Amazon Legend of the Yacuruna

Iquitos Legends:

The Yacuruna

Yacuruna Legend


he Yacuruna is a mythological god that lives in the depths of the rivers and lakes of the Amazon. He has the power to change himself into human form by appearing as a handsome man. Using magical powers of seduction, he often fools young innocent native girls, making them fall in love with him and seducing them. Once they have fallen to his spells, he brings the women to his home in the depths of the water where they are converted into underwater beings similar to the Yacuruna, never to be seen again by the outside world. According to this Iquitos legend, the Yacuruna is similar to the god Poseidon of Greek mythology. His natural subjects are the fish and aquatic reptiles. He is said to roam the rivers and lakes of the Amazon Rainforest in the night on the back of an enormous black crocodile, adorned with a boa as a necklace.  It is said by the local people of Iquitos that during the day, the Yacuruna sleeps in the depths of the waters, never closing an eye.


According to the Iquitos legend, the Yacuruna can communicate with aquatic animals and uses his powers to dominate them.  Some say that the Yacuruna can also convert himself into a pink dolphin.  Moreover, many people from Iquitos believe that the pink river dolphin is attracted to the odor of blood of menstruating women. Once his innocent victim is located, the Yacuruna can then transform himself from the form of a dolphin into the image of a handsome stranger.  Once in human form, the Yacuruna can hypnotize the woman and use aphrodisiacs to seduce her.  Under his spells, the woman is kidnapped by the sorcerer and brought to his kingdom in the depths of the rivers and lakes. 

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