Episode 37: Water Fae: Jengu
The folklore of Jengu in a nutshell and how I reimagined this fae for my writing.
Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.
Copyright 2022 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.
Learn more about Jengu here.
Get the transcript here.
Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com
You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.
I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With nearly a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.
This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.
Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.
This episode is brought to you by my book Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie available in eBook, audiobook and paperback. Learn more at ronelthemythmaker.com/my-books.
We’re continuing our exploration of Water Fae.
Today’s Faery: Jengu
Folklore in a nutshell by Ronel
Jengu, miengu, liengu, maengu – depending on the region, the name and the plural changes. So let’s just stick with jengu. They are native to Cameroon, a Central African country on the Gulf of Guinea. The jengu are typically beautiful mermaids with long hair and gap-toothed smiles, resembling the humans living on the shore in ethnicity and in their choice of accessories. They reside in rivers and the sea, bringing good luck to their worshippers. Among their powers is the job of intermediary between humans and the spirit world (most likely other fae) and the power to cure disease. The jengu are linked to Mami Wata, an important African water spirit.
There’s even a jengu cult! We’ll not get into that, but these water fae are definitely thoroughly worshipped by mortals.
And now for my interpretation of the fae in an origin of the fae: Jengu
Singular: Jengu. Plural: Miengu.
Water Fae who are extremely loyal to Mami Wata.
They have a strong influence on African Folklore and are usually associated with Mami Wata.
They resemble mermaids, with yellow and green hair. Their fish tails are mostly silver, reflecting the colours found in the water they swim in.
They smile a lot. They have gaps between their front teeth. They also like to giggle.
Mostly they talk in their own language that involves a lot of clicking noises, like the noise made by crab claws or insects.
They have power over water. They can make it move in whatever way they wish.
They will ally themselves with anyone who protects Nature – and especially those who go up against the Obayifo.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.
Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!
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