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#30405 - 07 April 05 1:35 pm - America/Chicago Sisimite and Duende folklore
dfrostondabeach Offline

****

Registered: 19 August 04
Posts: 1328
Loc: Iowa / Placencia Peninsula
A few months ago I was researching jaguars in Belize and came across this very interesting article. At the end of the page I found it quite interesting that he had a theory on the Duende (they are short, hairy, and have backwards facing feet). He proposes that since some locals believe that a jaguar only attacks humans from the rear some of the tribes wear a mask on the 'back' of their heads when walking in the rain forest, and feels this may explain the reverse facing of the feet!
There is also quite a bit of info on his research of the Sisimite.
www.n2.net/prey/bigfoot/biology/duende.htm

Joan, of interest to you is his mention of locating an article in Belmopan at the National Archives. It is titled: "Kekchi Religous Beliefs and Lore Regarding the Jungle"
Diane
oh, Chuck---procure yourself a mask!

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#30406 - 07 April 05 6:28 pm - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Llessur Offline

***

Registered: 09 July 00
Posts: 574
Loc: Northwest US
In following this tangent of Mayan Cosmology and Mythology, I came across this site:

http://mythcreatures.50megs.com/mayanmyth/mayanmyth.htm

I think we have moved more into Belize Culture from this Biology section. At any rate, it is an area of Mayan information I had not looked at very much, and I am enjoying it a great deal. No wonder these people were so skilled and intelligent...they were driven by very powerful mental constructs.

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#30407 - 07 April 05 8:28 pm - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Joan Fry Offline

***

Registered: 21 November 01
Posts: 1297
Loc: California, USA
Hey, thanks for the links! They'll keep me busy. I was married to an anthropologist at the time and what I'm going over are his field notes, which are a lot more comprehensive than mine (I taught school and didn't get out in the bush much.) We had old copies of LIFE magazine in the house and one of them had a picture of gorillas in a zoo. Every Mopan and Kekchi who saw the picture swore they were sisimtos, and then we had people who didn't even live in the village stopping by to see the sisimoto pictures!

Then there are the chol gwink, the "little people." They're harmless (compared to sisimitos) and will trade for salt. One man in the village claimed to have seen some in Cayo District--he and another chiclero were camped out in the bush and the chol gwink showed up. The two men chased them with their machetes and drove them away. He said they wore little straw hats.

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#30408 - 07 April 05 9:23 pm - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Joan Fry Offline

***

Registered: 21 November 01
Posts: 1297
Loc: California, USA
Moderator Diane, I think we belong in Miscellaneous!

Frosty Diane and Lessur, yes! Good info. Tzulcacah is the real deal, an ancient Maya deity (or group of deities) still invoked in the '60s whenever the Kekchi planted or went hunting.

None of the sisimitos I ever heard about wore hats, and they were all BIG. And yes, some people mentioned that their feet pointed backwards.

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#30409 - 08 April 05 5:45 am - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
rpbelize Offline


Registered: 14 January 04
Posts: 225
Loc: Toledo District, Belize
I just heard about a sisimito sighting last week. A couple of my friends were hunting in the bush. They saw a large, hairy creature. When they traced the light up its body to its face, they saw the face of a gorilla-like creature (this was at night). Two of them ran in , while the other got a shot off at it before running as well. The next day, they went back to the site. There was lots of blood, and a trail leading through the bush to the mouth of a cave.

I find it quite interesting that you are discussing this topic right when I cam across this situation. I have been trying to do some research on it as well. They told me the one they saw must have been a female, that is why it never attacked them. I was also told that a male sisimito will attack and kill a lone man in the bush, but will carry off a lone woman - they told me to be careful! wink

So there is a current update on the sisimito situation. laugh

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#30410 - 08 April 05 5:45 am - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Diane Offline


***

Registered: 15 September 98
Posts: 3108
Loc: Ontario, Canada
The most important thing to know when you see a duende is to hide your thumbs or they will get jealous and try to steal them because they don't have any.

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#30411 - 09 April 05 10:45 am - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Joan Fry Offline

***

Registered: 21 November 01
Posts: 1297
Loc: California, USA
rpbelize--Fascinating that we just happened to be discussing this when your friends saw one! They said the same things I heard--sisimitos are associatied with caves, and they will "carry off" lone women. (Don't go hunting in the bush by yourself!) wink You left me feeling frustrated though, because you never finished your thought--what did your friends find when they went back to the place? Also, where did they see it? There were supposed to be a lot of sisimitos living around the Rock Pile, wherever that is. (I suspect it's near San Antonio but not sure.) Did your friends say?

Diane, I never heard the thumb story before!

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#30412 - 09 April 05 11:21 am - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
rpbelize Offline


Registered: 14 January 04
Posts: 225
Loc: Toledo District, Belize
Joan,

All they found at the site was lots of blood and tracks leading to the cave. They didn't go any further than seeing the cave from a ways off.

This was in the Stann Creek District.

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#30413 - 10 April 05 10:20 am - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
crbeaty Offline


Registered: 30 October 04
Posts: 356
Loc: USA/Belize

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#30414 - 10 April 05 12:30 pm - America/Chicago Re: Sisimite and Duende folklore
Diane Offline


***

Registered: 15 September 98
Posts: 3108
Loc: Ontario, Canada
If you're interested in more of the tales, you might want to contact Cubola books and see if you can order the book "If Di Pin Neva Ben", folktales and legends of Belize. It's number 4 in the Belizean writers series (the entire series is quite good). It has stories of the Duende, Xtabay, Brujos, Sisimite, Soch, & nature guardians. Not to mention mischevious Anansi and instructions on how to find burried treasure!

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