Saci-pererê (pronounced: [sɐˈsi pe̞ɾeˈɾe]) is a character commonly considered the best known character in Brazilian folklore.
He is a one-legged black or mulatto youngster with holes in the palms of his hands, who smokes a pipe and wears a magical red cap that enables him to disappear and reappear wherever he wishes (usually in the middle of a dust devil).
Considered an annoying prankster in most parts of Brazil, and a potentially dangerous and malicious creature in others, he nevertheless grants wishes to anyone who manages to trap him or steal his magic cap.
However, his cap is often depicted as having a bad smell. Most people who claimed to have stolen this cap say they can never wash the smell away.
It probably derives from the Ŷaci-ŷaterê of Tupi-Guarani mythology, a magic one-legged child with bright red hair who would spell-bind people and break the forest's silence with his loud shouts and whistles.
This indigenous character was appropriated and transformed in the 18th century by the African slaves who had been brought in large numbers to Brazil. Farm slaves would tell Saci stories to amuse and frighten the children.
In this process the creature became black, his red hair metamorphosed into a red cap, and, as the African elders who usually told the tales, he came to be always smoking his clay-and-reed pipe.
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