TARTALO



This wicked spirit is a giant one-eye man who works as a shepherd. This heartless savage kidnaps the young men/women from the villages and eats them; that’s why he is considered to be so fearsome in a many valleys of the Basque Country.


Cyclopes, like Tartalo are well-known in many different mythologies of the word; for instance, in the old Greek Mythology.










According to a legend, two brothers went hunting to the mountains and they got caught in a big storm. They took refuge in a big hut that they found in the area. Suddenly, a flock of sheep that came after them entered into the hut too, and, along whit them, a giant man with only one eye. As soon as he come in, he blocked the entrance with a big stone and realized that the two brothers were inside. Tartalo told them that, at night, he would eat the oldest of the two and, the next day, the other one. So, he stuck a spit into the oldest brother, roasted him and ate him up. As Tartalo was full, he lay down on the floor and fell asleep. When Antimuño (the youngest brother) saw that, he put the spit in the fire until it was red-hot and, then, stuck it in Tartalo’s only eye. Tartalo stood up screaming, with the spit still stuck in his eye; he started looking for the boy but he was blind and could not find him among the sheep.


The next morning, he removed the big stone from the entrance and he stood at the entrance with his legs wide open. He called his sheep one by one and the sheep started coming out; he wanted to catch the young brother. But the young man knelt down on all fours with a fur of sheep covering his back and left the hut along with the sheep and through Tartalo’s legs. When Tartalo realized, he followed the sound of his steps. The young man jumped into a well and fled by swimming. Tartalo, on the contrary, could not swim and drowned in the well.