A-Z Blogging Challenge, African Fae, African Folklore, African legends, antagonists, Brian Tracy, Camp NaNoWriMo, Faerie, folklore, folklore creatures, Ian Somerhalder, vampires, Wikipedia, witches, writing
O is for Obayifo.
Vampires and Witches can be found in the folklore of every nation. The Obayifo is a scary monster from African Folklore.
An obayifo is a vampire-like mythological creature from West Africa coming from the folklore of the Ashanti. It is known as asiman by the Dahomey people. The obayifo was also considered a kind of witch. In Ashanti folklore, obayifo are very common and may inhabit the bodies of ordinary people. They are described as having shifty eyes and being obsessed with food. When travelling at night they are said to emit a phosphorescent light from their armpits and anus.
The Obayifo (pronounced oh-bay-EE-fo) is the West African version of the vampire, although it differs from the more common European view of the blood-seeking demon. Known by a few names – obeyifo, asiman, and asanbosam, although some differences exist between them – the Obayifo is often considered to be an evil witch who feeds off of the people’s fear and despair.
Although the Obayifo does feed on the blood of innocent children, there are a few other characteristics that set it apart from our typical view of vampires. For one, the Obayifo is a living being that is inhabited by an evil spirit, which causes it to perform evil acts. They walk about as neighbors, friends, husbands and wives, and no one but the Okomfo, or White Wizard, can identify them. The Okomfo, a holy priest, is the only protection against an Obayifo. In some senses he worships the Obayifo and is able to provide protection against it through the use of spells and charms.
In order to perform its devious acts, the Obayifo can leave its body as an orb of light or blazing fireball during the night, wreaking havoc on the townsfolk or their crops. Which brings us to another aspect of the Obayifo that is unique: the Obayifo also feeds off fruits and vegetables and particularly enjoys destroying cocoa crops with blight. When blocked by the Okomfo from feeding off the blood of children, he can patiently survive on plant sap as long as necessary.
Below is my version of what the Obayifo is.
Obayifo (From the page above on the origin of the Fae.)
Witches and Warlocks who have made a pact with the Unseelie King for more power. This resulted in them becoming vampires with the magical powers they had held before.
They drink the blood of small children – usually under the age of seven.
The earth dies wherever they go as they suck the very life from it.
Their mission is to completely destroy all life.
Their magic lies in a bone pendant around their necks. The pendant is made from the bone of any powerful witch or warlock they have killed.
Obayifo (From my Faerie Lore of a Darker Kind file.)
First is the known kind. They were once witches who made an alliance with the Unseelie King for more power and longevity. They became Vampires who drained the life from the earth and blood from small children (under seven years old). They retained all their witchy powers and then some.
The second kind are victims of the first kind who played vampire and tried to make more Obayifos from normal, non-magical humans. Rarely does it take. They have to bite so deeply with their fangs that they pierce all the major vessels and arteries in the throat/neck in one bite to transfer a bit of their own powers. The bite also kills and then brings the victim back to life.
The second kind of Obayifo cannot make more of their own kind – only the first kind of Obayifo can make more in this way. This second kind is more Vampire than Witch. They can drink any blood to sustain life. They can also eat food. They do not burn in the sun. A stake to the heart cannot kill them; starvation can.
Type one: Nature Faeries and Druids.
Type two: None Known (they usually die via suicide – starving themselves).
To illustrate how deceptive they are:
This is what the Obayifo in Water Witch looks like. Attractive and deadly… <sigh>
And no: no-one is falling in love with the treacherous Obayifo in my stories. Destroying life, drinking blood from babies and taking over the world only to destroy it isn’t sexy at all.
The Obayifos are also the main antagonists in my WIP I’m rewriting for Camp NaNoWriMo. (Nightmares, lots and lots of nightmares.)
“The ability to discipline yourself to delay gratification in the short term, in order to enjoy greater rewards in the long term, is the indispensable prerequisite for success.” – Brian Tracy
Terrifying, isn’t it? Any stories about vampires you’d like to share?