Latin American Studies ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-30-2020


El Duende is a popular mythical character featured in written and oral traditions in Latin America and Spain, where it is often described as particularly dangerous for women. In this research project, I focus on this character to explore the cultural and social meanings of these narratives in the Ecuadorian context, specifically in the city of Quito. Applying oral history methodology, I collected nine participants’ narratives about El Duende and conducted a discourse analysis of these stories. In this thesis, I discuss ways in which the stories about El Duende reproduce narratives of traditional gender role expectations and violence against women, and how the stories about the myth construct particular understandings of gender and racial relations that relate to colonial legacies that endure in current society. The main goal of this research is to understand the reproduction of discourses that shape everyday life and the power of folktales and language to construct gendered and racialized realities.




fokltale, Ecuador, gender, oral history, postcolonial feminism

Document Type


Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Latin American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Ilia Rodríguez, Department of Communication and Journalism

Second Committee Member

Kathryn McKnight, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Third Committee Member

Jaelyn DeMaria, Department of Communication and Journalism