Legend of Nahuales Final Post

In my previous blog posts, I have written about the legend of Nahuales in my parents’  hometown, Tuzantlan, Puebla, Mexico. However, this legend has been heard of in Puebla’s neighboring states such as Oaxaca and Mexico (state).  This legend is known across many regions in Mexico because the legend of the Nahuales has been around since the Pre Hispanic era. Many of Mexico’s ancient civilizations had Nahuales amongst their populations.

Mexico’s indigenous peoples believed in Nahuales or Nahualli which means, clothing of the skin (El Nahual). Nahuales were shamanes. It was believed that only if an individual got in touch with her/his spirit then she/he would be able to transform into animal form and  use her/his powers. These were magical powers which were believed would be able to heal members of the community. Nahuales were protected by Tezcatlipoca, god of war and sacrifice.

It is unknown what happens when a Nahual transforms from human to animal form. There are some theories that describe this. One of them is the following, “The person simply disappears and becomes the animal he/she desires. The shaman is able to transfer his/her consciousness into the animal form” (El Nahual).

In the Aztec world, Nahuales were seen as a good thing. It is good to keep in mind that in this culture, animals were very close to the Gods. An example of this would be the God Quetzalcoatl which is known as the plumed serpent. Animals have a very significant role in myths such as the creation stories and the creation of elements such as fire and wind.

It is hard to know an exact version of the legend of the Nahuales because they are different depending on the region where it is heard. I also had a difficult time finding information about the Nahual online. Because of this, I used a website written in Spanish. Even in Spanish it was hard to find information. When I travel to Mexico I would like to explore the Legend of the Nahual even further.

“El Nahual.” Web log post. Escalofrio. Web. 30 Apr. 2014. <http://www.escalofrio.com/n/Hombres_Lobo/El_Nahual/El_Nahual.php>.

The Legend of Nahuales in Tuzantlán Part 1

The Legend of Nahuales in Tuzantlán, Part 2


Legend of Nahuales Final Post — 1 Comment

  1. Your project and presentation were really interesting! It was great how you picked a topic which most people would not be familiar with. Reading your post reminds me of the concept of Native American totem animals. While it is a different concept, the idea of having the powers and strengths of animals is reminiscent. Also, the transformation to becoming an animal also brought the “Grimm” La Llorona episode to mind, when the former police detective becomes a wolf. Without having any background of that television show, these appear to have some slight similarities.
    Lastly,your personal touch on the Nahuales topic, along with your family’s personal stories really made your project feel heartfelt. I want to learn more about the subject now!