Dec. 5, 2020

Episode 2: El Cipitio Show notes

Episode 2: El Cipitio Show notes

Hello all! Thanks for checking us out, here you will find very detailed notes for episode 2, El Cipitio, with sources for  our information included. 

There are so many different versions of El Cipito

For starters, he is the bastard son of La Siguanaba, as mentioned in episide 1. When his mother was cursed for eternity to become La Siguanaba, he too was cursed. He was to remain a child forever, (some say with the intent to taunt La Siguanaba), some say he is a benevolent creature, one that is just mischievous, like a sort of trickster.

He has the appearance of a young child, about 8 to 10 years old, he wears a huge hat and backwards feet, making it impossible to track him down. He loves to wallow through ashes and eats them too. He hides in bushes, by rivers and creeks, waiting for young women who take baths there, he throws compliments, flowers and rocks occasionally. His huge belly derives from malnourishment and his love for eating ashes, which he had to do because his mother, la siguanaba, neglected him. He is often depicted eating bananas and is said to have the ability to teleport from place to place. 

Adults cannot see him, but little kids can. If el cipitio chases you, you must eat on a toilet to get rid of him, because he hates disgusting habits.

His name is derived from the Nahuatl word cipit or cipote, meaning child.

While most depictions of him claim he is benevolent, obnoxious but not a trickster, I found one story, where he is said to trick young girls into following him and they then go missing forever. He is said to live in a cave in San Vincente, by a volcano called Chichontepec. 

Some tie his name to the God Xipe Totec.They don't seem to have much to do with each other, but MJ found that Xipe Totec is also the god of agriculture and maybe this is why Cipitio is found in rural areas. Xipe Totec means the flayed one in Nahuatl, and he was an important God to the Aztecs and Toltecs and Maya people. He is the brother of the three major Aztec Gods, Tezcatlipoca, Huizilopochtli and Quetzalcoatl. Xipe Totec is associated with death and diseases 

There was a TV show in El Salvador where el Cipitio teaches kids life lessons and all about morality, does this make him the Salvadoran Mr. Rogers? 

References:

http://www.elsalvadortips.com/el-cipitio-legend

https://www.astadventures.com/blogs/blog-ast/myths-legends-of-el-salvador

http://folklore.usc.edu/el-cipitio-2/

https://www.ancient.eu/Xipe_Totec/

Another source used for this episode was the book Los Pajaros No Tiene Fronteras, by Edna Iturralde.