• Day11

    Gnomes, or Mexican Duendes

    December 21, 2019 in Mexico ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    During the past few days, I have been checking stores in Mascota for items to make little Christmas gnomes for gifts. I had brought 3 pairs of fuzzy socks from home and now needed rice, string, thread, something for a beard and noses, decorations, and little elastics. I found most of the items in a store called Todo de Todo. It is like our $ store with a little bit of everything. I had to be a little creative though. Chris found a white fake fur child’s hat that when pulled apart provided me with material for beards, noses, stuffing and decorations.

    Gnomes, or duendes as they are called here, are a part of Mexican folklore. Apparently, a lot of people in the south part of Mexico believe that they are real. I started to wonder if a duende would make a good Christmas gift though...

    Here’s what I learned about them.

    Duendes are known as gnome-like creatures who live inside the walls of homes, especially in the bedroom walls of young children. They attempt to clip the toenails of unkempt children, often leading to the mistaken removal of entire toes... oh...

    Only few grown-ups can see them – unless duendes get drunk. Then they seem to lose all caution. If you catch a duende in that moment, you can keep him and have him do all kinds of chores for you. But, you have to treat him nicely and always offer him the first bite of your food. You do that by throwing it over your shoulder. If you don’t, the duende will get angry and spoil your food. In former times, people used to have a much closer relationship with duendes and offer them food and booze.

    Duendes aren’t very nice to naughty children. In fact, sometimes they kidnap them with the intention of eating them...

    Oh well, my duendes turned out pretty cute so I think that they will bring good luck and good health to the people we give them to.
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