Explore El Salvador

For Tourists, By Travellers


La Siguanaba

Siguanaba is a well-known figure from both Salvadoran and Guatemalan mythology.Siguanaba (also known as La Siguanaba) is a well-known figure from both Salvadoran and Guatemalan mythology. She was originally called Sihuehuet, which means beautiful woman, when she had an affair with the son of God, Tlaloc and became pregnant.  However, she was an irresponsible mother and left her young son alone while she satisfied her desires.  

When Tlaloc discovered this, he was furious.  He changed her name to Siguanaba, or horrible woman, and put a curse on her.  From that point forward, she would appear beautiful at first sight, but when men got closer to her, she would change into an ugly woman with large floppy breasts hanging to her knees.  Tlaloc condemned her to roam the fields and appear to men who traveled alone at night.   People say that they can see her washing clothes in the rivers and looking for her son, Cipitio, who was granted eternal youth by the god Tlaloc.  

The legend says that she often appears to wanderers in the night, usually to men who seduce women and boast of their conquests.  These men are bound to see her bathing using a golden bowl and golden comb, her body shimmering in the moonlight through her nightgown. In order to keep their souls safe from Siguanaba, it is said in some versions that men must bite on a metal cross and pray to God.  If you happen to see a woman bathing in the river, and you’re not sure if it’s Siguanaba, you can yell, "No Te Vas a Ir Maria Pata de Gallina" three times.  If it is Siguanaba, she will be frightened.  If not, people will think you are crazy, but that’s better than being scared.  It’s always important to take the necessary precautions so you aren’t tricked by La Siguanaba!