Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Sasabonsam #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 77: Solitary Fae: Sasabonsam

The folklore of sasabonsam in a nutshell and how I reimagined them for my writing.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2023 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about sasabonsam in folklore 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 Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Solitary Fae.

Today’s Faery: Sasabonsam

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel by Ronel

This creature from African folklore terrorises humankind from Togo, Ghana to the Ivory Coast.

The Sasabonsam is sometimes seen as an evil presence lurking in forests. Some have described it as being human in shape but with a huge body, red in colouring, with long hair, and metal hooks for feet. In these tales it also usually consorts with witches of all kinds.

These creatures like to sit on the high branches of trees, dangling their feet to capture unwary hunters with it before gobbling them up. They always seem to live in huge silk-cotton trees. In some tales, they only drink the blood of their victims.

As a friend of witches, the Sasabonsam is able to awaken the powers of would-be witches.

In other tales, the Sasabonsam is likened to the dryads of Greek mythology, fiercely protecting the tree it lives in. One can easily identify the tree this creature lives in by the red staining the ground around the roots.

Sometimes the Sasabonsam is said to be a singular creature and that his wife’s name is Shamantin. She doesn’t eat or drain those she captures; rather she educates them about the forest before letting them ago. She’s described as being extremely tall and completely white.

The Sasabonsam has even been completely turned into a vampiric creature in some regions by giving it batwings, a skeletal-thin body, and the ability to bite off a human head before drinking the body dry.

Though the Sasabonsam guards their forests fiercely, they seem to be more like ogres than vampires.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Sasabonsam

Ogres, guardians of the forest.

They sing in the language of trees; usually melancholy songs.

They are usually peaceful, though when provoked they won’t hesitate to kill.

They keep to themselves.

They do not do things in haste. Like it takes time for a forest to grow, they take time to do what they must.

They can be found in all the forests in all of the world, though they have a special connection to forests in Africa.

They are friends to mortal magic-users.

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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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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