The Chilote people, indigenous inhabitants of the Chiloé Archipelago in southern Chile, possess a rich and unique cultural heritage, characterized by a fascinating mythology that incorporates elements from native Mapuche, Huilliche, and Chono traditions, as well as Spanish and Christian influences.

Deities and Mythological Beings:

  • Trentren Vilu and Caicai Vilu: Central to Chilote mythology is the story of the two primordial snake deities, Trentren Vilu (earth snake) and Caicai Vilu (water snake). According to legend, the two fought an epic battle, with Caicai Vilu attempting to flood the earth while Trentren Vilu sought to elevate the land. The result of their conflict was the formation of the Chiloé Archipelago, with the various islands representing the elevated parts of the earth.

  • Tempilcahue: Tempilcahue is the boatman who carries the souls of the deceased across the sea to the afterlife. He is a key figure in Chilote funerary rites, with many rituals performed to ensure the safe passage of the soul to the mythical island of the dead, known as Alao or Caleuche.

  • Pincoya, Pincoy, and Sirena Chilota: These aquatic beings are intimately linked to the sea and the lives of fishermen. Pincoya is a beautiful mermaid-like creature who personifies fertility and abundance. Her male counterpart, Pincoy, is a handsome merman who aids her in spreading marine life throughout the ocean. Sirena Chilota, on the other hand, is a powerful and feared figure who controls storms and tempests.

  • Millalobo: Millalobo, meaning "golden wolf," is a deity who governs the sea and all its creatures. He is the father of Pincoya and Pincoy and serves as a mediator between the human and supernatural worlds.

  • La Voladora: A witch-like figure, La Voladora can transform into a bird and fly through the night, carrying out tasks for the secretive society of witches known as La Recta Provincia. La Voladora is believed to have immense magical powers and can cause great harm if not appeased.

  • Imbunche: The Imbunche is a monstrous creature used by the witches of La Recta Provincia to guard their meeting places. It is a deformed human, often a kidnapped child, who has been subjected to twisted magical transformations.

Heroes and Mythological Creatures:

  • El Trauco: El Trauco is a mischievous and malevolent dwarf-like being who resides in the forests. He is known for seducing young women and causing chaos in the lives of those who cross his path. Despite his sinister reputation, some stories portray him as a tragic figure, cursed with a grotesque appearance and seeking love.

  • La Fiura: La Fiura is a powerful and fearsome witch, known for her small stature and fiery breath. She lives in the dense forests and is believed to have control over the elements. Those who encounter her must treat her with respect or face her wrath.

  • Invunche: Invunche is a mythical creature that guards the entrance to the cave where La Recta Provincia holds its meetings. It is a deformed human with a twisted body and limbs, and it is said that the witches created it through dark magic.


  • Minga: The minga is a traditional Chilote ritual centered on communal work and cooperation. It often involves activities such as house-moving, where entire communities come together to help relocate a neighbor's house. The minga represents the importance of unity and collective effort in Chilote culture.

  • La Noche de San Juan: Celebrated on the night of June 23rd, La Noche de San Juan is an annual event steeped in folklore and mythology. Bonfires are lit, and various rituals are performed to ward off evil spirits and protect homes from harm. This event showcases the syncretism of Chilote culture, blending pre-Hispanic and Christian traditions.

  • Navigational Rituals: As the Chilote people have historically relied on the sea for their livelihood, numerous rituals have been developed to ensure a successful catch and safe return for fishermen. Offerings to deities such as Pincoya, Pincoy, and Millalobo are common, as are rituals to protect against storms and other dangers at sea.