South American Mythology

The Gods of Brazil, Peru and Chile...

KANASSA

Kuikuro Fire God

Also known as Kanasa

Creator God and the Bringer of Fire

It’s a bit much when your first creation bites you. True, it was a rayfish which Kanassa had drawn in the mud by the river. He trod on it by accident in the dark.

Not wanting to flatten any more of his creations, he racked his brains. ‘Fireflies are useless for shedding light,’ he thought. ‘Now where is that bird that carries embers in its beak? I’ll use some of that to shed some light.’

So, shouting “Gimmee!”, he snatched the passing Vulture King Ugúvu-cuengo by the legs and persuaded him to fly into the sky to bring back a piece of the sun.

’Hmm.. These embers are hot. Now, how do they work?’ he wondered. But some nearby frogs were not too keen on this horribly hot glowing stuff, so Kanassa found himself squirted with water.

Ah, here comes a snake. “Mr Snake, would you like some succulent frogs in return for a small favor? Right, you carry this ember and we’ll head into the forest to find some kindling and get this light show on the road — fancy barbecued frogs?”

So the snake carried the embers safely into the forest and — eventually — Kanassa brought fire into existence. Meanwhile, the rayfish slipped quietly into the river when no-one was looking.

Kanassa Facts and Figures

Name: Kanassa
Pronunciation: Coming soon
Alternative names: Kanasa

Gender: Male
Type: God
Area or people: Kuikuro (aka Kuikuru) people of Xingu River, Brazil
Celebration or Feast Day: Unknown at present

In charge of: Fire
Area of expertise: Fire

Good/Evil Rating: Unknown at present
Popularity index: 792

Cite this article

Here's the info you need to cite this page. Just copy the text in the box below.

Article last revised on May 18, 2019 by Rowan Allen.
Editors: Peter J. Allen, Chas Saunders

References: Coming soon.

Permissions page