Amazon Legend of the Cullachaqui

Iquitos Legends:


Chullachaqui Legend


he Chullachaqui is a dwarf or demon of the rainforest whose name comes from the Quechua words for "dissimilar" (Chulla) and "foot" (Chaqui), that is to say “dissimilar feet.” According to the Iquitos legend, this dwarf of the forest has the ability to transform himself into whatever person he wishes in order to fool visitors or the local people living in the rainforest. He can appear as a family member or a friend, leading them to wrong paths, going deeper and deeper into the rainforest and then leaving them there, lost. To a child, the Chullachaqui will often appear as another child or playmate.  In this disguise, the evil Chullachaqui will attempt to lure the child into the forest to become lost.  The only way to discover Chullachaqui's true identity is to look at his feet, as one of his feet is club-shaped.  Consequently, he will try to hide his feet.  If discovered, the Chullachaqui will flee into the jungle.

According to this Iquitos legend, a young boy went with his parents to the rainforest to collect firewood.  The parents left the boy alone for a moment to collect some wood and he was playing in a clearing when he saw what appeared to be another young boy of the same age in a distant tree. The boy in the tree beckoned him to come, but the boy did not leave the clearing, heeding the warning of his parents not to wander off into the forest. When the boy’s parents returned, the boy told his parents about the boy in the tree. The parents knew that no one lived in the area and searched for the boy in the tree, but found nothing, just strange tracks that appeared to have been made by a club-footed dwarf.


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