Boto Encantado

Boto Encantado.png

Boto Encantado is a dolphin shapeshifter from a traditional Amazon River folklore. During the night an Amazon river dolphin becomes a handsome young man who seduces girls, impregnates them, and then returns to the river in the morning to become a dolphin again.[1]


Amazon river dolphins, known by the natives as the boto or encantados, are very prevalent in the mythology of the native South Americans. They are often characterized in their mythology as wielding superior musical ability, their seductiveness and love of sex, often resulting in illegitimate children, and their attraction to parties. Despite the fact that the Encante are said to come from a utopia full of wealth and without pain or death, the encantados crave the pleasures and hardships of human societies.[2]

Transformation into human form is said to be rare, and usually occurs at night. The encantado will often be seen running from a festa, despite protests from the others for it to stay, and can be seen by pursuers as it hurries to the river and reverts to dolphin form. When it is under human form, it wears a hat to hide its blowhole, which does not disappear with the shapeshift.[2]

Besides the ability to shapeshift into human form, encantados frequently wield other magical abilities, such as the power to control storms, enchant humans into doing their will, transform humans into encantados themselves, and inflict illness, insanity, and even death. Shamans often intervene in these situations.[2]

Kidnapping is also a common theme in such folklore. Encantados are said to be fond of abducting humans with whom they fall in love, children born of their illicit love affairs, or just about anyone near the river who can keep them company, and taking them back to the Encante. The fear of this is so great among people who live in the Amazon river area that both children and adults are terrified of going near the water between dusk and dawn, or entering water-bodies alone. Some who supposedly have encountered encantados while out in their canoes have been said to have gone insane, although in fact, the creatures seem to have done little more than follow their boats and nudge them from time to time.[2]

Similarly, the female becomes a beautiful, well-dressed, wealthy-looking young woman. She goes to the house of a married man, places him under a spell to keep him quiet, and takes him to a thatched hut and visits him every year on the same night she seduced him. On the 7th night of visiting, she changes the man into a baby, and then transfers the baby into the man's own wife's womb. The mythology is said to be the cycle of a baby.[1]


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