Zulu Culture
Zulu Superstitions, Lightning, the Tokoloshe
Zulu Religion - Superstitions
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The Isivivane

The Isivivane Large piles of stones are occasionally encountered at various places in KwaZulu-Natal. These isivivane are the means by which respect is paid to the local spirits to ensure the journey is completed successfully. A stone is picked up with the left foot, transferred to the right hand and spat upon before being placed on the heap.


This natural phenomenon is feared by the Zulu, it might be because of the spectacular storms that occur in the summer months in Zululand. Any person, animal or tree that is struck is considered to have been so because of the wishes of the spirits.

Any person killed by lightning will neither be mourned nor buried with a ceremony, cattle will not be eaten but buried and trees that have been felled by lightning will not be used for any purpose.

A Zulu man will go out to the cattle kraal before an impending storm, beat his shield, burn herbs and implore the spirits to protect the kraal. It is widely thought that lightning can be directed by the spirits


The Tokoloshe is a feared individual, the equivalent of a zombie. It is said that wizards created tokoloshes by taking a corpse, gouging out its eyes, cutting out its tongue and driving a red hot rod down through its skull whereupon it shrinks to the size of a young child. By blowing magic powder into its mouth, it comes to life for its master's bidding.

In the hut, beds were frequently raised on bricks, out of reach of the tokoloshe and a knock at the door at night remains unanswered.