Tag Archives: Mitos


Duendes or Los Menos

Duendes and Los Menos, are mythical beings very similar to elves, gnomes, sprites or goblins. They are very mischievous creatures that like to play jokes on people.

Interpretation of Duenes by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu. Watch out, here they come!
Interpretation of Duenes by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu. Watch out, here they come!

Duendes are very similar to other mischievous creatures such as elves, gnomes, sprites or goblins. They enjoy playing jokes on people. They can be both good and bad creatures all depending on their moods. Small but noisy, they can be very bothersome. They are many times blamed for strange noises in a home.

Duendes are known to drop stones on porches just to annoy. They can be heard running in the night and like to giggle and laugh loudly. Duendes like to make things disappear, move things around or change them completely. If a fire in the hearth goes out, gets too high or sparks it is always the fault of a duende. They are just a big nuisance.

Duendes are not tall. They are said to be the size of a small boy. It may have the height of the boy but its face is wrinkled like an old man. They usually wear some type of red clothing and usually can be found in groups of no more than five. Even though they travel in groups they are almost impossible to be seen. These fun-loving little imps are invisible to humans only unless they want to be seen. They make themselves visible usually only when there is no sun or at dawn. It is said that only children and simple-minded people can see them and when they do it usually makes them cry.

Los Menos

seem to prefer nature and freedom more than being inside but they can live in many places. They like caves, old tree trunks and hidden places under stones. They like hidden corners of a home, in the attic, or in warehouses. They are known to play with crickets and torture butterflies. They enjoy dancing by the light of the moon.

Los Menos are known to take children that are not baptized. If they do take a child, usually it is a boy. They will take the child deep into the mountains or countryside and turn this child into one of them. If the child has been baptized and they took it by accident, they will set it free in the mountains where there are no people. Here the child will roam and get lost.

So, if you feel that there is someone watching you from the darkness. Maybe you see a quick flicker of eyes in the dark or hear a little giggle and feet scampering. You could be being stalked by the mischievous unseen Duende, waiting to see what turmoil he can cause….

El Cuco

El Cuco / El Coco / El Cucuy

The mythical monster, El Cuco is used to frighten children. The stories of El Cuco are used in hopes of keeping the young ones off the streets late at night or to make them go to sleep.

Interpretation of El Cuco by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu with a little political humor to lighten the mood of this faceless child snatching creature
Interpretation of El Cuco by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu with a little political humor to lighten the mood of this faceless child snatching creature

El Cuco is a mythical monster whose origins can be traced to Spain.
The legend of El Cuco is used throughout Spain and Latin America as a tool to frighten children to keep them off the streets late at night and to make them go to sleep. It is very similar to the Boogy Man in USA.

There is no real description of this mythical being. It is as if El Cuco has no form or shape. It is just a being that is more felt than seen. It is said he is able to shape-shift into all sorts of creatures. He can be your favorite animal or a nondescript shadow moving across the floor. El Cuco can become a horrible monster or make himself so small that he can slip through a crack, hide under the bed or in the closet.

El Cuco in Dominican Republic

In Dominican Republic El Cuco roams the streets and alleys looking for kids to take away in his sack. He can take the form of a hobo or homeless man. Parents and grandparents alike tell the children if they do not go to sleep and fast that El Cuco will come and take them. Even worse, if they are out roaming the streets unsupervised, El Cuco will stuff them in his sack and take them away. He is known to eat some children too.

Be careful if you can’t sleep and you see a shadow with eyes glowing passing near your bed. Also, remember to never roam the empty streets alone. If you see a faceless man with a big sack it could be El Cuco….

*A few artists have used the name. Cuco Valoy, a Dominican salsa and merengue singer makes many references to El Cuco. Tonio Rosario has an album named “La Magia de El Cuco”. There is a trip music festival in Puerto Rico that uses the name of this nocturnal faceless creature.

El Comegente

El Comegente/ The People Eater

According to the República Dominicana history at the end of the 18th century there existed an assassin whose crimes were so bloodthirsty he was named the El Comegente or the People Eater.

Interpretation of Come Hombre / Comegente by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu
Interpretation of Come Hombre / Comegente by Artist-Illustrator Ray Wu

The bloodthirsty criminal El Comegente is said to look like an Indian with long black hair and small features. His body is well proportioned according to his size except for his feet, which were very small.

For a long time the people were terrified of Comegente because his crimes were so atrocious and horrifying. The story is told that he went to Haiti to learn the ways of witchcraft. He could be in many places at one time. He was able to cross the entire country in a night by using supernatural means.

The story says that he killed his victims using some sort of club. He could not be caught once his feet touched the water because when this occurred he immediately disappeared. He always left a putrid and nauseating scent in his wake.

The people had enough. They were tired of being afraid. They decided to band together and search for this assassin. He was finally trapped by a country farmer using a rattan witch basket called bejuco de brujas. The farmer tied up the Comegente and took him to the capital where he was condemned to death and executed.

This is not the humorous One-eyed, one-horned, flyin’ purple people eater creature from the song that Sheb Wooly made famous in 1958. This People Eater is what legends are made of and it is said that he still roams the countryside with club in hand…