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Baobab Legends

Baobab the symbol of power, strength and grace


Along the Zambezi River tribes believe that in the world’s early days the baobabs were proud and upright, and lorded their status over the smaller plants. The gods became angry at their attitude and uprooted the baobabs, putting them back into the soil with their roots facing upwards.

A similar tale goes that when baobabs were planted by God they were too adventurous, and kept walking around between continents. God had enough and intervened by pulling the trees out by their roots and flipping them upside down to keep them from moving.

The African bushman’s story goes that the god Thora took a dislike to the baobab growing in his wonderful garden. Instead of tending to it he threw it out over the wall of Paradise down to the Earth below, where it landed upside down, but continued to grow.

An alternative folklore take suggests the unusual branch structure of the baobab is the result of the tree complaining that it wasn’t as good looking as its neighbours, leading the devil to yank it out of the ground and shove it back in upside down to show off its tangled roots.

Some African believe that when they wash a baby boy in water-soaked in baobabs bark they will grow up to be mighty and strong, like the tree itself.

In the Limpopo River area, natives believe that women living in villages where baobabs are plentiful have more children than women in villages with no baobabs. Doctors believe this story has as the soup made from baobab leaves is rich in vitamins and may increase the fertility rate.

Some people believe that evil spirits haunt the baobab’s white flowers, and anyone who picks one will be killed by a lion. On the plus side, if you drink water that has been used to soak a baobab’s seeds you will be safe from a attack


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