The Chullachaqui

Fantastic Legends of the Amazon

In the Amazon jungle, you’ll never know with whom you are talking to or what you’re really looking at. As walkers from these territories say, there’s a dwarf who inhabits the density of the mountains and has the ability to transform into anything, even into a human being. This sneaky gremlin is in search of people who have lost their path, pretending he wants to help them.

He may look like a member of your family, a close friend, a kind local person from the community or a well-intentioned guide, who takes the unprepared through convoluted and confusing paths, leading them towards the depths of the jungle, from where they’ll never ever be able to escape. His intention: to enchant them and capture their souls, which will then become part of the legion of spirits that populate the Amazon Rainforest, making it vibrating like nothing else in the world.

This fantastic creature is called Chullachaqui, name which comes from the conjunction of two Quechua words: “chulla”, which means “unlike” or “different” and, “chaqui”, how the Runas (prehispanic peruvians) called a “foot”. But, why is it important to know the meaning of the name? Well, maybe because it holds the secret that can save your life.

Those who have been able to escape from him, affirm that the only way to protect themselves from its ploys is to observe directly his feet as one will have the form of a human foot while the other of a cloven hoof, being the only part of his body that can’t be transformed.

That’s why, an advice from those who have grown old in this territory is that every time you encounter someone in the jungle’s paths, look at their feet. If you notice he tries to hide them or cover them, scream: “Chullachaqui” to discover his real appearance and see how he disappears ashamed, leaving behind the footprints of a human and a beast.