Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino

Indigenous Stories


Stories, legends and myths play an important role in all societies. Myths explain basic questions relating to the creation of the world, gods, the society and humans themselves. Stories, tales and legends often contain deeper messages and offer guidance to teach the moral standards of each group.

These narratives are part of the oral tradition of each culture and are passed down from generation to generation, transforming in details by maintaining the main argument of each story. Therefore it is common to have different versions of the same story. Some of them are common to large, geographical areas but are told with local differences, based on the experiences and environments of each community.

The following tales belong to the main indigenous ethnic groups in Chile and were collected during the twentieth century by several investigators. They have been illustrated for this website by visual artist Francisca Cortés Guarachi.