Legends

El Cadejo, El Salvador

This legend was collected from a friend, who was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador and is 21 years old. It is about el cadejo, a character of the folklore of Central America and some parts of Mexico.

 

She told me the story is about two dogs, one white and one black. Indigenous people believed that dogs help humans to get to heaven after they die. El cadejo is therefore actually a spirit that presents itself in the form of a dog. It is believed that God created a good spirit in order to protect humankind, the white dog, but the devil created a black one that would fight the white one and defeat God. It is said that the black one tends to be seen by people who wonder the streets at night, engage in immoral behaviors, or have an unclean conscience. It chases its victims to scare them and the hypnotizes them with its read eyes and steals their souls. The white one, in contrast, is believed to protect God’s “loyal believers.” She says that her grandfather told her that story, and that he actually believed it, but she never really believed in legends. She also told me that legends were a big part of Salvadoran culture and were taught in school, and on El Salvador’s independence day, there are nation-wide parades and people dress up as the dogs or other characters from legends to commemorate them.

 

I find it interesting that this legend has positive and negative aspects, in contrast to other Latin American legends that tend to be mostly negative. It also incorporates themes of religion and morality, symbolizing El Salvador’s strong religiosity.

Comments are closed.

[geolocation]