Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Amazon River Dolphin: Legend and Superstitions

Information:  The Amazon River Dolphin is also known as the Boto or the Pink Dolphin.  This dolphin is one of the five river dolphins that exist in the order cetacea. Over the years many stories and superstitions have been told about the Boto.   It has been said that at night the boto changes into a man and goes onto the land.   If he finds a woman he will impregnate her.  Another version of the legend is that the man takes the woman back into the river and the woman will turn into a dolphin. 

Concepts: Many other superstitions go along with the legend of the boto dolphin.  It is bad luck to kill the boto and if a person to ever make eye contact with an Amazon River dolphin he or she will have lifelong nightmares.
Question: Are these superstitions true?  How did the myth originate?
Interpretation: It’s been interpreted that the myth arose partly because dolphin genitalia bear a resemblance to those of humans.  Others believe the myth served (and still serves) as a way of hiding the incestuous relations which are quite common in some small, isolated communities along the river.

1 comment:

  1. I found this to be interesting because I have heard of this legend before but do not for the life of me remember where it came from.