Skip to content

Hamerkop Symbolism & That means (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)


    The Hamerkop, generally spelled “Hammerkop,” is a singular wading fowl occurring in sections of Africa south of the Sahara Desert, on the island of Madagascar, and in a coastal stretch of Arabia. Hamerkops are very distinctive-looking birds which appear to resemble Shoebill Storks, however on a a lot smaller and slimmer scale. This resemblance isn’t any coincidence because the Hamerkop is claimed to be a relative of the Shoebill household in addition to the pelican household.

    Dinosaur-like, with a large thick invoice and lengthy slender legs, the Hamerkop is understood for establishing huge nests which are sometimes massive and steady sufficient to assist the load of a human. Hamerkops are the topic of superstition for each African and Arabian peoples in addition to different cultures which have colonized areas of Hamerkop territory.

    The Hamerkop’s distinctive look and obvious consolation within the presence of people seemingly contributes to this fowl’s significance as a supernatural image. On this article, we’ll have a look at the Hamerkop’s distinctive traits and the unimaginable cultural influence that this uncommon fowl has had on the peoples who work together with it.

    Hamerkop Symbolism and That means

    As talked about beforehand, the Hamerkop is extensively related to quite a lot of superstitions and occult beliefs. The Hamerkop is commonly referred to as the “Lightning Hen” because of a widespread African superstition which holds that individuals are struck by lightning as a punishment for tampering with Hamerkop nests. For that reason, the Hamerkop is related to magic and paganism. Moreover, the “Lightning Hen” perception firmly connects this fowl with concepts just like the safety and sanctity of the house in addition to with pure disasters and calamity. (1)

    Hamerkop on a Pier
    Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Quartl. Offered beneath Artistic Commons 3.0 license.

    As regards to the Hamerkop’s nest, this marvel of avian structure is the function for which these birds are most well-known. Hamerkop nests are monumental basket-shaped constructions that are often constructed atop forks in timber close to our bodies of water. Female and male Hamerkops tag-team nest-building and are identified to make use of all method of constructing supplies, from sticks as massive as 5 toes lengthy, to a spread of human particles. From bicycle tires to random decorative bits of discarded human supplies, Hamerkops could have earned their status for witchcraft and magic because of their tendency to gather man-made objects. (2)

    The Hamerkop nest itself is commonly massive sufficient to assist the load of a human. The construction is constructed from sticks and particles, however it’s held collectively and insulated with mud. Nest-building is such an vital a part of life for Hamerkops that mated pairs will compulsively construct nests, even when they aren’t breeding. Usually, Hamerkop nests are co-opted by different species that are drawn to the dimensions and protected insulation of the construction. From hawks to pigeons, the Hamerkop’s nest is a scorching piece of actual property.

    One of many the explanation why Hamerkop nests are so unimaginable is as a result of they have to be. Hamerkop mother and father typically depart their nestlings for for much longer stretches of time than comparable wading birds do. The protection and insulation of their nests offers them the liberty to each exit and hunt for frogs or fish to deliver dwelling to their younger. Loads of meals means sturdy wholesome Hamerkop chicks who can develop as much as construct spectacular nests of their very own. (3)

    Hamerkops could also be related to carpentry or building. Their talents as builders are actually exceptional. Moreover, the life-style of the Hamerkop is a implausible image of the power and safety of the household. A powerful basis of belief and duty is the spine of a powerful household. Hamerkop mother and father dedicate themselves to constructing a house that’s protected and cozy for his or her offspring. For that reason, Hamerkops signify safety, parenthood, the house, and household ties.

    Picture by Flickr consumer I’ve Obtained It On Movie!. Offered by Wikimedia Commons beneath Artistic Commons 2.0 license

    Hamerkops hunt for small amphibians, like frogs and tadpoles, by stirring up mud with their toes as they wade by means of shallow waters. This technique could affiliate these birds with ingenuity, endurance, or knowledge. The Hamerkop is just not the quickest or the strongest hunter, but it surely makes use of its mind to create distinctive benefits which permit it to thrive.

