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Myth and Magic Infuse Chilean Island

by Julie McCarthy
As a setting for supernatural spirits, witches and warlocks — Chiloe lacks for nothing. The atmosphere on this tear-shaped island crackles like a fire on a storm-swept afternoon. A 20-minute ferry ride off of Chile’s southwest coast, Chiloe was the last stronghold of the Spanish conquistadors in Chilean territory. The beliefs, superstitions and legends brought from colonial Spain mixed with those of the original indigenous inhabitants. A rich legacy of myth and magic infuses the island still.

An appendage of the Andes, Chiloe’s archipelago was formed from lava and debris from the ring of volcanoes that cluster near the bottom of the world — producing scenery that can be other-worldly. Just across the channel lie snow-capped peaks, but they disappear from view in the island mist. Chiloe’s charming stilt houses with their pastel-painted frames provide a small respite from the gloom this time of year. The green hills wear an Irish melancholy. Even the music marked by some 30 folk festivals each year has a Celtic tinge.

Read the original article at: NPR

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