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The Chullachaqui Of The Amazon

  |   Amazon Legends & Tribes


The Chullachaqui is a goblin - or demon of the jungle - whose name originates in the Quechua language where chulla means uneven, and chaqui means feet. According to popular belief, this jungle goblin has the ability to transform into a regular human being. He will try and trick any unsuspecting travelers in the jungle by presenting himself as a family member or friend, and once his victim has been convinced, leads them deep into the jungle causing them to lose their way. The only way to identify a Chullachaqui is to look at his feet, which he tries to hide.

The Chullachaqui will have one foot facing forward and the other facing backwards. If the Chullachaqui is discovered he will flee into the deep forest. If he is not found out, you may be led far astray never to return.

In the folklore of the Brazilian Amazon, the Chullachaqui goes by a different name, the Curupira. There the Curupira is a mythical creature with European and West African influences. According to the legend, the Curupira is a red-haired dwarf with his feet turned backwards that inhabits the rainforests of Brazil. In most versions of the myth, he rides around on a pig and makes a high-pitched whistling sound, which can drive his victims to madness. He is said to be a guardian of the forest, preying on hunters that take more than what they need. He confuses his victims by placing traps and confusing them by leaving tracks with his backwards feet. Legend goes that if being chased by a Curupira, one should leave a tied knot in a vine, which will distract him. In some places, hunters ask the Curupira for permission before going out hunting.

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