Published on November 26, 2010 by John
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The Wekufe or Huecuve (from Mapudungun wekufü “demon, outside being”) is an important type of harmful spirit or demon in Mapuche mythology.
The Wekufe are beings who originated in the forces or energies that tend to disturb and/or to destroy the balance of universe; unlike human beings and other spirits, the wekufe would be the only beings who do not have souls.
The wekufe would give magical powers to the kalku (Mapuche “sorcerers”), to be used to sicken or to kill. In order to do so, the kalku would cause the wekufe to possess the body of a person. The kalku is a companion of the wekufe, and the most powerful kalku would inherit the wekufe spirit of an ancestor that was also a kalku. The kalku also uses his wekufe to catch and to enslave the souls of the dead that are not protected.
In order to cure oneself of a wekufe, the sick person receives the aid of the machi (“Mapuche shaman”).