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The Australopithecus - Little Red People – Very Bad Thing to Speak Of

Updated on June 30, 2012

When We Began There Were Witchmen

When we began there were witchmen. That is a title by Jeffrey Fadiman narrating how the ancient Meru people of Kenya came from a faraway land where there were red people of red clothing. The same was a story that was repeatedly told to us, by my late great grandmother, around cook fires at nights. She was a Meru before she was married into our clan after our clan finished paying a bride price of ninety goats and fifteen cows. For some reasons, that pride price was paid in advance installments for fourteen years - from the time when she was three years up to when she was ripe enough to live together with my great grandfather as beholder of our truth. During those olden days, the clothing of African people was made of hides and skin – at least they knew the difference between a cowhide and a human skin. Jeffrey Fadiman intelligently theorized that the red people of the red cloth were the coastal Arabs… as the indigenous people did not have a wide spectrum of colours – perhaps just red, black, and white.

The Congo Rainforest

The little red people were found in a number of sites in Africa and including the Congo rainforest. The Congo rainforest is a large forest in Africa just like Amazon rainforest is to South America. The Congo rainforest is the source of the world’s deepest river – River Congo. The Congo rainforest is the source of the world’s longest river – River Nile. The world’s largest river is Amazon River. The Amazon rainforest has the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world. And in the meantime, the Congo rainforest is a challenge to the Amazon for the number of curious creatures it can produce.

Have To See To Believe

People have to see to believe. People have to see the little red men to believe, through some form of mental induction, that there should also be little red women around. No, you don't always have to see to believe - John 20:19-31.

Little Red People of Africa are the surviving species of Australopithecus. The little red people are very rare to find, and if you do, the evil effects of seeing them are very serious. A very bad thing to speak of!
Little Red People of Africa are the surviving species of Australopithecus. The little red people are very rare to find, and if you do, the evil effects of seeing them are very serious. A very bad thing to speak of! | Source

Okapi - The Okapia Johnstoni

In the year 1887, Sir Henry Morton Stanley, a British, had traveled to Africa and he took home stories of how he had been told stories of African donkeys called Atti that were half zebra and half giraffe. People did not believe Stanley because they had to see this African donkey to believe. Realizing this, Her Majesty Queen Victoria instructed Sir Harry Johnston, a British governor in Uganda, to catch and take home, dead or alive, that African donkey she was hearing of. In return, Johnson gathered enough pygmies who were inhabitants of the Congo rainforest who managed to get him pieces of striped skin and a skull of the Atti which he sent home. From the pieces sent to London, the Atti was scientifically classified and she was renamed okapi (Okapia johnstoni). Latter, it was discovered that okapi had all along been known to the Egyptians when an ancient carved image of okapi was discovered in Egypt dating more than 2,500 years.

Okapi was thought of as an African donkey called Atti that were half zebra and half giraffe
Okapi was thought of as an African donkey called Atti that were half zebra and half giraffe | Source

Have You Ever Seen A Pygmy?

And talking about pygmies, the little red people are similar to pygmies in term of sizes. Have you ever seen a pygmy? There are pygmies in many countries including Australia. The best known pygmies are the ethnic groups Mbuti, Aka, and Efe of Congo rainforest in central Africa (see the map below). You should not call them pygmies because the word pygmy is abusive, connote negativity and distasteful. Instead, when you talk to them refer to them by their name of ethnic group.

Distribution of Pygmies in the Congo Rainforest. The best known pygmies are the ethnic groups Mbuti, Aka, and Efe of Congo Rainforest
Distribution of Pygmies in the Congo Rainforest. The best known pygmies are the ethnic groups Mbuti, Aka, and Efe of Congo Rainforest | Source

Agogwe - Little Red People of Africa

When we began there were witchmen - they have always been there. The word ‘ago’ is an English name that has something to do with - of time past, before the present, earlier, ancient, etc. ‘Ago’ and ‘Agwe’ in the local language here has something to do with the ability to foretell the future or find who is moving with your missing wife. Ago-Agwe-Arogi has to do with the art of medicines, spirits, sages, witches, witchcraft and outright poisoning. Agogwe is of Ago-Agwe. Agogwe is a pygmy-like two feet (biped) animal with a height of 3 ft to 5.5 ft, has long rust-coloured woolly hair and a yellowish-red skin under its coat. Agogwe has feet that are about 5 inches long with opposable toes, has a rounded forehead and has canines that are smaller than those of known primates. Agogwes are indeed the little red people to the indigenous people (who have a limited spectrum of colours). Legends have it that you can only see the little red people once in your lifetime and you are done. Even when you have seen the little red people, it’s a very bad thing to speak of. The name Ago-Agwe would suggest these little red people are to the eyes of witchmen very valuable and very curious creatures, and that they should make very powerful medicine.

