Papa Bois

Trinidad and Tobago's man of the forest

virginvoices.com staff

thumb: papaboissculpture

Papa Bois , also known as "MaƮtre Bois," is a folkloric hereo in Trinidad and Tobago. He is thought of as the protector of the forests and their flora and fauna.

He is a very hairy old man of African descent with cloven hooves, strong muscles and leaves growing from his beard.

He carries a hollowed-out bamboo bull's horn, which he uses to warn animals of hunters' approach.

He can transform himself into a deer, luring hunters deep into the forest and getting them lost.

He gets angry when hunters kill for the sake of killing,rather than for food or hides.

He gets animals out of snares and nurses sick ones back to health.

He is usually very kind, but can be dangerous. He has been known to cast a spell on a bad hunter and turn him into a wild hog.

Video about Papa Bois is available at Trinidad and Tobago Tourism here.


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