to try to catch it. Naia repeated this search  every night, until one day, while trying to reach the moon,  Naia saw its reflection in the stream of water and without hesitating dived in an attempt to touch it and ends up drowning .

Jaci is touched with the effort of Naia and transforms the large flower of the Amazon, the Victoria Regia, which only opens its petals in the moonlight.

vitoriaregia

 

Açai, the legend!

Pretty much everyone knows by now the benefits of eating Açai but besides being delicious it has a very interesting and tense legend behind it and we are here to share this incredible story with you!

açai-roxo-cestos

Rumor has it that a long time ago, before the city of Belém existed in the north of Brazil, the area was home to a pretty large indigenous tribe.

As the food was insufficient and it was becoming very difficult to get enough food to feed all the Indians of the tribe, the Itaki cacique decided that from that day on all  newborns would be sacrificed to prevent the increase of his tribe.

But everything changed when the daughter of the cacique, called IACA, gave birth to a beautiful girl, who also had to be sacrificed. IACA was desperate, crying every night longing for her little girl and she asked Tupã to show his father another way to help his people, without the sacrifice of children.

One night, IACA heard a child crying and as she approached the door of her hut, she saw her beautiful daughter smiling at the foot of a palm tree. but as she tried to hug her, the little girl mysteriously disappeared.

IACA, inconsolable, cried until fainting and on the next morning, her body was found embracing the palm tree trunk, but her face still wore a happy smile and her black eyes gazed at the top of the palm tree, which was filled with dark little fruits.

Itaki then collected the fruits, which offered a reddish juice,  and named it ACAI, in honor of his daughter (inverted IACA). He fed his people and, from this day, he suspended his order to sacrifice children.

G.S

The Ananuca

ananuca chile 1

Ananuca – Chilean Legend

Chile has beautiful landscapes and natural environments. Its diverse climate allows for many different species to grow and embellish the land. The Ananuca is a Chilean typical flower that grows between the town of Copiapó and the Quilimarí valley in the Coquimbo region. It is well known that the Ananuca flower is one of the most beautiful of the city but not many know its origins.

Legend says that long long time ago, before Chile’s independence there was an Indian girl named Ananuca. She was the most beautiful girl of the region and every man in town wanted to marry her but the girl was expecting for someone awesome, someone she truly loved.

One day a handsome young miner looking for a long lost mine was passing by and met Ananuca. The sparkle was there. They knew they were meant to be together and fell in love instantly.

The boy decided to drop his miner plans and stay in Coquimbo with his one true love. They were very happy together and made lots of plans for the future.

One night the miner had a dream. A mountain elf visited him while sleeping and told him the exact location of the mine he was looking for. The miner, excited about this new information woke up and left immediately looking for the mine.

Ananuca waited and waited for him. Day after day she hoped for him to come back but he never did. Some assume he died in the desert or got attacked on his way back. The girl couldn’t bear to live without him and without knowing what happened to him. After a long time waiting she died of sorrow.

The villagers buried her up the hill on a rainy day and on the next morning after sunrise that same hill was covered with beautiful red flowers that now are named after the most beautiful woman that town ever saw.

ananuca flower chile

Ananuca flower – Chile

CDLG

 

El Tunche

tunche 1

El Tunche – Peruvian legend

 

The Peruvian rain forest is amazing in every way. It has unbelievable biodiversity and magical landscapes but it also gives births to many myths and legends that will make your jaw drop.

If you ever find yourself walking alone in the middle of the jungle and suddenly hear a painful whisle-like sound just run, find more people and stick with them because El Tunceh might be after you.

This creature is according to the legend a demon or spirit that walks around the rainforest at night. It is the protector of nature and a lost soul condemned to walk around the same paths he walked when he was alive. He collects the souls of those who died in the rainforest and takes the life of those who harm it.

El Tunche will just scare you off if you are in good terms with nature and respect the regions fauna and flora. But if you are disrespectful and harm the regions plants and animals in any way then you are in big trouble and might not see the next day.

Some say that he whistles to deceit you in to answering by whistling back and giving away your exact location. Some others say that it can change its appearance in order to attract lonely travelers or that the only way of recognizing it is by looking to its goat-like feet.