Wembere, Singida, Tanzania, 1937

Flowing in between lakes Eyasi and Lake Kitangiri in Tanzania is Wembere River. The lowlands around the lakes are called Wembere plains, Singida. To the south are the Kimbu people who speak Kikimbu language. It was here at Wembere that a white guy called Captain Willianm Hichens had gone to hunt man-eater lions in Usure forest. Hichens was accompanied by a few local people who were his helpers. Hichens and his helpers waited in a grassy open space in the forest for the man-eater lions to enter into Hichens’ trap. While waiting, Hichens saw two small, brown, furry creatures come from the dense forest and the creatures passed through the glade before vanishing into the thickets. These creatures according to Hichens were like little men. The two little men were about 4 feet high; they walked upright, and were clad in reddish-brown color hair. Hichens states that his local helpers all gazed in mingled fear and amazement. The local helpers told him that the two creatures were called Agogwe. Hichens was also told by his local helpers that the little red men are what one does not see once in a lifetime, and if you did, you are done – and a very bad thing to speak of.

When Hichens wrote his article, African Mystery Beasts, for the discovery in December 1937, he stated that the little red men could have been primates, but they were not monkeys, baboons, colobus, Sykes, or any other kind of primate found in Tanzania. People did not believe Hichens’ story.

A markerWembere, Tanzania -
Wembere, Tanzania
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Willianm Hichens in 1937 saw the little red people at Usure, Wembere Plains in Tanzania.

Portuguese East Africa, Mozambique, 1927

Mozambique is a country neighboring Tanzania to the south. It was formerly called Portuguese East Africa. Following the criticism of Hichens story on Discovery, a gentleman by the name Cuthbert Burgoyne wrote to the publication Discovery about his experience ten years earlier in the coast of Portuguese East Africa. According to Burgoyne, he and his dear wife we coasting the Mozambique on board a Japanese cargo boat and were nearing to land. Through a viewing glass of 12 magnifications, they saw several dozen baboons that were picking up either fish shell or crabs. And then they saw two rare pure white baboons. .., and then as they watched they saw two little brown men walk together out of the thicket and down they joined the baboons. They certainly were not any known monkey and yet the baboons were not bothered about them. The two little brown men were at quite a distance to see the fullest details, but these small human-like animals were between 4 and 5 feet tall. They were quite upright and graceful in figure. The Burgoynes were thrilled as they were quite sure these were no beast of which they had heard or read about. Later on they met a friend who was a big game hunter who confided to them that he and his wife together with three other hunters had been to Portuguese East Africa earlier and they saw a mother, father, and child, of apparently a very similar animal, walk across the further side of a bush clearing.

Mbere, Embu, Kenya, 1924

Mbere is in Kenya. WeMbere is in Tanzania. Kiangombe Hills are in Mbere. To the north west of Mbere are the Embu People who speaks Kiembu language. The Kiangombe hills are a forest reserve and the surrounding areas have infertile soils and insufficient precipitation. The nearest town is called Siakago. The exact meaning of the name Siakago (cia-aka-ago, perhaps meaning the offerings that belongs to witchmen’s girlfriends - girls that acted as intermediary between clients and witchmen) is not known but it may have originated from the name of a project site by the Chicago museum in the late 1920s. Siakago may have won the favor of the museum after Mr. S. V. Cook published curious reports in The Journal of the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society in 1924.

S. V. Cook stated in his 1924 report that Kiangombe hills are inhibited by buffaloes and a race of little red men. The red men are usually very jealous of their mountain rights. Cook wrote that his local interpreter, a certain Mr. Salim, in the company of other local colleagues, once climbed up the mountain and up near to the top where they encountered scores of little red men who hurled small stones at them and waved defiance from the craggy heights. From that day, even the most fearless honey hunter can never attempt to venture in those hills.

A markerKiangombe, Embu, Kenya -
Mbere, Kenya, in 1924
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S. V. Cook wrote in 1924 that Kiangombe hills in Mbere are inhibited by a race of little red men.

Adiopodoume, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1947

More reports about the little red people came from a Frenchman, Professor A. Ledoux , head of the Zoological Department of the Institute of Education and Research at Adiopodoume, Ivory Coast in 1947. Professor Ledoux tells of how a great elephant-hunter, called Dunckel, killed an identified primate – a primate with reddish-brown hair. Dunckel shot the primate in a forest between Sassandra and Cavally rivers and mysteriously the corpse vanished while being taken home. Its either his porters disposed it for fear of its superstitious effect or they sold it to a medicine-man for use in ritual purposes. The book Abominable Snowmen by Ivan T. Sanderson and Loren Coleman, is a good book where you can read more about the little red people of Africa that no one want to speak of.

