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Legend of Trentren Vilu and Caicai Vilu

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Title: Legend of Trentren Vilu and Caicai Vilu  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Chilote mythology, Mapuche mythology, Mapuche religion, Gulf of Ancud, List of creation myths
Collection: Chilote Mythology, Creation Myths, Flood Myths, Legendary Serpents, Mapuche Mythology, Traditional Narratives
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Legend of Trentren Vilu and Caicai Vilu

The Legend of Trentren Vilu and Caicai Vilu is the "legend of the geography and origin of the Chiloean archipelago, and mountains of southern Chile", which was caused by a fierce battle between two mythical snakes, Trentren Vilu (trentren="related with the earth", vilu="snake") and Caicai Vilu (Caicai="related with the water", vilu="snake").


The Trentren Vilu is the god of Earth, and is a generous spirit and protecter of all earth's life. Caicai Vilu is the god of Water and the origin of all that inhabits it, and rules the seas.

According to this myth, thousands of years ago, what is now the Chiloé Province was once one contiguous landmass with continental Chile. One day a monstrous serpent appeared and inundated the lowlands, valleys, and mountains, submerging all the flora and fauna. Without delay, Trentren Vilu appeared to start a confrontation with his enemy, elevating the land and protecting it from disaster. The battle persisted a long time. Trentren Vilu reached a costly victory, he won the battle, but was unable to restore the land to its primeval state leaving it in the dismembered form it still has today.

At the end of the hostilities, Caicai Vilu left as representative and owner of all the seas, the king Millalobo (Millalonco), who was conceived during the invasion when a beautiful woman fell in love with a sea lion.

This legend describes the new region formed of water and earth and delineates the marine life style of Chiloé.

See also


  • Tom D. Dillehay. Monuments, empires, and resistance: the Araucanian polity and ritual narratives. Cambridge studies in archaeology. Cambridge University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-521-87262-6, ISBN 978-0-521-87262-1

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