LAMIA


This spirit has the appearance of a beautiful lady from the waist up, but her feet are those of a hen, a duck or a goat. On the coast, however, she looks like a fish from the waist down. These were some of her activities: to spin a thread of wool, to build dolmens,   houses and churches; and to wash the dirty linen. And she enjoys combing her long and beautiful hair with a golden comb on the bank of a pond or a stream. Apparently, she lives in the caves, the ponds and in the deepest parts of the streams.


They used to eat the bread and ham, and they used to drink the cider they asked to humans, or/and the bread, milk and curd cheese their faithful gave them. It seems that the Lamiak (in plural) lived on the income they used to obtain from the lands that the farmers hid to the authorities not to pay them any taxes. The Lamiak were also spirit who fought against cheats and in favour of honesty; this was their reason to punish those farmers by demanding them some money.


Sometimes, they ask for help to humans, for example, if they need a midwife; however many times, they do not ask but threaten humans to get that help. For instance, when a Lamia is dying, she needs someone to be with her and the pray for her, otherwise she can not die in pace. On the contrary, sometimes she offers her help to those who are respectful.


The Lamiak and the young men often fall in love with each other; the beauty of the Lamiak bewitches the young men.


Their dying out has been attributed to the building of chapels, to the sound of the church bells and to the prayers. It seems that the arrival of Christianity  has something to do with the extinction of the Lamiak. This could be a proof of their antiquity.



According to the legends, the Lamiak often appeared to a shepherd who used to be with his flock between Anboto and Arangio mountains; and he used to have a good time dancing with them. The shepherd enjoyed being with those young and beautiful girls but he did not know that they were Lamiak. The relation became more intimate with one of them and, sometimes, he even helped her home.

Once, the Lamia gave a ring to the shepherd and they agreed to get married. The boy told his mother about their engagement and his mother sent him to the priest of the village because she was worried. Suspiciously, the priest advised him to watch carefully the girls’ feet.

The shepherd did as advised and noticed that her girl’s feet were like a duck’s. Then, he tried to remove the ring to give it back to the Lamia; but, although he tried hard, he could not and, finally, he had to cut his finger off. He returned the ring with his finger to the Lamia and he went back home. He healed his finger and went to bed. The Lamia got very angry and the boy did not wake up again.