There are different versions about this same myth and maybe this is just a made up story in order for tourists and children to take good care of the natural environment of the region. But maybe, just maybe El Tunche really exists. So behave and take care of nature. You never know…

el tunche amazon river

Amazon River – Peruvian Rainforest

CDLG

The Rabbit in the Moon

 

legend rabbit moon

The Rabbit in the Moon – Mexican Legend

Once upon a time the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl decided to explore the world. He turned himself into a mortal man and started his journey. He was amazed about how big and beautiful earth was. He was so excited that he forgot to feed and hydrate his mortal form. By the end of the trip he was exhausted and about to faint so he decided to rest on the side of the road.

Suddenly a small rabbit appeared and approached him.

conejo en la luna legend

“Are you ok?” The rabbit asked.

“No, I’m tired and hungry” The god replied.

Without knowing that he was talking to a deity the rabbit rapidly offered to share his food with Quetzalcoatl.

“Thank you, but I don’t eat plants” the god told the rabbit.

The small fury animal wanted to help the traveler so after further consideration he said:

“I have nothing else to offer, I am an insignificant creature and you need to recover your strength so please eat me and resume your travels.”

The god moved by the creatures’ noble gesture returned to his original godly form and held the rabbit so high that his shape was forever embedded into the moon.

He then gently put the rabbit back on the road and told him

“You might be a tiny creature but from this day on everyone in the world will remember you as the mighty rabbit in the moon”

mito el conejo de la luna

The rabbit shape in the Moon

CDLG

The “Little Grazing Boy”

Brazilians in general are very religious and over 85% of the population declares itself Christian, meaning that there are about 166 million people who claim to be Catholic or Protestant in Brazil.

In this sense, it’s very natural to have many legends that originates from Christianity, and this is just one example among many in Brazil.

So, let’s get to it! The “Little Black Grazing Boy” is an African-Christian legend told in the very late nineteenth century by the Brazilians who defended the end of slavery and was originated in the south of the country.

Negrinhodopastoreio

Legend has it that in times of slavery, there was an evil rancher that used to constantly punish his slaves and pedestrians, and on a cold winter day, the farmer sent a fourteen years old black boy to shepherd the horses and foals that he had just bought.

In the afternoon, when the boy returned, the rancher noticed that a bay horse was missing, so he picked up the whip, beat the boy and left him naked and bleeding in an anthill.

Next morning, when he went to see the boy, the rancher he was startled. The boy was there, but standing with smooth skin and no marks of lashes or ants bites. Beside him were Virgin Mary and the other horses.

The rancher threw himself on the ground asking for forgiveness, but the black boy didn’t answered him, but instead, kissed Virgin Mary’s hand, mounted on horse and left.

After that, regional drovers and lorry drivers reported to have seen pass a group of grays horses, played by a black boy mounted on a bay horse, and many lighted candles and prayed for the tortured soul.

Till these days, The Grazing Boy is considered by those who believe in the legend as the protector of the people who loses something. According to the belief, if you miss something, just ask for the pastoral boy help to find it. In return, one should light a candle to the child or buy a plant or flower.

G.S

Juan Soldado and the disappearance of Serena City

serena Chile

La Serena, Chile

Chile is a South American country filled with beautiful geography and warm people. You can enjoy their peaceful cities, go skiing to the beautiful Chilean mountains or relax in one its beaches.

“Ciudad Serena” is the second most ancient city in the country. Founded in 1544 it has amazing history behind it. Its beautiful architecture and ancient churches combined with amazing beaches makes the city one of Chile’s most popular touristic destinations.

Serena city has changed and grown a lot over the years and people say it was way prettier before. According to many historians the city was attacked several times and was the host of multiple battles between Pirates, Spaniards and Natives. But no story is most known than the one of Juan Soldado (Juan the soldier).

Legend says that once upon a time there was a handsome young man that lived outside Serena city. He and the richest Cacique’s daughter fell in love and wanted to be together forever but there was a problem. Juan was a brave and charming soldier but a very poor one also and the Cacique will never allow his daughter to marry such an un-wealthy man.

