Iara – Mother of the Waters; Ruler of the Waters

The Iara are spirits of the Amazon River. Their name may derive from a Tupi word meaning “Ruler of the Waters.” The Iara most typically manifests as a beautiful woman sitting on a big rock by the river, singing and seductively combing her long hair. Her voice is irresistible. Iara are flirtatious. Men are smitten and feel compelled to abandon everything and anyone in order to join the Iara, possibly with fatal results. Iara epitomizes the magnetically irresistible and charismatic and is a popular name for Brazilian women. Iara appears in the influential 1928 novel Macunaima by Brazilian author Mario de Andrade.


Yara; Vira; Mae d’Agua


Brazil (Tupi)



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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