impundulu, noun

Forms:
i’impundulu, mpunduluShow more Also i’impundulu, mpundulu, umpundulu, and with initial capital.
Origin:
Xhosa, ZuluShow more Xhosa and Zulu.
In Xhosa and Zulu mythology: an evil spirit which most often appears in the form of a bird; lightning bird. Also attributive. See also lightning (and hail) doctor (doctor sense 1 b).
Note:
Several species of bird are associated with the ‘impundulu’, the most common one being Scopus umbretta (see hammerkop).
1894 E. Glanville Fair Colonist 289The Mpundulu flying high in the darkness has seen us...The lightning bird swooped from his watch above us like an eagle with fiery wings.
1990 J. Knappert Aquarian Guide to Afr. Mythology 120The Impundulu is a large bird, sometimes described as a vulture, but with a penis, shaped like an ox tongue...If a woman who ‘has’ an Impundulu at night, takes a human lover as well, the Impundulu will attack him, suck his blood and so cause him to cough up blood and die.
an evil spirit which most often appears in the form of a bird; lightning bird. Also attributive.

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18941990