Charming and mythological Chiloé island, Chile

Week 29 – Rich in history and myths, Chiloe was a very pleasant island to visit.

I was curious about this place located just north of Patagonia. Separated from the mainland by a small arm of sea, the island has developed a culture and habits different from the rest of the country. It can be seen right away with its chilote architecture based on wood shingles. In the sixteenth century its inhabitants played an important role in the conquest of the southern end of the country as the expedition which established the Fuerte Bulnes that later became Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan left from Chiloé.

To see the island, the game is to follow the Ruta de las Iglesias which connects the churches recognized world heritage of UNESCO. Some of these churches are located on other small islands that are part of its archipelago, so you have to take small fishing boats to continue this treasure hunt! Finally we were satisfied with the 9 visible on the main island and on the island of Quinchao.

His second specificity is its mythology. You will not find these beliefs anywhere else in Chile. It is about gnomes, witchcraft and ghost ships. The main character is the Brujo who appears at night and torments humans. He can fly and, for this, uses human oil which he seeks in the cemeteries! To send messages to the others he uses the Voladora, a sort of bird with of a shrill woman cry… hum. When it passes over the villages in the middle of the night, the inhabitants fear that it comes to announce the death of the sick children (for the diseases we did not know the treatment). I find this part of the legend particularly interesting: every night the Brujos choose an ugly woman and make her drink the juice of a local fruit mixed with wolf oil. The beverage makes her vomit her viscera and turns her into a bird-woman who can fly. Once her mission is accomplished, she returns to swallow her viscera and resumes her human form. Delicious isn’t it!

I could tell a lot more about its myths, houses on stilts, gastronomy but I will stop hoping to have given you the desire to go there!

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