Two youth masqueraders in different depictions of Papa Bois, mythical father of the forest from Trinidad folklore
I heard an interview with a Trinidadian jazz musician who said that before there was modern-day environmentalism as we know it, there was Papa Bois (papa bwa). Among the folklore of Trinidad and Tobago there is a figure called Papa Bois, which is French for Father Forest. Papa Bois is the protector of the forest who is half man, half cloven foot animal. He walks around with a cane and protects the animals from poachers and other maladies that may befall them. I don’t remember this, but the musician said that as a child he remembered being told if you littered Papa Bois would get you, and that was how we learnt to protect and care for our environment.