8 junio, 2024

The 10 myths and legends of the Andean region of Colombia

The myths of the Andean region of Colombia They originate, in most cases, from the department of Antioquia. The stories about supernatural beings sought to explain certain mysterious events of the past, or simply generate fear.

There are various subcultural groups in this region, so one must also consider the fact that the mythological characters in the stories do not always coincide in their description, purpose, and raison d’être. These vary according to the Colombian department where the legend is known, and it is basically due to the fact that such stories are transmitted orally, from generation to generation, and information is usually added or removed.

Fictional characters of men and women are the protagonists of these myths of the Andean region, with stories in some cases a bit chilling.

The common point of almost all the myths of the Andean region of Colombia is that, in most cases, people who have behaviors considered immoral or incorrect will be the most propitious to the attack or appearance of these beings.

Main myths and legends of the Andean region of Colombia

1. The Hatter

It is said that this character appears in the department of Antioquia. He appears before the people mounted on horseback, accompanied by two dogs (mastiffs) chained around his neck. His victims are never injured or lose their lives.

The Hatter goes after cheating gamblers and gamblers, brawlers, night owls, lazy parents who use their minor children for work, annoying drunks, and everyone else with a similar lifestyle.

It usually appears mainly in rural areas, although they say they have seen it on the streets of Medellín, especially on Friday nights and early Saturday mornings.

His modus operandi is as follows: the Hatter begins to chase his victims shouting «if I catch up with you, I’ll put it on you» (referring to the hat).

Then he throws his hat, which begins to grow until it completely covers the victim’s body, which is trapped in it.

Once the person is captive, he loses consciousness due to the great fear he experiences. Then the hat returns to his owner, who disappears along with her horse and his dogs in a nauseating, icy wind.

2. The roller

It is a mocking spectrum that appears in the ravines, with the appearance of a sitting old woman. She is hunched over because she has her face between her legs, her hair is gray, her eyes are red, her nose is hooked, and her laugh is chilling. She can see a single tooth in her mouth. She sometimes shows a perverse attitude towards some to whom she appears.

3. The Poira

The Poira (also known as the Mohán), is one of the myths of the Andean region, belonging to the department of Tolima, and it is about a being that practices witchcraft.

He lives in a cave with an underwater entrance, and among his belongings there are chests with treasures and jewels. His appearance is that of a short human, with large hands and feet and a matted beard.

Some of his victims are fishermen from the Magdalena River, whom he attacks underwater, stealing the fish caught in their cast nets, entangling their hooks and even knocking them off their canoes.

However, its main victims are women. The Poira attracts women to the cave through music, although it is also said that he himself seduces them. All these gadgets he gets by using his magic.

Whatever the path, nothing more is heard of the women who ever visited his cavern. Each woman who visits the place will be at the mercy of the magic of the Poira, to become a piece of gold that will be part of her collection.

4. The Kick

One day, in a machete fight, a man was seriously injured in one of his legs. Defeated and humiliated, he could not bear the shame of losing in front of the people, so he decided to take refuge in a mine shaft.

Not receiving medical attention, this character had to amputate his leg, placing a jar of guadua in its place as a prosthesis. But the detail is that in that jar he did his physiological needs.

It is then said that the Patetarro wanders through rural areas, spreading the feces that exceed the bamboo jar, where later worms are formed that kill any form of plant life.

5. Mary the Long

Legend has it that, one night, a tall and good-looking woman approached a group of men who were drinking and having a good time.

The men noticed her presence instantly, and after a brief game of flirting and staring between the men and the woman, the latter began to walk away from the place. The woman was so beautiful that the men could not resist and began to follow her.

The woman led the group of men to the cemetery, where the festive mood continued. One of the men managed to win her over and a round of kisses and hugs began.

It was then that the appearance of the beautiful woman changed to that of a horrifying being; Her lover wanted to get rid of her, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t.

The woman then began to rise with the man clinging to her and, at a certain height, she dropped him, embedding him in the top of the tower of an old chapel. Finally, his figure began to lengthen and fade into the dark night.

6. The Headless Priest

It is said that a priest lost his head due to a sharp fork from the tree he jumped from a balcony, the day he slept with a woman.

They both thought that the noises at the entrance of the house were from the woman’s husband returning, when in fact it was the thief who stole his horse, tied to the door next to the chest.

It is a horror whose history originates in colonial times.

7. The Muelona

This spectrum is that of a woman with large teeth who attacks men at night, mainly drunkards.

The story goes back to a woman of gypsy origin who established her black magic business in the town. With different witchcraft services, she managed to dissolve marriages and promote debauchery.

His main clientele was the rich people of the town, so in a short time he managed to amass a great fortune, later opening a brothel on the neighboring property.

This new business became a success, but his body could not keep up with the disordered rhythm of the life he had led for several years. His body was filled with ulcers and he died a painful and lonely death.

It is then said that his spirit persecutes womanizing and drunken men, and attacks them directly in the neck with his prominent teeth, causing their death.

8. The Mandiga

He is a terrible spirit, regarded as another Satan. There are people who say they have seen him at night, walking and smoking. He prefers gambling houses and vicious places, and the wicked see him as his protector.

9. The San Francisco Dog

It is a legend from colonial times, in Boyacá. In the old convent of San Francisco there was an enormous stone dog, which would later go to the Bolívar battalion. The inhabitants of Tunja said that at dawn the dog came to life, dragged chains, howled and barked terribly, and that it scared people with its fiery eyes if they happened to walk near the convent.

10. The Patasola

In the department of Caldas, the peasants believe that Patasola was a very beautiful woman who liked debauchery, and because she was cruel and perverse, they amputated her leg and threw her into a bonfire. She died of the infection, and since then she has wandered through bushes and mountains, screaming. She hates axes, machetes and fire, and if she shows up unexpectedly, you have to name these objects.

References

Granados, J. & Violi, D. (1999). Tales and legends of Colombia. Barcelona: Norma Publishing Group.
Williams, R. & Guerrieri, K. (1999). Culture and customs of Colombia. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
Masses, R. (1994). Mythology course. Medellin ua: Ed. Colina.

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