Friday, March 23, 2012

The Encantado

   This is the boto. The boto is a freshwater dolphin that lives in the Amazon River. The boto is usually pink or grey. As with most dolphins they travel in groups and have been known to be very playful. However, in Brazilian folklore, this dolphin takes on a much darker persona. 
   The Facts: When referring to botos as mythical creatures they are called Encantados. As these encantados, these creatures have the ability to shapeshift into humans. Normally, when not appearing as humans, these creatures live in a utopian paradise called Encante. Why would they become human if they have it made in Encante? Well, you know what they say. The grass is always greener on the bank of the rive! The Encantados yearn for teh hardships and the pleasures of the human life.
   The Encantados are described as being very social. They have a wonderful ability of music, attractiveness, a love of sex and parties. This is why the encantados are drawn out of the river, and to the parties on shore. Encantados participating in human parties can result in some bad situations. The most prevalent crime the encantados are known for is fathering illegitimate children, and then coming back for them and kidnapping them.
   Besides crashing parties, the encantado is also gifted with the ability to control weather or haunt humans. In instances of hauntings, shamans and holy men need to intervene. The fear of becoming kidnapped has discourages natives go near the river at dusk. 
   There is no purpose to this folktale. It is just a regional folktale. Although there is no clear purpose, there are negative consequences. The implications of the encantados give locals a false sense of truth when it comes to the river. The natives are scared to go to the river at night, which causes unneccassry fear. Additionally, many locals have blamed the kidnapping of children on the encantados. This may result in kidnappings going unreported or uninvestigated.
   From my point of view, this folklore reminds me of the Jersey Devil. There will always be regional tales and mythology.  
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  1. This is a cool piece of folklore. I like how you equated it to the Jersey Devil.

  2. That is one ugly dolphin. I think it would be pretty bad if an Encantados had the ability to become a human. I think that the comparison to the Jersey Devil is very accurate, sort of like a rural myth.