The creatures of Cantabria

Along with the telluric deities and nature, Cantabria had, as in the popular traditions of other regions, fabulous and varied beings, adored or feared, and about whom stories and legends were based: the creatures of Cantabria.

Cantabrian creatures

The creatures of Cantabria

There are many such beings in the mythology of this region, including these:

  • L'ojancanu Where ojancano: Scourge of Cantabria, this creature personifies misfortune and wickedness, cruelty and brutality, it can be considered as the Cantabrian version of Polyphemus Greek. The single eye of this cyclops is red and glows in the night.

L'ojancanu refers to many similar creatures existing in several mythologies Indo-Europeans. This huge monster covered in hairs and warts lives in the most inaccessible corners of the mountains of Cantabria. It feeds on sheep and cows. His strength is such that he can lift almost anything.

  • L'ojancana Where juancana : this ogress is the partner of theojancanu. L'ojancana resembles his male equivalent but his face lacks a beard; its strength is as important as that of the male. She is more cruel than her husband, she feeds on humans, mainly lost children.
  • The anjana : Antithesis of the two previous ones, it is a good and generous fairy, protector of honest people, lovers and those who get lost in the forests and on the roads. Small pale and winged being of less than a meter, the anjana has a soft voice, slanted eyes and blue or black pupils.

A anjana lives four centuries, it can make itself invisible. Comparable mythological creatures are found in Asturias, in the Land Basque as well as in Galicia.

  • The duendes : this category includes all the small beings of Cantabrian mythology, comparable to mischievous and mocking goblins most of the time. They have a human figure and are about the size of a small child. It is necessary to distinguish among them the duendes servants, who live in and around houses (trasgos and trastolillos), and those who live in the woods (thirty, tentirujos and zahoris). The etymology refers to " dueno », that is to say to the inhabitant.

There are many other fabulous beings inhabiting this rich region, such as the Ventolin, the Osa de Andara, the Caballucos del Diablu (riders of the devil), the numbers, the Musgosu, the Culebre, the Ramidreju. But there are also other important legends: that of the Sirenuca, a beautiful, disobedient and capricious young girl who climbs the most dangerous cliffs of Castro-Urdiales to sing to the rhythm of the waves, and who is transformed into a sea nymph due to her behavior.

The legend of the fish-man of Liérganes tells the story of a swimming-loving young man who got lost in the Miera River and was eventually found in the Bay of Cadiz as a strange aquatic being. .