Impundulu

Also known as Lightning Bird.

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  • #3858
  • African African (culture)
  • Flying Flying (attribute)
  • Sorcery and Medicinal Sorcery and Medicinal (attribute)
  • Seductive Seductive (attribute)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

The Impundulu is a bird from the mythology of Pondo, Xhosa and Zulu from Africa. The name translates as ‘Lightning Bird’. It is as large as a human and is coloured black and white. However some stated that the bird had red to green irredescent feather much like that of a peacock. It gets its name from its power to summon lightning bolts from its wings and talons. Sometimes the bird would transform into a handsome charming young man who seduced women. These women would become its victims as the bird ferociously killed them and sucked their blood.

The Impundulu was usually a Familiar or mythical pet to wizards and aided them in their work. Its flesh was used by the wizards to help track down thieves. Its fat was the most magical part of this bird as it was believed that the beast caused a fire after striking lightning with the power of its fat. If an Impundulu was caught its fat could be used to create powerful medicines. Damaging the nest of an Impundulu is thought to bring about a storm.

The only way to overcome an Impundulu is to attack at the moment its strikes lightning but none has ever succeeded in this. The beast lays its eggs underground at the place where it struck lightning. The eggs were sought after by people to procure or dispose of them. In one incident a girl claimed that she was attacked by an Impundulu that left claw marks on her body before flying away to the clouds. In 2005 an African man was convicted of murder after he killed a 2 year old girl that he believed was an Impundulu.

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