Folktales in Grenada - Papa Bois and Mama Glo

Oral traditions including storytelling is part of Grenada's heritage especially its intangible heritage. There are several folk tales that have formed part of our heritage, and remain relevant today. These folk tales need to remain and be passed down to future generations.


Papa Bois

Papa Bois is of French origin. Papa Bois is the father of the forest. His appearance remains mysterious. He is believed to be male in gender, appearing as a tree hence the name Papa Bois or Father wood. Others believe his appearance is in the form of an old man, with animal like features including hooves, and plant like features including leaves growing from his beard. Papa Bois can be found deep within the forest, and is known for luring young male hunters into the forest. He is married to Mama Glow.


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Mama Glow

Mama Glo is of African origin, meaning mother of water or river mother. Mama Glo is the mother of the river. Other versions of the word include Mama D'Leau or Mama D'Lo. Mama Glo is female, and has long hair, and a golden comb used to comb the hair. Mama Glo is part human and part animal. She has a female upper body, but her bottom half is that of a snake. Mama Glo is the wife of Papa Bois. She is known to lure persons into the river where she lives. If you ever encounter Mama Glow, take off your left shoe, turn it upside down, and walk backwards as fast as possible to protect yourself.


Many persons grew up with the stories of Mama Glo and Papa Bois being told by elders within the village or community.


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If you are looking for a children's book, see here: Mama Glo by Christine Platt (goodreads.com)


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