Myths and Folklore Wiki

The Saci (also known as, “Saci-pererê,” “Saci-trique”, and “Saci-saçurá”) is a spirit a part of Brazilian Folklore, said to be able to manifest and control the winds at will.

Myths & Legends[]

He is a powerful trickster spirit that takes pleasure in causing problems for those unfortunate enough to cross his path.


Trickery the Saci is capable of is dulling the needles of seamstresses, placing various curses unto objects and people, disturbing animal-life within the community, and causing milk to sour and eggs to become incapable of breaking.

The Saci is known to be a shape-shifter, and is said to take the form of a Matita Pereira, a breed of bird that’s said to sing melancholic songs.

His hat is a magical device, allowing the Saci to disappear, reappear and become invisible at will (though, his hat, even while invisible, seems to remain visible). It is also said to carry a foul odor, and those that would touch or pick it up will never be able to remove the stench from their person. The tradeoff is that he may grant a wish for the person upon taking hold of the hat.


He’s a very easy spirit to spot, due to his appearance. The Saci is described as a dark skinned, young man with a red hat atop his head, a pipe in his mouth, holes in his palms, and a single, big foot of which he hops around on.


With the above in mind, certain methods can be taken to both assuage, and escape his wrath. One method to quell his offense is to cross a running river, if he too follows, he will lose all his powers. Another is to leave knots of rope lying around, like with many spirits, the Saci will almost have an OCD compulsion to try to untangle them. The Saci enjoys things like tobacco and cachaça, which can be used to get within his good favors.

A method of not only completely disarming a Saci, but also capturing it is to throw a pair of rosary beads (with a sieve attached) into his twister, the Saci will then fall from his turbulence into what could be described as an agreeable state of mind. He can be persuaded into entering a dark green bottle, of which after he’s within, must be closed with a cork with a cross sign on the top. After being captured, it is said that he will grant wishes (the number is never specified), and afterwards (he’ll escape at some point), depending on the person’s treatment of him during his imprisonment, he will either become a powerful ally, or a formidable foe.


Some claim that the Saci myth originated from 13th centtury Europe, but it is more likely from the Ŷaci-ŷaterê of Tupi-Guarani mythology, a magic one-legged child with bright red hair who would spell-bind people and break the forest's silence with his loud shouts and whistles. In the 18th century, African slaves were brought in large numbers to Brazil, and they would tell stories of the Saci to amuse and frighten the children. Over various stories told, most likely this creature's red hair became a red cap, his skin became black, and he came to be always smoking his pipe. His name mutated into various forms, such as Saci Taperê and Sá Pereira (a common Portuguese name), and eventually Saci Pererê.

The Saci may have also been affected by Christian folklore of the devil, as he was said to run away from crosses, leaving behind a sulphurous smell.