Creatures from African Mythology: Tokoloshe

african, design, From the sketchbooks, idea, illustration, Ken Wilson-Max, publishing

tokoloshe

The mythical Southern African creature, the Tokoloshe is a dwarf-like, mischievous and evil spirit can make itself invisible by swallowing a pebble. Tokoloshes are called upon to cause trouble for others. Its power extends from scaring children to causing illness and even death to its target. Only the N’anga (witch doctor) has the power to banish the Tokoloshe. Another way to keep the Tokoloshe away at night is to put a brick beneath each leg of one’s bed. Some people believe the Tokoloshe is a poltergeist, or gremlin, created by N’angas who have been offended. The Tokoloshe is characterised by its hairy body, its gremlin-like appearance and gouged out eyes. But, the Tokoloshe has been known to take on many forms. According to legend, the Tokoloshe gets its power from a hot poker, which thrusted into its crown during creation.

K

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