The Curupira (Portuguese pronunciation: [kuɾuˈpiɾɐ]) is a mythological creature of Brazilian folklore. This creature blends many features of West African and European fairies but was usually regarded as a demonic figure.
The name comes from the Tupi language kuru'pir, meaning "covered in blisters". According to the cultural legends, this creature has bright red/orange hair, and resembles a man or a dwarf, but its feet are turned backwards. Curupira lives in the forests of Brazil and uses its backward feet to create footprints that lead to its starting point, thus making hunters and travelers confused. Besides that, it can also create illusions and produce a sound that's like a high pitched whistle, in order to scare and drive its victim to madness. It is common to portray a Curupira riding a Collared peccary, much like another Brazilian creature called Caipora.
A Curupira will prey on poachers and hunters that take more than they need of the forest, and he also attacks people that hunt animals that were taking care of their offspring. There are many different versions of the legend, and so the creature's appearance and habits may vary from each region in Brazil. However, Curupira is considered a nationwide folkloric figure.
Pop culture references
The TV series BeastMaster features a female version of Curupira played by Emilie de Ravin. Aside from gender and hair color (blonde), the representation is faithful to the description above, including the backward feet and the fierce protectiveness toward the forest and forest creatures.
There is a Colombian fusion band named Curupira. Their style is a mix of folk Colombian music with jazz, rock, funk, and other popular genres.
This page is based on the copyrighted Wikipedia article ( Curupira ); it is used under the
GNU Free Documentation License. You may redistribute it, verbatim or modified, providing that you comply with the terms of the GFDL.