Hail, heroes, and welcome this months, uh, This Month I Learned (TMIL)! In these short blog posts, we'll talk about the (potentially) weird stuff we need to research as we write our books.
July's feature is all about the encantado, an Amazonian shapeshifter found while researching shifter mythology.
The encantado, as mentioned above, are shapeshifters found mostly in Brazil and the Amazon. They are attributed to a form of river dolphin that is pink. There are also a few types of snakes described as encantados.
Encantado were rumored to live in a subterranean paradise, but they were quick to bore and so they liked to kidnap and impregnate humans. Like selkies, encantado were said to take on human form, although they tended to do so by using the kidnapped human as a shell. Ew.
An interesting bit of mythology: encantado were said to show up at exactly 6 pm, and then vanish if they couldn't find a form to assume.
I personally love the idea of a "witching hour" so early in the day. It means that folks won't travel or even go out during that time of night, which makes the encantado a perfect inspiration for the Corvid in our upcoming fantasy book, Upon a Raven Wing. The Corvid are a fearsome monstrous raven-like humanoid, and they are quite dangerous. I like the idea of the Corvids only visiting during a very specific time, and, if they find evidence of human activity, attacking then.
Have you ever heard of the encantado? Do you have any additional information to add to the myth? We'd love to hear it!