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Jurupari, also known in Taíno lore as First Murderer,[1] First Mosquitoes[2] or the Hupia,[3] is one of the main antagonists in Spirits of Ash and Foam. Maq gave him the sobriquet of Mosquito Boy.[4][5]

Personality

As a ghost of a newborn, Jurupari responded mostly to survival instincts, namely self-preservation and the need for nourishment. Due to his demonic nature, he exuded a wicked streak and sadistic relish in his actions, often expressed through contemptuous laughter. On top of this, he evinced a utter lack of remorse for his devilry.[1][6]

Physical description

Before becoming the ghostly Hupia, Jurupari was a mere newborn infant, who had not yet learned to walk and only had one tooth.[1] After being thrown into the First Fire, he became a swarm of mosquitoes that on occasion would coalesce into the form and shape of a small boy.[6]

Biography

In the First Days

Jurupari was conceived by Aycayia and First Demon in the First Days, as a result of Guanayoa's nefarious machinations. Fearing that the child would grow up to follow the steps of his illustrious namesake, the First Witch corrupted the child in utero by feeding Aycayia human blood, thus tainting him with an unquenchable thirst for it. After being born, Jurupari would crawl out of his mother's bohio and stalk a different prey every night, exsanguinating them to death. Hence the First Murderer was born.

Jurupari's crimes were eventually uncovered by First Bat and witnessed by First Chief and First Shaman, who denounced him to the entire tribe as a demon. Despite his mother's protests, Jurupari was sentenced to death.[7] Jurupari tricked First Chief and First Shaman into throwing him to the First Fire, knowing that it would not kill him. Although his body was consumed by the flames, his rising ashes became the First Mosquitoes[2] and Jurupari's plague of death continued worse than before. So, First Shaman and First Bat wrought a zemi to eliminate this threat permanently—a flute that when played would summon little brown bats to consume the First Mosquitoes. Jurupari fled to his mother's exile to seek her protection, only to be trapped inside a gourd jar she had fashioned to keep her child from danger, and from endangering the Taíno.[8]

It is unknown how many times Jurupari was released from his entrapment, as the only documented occurrence dates back to 1566, when Spanish conquistadors found and opened he gourd jar. Jurupari wreaked havoc upon them and devastated the Spanish community on the Ghost Keys. That event was recorded in history as a malaria epidemic,[2] and throughout the course of the years other similar incidents were imputed to this disease.[9] Therefore, it is entirely plausible that Jurupari has been released more times.[10]

The final release

On September 9 around 1 a.m.,[11] the gourd jar was accidentally found by Milo Cash, who was searching for a zemi on an ancient bat cave on Sycorax Island. The unwitting trespasser opened the jar, releasing Jurupari, who immediately fed on Cash to death.[12] Jurupari lingered on the cave, nibbling on guava and waiting for more preys. On the following night, an old acquaintance of his ventured inside the cave: Guanayoa (now in the guise of Julia). At first he didn't recognize her, but her contempt was unmistakable. Julia dropped the gourd jar into a nearby pool and told Jurupari to keep watch on the second zemi. Jurupari disregarded her edict at first, but when she stressed out that his own survival might depend on it, Jurupari hackened.[13]

So, Jurupari did as instructed, and later that night he kept watch on the flute, which was in the Guerreros' manor,[14] ready to attack anyone who would come close.[13] Shortly before dawn, Isaac Naborías ventured into the cave, and Jurupari attacked him. His onslaught was foiled, however, by the break of day,[13] but the Hupia wouldn't desist.

One day later, after sunset, he had another go at Naborías, when he was on a ferry, telling the Taíno legend of the First Murderer to the crowd. Jurupari's swarm of mosquitoes engulfed Naborías and feasted on him and would have killed him, if not for Rain lunging at Naborías, causing both to fall into the water. Jurupari hovered above the surface, but eventually gave up and dispersed.[1] Later on, Julia paid Jurupari another visit and, much to his surprise, praised him for attacking Naborías and incited him to do the same to Rain, should the opportunity arise. Jurupari already had a taste of her, so this was a most welcomed notion.[7]

And sure enough, the opportunity presented itself. On September 18, Rain realized that the second zemi they were looking for, which Jurupari had been keeping close watch, was in Miranda Guerrero's manor. As soon as Rain connected the dots, the First Mosquitoes stormed inside the study and attacked the teens, but mostly Rain who was holding the flute. The teens tried to swat the mosquitoes, but to no avail as more kept appearing. However, when Rain held the spear aloft, accidentally making the flute release a short high-pitched whistle, Jurupari pulled back and retreated.[6]

He took shelter back in his cave, and when Rain and her posse ventured in, Jurupari cowered away from her and the zemi. He watched as the interlopers fumbled around for the gourd jar, but once he realized they were clueless, he attacked them. He focused mainly on Rain until Charlie picked up the fallen spear, but Jurupari could tell they didn't know how it worked, so he taunted them. However, Miranda quickly realized that the power resided in the flute, at which point Jurupari unleashed all his might on the three teenagers.

Unfortunately for him, the ghost of Sebastian Bohique was able to pick up any zemi, which he did, and swung it around until it started to play. The swarm of mosquitoes pulled back from its victims and made an attempt to exit the cave, but as soon as Jurupari saw the bats that had answered the flute's call, he turned back inside. Jurupari was eaten alive and was nearly in the brink of extinction when Aycayia rose from the pool, holding the lost gourd jar and began to sing a lullaby. What was left of the First Mosquitoes flew inside the gourd, which Aycayia proceeded to seal.[15] Moment later, Aycayia turned herself into seafoam and was safely deposited inside the gourd, thus reuniting mother and son again.[8]

Appearances

Spirits of Ash and Foam

Trivia

Jurupari is a deity for many South American groups. The Nukak Maku in Colombia view him as a cult god, and practice a ritual which include flute music and the consumption of hallucinogens to induce trances, to get closer to the gods and spirits.

Other tribes view Jurupari as an evil spirit that takes animal forms and brings illness or bad dreams to its victims.

The first Jurupari was a young boy born to the first woman just after the time of creation. He was initially born with no mouth, but one day the creator god granted him one. When some boys from a nearby village ate fruit their parents told them not to eat, he opened his mouth which let them to hide from their parents.

In reference to this account, juruparipindi is a river fish that keeps its fertilized eggs in a pouch within the its mouth for protection.[16]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Weisman, Greg (2014). Demon Child. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Weisman, Greg (2014). The Evil Legend of Mosquito Boy. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  3. Weisman, Greg (2014). Night Moves. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  4. Weisman, Greg (2014). Bad Taste. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  5. Weisman, Greg (2014). Nonfrontation. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Weisman, Greg (2014). Right Place, Wrong Time. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Weisman, Greg (2014). Smitten. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Weisman, Greg (2014). Ash and Foam. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  9. Weisman, Greg (2014). Surfing for Epiphanies. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  10. Weisman, Greg (2014). The Paved Road. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  11. Weisman, Greg (2014). The Pale Tourist. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  12. Weisman, Greg (2014). Detritus. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Weisman, Greg (2014). Days Gone Bye. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  14. Weisman, Greg (2014). Search and Research. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  15. Weisman, Greg (2014). Blood Relative. In Spirits of Ash and Foam. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
  16. Jurupari, from the South and Meso-American Mythology A to Z, by Ann Bingham. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 2004. Ancient and Medieval Facts Online. Accessed August 2, 2014.

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