Monday, July 20, 2009

Guarani Myths July 2, 2009: ´Nope, that’s not a belt or a rope ladies´

Once there were two tribes that did not get along. In one tribe there was a beautiful woman, in the other tribe there was a wicked man. The man kidnapping the woman from her tribe, took her to live in the forest and they had many children together in the woods. Her family, upset over the kidnapping of their daughter, put a curse on the children.

These are the children:

One of the most popular/famous of the children is generally a protector assuming you give him an offering of honey, a small glass of beer, and a cigarette in your window at night. If you don’t give him his offering then he becomes a more malevolent spirit. People do not say his name at night for fear that he will visit.

Mala Vision:
A group of spirits that appear as a light. They are the restless souls of people who are trapped on earth and can’t get to heaven. To help them get to heaven you cross yourself (head, crotch, pocket, watch) to help release some of the spirits; if you don’t help them, then they get upset.

Protector of fertility. On land, you shouldn’t walk alone at night in the woods or he will lasso you and take you away. IN the water, if you stay in the shallower parts his presence gives you fertility, but if you venture into the deeper waters, again, he lassos you and takes you away.

(Nope, that’s not a belt or a rope, ladies.)

Teju Jagua (lizard dog)
Protector of yellow/orange fruit. Its okay to take a few mandarin oranges off the tree, but if you take too many…beware of Teju Jagua.

He lives in the cemeteries and eats the dead bodies. If you are in the cemetery at night on Friday he’ll eat you too.

Plata Yvyguy
If you see a tree on fire with a dog without a head it means this spirit is there. Underneath the tree you’ll find buried treasure.

Jasy Jatere
Is shaped liked a human with blue eyes and red hair. (Irish?). He lives in the forest and steals small children that are restless at mid-day and won’t take a siesta.

A bear, sheep mix. He is the protector of forest animals who attacks hunters. To get away, the hunter must climb to the top of a coco tree.

Other Random beliefs of the Paraguayans/Fun things to do to freak them out
• If you drink cocido and eat an orange together you’ll get really sick/die.
• If you eat watermelon and then drink water you’ll also get very sick/die.
• Walk around without your shoes on anywhere, inside or out. They think you’ll get sick from the cold, which isn’t really true. However there are some kinds of worms here that can enter your body through your feet, so it’s a good idea to keep the shoes on anyway, at least outside.
• If a knife falls on the floor, you’ll have a drunk person in the house soon.
• You can’t take salt directly from someone, you have to put it on the table first. If two people are holding the salt at the same time, in the future they are going to have an argument/not get along.
• When a visitor arrives and you are very busy or don’t want to talk with them, you can put a broom, bristles up, near the door and they will leave soon. I don’t know if they believe the cosmos will somehow give the visitor the impetus to leave, or if its just one of the subtle non-verbal clues that the visit should be wrapping up.
• White bread is good/normal bread; whole wheat bread is for sick or old people.
• If it doesn’t have meat, its not food.

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