Prehistoric Europeans told legends about powerful, mysterious female makers of European stone tombs called dolmens and cromlechs. On the one hand, they were said to bestow riches and fertility on individuals, and fantastic gifts like brewing beer and farming; all they wanted in return was a little milk.
On the other hand, they were described as angry snakes guarded by bulls, cursing people and hoarding the very gold of the sun. They were imagined as beautiful cloven-hoofed snake- or bull-women, who guarded the dolmens and could speak with the dead, spin the rays of the sun, and even create the world.
The Megaliths of the Mouras Encantadas
In her master’s thesis of 2014, archaeologist Henna Lindström of the University of Helsinki in Finland writes of the folktales and legends of years gone by that grew up around the supposed supernatural makers and guardians of Portuguese dolmens. Ms. Lindström’s fascinating paper details stories from other parts of Europe about the Mouras Encantadas, as the mysterious women are called in Portugal.