Saturday, December 3, 2011

El Tigre Capiango: Chapter 102

El Tigre Capiango: Copper with Patina
Chapter 102 has three creatures- The Sow Harnessed by Chains, the Lobison, and the Tigre Capiango. Borges describes the last this way: "This beast is not a jaguar but a man who, at will, can take on the jaguar's form. Usually his purpose is to frighten friends in the spirit of rustic jesting, but highwaymen have also availed themselves of this guise. During the civil wars of the last century, General Facundo Quiroga was popularly supposed to have under his command an entire regiment of Capiangos."

I looked up the word Capiango- it took some searching, but translated as "clever thief". Whether this meaning predates or postdates the monster, I do not know, but it seems to point more toward the highwaymen than towards either jesting or warriors.

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