Laurieddhu, Monacieddhru, Sciacuddhuzzi, Lauru. There are many variations to indicate the figure of the elf which often appears in popular legends of Puglia and, especially, of Salento. It is a spiteful sprite who in the most ancient tales enjoys making noises in the houses, overturning dishes and pots; tickling the feet during sleep or pinching; hiding objects and then having them found again after a long time.
His appearance is typical of an elf: just over half a meter tall, wearing a hat and with pointed ears. The Laurieddhu delights in annoying the unfortunate by jumping on his abdomen during sleep, in order to make him lose his breath for a short time. anyone who can wake up and see him must grab his hat in order to ask him for the fulfillment of a wish in return.
Even if you get hold of his hat, the Laurieddhu likes to play tricks. In fact, tradition has it that the wish is fulfilled on the contrary: if you ask him for money, the elf returns us objects of little value, if instead you ask him for useless objects, then the lucky one is covered with gold coins and jewels. These treasures are found in secret places, usually underground. In the Salento dialect they are called “acchiature ” and can only be discovered by following the elf's instructions.
In the tradition of the carnival of Aradeo, a town in the province of Lecce, this character becomes a mask and takes the name of Sciacuddhuzzi. Despite his irritating demeanor, the goblin is not evil. Its origins are traced back to the “lares ”, the sacred protective spirits of the house according to Roman culture.