Arapuru or Uirapuru is a very common bird in the Brazilian Amazon.
In 1917, the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos composed a symphony entitled “Uirapuru”, based on folklore material that he collected on trips through the interior of Brazil.
Known for its long, soft melody singing, the bird usually sings about fifteen days a year. The natives of the forest say that when Arapuru sings, the whole forest is quietly paying homage to him.
About the legend, it is said that a young Indian warrior had fallen in love with the wife of a Cacique. Although it was forbidden love, it also returned the feeling.
The young warrior suffered greatly from this love which, though reciprocated, could not be lived. After all, they would both be killed if someone from the tribe found out. With time and difficulties, the Cacique’s beautiful wife forgot her love for the young warrior. But he suffered every time he saw her.
One day, the young Indian was very sick with a fever. No one, not even the Pajé, knew what he had. The young Indian felt that he was sick with love. Not being able to endure so much suffering, the young man asked God Tupã to turn him into a bird, so that he could stay very close to his beloved without danger to both.
Tupã turned him into a cashew-colored bird with a beautiful, soft corner. The young warrior, now turned into a bird, sang every night to the beloved India. But the beautiful corner of Arapuru was noticed by the cunning Cacique. Trying to imprison the bird in a cage, the Cacique ran in his capture and ended up losing himself in the forest. Arapuru was left with the dream that his lover would discover that he was the young warrior and thus break the spell.
Arapuru is considered a magical being, a bird that brings good luck. Whoever hears his song is charmed and can make a request that will come true.