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What are Aluxes and Chaneques? Differences and similarities


What are Aluxes and Chaneques?

Small, playful y they are also part of Mexican legends

What are the Aluxes and the Chaneques? Before answering this question I’m going to tell you about our bestiary of fantastic and cryptic Mexican animals.

Mexico is a place rich in traditions, customs and culture, within the latter we can group many oral traditions known as laws that have been inherited by our families since ancient times.

These laws are based on beings that can cause us fear or curiosity, since their existence is based on these stories generally used to frighten us when we lie to children and that we behave well.

What are Aluxes and Chaneques?

There are many legends such as La Llorona, La Planchada or La Mulata de Córdoba, which are based on people who suffered a tragic end. There are also scripts that are there, so you can create fantasies in the collective imagination like the Chupacabras, Nahuales, Huay Chivo, Chaneques and Aluxes… which I will talk about today.

It is said that when a large number of people think of something common until they give it a physical form, a tulpa is created, which is a Buddhist concept and how the appearances of these beings could be explained.

A great example of this is Slenderman in the United States, about which I had no information until a large part of the population began to report sightings based on the collective thought that it was real.

Having explained a little of our Mexican bestiary, let’s talk about these little creatures called Aluxes and Chaneques.

Photo by Gary Todd

The Aluxes

These little ones, also known as Mayan fairies, share a large set of laws with this culture. It is said that they were the first inhabitants of the earth and that they are as old as the sun. In many stories it is said that the Aluxes are descendants of the Dwarf of Uxmal; another fascinating history of Yucatan.

They have the appearance of an old man, but with the height of a 4-year-old child. They can be naughty or very calm, it all depends on how you treat them. They are guardians of crops, as well as animals.

It is believed that in ancient times it was the witches and the Mayan sages who gave life to these beings by creating them from mud and making figures. As these figures were made to charge, several drops of blood from the person who would be their owner were necessary.

Subsequently, this figure was left to rest for 9 nights and then a mixture of Melipona bee honey and wild flowers was made with which it was covered and rested for another 9 nights.

Once this figure was delivered, it was placed on an altar and at night it came to life to protect its master’s property.

How to know when an Alux is near you?

It is very easy to notice when one of these curious people is nearby or if it has invaded your territory. You will begin to hear strange sounds, stones will be thrown at you to scare you away, or perhaps you will hear ominous laughter and see shadows disappearing.

If you are in your house, objects will start to disappear or change places inexplicably. The solution is as simple as it is tender: Sweets, corn and pozol.

Leave this in a corner to please them and in this way reassure them.

What are Aluxes and Chaneques?


The Chaneques

Now it’s time to talk about the Chaneques. Is there any difference between them and the Aluxes? Well, the main difference between these two beings is their appearance. While the Aluxes look much older, the Chaneques are like children.

Although there are descriptions of all forms, from those who have seen a small child, to a person of almost 1.20 meters.

The word Chaneque comes from the Nahuatl word: “Ohuican Chaneque” which can be translated as “the one who lives in dangerous places”.

Their stories are still presented in places like Chiapas, Tabasco, Veracruz and the Yucatan Peninsula. It is said that their origin was in the Totonac Culture, but over time they mixed with others such as the Mexica.

Los Chaneques take care of the forests, rivers, jungles and all the wild life of the place where they live.

Veracruz is the perfect place to test the existence of these beings. For example, in Los Tuxtlas there are good and bad chaneques. The good ones inhabit places inhabited by humans while the bad ones are in hills, caves or rivers.


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