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The Negrinho do Pastoreio legend is a half Christian and half African legend.
It is a very popular legend in southern Brazil and its origin is from the late 19th century in Rio Grande do Sul. It was told a lot at the end of the last century by Brazilians who advocated the end of slavery. It is a legend of Rio Grande do Sul, and some folklorists claim that the region has a unique legend of its own, created in the local way.
Legend has it that in times of slavery there was an evil rancher with blacks and pawns. On a winter's day, it was very cold, and the farmer ordered a fourteen-year-old black boy to herd horses and foals he had just bought. In the late afternoon, when the boy returned, the rancher said a bay horse was missing. He took the whip and beat the boy so hard that he bled. Said the rancher: "You will realize the bay, or you will see what happens." Distressed, the boy went looking for the animal. Before long, he found the horse grazing. He tied it, but the rope broke and the horse fled again.
Back at the resort, the even more irritated rancher hit the boy again and tied him naked over an anthill. The next day, when he went to see the state of his victim, he was startled. The boy was there, but standing, smooth-skinned, with no lash marks. Beside him, the Blessed Virgin, and beyond the bay and the other horses. The rancher threw himself to the ground for forgiveness, but the black guy answered nothing. He just kissed Santa's hand, mounted the bay and set off leading the pack. From this, among the wanderers, drovers, peddlers, and wagons of the region, they all heard the news that they had seen, as shepherded, a pack of dazzles, touched by a Negrinho, riding a bay horse. Since then, when any Christian lost anything, at night, the Negrinho would seek and find, but only give to those who lit a candle, whose light he took to pay the altar of his godmother, the Virgin, Our Lady, who delivered him out of captivity, and gave him a stump, which he leads and shepherds, without anyone seeing.
Whoever loses things in the field, should light a candle by some post or under the branches of the trees, to the grazing Negrinho and go telling him: "That's where I lost… That's where I lost… That's where I lost…". If he doesn't find it, nobody else does.