Monsters from the South: Saci
We keep with Brazil because there’s still interesting stuff to unearth! But don’t worry, next posts are about my beloved homeland.
So today’s monster from the south is the Saci, a magical trickster imp. They have one leg and are dressed in a manner that resembles 1800 era African slaves, with red loincloths and caps. These characteristics imply that the Saci isn’t 100% Guaraní, but rather a result of cultural intermixing. The fact that they exclusively target homeowners backs up this theory.
The Saci’s behavior is rather mischievous and mean-spirited. Any household haunted by him is expected to have the baddest of lucks: Food will get spoiled or charred, things will get lost, penned animals will escape and get loose, screams will explode in people’s ears… Any misfortune imaginable can happen. If they are having a lot of fun, things can get ugly.
Worst thing is that they are uncatchable. They can make themselves invisible and will never drop their camouflage.
However! Sacis that feel happy will do a spinning dance and conjure windstorms, better known as “dust devils.” The tornado will reveal his position, and only then a person can catch him by throwing a blessed rosary into the swirling dust. He can then be sealed within a bottle capped with a cork marked with a cross.
Another way of getting rid of them is by stealing their hats .They will grant any wish in exchange for their hat… Which stinks so badly that you can never remove the smell, even by sacrificing your wish.
Sacis are very bratty, and will not take kindly their hats being stolen or their fun cut short. Their rambunctious behavior is often calmed, but never quelled, by giving them tobacco for their pipes. Keep their pipes full, and they will be less destructive.
Despite how cruel they may be, Sacis are very knowledgeable in herbs and medicines and often have a soft spot for desperate people. However, they believe the forest is “theirs” and so you must ask permission and leave payments if you wish to use any herb. Indebtedness with a Saci is an ugly experience…
"Sure, I hid everything in the kitchen. But maybe, with 6 lbs of tobacco, I may let you fry an egg.”