Curupira

--Informant Info--
Nationality: Brazilian
Age: 21
Occupation: Student
Residence: Florida
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/24/20
Primary Language: English
Other Language(s):

Abstract: An viewing of the Curupira which is a mythological creature that is said to have orange fur and lives in the forests around Brazil. It was said that this creature hunts for hunters and poachers to protect the animals of the forest and is said to have backward feet such that he can never be tracked. He is said to be a demon and in the interpretation by MC, it is portrayed as a demon meant to frighten children. 

Background: MC is a Brazilian currently living in Florida and is a student at the University of Southern California. She’s an advocate for Brazilian culture and expresses it by speaking highly of their myths and legends and even partaking in the semi-religious activities such as wearing bracelets with powers to grant wishes to the wearer. She describes one of the few stories heard from parents when she was younger and details it below.

Transcript:

P: So tell me about a story that involves creatures like fairies or something mythological? 

MC: I have one I think about a character known as the Curupia which is this demon figure who basically has his feet turned 180 degrees so no one can track him when he moving around. They always look the wrong way for him which is creepy to me but also cool that Brazilians got creative with it. The weird thing is that this creature is said to make those random high pitched noises whenever it’s dark or in a forest that no one can explain. On top of that, I think it rides like a pig creature whenever it doesn’t want to travel on foot.  Also apparently he’s kind of like a person who saves the animals from poachers and such.

P: Pretty creepy if you ask me. 

Interpretation:

This character seems to compliment others such as the Saci and others listed as Brazilian folklore. This creature in some cases seems like a beneficial one for the country of Brazil as it seeks to preserve all the creatures of the country and protect them from extinction. The Curupia is a great example of a conservationist in this case and helps the people preserve life and keep the wildlife intact. On the second interpretation of the creature, it acts as a demon bothering those who encounter it and due to its backward feet, it cant be tracked so revenge against it is never an option. It always seems to be out of reach of anyone. The symbolism of good and evil packed into this individual almost shows a balance for the culture and a way to show the world is balanced by both a protector and those who seek to cause conflict. This figure would sure scare myself if I heard it around the same age as MC but for good measure, as it seems it was used to keep some people out after dark along with other myths promoted.