Thursday Myths & Legends 101: La Pincoya

La Pincoya is a water sprite, said to guard the seas surrounding the southern island of Chiloé in Chile.  She is a personification of the fertility of the ocean, and is said to perform a ritual dance on the beach—if she performs this dance facing the ocean, the sea (and the fishermen who work it) will have an abundance of fish, but if she dances facing towards land, or away from the ocean, then the fish will be scarce.  She is said to be a very generous creature, though.

She is the daughter of Millalobo, king of the Chilotan sea, and along with her sister, La Sirena Chilota (a mermaid tasked with caring for all the fish) and her brother (and husband) El Pincoy, she helped to carry dead sailors onto La Caleuche, a phantom ship where the deceased were able to carry on as if they were still alive.  This ship is said to be glimpsed at times, with sounds of a party drifting from it, but it always vanishes from sight.

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About Lisa Asanuma

Lisa is a professional freelance writer and editor, along with a bookbinder and knitting obsessee. Lisa has a passion for YA literature (inside her passion for literature in general) and is currently working on her first novel. View all posts by Lisa Asanuma

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