    Hamerkop Native American Symbolism

    The Hamerkop is just not present in North America and is, thus, not present in Native American mythological or symbolic traditions. There’s, nevertheless, one connection that may be drawn between the Hamerkop and Native American cultures. That is the Thunderbird. A number of Native American tribes share in widespread a fable of a huge fowl with dominion over storms and climate phenomena. The sound of thunder is commonly mentioned to be the beating of the Thunderbird’s highly effective wings. Whereas this doesn’t line up with the Hamerkop precisely, it’s attention-grabbing that these birds are additionally regarded as bringers of maximum climate. Simply because the wings of the Thunderbird are mentioned to deliver thunder to the sky, the Hamerkop’s wrath is claimed to be answerable for lightning strikes. (4)

    Hamerkop Christianity Symbolism

    The Hamerkop is, predictably, not a significant participant within the Bible, nor does it typically seem in biblical symbolism or iconography. However, there are nonetheless connections that may be drawn between the Hamerkop and the Christian religion. The Bible has a lot to say in regards to the sanctity of the house and the significance of a very good basis.

    “By way of knowledge is a home constructed; and by understanding it’s established: And by data shall the chambers be crammed with all treasured and nice riches.”

    — Proverbs 24:3-4 (5)

    Connecting the Hamerkop to this passage, in addition to different biblical quotes relating to the house, permits this fowl to behave as a reminder of the significance of humility and religious resolve. The Bible treats these virtues because the constructing blocks of a steady and wholesome dwelling.

    Hamerkop Celtic Symbolism

    Celtic symbolism tends to attach fowl with the supernatural realm of the Otherworld. The Hamerkop is just not discovered within the Celtic world, nevertheless its dome-like nests may very well be related to the mounds which seem in lots of Celtic myths and fairytales. In Celtic mythology, mounds are transition factors between our world and the Otherworld. Magical and unexplainable issues are sometimes described as occurring at mounds.

    Hamerkop in Desires

    Dreaming of the Hamerkop could discuss with the house or the household. Hamerkops are so deeply related with their spectacular nests that dreaming of 1 could discuss with the state of the dreamer’s own residence. Dreaming of a Hamerkop household refers to a house life that’s steady and satisfying. Dreaming of an empty Hamerkop nest could point out that one feels unsafe or insecure inside one’s dwelling.

    Dreaming of a Hamerkop and not using a nest could discuss with the will for one’s personal area. Such a dream could point out that the dreamer feels susceptible or is wanting for privateness.

    Hamerkop gathering nesting materials
    Picture by Charles J. Sharp. Offered by way of Wikimedia Commons beneath Artistic Commons 4.0 license

    Dreaming of taking an merchandise from a Hamerkop’s nest refers to guilt and penalties. This dream could point out that the dreamer feels excessive regret for a previous wrongdoing. The dreamer could acknowledge their improper actions however nonetheless worry the implications that include taking duty. Such a dream could also be a reminder that one can not run away from one’s personal conscience.

    Hamerkop Encounters and Omens

    Encounters with Hamerkops are generally regarded as unfavorable omens which can foretell loss of life or struggling. In lots of instances, although, such encounters merely present us with a chance to be taught from the animals with which we share our surroundings. Within the case of the Hamerkop, for instance, discovering a nest could also be a poignant reminder of the influence that people have on the earth’s wild habitats and their animals. Hamerkop nests are sometimes embellished with human litter. Such a sight is a good reminder that most of the objects that we discard grow to be hazardous elements of the environments of delicate wildlife.

    A Hamerkop encounter may additionally be an excellent reminder to depend on one’s personal ingenuity. Watching a Hamerkop fire up mud to hunt is a lesson in using one’s personal skills. The Hamerkop doesn’t must depend on brawn when it performs to its pure strengths.

    Hamerkop in Mythology & Folklore

    Hamerkops are prevalent in African mythology and are sometimes related to witchcraft and omens.

