SPIRITS NAMES IN NGUNI LANGUAGES
(monstrous; cyclone or thunderstorm) river snake the awesome “Lord of the deep waters”
- Mamolapo or Mamogashoa
(mother of the river / deep) snake are considered the tutelary spirits of Diviners, Healers and Spirit Mediums.(Setiloane mermaids are fairly common in South Africa.
Sotho folktales of Mamolapoor mamohashoa tell how it lures over-confident young men to their dooms by appearing in the guise of a ‘very beautiful and attractive “mermaid, like the Khanyapa/ Inkanyamba/Inyanyahuwe these mermaidswhen angered, travel about as horrifying tornados.
Still further south, the Xhosa and neighboring Bhaca share a common belief in the snake-like Umamulambo, the wealth giving familiar which people can purchase from Spiritual Gurus, though it can transform itself into a particularly beautiful Sexual Partner, this Mamulambo like a Congolese Mami wata, is a jealous partner, and often requires the sacrifice of its owner’s mother, father or wife. (The supernatural snakes of Southern Africa are now commonly envisioned as mermaids.)
This also seems true of the Zulu, on the Zulu sketch of a diviner who began his career after being taken to a certain pool to meet with a great python (Inhlwathi).
This king of the Ancestral Spirits (Inkosi yamadlozi) Lord of the Ancestral Spirits, or (Inkosi Yamakhosi, Ogogo Nabomkhulu) great lords of lords, lord of the sky was there surrounded by the ‘snakes of our fathers’ and accompanied by a lady with very big breasts- who gave birth to and suckled those ‘’’children of the python’’’.
The large breasted woman here suggests how such water snakes might assume the guise of the 20th century mermaids.