The word Dealis or Dialis desribes a godlike creature.
Dialas originate from the Rhaeto-Romanic oral tradition. They are fair and beautiful,
unfortunately slightly spoilt by the goat’s feet. The humanist Simon Lemnius equates
them with the water nymphs of the antiquity, since they live in caves and grottos. They
have a good-natured and shy character. In a kind of „golden age“ the Dialas assisted
the famers with their work and fed them with silver plates and silver cutlery.
There is the legend or the rumor, that on the Alp da Munt, above the village of Tschierv behind the Ofenpass there used to live particularly beautiful Dialas, in caves and gaps that are called „holes oft he Dialas“ to this very day. They were wearing white clothes and white headscarves. In order to keep the clothes immaculately white, they were often washed and placed in the sun to dry.
The rumor fancies, that the beauties may also have come out of their holes in winter to enjoy a sunbath on a rock warmed-up by the sun in front of their cave.
There is the legend or the rumor, that there is a hole above the village of Sent, which is
called „La foura da las Dialas“ nowadays. Nearby there once was a farming family
making hay. At midday the Dialas spread a tablecloth with meat and drink and invited
the farmers to lunch. The father, a glutton, disappeared without thanking them after
having eaten and drunk. The Dialas were not really pleased, so they never again
spread their tablecloth on that meadow. The old goat shepherd of Sent asserted that
he had seen Dialas in front of the mentioned hole. But no one wants to know any of
that any more.
There is the legend or the rumor, that a few Dialas had settled in caves near Vulpera,
too. They didn’t really trust the humans, quite the contrary, they rather fled. Sometimes
they walked along a path close to the houses of Vulpera; whenever they caught sight
of a human, they returned to their caves. One day two men hid in the branches. When
the Dialas went by without seeing them, the men followed them with wooden sticks, in
order to capture and maltreat them. The Dialas got away, but they haven’t been seen
in their caves after that chase.
There is the legend of a Diala who appeared to a man to help him making hay. As he
discovered her goat’s feet, he thought she was the devil. When the Diala asked him forhis name, he thus didn’t want to reveal it and answered: “I myself“. As soon as the haycartload was ready, he pierced the Diala’s body with his pitchfork and drove off. The
Diala screamed loudly attracting thereby a number of Dialas. When they saw the
amount of blood, they asked: “Who did that?“  „I myself“, the Diala answered. Now the
others said: “What you do yourself, you enjoy yourself.“ The Dialas have vanished
since that time.
There is the legend or the rumor, that in the evening the women of he village used to
meet at the place where the Grand Hotel Waldhaus Vulpera was situated in order to
press the spinning wheel. Every evening there also appeared two Dialas who eagerly
joined in the spinning, but without ever saying a word. Then they passed their skeins of
yarn to the landlady and went away. One evening a young churl came passing by and
played a bad joke on one of these Dialas, whereupon she rightly slapped him in his
face. The Dialas disappeared and never came back. The slap however left a fungus on
his cheek that would never heal up.
There is the legend or the rumor, that the Dialas came out oft he hole of Tulai, when
the hayfields of Surtulai were scythed. Their cheerful faces showed they were pleased
about summer having arrived. At midday they spread a white tablecloth with little
cakes on it and invited for lunch. A girl fetched fresh water from the spring. In this way
the people were treated well by the Dialas who releived them of their hard work. After
lunch the farmer showed the sign of gratitude with his hat and the Dialas disappeared
contentedly down to he forest into their holes.
There is the legend or the rumor, that the Dialas of Pazza presented themselves deft and hard-working while haymaking in the fields of Vallaina. They made piles, so the farmer could gather his hay the next morning, when it was dry. Furthermore they helped to harvest the rye like the best maidservants, so you couldn’t see a single grain that would have fallen out.
They didn’t want to eat with the farmers, so when the farmer’s wife brought the snack, the Dialas quickly left for their caves in the rocks of Pazza.
There is the legend, that a churl crowned a Diala with a hay fork. The other Dialas sent for the Madrütschetta, who was called in such cases, waited for her at the entrance of Sur En and then went to the cave where the beaten Diala was crying. The Madrütschetta attended and consoled her. Then she wanted to go home. The Dialas gave her some pieces of charcoal in return for her service. She threw away most of them as she had no clue what to do with them. When she grabbed in her pocket at home to show the received reward to her husband, it was a piece of gold. She then went to look for the charcoal she had thrown away, but couldn’t find anything any more.
There is the legend or the rumor, that now and then wanderers have encountered
young, beautiful and lightly dressed women in the forest near Vulpera at the Crap da
las Dialas. Dialas are friendly female demons with goats’s feet, in little white or red
dresses, who helpfully show lost wanderers the right way.
If you, wanderer, come across a pretty young woman, whether you are lost or not, just
ask her to take off her shoes so you can see, whether she can help you.
There is the rumor of a young shepherd who exceedingly took to one of the Dialas. He
often hid behind a big rock until she left her cave and then followed her. Eventually the
Diala was fed up and told the boy quite clearly, his efforts were in vain. He now began
to hate the Diala. As he knew that Dialas disliked cats, he took an old cat, crammed it
into an old sack and returned to the alp. There he threw the cat into the cave.The next
morning the Dialas left the valley, only the miaows of the cat below ground can still be
There is a legend of Dialas in Lavin, who were women clothed in black, wearing long
skirts and white collars. When everybody was asleep they gathered in a house to
cocoon hemp and wool. All you could hear oft hem was “thread torn„ or „make a knot!“
One night the farmer’s wife offered her helpers a snack. Her husband thought that they
wouldn’t want to talk to a soul alive. The Dialas didn’t even taste the food, put spinning
wheels and hemp away, left the house and never came back.
Calendar in original Rhaeto-Romanic (local language) with Translations in QR-Code:

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Dialas in Engiadina Bassa

Dialas in Engiadina Bassa

The word Dealis or Dialis describes a godlike creature. Dialas originate from the Rhaeto-Romanic oral tradition. They are fair and beautiful, unf Read More


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