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Nicaragua is a country rich with culture and folklore. Many of the tales in Nicaraguan folklore come from a tradition of oral story telling and tell of mysterious or even scary characters that are known to all Nicaraguans. Here are a couple of myths from Nicaragua’s folklore.

Probably the scariest character from Nicaraguan folklore is called La Cegua. La Cegua is a witch who lives in the woods, but who is said to have many different appearances. All of her depictions, however, portray her as a ghastly and corpse-like figure. It is believed that she walks through the woods naked awaiting her victims and it is believed that men are attracted to her ghost-like silhouette. La Cegua speaks to men in words that are so terrible that the victim goes insane and never are able to recover. She also possesses super natural qualities and is able to walk through solid objects, lift off the ground and even fly in her attempts to attract men and then torture them. The way to avoid her is to carry mustard seeds and throw them in front of her, at which point she will apparently stop to attempt to pick up the seeds. The point of this particular tale is to make sure that men do not wander off and instead come straight home after work.

Another prominent folkloric character is that of La Carretanagua. La Carretanagua is a very typical character in Nicaraguan folklore, and the tale is a blend of historical truth and the imaginative oral tradition. The story comes from the presence of the Spaniards in the 16th century and the caravans that moved through the land as the Spaniards conquered various indigenous territories in the country. The Spaniards would plunder the settlements, taking their gold and supplies as well as taking human slaves that were then chained and brought along on these raids. The legend therefore says that La Carretanagua is a man who travels from town to town in the middle of the night making noise with is ox-pulled cart full of dead souls. The legend goes that when people in the town hear this noise made by La Carretanagua, that the next day someone from the town is dead. The cart is supposedly in the shape of a cross and therefore is unable to turn corners, only being able to disappear when it reaches the end of a road. *



Updated: 8 May 2008

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