M is 44. She was born in Los Angeles, her parents are from Guadalajara, Mexico. She told me this story her grandmother had told her about el Duende in person.
“My grandmother had the experience of el Duende… when she was younger… so el Duende fell in love with her and would come braid her hair at night… but it was so tight it was hard to get them off… so when it happened, my grandmother was very beautiful and she would wake with these braids and not know why, so one night her mom stayed up and saw the Duende…but so how you get rid of the Duende is holy water and tequila and you collect these things and wait for the Duende when he comes to try and braid the hair. I’m glad I wasn’t around back then!”
This duende story is a variation of the Tata Duende, which appears to be very popular in Belize, but also among other Mestizo cultures of Mayan descent. He sometimes also braids the hair of horses. For more accounts of Tata Duende see, https://www.marc.ucsb.edu/research/community-voice/teos-way/duende