Ciguapa

The Ciguapa

is a magical being, beautiful in appearance to some, horrendous to others. One thing people usually agree upon is that they are wild creatures and are compared to a mermaid. The Ciguapa is beautiful and cruel, not quite human yet innocent.

Interpretation of Ciguapa by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

They are said to have brown skin and black eyes. Ciguapa has smooth, glossy hair flowing the length of their naked bodies, covering them as if in a long beautiful gown. They are very shy in a sad way and also are deceitful. Their black eyes are piercing and slanted. and are always waiting in ready to capture the wayward traveler.

The Cigupa usually comes out of her lair, be it a wooded area, cave or hidden spot, on the eve of the full moon. She is said to be such a spectacular beauty that men will follow her into the forest even though following her tracks were very difficult. The difficulty is because her footprints are pointed in the opposite direction (the backward feet are found in ancient traditions to signify death, entry into the land of no return). Even thought following this striking creature was difficult she was followed because of the promise that a beautiful woman was waiting. She seduces men, kissing them passionately while sucking their life breath from their body.

Could this be the lair of a Cigupa?

Cigupa sings a sad mournful song known as the Canto de Sirena or the Mermaids Song. You will never hear a Cigupa speak words because they are said to communicate with small whines, like that of a crying child. It is a very somber woeful sound. The morning after a Cigupa cries the rocks and area where they were will be wet with their tears. Children are told if they stand by the shore facing the sea and yell “María la O, María la O, tu madre es puta y la mía no!”, a big wave will break and take you to drown in the sea.

The cinguapa is very mischievous. She likes to steal raw meat and butter from peoples homes. She has also been known to braid horses tails in the middle of the night.

So remember, if you do come across a Ciguapa do not ever try and capture her as this causes great pain and distress to the creature. Within days of capture she will surely die. Never never look into her eyes. She will bewitch you and you forever will be under her power sinking into an ecstasy of love disappearing forever……

Did you know…

*The ‘cigua’ is the national bird (cigua palmera) It is a Taino word.
‘Ciguatera’ is something we get from eating contaminated (‘red tide’ algae) fish?

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