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19 July 2007 @ 10:28 am
Well, I missed a documentary show episode about South American werewolves on the Sci-Fi Channel but it looks like it'll air again this coming Sunday night. As an aside, it looks like they ripped off a picture from an artist acquaintance of mine without paying royalties, and a low-resolution picture at that, so it makes her look like less of an artist than she really is. Bummer! I hope she gets compensated for that.

Judging from this website I don't really expect much accuracy from the show. First off, it mentions the full moon, a motif which is extremely rare in non-Italian werewolf folklore. People who don't do their research often make blanket assumptions about there being a strong connection between the full moon and werewolves in folklore, and I've learned from long experience to view such mentions as the mark of an amateur. In my own collecting of South American werewolf legends, I've only come across one mention of a full moon, and when I tracked down the sources given for that, it led me to a novel and several defunct personal websites. Also, the Sci-Fi Channel website says that the lobizon changes into a dog instead of a wolf, which is not accurate either. South America does have legends of weredogs proper.

Their "werewolves" (called by names such as lobizon, lobisomen, lobombre and other corruptions of Spanish and Portuguese words for "werewolf") are something else, and typically combine characteristics from dogs, wolves, pigs and foxes, with the wolf features tending to predominate. If the show isn't any better than I've been led to expect, then it'll be pretty bad.

Still, one can't expect much from documentary shows. For example, Linda Godfrey points out in The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf that, of the many paranormal-oriented shows that decided to do a segment on the Beast, many of them could not even get the location of the legends correct (such as saying that Walworth was a town instead of a county) and these shows introduced many other errors as well.