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The Pillan is a male nature spirit in Mapuche mythology.


Etymology

Pillan is a term of of Mapudungun origin; singular pillán and plural pillanes in Spanish.


Description

The Pillan have been described as spirits that live in the Wenumapu (a spiritual world of good), and those that inhabit the earth generally live inside the volcanoes. The Antü is the most powerful Pillan, who governs the others. The accompanying female spirits of the Pillan are the Wangulen spirits.


Behavior

According to the legend the Pillan are good spirits, but they can also cause disasters like drought or flood, earthquakes, or diseases when they want to punish humans (or they allow the wekufe to punish).


Beliefs

In the Mapuche tradition, a man that follows the laws of the admapu can also become a Pillan after death. The Mapuche perform a ngillatun ceremony for the Pillan, for the latter to grant benefits to the people, and to thank them for their gifts.