Treasure guardians in folklore
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. 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. In some stories, the treasure is guarded by "the Devil himself".:44-45
- Jinn, an Arabian treasure guardian
- Gnome, a European 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 culture
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade features a crusader knight who guards the Holy Grail.
- Works by Tolkien feature Smaug, a treasure-guarding dragon.:45-46
- 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
- Ashurst-McGee, Mark (2006), "Moroni as Angel and as Treasure Guardian", FARMS Review, 18 (1)
- Ashurst-McGee, Mark (Fall 2001), "Moroni: Angel or Treasure Guardian?" (PDF), Mormon Historical Studies, 2 (2): 39–75
- Baughman, Ernest Warren (1967) , 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