Sunday, October 01, 2006

Vampire Myths Around the World: Africa

Sorcerers amongst the 'Ewe' tribe in southeastern Ghana and southern Togo in Africa were often thought by the tribesfolk to be possessed by a vampire spirit known as an 'Adze'.

This vampire has the appearance of a firefly and flies around preying on young children, drinking their blood but also drinks coconut water and palm oil.

If caught it will revert to human form.

Source: VampGirl.Com

This vampire originates from the Ashanti people of Southern Ghana and is also found in Togo and the Ivory Coast.

These vampire creatures hide in trees in dense forests and attacks and kills anyone who walks underneath.

The 'Asasabonsam' is of human form except for its iron teeth and hooklike legs which it uses to trap its victims.

Source: VampGirl.Com

Witches in the eastern Cape region keep these vampire creatures as servants which they use to attack their enemies.

The 'Impundulu' is passed down from mother to daughter in the Witch's family and, rather like the 'Incubus', is able to transform into handsome male and seduce its witch mistress.

This vampire is thought to possess an insatiatable appetite for blood and will drain its victim to the point of death if allowed to do so.

Source: VampGirl.Com

This vampire originates amongst the Ashanti tribes living on the Gold Coast although it does reappear under different names amongst neighbouring tribes.
For example, In Dahomean folklore it is called the 'Asiman'.

The 'Obayifo' is another example of witchraft as this 'living vampire' is the spirit of a male or female witch that is able to leave its body and flies around at night feeding on young children.

This vampire, which has the appearance of a glowing ball of light, is also said to cause blight in crops: as well as drinking blood, the 'Obayifo' is partial to the juice of some fruit and vegetables and will destroy whole fields if it drinks too much of this.

Source: VampGirl.Com

History of Vampires

For those who are interested in the origins of the vampire myth (amongst some other curiosities!) here's a very good page: "Vampires in Myth and History - by Beverley Richardson"

It pretty much covers it all, from the Slavic Vampires to legends involving Bats, mentioning the Gypsie lore and the Romanian roots of vampirism.

I liked it and I thought it was interesting without being boring to read. Hope you enjoy it.

Here's a little introduction to what the article is:

" Vampire myths go back thousands of years and occur in almost every culture around the world. Their variety is almost endless; from red eyed monsters with green or pink hair in China to the Greek Lamia which has the upper body of a woman and the lower body of a winged serpent; from vampire foxes in Japan to a head with trailing entrails known as the Penanggalang in Malaysia.

However, the vampires we are familiar with today, although mutated by fiction and film, are largely based on Eastern European myths. The vampire myths of Europe originated in the far East, and were transported from places like China, Tibet and India with the trade caravans along the silk route to the Mediterranean. Here they spread out along the Black Sea coast to Greece, the Balkans and of course the Carpathian mountains, including Hungary and Transylvania.

Our modern concept of the vampire still retains threads, such as blood drinking, return from death, preying on humans at night, etc in common with the Eastern European myths. However many things we are familiar with; the wearing of evening clothes, capes with tall collars, turning into bats, etc are much more recent inventions.

On the other hand, many features of the old myths such as the placing of millet or poppy seeds at the gravesite in order to keep the vampire occupied all night counting seeds rather than preying on relatives, have all but disappeared from modern fiction and film.

Even among the Eastern European countries there is a large variety of vampires."

Continuining with the topic of vampires in history, we also have one article about it in Wikipedia => Vampire