Boitatá, the fire snake…

For the night is dark and full of terrors.

Sorry, I’m not talking about Game of Thrones, I got a little caught up, but this legend is somewhat as dark as GOT. Rumor has that a certain time in Brazil the woods were in darkness, without any sign of sunlight. Heavy storms had felt, causing flooding in the forests, leading to the death of many animals.

Of the few animals that remained, a snake was left without food, making it eat the eyes of the other dead animals that it could find. Because of that, the light of these eyes started to build up inside the snake’s body, leaving it totally transparent and illuminated.

However, feeding on animal eyes left the snake weakened and after a while, it  could no longer resist. They say that the internal light that came out of the snake turned back into the sun, bringing light back to the world.

The snake came to be called Boitatá and according to the legend it protects the  forests against fires.

G.N.S

The moon and a flower – Vitória Regia

This is one of the most famous and traditional Brazilian legends. According to it, in the beginning of the world, every time the moon (Jaci) was hiding on the horizon, looking down from behind the mountains, it was taking one of its favorite virgins to live with it. It also said that, if the moon liked a young girl, it would make her a star in heaven.

Legend has it that an Indian called Naia, contemplating the moon shining in the sky felt in love with it and after learning about the legend, Naia dreamed of one day turning into star alongside Jaci.

Lenda_da_Vitoria_Regia

So every night, Naia would leave home to watch the moon and wait for the moment that it would reach the horizon and rush out to try to catch it. Naia repeated this search  every night, until one day, while trying to reach the moon,  Naia saw its reflection in the stream of water and without hesitating dived in an attempt to touch it and ends up drowning .

Jaci is touched with the effort of Naia and transforms the large flower of the Amazon, the Victoria Regia, which only opens its petals in the moonlight.

vitoriaregia

 

Açai, the legend!

Pretty much everyone knows by now the benefits of eating Açai but besides being delicious it has a very interesting and tense legend behind it and we are here to share this incredible story with you!

açai-roxo-cestos

Rumor has it that a long time ago, before the city of Belém existed in the north of Brazil, the area was home to a pretty large indigenous tribe.

As the food was insufficient and it was becoming very difficult to get enough food to feed all the Indians of the tribe, the Itaki cacique decided that from that day on all  newborns would be sacrificed to prevent the increase of his tribe.

But everything changed when the daughter of the cacique, called IACA, gave birth to a beautiful girl, who also had to be sacrificed. IACA was desperate, crying every night longing for her little girl and she asked Tupã to show his father another way to help his people, without the sacrifice of children.

One night, IACA heard a child crying and as she approached the door of her hut, she saw her beautiful daughter smiling at the foot of a palm tree. but as she tried to hug her, the little girl mysteriously disappeared.

IACA, inconsolable, cried until fainting and on the next morning, her body was found embracing the palm tree trunk, but her face still wore a happy smile and her black eyes gazed at the top of the palm tree, which was filled with dark little fruits.

Itaki then collected the fruits, which offered a reddish juice,  and named it ACAI, in honor of his daughter (inverted IACA). He fed his people and, from this day, he suspended his order to sacrifice children.

G.S

The “Little Grazing Boy”

Brazilians in general are very religious and over 85% of the population declares itself Christian, meaning that there are about 166 million people who claim to be Catholic or Protestant in Brazil.

In this sense, it’s very natural to have many legends that originates from Christianity, and this is just one example among many in Brazil.

So, let’s get to it! The “Little Black Grazing Boy” is an African-Christian legend told in the very late nineteenth century by the Brazilians who defended the end of slavery and was originated in the south of the country.

Negrinhodopastoreio

Legend has it that in times of slavery, there was an evil rancher that used to constantly punish his slaves and pedestrians, and on a cold winter day, the farmer sent a fourteen years old black boy to shepherd the horses and foals that he had just bought.

In the afternoon, when the boy returned, the rancher noticed that a bay horse was missing, so he picked up the whip, beat the boy and left him naked and bleeding in an anthill.

Next morning, when he went to see the boy, the rancher he was startled. The boy was there, but standing with smooth skin and no marks of lashes or ants bites. Beside him were Virgin Mary and the other horses.

The rancher threw himself on the ground asking for forgiveness, but the black boy didn’t answered him, but instead, kissed Virgin Mary’s hand, mounted on horse and left.

After that, regional drovers and lorry drivers reported to have seen pass a group of grays horses, played by a black boy mounted on a bay horse, and many lighted candles and prayed for the tortured soul.

Till these days, The Grazing Boy is considered by those who believe in the legend as the protector of the people who loses something. According to the belief, if you miss something, just ask for the pastoral boy help to find it. In return, one should light a candle to the child or buy a plant or flower.

G.S

Cuca – The Brazilian “bogeyman”

Some girl power legend now! Just kidding, sort of. This is the story of the female version of the bogeyman, and it also comes from Brazil.

Cuca is represented by an old alligator faced character, that lives in a dark cave where, like a witch, creates making magic potions. With a scary voice, she sleeps only one night every seven years and scares and handle children who do not obey their parents.

When she gets mad, she loose her angry roar that can be heard 10 leagues away. The character also gained visibility in the works of Brazilian writer Monteiro Lobato.  In the “Yellow Woodpecker Site”, turned into television series in the late ’70s and early’ 80s, Cuca came to be known in the four corners of the country. On TV, Cuca was kind of bipedal alligator with yellow hair and a terrifying voice, and she also had the help of Saci Pererê.

cuca_e_saci_by_marchine

Cuca and Saci Pererê

Because of her popularity, one of the best-known Brazilian lullabies was created:

“Sleep baby, otherwise the Cuca comes to catch you,
Dad went to farm, Mom went to work.
Bogeyman, get out of the roof and
leave (name) sleep peacefully”

Well, now you know how to put your kids to bed also!

Gabriela Sacilotto

Curupira – The Forest Guardian

This tale, popular mainly in the interior of Brazil,  tells the story of a smart and strong ginger boy who lives in the Brazilian forests. He has his feet turned backwards and protects the plants, animals and trees against hunters, woodcutters and anyone who threats to destroy the nature, by emitting sounds and sharp whistles.

Curupira

Latinfolktales Curupira

His backwards feet are responsible for creating illusory images, leaving false trails that scares and confuses those who try to destroy the forrest. Besides that, he loves to rest in the shadows of the hoses and is very fast, making it practically impossible for a human being to catch him.

In some cases, the Curupira can take small children to live with him in the forests, returning them to their parents after 7 years with a huge passion for the nature.

His presence is reported from the early days of colonization. Some storytellers say that Curupira loves to play tricks on those who enter the forests, and for this reason many countryside inhabitants believe that when someone disappears in the forests its Curupira’s fault. To please him, the Indians used to left offerings in the clearings, such as pens, mats and blankets.

G.S