Myths and Superstitions
El Tunchi El Tunchi is the spirit of people who had become lost and died in the jungle. Their evil spirit wanders the jungle making eerie sounds. The sound is a high pitched whistling sound that gets louder as the Tunchi gets closer and closer to you. The natives believe that it is best to ignore the sound. Never respond to it, or the Tunchi will come and kill you, and give you a most horrible and painful death.
Local Superstitions The people of Iquitos have many beliefs and superstitions. Some have background in witchcraft or brujería or jungle lore and others are superstitions passed down through the generations. It is also common in Iquitos to hire a witch to put spells on ex-lovers or ex-spouses. Here are a few more:
Wearing yellow underwear on New Year. Women wear yellow bras and panties, and men wear yellow briefs or boxers. At New Year, you will find most stores in Iquitos selling yellow underwear!
Take a bath in special flowers and herbs to wash away the old evil spirits and allow the new good spirits to enter the body for the New Year.
Put packets of rice, beans and other seeds into your pockets on New Year to bring good luck.
Put 12 grapes into a glass of champagne and drink the champagne and eat the grapes at New Year making a wish for the new year with each grape.
Dust each other with corn starch at the midnight of the New Year for good luck!
When traveling with a baby, the mother needs to talk to the baby and call the baby’s name continuously so the spirit of the baby can follow and find the body to be there when the baby wakes up.
Put a dot on the end of a baby’s nose so that his eyes see together and look at the same place.
When a baby coughs or is choking, pull on the ear.
If a fishbone gets stuck in your throat, turn your plate around and around and the bone will dislodge. 167