It’s that time of the month again which means it’s time for the Int’l Bloggers Club Challenge. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the challenge, bloggers from around the world share something about their country and their traditions. Last month we repurposed a jelly mold to make something special for our garden. This month the theme is all about how we do, or in our case don’t, celebrate Halloween. All my blogging friends are currently based in the Northern hemisphere so there’s pumpkins and spooky décor everywhere. In South Africa, we’re trying our best to catch a bit of a tan “en die manne gaan nou braai“.
Do you know what’s so wonderful about living in South Africa? It’s the rich mix of all our different cultures, beliefs and odd quirks that only fellow South African’s understand. Like braais and toyi-toyis. We have 11 official languages (sadly I’m only fluent in two of them) and we have no problem mixing them up when we want to make a point. Hayibo wena, it’s kwaai confusing sometimes. We eat worms and chicken feet as a treat. They’re delicious fried with a bit of curry powder. We don’t stop at traffic lights, we stop at robots and can shop for almost anything while we wait for the light to turn green.
When it comes to Halloween, it’s not really a big thing here but we do have monsters. As a child, I was petrified of the Tokoloshe, a mischievous dwarf-like water sprite with sharp teeth, a weird body, and gouged-out eyes. They say the only way to get rid of them is to consult a Sangoma. Sangomas, or witch doctors, are highly respected in the rural areas of South Africa where people believe that most ailments are caused by witchcraft. I’ve never seen a Tokoloshe, but a very dear friend of mine swears that they have one in their home and he’s terrorizing her grandson, Adam. They’ve called the local Sangoma but the spells haven’t started working yet. The little guy is only 5 so we decided to make him a TokoLeena to help keep those nightmares away.
TokoLeena, has one really big button eye, so she can see the Tokoloshe even when he’s invisible. Her other eye is covered with an eye patch, which makes it easier to see the spirit world and call on the ancestors to help her protect Adam. Her large ears can hear a pin drop so the Tokoloshe’s strange shuffling walk will be no problem. And just in case she has long arms to hold Adam tight when he’s really scared.
I made TokoLeena using scraps of fabric and adapted this Momster pattern. As luck would have it one of the scraps had four-leaf clovers printed on it, which I’m hoping brings the little guy some good fortune too.
The pattern is really basic and can be easily adapted. All you need to do is cut out two of everything. Two body bits, ears, head bits, and arms. I love making the arms looooong so they can give a good cuddle.
Just sew the head bits to the body bits, sew up the sides of the arms and ears and then add the arms and ears to the body and sew everything together. (The Momster tutorial has step by step instructions). Leave a gap at the top of the head for the stuffing. The fun bit is making the face. I just used a button for eyes and either draw or sew on the other features.
Merlin seems to like TokoLeena so I’m hoping she’ll be a hit with Adam too and that she helps keep that cranky old Tokoloshe away.
I hope you enjoyed this little taste of South Africa. Head on over to see what Mary, Pili, Keri, and Katrin did for this month’s Halloween Challenge. Just click on the images down there at the bottom, and let us know what you think.
Sending much love and blessing as always. Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu