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Mamur

by Olga Gomez
El Mamur. Of the family of imps, it is a small dwarf, sometimes horned, that wears a red, pointed hat (as all imps) and red chausses. Mamures have many names: diablillo ("little devil") in Galicia, familiar in most parts of Spain, maridillo, maneiró in Cataluña, pauto in Asturias, mengue ("small") in Cantabria, carmeno in Andalucía. In fact, marmeños appear as black beetles, and not dwarves. Mamures are so small they can dwell in a pin's box. They belong to a human, not to a house, and they work hard, and help and obey their master. This one can sell them or give them to one of his children or other relative. Mamures and pautos also protect the human they serve. They are so good, that they will never be evil and they will work hard, without ever expecting anything in return. Mengues are a bit more childish. They like to hide things in the house, and they will stop doing so only if their master threatens them saying: "If you do not stop, I will enclose you in an empty bull's horn!" The problem is that those imps are invisible. They can also be seen the day before St. John's [23 or 24th of June]. To catch them, there are two means:

  1. put a pin's box over a bramble, look inside when midnight strikes. There you will see the mamur, and he will be yours. Legend has it that it must be done the day before St. John's.
  2. In Cataluña: to catch a maneiró, look in a cave for a maneironera plant and take a seed in St. John's night. From it, a maneiró will be born, that will help his master.

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