Names and Characteristics of Brazilian Folklore Characters

behind the folk legends that are part of the identity and popular traditions, are the Brazilian folklore characters that illustrate and bring to life stories passed down from generation to generation through oral language.

The folkloric characters and legends in which each of them plays the main role carry important elements of Brazilian culture and are extraordinarily rich resources for introducing children to the incredible cultural diversity of Brazil, as well as explaining the origins and customs of different regions. to rescue.

folkloric day

Folklore Day is celebrated all over the world on August 22. On that date, in the year 1846, British archaeologist William John Thoms sent a special letter to the literary magazine Atheneum. In his letter, John suggested calling folk traditions folklore. His proposal was accepted and in a short time August 22 began to be celebrated in different parts of the world.

In Brazil Folklore Day was celebrated in 1965 and since then it is a very relevant date for popular culture and also for education of childrenwhich throughout August works on legends and folkloric characters together with children in the classroom, showing how Cuca, Saci, Lobisomem and many others are important figures in Brazilian culture.

Meet +15 folkloric characters to introduce to kids

Boitatá

The Boitatá or Cobra-de-Fogo is a character from Brazilian folklore of Tupi-Guarani origin who is described in legends as a giant serpent, which has multiple eyes and fires flames through its body at those who want the forest and the animals harm that they live in it. Father José de Anchieta was the first person to write about Boitatá in 1560. Since then, the legend of this figure has become popular in different regions of the country.

boto

Originating in the Amazon, the Boto is a folkloric character known as a type of freshwater dolphin that lives during the nights of the typical parties that disturb the people on the river. According to the legend, which became popular in the 19th century, when the Boto takes on the human figure, he wears white clothes and a nice hat.

caipora

Like other characters in Brazilian folklore, Caipora is also known as a protector of animals and the forest. Often confused with the Curupira, the Caipora is a small, red-haired Indian who roams the forest on a wild pig. The legend of Caipora has a Tupi-Guarani origin and was told in the southern region of Brazil, but it soon spread and got new versions, which became popular all over the country.

cuca

Cuca's Illustration

Cuca is a folkloric figure who became even more popular through the stories of Monteiro Lobato, the father of Brazilian children’s literature. In Monteiro Lobato’s books, Cuca is described as an evil witch with the shape of an alligator and blond hair. This figure was given space in the imagination of children with the adaptation of the adventures of Sítio do Picapau Amarelo for television in the program that aired between 2001 and 2007.

curupira

Curupira illustration

The legend of Curupira originated among indigenous peoples, but was first recorded by Father José de Anchieta. According to tradition, this folkloric character is known as the guardian of the forest. The Curupira is not only small, but also has red hair, has its feet turned back and possesses a very loud flute with which it deters hunters who want to harm the forest and the animals.

Chico Reid

Chico Rei is an important character of Brazilian folklore, known in the state of Minas Gerais and in the city of Ouro Fino. He was a black man who had been taken from a village in Congo to work as a slave in Brazil. After working for many years, Chico managed to buy his freedom and also his own gold mine. The character became a legend for his bravery and struggle, because with his gold mine, Chico made a lot of money and freed other slaves.

Comadre Fulozinha

Among the characters of Brazilian folklore is Comadre Fulozinha, who is described as a little fairy, with long hair decorated with colorful flowers and who, along with other fairies, protects the Brazilian fauna and flora. The legend of this character is very popular in the northeastern region, especially in the forest.

Iara

Characters from Brazilian folklore: Iara

Known as Iara or Mãe D’Água, the beautiful mermaid with long black hair and green eyes has a fish tail instead of her legs, as well as a sweet and endearing song. The legend of Iara originated among the indigenous peoples of Tupi-Guarani and soon got different versions depending on the region and became nationally known.

Werewolf

Werewolf Illustration

The werewolf is one of the most famous characters in Brazilian folklore. The creature, which is a mix of human and wolf, has long fingernails and usually appears on full moon nights. The legend of this folkloric figure originated in Europe and tells that in order to transform into a Werewolf, it is necessary that the eighth child after the birth of 7 women is a man.

Matinta Pereira

Matinta Pereira is a figure from Brazilian folklore known as a very old witch who turns into a bird at night. On top of the houses and in the shape of a bird, Matinta scares residents to get food. The legend of this folkloric character is best known in the North region, but it also has different versions in other parts of Brazil.

worm

A native of the São Francisco River, in the northeastern region, the Minhocão is a giant snake that is more than 300 years old that moves both in the water and underground, causing damage everywhere. According to legend, the Minhocão is a terrible figure who destroys ships and overthrows houses.

Mule without a head

Brazilian folkloric character: Headless Mule

The Headless Mule is also one of the best-known characters in Brazilian folklore, as this animal’s characteristics are unique: instead of its head, the brown Mule has a torch of fire and its whinny is so loud that it can be heard. heard from miles away.. The legend of the Headless Mule originated in Europe and ended up in Brazil via the Portuguese.

Shepherd Negrinho

Negrinho do Pastoreio is a little black boy who was enslaved by a very bad man. Legend has it that one day Negrinho do Pastoreio lost one of his master’s horses while he was caring for them. As punishment, the boy was thrown into an anthill, but he survived without a trace on his body.

father of the bush

Pai do Mato is a character from Brazilian folklore famous in the Midwest region. Instead of legs, he has goat feet and his torso is that of a man. The creature, which roams the forest on the back of a wild pig, also has large nails and long hair. Legend has it that Pai do Mato takes care of the animals and protects the forest.

foot of bottle

A wild man with long hair, horns, large claws, with only one eye on his forehead and one foot in the shape of a bottle: these are the characteristics of Pé-de-Garrafa, a folkloric character known in the state of Mato Overall. Legend has it that this creature lives in the forest and takes care of the animals and with howling scares the hunters who approach the forest.

Saci Perere

character Saci Pererê

With only one leg, the short, black boy in a red cap has become one of the most famous characters in Brazilian folklore. In addition to its unique physical features, Saci Pererê is also known for enjoying pranks, burning the food on the stove, and playing pranks on people by turning off the lights in their homes.

Victoria Regia

Naiá was a beautiful Indian woman with long black hair who gave rise to Vitória Régia, a plant typical of the Amazon region, where she is known as the “star of the waters”. Legend has it that Naiá became Vitória Régia after bending over to embrace the moon’s reflection in the water and eventually falling into the river.

If years ago programs like Catalendas presented Brazilian folklore characters to children, today little ones can dive into personalized books and get to know the folkloric figures that make up our culture and identity.

Check out the personalized books with the child’s name and avatar below, where the little ones enter the story to have fun adventures as they meet the characters from folklore.

Monica’s gang in Brazil – legends of folklore

Personalized book Turma da Mônica with different characters from Brazilian folklore

Monteiro Lobato – Folklore on the site

personalized folklore book on site

The child goes into the forest with the friends of the Sítio to find amazing folkloric creatures. Will Saci, Mula and Curupira like this? Discover the story by clicking here.

The Story of Saci Pererê

Children's book the legend of Saci Pererê

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