This article addresses the roles of fantastic primeval beings in foundational aboriginal narratives collected in writing by Spanish friars during campaigns of conversion in the Eastern Andes of Colombia during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries CE. This article argues that fantastic creatures are not mere fiction or propaganda. On the contrary, these characters constitute key cultural referents that play essential roles in shaping and bringing into existence society and cosmos in indigenous cosmologies during the colonial period. Foremost, these characters are rendered as necessary to deliver the colonial world into existence.
Copyright 2020 by American Society for Ethnohistory