7 junio, 2024

The 9 most popular legends of the Ecuadorian coast

Some legends of the ecuadorian coast The best known are La Tacona, El hueso de vaca, El Tintín, El Chuzalongo, La Tunda, El cerro del muerto and El naranjo de Chocotete, the weather vane of the cathedral or the legend of Atahualpa’s treasure.

The Ecuadorian coast has traditions and popular beliefs that are quite different from the rest of the country. This cultural separation is due to a historical-political development based on the rivalry between Quito and Guayaquil, and its influence in shaping Ecuadorian identity.

The importance of seaports for agricultural economic activities focused on large-scale exports allowed contact and mixing with many cultures, in addition to the Spanish.

On the other hand, the cultural heritage of the Ecuadorian coast was more liberal in relation to the Catholic Church and its traditions.

All these factors helped to highlight a kind of coastal regionalism that is evident in its varied urban legends, in which the fantastic, the human, the diabolical, and nature are mixed.

Main legends of the Ecuadorian coast

1. The heel

This legend from the city of Esmeralda tells of the ghost of a beautiful young woman who walks the streets and seduces men when there is a full moon. They die of fright when the hideous ghastly face of the woman is revealed to them.

According to the story, it was a woman who died after being raped one night in an alley. Her spirit did not know that she had died, so she decided to return home to bathe and put on makeup to remove the dirt and blood from her. She swore in front of the mirror never to be hurt by anyone again.

She decided to walk the streets and go to bars attracting malicious men with her red dress and very high heels.

Once a handsome man invited her to the beach, to which she accepted with determination. Then he tried to abuse her, but when he looked at her, her face was frightened and she started to run.

The race inadvertently took him to the cemetery, where he surprisingly read the name of that woman. Years later, the man visited the young woman’s grave bringing her a red rose. Kneeling, he thanked her that that night he made him change and no longer seduces women.

The man felt a pat on the shoulder and a voice told him: «That was what I wanted to hear.» Turning around, a woman in a red dress was walking away.

2. Tintin

This is a character from Montubio mythology associated with the Devil. He is of medium height, with large pointed ears, and wears a jipijapa hat. In the coastal towns they describe his face as creepy and evil.

According to legend, he seeks to woo pregnant women using many tricks, and then leave them. She can make them promises, declare words of love, sing to them with guitar in hand, or simply abuse them.

He hides in dangerous alleys and fields looking for pretty girls, whom he chases home.

Some stories say that it sneaks through holes or through walls and hides under the bed. Once he gets the girl pregnant, he escapes and looks for another.

It was very typical in colonial times and later, when women did not usually go out on the streets alone. If a young girl in a house got pregnant, it was considered a Tintin play.

3. The hill of the dead

The name comes from a set of rocky elevations in the Playas area, via El Morro. According to the stories of the first navigators, they saw some hills from the sea that had the shape of a man lying down with his hands on his chest.

From there legends were derived about how heavy and strange the place felt. It was believed that it was enchanted because in the past it was customary to bury the dead there in clay pots, along with all their clothes.

It is said that the souls passed by the church at midnight to pray. There are also reports of people from nearby towns who have heard a band playing late at night.

4. The Chuzalongo

It is a dwarf creature with pale skin, blue or green eyes, large ears, a flattened nose, and misshapen features. Some accounts say that it has its feet in the opposite direction, backwards, so that it is confusing to follow the trail of its footprints.

He used to attack and kill women, dismembering them, leaving bloody scenes. He also seeks to fight men, but as a challenge for power.

The Chuzalongo walks naked. To get rid of it, men must remove an item of clothing and throw it away. When the creature goes for the item, he can run away.

5. The cow bone

This legend of Manabí originates from the story of a very pretty and virtuous young woman who lived in a house called La Floresta, on the road from Chone to Canuto. In a nearby ugly hut, with the smell of sulfur, lived an old gentleman with a very bad appearance, with a long beard and dressed in rags.

The old man had fallen in love with that girl named Dulce María, but he never said anything. One day, the girl’s parents went shopping in her town, leaving her home alone. She went out to water and fix the garden.

Suddenly, a black cow appeared out of nowhere and started chasing her from all sides. She ran into the farm until she tripped over some reeds and fell dead near a matapalo tree.

At the end of the day, her parents found their daughter’s body accompanied by the black cow and a strong smell of sulfur. The house and garden also gave off that smell.

After several days, the people found it strange not to have seen the neighbor of the hut anymore. They decided to enter the house and only found a cow bone; the old man was not there.

In another version of the legend, they find the cow bone in the matapalo and the old man’s house was empty.

6. The Tunda

La Tunda is an ugly, monstrous and evil woman who lives deep in the northern jungle of Esmeralda, where only blackness can be seen. She has a pinwheel foot and a very small one, like a baby’s.

He usually takes disobedient children, the unbaptized, unfaithful men and naughty women into the interior of the mountain, whom he keeps alive by giving them prawns and shrimp. He can trick his victim by taking the form of an acquaintance.

One story tells that she turned into a white chicken to attract a boy who left home to chase lost chickens. She is usually associated with the night and the darkness of the mountain, which is why she is represented as a woman with very black skin, with a bad smell.

7. The orange tree of Chocotete

This is the legend of an orange tree in the Chocotete area of ​​Manabí, which always had fruit regardless of the season. But these fruits could only be eaten on the spot. Nobody knew the reason.

The story was common among the women of yesteryear, who used to use the Chocotete springs to wash clothes and taste the fruit during the chore.

One day a naughty boy wanted to take some oranges home. The way back magically changed to cactus, moyuyo and cherry trees, and he began to hear strange voices. Frightened, the young man tried to return to the springs without being able to find them.

The vegetation came to life, animals made their sounds quickly, many birds fluttered among the trees, goldfish jumped from a newly appeared lake. In the midst of the commotion, the boy managed to run down a small path between the mountains and reached the orange tree.

He fell to the ground exhausted and the oranges fell to the ground. Suddenly the landscape changed and returned to the way it was before. Immediately, he heard the laundresses and ran towards them. The boy related what happened to the women and the branches of the orange tree let out a great laugh.

8. The legend of Atahualpa’s treasure

In Cajamarca, the conquistador Francisco Pizarro captured and assassinated the last Inca king, Atahualpa. Atahualpa told Pizarro that he would give him an immense treasure if he let him go, to which Pizarro agreed. But since he did not trust, he assassinated Atahualpa. Legend has it that General Rumiñahui, who was carrying the treasure, upon learning of the emperor’s death, buried the treasure somewhere along the route. It is also said that whoever finds it will be cursed.

9. The weather vane of the cathedral

Many centuries ago there lived a very rich man, grumpy and greedy, who mistreated people. One day, alone in the street, he saw the cathedral’s weather vane and began to insult it. The iron rooster came to life, broke free, and pecked the man on the head, scaring him to death. The bird warned him that he must be kind, or something very bad would happen to him. From that day on, the man learned to respect others.

Subject of interest

Legends of Guayaquil.

Ecuadorian legends.


Christopher Sacco. Ecuador’s Coast. Recovered from ecuadorexplorer.com.
Legends Costa Sierra Oriente. Recovered from es.scribd.com.

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