In South Africa, Black people have a strong believe in their
ancestors. A number of events are held to honor these ancestors,
or to perform some or other ritual. These ancestors form a very
strong binding force within societies -- if this is what you have in

The Thokoloshi is a mythical character -- a small human-like
creature -- male -- that must be avoided, since he causes a lot of
mischef, sexually harass women, etc. Many black people raise
their beds with bricks so that the Thokoloshi can pass
underneath...The closest thing I could think of that resembles this
character might be the Boogy man -- although not quite.

You could perhaps look at the Zulu culture, since they are still very
traditional and have a very rich tapestry of myths -- often
associated with animals and ancestors, giving rise to all kinds of
rituals, events, etc. The Zulu live in Kwa-Zulu Natal, one of our nine
provinces, on the eastern seaboard of South Africa. Try leads from: or

On the side -- replicating Padgett's Florentine families network with
regard to South African tribes and inter-marriage would be quite
fascinating. As far as I know, this has never been done...Such a
study will help us to reveal a lot about present-day Black societies,
political affiliations, even medical conditions. Among whites, for
example, high cholestol and heart diseases are often associated
with certain Afrikaner families; this has been studied to a certain

Hope this helps...


AS du Plessis

Oh, by the way, my email address is about to change. How do I
change this re my SOCNET-subscription?


Date sent:              Thu, 12 Jul 2001 10:19:29 EDT
Send reply to:          [log in to unmask]
From:                   [log in to unmask]
Subject:                Re: Mythic Heros of Connection
To:                     [log in to unmask]

> In a message dated 6/27/01 1:19:23 PM, [log in to unmask] writes:
> << Does anyone know of a character in mythology (of any culture) who might be
> associated with ties, connections, or interactions among things.  Basically
> I'm curious to know if there are any gods/angels/saints/spirits/heros/etc.
> who are thought of as patrons for putting things together.  Thanks for any
> clues. >>
> Surely Odysseus (Ulysses) deserves a look. He was a bridging influence and an
> antidote to the individualism of the many gods and demi-gods.
> Has anyone thought of doing a network analysis of these characters? We could
> find out who indeed was the most central ...
> Nick Athanassiou