Monday, June 06, 2011

Myths for Monday -- El Poira or El Mohán

Today's Myth for Monday comes from the department of Huila, but it is also a popular myth in Tolima. If you are in these areas and happen to see a parade, you will likely see someone dressed as El Poira (also knwon as El Mohán). And now, El Poira.

The Poira is a short man with golden skin and long, blonde hair -- hair which can totally cover him. He often is seen wearing a hat with a broad rim. He has large hands and feet, both with long, sharp, claw-like nails.

He lives in a large cave with an underwater entrance that is hidden by stagnant water. Inside his cave, he has a large stockpile of gold and treasure. He seduces young women and girls promising them the treasure (though some say he seduces them with his beautiful singing voice), either way, those who have gone with him, never return.

Fisherman say he is responsible for messing up their nets and stealing the fish out of them. He also is accused of stealing the bait and scaring off the fish. (Looks like someone needed a good excuse for not catching anything).

The Poira, however, is not without his positive attributes. He is also responsible for reclaiming the bodies of those who have drown in the river (the Magdalena). If a person drowns and the body is later found, it is believed that the Poira made it possible.

For a picture, go here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/56358755@N00/427662339/

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