Bigfoot Encounters

The Sisimite - Sissimito - El Duende - Dwendis
and hair-covered life forms in Central America...

Primarily seen in Guatemala: The sisimite is equally well known in Belize, formerly British Honduras and in other parts of southern Mexico's tropical forests.

The sisimite or “guardian of the forest’ is "best described as a large, hairy gorilla with a head much like a human." It has no verbal communication that is known and according to reports, is a rather malevolent or evil primate (unlike sasquatch but similar to the mythical African gorilla of old) who would kill humans of the same sex and abduct and rape those of the opposite sex, which is not unlike current behavior patterns of one of the orangutan males of Tanjung Putting Reserve in Indonesian Borneo, where the lady-cook for Birute Galdikas was unceremoniously raped on a banana treestand during feeding.

The Sissimito, according to folklore, is said to have four fingers and no thumbs, and sometimes his feet are said to point backwards, two anatomical oddities that are also attributed to the much smaller and very rare El Duende in some parts of Belize. Both creatures are believed to live in caves deep in the "high bush" country, which is the Belizean term for virgin montane tropical forest. (Sanborne)

It may even be the oft-mentioned mystery primate reported in and around the mouth of the Orinoco River in Venezuela and the Guiana Highlands, South America. Historically speaking, Richard Oglesby March wrote in “White Indians of Darien,” that a man told him that in 1920 he had killed a humanlike creature in Central America.

In “Buckskin Joe,” Edward Jonathan Hoyt reported an encounter he had in 1898 in Honduras. A large, apelike creature, about 5 feet tall, crawled over the end of his bunk. Hoyt killed the animal, which resembled a human (Green 1978, p. 133).

Geologist Wendell Skousen said the people of Cubulco in Baja Verapaz reported: "There lives in the mountains very big, wild men, completely clothed in short, thick, brown, hairy fur, with no necks, small eyes, long arms and huge hands. They leave footprints twice the length of a man's." Several persons said that the sisimite had chased them down mountain sides. Skousen thought the creatures, which he indicated traveled on two legs and sometimes on all four, might have been bears. However, upon questioning the natives carefully, he wrote: "it looked like a bear, but it wasn't from the description that they gave - no conspicuous snout and no ears” (Sanderson 1961, p. 159).

More recently in 1992, Mark Sanborne conducted valuable bibliographic research at the National Archives in Belmopan, which is Belize's tiny inland capital. The most interesting article he found was by anthropologist Michael Howard (1974, Kekchi Religious Beliefs and Lore Regarding the Jungle, National Studies, Vol. 3[2]: 34 - 49). Howard notes that the. Kekchi Maya of southern Belize's Toledo District recognize three main classes of forest denizens. First were the major deities, led by tzultacah, a sky/earth, water/forest god; and next, a class of lesser local spirits and personified beings. Finally there are "various animals which are often considered to be in a close relationship with tzultacah, such as the sissimito [sic] and other more average animals like the mountain cow [tapir] and tiger [jaguar]." Thus, the Sisimite is clearly viewed as a rare animal, not a super natural being. (Sanborne)

Similar creatures are reported in Guatemala, where it has been said, they kidnap women and children (Sanderson 1961, pp. 161-162).

Mark Sanborne’s paper on the dwendi is here:

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