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Kalku or Calcu, in Mapuche mythology, is a sorcerer or witch who works with black magic and negative powers or forces. The essentially benevolent shamans are more often referred to as machi, to avoid confusion with the malevolent kalku. Its origins are in Mapuche tradition.


The kalku is a semi-mythical character 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).

See also


  • Ana Mariella Bacigalupo.Shamans of the foye tree: gender, power, and healing among Chilean Mapuche. University of Texas Press, 2007. ISBN 0-292-71659-1, ISBN 978-0-292-71659-9
  • Alberto Trivero. Trentrenfilú, Proyecto de Documentación Ñuke Mapu. 1999. (in Spanish).

External links