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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

RAHEEL MUGHAL MSc: Encantado: The Dolphin Men of the Amazon

Encantado is Brazillian Portuguese for 'enchanted one.' The term is used for dolphin-like zoomorphic creatures that come from a paradisiacal underwater realm called the Encante.

They are said to transform into pale-skinned handsome men who dress in old-fashioned clothing. However, this is almost always a partial transformation, for the top of their heads are said to be hairless (presumably where the melon and blowhole is supposed to be situated).

Moreover, they are said to like music, women and parties. They are said to take the women to Encante where they are said to have illicit affairs with them, often resulting in illegitimate offspring.

Furthermore, it is said that they have weird special powers, such as controlling streams and bending humans to their will. It is often said that people transversing rivers and tributaries above their realm are said to go insane, just by their playful cetacean behaviour (nudging the boat or frolicking nearby).

Shamans and holy men are often needed to intervene and rectify the situation. To break the spell, a medicine man or wise woman must cast a magical powder -- a mixture of manioc flour and dried crushed chile peppers works well -- over the water where the Encantado is known to appear. This powder will usually break the spell and drive the creature away, and any gifts it may have given the victim, such as jewellery or fine clothes, will revert to their true forms: rotting leaves and other river trash. It is of critical importance to keep the victim away from the river, using restraints if necessary; they will be drawn to the water, pulled irresistibly by the power of the Encantado.

There are many similar tales pertaining to Dolphin Men emanating from Peru, Venezuela and other neighbouring countries.

1 comment:

Ego Ronanus said...

I understand that a girl who becomes pregnant and claims the father is an encantado undergoes no social opproprium, as it is believed that in such circumstances she was not in control of her actions.