Published on November 26, 2010 by John
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Kalku or Calcu, in Chilean folklore and the Mapuche mythology, is a sorcerer or shaman, usually but not necessarily an evil one. The essentially benevolent shamans are more often referred to as machi, to avoid confusion with the malevolent sorcerer. Its origins are in Mapuche tradition.
The kalku is a sorcerer or shaman that has the power of working with wekufe “spirits or wicked creatures”. An example of a wekufe is the Nguruvilu. The kalku also have as servants other beings such as the Anchimayen, or the Chonchon (which is the magical manifestation of the more powerful kalku).
A mapuche kalku is usually an inherited role, although it could be a machi that is interested in lucrative ends, or a “less powerful”, frustrated machi who ignores the laws of the admapu (the rules of the Mapuches).