The Bouda, a were-hyena from African lore.

The Bouda, a were-hyena from African lore.

Also Known As: buda, bultungin

The Bouda are from Moroccan Berbers, and were known as were-hyenas. They are sometimes referred to as bultungin which in Nigeria it means, “I change myself into a hyena.” They would take the form of a human being in the morning then would shape-shift into hyenas after midnight with the help of magical herb potions. The bouda are known to rob graves. While hyenas, they could mimick human voices and would lure enemies to their death. It was believed that one or even two villages contained nothing but bouda.

The Bouda Legends

In Ethiopia it was thought that every blacksmith was really a wizard and possessed the power to shapeshift into a hyena and turn back into a human at daybreak. Since many blacksmiths were Jews, many of the Ethiopian Christians would also think that all of the Ethiopian Jews were bouda. They thought the Jews were digging up Christian corpses and eating them.

People of the Kore cult in Mali believed they could transform into the hyena when they would act like the hyena and put masks on to cause fear in others.

Some of the Sudanic people also believed that blacksmiths were bouda, along with woodcutters. Also, men who had a lot of hair all over, red-eyed or “talked with a nasal voice” were often thought to be Bouda. They were believed to be powerful healers but sometimes they would attack people. It is also said that they favored lovers.

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