In African folklore, a legendary little people from the southern regions, supposedly the tiniest living things in human form, being a mere 5mm tall.
A Zulu spirit species, they are clan-like creatures said to be so small they hide under blades of grass and sometimes sleep in anthills. They are also said to be seen riding the ants themselves at times.
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.
Although the Abatwa is thought to like aiding humans by giving good advice, they are said to be very shy, sighted only by the very young children, magic wielders, and pregnant women. If a woman in her seventh month of pregnancy happens to see a male Abatwa, it is a definite omen that she will give birth to a boy. If a person sees and talks to an Abatwa, they better be very careful to pretend that they are of the same size, because even though they are a peaceful race, if offended they might shoot the human with tiny, but deadly, poison arrows.
Far more hazardous than encountering an Abatwa is stepping on one. When stepped on, the Abatwa will stab the trekker with the point of an invisible but deadly poison arrow, which causes an instantaneous and inexplicable death that will confound even the coroner. When in Abatwa country, people must wear shoes with hard, thick, impenetrable soles.
In real life, the Abatwa are an aboriginal African people also known as Abathwa, Twa, Batwa, and Bushmen or Bosjesmans, whom are thought to be the primordial inhabitants of Burundi and Rwanda.
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