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Sisemite

The sisemité drawn by an unknown artist.

Other names: Chichimeque, chichimicli, chichinité, itacayo, li queck, qetcux, sicimici, siguanaba, sirpi, sisimiti, sissimito, suinta, misumalpan, susumete, u tcur witsir
Country reported: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua

The sisemité (Nahuatl: "diviner"[1]) is a cryptid reported from across Central America and Mexico, usually described as an ape-like creature.[1][2]

Etymology

Sisemité comes from the Nahuatl word for "diviner". "Suinta" is Mosquito for "spirit of the mountains", and "U tcur witsir" is Mayan for "guardian hill spirit".[1]

Description

The sisemité is described as being larger than a man and rather like a gorilla in build, with darkish hair that reaches to the ground, and a human head with big eyes, but only four fingers and no thumb. Like many other mythical creatures of South and Central America, the sisemité's toes - specifically its big ones - are said to be turned backwards.[1]

The sisemité is nocturnal and walks on two legs, but runs on all fours. It is notable for the length of its strides.[2] It eats crabs and snails and lives in caves, and sometimes attacks travellers on roads and kidnaps women and children.[1] Its howls and screams are often heard; the Chorti name for these calls, marikonet, loosely translates to "we'll get you".[1]

Sightings

Undated

A sisemité is said to be depicted on a Mayan carving discovered at the ruin of Xunantunich in Belize by Lars Thomas.[1]

1912

The grandfather of Don Manuel Majía ran into a sisemité on Pico Bonito, Honduras, in 1912. It walked like a man and was tall and hairy.[1]

1932

In 1932 Thomas Gann, leading a British Museum expedition to the Río Azul, Quintana Roo State, Mexico, glimpsed a large animal with black, shaggy fur and a white mane which obscured its face running on all fours. He thought it resembled a giant ground sloth.[1]

circa 1940s

In the 1940's a man from Cobán in Guatemala named Miguel Huzul filed a police complaint alleging that his son-in-law was a delinquent for allowing Huzul's daughter to be kidnapped by a sisemité whilst standing by and doing nothing.[1]

Theories

The sisemité may be a purely mythical entity, or a species of undiscovered hominid similar to the didi or Mono Grande of South America, or bigfoot of North America. Alternatively, it may be an unknown species of sloth similar to the mapinguari.[1] Like the mapinguari, it is possible that it is various different animals, perhaps both a primate and a sloth, misreported as one animal. There is no proof that the sloth-like animal seen by Thomas Gann was actually the animal called the sisemité by locals.

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 Eberhart, George (2002) Mysterious Creatures: A Guide to Cryptozoology
  2. 2.0 2.1 Coleman, Loren & Clark, Jerome (1999) Cryptozoology A to Z