Through an ethnographic
approach, this study aims at understanding the meanings of hunger
based on the experience of social actors living in extreme poverty
in a neighbourhood of Salvador City, Bahia, Brazil. The narratives
are analysed in order to understand the construction of signs inherent
in the suffering of those who experience hunger on a daily basis.
On the cultural dimension, this human ordeal is manifested in various
forms (metaphors), such as the embodiment of a legend from the Brazilian
“sertão”, named “Romãozinho”,
that renders visibility to such hunger myth. According to its mythical
configuration, "Romãozinho" attacks and steals
food from the community’s children, inexorably bringing them
to death. This is one of the creations of the culture of hunger
present in socially excluded layers of the population.