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Enchanted Moura (Portuguese & Galician folklore)

They are shapeshifters and there are a number of legends, and versions of the same legend, as a result of centuries of oral tradition. They appear as guardians of the pathways into the earth and of the “limit” frontiers where it was believed that the supernatural could manifest itself. Mouras encantadas are magical maidens who guard castles, caves, bridges, wells, rivers, and treasures. […]

Almost every Portuguese or Galician town has a tale of a Moura Encantada.[10] The lore of the mouros encantados is used to find prehistoric monuments and was for some time used in the 19th century as the main method to locate Lusitanian archaeological “monuments”, as Martins Sarmento viewed these as a kind of folk memory that was erased with Christianization.[11][12]

Like the Mairu of Basque mythology built dolmens or harrespil, the mouras are builders of ancient monuments.

Source: Enchanted Moura – Wikipedia


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  1. Tim B.

    “Pedra-moura are mouras encantadas named for living inside stones.[20] It was believed that who ever sat on one of these stones would become enchanted, or, that if any enchanted stone was taken to a house, all the animals in the house could die. It was also believed that pedras mouras had enchanted treasures inside them. There are several legends where the moura instead of being a stone lives inside the stone. In Portuguese lore it is said that you can walk into or walk out of certain rocks, possibly related to the moura legends. The moura is also described as traveling to Mourama (an enchanted place) while sitting on a stone that can float in the air or water. Inside caves, under rocks and under the earth many legends say there exist palaces with treasures. According to Thurnwald (cited in McKenna, 1938), it was not uncommon among the people of pre-Roman Iberian Peninsula to believe that the souls of the dead dwell in certain rocks.[21] “

  2. Tim B.

    “Mourama is a magic place where the mouros encantados live under the earth in Portugal and Galicia. It is also believed that “In Galicia there are two overlapped people: a part lives on the surface of land; they are the Galician people, and the other in the subsoil, the Mouros.” Mourama is the otherworld, the world of the dead from where everything comes back.[27][28] In the legends with a historical context it is the place where Muslims live. The Mourama can be compared to the fairyland.[29]”

  3. Tim B.

    “According to Galician, Asturian and Portuguese mythology, the Mouros are a race of supernatural beings which inhabited the lands of Galicia, Asturias and Portugal since the beginning of time. For unknown reasons they were forced to take refuge under the earth, and now they are usually seen by people in the surroundings of castros and long barrows. The Mouros work with gold, silver and gem stones with which they make up enormous treasures that are protected by cuĂ©lebres. ”

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