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Home  |  Mortals   |  African Mortals   |  Uhlakanyana : The Trickster God

Uhlakanyana : The Trickster God

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At a glance

Description
Origin African Mythology
Classification Mortals
Family Members N/A
Region South Africa
Associated With Shapeshifting, Trickery

Uhlakanyana

Introduction

Uhlakanyana is a prominent figure in Zulu folklore. Although he is no longer regarded as a mythological creature, there is still doubt as to his true nature. It is probable that he was a weasel, but the people who told the story forgot about this fact when it was written down. It is not clear why the weasel was chosen, as most Bantu believe that his deeds were carried out by the jackal or hare.

Physical Traits

Uhlakayana was a child who had supernatural abilities, such as being able to transform into various forms. In Zulu mythology, she is depicted as a dwarf-type figure, similar to Tikdoshe.

Family

Xhosa myths state that the child of a woman who was the last female village chief to bear a child is known as Ulakayana. Before they were born, she asked their mother to give birth to her. During this time, she carried out various schemes against the villagers. One of these involved stealing the meat that the men hunted.

In various stories, she and her companions would trick other people into giving them food. One of these involved a woman who got too hot and eventually died. Her corpse was then eaten by her children. There have also been instances where she was killed by the people she tricked. However, in several of these stories, the figure would come back to life.

Other names

She is a trickster figure that is featured in various Xhosa and Zulu mythology also being known as Hlakayana. One of her aliases is Ucakijana, and it means “Little Weasel.” The people who told its story said that Ucakijana was a weasel-like creature due to her small stature and cunning.

Powers and Abilities

In South Africa, there are various types of violent and immoral beings known as the dwarfish faeries. They live in caves and are capable of causing lightning storms and using conventional weapons with ease due to their thick skin. In one story, they are said to have stolen the cubs of a cheetah, causing the animal to cry and develop marks on its cheek. They were eventually defeated by a man from the sky, who was a helpful ultraterrestrial creature. Uhlakayana is known to act according to her malevolent urges. In Xhosa mythology, her intentions are stated to be neutral, and they can be cruel.

Modern Day Influence

Many stories of the trickster is said among the various tribes of South Africa and has either inspired stories among other tribes or been inspired by them. Due to the shared folklore, mythology and tales among the tribes, it becomes difficult to pinpoint where they merge and where it diverges.

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Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.
Disclaimer: While it is the intention of Mythlok and its editors to keep all the information about various characters as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be considered mythical, legendary or folkloric doctrine in any way. We welcome you using this website for any research, journal or study but citing this website for any academic work would be at your own personal risk.