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, December 3, 2009

Calchona and Machucho. "Sheep/dog-like" beings


Calchona. From [5]

Calchona is part of the Mapuche folklore.
She is a creature that looks like a large black sheep, or a woolly black dog, that roams around at night.[1]

The name Calchona derives from Mapuche language (Mapudungun) word “kalch”, which means pubic hair, and refers quite graphically to the creature's long, curly fleece.[2]

Harmless, she, for it is female, a witch, is said to be the outcome of magic spells gone awry.

The popular tale is the following: she, the witch used some creams which she applied on her skin to mutate into a black sheep. She would then go out -no one knows why- every night. Her suspicious husband, spying on her, for he believed she might be a witch, saw her transform into a sheep. So he threw away her magic ointments. When she returned she could not undo the spell and was forced to remain a sheep forever. She roams the night and bleats asking for food.[3]

Read more here (in Spanish) from page 7 onwards:


The Mapuche at Chiloé also mention the “Machucho”, a nocturnal goat-like being that bleats like a goat and has a similar body build; like Calchona, it is a creature of the night and considered piguchén or degenerate.[4]

Both creatures, Calchona and Machucho are sheep/goat-like and resemble another similar creature, Huallipen (see our post on it Here).


[1] Soldano, A., (2006). Leyendas nativas argentinas de la Patagonia: Recopilaciones. B. Aires: Ed. Dunken. pp. 36.
[2] Alvarez, G., (1969). Op. Cit. Glossario. pp. 297.
[3] Vicuña Cifuentes, J., (1910). Supersticiones. Estudios del Folklore recogidos de la tradición oral chilena. Santiago: Imprenta universitaria.pp. 7+
[4] Latcham, R., (1924). Op. Cit. pp. 386.
[5] Art copyright © by -º-PriMm0-º-. Online.

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Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2010 International Year of Biodiversity Copyright 2009-2010 by Austin Whittall © 

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