He Gamusino Is a mythological animal of European and Hispanic American popular culture. Possibly the word originates from the Catalan"ganbutzí"that could mean or gambosí (tijereta) or gabuzo, (deceit in Provencal). There are regional variants for this imaginary animal depending on the region of Spain, although there are also stories of gamusinos in Cuba and Portugal.
The first reference on the gamusino is made by the Catalan folklorist Joan Amades in his book"Costumari Català"in the year 1950. Until 1956, the RAE defines the gamusino as"Imaginary animal, whose name is used to give jokes to the hunters Newbies".
There are numerous myths about this animal. It is said to be a very small animal, barely perceptible by the human eye, that can only be hunted at night.
The expert hunters begin their jokes leaving the novices at night, hoping to hunt the animal with a trap made with a sack and a can, which is beaten by the rookie singing:"One, two, three, four, gamusino al coat".
The gamusino in Spain, Europe and Latin America
It is called gambutzí in Catalonia, gambusino in Salamanca, ganguezno in Extremadura; Biosbardos, gazafellos or cocerellos in Galicia, cordoveyos in Asturias, gambozino in Portugal and gambusino or gamburrino in other places of the peninsula.
In Asturias, the gamusino is called Cordoveyos, and the unwary are invited to fish the animal usually on very cold or rainy nights. The stranger, who does not know the local customs, is invited with a group of friends to get into the river alone, while friends throw stones to help the Cordoveyos jump into the basket of the naive that has been the motive. This subject is called"pibardú", and they shout at him:"Cordoveyu, ve p'al cestu; That pibardu ya ta tátu".
The word cordoveyo means"heart of lamb".
Celso Amieva in a poem about gamusinos or Cordoveyos narrates a little about the joke that is spent in Asturias to the outsiders:
"... Where are you going, señorito,
On this night so clear?
Come and fish fishing
From here until dawn rises.
Mister, with your help
Fishing will be achieved...
Get yourself into the brook,
Even the thighs of water,
And have you for the basket;
The two of us, stoned,
We will push the fish
To take refuge in his belly..."
In Galician culture Gamusinos are called gazafellos or biosbards. Also as a joke, the unwary is invited to hunt gazafellos, his friends give him a sack and a stick and make him recite a kind of spell with which it is supposed to be able to hunt the animal. This spell reads as follows:
"I am Leonardo,
Ti is Biosbardo,
Biosbard, twenty pro bag,
Ca I che lizard, in San Leonardo"
In Spanish it translates:"I am Leonardo, you are Biosbardo, Biosbardo come to the bag, that I wait for you, I am Leonardo".
In the region of Ayerbe is called bambosino and in France there is a fictitious animal quite similar called, dahu and the"chasse au dahu"is a typical French jest.
In Germany there is also a figure similar to the gamusino called the Elwetritsch. In Leon, the joke of gamusino is used among novice students instead of hunters, although they are also made to believe that it exists.
In Cuba , The imaginary image of gamusino is used to jest with the soldiers who begin in the military art, fulfilling the obligatory service. The young people are told that the gamusino is very similar to an animal of the island called the jutía, an omnivorous rodent.
Equally that in the regions of Spain, they are told that the animal is attracted by making noise and hunting a gamusino in Cuba would also be a reason for joy since for them, the jutía is a meat animal very tasty.
The locution"hunt gamusinos"is used to express that it is entertained in embarrassing tasks. Therefore,"hunting or catching gamusinos"would mean going after the impossible, wasting time.
Example:"One of his subordinates entered the room, a pipiolo newly incorporated into the body that would surely confuse the police records with the hunting of gamusinos."(Juan Manuel de Prada: The Tempest).
Gambusinos, gamusinos and the gold chimera
The word gambusino, according to some well-known lexicologists, may be a Mexicanism based on the word"cambusino"(a word formed by two words in English"can"to buy and"busy"to be occupied) used in Baja California to refer to the first adventurers Americans who went to fetch gold on the Mexican border.
The dictionary of Mexicanisms (1959) adds"A gamblebusiness has to be an individual who plays the business, who ventures everything into a business... and pronounces gambusines, or gambusine, or gambusino, which is the present Castilian form of the word".
By associating the meaning of"hunting gamusinos"like going after the search of the impossible, we can find the relationship with the gambusinos who also, ventured to go after the gold chimera.
The gamusino is also reality. Dr. Adolfo Varona, with the contribution of other well-known Spanish zoologists and geneticists, crossed two species of animals (martens and martens), obtaining a sterile hybrid of scientific name"Martes foina martes"and its colloquial name is gamusino. Being a sterile animal, it is not considered a species.
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