Originally a water sprite, the tokoloshe is nowadays often a domestic spirit in the households of witches and warlocks. Usually described as a brown, hairy dwarf, it is virtually identical, in habits and appearance, to the brownie of European folklore. The tokolosh is said to speak with a lisp. It is usually naked, but sometimes wears a cloak. In European folklore, a naked brownie often “helps” around the house until it is “paid” with clothing, after which it may disappear. The tokolosh has a single buttock. (Interestingly, in European folklore, demons are also supposed to lack human buttocks, Satan supposedly being frustrated in his attempts to replicate this uniquely human feature. When he felt oppressed by devils, Martin Luther is said to have bared his buttocks to frighten them away.)
The penis of the thokolosi is so long that it has to be slung over his shoulder. Thus sexually well-endowed, the duties of the tokolosh include making love to its witch mistress. In return, it is rewarded with milk and food. In common with European myths and legends concerning familiars, salt must not be added to food offerings for tokoloshes. The witch keeps the tokoloshe docile by cutting the fringe of hair that hangs over its eyes. Witches sometimes inherit these demon lovers from their mothers.