Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day LXXIX - Abatwa

Zulu warrior,
Nomad mounted on an ant,
Careful where you step.

An incredible element of Zulu mythology, Abatwa are pretty much shy tiny humans said to be so small they can hide in anthills or behind blades of grass. South African legend has it that the little beings are hunter nomads that ride ants to get about or indeed get away from being seen. So sensitive is the Abatwa about its diminutive height that it can only tolerate being spotted by magicians, pregnant women or children under the age of four. If you spy one and you don't meet those criteria then you'll have to convince the Abatwa that you saw it from a long way away in order to as not to offend it (and consequently feel the points of poison arrows). Stepping on the creatures is also a death sentence so altogether it makes sense to be aware of the awesome pygmy people of South Africa. All hail the Abatwa as they ride astride their ant-mounts!

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