The cry of an owl is a quick death: Popular superstitions in African culture and what they mean

Vladyslav Moskalenko

The cry of an owl is a quick death: Popular superstitions in African culture and what they mean

UAportal has prepared a study of superstitions that are unique to African culture. We will talk about signs common in African regions.

Animal spirits

One of the most interesting superstitions in African culture is related to animal spirits. According to this belief, animals have supernatural powers and can influence human life.

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For example, encountering certain animals, such as a leopard or an owl, is believed to foretell a future event. If a leopard crosses your path, it is considered a sign of good luck, and the hoot of an owl can mean an imminent death. These superstitions are deeply rooted in African folklore, and they reflect the close connection between people and the natural world.

Ancestral spirits

Another common superstition in African culture is related to ancestral spirits. It is believed that ancestors continue to be actively present in the lives of their living descendants. These spirits are believed to offer protection, guidance, and blessings. Many African communities hold rituals and ceremonies to honor their ancestors and communicate with them, asking for their wisdom and blessings for important events and decisions. Honoring ancestral spirits reflects a strong sense of community and intergenerational connection in African culture.

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Taboos and forbidden items

Taboos and forbidden objects are important superstitions in African culture. Certain actions, objects, or places are considered forbidden and are believed to bring bad luck or to arouse the wrath of supernatural forces.

For example, in some African communities, it is forbidden to point at a rainbow because it is believed to anger the gods. Similarly, there are restrictions on eating certain foods, behaving in specific ways during ceremonies, or entering sacred places without proper rituals. These taboos are guidelines for maintaining order, respect and harmony in society.

Witchcraft and sorcery


It is worth reminding that prohibitions and superstitions in Ukraine have played a significant role in shaping the country's cultural identity. Therefore, UAportal tells you about the most common superstitions and prohibitions that exist in Ukrainian everyday life and family life.

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