Amazon River dolphin love fetishes: From folklore to molecular forensics

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil and Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR 00931, Puerto Rico E?mail: hrbek@uprrp.edu

Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (LMA), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil and Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR 00931, Puerto Rico E?mail: hrbek@uprrp.edu

Laboratorio de Mamiferos Aquaticos (LMA), Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Laboratorio de Evolucao e Genetica Animal, Instituto de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil

Old-fashioned Amazonian folklore includes a host of supernatural beings considered to protect its woodlands and streams. Perhaps one of the most effective and more popular among these beings may be the Amazon River dolphin Inia geoffrensis, or boto. The boto is usually regarded as a mischievous and tempestuous being, both feared and respected. The absolute most sensational folklore concerning botos is at dusk into handsome Caucasian men, who are skilled at dancing and seducing young women that they transform themselves. Botos will also be thought to often times enter ships or households, paralyzing their occupants to take part in sexual activity. Before very first light, the boto returns back in water, reverting into its dolphin type ( Cravalho 1999 ). Certainly, unforeseen teenage pregnancies within the Amazon area were typically related to seduction because of the boto ( Cravalho 1999 ).

It will be the intimate nature with this folklore leading to your sensed value of boto areas of the body as love charms. The main among these would be the eyes and genitalia ( da Silva 1990 ) respected especially by Amazonian town dwellers ( Smith 1996 ). For instance, keeping a person’s eye associated with boto while speaking with an associate associated with the sex that is opposite considered to make one highly intimately appealing because no-one can resist the boto’s gaze ( Salter 1994 ). Boto genitalia are considered much more effective ( Best and da Silva 1989 ). Grinding the dry penis regarding the boto, combining it with talcum powder or perfume, and putting it on to your vaginal area is considered to raise the pleasure that a female can provide a person. Likewise, the use of a ground dolphin’s vagina to a guy’s penis is known to improve their effectiveness ( Cravalho 1999 ). Other uses, like those seen in Peru and Bolivia, are medicinal where dolphin oil comes to cure upper body conditions.

Interest in boto?derived fetishes is high and supposed boto human body parts can be purchased in practically all Amazonian town areas as they are utilized mostly by town dwellers ( Smith 1996 ). The indigenous and Caboclo (riverine individuals of blended ancestry) communities appear never to make use of boto body parts, and mostly seem to respect social taboos against killing these magical pets ( Best and da Silva 1989 ). The use that is ritualistic of areas of the body has additionally been reported into the seaside areas of north and northeastern Brazil ( Siciliano 1994, Reeves et al. 2003 ), where vaginal organs and eyes of both the estuarine dolphin (Sotalia guianensis ) as well as the freshwater tucuxi (Sotalia fluvitalis ) are apparently offered as amulets. The north and northeastern seaside area of Brazil has a very good West African social history, including Afro?Brazilian religions such as for example Candomble and Macumba. These coastal populations and religions have no taboos against killing dolphins or using their body parts in rituals unlike the case of folklore and traditional practices of the Amazon interior.

To look for the beginning for the boto fetishes sold in major markets that are amazonian we sampled salted dried boto eyeballs during the Mercado Ver?o?Peso in Belem, Para (n = 22), Mercado Central in Manaus, Amazonas (n = 11), and Mercado Municipal in Porto Velho, Rondonia (n = 10). Samples had been transported towards the laboratory where these people were washed, an incision had been changed to them, and an example of muscle formerly unexposed to your environment had been gathered. We also analyzed examples acquired from guide folks of Inia g. Geoffrensis, Sotalia fluviatilis, and Sotalia guianensis; recognition of guide individuals ended up being on the basis of the control of diagnostic morphological figures. Forensic studies, including the present research, are, among other applications, extremely effective at monitoring the foundation of cetacean by?products and showing the mislabeling of illegally harvested cetacean species as appropriate cetacean services and products ( ag e.g., Baker and Palumbi 1994, Baker et al. 1996, Palumbi and Cipriano 1998 ).

Total genomic DNA had been obtained from muscle examples utilizing a DNA extraction kit from GE Healthcare (Sao Paulo). Two blank extractions had been carried down to search for contamination; no DNA contamination had been seen. For dedication of intercourse, we utilized the four polymerase that is primer response (PCR) protocol of Rosel (2003). Male and female control that is positive were utilized in molecular sexing. The mitochondrial control region was amplified via the PCR using the primers L15812 and H153 from Chivers et al to determine the specific origin of the salted eyeballs. (2005) whereas the cytochrome b region ended up being amplified primers that are using ( Paabo 1990 ) and H15915 ( Irwin et al. 1991 ).

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