yucatec maya

Dog Folklore (Mesoamerican)

Dogs importantly take part in Mesoamerican folklore and mythology since ancient times. A common belief across the Mesoamerican region is that a dog carries the newly deceased across a body of water in the afterlife.


Maya burials from the Classic Period are frequently found with associated animal remains, often dogs. For example, in the ruins of the Classic Maya city of Kaminaljuyu in Guatemala, a dog was found interred with a sitting skeleton, along with grave goods offered to the deceased. The frequent finds of dog skeletons in Classic Maya burials confirms that the belief that dogs guided the souls of the departed on their journey into the underworld already existed at this time.

The dog is sometimes depicted carrying a torch in the surviving Maya codices, which may be a reference to the Maya tradition that the dog brought fire to mankind.


Dogs were associated with Xolotl, the god of lightening and death.  Xoloitzcuintle is a canine breed endemic to Central America dating back to Pre-Colombian times. The name Xoloitzcuintle references Xolotl because, mythologically, one of this dog's missions was to accompany the dead in their journey into eternity. In spite of this prominent place in the mythology, the meat of the Xoloitzcuintle was very much part of the diet of some ancient peoples of the region.

In Aztec folklore, the Ahuizotl is a dog-like water monster with a hand on the end of its coiled tail. It was said to dwell underwater near river banks and would drag the unwary to a watery death. The victim’s soul would be carried off to Tlalocan, one of the three Aztec paradises. 

Modern Folklore

  • Across much of Mexico,evil sorcerers are believed to be able to transform themselves into a black dog in order to prey upon the livestock of their neighbours. In the states of central Mexico (such as Oaxaca, Tlaxcala, and Veracruz) such a sorcerer is known as a nahual, in the Yucutan Peninsula it is known as Huay Chivo. 
  • Another supernatural dog in the folklore of Yucatan is the huay pek (witch-dog in Yucatec Maya), an enormous black phantom dog that attacks anybody that it meets and is said to be an incarnation of the Kakasbal, an evil spirit.
  • A legend from Tlaxcala tells how some hunters saw an enormous black dog one night and decided to capture and keep it. It fled at their approach, so one hunter shot at it, wounding it in one leg. Following the blood trail they came to a richly furnished peasant hut, whose owner was tending a wound in his leg. They gave up the chase and headed for the nearest village, where the locals told them that the peasant had been a nahual who could transform into a dog to steal riches.


A goatman/shapeshifter being. It preys on the weak. Accompanied by a metallic smell like pennies or blood or a god awful rotting smell. It can change form to something human like to trick its prey, although in appearance its human its actions are not. It has trouble with motor functions in this form and can’t seem to make thoughts that we can comprehend on its own. It imitates what it has seen you do thinking it can blend in. Its movements are jerky.”

Huay Chivo

The Huay Chivo is a legendary Mayan beast. It is a half-man, half-beast creature, with burning red eyes, and is specific to the Yucatán Peninsula.


  •  It is often said to be an evil sorcerer who can transform himself into a supernatural animal, usually a goat, dog or deer, in order to prey upon livestock.
  •  In recent times it has become associated with the chupacabras.
  • Alleged Huay Chivo activity is sporadically reported in the regional press.
  •  Local Maya near the town of Valladolid, in Yucatán, believe the Huay Chivo is an evil sorcerer that is capable of transforming into a goat to do mischief and eat livestock.
  • The name Huay Chivo combines Spanish and Yucatec Mayan terms Huay or Uay comes from Waay in Yucatec Maya, meaning sorcerer, spirit or animal familiar, while Chivo is Spanish for goat, literally meaning sorcerer-Goat.

The Goatman of Maryland

According to legend, Goatman is an axe-wielding, half-man, half-animal creature that was once a scientist who worked in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center.

  •  The tale holds that he was experimenting on goats, the experiment went awry, and he began attacking cars with an axe, roaming the back roads of Beltsville, Maryland.
  • A variation of the legend tells of Goatman as an old hermit who lives in the woods, seen walking alone at night along Fletchertown Road.
  • Apparently, the doctor confessed to creating the Goatman by crossing the DNA of a goat and his assistant William Lottsford, but the experiment wen terribly wrong and result was the malicious, genetic atrocity known as the Goatman. As patently ridiculous as this origin story may be, it bears remarking that is very similar to that of the CHUPACABRA, which was also allegedly created in a now long abandoned U.S. lab located in Puerto Rico.

Lake Worth Monster

It is a North American cryptid reported to live in and around Lake Worth, just outside of Fort Worth, Texas.

  • Numerous sightings in July 1969 led to the belief of a half-man, half-goat creature living in Lake Worth in Texas.
  • Terry Deckard, a reporter, wrote an article about it in the newspaper, which made the front page. The headline read: “Fishy Man-Goat Terrifies Couples Parked at Lake Worth.”
  • The couples that reported the sightings described it as a half-man, half-goat, with fur and scales.
  • A man named Tommy Burson soon after reported the creature landed on his car after jumping out of a tree. An 18-inch scar on the side of his car was shown by Burson as proof. The police at this point decided to investigate. Up until then, they had laughed at any reports they received, thinking it was a hoax.
  • The following night, reports came in of the creature hurling a tire from a bluff at overlooking bystanders, which was reportedly witnessed by up to 10 individuals.

Chichen Itza, Spanish: Chichén Itzá ( /tʃiːˈtʃɛn iːˈtsɑː/;[nb 1] from Yucatec Maya: Chi'ch'èen Ìitsha’, /IPA:tɕʰɨɪʼtɕʼeːn˧˩ iː˧˩tsʰaʲ/[1] “at the mouth of the well of the Itza”), was a large pre-Columbian city built by the Maya civilization. The archaeological site is located in the municipality of Tinúm, in the Mexican state of Yucatán.