A. Sutherland – AncientPages.com – Africa contains many nationalities and a large variety of legends. Every nation has many beliefs that have been handed down from one generation to the next since the distant past.
The most interesting character in Zulu mythology is Tokoloshe or Tikdoshe, a mischievous and evil spirit that feeds on the spiritual energy of its victims.
It took time but eventually, it was realized that anyone who happened to be sleeping in an elevated position escaped the deadly curse of this evil spirit. Image credit: Angus McBride for Finding Out, Volume 16 Issue # 11
If necessary, these ‘little spirits’ or ‘little devils’ can become invisible through the use of a magic stone that they carry inside their mouth, or by swallowing a stone or drinking water. They also have the ability to disguise themselves as a bird or a small bear but this is not passed down in all stories.
There are many myths about this nasty river-dweller and the Zulu people describe it in different ways giving us many versions of the Tokoloshe stories.
Generally, the Tokoloshe is a terrifying dwarf-like creature only 20-30 cm tall with huge ears, head of man, red eyes, long and sharp claws, and a body covered with hair.