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Mapinguari statue, Parque Ambiental Chico Mendes, Rio Branco, Brazil

In Brazilian folklore, the mapinguari or mapinguary, also called the juma, is a monstrous entity said to live in the Amazon rainforest.


Depictions of the mapinguari vary. Sometimes it is described as a hairy humanoid cyclops. Other people claim that it is based on a cultural memory of the giant ground sloth, a long-extinct animal that it is said to resemble.[1][2] The creature is often said to have a gaping mouth on its abdomen.[1]


According to Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden, its name is a contraction of the Tupi-Guarani words "mbaé", "pi", and "guari", meaning "a thing that has a bent [or] crooked foot [or] paw".[3] Other names which have been said to apply to the same being include the Karitiana kida harara,[3] and the Machiguenga segamai.[1][2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Rohter, Larry (2007-07-08). "A Huge Amazon Monster Is Only a Myth. Or Is It?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  2. ^ a b Oren, David C. "Does the Endangered Xenarthran Fauna of Amazonia Include Remnant Ground Sloths?", Edentata (June 2001) p. 2-5
  3. ^ a b Felipe Ferreira Vander Velden "Sobre caes e indios: domesticidade, classificacao zoologica e relacao humano-animal entre os Karitiana", Revista de Antropología 15 (2009) p. 125-143