We talked about Sierra Nevada a lot. This mountain, which has the highest peak of the entire peninsula (Mulhacén 3500 masl), is really important to the people of Granada. We know all about the sport activities held there. However, Sierra is also a place where one of the most known legendary being, the mono careto, is born.

Need for literature

From logic’s simplicity, something we tend to despise even more in the south of the country, someone could think that literature’s only purpose is to be exploited. Nevertheless, the purpose of literature, not only seen as written texts but as something that allows us to express and create ideas, is absolutely necessary.

Since the dawn of time we attributed to gods everything that has to do with nature. We also attributed to legends things that scare us and real hazards. This way in every country we lived with the idea that one of the most dangerous criminal (Lute for spanish kids, Jack the Ripper for the english dames, etc.) could affect our tranquillity. Creating this kind of “figures”, mythical or real , helped people to be careful and safe. We also have different examples of “figures” transmitting different ideas. The transmitting idea around Sierra Nevada is fear of a place we don’t know and the idea of being nothing compared to the mountain.

Somehow these stories have transmitted a more efficient message than they should have transmitted.

The mono careto

Granada, and those who wander through this section of the IMSOL Blog already know this, is a land of dreamers where these legends found a good place to grow. For this reason, legends exist around Sierra Nevada too.

We are talking about mono careto, which according to different versions of the story, could be a monkey or a fairy being. It should also be small-sized, hairy and look like a monkey. However, given its name, we suppose that the face should be its most distinctive feature.

The mono careto is the sublimation of one trait of Granada such as “la malafollá granaína”, an apparent bad mood that leads you to being rude to other people. People say that mono caretos are evil.

Snow avalanches to bury mountaineers, cutting climbers’ ropes or throwing rocks.

This is how mono careto punish those who expect to get to Sierra Nevada without being intimidated.

Anyway, the reason for these creatures to exist in the literature of andalusia, is to warn everybody that the mountain is a place where you can have a lot of fun, but you have to be careful. It’s an hostile place that you have to get to know well before doing certain activities.

La leyenda del mono careto - Mitología andaluza - Escuela de español

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