Argentina’s President Christina Fernandez has adopted a Jewish godson for the first time in the country's history but, contrary to previous reports, she did not do so to prevent him from becoming a werewolf.
According to the Guardian, two myths popular in Argentina somehow became linked in the story about Fernandez and her new godson, Iair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family.
Local tradition holds that the seventh son or daughter born to an Argentine family is eligible to become the president's godson or goddaughter. This honor had until now been conferred on Christian babies, the Guardian reports.
Somehow that tradition got mixed up with the ancient legend of the lobizón (the werewolf). "According to some versions of the myth, the seventh son of the seventh son is particularly prone to fall victim to the curse," the Guardian reports.
The custom of accepting the seventh son or daughter as the president's godson or goddaughter began in 1907 when German emigres asked then-president José Figueroa Alcorta to be the godfather to their seventh son, said Argentine historian Daniel Balmaceda. The practice was passed into law in 1974.
However, Balmaceda adds, there is no link between the two beliefs. “The local myth of the lobizón is not in any way connected to the custom that began over 100 years ago by which every seventh son (or seventh daughter) born in Argentina becomes godchild to the president,” he said.
Balmaceda added that the werewolf myth originated among Argentina's gauchos, or cowboys, and was adapted from European werewolf folklore.
"In the Argentinian version, the lobizón transforms into a mixture of pig and dog every Tuesday and Friday night – not just once every full moon," writes Uki Goñi in the Guardian. "Unlike other werewolves of myth, the lobizón transmits its curse not through its bite but by passing between the legs of its unfortunate victims."
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