ImageRecently, an aunt told me some stories of a ghost / spirit that used to stay in the forests around some of the villages in Goa long ago when her mother was a young woman – my aunt is in her eighties now – I tried looking up this word devsaar / deosaar? But I couldn’t find any information on it – has anybody heard of these wood spirits? And what the name deosaar indicates?


Devsaar among catholics mean the devil or demon.  It is used in
doctrine and cathechism. However it might have been a word picked by
missionaries from Hindu philosophy to represent another force.  In
many villages they say among catholics that the devil resides in
certain trees especially on the boundaries of the village. The Hindus
too celebrate the feast as that  Rankondar or the village guardian who
walks round the village. They are also termed as  Ishwar with the
place or some connotation attached to them. At some places at
strategic  position there are crosses to which the  people hold a
litany. But sometimes the Vodil ( Senior ) men of the  place puts some
drink like feni which is supposed to be offered to the so termed devil
behind the cross, . For instance the senior fellow may loudly end by
calling on Voddavedlo Devnchar to take account of the misdeeds of an
enemy. Most of these things are hidden as they are frowned by the
Church authorities
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Carmo  .

‘Devchar’ or ‘devchaar’ is a devil or Satan for Catholics. But one has to be careful of this meaning as along the West coast there is also the local concept of ‘devchar’ [devacho achar] as the ‘guardian spirit‘ or ‘rakhondar’ who is a benevolent spirit and may appear in human form to help people in distress. This could be understood as ‘guardian angel’ [though there may be theological debates in such an interpretation].

Rap heal fernandes

S: I remember Dr William R da Silva, priest-sociologist but a very open one, saying once that the word “devchar” probably comes from “devacho-achar” (meaning, a manifestation of the deity… if not mistaken).

Frederick Norohna.

Along the coast of Karnataka, we have a similar concept called the Devva, sometimes they are also called Jakkini. the guardian spirit of  an area.

Ben Antao

Jaknni bandh is located in Navelim, Salcete. It refers to the bridge under which ranes used to hide and attack
Ben Antao
Jaknni bandh is located in Navelim, Salcete. It refers to the bridge under which ranes used to hide and attack
those walking on the road. This myth began in the 1700s and survived through word of mouth until I was growing up
in Margao in the 1940s.
Incidentally, I’ve used this bridge in my novel BLOOD & Nemesis (2005), about Goa’s freedom struggle from the
Portuguese rule. My protagonist Santan Barreto says Jai Hind at the bridge where the police cop Jovino Colaco
stood to halt the carreiras overloading passengers. The old bridge, now rebuilt, is on the main road coming into Margao from Chinchinim
just after the Dramapur exit.