Legends of South American gold brought conquerors from Europe for centuries, many of whom murdered and pillaged their way across the continent searching for treasure. The Mother of the Gold is a ghost that lures these unscrupulous men to their doom.
There are no specific descriptions of the Mother of the Gold because no one who has ever seen the ghost up close has lived to tell of it. Instead the spirit is said to appear as a golden ball far in the distance, or sometimes a woman in golden robes beckoning those searching for the fabled gold of the mountains in Brazil and Paraguay. Anyone foolish enough to take the bait and try to reach the spirit will die. Sometimes the ghost simply leads the foolish gold hunters into a pit or other trap, other times the ghost transforms into a giant snake monster and swallows its victims whole.
The Guarani people believe that the Mother of the Gold is a protective spirit, defending her people from the invaders that had come to kill them and take their land and gold. She is known as the Guardian of the Earth Mother’s Treasures, and sometimes appears as a giant floating head to frighten away treasure hunters.
Not much is known about the origin of the Mother of the Gold. It’s possible that it’s a natural spirit, a protector of the people or a vengeance spirit. However, it’s also possible that it’s the ghost of a woman killed by men searching for gold. It is believed that the spirit moves the gold, which may be a specific treasure cache in some legends, and if someone manages to find the spirit while she is in the process of moving the treasure, they will not be killed, but must choose either to take the gold but never leave the area or leave the gold and be driven insane so as to never remember where the gold was located.