A supernatural female being living in the deepest mountain regions of the Dominican Republic. She has dark brown or blue skin with deep black eyes and prefers to go nude wearing only her long black hair around herself.
She can never be caught because her feet are turned backwards so that when she walks she leaves a false trail that always leads her followers away.
The ciguapa are said to be the spirits of Taino women who died while hiding from Spanish settlers in the Cordillera Central. They haunt the mountain trails by night, seducing young men to their deaths by drowning.
The ciguapa are also described as tiny women with golden skin who are mute except for the birdsongs that they sing in order to lure men into their river caves where they will be trapped forever. Another variation describes small golden women covered with fur, who howl but do not speak, and travel through the tree tops by jumping from branch to branch.
The ciguapa are also said to resemble nocturnal birds that cry with a human-like voice.
Known to be insanely jealous, its howling in the night may be a harbinger of death for your mate if a ciguapa has fallen in love with you.
Cryptozoologist, Scott Corrales, has suggested that the Maboya, a spirit of Taino mythology that appears in many forms including the ciguapa, is related to the Chupacabra.
May also be related to the ciguanaba of El Salvador, and the biembienes who are also spirits of people who escaped into the mountains and died.
Other beings with backwards turned feet include the Abarimon and the Nulo.
Also known as mountain sirens, and in some areas male ciguapas are also described.
See Also: Creatures by Type » Harbingers
Collier, Gordon (ed), & Ulrich, Fleischmann (ed). A Pepper-Pot of Cultures: Aspects of Creolization in the Caribbean. Rodopi, 2004.
Corrales, Scott. Chupacabras: And Other Mysteries. Murfreesboro, Tennessee: Greenleaf, 1997.
Harvey, Sean. The Rough Guide to the Dominican Republic. Rough Guides edition 4, 2008.
Wucker, Michele. Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola. New York: Hill and Wang, 2000.