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

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Deformed dwarves


Close to Llaima volcano, in Chile, lives a creature known as Quetronamun (“duck legs” in Mapudungun).[1] It is described as a dwarfish human with only one foot; it is somewhat penguin-like. Its foot is turned backwards, just like a Guaraní[*] creature, the Corupira which is a dwarf the size of a child.

[*]There are several myths in Patagonia that hint at some kind of connection or relationship between the Paraguayan Guaraní people. A connection that the Mapuche dislike, because it may imply that they migrated to Chile from the southern Amazon jungle. We have look into these myths and this connection between both native groups Here.

By the way, Llaima was also home to a dinosaur-like monster (see our post on it Here).

This hideous Quetronamun may be related to the Invunche (meaning in Mapudungun “monster person”), which was a “deformed and misshapen being, that has its face turned towards its back and that moves around on one leg because the other one is stuck to its neck or nape”. It is fed on flesh of newly born babies, lives in a cave and yells like a goat terrifying the neighbors.[2]

The Chiloé natives believed them to be created by wizards.[3]

There is evidence that links both Quetronamun and Invunche to acculturation of the natives and exposure to European myths for there is a similar weird dwarf mentioned by Roman naturalist the Elder Pliny.

deformed dwarf
Medieval European monsters. Note the deformed one-footed dwarf on the left.
From: [1] Münster, S., Monstra humana. pp. 1080.

He mentioned a creature that was found close to Mount Imavus in a region called Abarimon, in Asia, where “wild men of the woods whose feet are turned back to front. They run very fast and roam abroad with the wild beasts”.[4]

It is very likely that the Spaniards introduced these myths into Chile during the conquest.


[1] Guevara, T., (1925). Historia de Chile: Chile prehispano. Santiago: Balcells.
[2] Cavada, F., (1914). Chiloé y los Chilotes. Santiago: Imprenta Universitaria. pp. 99+
[3] Vicuña Cifuentes, J., (1915). Estudios de Folklore chileno. Mitos y supersticiones recogidos de la tradición oral chilena, con referencias comparativas á los de otros países latinos. Santiago: Imp. universitaria. pp 70.
[4] Pliny, the Elder, (2005). On the Human Animal: Natural History. Oxford: Oxford University Press. vii:61

Copyright 2009 by Austin Whittall ©

Patagonian Monsters

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