Myths for Monday -- La Tunda
The myth of La Tunda comes from the Colombian Pacific region (think Buenaventura) and is common among Afrocolombians throughout today's department -- Valle del Cauca (fondly called el Valle). It is used to scare people into behaving correctly. So, here goes:
La Tunda, when seen as herself and not in one of her shapeshifting forms, is a very ugly woman. Some people say that one of her feet is shaped like a MOLINILLO (the wooden stick used to stir chocolate in Colombia). Others say that the foot is made of the root of the tingui-tingui tree. The other leg looks like that of a child. Either way, it is not very appealing.
She hunts along the coast for children who have not been baptized (los moritos), disobedient children, and unfaithful men. To each of them, she appears as their mother or another loved one and lures them into the jungle. Once in the jungle, she feeds them shrimp and crab that she farts on. Something about that fart hypnotizes her prey and makes them stupid. When a person has succumbed to her fragrant food, they are said to be entundados. A person entundado then follows and loves the Tunda and rejects humanity.
The encounter with the Tunda is always tragic, unless a combination of the godfather, godmother, priest and parents come to the rescue.
Here are 2 songs about the Tunda. Be forewarned that the video in the second is kind of gruesome. It comes from a movie made about the Tunda and shows her eating a person and farting on the shrimp -- probably not appropriate for kids.