Fernando de Noronha

Popular culture - Folk Tales

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Folk tales

«Fernando de Noronha
«History and Archaeology

Along the centuries, the loneliness of the Fernando de Noronha aroused the fantasy of these people, originating many folk tales; the topics of these tales include seducing women, menacing figures, punishments, invading pirates, hidden treasures in caverns, mythical figures, death, etc.

The analysis of these myths reflect different historic and political moments of the island, however leaving "truthful tracks" in the fantasy of their producers. The bigger part of these folk tales are from the Common Prison time, that is, they ascend probably from the XVII century up to the present days. They denote the fears and challenges of the prisoners so far away from the mainland.

These histories are part of the cultural conscience of the island and were reported in different moments by researchers of many states. They reached our days through the memory, the popular songs and the musical and poetic expressions.

All this universe was collected, analysed, systematically arranged and made available to the public through the work "Fernando de Noronha: lendas e fatos pitorescos" (Fernando de Noronha: folk tales and picturesque facts), from Marieta Borges Lins e Silva, in which the most important folk tales are described.

These myths were also pointed out at the carnival of 1995, when the samba school Estação Primeira de Mangueira presented the story Fernando de Noronha: its folk tales and its fantastic possibilities in the parade. The samba school based its story in the book of Marieta Lins e Silva, transforming in a carnival shape each one of the researched and registered tales. The merry maker Ilvamar Magalhães was the responsible for creating the story, as well as all components shown by the school in the Parade.

Some folk tales

Captain Kidd Folk Tale: Imagine the famous English pirate hiding the product of his plunders on sea in a cavern in the island. The tale ascends probably to the XVI century, when the passage of the english pirate Francis Drake in 1577 was reported.

The Sueste Monster: A disguised sea monster at the waterside, amazing and terrifying fishermen in the Sueste Bay. It shows the mythical thinking of the fishermen in front of the sea dangers.

The Enchanted Treasure: An old man with a long white beard anouncing a buried treasure in a desert place, near the seventh "cajá" tree of an arbored area. Typical folk tale of the islander universe, privileging his limited space, which should have hidden treasures. Also assigning to the "cajá" tree - a very common tree in the island - a supernatural power. This tale ascends to the period of boardings and foreign occupations in Noronha before 1737.

Folk tale of the Gypsy Woman Cashew Tree: It refers to a gypsy woman that prostituted herself in the island and after dieing had a cashew tree planted on her grave. She appeared often near the tree in order to offer her love. The tale goes back to 1739 when all gypsies in Brazil were deported to Fernando de Noronha.

The Pico Light: It tells that a light coming from a split in the Pico Mount is transformed into a woman, which attract their victims to the inside of the mount, after what the split is closed. This tale probably goes back to the periods of great stone crumblings in the Pico Mount, reported by historians, one of which in the XVIII century and another in the XIX century.

The Mistery of the Priest Water Hole: It is told that the priest appears riding a white mule without head near the water hole in the Quixaba Beach. The tale ascends to 1888, at the time the priest Francisco Adelino de Brito Dantas discovered the drink water source, which made him a celebrated person.

Midnight Giant: A very tall fisherman, which disturbed every fishing, terrifying the other fishermen, so they didn't have the chance to get fishes after his vision. The tale uses the fisherman figure as a distinction element, valorizing the fishing activity, very natural in an island.

The Sin Folk Tale: The sin of a giant couple. It represents the curse of transforming them into stones, she with the breast at the water level on the Dois Irmãos Mount and he with the petrified phallus on the Pico Mount. The folk tale is of this century and characterizes the restrained eroticism of the islanders.

Alamoa Folk Tale: The most famous folk tale of Fernando de Noronha tells about a blond seducing woman, which attracted the imprudent people, carrying them to death. It was poeticized and set to music in the past century and in the current as well. In recent times the famous ALAMOA is called "Woman in White". The name "ALAMOA" is a wrong way of speaking the word "alemã", which means "german" (female). This tale goes back to the dutch occupation period in the XVII century.

In Portuguese: Leia mais sobre as principais cidades nas proximidades de Noronha:
Recife   |   Natal   |   João Pessoa   |   Fortaleza   |  

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