The two lovers decided to disobey the girl’s father and escape to the closest city to get married in secret in the town church. The Cacique soon found out and with his best soldiers rode towards Serena city to stop the wedding and kill them both as punishment for their treason. He would also destroy the city as an example for anyone who might think of betraying him ever again.

The two lovers where in the ceremony and as the priest was saying the last words the father of the bride arrived to the city. No one knows exactly how but in that exact moment the city vanished and with it every single person that lived there, including the two young lovers.

The Cacique and his soldiers went around the entire area. Hiking mountains, riding a cross the shore lines and around the dessert but the city was nowhere to be found.

Some say that on Saturdays if you walk close enough to the place where the town used to be you might be able to listen to the wedding party celebrating the groom and bride and their eternal love. And once a year on Holy Friday, if you pay close attention you might even see the city on a distance but if you try to come closer it will just vanish right in front of your eyes.

lighthouse la serena chile

Lighthouse – La Serena, Chile

CDLG

The Ciguapa

The Ciguapa

La Ciguapa

The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful landscapes and paradisiac beaches. We all wish to visit one of their wonderful resorts and swim in their light blue ocean while zipping some ice cold drink with a straw and one of those tiny umbrellas.

But according to the legend it is not all sand and sun in the Dominican Republic. Legend says that if you go a bit further into the mountains you might see one of the most mythical creatures from the region.

Ciguapas as they call them, are savage women that live inside the shadows of the Dominican forests. They are small beautiful women with long skinny legs, dark skin, big dark eyes and long silky black hair. They wear no clothes since their gorgeous hair is so long that covers their entire body (like a long shiny gown). They are shy and moody and sometimes make a bird like noise while walking around the forest. But their most interesting feature is that their feet are set backwards so that if someone finds them they can run away from them while looking directly into their eyes striking fear into their enemy.

It is well known that the Ciguapas come out at night looking for food. They collect fruits and vegetables and hunt small animals in order to survive. Sometimes they even get closer to the villages and steal their food when there is no one watching. Then they climb to the top of a tree to eat and rest hiding from anyone that could be wondering around the area.

Villagers know that if they hunt a Ciguapa she most likely will die since they can’t bare the sorrow of being captive. But there is a main reason for the villagers not to visit the forest at night and not even thinking about looking for a Ciguapa. Legend says that Ciguapas not only look for food near the villages but also for lonely men wondering around the forest. They lore them with their beauty and sensuality bringing them to their caves making passionate love to them and then killing them and eating them bit by bit.

Many villagers’ deaths and disappearances have been attributed to the Ciguapas. Even nowadays people living near the forest know that when they hear a bird like noise at night they better stay in their homes with their families and of course, guarding the kitchen.

pico duarte dominican

Pico Duarte – Dominican Republic

CDLG

Sarah Ellen

From Vampire to Saint

Sarah Ellen Vampire

Sarah Ellen was born on March 6th of 1862 in England.  Legend says she was accused of murder and witchcraft and condemned to be chained and sealed inside an iron casqued while still alive. On June 9 of 1913 while the sentence was being carried out and right before sealing the casqued she announced her curse “When 80 years have passed I will rise from my grave and get revenge from my murderers’ and all their descendants”

The English people afraid of this curse forbid her husband to bury her in British lands so he had to find another place for her remains.

Finally after months of traveling looking for a place that would accept them, he arrived to a small town South of Peru named Pisco and buried Sarah Hellen there.

In 1993, after almost 80 years had passed, a popular talk show hosted by Cuban hostess Cristina Saralegui aired an interview to an “expert” in “Vampires” that announced that there were 3 important Vampires in Latin America, one just about to wake up in the Southern part of Peru.

Peruvians were astonished by this news and many believers of the occult or people simply thrived by curiosity went to Sarah Ellen’s grave and monitored every move. They had watch groups formed for several nights before the “awaken” and on the 80’s anniversary of her death many where standing in front of her grave holding crucifixes and wooden stakes (just in case).

After nothing happened (obviously) some of the people started to believe that Sarah Ellen was not a Vampire but instead a Saint and she had being wrongly accused and tortured. Nowadays many people visit her grave bringing her flowers and asking for miracles.

Sarah Ellen

CDLG