Wednesday, April 1, 2020

A is for Amazon river dolphins (Folktales of Endangered Species)


Welcome to the 2020 A to Z blogging challenge! This year my theme is Folktales of Endangered Species. I am researching cool traditional stories about rare, fascinating animals - to raise awareness of what we might lose if we don't get our collective shit together. Enjoy!


Species: Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

Status: Endangered (may be critically endangered, listed in 2018)

The Enchanted City of Pink Dolphins
Legend from Brazil

Legends along the Amazon River claim that the pink dolphins (boto) only appear as animals on the surface. Under the river they live as people in their own great golden city known as the Encante. The rivers and streams are their roads and highways. 
There is a popular legend about a man likes to hunt and shoot dolphins, wounding many of them for sport. One day the dolphin people (a couple of girls, or even soldiers) pull him out of his boat and into the river. They take the man deep underwater to the Encante. In the city there is a large hospital full of injured people, where they show the man all the pain and suffering he caused. He has to stay and care for the wounded until all of them are healed. He is then returned to his family, and never harms a dolphin ever again.

There are also legends about the boto taking human form and visiting, flirting with, or even seducing mortals on land. In some places along the Amazon people will make a stranger take off his hat, to make sure he has no blow hole on the top of his head outing him as an enchanted boto.

Sources: Read more about the boto and the Encante here, here, here, or here.

How can I help?

Visit the website of the Amazon River Dolphin Conservation Foundation for more information! You can even, very fittingly, name them your supported organization on Amazon Smile.

Would you visit the Encante if you had the chance?
What would you be the most curious about?

26 comments:

  1. It sounds like a very forgiving tale in that he was taught a lesson and returned. I like it. I think it would be so incredible interesting to visit Encante. I wonder what their art and literature would be like?
    Here's to a great AtoZ.
    Tasha đź’–
    Virginia's Parlour - The Manor (Adult concepts - nothing explicit on blog)
    Tasha's Thinkings - Vampire Drabbles

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  2. The boto seem to be very gentle people. The legend of Encante and the Boto seem like a topic that could be expanded into its own universe.

    Asura - Indra vs Vritra

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  3. I like the word " Folktales" in your theme. Quite an informative post. Conservation of natural habitat is a collective
    responsibility- and awareness is the 1st step towards it.

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  4. That is a fascinating tale! I love dolphins, so glad there is a reason given here for protecting them!

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  5. What a wonderful tale. I think dolphins are an incredibly intelligent species.

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  6. Thats a wonderful tale and information that must reach one and all

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  7. thanks for the enchanting tale :)

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  8. A lovely tale about an unusual creature. It reminded me of Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

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  9. This is so believable, dolphins are so intelligent that anyone would think them capable of living in underwater cities in half a tick. And that whole idea of non-violent reformation through community service too - very gentle and refined and intelligent.

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  10. Cute Inia geoffrensis, love his long nose ;) Great tales this year again!

    If you allow it, I try to gather all the A to Z Challengers into a Linky Party:
    AtoZ Linky party
    Should be easier to visit everyone ;)

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  11. Interesting folklore associated with Boto only confirms my belief that such anecdotes were told and retold and passed down the generations to make sure that nature and the wild life exist peacefully. The Earth belongs to all living beings and non living things and not just humans.

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  12. I would love to visit them in their Encanta.

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  13. Wow! What a thought-provoking tale. I love dolphins and had heard of the Amazon's pink dolphin. Folklore is fascinating.
    Not So Sweet Toffee
    That's Purrfect

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  14. This is an awesoome tale and I think these dolphins are amazing! Would love to visit their encante.

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  15. No, I wouldn't! I find those pink river dolphins fascinating, but a little bit creepy! I love the having to remove the hat to prove no blow hole!

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  16. Oh, I love this legend. Especially the first one, where the hunter gets to learn to respect life.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Living the Twenties

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  17. I really like this legend and the way the hunter learns to respect the dolphins.

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  18. I've heard of the river dolphins, but not the folktale. That's really interesting! And also the part about making a stranger take off his hat :-)

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  19. Sounds like the freshwater equivalent of selkies. Wonderful beings whatever shape they are in.

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  20. fantastic legend. Beautiful dolphins. Thanks for sharing

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  21. Fascinating creatures! And the legend reminds me a lot of Selkies from Scotland :-)

    An A-Z of Faerie: Ankou

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  22. I'd love to visit, or live in, an underwater city. When it's my time, I want to be buried at sea, and hope there are underwater cities and cemeteries by then. Dolphins are such beautiful creatures.

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  23. fascinating story....and good tip about donating via Amazon Smile! Thanks!

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