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Mythological Museum of Capiata, Uruguay

Ao Ao is the name of a monstrous creature from Guaraní mythology.

Etymology

Ao Ao is derived from the sound that it makes, howling "Ao ao ao!" when it is pursuing its victims.


Origin

Ao Ao is one of the cursed sons of Tau and Kerana.


Description/Morphology

The Ao Ao is often described as being a voracious sheep-like creature with a massive set of fangs. Alternatively, it is also described as being a large, carnivorous peccary.


Powers

The original Ao Ao is said to have profound reproductive powers and thus sometimes is identified as being the Guaraní spirit of fertility. Ao Ao produced many offspring who are cursed in the same manner, and collectively they served as lords and protectors of the hills and the mountains.

The Ao Ao is sometimes described as a large carnivorous peccary.

Behavior

Ao Ao is said to have humans as its sole source of food. Although the creature is clearly not human in description, it is at least half-human by birth, which accounts for its cannibalism. According to most versions of the myth, the Ao Ao, upon locating a victim for its next meal, will pursue the unfortunate human over any distance and over any terrain, not stopping until it has had its meal. If a person attempts to escape by climbing a tree, for example, the Ao Ao will circle the tree, howling incessantly and digging at the roots until the tree falls. In fact, according to the myth the only way to successfully escape from an Ao Ao is to seek shelter by climbing a palm tree. The tree contained some unknown power against the Ao Ao, and if its intended victim did climb one, the creature would howl in defeat and leave in search of another meal. Ao Ao is known for eating clothes.

In some versions of the myth, the Ao Ao would feast upon disobedient children brought to it by his brother, Jasy Jatere.


Sources

  • Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.