In the Brazil
, the caboclo
d'água ("Water caboclo
" or "Water creole
") is a fresh-water triton
who lives at the São Francisco river
This amphibious, extremely strong humanoid hides itself in the deep underground caves at the riverbanks. Some people say that the caves inhabited by the caboclos are full of gold and emeralds; others comment that the only thing someone will find there is the bones of the victims of the cruel creature.
Fishermen respect and fear the caboclo d'água, since they believe that its powers to control the waters and weather and its tendency to destroy small ships are responsible for many of the strange accidents that happen during the dark nights.
A few things can protect sailors from the caboclo: the carranca, a big dragon-shaped amulet used as a figurehead, can detect the presence of the creature, and warn the crewmates emitting a low, guttural wood cracking noise. A blessed knife, driven into the boat deck, inspires fear in the caboclo.
Such a mysterious creature can also be a powerful ally: in exchange of tobacco and cachaça (the strong liquor made of sugar cane juice, sometimes confused with rum), the caboclo can provide huge amounts of fish, and also surreptitiously attack an enemy.