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The Operito Legend – “Living beings without navel that bring good luck to the crop”

El Operito

Fantastic living beings born of the union of different extinct indigenous cultures and Spanish settlers, they are called “Operito”. They belong to their own mythology, yet with some specific attributes. According to the tradition, it is a being with a juvenile, yet complex physique, straight gray hair, bulging eyes, rounded chin and a very sharp belly, but with no navel.

It is called the seat of the soul, the highest point of spirituality of the anatomy, or “the third eye” which is how the hesychasts call it. The navel is the element that unify the fetus with his mother and through which he receives the food. The navel is gifted by many symbolic functions such as the center of the body or the link between the men and nature. Such odd beings without navel in their bodies represented mysticism that was above the earthly existence.

For the ancient residents of the island, every extraordinary object in nature had a spiritual essence, which was a big influence on the existence around it. “The Operito” walk around the woods and inhospitable places from where he emanated its power. As the old people, it was so powerful that birds sing and praise to it with great joy.

“The Operito” was a mythical being led by higher powers that acts like a lucky charm and provides prosperity to everyone. In order to accomplish its purposes, it was gifted with super magical powers to foster the good fortune of the farmers.

The luckiest ones had the chance to see it floating in the air, over the water and the harvest. Some say that it was for presaging abundance and fruitful harvesting. In order to keep its power and well-being, the surveyors give some offerings and pay homage to it, and even worship the chief of each community to maintain a peaceful town.

“The Operito” was in charge of the whole harvesting process. Among its duties, it had to preserve the land, the seeds and the water. Each harvest had to be a symbol and a testimony of the farmers to ennoble the need to repeat the good customs, behavior and respect towards the field and people in general. The Operito always remind people that harvesting is like life, we need to have a good seed, a good fertilizer and especially a lot of work to succeed in everything we do.

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TEXT: Elena Crespo ; IMAGES: Suresh