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Pondoro are shapeshifters in the folklore of the Makololo people in Africa.


Descriptions

Pondolo appears as a lion.


Story

According to Livingstone's account, a Pondoro lived in the Kebrasa hills, who was used to assuming the shape of a lion which he retained for days and sometimes even for a month, during which time he wandered in the woods where his wife had built a den for him and took care that he was provided with food and drink.

No one was allowed into the den except the Pondoro and his wife, and no strangers were permitted even to lay a gun against any of the trees in the neighbourhood of the den, or against any shanty owned by the Pondoro.

The werelion used his gift to go hunting in the village. After a few days had passed his faithful spouse scented her returning husband and provided him with a certain kind of medicine or ointment by which it became possible for him to change into a man again. But she had to hurry over this duty, so that the lion might not catch sight of her and, falling upon her, devour even her.

After the Pondoro was once more human he returned to the village and asked the inhabitants to help him carry home his prey. One of the odd things about this wer-lion was that he always trembled if he smelt gun- powder, and he sometimes overacted his part. Livingstone asked the natives to make him show off while he was watching, offering a reward for the performance, but they refused, saying, " If we ask him to do so, he may change while we are asleep and kill us." It was owing to his distaste for the smell of gunpowder that it was made punishable to rest muskets against his den.


Source

Livingstone, D. and C.,- Narrative of an Expedition to the Zambesi and its Tributaries 165, p. 159.