Bufeo Colorado

I sat in Leavey Library with my friend. I randomly asked her if she had any folklore she could share with me. At first, she said no. Then suddenly she said:

(My friend will be denoted C, I will be M)

C: “Actually I do! So, I was in the Amazon last summer for two weeks and our tour guide was super into the Amazonian culture and would tell us these crazy stories every day at lunch or dinner.”

M: “Do you remember any?”

C: “I remember one pretty well, but just because I thought it was so creepy. The other ones were pretty wild too but I don’t remember. But anyways, yeah so, in the Amazon they have pink dolphins. One of the pink dolphins the locals call ‘Bufeo Colorado’, what that means I could not tell you. So the story goes that Bufeo Colorado can shape-shift into a super attractive fisherman. Every night, his chirps can be heard at all hours of the night. When girls approach though all they see is the fisherman who tries to seduce the girls. If the girls agree to have sex, they immediately fall pregnant and will give birth to more pink dolphins. The only way to outsmart Bufeo Colorado is to play into his own game. The girl must accept the seduction but before Bufeo Colorado enters her home she must push him out the door. Once he falls, he turns back into a pink dolphin and will run away.”

Collector Analysis:

My friend learned this legend from her tour guide when she visited the Amazon rain forest. Apparently, her tour guide had spent years studying to people and culture of the Amazon.

I have never been introduced to the culture of the Amazon, so I am not very aware of what the culture consist of. However, from this legend alone it is clear to see that the Amazonian people have a distinct connection to nature, which is quite obvious when considering where they reside. Of course many Amazonian legends will have to do with the odd creatures only found in the Amazon rain forest. Additionally, I know that dolphins are intelligent animals and often interact with human, so its fascinating to see how legends form around these interactions. I want to know what occurred for the Amazonian people to put pink dolphins into a negative light. Overall, the Bufeo Colorado sounds similar to many other Salvadorean legends, except instead of being a spirit or demon (which is common in Salvadorean folklore) who is trying to seduce someone it is a magical animal.