1000 Years Ago France & Spain Were Invaded By Monkey Men (Simiots)

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Sounds interesting but my French is a tad non-existent.
 

EnolaGaia

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Here's the Google translation of the Wikipedia article on simiots.
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A simiot is, in Pyrenean and Catalan mythology, a diabolical creature resembling a monkey, essentially around Arles-sur-Tech, in Vallespir, as well as in Haut Ampurdan. In accordance with tradition, the descriptions are not very detailed and leave much to the imagination.


Permanence of simiots in the Catalan tradition

Legend of Abdon and Sennen

The supposed existence of simiots mainly refers, at least in French Catalonia, to the hagiographic legend of saints Abdon and Sennen, patrons of Arles-sur-Tech.

According to the chroniclers, 1 near the year 1000, the country of Roussillon, and especially the Tech valley, were prey to countless terrors and calamities. Droughts and hailstorms destroyed crops, and wild beasts prowled everywhere, attacking men and taking children to devour them. Above all, we also saw demonic creatures, species of monkeys, gorillas, baboons, cynocephalans of which the old chronicler and the local tradition speak only under the name of Simiots.

Faced with so much misfortune, Arnulphe, abbot of the monastery of Arles, decides to go to Rome to find there relics of saints who could bring their protection. After a journey enamelled with adventures and miracles, he returns with the relics of Abdon and Sennen3, and as soon as they have entered the church, we hear distant howls: the simiots leave the country definitively.

Not quite, however, because in 1465, a Montbolo shepherd named Noguer de Gasnach surprised two witches summoning the simiots to cause a storm. We fetched the relics of Abdon and Sennen, and the worst was avoided. Since then, the inhabitants of Montbolo offer each year, on July 30, a Rodella, a long candle 20 meters long, of coiled beeswax.

Rocaberti Castle

According to another legend, the simiots lived in the Rocaberti castle, near La Jonquera (Alt Empordà). One day, a traveler asked them for hospitality: as he was cold, he blew on his fingers to warm them, a practice which greatly astonished the simiots; then they served him a very hot soup, and he saw him blow on the soup to cool it. Faced with these contradictory facts, the simiots took the traveler for a sorcerer, and they threw him out.

Nuria Sanctuary

In 1665, the parish priest Francisc Morés, of Barcelona, recounts the miracles linked to Nuestra Señorà de Nuria, in the province of Girona: a place infested with demons, satyrs and simiots, according to a writing dated 1338. C ' is the hermit Amadeu who, by building this sanctuary, would have definitively driven out the evil spirits5.


Representations

We could see in the sculptures of a fantastic bestiary representations of the simiots: on the facades of the Sainte-Marie abbey and the Saint-Sauveur church in Arles, as well as those of Saint-André and Sant- Father of Albanya (Alt Empordà).

In the two-compartment cupboard which contains the relics of the patron saints, in the church of Arles, there is a 16th century painting depicting a simiot.

The frequent description of simiots with forked teeth (?), With hooked hands, comes from a poem-ballad by Henri Tolra de Bordas, lawyer and scholar of Prades (XIXth century):… a frightful monster, with long forked teeth / With hairy feet, with a bloody eye, with hooked hands, / Who with an invisible wing, with a hiss, / On the dark city fell down heavily.

Goigs [*] of Abdon and Sennen, kept in Barcelona, provide some descriptive elements.


Origins

Simiots, by their very name, clearly have a simian origin. But we do not know the reason for this appearance, in territories where monkeys are not part of the common fauna.

For Joan Amades, the simiots would be a form of the satyrs of Greco-Roman mythology, and who would have lived, not in Libya (Libia) but in Llívia, in Cerdanya.

Anyway, the simiots get closer to the "wild men" from the deities of forests and mountains, demonized by Christianity and gradually passed to the status of bogeyman to frighten children. In the Arles carnival, the character of the chased bear is always called a simiot. The always hazardous hypothesis of a survival of Neanderthals is often raised in connection with simiots, as for all "wild men" of all origins.

https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simiot

[*]
Goigs are, in Catalan countries , popular poetic compositions in honor of the Virgin or saints, printed on often illustrated sheets. In Catalan , the original language, we always use the word (masculine) in the plural, even when it concerns only one work, because originally it was to celebrate "the" seven joys of the Virgin . Goigs were sung during religious ceremonies, processions, votive festivals, pilgrimages.

https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goigs
 
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EnolaGaia

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