Tag Archives: holy water

Peruvian Folk Speech- Salar Tu/La Casa

Main Content:

M: Me, I: Informant

I: The saying was “Salar tu casa,” like salt your house, but in Spanish it means that someone is, put something like a bad omen on your home

M: Oh ok

I: Kind of like the thing like that 

M: okay that’s good , like sal-ar

I: Salar la casa

M: and that’s used to say what?

I: It’s like, the house is cursed, or bad omen on the house.

M: Oh okay

I: and then that can also be like lets say um if someone who doesn’t have good will towards you or harbors bad feeling toward you and you let them into your home, then when they leave, they leave that that bad behind

M: Ohh

I: So you are supposed to purify you home like with sage or with holy water, if you have holy water blessed by the priest and you have it at home. You are supposed to pray and clean your home.

Original Script: Salar la casa

Phonetic script: sa.ˈlaɾ  la ‘ka.sa (Spanish is a phonetic language)

Transliteration: To salt the house

Translation: Someone put a bad omen/luck on your home/ your house is cursed/ your house is jinxed.

Context: This folk speech was used and taught to my informant by her Peruvian mother during her childhood when someone with ill will tainted the house with their ‘badness.’

Analysis: In order to understand this folk speech to its fullest is to understand what ‘Salar’ means. Literally speaking, ’Salar’ means ‘to salt.’ However, to salt in English has a much more limited scope than the meaning in Spanish. In Spanish, on top of the English meanings, it can also mean “to spoil,” “to bring bad luck,” “to jinx,” and even “to ruin.” Thus, the proverb is referring to these forms of ‘to salt’ in Spanish. In trying to understand a proverb, it is important to fully translate the words to express their true meaning. To cleanse the house of the bad luck and badness, holy water is used or sage is burned. This makes sense given how Peru is predominantly Roman Catholic but also believes in shamans and some of their practices.