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Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

“Lobo-Toro” or wolf-bull

 

Continuing with the feral (wild) cattle entry posted earlier today, we will now look into another monster, the wolf-bull.

The “Chupeitoro” or “Lobo-Toro” (some write it Lofo-Toro or Quenpeitoro) myth of the Mapuche is a patent example of the assimilation of wild cattle into the native’s lore.

The Mapuche used the Spanish words “lobo” and “toro” (wolf and bull respectively), to name it.

It was bull-sized and had long hair very similar to that of the feral (wild) cows found at Lake Argentino (we mentioned them in our last post on Wild Cattle)- it roared and howled like a wolf yet it was herbivore. It could be found all over Patagonia.[1]

Perhaps the large European dogs or a now extinct local Patagonian wolf may have inspired the wolf part of this weird hybrid (see our post on Patagonian wolves).

Regarding its bovine part, the myth may have included wild European cattle or taken a much older tradition, the one that refers to a mysterious horned being in southern Patagonia, on which I have posted separately.

Anyhow, the “wolf bull” amalgamates the worst features of both beings.

lobo toro
Lobo Toro (wolf bull). Online source, unknown author.

Mrs. Juana Puel, wife of Mapuche Chief Vicente Maripán of the Gramajo reservation at Barda Negra (39°11’ S, 70°05’ W) recalled a “Quenpeitoro” describing it as “a big bull that kills tigers and lions: well-known for its spear-like horns”.[1]

Lobo-toro is incorrectly mistaken in some texts for Elengassen (see my post on Elengassen); but they are very different beings, one, Elengassen, a stone throwing monstrous cave dweller, the other a wolf-like bull.

Bibliography

[1] Rothschild, D., et al., (1996). Protegiendo lo nuestro: Pueblos indígenas y biodiversidad. Quito: SAIIC. pp. 43-44.



Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

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