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Beware of the Bota

Posted by Dr. D , 05 December 2010 · 74 views

On the coast of Honduras there are a collection of indigenous tribes.  I lived near to them for two years and learned to know them since they had fascinating social customs and would steal anything within reach.  

In that locale there is a tree that is similar to the great banyan but is another species.  Like the banyan, however, its roots extend above the ground and lifts the tree so that spaces exist beneath it.  It was beneath one such tree that Balsathne, the old and powerful witch lived.  People came as far away as Tegucigalpa to have counsel with her and she administered to all in need of curses or spells.

It was also here that the Bota was known.  He was a monster of the sea but at night would come to the shore and take the form of a man.  Not only a man but one of irresistible appearance and charm.  No woman could help but succumb to his seductions and in the following morning, she would remember nothing of what had occurred.

So it was that when a young single girl came with child, it was held that she was the victim of the great Bota.  I donít know if they truly believed it or pretended it was so, but it appeared to be a sufficient reason for the pregnancy and there was no disgrace or social dishonor.  She was to have a child and the offspring would be embraced by all and cherished.

Perhaps we could learn some things from the primitives.  Maybe our judgments could be tempered more if we held to some tales from antiquity.  Maybe we would learn to accept people for what they have made themselves to be instead of what we believe they should be.  Maybe we could even learn to accept ourselves.

:o sounds a lot like the Trauco except the Trauco lives in the woods of Chiloť, Castro in Chile and is said to be butt ugly but somehow he hypnotizes girls and impregnates them with ugly babies, there are many Pedro Traucos Perez out there lol named after the silly myth of the man :P even nowadays...
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Dec 05 2010 05:30 AM
Odd! There's also a similar story in the South Pacific around Marquises and Vanuatu where they are also known to live under banyon type trees. Isn't amazing how such different cultures can often have such similar lore? I'll see if I can dig up the one from the So. Pacific because I barely remember it. I'd love to compare the two!
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