In Spiritist traditions of Brazil, Caboclos are the souls of indigenous Brazilians, especially inhabitants of the Amazonian forests. They are deified ancestors of individuals and the Brazilian nation. Caboclos are hunters, warriors, healers, and shamans. There are male and female Caboclos. (Females are Caboclas.) Caboclo children are called Caboclinhos. There are an infinite number of Caboclo spirits, and although some are famous, most are known only to the mortals with whom they communicate. Thus every person may work with a different Caboclo.

Caboclos communicate via spirit mediums as well as directly to individuals. They appear in dreams or visions. Caboclos are extremely active, vigorous, and articulate spirits. They are excellent communicators, adept at offering guidance and advice.

In non-mystic circles of Brazil, the term Caboclo is sometimes used to refer to people of mixed African and indigenous ancestry and may be considered derogatory. However, in the context of spiritual traditions like Umbanda and Macumba, Caboclo refers exclusively to spirits of Brazilian Indians and is spoken with respect.

Caboclos possess their own realm called Jurema, a mythic paradise in the mato, the Brazilian jungle, presided over by the Cabocla goddess Jurema. An alternative scenario suggests that they dwell in the realm of Aruanda with another family of Brazilian spirits, the Pretos Velhos. (Aruanda’s name derives from Luanda, once a major slaving port in Angola and the point of embarkation for many Pretos Velhos.)

In Yoruba-oriented traditions, Oxossi is chief of Caboclos.


If at all possible, offerings are given outdoors, ideally near trees or even hung from trees. If this is not possible, create an indoor forest for them via houseplants. Place food offerings on mats set on the floor so that they can sit and eat.

Sacred animals:

Amazonian animals in general, but especially snakes


Roast corn; plantains; pineapples; melons; tobacco, especially cigars



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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