Elf House Museum of Myths and Legends
At Tafi del Valle
, just 7 kilometers away from the center of the City of Tucumán
, there lies this institution that displays the ancient local dwellers cultural heritage.
Upon entering the famous and dazzling Museo de Mitos y Leyendas “Casa Duede” (Elf House Museum of Myths and Legends), we discovered plenty of mythical characters, folklore and traditions of the native view of the world in the Calchaquí Valley and the rest of Northern Argentina. A huge vessel welcomed us to a site teeming with magic.
Without haste, we visited every room and clearly perceived the relation these men kept with the wind, the earth, the stars and the water. In the beginning, human beings would attribute different powers and names to each of these elements; they would play a very important role for life to unfold.
The museum houses countless sculptures, paintings, stories symbolizing several gods and beings related to the popular beliefs of the dwellers of the Calchaquí Valleys.
Among the various mythical characters and protectors of nature present in the venue, we can mention the image of Yastay, father of all animals and birds, represented by a man with guanaco legs. The best known is Pacha Mama (Mother Earth). Every year, her day is celebrated and a myriad offerings and prayers are presented to her. Besides, there are also the Mothers of the Waters, the Lord of the Birds, Ñusta -who represents spring- and Pucay, to name a few.
As pointed out by B. Malinowski in Myth in Primitive Psychology: “Myth is thus a vital ingredient of human civilization; it is not an idle tale, but a hard-worked active force; it is not an intellectual explanation or an artistic imagery, but a pragmatic charter of primitive faith and moral wisdom”.
All the symbology displayed in the museum has been worked with roots, barks, bones and other natural elements. Furthermore, the institution has books by various authors who rescue subjects linked to popular beliefs in Northern Argentina.
Lastly, it is important to point out that the museum also offers a campfire area where tales are told, a video room and a huge vessel where the local craftsmen usually display their works in order to advertise them.
Marcelo Sola / Gentileza Tafidelvalle.travel