Una relación exacta, con fechas y detalles de que ella en persona había hecho cambiar las piedras de dos generaciones de hermosas y dignas Cargamantos, y había vendido las legítimas a la misma tienda. (García Márquez, Memoria de mis putas tristes)

WordReference and some other sources say cargamento (not cargamanto) means cargo, ship, etc. However, I was unable to find any definition of Cargamanto or Cargamantos in any source. Is it a type of precious stone?

Grossman's translation of the novel uses the word as is so it has to be a proper noun. But, what exactly?

  • 3
    Without more context, it looks like a surname. She changed the jewels belonging to two generations of Cargamanto women (mother and daughters).
    – angus
    Jul 6, 2016 at 22:39
  • 2
    I agree with @angus, I understood it as a surname. In fact, searching a bit I see that there is a character in the book named Florina de Dios Cargamantos.
    – Charlie
    Jul 7, 2016 at 6:10
  • @DGaleano Por curiosidad, ¿existe el apellido Cargamantos en Colombia o es un chiste?
    – Rodrigo
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:46
  • 2
    @Rodrigo No. Pienso que Gabo se lo inventó. En Colombia una de las clases de frijol más usado es el cargamanto (sin s al final) pero no conozco a nadie con ese apellido.
    – DGaleano
    Jul 7, 2016 at 14:04

3 Answers 3


Googling for Memoria de mis putas tristes and Cargamantos reveals what people are saying in the comments to your question: this is just the surname of a certain character in the book, called Doña Florina de Dios Cargamantos.

So when García Márquez says:

... había hecho cambiar las piedras de dos generaciones de hermosas y dignas Cargamantos...

he's talking about the gemstones (jewelry) of two generations of lovely and dignified women in the Cargamantos clan.

  • @aparente thanks for the corrections in the text!!
    – fedorqui
    Sep 3, 2018 at 7:48
  • You're welcome, and I'm glad you don't mind. // I have a vague idea the author chose "Cargamantos" because it's suggestive of some quality of the family. Do you want to add something about that to your answer? Sep 3, 2018 at 20:13
  • @aparente001 that's an interesting point I hadn't thought about. Cargmantos is indeed a suggestive name, specially to convey the dignity of the women (manto: Vestidura, generalmente recamada, que cubre algunas imágenes de la Virgen desde la cabeza hasta la parte inferior de la peana)
    – fedorqui
    Sep 4, 2018 at 6:08
  • I'm picturing substantial, dignified women. The sort who can wear heavy, impressive coats. The opposite of the willowy type who tires easily. But I don't know if that's what others would picture when reading this made-up last name. Sep 4, 2018 at 21:41

Probably refers to the cargamantos beans:

enter image description here

  • 1
    It is correct that cargamanto is a kind of bean but in the context of the question Cargamantos (with capital C) is a surname as described on the accepted answer by @fedorqui
    – DGaleano
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:58

Frejoles, fríjoles, frijoles, porotos, caraotas, habichuelas in Spanish. English: beans. Scientific name: Phaseolus vulgaris.

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