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In Africa, The OWL Is the Messenger of Wizards and Witches, Here Is What 20 Countries think

I don’t know why they are tagged this, maybe because of their weird sound, look I guess



The name of this animal in West Africa, Nigerian, Akwa-Ibom spells nothing but a Messenger of Wizards And Witches. Although the Owl has suffered many things, the most definitive is being tagged the Messenger of Wizards and Witches.

I don’t know why they are tagged this, maybe because of their weird sound, look I guess, well, Hmm.

Perhaps this bird is tagged a wizard in your country, how weird? No, just wait and see what some parts of Western African call them. More than that, you will see what the Owl is being called in over 20 countries. So, let’s crack this down with facts.


The OWL as The Messenger Of Wizards And Witches?

Unless your country does not attribute some weirdness to an OWL, the truth is, as commonly found in many countries the owl throughout the ages has attracted the fascination and awe of many cults and cultures.

Due to this ideology, many different and contradictory beliefs have survived to the present day. The owl has had many associations with witchcraft, medicine, the weather, birth, and even death.

Based on these notions, many superstitions and fears about the owl remain till date, mostly in W. Africa.


Knowing OWL as Animals

The owl is a nocturnal predatory bird distinguished by a large flat face, eyes surrounded by stiff-feathered disks, a short hooked beak, feathered legs with sharp talons, and soft plumage that facilitates soundless flight.

The large eyes of the owl are encased in a capsule of bone called the “sclerotic ring” which directs the eyes forward allowing a little movement. To look sideways the owl must turn its entire head, a relatively long and flexible neck permits the head to rotate through 270 degrees.

Because they like to pray, a few of them hunt their prey in full daylight, their hearing is particularly important.  Many owls have asymmetrical skulls with the ear openings at different levels.

The OWL’s asymmetrical skulls with the ear openings have a vital function. Can you guess it? No need, you won’t know. This is it.  It enables the bird to pinpoint any sound made by a prey animal.


The Owl’s Survival

Owls feed entirely on living animals, the size of the prey being proportional to the size of the owl, these can any be anything from insects to mammals as large as hares, a few feeds primarily on fish.

The indigestible portions of their food such as bones, hair, and feathers are compressed and regurgitated as compact pellets, an analysis of these pellets often reveals their prey species.  All owls lay pure white eggs.

You can read more about Owl as George Knowles has written a comprehensive note on it.


The OWL Is The Messenger Of Wizards And Witches, 20 Names & Meanings in Different Countries/Continents


Pin, right?



The Hamites held the Owl to be sacred.




The Owl gave Man flint and iron to make fire – in exchange, Man gave the Owl his feathers.



Central Africa

The Owl is the familiar of wizards to the Bantu.



East Africa

 The Swahili believe the Owl brings illness to children. alicia silverstone oops GIF




Southern Africa

  Zulus know the Owl as the sorcerers’ bird.



West Africa

The messenger of wizards and witches, the Owl’s cry presages evil.




 Place the right eye of an Eagle Owl in the hand of a sleeping woman and she will tell all.




 The Owl is a bird of ill omen, the embodiment of evil spirits that carries off children at night.

According to an ancient Arabic treatise, from each female Owl supposedly came two eggs, one held the power to cause hair fall out and one held the power to restore it.



Arctic Circle

 A little girl was turned into a bird with a long beak by magic, but was so frightened she flapped about madly and flew into a wall, flattening her face and beak.

So the Owl was created.


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 Aborigines believe bats represent the souls of men and Owls the souls of women.  Owls are therefore sacred because your sister is an Owl – and the Owl is your sister.



This Owl is innocent.




 One of their evil gods wore a Screech Owl on his head.




  Owl amulets protected women during childbirth.

oops GIF




Legend has it that a priest offered the Owl his church tower to live in if the bird would get rid of the rats and mice that plagued his church.




 Throw salt in the fire to avoid the Owl’s curse.




 Too evil to name, the Owl is known only as “the bird that makes you afraid”.


Listen up now: Truth is, there are a series of Daunting Discoveries & Life Stories coming up. Subscribe here for more.





The Owl was a sign of the underworld.




The Owl is associated with lightning (because it brightens the night) and with the drum (because it breaks the silence).

 Placing Owl effigies in each corner of the home protect it against lightning.  The Owl is a symbol of too much Yang (positive, masculine, bright, active energy).




When a man condemned to death is taken to a table on which an Owl was painted, he was expected to take his own life.

stephen colbert oops GIF




In Farsi the Little Owl (Athene Noctua) is called “Joghde-kochek”.  It is said that this bird brings bad luck.  In Islam, it’s forbidden (Haram) to eat.




An Owl that enters the house must be killed at once, for if it flies away it will take the luck of the house with it.


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Final Notes

Do you know that the largest of the owls are the “Eagle Owls” (Bubo bubo) of Eurasia and the powerful (Ninox strenua) of Australia; both measure up to 0.75-m/2.25 ft long.

Now, you might have thought that Africans are weird. Nope, you can see what some developed nations attribute ton a mere animal. Lol.

Did you see your country and what the Owl is associated with? If no, don’t miss out on the 65 meaning of the bird OWL by 65 Countries.


Over to you. What do you think of OWLS?


Photo: Pixabay. Tips: George Knowles


Related topics Animals, Countries
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