Monday, September 26, 2011
Myths for Monday -- Los Tunjitos
Today's myth takes us to the department of Tolima. However, before we can get to the myth, we need a brief history lesson. So, let's go back to the 1500's..............
Not many years following the discovery of Bogota, the original conquistador of the area, Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, set out to explore the area of what is today known as Tolima. There he found three fierce groups of natives: the Coyaimas, the Natagaimas, and the Pijao. Of the three, the Pijaos stood out for their brutality. They loved to mark their paths with the bones of their enemies. The Pijaos (now extinct) were a tough group to conquer -- I could write a series on these guys. Suffice it to say, they left a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
These Indigenous groups (and the Muisca) buried small dolls, made of pure gold, with their dead -- called Tunjos. It is from this tradition, that we get today's myth -- Los Tunjitos. This is a goody for those wanting to get their kids to stay in bed -- ok just kidding let's not cause them psychological damage -- here goes:
Legend has it that at dusk, these little guys sneak out of the grave and begin to wander. Their favorite hangout is near small streams or creeks. There they either cry a horrible, other worldly, scary cry, or laugh with a terribly, frightening, other worldly laugh. They are the greatest fear of rural children as many a child is told that if they don't stay in bed, the Tunjitos will get them.