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Is it all folklore or historical fact?

by Priscila Teixeira 07 Jun 2021 0 Comments

I have always been fascinated by folklore. According to Wikipedia, folklore means the traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth. Folklore is also described as a body of popular myths and beliefs relating to a particular place, activity, or group of people. Here is where I want to start. One of my favorite groups of people is part of a child book series (and later a tv show series) called "Sitio do Picapau Amarelo" (The Yellow Woodpecker Ranch) which had all kinds of mixed fascinating characters who lived between the 1920s-1940s. 

Minotaur Labyrinth Emilia Sitio do Pica Pau Amarelo Folklore
The way I remember, there was "Saci Perere", this one-leg trickster guy. His fashion uniform was composed of fitted red shorts paired with a matching red cap hat, gnome point style; no shirt layered in between (the old good times). He was always happily hopping around while puffing smoke from his pipe.
Next, there was "Emilia", the most colorful person, an Avant-guard doll, the biggest influencer of the last century. She definitely got me started on the love of patchwork, colors, layered fabrics; and red lipstick, heart-shaped, Vivienne Westwood individual-glorious-rebellious style. She was the most talkative stubborn doll that ever existed.
Another folkloric character was "Cuca", an evil crocodile lady, who as far as I'm concerned could easily jump into "Little Red Riding Hood" novel and be friends with Bad Wolf. Then there was  "Visconde de Sabugosa", the intellectual kind, a tower-tall red-haired man who fashioned a perfect round nerdy frame, steampunk style. His daily clothing uniform somewhat resembles an ear of corn, from the color combo to its design including the long tail of his tuxedo coat. 
Are you imagining with me? These 4 characters are a small representation of this unique and diverse family of siblings, cousins, neighbors, and friends who would spend vacations together over grandma's ranch where all the folk magic happened. One of my favorite adventures to watch were the days when they all would go explore "Neverland", or if you are hyped to Greek Mythology, you would call it, the Minotaur Labyrinth.
Fast forward a century, a different country, a completely unalike state; and I'm still perpetuating the surreal stories I experienced while listening, reading, or watching these stories. What else is there to tell?  A few years after I came to live overseas, my dad moved from our old home in the megalopolis of Sao Paulo City to a small town in the countryside of SP State. His new home is now a bike ride away from "Sitio", where all this action happened. Needless to say, every time we visit him, we make a point to get tickets to watch the touristic live performance that happens daily on the ranch. Most of the characters, including Saci, Cuca, Emilia, Pedrinho, Narizinho, Visconde, tia Nastacia, are all represented in every play; but there is one who is never on stage. One, no one alive has ever seen performing live, Minotaur. 
What sparked this childhood folkloric memory? #NationalBooneDay which is celebrated on June 7th. Do you remember Daniel's fur hats? Although I can not describe his character in so much detail as I can my Brazilian folks, I do remember him. I know I can let the mind wander while stretching a large circle but let's bring you back here for closure. The question is: Is it all folklore or historical fact?
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