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> Galician Myths And Legends
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greenldydragon 
Posted: 13-Jun-2004, 08:47 PM
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FAIRIES OR DONAS
They are sometimes defined as women with super-natural powers, virgins and generous women. There is a difference made between the good and bad fairies. The latter harming humans. However, the most appropriate definition for fairy is the one which implies the term fate, spell, or evil corroborated by the fact that in legends about fantastic women these are defined as "donas" (maidens), "mouras", "damas" (dames) and usually never under their names of fairies.

When they are referred to as "donas" they are known to have a woman's appearance although they are not of human nature. They appear on prehistoric monuments causing no harm and in some cases it can intercede in order to achieve certain benefits. The origin of fairies can be many ranging from a paternal curse to jealousy, witchcraft or arrogance. Birth being the most appropriate moment for its creation, not its length of life or its continuity. Although in Galician folklore, the bad fairy in the negative sense of the word is most commonly referred to. There are also positive or good fairies which are a symbol of good luck in life.


TRASNOES AND GOBLINS
Among the most fantastic beings in Galicia, the trasnoes appear as domestic spirits or beings without a determined shape as they could even adopt the form of an animal. They are not evil beings, as they have also been heard of helping in the chores of the house, but this does not stop them from making fun of the people living in that house. Its mischief consists in hiding things, creating nightmares or any other type of mischief, even changing home so as to continue accompanying the family moving house. It must not be confused with the "tardo" (goblin) which is a country spirit and which does take the form of an animal.


WEREWOLVES
According to a very extended Galician belief the "lobishomes" or werewolves are humans, who due to a curse and for being the seventh or ninth child born from a descendancy of all males or females can bear the misfortune of suffering from a transformation of a wolf at a certain age, not only in appearance but also in attitude.

For this not to happen to the child affected by the "fada" (witch) the older brother or sister must act as godfather or godmother. The transformation from human to lobishome takes place at night in deserted spots. No one can really agree on which nights this metamorphosis happens: some claim it can happen every night, others mention Wednesdays, yet others Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. From this moment he would be re-transform himself back to human form without recalling his or her time as a wolf. The curse must be fulfilled for a certain period of time which can cover from seven years to a lifetime; no one can avoid it even with death as the curse would then be transmitted to the spirit. There are many ways to free oneself from this curse in country tales, such as ones skin during the transformation, injuring the person with a blessed silver bullet, or even by making him bleed especially by using the spine of a branch of holly, blessed during Palm Sunday.

Werewolf legends are deep rooted in Galicia with similarities found in Germanic legends, perhaps due to the Nordic presence in Galicia, especially during the Swabian reign.


THE "MOUROES"
This is a term used in popular mythology to define those mythical beings that with human appearance, although different to country folk lived in prehistoric times and those to whom we attribute the construction of ancient monuments such as dolmens, castroes, Roman bridges...

They lived in castroes and in them they hid their riches, such as treasures. Any old historical traces where no other explanation can be given are assigned to them among village folk. There are many tales that show us that although they are magical beings posessing magical powers they also have human necessities as in participating in the sacrificing of pigs among neighbours, going to fairs and markets or employing a midwife to help them in the birth of their kings.

In these tales of the "mouros" a real life situation was reflected in the self-sufficient Galician culture with a country society, and at the same time, was also dependant of the non-country folk (priests, warriors...), who were forced to be looked after. This superiority of non-country folk society is symbolised in the form of the "mouros" as non-Christians, with supernatural powers and distinguishing them from the country folk way of life.

This information is due to http://usuarios.lycos.es/Celtic_Galiza/pop...op_legends.html


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WizardofOwls 
Posted: 04-Jan-2005, 11:50 AM
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WOW! That is so fascinating! Thanks for sharing it with us, greenldydragon! And the site is pretty cool too!


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Slàn agus beannachd,
Allen R. Alderman

'S i Alba tìr mo chridhe. 'S i Gàidhlig cànan m' anama.
Scotland is the land of my heart. Gaelic is the language of my soul.
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dragonboy3611 
Posted: 22-Jan-2005, 03:01 PM
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I wish I stumbled over this bit of information earlier...thank you so much for posting it!


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"Men at some time are masters of their fate"
Jul Caesar, Act i, Sc.2

"When sorrow comes, they come not single spies, but in battalions"
Hamlet, Act iv, Sc.5

"All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity"
Hamlet, Act i, Sc.2
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Viriato 
Posted: 05-Jun-2005, 03:33 PM
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Most of the saying in that link is right, but in some places is a bit lost.

Witches are "meigas" as far as I am aware of and they meet in an "aquelarre" at midnight around a big bonfire. And this is real...

As my grandmother used to say "Eu non coido n'as meigas, mais haber ainas" : I don't believe in witches but they do exist. So do I...

The transformation into werewolf takes place at midnight AND when there is full moon. On those nights you are better off hanging a bunch of garlic in your front door to repel all kind of bad spirits.

"Mouros" are moors, North Africans.

Said all that, I wouldn't surprise if in the end the site is right because the modern official Galician is not the same than the real thing that is spoken in the contryside and there are substantial variations from province to province, being the more pure and oldest the one spoken in Lugo province (after the god-warrior Lugg) and after that the one in Ourense province.

Very few people can understand the speech of the people living isolated in the Ancares mountain range.

To say that Redondela is one of the main "cities" of the South would kill by laugh most of the Galicians. Try to pay atention to the road signpost not to miss it...

It has 29,000 souls, meanwhile the capital, Pontevedra has 77,000, Vigo 290,000, Vilagarcía de Arousa 34,000, and so on.


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- Admiral Méndez Núñez
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greenldydragon 
Posted: 30-Mar-2006, 07:06 PM
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Thanks for clearing some of that up. I'm sure there are variations in every society's myths and having your knowledge lets us all remember that. Thanks for sharing!
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