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Dwende

Mangkukulam from Filipino Folklore

Read "Dwende" in Tagalog

What is a Dwende?

A dwende, or 'old man on the mound'is a dwarf creature who lives in the woods, in an anthill or old houses in a remote areas. The dwende resembles a very small, old man with a long beard and they love to wear big hats.

These tiny creatures show themselves only to a few people, often when they seem to like you. Some dwende live in an old house. It is believed that they often shows to children and play with them. It is often told that they live in a paradise full of gold. Dwende are famous for hoarding things and it is often said that if you have lost something from your house, it is possible that it may have been taken by a dwende. But don't worry!  It will show up by the time you stop looking for it.

Dwende are believed to like people, especially women. They took her to their paradise. The body will be left unconscious. Most of the time they come to visit, very playfully according to their mood.  Others say, they won’t let you eat, don’t talk, sluggish, until you get ill.

There are playful dwende. Once you are in the forest you should respect and very cautious too. They are living in the trees, mound, caves,rocks. Before passing by, to their inhabited areas, you should ask permission, by saying ‘’tabi tabi po, makikiraan po’’ or ‘’please let me pass.’’ By doing this means you are giving respect to unseen creatures.

They get angry if a trespasser destroyed or damaged their mound or the dwende itself. The offender will then experience pain or swollen in any part of his body, illness that cannot be cured by the modern medicine. An albularyo or herbal doctors are often called to help cure the victim. They use herbal medicinal plants and food offering.

Different Types of Dwende

There are good and evil dwende. These invisible dwarves seem to be represented by different colours depending on their character.  Evil dwende are red.  If you have an evil, red dwende living in your house, it can be very bad.  The best way to remove them is to perform a ritual that can be carried out by an albularyo (healer or herbal doctors).

Good dwende are represented as white in colour and can be useful to have around the place.  They can protect the place that they live in.

We already know about the black and white kinds of dwende. I have had a chat to a person who’d seen dwende. According to her, there are red and green dwende.

People believed that black dwende is the evil, but she said it is the red dwende which is the most evil among of its kind. White dwende is playful and deceitful. And finally, the green dwende likes to be with young children but sometimes unfriendly and naughty.

Black Dwende

It brings luck to a person, family or business. People believed that it is one of the most evil dwende, but according to a friend, you can communicate with to them, brings luck as well. Even if they are black dwende, they are tidy looking but be careful when dealing with them.

Red Dwende

This is the most evil dwende. Never deal with them because they won’t keep their promise. It is known to be very deceitful and untrustworthy. Never negotiate to this kind of dwende. Even if they agree, they tend to not fulfill their promise.

White Dwende

white dwende is quiet and calm. Believe to be playful with young children. Try to be very calm when talking to them. They have the ability to heal a person who is under the spell of a sorcerer/witch.

Green Dwende

They are fond to young children. They bring luck to gamblers of any kind. But never trust them, sometimes they are naughty and crook. Unfriendly, if you want to speak to them you have to patronize them. Sometimes, you have to bring a child because they prefer to speak to the young ones rather than adults.

No matter what kind of dwende it is be very careful when dealing with these creatures and respect them. Otherwise, they will curse you and it might cause of your sudden illness or death.

Always Pay Respect To Dwende

Like human, dwende or any unseen creatures requires respect.

A lot of people in Philippines are quite worried about the possibility of hurting or offending Dwende, especially because of their powers to curse humans.  It is very easy to offend them because they are invisible so it is very difficult to know if they are around at an inconvenient moment.  Therefore, many Filipinos like to say "excuse me" before peeing or before throwing away dirty water, through fear that it might land on the head of the dwende and upset him.  At least he has been warned, right?

And as they say, ‘’Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do unto you.’’

 

 

 

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#2: Guest #51 (Judith) - at 16:34 on 12 Mar 2014


There was a "punso" under the floor of the elevated bed room in our old house. My mother believed that "dwende" living near the house brings "swerte " to the family. For living there before in many years nothing change, we didn't become rich.

#1: Guest #44 (Sandy) - at 07:34 on 11 Mar 2014


My Dad had a dwende under a tree in his farm.