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* La Corúa was a large, fierce looking but benevolent water serpent that lived in springs of water and protected them. They say it had a cross on its forehead and cleaned the veins of water with its long fangs or tusks. It was a shy creature but could sometimes be caught sunning on the rocks of the spring. According to Sonoran folk beliefs, if one killed the Corúa, the spring would dry up. Vanishing water sources and economic pressures have pushed the folklore of La Corúa to the dustbin of history on both sides of the border, but La Corúa remains in the minds and memories of elders in the Pimería Alta.
Serpents have been sacred for millennia to indigenous peoples throughout the Americas and are respected as guardians of water sources and bringers of rain.
* Beliefs and Holy Places - A Spiritual Geography of the Pimeria Alta - James S. Griffith, University of Arizona Press, 1992
Background painting: Baboquivari Peak - the monolith landmark defining the Baboquivari mountains southwest of Tucson. The center of Tohono O'odham cosmology, it is sacred and is the home of I'itoi, their Creator and Elder Brother. The peak is visible from Casa Grande in the northwest, south into Mexico. (I'itoi is also the figure in the O'odham 'Man in the Maze' basket design.)