Encyclopedia of Vampire Mythology

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CIHUATETEO

(Chee-who-ta-TAY-oh)
Variations: Ciuatateo, Ciuateteo, Civapipltin, Civatateo
A type of vampiric, demonic demigoddess of the Aztec people of ancient Mexico, a cihuateteo is created when a mother dies in childbirth or a child is a stillborn. Cihuateteo, a name meaning "right honorable mother," fall under the dominion of the goddess of evil, lust, and sorcery, Tlazolteotl, and all of the cihuateteo are considered to be her followers. They are depicted as having arms, faces, and hands white as chalk and they live in the jungle, keeping to the dark places, as they were susceptible to sunlight; longterm exposure to it will destroy them. Although cihuateteo will feed off lone travelers who they happen upon as they fly on their brooms through the jungle, they prefer the blood of infants. Their bite has a paralytic effect, which enables the cihuateteo to feed in silence.
Source: Aguilar-Moreno, Handbook to Life, 147, 199, 258; Kanellos, Handbook of Hispanic Cultures, 227; Salas, Soldaderas, 5­6, 34, 95; Stefoff, Vampires, Zombies, and Shape-Shifters, 17; Turner, Dictionary of Ancient Deities, 129
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