Part of Peru’s cultural legacy also refers to the various myths and legends that have been passed down from generation to generation in different regions of the country. These stories of magical realism are part of the identity of the country and through these, we can learn about ancient customs and beliefs. The following lines will list the four most popular mythological characters in the Andean region of Peru:
The Andean region Aymara is an evil being that can take any form, from an animal to a person. It is said that this character has a pact with the devil and first makes his victim sleep and then suck all his fat and blood. The Andes healers indicate that if you have had an encounter with this spectrum you must undergo a special ritual to revoke the evil caused.
Also known as the mining elf in some places, those who think they have seen him indicate that he is a little man of no more than a meter in height and with a chilling appearance, he is said to have blond hair, is stocky and does not have a neck, so that its head is attached to the trunk. According to some miners, this elf from the mine often hides his tools, the mineral disappears and makes a lot of noise during the day. Legend has it that if you catch the Muqui, he will have to work for you a long period of time and give you a lot of gold.
It is the Andes demon, part human, part alpaca, that has two or three heads that appear periodically in Ayacucho. Legend has it that it originates from incest, which is why it has become an evil being who goes out to kill at night and hypnotizes its victims by looking them in the eye. It bears that name for the terrifying screams that «jar, jar, jar» emits. It is also said that if you ever find yourself in front of this character, you should make him look at himself or hurl loud insults at him.
Legend has it that in the altiplano region there is a character half bear, half-man who they call UKUKU or «The Bear Man». According to legend, in the time of the Inca, a powerful warrior fell in love with an Inca princess, however, he was not the only one, since the wizard of the Empire was also hopelessly in love with the said princess. And when the warlock found out that the princess corresponded to the feelings of the warrior, mad with jealousy he decides to turn the warrior into a bear with glasses. Unlike the previous characters, this is considered a spirit of good and is represented in important festivals in Cusco such as the Feast of the Virgen del Carmen de Paucartambo and the Feast of the Qoyllorit’i Lord.