The legend of Cuia de Cuia is the story of Crispim, a young boy who lived on the banks of the Parnaíba river and a very poor family.
Legend has it that one day, arriving for lunch, his mother served him, as usual, a thin soup with bones, since meat was often missing in his house.
That day he revolted, and in the midst of the argument with his mother, threw the bone at her, striking her in the head and killing her. Before dying his mother cursed him for wandering in the river and with his huge head in the shape of a gourd, which would wander day and night and would only break free of the curse after devouring seven virgins, named Maria. With the curse Crispim had gone mad in a mixture of fear and hatred and ran to the Parnaiba River, where he drowned.
His body has never been found, and to this day, older people forbid their virgin daughters named Maria from washing or bathing in the flood season. Some locals claim that the Cuia Head, in addition to searching for the virgins, murders the river bathers and tries to turn boats passing by the river. Others also claim that Crispin or the Cuia Head seeks the women because they think they are, in fact, his mother, who came to the Parnaiba River to forgive him. But as he approaches and encounters another woman, he gets angry again and ends up killing the women. The Cuia Head, to this day, could not devour even a virgin named Maria.