Lion, scarecrow, tin man... mine demon?
August 5, 2013 7:09 PM Subscribe
posted by Itaxpica (3 comments total)
12 users marked this as a favorite
The song is a catchy summer jam by British producer Naughty Boy, which topped the charts in the UK and Italy (though got little airplay in the US). The video,
shot in Bolivia by British director Ian Pons Jewell, is a little more complicated: for 90% of viewers, it's a pretty obvious (if rather bizarre) urban retelling of the Wizard of Oz. For the rare viewer acquainted with Bolivian folklore, however, the video is a bit more: a retelling of a traditional folktale about a deaf boy with an abusive stepfather who sacrifices himself to stop a demon who rules over silver mines
...or is it an elaborate hoax?
While belief in the demon El Tio among miners has been documented by sources from PBS
to more scholarly works
, every reference to the story of the deaf boy on the internet seems to post-date the music video, and uses the same Wikipedia page as a reference. Additionally, the first version of the Wikipedia page to mention the legend does so without any source
, and a later revision adds as the sole reference a Spanish-language journal article about El Tio...
which doesn't actually mention the legend of the deaf boy. In fact, the only blogger attempting to corroborate the folktale reports that a casual poll of his Bolivian host family reveals that nobody has ever actually heard of the story
Is this a misunderstanding, a hoax, or just an example of the kind of oral cultural snippet that would never have made it online were it not for a music video?