In Zulu mythology, Abatwa are legendary little people from the southern regions who are so small they can hide beneath a blade of grass and ride ants. They are said to live a nomadic lifestyle and continually on the hunt for game.
According to myth, the Abatwa live in the mountains and hills, but are nomadic hunters, having no central village. They follow the game, greedily eat their kill in its entirety, and then move on. When out on a hunt, or traveling to distant lands, they ride horses, usually the entire group upon a single animal, sitting from the neck to the tail, one behind another. If they fail to make a kill, they will devour their communal horse.
Due to their shy nature, they will only tolerate being seen by the very young (said to be anyone under the age of 4), by magicians, and by pregnant women. If a pregnant woman in her seventh month of pregnancy sees a male Abatwa, it is said that she will give birth to a boy.
Legend states that if one happens to come across an Abatwa, one will typically be asked a question like, "From where did you first see me?" One must reply by saying one saw them from a mountain, or some far away area. They are said to be extremely sensitive about their size, and if one answers by saying that one only saw them right then for the first time, the Abatwa will try to kill them with poison arrows. Stepping on an Abatwa by accident is also said to be a death sentence.
In real life, the Abatwa are an aboriginal African people also known as Twa, Bushmen or Bosjesmans, whom are thought to be the primordial inhabitants of Burundi and Rwanda.