Dark Origins: African myths and legends – The Zulus Part 3 #Zulucreationmyth #sausagetree

The Zulu Creation Myth

The Zulu myth on the creation of mankind and the world is as follows:

The Ancient One, known as Unkulunkulu, came from the reeds and from them he created the people and the cattle. Unkulunkula created the mountains, streams, and all creatures, both wild and domesticated.

He taught the Zulu’s how to hunt, how to make fire, and how to grow food.

You can listen to me read the Zulu myth: The Story of Creation here:

The Sausage Tree and Zulu mythology

When I visited Ghost Mountain in Kwa-Zulu Natal in March 2021, I learned about the iconic Sausage Tree which grows in this area.

This is a picture of Ghost Mountain, doesn’t it look just like a screaming head?

This tree’s incredible sausage-shaped fruit weighs between 5 and 10 kilograms and can get to 3 feet in length. The unripe fruit is poisonous, especially to humans, but the skin is ground to a pulp and used externally for medicine. It is used to cure skin ailments especially skin cancers. The fruit is also burned to ashes and pounded using a mortar with oil and water to make a paste to apply to the skin. The rind of the fruit is also used to aid the fermentation of local brews.

The sausage tree has beautiful blood-red to maroon flowers with an unpleasant (to humans) smell. It’s scent attracts its main pollinator, the Dwarf Epauletted Fruitbat.

Many animals feed on the flowers when they drop, including impala, duiker, bush pigs, and lovebirds.

Zulu myth about the sausage tree

During our stay at Ghost Mountain Lodge, we went on a game drive to a nearby private game park. The ranger told us that the sausage tree is the subject of an age-old myth that it has the power to enhance libido and sexual prowess in both humans and animals. The sausage tree is also believed to hold the answer to impotence. These ‘cures’ are prepared by traditional doctors and are shrouded in mystery.

Did you know?

Did you know that I have two short stories in the WordCrafter Press anthology, Spirits of the West, that are based on South African history?

If you would like to read and review a copy, please email me at sirchoc[at]outlook[dot]com.

Here is a short extract from my story, The Ghost in the Mound:

“Grasping the baby tightly, Sara clambers out from under the wagon and sits back on her heels next to the wheel. After passing her the baby, Susanna crawls out, followed by Clara. They both kneel beside her.
In front of them, through the smoky haze, the blurred and agitated forms of the adults move frantically; fire, reload, fire, reload. The noise is immense.

Pointing to the huge baobab tree which stands directly in front of them, Sara whispers to the two younger girls.

“You need to run straight past Mama and get behind that tree. Run as fast as you can, I’ll be right behind you. Are you ready? One, two, go!”

The three girls lunge forward and begin to run, their faces drawn and tight with stress and their eyes fixed on the prominent tree. Their swiftly moving feet are accompanied by the crashing of the guns and the shrieks and yells of the enemy.

As the tree draws closer, Sara can see the detail of every leaf and the smooth shininess of its bottle-shaped trunk. The threesome circle behind the great trunk, gasping for breath. Sara drops to her knees;
Kobus is heavy and her chest throbs.

The tree’s heavy, white flowers are already starting to fade, and a few have already turned brown and fallen to the ground. Their sweet fragrance has a cloying smell of decay. Sara looks around, considering their options.

Where can we hide?

Her eyes settle on the termite mound, standing proud and tall, surrounded by veld. The yellowy green grass between their position under the tree and the mound is tall and thick, offering protection from
searching eyes.”

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specialising in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has two published novels:

* Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy; and

* A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has ten children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5


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38 Comments on “Dark Origins: African myths and legends – The Zulus Part 3 #Zulucreationmyth #sausagetree”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:

    This month’s Dark Origin’s article concludes the trio of posts about the Zulu people of South Africa. This articles shares some information about the traditional Zulu myth of Creation and a story in that regard as well as about the Sausage Tree and the myth surrounding it. Thanks for hosting, Kaye Lynne Booth.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What an interesting story. Myths are always wonderful to read and enjoy. Thanks for sharing, and reading aloud, Robbie! Best wishes, Michael

    Liked by 3 people

  3. olganm says:

    Fascinating, Robbie, and those sausage trees! Your stories also sound gripping and I love the extract you’ve shared. Good luck and thanks for creating and sharing this post!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Norah says:

    Fascinating stories, Robbie. I don’t know much about myths of Southern Africa. I have read quite a few creation stories and they all seemed to have some similarities. This one is quite different though.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. BERNADETTE says:

    Thanks for this look into Zulu land. It is so interesting and so different from life in the U.S.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dan Antion says:

    I like exploring different cultures through their myths and legends. I think it gives us an insight into their history. I always enjoy your readings, Robbie. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. memadtwo says:

    That mountain does look like it contains ghosts!
    I always wonder how native people’s discovered the medicinal values of plants. I suppose it’s trial and error in a way, but there must be some method to it. (K)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love these creation myths. They are all similar and different.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Such an interesting post Robbie and Iove to hear you reading 🤩💜

    Liked by 2 people

  10. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    It really does look like a screaming face, Robbie:) Great excerpt and information.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I often wonder how people discovered the uses of poisonous plants… trying them I guess. Thanks for sharing a bit of S. Africa, Robbie and a snippet from your story. I don’t know if I’ve seen this anthology before. Is it a new one?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jan Sikes says:

    I have never heard of a sausage tree. Just amazing stuff, Robbie! Thanks for sharing and thank you, Kaye Lynn, for hosting!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ah-mazing! Where were you when I was studying World History in High School? If we learned stuff like this, it would have been much more interesting, that is for sure! Thank you, Robbie!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Such an interesting post, Robbie. Isn’t it fascinating how Nature (or Unkulunkulu!) made the sausage tree blooms unpleasant to humans but attractive to bats? Hey, the mountain top does look like a screaming head!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I enjoy your reading of the Zulu Creation Myth, Zulu. There didn’t seem to have the sin and violence of Western myths. It was quite charming, in fact.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Staci Troilo says:

    I’m always interested in learning about plants that are edible versus those that are poisonous. I’m pretty sure I’d die in the wilderness because I can never remember what’s safe and what isn’t. Though I suspect I’ll remember this one. What a fascinating tree! I love the myth associated with it and the actual uses of the “sausages.” Thanks for sharing this, Robbie.

    Liked by 2 people

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