Meet the Aziza Faerie/Fairy! In West African folklore and mythology(mainly Dahomey), the Azizan were known as tiny people of the forest, who lived among the anthills and silk-cotton trees.
They were known for helping hunters and forest travelers, being said to hold magical powers which they were able to pass onto humans, both spiritual and practical. Sharing the wisdom of medicinal herbs and plants, as well as teaching about fire and survival were some of their finest qualities.
Not only were they supposedly tiny, but also very hairy. These funny and fuzzy little nature spirits were known to have a helpful guidance, and forest wisdom.
Some were also said to have wings like butterflies and would sometimes glow.
Although little is known about the Aziza, some even say they helped travelers with forest survival, and fire.
In Fon (an African religion) they are related with the supernatural powers of the gbo (a charm that protects its owner from evil and has the power to hurt its owner’s enemies). .
While the Aziza are usually described as a people, some traditions also refer to a single individual by name “Aziza”, with similar traits. For example, Jeje oral tradition has a divinity called “Aziza” (described as a small, single-legged man smoking a pipe).
How wonderful it is to connect these stories in cultures throughout the world! Almost every nation and culture has had stories of antiquity involving faeries and little people. Some are helpful and others are seen more as tricksters, but whichever way they are perceived, they all hold fascinating tales which bring us all together to see that no matter where we come from, we aren’t so different at all.
Molefi Kete Asante, Ama Mazama. Encyclopedia of African Religion, Volume 1. 2009
Blier, Suzanne Preston. African Vodun: Art, Psychology, and Power. 1996
Philip M. Peek and Kwesi Yankah. African Folklore: An Encyclopedia. p. 89