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K is for Kishi.

We all remember that moment in the first Harry Potter movie where Voldemort’s face is sticking out of the back of Quirrell’s head.

Well, in African Folklore there’s something even scarier: the Kishi.




Kishi (Folklore)

The Kishi are a race of hill-dwelling creatures of Angola, and are usually malicious. They have two heads; the head usually shown is quite handsome and is used to seduce its prey. The rear face is usually hidden by long thick hair, and resembles the face of a hyena. It has long sharp teeth and jaws so strong they cannot be pulled off of anything it bites. The Kishi seduces women with its handsome face and invites them to its lair for dinner, whereupon it devours its victims.



The kishi is a two-faced demon in Angola. According to legend, a kishi has an attractive human man’s face on the front of its body and a hyena‘s face on the back. Kishi are said to use their human face, as well as smooth talk and other charms to attract young women, who they then eat with the hyena face.[1] The hyena face is said to have long sharp teeth and jaws so strong they cannot be pulled off of anything it bites.

The word kishi, nkishi, or mukisi means “spirit” in several Bantu languages spoken in Zaire, northern Zambia, and Angola.[2]


I, of course, have this terrifying creature in my stories. Here’s my version of their folklore (also found on the page Origin of the Fae.)


Extremely handsome men, they look like airbrushed models.

They have long hair, like in centuries gone by. Their luscious locks hide their hyena faces at the back.

<Their hair hides hideous faces with sharp teeth that can rip your arm off.> As the Cù Sìth warn in Secrets in Shadow.

They prefer to live in the mountains and hills. Their caves smell awful and is filled with the skeletons of previous meals.

They have a Stone of Power that gives them their magic and has the ability to block or absorb the powers of other magic users.

“Write drunk, edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

Especially when writing about creatures such as this…

I hope you’ve found this interesting. Anything to add?

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