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Tuchulcha is an Etruscan Goddess, God or demon of the Underworld. Though many of the Etruscan Deities could be depicted as male or female depending on the times and apparently the whim of the artist, Tuchulcha's gender indifference seems to be based in part at least because S/He is literally A Scary Monster. Tuchulcha is mostly of human form, but with the added extras of snakes growing from His/Her head like horns (or snakes in place of the hair entirely), the beak or even the face of a vulture, the ears of a donkey or ass, and large wings growing from Her/His back. S/He also liked to carry another pair of snakes around in Her/His hands, apparently just to scare the new souls; one tomb-scene shows Tuchulcha threatening These (the Greek hero Theseus) with a great bearded snake, which is wrapped around Her/His muscular arm and held right over These's head. (These, for his part, seems to be just gritting his teeth and bearing the whole thing; then again, he might not be all there, as the legend goes that while attempting a raid on the Underworld he literally got stuck in the Chair of Forgetfulness. Heracles later rescued him, and in prying him off the chair left a good part of Theseus's butt there. Ick, and, Ow!) That said, most authorities do identify Tuchulcha as primarily female.

Another depiction of Tuchulcha shows Him/Her in a short chiton of white and red and carrying what appears to be a small club or blackjack. Her/His wings are quite dynamically drawn and the last row of knife-shaped feathers alternate white and blood red. Tuchulcha's skin here is a pale grey-blue and though a chunk of the face in this fresco is lost, the hooked beaky nose, intense eyes and snaky hair can still be made out, along with what looks like a black beard.

Tuchulcha's function in the Underworld is not entirely known, though a good part of it seems to be punishing or scaring the souls there, hopefully only the ones who were bad when alive. Some have called Her/Him one of the main Deities there, though I'm not sure I see that, as Phersipnei (Persephone, the Queen) and Aita (Hades, the King) as rulers of the Underworld would seem the obvious choice. The Queen and King, however, are from introduced Greek myth and do not seem to have had a close equivalent in Etruscan myth, as evidenced by their names which are merely Etruscan versions of the Greek; perhaps Tuchulcha was a vestige of an older layer of belief.

Alternate spellings: Tuxulxa