The Royal Family of the Sea in Chilote Mythology
The people who live in the Chiloé Archipelago of southern Chile have developed their own unique mythology over the centuries which helps to explain their environment and its maintenance. Being islanders they rely upon the sea for much of their sustenance and they have evolved a hierarchy of divine figures who take care of the ocean. This hierarchy is made up of a Royal Family who consist of a king and queen, a prince and two princesses.
Millalobo is the king of the seas and was said to have been born from a union by a beautiful woman with a sea lion during the epic battle between Tenten Vilu and Caicai Vilu that created the Chiloé Archipelago.
He had a human wife, Huenchula and they had a son, the Pincoy, the prince of the sea, and two daughters, the Sirena Chilota who was a type of mermaid and the Pincoya a sea nymph. The prince and the princesses helped their father and mother take care of the sea. Read more
Chilote mythology is the mythology of the people who live on the Chiloé Archipelago lying near the coast of southern Chile. The biggest of the islands is Chiloé, which means “land of sea gulls” and pronounced, Chee-lo-way. Archaeologists believe the islands have been settled by humans for at least 5,000 years. The people of the Chiloé Archipelago are known as Chilotes and are the descendants of Huilliche and Choncho Indians and the main language spoken is now Spanish.
A unique mythology
Their lives and well being, in the past, present and the foreseeable future are inextricably linked to the sea. This dependence has seen the evolution of a unique mythology, folklore and traditions to help them explain and make sense of the world they live in. Naturally, for an island people, the sea plays a large part in this mythology, reflecting its importance to the people.
Spanish ships bring Christianity
Another important influence was the arrival of the Spanish from across the other side of the world in huge ships with masts and sails. The first sightings of these strange ships, perhaps sailing on the distant horizon and maybe stopping off at an island, must have had a profound effect on the native people. But in 1567 the Spanish stopped at the islands bringing with them from across the other side of the world, Christianity. Read more