The Bahamas are home to rich heritage and culture that have their own myths and legends as most other countries do. These myths come from a cultural background that can be traced back to Africa, and natural and unnatural phenomena that early locals witnessed in their environment. Below are some of the most well known and interesting folklore that The Bahamas has to offer.
Lusca is described as a half-dragon, half-octopus, or half-shark, half-octopus (depending on who you talk to) creature with razor-sharp teeth that can grow to be over 200 feet long. It is said to live inside the vast network of caves found in the blue holes of Andros. The beast is said to use its long tentacles to drag fishermen and land goers alike into the depths of a blue hole if they stray too close.
Scientists, however, disprove theories by suggesting that oftentimes changes in the tide cause blue holes to create spontaneous whirlpools that have the power to suck entire ships into its depths. This, however, does not account for the tentacles that many eyewitnesses attest to seeing. They also suggest that the Lusca could be giant squid sightings however it is unsure how a giant squid would get into a blue hole.
Many citizens truly believe in the existence of Lusca and steer clear of blue holes however no evidence has been found of its existence other than eyewitnesses.
Chickcharnies are described as being a bird-like creature with three fingers, three toes, piercing red eyes, a long tail, and a 360-degree rotating head. They are said to live in the tallest trees of Andros and create nests by joining together the tops of two trees.
Unlike the Lusca, Chickcharnies are generally peaceful but can be considered mischievous and can be attracted to pretty colors. It is advised that if you are walking through the woods you wear bright colors to charm them. Legend says that if the Chickcharnies like you and you show them respect you will be blessed with good luck for the rest of your life. However, if they don’t like you you will have bad luck or worse, they will turn your head completely around.
There is actually some truth to the Chickcharnie legend. There used to be a creature on Andros that was a two-foot-tall owl called Tyto pollens, a remote cousin of the Common Barn-Owl. Tyto pollens was considered a large owl that could not fly but died out in the 1500′s.
Anansi is a descendant from the West African spider god that is incredibly popular in The Bahamas. He generally takes the shape of a spider but can transform his appearance to look like a human or part human part spider.
This god is known to be very quick-witted and cunning. He is both a trickster and a hero depending on which story is being told. In many stories, he is tricking the devil and even death using his quick-witted skills.
Anansi is celebrated as a symbol of slave resistance and survival in The Bahamas and stories were told to help keep slave spirits up.