Trinidad folklore Papa Bois

Trini Folklore: Papa Bois

  • Papa Bois (n):  A folklore character, usually depicted as having a man’s head, chest and arms, with goat-horns on the head, and the lower body of a goat or similar animal. He is the protector of animals in the forests and can change himself into animal forms to lead hunters away. <French Creole Papa ‘father’ + French Bois ‘woods; forest’>
    • The African legend of Papa Bois mixing with the European tales of werewolves – our lou’ gahou’ the Anansi stories of the Ashanti people of the Gold Coast.

The oral traditions of Trinidad and Tobago can be traced back to the oral traditions of our ancestors from West Africa and East India. Local authors such as Michael Anthony are trying to preserve the legend of Papa Bois and other stories via written media via books such as Caribbean Folktales and Fantasies.

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Source: Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad & Tobago by Lise Winer

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