Now, 20 years later, the original episodes are available on YouTube, and the website for Sombras en la Noche contains links to all the episodes, as well as a guide to the main mythological creatures found in Guarani folklore. They include the Luison, the Pombero, Jasy Jatere, and other myths having to do with ghosts, creatures, and buried treasure.
|Sombras en la Noche: A classic television series based on Guarani folk creatures in Paraguay|
|Carlos Tarabal: Creator of Sombras de la Noche and the Online Film Festival|
It would be quite interesting to develop lessons around comparing vampires, werewolves, zombies and other creatures with the Paraguayan ones, and also to see how they are represented in Sombras en la Noche, vs. in other television series. One that comes to mind is Grimm, which does in fact have an episode that features a "luison," but it is a rather silly one (in comparison with the horrifying cadaver-eating seventh-son wolf figure, the Paraguayan luison). The Pombero is featured in Ares Cronica, which gives quite a bit of background.
Episode from "Sombras en la Noche" (Shadows in the Night): Suspected Luisón
|Luisón (photo credit: taringa.net)|
|A cemetery ripe for Luisón predation and pillaging (photo credit: taringa.net)|
I had the opportunity to return at the end of the year, and I was really happy to learn that Sombras en la Noche had been made available, and that there was a virtual film festival. I ran into Carlos Tarabal in a restaurant one afternoon and he let me know that there may be a new series as well -- a kind of Luison, Reloaded (smile). I have to say I love the idea. Zombies and vampires are fine in the current culture, but it's time for some variety!
On a more serious note, myths can express the human condition, with all its paradoxes and complexities, in a way that very few narratives can. I found that the Paraguayan Luison myth related quite well to the experience of American Marines in Iraq, and I wrote a blog post, Folklore and the Horrors of War: The Myth of the Luison around 10 years ago about it. You might find it interesting reading. I go into a bit of detail about the Luison myth, as well as Paraguayan history and the Chaco War, as well as connections to other extreme experiences.
|Susan Smith Nash in Asuncion, Paraguay at the Gran Hotel del Paraguay (photo credit: hotel staff)|