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Supay, in the Andes, is the personification of collective and dangerous evil spirits, which in early literature was identified with the Christian devil. Sometimes he is described as a monster having a lion's body, ram's horns, tiger's teeth and hooves, and emits the odor of sulfur. His character seems to developed naturally; fear contributed his attributes. He possesses metamorphic abilities to change into a cat, a pig, or an owl, and can inhabit such natural phenomena as an earthquake, hurricane, or storm. When angry he may roar like a wild boar while at other times he grunts like a pig.

While at other times he assumes human form either of a handsome youth or maiden. He then earns a person's confidence in order to enter their body to inflict epilepsy or madness. This coincides with Supay's main objective, to damage human beings.

He also is Lord of mineral wealth being able to change veins of silver to quartz and gold to pyrites. A.G.H.


Osborne, Harold. South American Mythology. "Library of the World's Myths and Legends." New York. Peter Bedrick Books. 1968, 1985. p. 80

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