Sketchbook Page 42: I is for Inkanyamba

April 21, 2013 § 2 Comments

Inkanyamba

Inkanyamba

Bones from a Bestiary part 9: I is for Inkanyamba

This is the ninth in a series of chimerical creatures; the aim is to create an alphabet of fabulous beasts over the coming months.

With recent advances in genetic engineering it should be possible to manufacture such creatures in the laboratory; although the results will not always be practical (or, indeed, humane) …

The Inkanyamba is a legendary serpent said to be living in a waterfall lake area in the northern forests near Pietermaritzburg – most commonly in the base of Howick Falls, South Africa. The Zulu tribes of the area believe it to be a large serpent with a horse like head. Most active in the summer months, it is believed that the Inkanyamba’s anger causes the seasonal storms.

Cryptologists have suggested that they might be a form of eel, augmented by local myth. The Inkanyamba was featured on television series Animal X. 

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§ 2 Responses to Sketchbook Page 42: I is for Inkanyamba

  • shajam says:

    I always remember the horse head eel fishing account/image from Tin Drum the book/movie. By throwing a horses head into the water you can catch eels as they feed and hide in the skull – forming a sort of hybrid writhing equine monster……

    • pkevans says:

      I agree Jacqui – a very memorable image!
      Here is the scene that you mention from the film version, for those who might be unfamiliar with it:

      This scene – which is both beautiful and shocking to the point of revulsion – is, of course, rich in symbolism and folk cultural images. The horses head, a symbol for the underworld, might be seen to connect carnival laughter and mockery of death …

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