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Legend from South Africa

by Ivan

I saw the legend about tokoloshe when I was a kid in some book and at that time I was really impressed but anyway here it goes. The tokoloshe is a short, hairy, dwarf-like creature from Bantu folklore.

It is a mischievous and evil spirit that can become invisible by swallowing a pebble. Tokoloshes are called upon by malevolent people to cause trouble for others. At its least harmful, a tokoloshe can be used to scare children, but its power extends to causing illness and even death upon the victim.

The penis of the tokoloshe is so long that it has to be slung over his shoulder. Thus sexually well-endowed, the duties of the tokoloshe include making love to its witch mistress. In return, it is rewarded with milk and food. In common with European myths and legends, salt must not be added to food offerings for tokoloshes. The witch keeps the tokoloshe docile by cutting the fringe of hair that hangs over its eyes.

In South Africa, where many white families have maidservants, the maids would often raise their beds by placing the legs of their beds on bricks. It was an almost universal belief, among white people, that this was to keep the occupant of the bed out of reach of the tokoloshe.

The way to get rid of him is to call in the n’anga or witch-doctor who has the power to banish him from the area.

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