Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Curupi, a Paraguayan wild man

In a previous post I mentioned the Curupira or Korupira, the Amazonian “wild man”. Today I will write about a Paraguayan creature with a very similar name, but different in both its meaning and its physical appearance: the Curupi

The names

The Similar sounding name of the Curupi: COO- ROO–PEE (in English) is nearly the same as that of the Corupira COO-ROO-PEE-RA . Nevertheless the names differ in their meanings.

Both names have a different geographic origin even though both come from the Guarani language. Whereas Corupira comes from Brazil and is the combination of the words: “Curu” = boy and “pira”, body, meaning therefore “with the body of a boy”, the Paraguayan Kurupi comes from the words: “Kurú” = rough, grainy and “Pira” or “Piré” = skin, bark, crust. Therefore it means “rough skin”. [1]

The name is appropriate since this creature is a horrid Indian, whose skin is as rough as that of the Kurupikay tree, a hairy and well endowed man. [1]

Its very odd appearance

The Curupira of the Amazon is a lewd red haired wild man while the Paraguayan Curupi on the other hand is dark skinned, ugly and, equipped with an extremely long penis as can be seen in the following image:

Curupi, Asuncion, Paraguay
This travel blog photo's source is TravelPod page: Museo mitologico de Capiata

So, the Curupi is a veritable satyr, who carries his very long virile member wrapped around his waist. He is a lewd creature, always prowling around on the lookout for women to engage in intercourse with. It is said that he uses his masculine organ to snare his victims.[1]

As usual, there are many different descriptions for the same creature:

Argentine historian and archaeologist Ambrosetti describes him as a strong and white faced man, which some say is not too tall [3]. For Another source [2] , he is a stout reddish colored dwarf, capable of strangling the strongest man but whose body lacks joints, it is built in one piece, so he is easy to get away from: just climb a tree. He cannot climb it. Neither can he swim. He is a man eating being.

The Yasy-Yateré

Trying to explain the origin of this mythical being, Ambrosetti believes that the Curupí "is actually very similar to the Yasy-Yateré [and that] one is the other transformed”. He based the analogy on their “Dionysian” apetites (he wrote this around 1900, so we can forgive his Edwardian or Victorian euphemism). [3]

In other words, one morphed into the other. This Yasy-Yateré is another Guaraní creature, a naked blond dwarf, with a long beard, who carries a club. He appears during the early afternoon and kidnaps children which he kills or abandons after playing with them. He also kidnaps pretty women to mate with, and their offspring is another Yasy – Yateré. [3]

Yasy – Yateré and Curupi share some common features: they are both forest creatures of the Guaraní region, both are sexually aggressive and kidnap women. But one is an ugly dark hairy man and the other is cute, fair haired and dwarfish.

Coimán [4, explains the fair dwarf's name: "Yasí Teré, Yasí Yateré, Yasí Ateré (means) moon fragment”, an odd name for a being that shuns the night and, instead, stalks its victims during “siesta” time (the nap taken after lunch, when the heat is oppressive.

In my opinion the Yasy-Yatyré and the Curupi are not the same creature. Though both have an enhanced libido, they are not the same being.


[1] Eloy Fariña Nuñez, (1926). Mitos Guaraníes.

[2] Veldemiro Ayala Gauna (1944). La Selva y su Hombre.

[3] Juan Bautista Ambrosetti, (2001). Supersticiones y leyendas: región misionera, valles calchaquíes, las pampas. Emecé. Original Ed. 1917. pp.63

[4] Coimán, Narciso, (1937). Nuestros Antepasados.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia Copyright 2009-2012 by Austin Whittall © 


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