There are tales of hyena whose appearance has confused the many observers. Diodorus Siculus a Greek historian from 60-30 BC who said that the hyena was a cross between dog and wolf while Sir Walter Raleigh thought it was cross between cat and dog. It is told that hyenas have the ability to change their sex as well as duplicitous things like imitating human voice in order to lure men to their death. The Arabic lore states that hyenas are the reincarnations of sorcerers who return to steal their enemies flock. The idea in Africa is that the hyenas are seen as tricksters or shapeshifters. In East Africa, it’s believed people that the glowing spirits of the dead can be detected inside the eyes of a hyena who have devoured their flesh. This in a way is believed that the ancestors can return through the hyena so they can ride out the night as ghosts.

John and Caitlin Matthews, The Element Encyclopaedia of Magical Creatures, 2013, Hyena, p 247


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s