The Chullachaqui of the Amazon rain-forest is one of the more interesting cryptids I have had the pleasure of learning about. This cryptid is noted by several sources as being the protector of the rain forest as well as a trouble-maker.
This shape-shifting gnome has been known to lure people by way of perceptive deception. The Chullachaqui is said to assume the form of a friend or an acquaintance or even an inconspicuous child in an attempt to lure you into the forest. It is said that the unassuming will confidently follow the skillful Chullachaqui deep into the Amazon never to be seen or heard from again; but, do not be deceived so easily my friends, the Chullachaqui can be recognized easily by the fact that one of his feet are larger than the other or one foot is twisted back onto itself. He is also noted as having both feet deformed, or even one foot shaped like that of an animal such as a deer or a jaguar. There has been accounts of a second type of Chullachaqui—a benevolent person of the good with no visual deformity. A cold deceit in the face of truth perhaps?
Poet César Calvo pictures chullachaquis as creations of great shamans, sculpted out of the air, or formed from kidnapped children. What do we, the observers and inquisitive minds think about these observations? We can discover by simple research methods that many sources claim the Chullachaqui dwells alone in the inundated forest where the chullachaquicaspi tree does grow or under lupina trees there which Calvo goes on to say he has an “indissoluble agreement with love.” We go on to learn that he keeps a garden and lives on its fruits and sometimes he will appear in huge red shoes or red pants and a hat. Some of these findings to the modern day researcher may seem quite similar to the rudiments of a fable in the making or a fairy-tale if you will; however, all myths and tales start with a bit of truth in there someplace which brings us to modern day industrial encroachment of the forest in the form of lumber and oil companies.
A newer version of the Chullachaqui discusses him as being birthed from the industrial plague; he is said to punish those whom harm the forest and its inhabitants. He can either harm those who harm the forest or help those who help the forest.
In one such account, a gentleman by the name of Don Agustin Rivas talks about an encounter with a small ‘man’ whom had an aged face, brilliant eyes and a very small mouth and seemed to be missing a foot. He goes on to describe that the man was dressed normally though he’d immediately recognized him as the Chullachaqui. He goes even further to mention delight in finally meeting a real Chullachaqui and claims to have smoked a pipe with it and had a conversation about his bad luck in hunting. He claims that the Chullachaqui’s reply was this “Those are my animals, you need to ask my permission first, and you have never asked me before shooting an animal. But today, you’re going to kill an animal.” Don goes on the explain a feeling of sudden dizziness to which he’d then fainted, and later he awoke to discover the Chullachaqui was no longer in his company. Immediately thereafter, Don claims to come across a very large deer in which he shoots perfectly through the heart.
With these various descriptions, we can certainly wonder what really does exist out there in the Amazon rain-forest, and is it a protector sent by the forest itself in an attempt to protect it from the industrial encroachment that in itself seems like a monster? Perhaps we should visit the Amazon and see for ourselves …
Chullachaqui. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.singingtotheplants.com/2007/12/chullachaqui/
The Legend of Chullachaqui. (n.d.). Retrieved December 6, 2015, from http://www.iquitostimes.com/chullachaqui.htm