    African Mythology:

    In African mythology, it’s mentioned that anybody who raids the nest of a Hamerkop can be struck by lightning. This is only one aspect of the parable of the “Lightning Hen.” In keeping with legend, the Lightning Hen lays its eggs in locations the place lightning has beforehand struck. It is regarded as a malicious supernatural creatures which feasts upon human blood and consorts with witches and black magicians. The Lightning Hen can be known as “Impundulu.” The fearsome Impundulu is claimed to be the acquainted of witches which is handed down by means of the household line. This supernatural fowl is assumed to survive its masters because of its vampire-like means to subsist endlessly on human blood. The fats of the Impundulu is used as a treatment and is regarded as able to serving to witch medical doctors catch thieves. (6)(7)

    Wading Hamerkop
    Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Hans Hillewaert. Offered beneath Artistic Commons license 3.0

    Hamerkop Spirit Animal

    In case your spirit animal is the Hamerkop then you’re seemingly a real homebody. The Hamerkop spirit animal places nice inventory into constructing and sustaining a protected and cozy dwelling. Individuals with the Hamerkop as their spirit animal typically take nice delight in being the person who others can depend on to really feel protected and safe. The Hamerkop spirit animal is a implausible confidante who understands the significance of listening and is aware of easy methods to hold a secret.

    Individuals with the Hamerkop as their spirit animal are sometimes very family-oriented. The Hamerkop spirit animal wishes nothing greater than to construct a protected and comfy dwelling and to fill that dwelling with glad wholesome members of the family. The Hamerkop spirit animal is romantic and liable to dreaming in regards to the future.

    Hamerkop Totem Animal

    The Hamerkop totem animal represents creativity and constructivity. Individuals with the Hamerkop as their totem animal really feel a pure curiosity in regards to the world round them. This curiosity fuels an innate drive to construct issues. The Hamerkop totem animal is extraordinarily artistic and loves seeing their inside imaginative and prescient manifested as actuality. Artists, architects, carpenters and builders are all careers that go well with the Hamerkop totem animal very effectively.

    In case your totem animal is the Hamerkop, attempt to discover new methods to study your surroundings in a palms on means. The Hamerkop doesn’t be taught by watching, it learns by constructing one thing of its personal. Fulfill and feed your curiosity and it’s possible you’ll simply discover that it’s going to bloom into new and sudden skills and passions.

    Hamerkop Energy Animal

    The Hammerkop energy animal is a strong supply of safety and safety. The Hamerkop’s nest is the final word protecting dwelling. It’s so protecting, actually, that myths point out that violating it’ll end in instantaneous and lethal punishment for the perpetrator. Whereas this might not be the case in actuality, the Hamerkop’s nest is impressively safe. Hamerkop chicks are even in a position to spend rather more time alone than most birds. Their mother and father are in a position to exit attempting to find meals and supply for them because of the unimaginable security and safety that the nest supplies.

    Hamerkop Eating Fish
    Picture by Wikimedia Commons consumer Natnael Tadele. Offered beneath Artistic Commons 4.0 license

    Hamerkop Tattoo That means

    A Hamerkop tattoo could symbolize one’s dwelling or the place the place one feels most secure. It could additionally symbolize household bonds and the connection between kids and their mother and father.

    In some instances, a Hamerkop tattoo could also be chosen to signify the fearsome Lightning Hen. Such a tattoo could signify the inviolable sanctity of the house, or the menacing myths related with this fowl. A Lightning tattoo could also be related with dangerous luck, loss of life, or vampirism.


    The Hamerkop might not be the primary animal that involves thoughts if you consider a comfortable dwelling or a gifted architect, however hopefully after studying this text, you’ve discovered a brand new appreciation for these distinctive wading birds and the unimaginable nests which they assemble. The Hamerkop is a implausible reminder of what an unimaginable reward a house is, irrespective of the form, measurement, or location it is available in. Hamerkops remind us to understand the very particular relationships which take a pile of sticks and dust and switch them into a real nest.