From Kook Science
El Sisemité is an appellation for a Latin American supernatural wild man figure, described by George Gordon in his Guatemala Myths as being a human-monkey hybrid in appearance that is "taller than the tallest man," "so well protected by a mass of matted hair that a bullet cannot harm him," and able to reverse the direction of its feet to throw off would-be trackers.
"A Monster That Lives in the Forest"
- Gordon, George Byron (September 1915), "Guatemala Myths", The Museum Journal (Philadelphia) 6 (3): 103-144, https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=osu.32435053360566&view=1up&seq=3
He is taller than the tallest man and in appearance he is between a man and a monkey. His body is so well protected by a mass of matted hair that a bullet cannot harm him. His tracks have been seen on the mountains, but it is impossible to follow his trail because he can reverse his feet and thus baffle the most successful hunter. His great ambition, which he has never been able to achieve, is to make fire. When the hunters have left their camp fires he comes and sits by the embers until they are cold, when he greedily devours the charcoal and ashes. Occasionally the hunters see in the forest little piles of twigs which have been brought together by El Sisemite in an unsuccessful effort to make fire in imitation of men. His strength is so great that he can break down the biggest trees in the forest. If a woman sees a Sisemite, her life is indefinitely prolonged, but a man never lives more than a month after he has looked into the eyes of the monster. If a Sisemite captures a man he rends the body and crushes the bones between his teeth in great enjoyment of the flesh and blood. If he captures a woman, she is carried to his cave, where she is kept a prisoner.
Besides his wish to make fire, the Sisemite has another ambition. He sometimes steals children in the belief that from these he may acquire the gift of human speech.
Also known as
- Qʼeqchiʼ, a Maya people of Guatemala and Belize: Li Queck
- Miskito, an indigenous people of Honduras and Nicaragua: Ulak, uluk — described as "a tailless anthropoid ape", "of erect position, about 5 feet in height, covered with black hair, and has the teeth turned backward. It is greatly feared, as it is supposed to carry off human beings of the opposite sex."
- Rama, an indigenous people of Nicaragua: Yoho, yuhu
- Pech (Paya), an indigenous people of Honduras: Sisimite, chichimite
- Ladino, a Mestizo people of Central America: Sisimite, chichimite
- Conzemius, Eduard (1932), "Ethnographical Survey of the Miskito and Sumu Indians of Honduras and Nicaragua", Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 106: 168, https://repository.si.edu/handle/10088/15412