April 6, 2024
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Tulum’s Enchanted Residents: The Story of the Aluxes

TULUM, Mexico – Mexico is renowned for its peculiar and astonishing legends, ranging from ghost stories to tales of gods and mythical creatures. While many legends are associated with specific states and locations, there are certain places that have gained fame for their extraordinary folklore. Among them, Tulum stands out with its enigmatic tales of the Aluxes.

The Aluxes, known as “Alux” in Mayan and “alux’ob” in plural, are an integral part of Mayan mythology. These mystical beings are described as small goblins or elves that inhabit locations such as jungles, caves, and cenotes, which are natural sinkholes found in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Tulum's Enchanted Residents: The Story of the Aluxes

Resembling human beings, the Aluxes differ in size, standing only as tall as a person’s knees. According to popular belief, these diminutive creatures dress in ancient Mayan attire, complete with espadrilles, hats, and even accompanied by a dog. They make their homes within caves scattered throughout the Yucatán Peninsula, often safeguarding Mayan villages and regions.

Countless legends surround encounters with these peculiar beings, with tales of strange apparitions in cornfields and wilderness. The behavior of the Aluxes is said to vary depending on the treatment they receive. They are known to be highly territorial, and anyone who insults or intrudes upon their domain risks falling victim to their retribution in the form of an illness carried on the wind, known as the “evil air” or “mal aire.” To maintain harmony, locals advise offering them food if one ever comes into contact with them, as they will in turn protect and nurture one’s crops.

Tulum's Enchanted Residents: The Story of the Aluxes

The history of the Aluxes intertwines with the captivating legend of the Dwarf of Uxmal. Like the Aluxes, the Dwarf was created from clay by Mayan priests, who sought out untouched caves for this purpose, ensuring that no woman had ever set foot in them. After being collected, the clay was left to rest for nine nights, then mixed with a potion made of honey and wildflowers. It would once again be left undisturbed for another nine nights on an altar, shielded from the sun’s rays.

When the designated time had elapsed, the clay mixture was scattered throughout the wilderness amid chants and prayers, fulfilling their mission to safeguard the harvest. The legend also speaks of the Aluxes emerging from their caves at dusk and retreating before daybreak. The dogs that accompany them are said to be made of the same enchanted material.

Tulum's Enchanted Residents: The Story of the Aluxes

Many tales circulate about these mythical creatures, but one commonly shared among the rural population is that to have an Alux watch over one’s crops, a small house must be built for it. However, after seven years, the door to the house must be sealed; otherwise, the Alux will turn against its adopter and anyone else it encounters. If the door remains open, the Aluxes will decide whether to stay or leave based on what the surroundings offer.

Should anyone fall victim to the “mal aire” sent by an Alux, seeking the assistance of an expert H’men, a traditional Mayan healer, is strongly advised. Failure to do so may endanger the individual’s soul, according to local accounts.

Tulum's Enchanted Residents: The Story of the Aluxes

Many people claim to have had encounters with these mythical beings, and the general consensus is that the experience depends entirely on the treatment one accords them. So, should you find yourself in the enchanting land of Yucatán, be prepared for the possibility of encountering these fascinating creatures of Mayan folklore.


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