Open main menu

The treasure guardian is a recurring motif in folklore of a being that guards a treasure. Typically, the hero must overcome the guardian in order to obtain the treasure. In some cases the treasure guardians are non-human beings, although one subtype, known as "treasure ghosts", were deceased humans who had been murdered and buried with the treasure to protect it.[1][2][3] Animals are often shown as treasure guardians—an index of folklore chronicles stories of snakes, crows, ravens, cocks, swans, and night-birds as treasure guardians.[4] In some stories, the treasure is guarded by "the Devil himself".[1][2]:44-45


In folkloreEdit

  • Jinn, an Arabian legendary creature sometimes depicted as a treasure guardian
  • Gnome, a European legendary creature sometimes depicted as a treasure guardian
  • Leprechaun, a treasure guardian from Irish folklore
  • Dragon, a creature often portrayed as hoarding a treasure
  • Salamander, a legendary creature often described as a lizard in shape (even looking like a common salamander), but usually with an affinity for fire
  • Spriggan, Cornish guardian of fairy treasure, said to be the ghosts of giants that can swell to enormous sizes.

In popular cultureEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Huggins, Ronald V. (Winter 2003), "From Captain Kidd's Treasure Ghost to the Angel Moroni: Changing Dramatis Personae in Early Mormonism" (PDF), Dialogue, 36 (4): 17–42
  2. ^ a b c Ashurst-McGee, Mark (2006), "Moroni as Angel and as Treasure Guardian", FARMS Review, 18 (1)
  3. ^ Ashurst-McGee, Mark (Fall 2001), "Moroni: Angel or Treasure Guardian?" (PDF), Mormon Historical Studies, 2 (2): 39–75
  4. ^ Baughman, Ernest Warren (1967) [1966], Type and Motif-Index of the Folktales of England and North America, Indiana University folklore series, no. 20, The Hague: Mouton, p. 85, OCLC 491929

External linksEdit