Pamarindo, the imp of the woods of Gemona del Friuli

      The origins of the stories of the elves: myths and legends

      Wood imps feature prominently in many of the legends of the Carnia region. The Gemona area is said to have been home to  Pamarindo, a cheeky imp always eager to block your way by stretching out his width.

      Who is Pamarindo?

      Pamarindo is a fat little imp who is particularly agile and wears a copper hat and shoes. He likes to play jokes on people, for example by whistling to call their animals and then driving them over a cliff, coming away uninjured and making fun of their owners. He may be heard laughing in scorn as he hops and skips among the trees. It’s impossible to see him, because he is invisible (is he invisible?).

      A contribution from Valentino Ostermann, expert in Friulian folklore

      These are the words of Valentino Ostermann, an expert in Friulian folklore who was born in Gemona, from “La vita in Friuli” (1894):

      “The imps include Pamarindo, a strange spirit you will only hear tell of among the peasants of Gemona. Pamarindo is a bit like an orc, and a bit like the “servants” mentioned by Savi-Lopez. He is depicted as fat, dressed in a pointed copper hat and copper shoes. He is well under a metre tall, but he can run very fast and make himself wide enough to block your way. If you through a rock at him, he will ward it off with his hand and throw it back at the thrower. He entertains himself with shrill whistling to attract herds of cattle and flocks of sheep and goats; if he succeeds in doing so, he runs as fast as he can to the edge of a cliff and throws himself off it, rolling down like a bundle of straw: the poor beasts follow him and end up dead at the bottom of the cliff, where Pamarindo amuses himself laughing aloud at night, sitting atop the carcasses and devouring them.”