When we began there were witchmen - and they have always been there. For unknown reasons, witch-men like to use body parts of primates such as chimpanzees, monkeys, baboons, colobus and Sykes for their rituals. Human skin can be rare to come by but it appears to be one of the most sought-after organs by ritual killers in Africa. In superstitious societies, an albino baby has a very low chance of survival beyond five days after birth. Curiously, albinos seem to be the favorites for the witch men. Here is link to a recent story that explains how much these ritual killers are willing to pay for an albino, dead or alive.

Very Bad Thing to Speak Of

In all these reports about the little red people of Africa, there is one thing that is common. That the local people agree it’s very rare to find the so-called little red people, and if they did see them, the evil effects of doing so were very serious. A very bad thing to speak of! Isn’t this a myth that has been fed on the local people for several generations by the witch-men? Now, having seen that witch-men are more than willing to pay top money for albinos, I would like to speculate that the little red people would appear more than curious to the eyes of the witch men of Africa. Considering that the little red people are inhabitants of deep thick forest, then, chances of their survival are almost zero as the witch men will comfortably get them one by one from the deep thick forests as it would be difficult for the law to catch up with them.

Witchcraft and Wicca in America

Witchcraft and Wicca are common in many countries including America. I asked the following question to Americans through the California based Hubpages: "Some folks in America, 1st world, are practicing witchcraft. Might this confirm witchcraft is real?"

The answer I got from AKdude was the following answer, and I quote, “of course it’s real - as real as any of the other religious systems out there. It's just not my chosen way of worshiping divinity. Before you go knocking witchcraft, or any other pagan beliefs, as primitive, deluded, whatever - scrap your Hollywood image and go see what they're really all about. Most forms are simple nature religions not demonic, blood-lusting cults as the movies and evangelical preachers would have you believe”.

Surviving Species of Australopithecus

If indeed the little red people of Africa does indeed exist, then, chances are high they are surviving species of Australopithecus. Australopithecine is a bipedal primate that science estimates existed from 2.5 to 4.5 million years ago. The overall height and other descriptions given by those who claim to have seen the little red people fit that of Australopithecus.

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    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 5 years ago from Pasadena CA

      That doesn't mean there couldn't be "little red people," just that they might not have come from australopithecus. Ngureco, your description at first reminded me of the Sans people (Bushmen), who are about that height, although they don't have hairy bodies. I wouldn't be surprised if such a people did, at one time, exist. The distance apart is pretty far for their description to be so similar without some physical evidence. And we already know from archeological digs that there have been other huminoid species, in small quantities, who died out. I wonder if that one who was killed and captured might have been "stolen" back by his comrades?

    • profile image

      whowas 5 years ago


      That was a fascinating article from a folkloric and cultural point of view and so made very interesting reading indeed.

      The taboo surrounding 'the little red people' is very similar to the taboo surrounding the 'faery' or 'other world' folk common to all primitive belief systems, including the Irish/Celtic tradition. There are also parallels here with the myths and legends of 'Sasquatch' or the ape-man of the Himalayas.

      However, it seems, on the basis of available evidence, highly unlikely that australopithecus afarensis survives as a species into our own day. The species was adapted for survival in a very different environment (3.8 million years ago) than can be found in Africa today.

      It is often attractive to propose an attempt at a rational explanation of folkloric beliefs but I suspect the science would not support the argument.

      That said, it was a very interesting and insightful read. Thank you very much.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you, ngureco, that was sucha great article, very comprehensive and sooo interesting. I couldn't swtop reading. I'll bookmark this. We read so little about the way of life in Africa. Don't stop writing. Also you have great way of writing.

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

      I have read that chimpanzee's are hunted and eaten by certain indigenous Africans...They probably refer to the " little red men " as people because of the obvious intelligence, carriage, and features they display...

      Do we know if they have a language..? Do they use tools..? Do they bury their dead..? Do they use fire..? Have the local people interbred with these creatures..?

      This story reminds me of the so-called humans with long tails supposedly seen in isolated areas of Mindanao, P.I....Larry

    • ngureco profile image

      ngureco 6 years ago

      Thank you, Maven101.

      And yes, the little red people could be another branch of orangutan. The orangutans of Indonesia and Malaysia are among the most intelligent primates (after humans and chimpanzees) and have hair that is reddish-brown.

      The Congo rainforest has chimpanzees of both species – common chimpanzees and Bonobo. The local people here did not refer to the chimpanzees as people but as animals. Why would the very same local people refer to the little red creatures as “people”?

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 6 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Very interesting Hub...Just from the descriptions given I'm thinking these folks may be another branch of the Orangutan...similar size, coloring, and bipedal...

      Voted up and very interesting...Thanks, Larry