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

Jací and Guarací – The Amazon’s river Legend

The Amazon river or “Rio Amazonas” is located in South America. It is the largest river in the world and second in length, with approximately 6,400 km (4.000 miles). The Amazon river crosses 7 countries of South America, Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.  It also home of around 3,000 known species, some of them, very dangerous like the piranha and the anaconda.

Amazon river

Here is what the legend says how it was born.

The Legend says that long time ago when the world was being created, The Sun “Guarací” and the Moon “Jací”, were touched by cupid and fall in love. Unfortunately, the could only see each other just a couple of hours in the morning and in the afternoons which make them extremely sad.

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Guarací waited all day to see Jali, however, every time she arrived he had to leave. One day, where they can see each other for a couple of hours, Guaraci proposed Jaci to marry her and be together forever, Jací excited, said yes! Nevertheless, they both knew that their marriage was impossible because, days and nights don’t last forever. Jací extremely sad said “goodbye forever” to Guaraci and hide inside the Amazonian trees. Since then, they never saw each other again. Jací cried unstoppable for a long time. Her tears flooded all over jungle and forests until they reached into the Atlantic Sea, giving birth to the Amazona’s River.

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NP

Fofão Dolls – The Legend

This is another Brazilian urban tale about Fofão,  a tv character from Balão Mágico (Magic Balloon), a very popular children’s tv show that aired in the 80s. The character was so successful that in 1986 it gained its own tv show and not long after it also had a doll made to his image and likeness.

Fofão in Portuguese means something like Fluffy, which is very comprehensible if you look at his huge cheeks! Well, if you look at it now you might find him very scary, but during the 80s he was adored by the kids.

Fofão

But it all changed when he started to be compared to Chucky, the killer toy. The rumors started to spread around at the same time that the American movie was released, but Brazilians added a little spin to it.

According to the Brazilian legend, the stuffing of the toy was not as cuddly as the toy cheeks, and it was said that if you opened its belly you would find a black knife hidden inside the toy.

Fofão Faca

We don’t need to say that the rumor created panic between children’s and their parents, who started to boycott the toy.

The legend still persists among those who played with Fofão during their childhood, but luckily for today’s kids, the toys have a cutter face!

 

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

Xuxa – The Urban Tale of a Brazilian Celebrity

In a Brazilian city, called Sorocaba, a rumor started to spread regarding a mother that made a pact with the Devil so that she could afford to buy her daughter a Xuxa doll.

If you are not from Brazil, you might wonder who Xuxa is, so basically, she is one of the biggest celebrities in Brazilian TV history. She hosted the most popular children’s  show that pretty much dominated Brazil in the late 1980s through the 90s, which landed her CD’s deals, movies roles and a lot of publicity. She was such a big success that even CBS gave her an English language show in 1994 trying to serve the South American/American market.

Xuxa Meneghel

Latinfolktales Xuxa

Anyway, according to this urban legend, the following day, after the child had slept with her new toy, she inexplicably woke up all scratched and the doll’s plastic nails were stained with blood. Some people even say that the child died due to the injuries.

After the incident, the doll was chained in the sacred museum of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady of the Bridge. The news spread quickly and a crowd went to church on November 9, 1989 to find the author of aggression. The church pastor at that time had to close the doors to minimize the turmoil and sought the press and the police to warn that everything was just a rumor.

This occurred over 25 years ago and is still remembered as one of the most famous Brazilian urban legends and it was responsible for traumatizing countless Brazilian kids.

Xuxa Doll

Latinfolktales Xuxa

In the years that followed, new rumors started to spread around alleging that Xuxa had made a pact with the Devil herself in order to get famous. Some people still believe that if you listen to certain Xuxa LP tracks backwards messages to the devil can be heard.

How do you fell about this? Would you sleep next to a Xuxa doll?

G.S