Y is for Yumboes.
Faeries have been described as the Good People or the Good Neighbours in many cultures. In African Folklore, the Yumboes are known as the akhna rakhna, “Good People”.
The Yumboes are a race of people from African belief that inhabit the mainland of Africa, opposite the isle of Goree. These creatures are white in colour just like every other creature that is supernatural in African myth. These creatures stand only 2ft high have silver hair and dress like the local native tribe that live nearby. They attach themselves to a chosen family and love and care for them. When a member of that family dies, the Yumboes develop great compassion for the grieving family members and try their best to lament them. It is also traditional that the Yumboes dance upon the grave of the deceased victim.
The main population of the Yumboes is located in a subterraneous area in the Paps hills which is located 3 miles from the coast. Here they live in great numbers in magnificent dwellings. Many people who have been here are impressed and grateful by the excellent hospitality and kindness of the Yumboes. The European travellers have been most delighted as they were well catered for being sat at grand tables in the halls of the Yumboes and how food was served and empty dishes taken away a very swiftly. The Yumboes were so quick at serving that only the hands and feet were usually seen by the guests.
Yumboes are a kind of fairies in the mythology of the Wolof people (most likely Lebou) on Goree Island (Senegal, West Africa). They are described as about two feet in height, and of a pearly-white colour; the latter is an often found property of supernatural beings in African beliefs. The Yumboes are said to have silver hair.
I have my own version of this Faery. (Also see the page about the Origin of the Fae.)
They are small, with deathly white skin and silver hair. They look sweet and kind.
They’re obsessed with food.
They don’t mind setting out elaborate feasts on long tables properly set with silver and fine china in the middle of forests. They even share their meals with travellers. Especially meals of plum wine, fish and corn.
They have invisible servants – these are guests who had overstayed their welcome and are now silently enslaved to them.
So be warned: do not eat with Faeries or you’ll belong to them.
“Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” – Oscar Wilde
I hope you enjoyed this. Any folktales about strange Faeries in other cultures you’d like to share?