William Hichens

From Kook Science

William Hichens
Alias(es) Fulahn
Born 1893[1]
Died 2 October 1944 (aged 50–51) [2][3]
Mombasa, British Kenya
Burial Mbaraki Cemetery, Mombasa, British Kenya
Nationality British
Workplace(s) Administrative Officer-in-Charge of Iramba District, Tanganyika (from 1921)
Field(s) Colonial service in British East Africa (Kenya) and Tanganyika
Known for Writings about East African history, folklore, cryptids (particularly the Agogwe), as well as Swahili literature
Spouse(s) Elsie Lilian [Winter] Hichens (d. 1952)
Children William St. John Hichens, Jr. (1918-?); Grahame St. John Hichens (1924-1955)

William Hichens (1893-1944) was a British political officer and civil servant, noted for his service on behalf of colonial authorities in British East Africa (East Africa Protectorate and the later Colony of Kenya) and Tanganyika, during the course of which he would become acquainted with the local stories of many African practices and regional cryptids, including the crypto-hominid Agogwe, the Nandi Bear, the khodumodumo, mysterious big cats, sea serpents, and relict dinosaurs (such as the African Brontosaurus), that he would later in his life write about for popular magazines, both under his own name and the pseudonym Fulahn. In addition to his cryptozoological connections, Hichens was also noted for his study of East African history and Swahili poetry, which he translated and published for English-speaking audiences.

Selected Bibliography

  • Fulahn (1927), "On the Trail of the Brontosaurus: Encounters with Africa's Mystery Animals", Chambers's Journal (London: W. & R. Chambers) 7 (17): 692-695, 
  • Fulahn (November 1927), "The Savage As Scientist", The Golden Book (31): 611-617, 
  • Fulahn (1928), "The Dragon Who Devoured the World: An African Folk-Tale translated from the Kiniramba Language", The English Review (London: Duckworth & Company) 47: 87-?? 
  • Fulahn (1929), "The Savage Bloods His Spear", Blackwood's Magazine (Edinburgh: William Blackwood) 226: 120-13? 
  • Hichens, W. (1929), "Africa's Mystery Beasts", Wide World Magazine (London: G. Newness): 171-17? 
  • Fulahn (1930), "The Black Man's Gods", The Fortnightly Review (London: Chapman and Hall) 133: 500-51? 
  • Hichens, William (January 1931), "Waylaying the Witchdoctor", The Fortnightly Review (London: Chapman and Hall) 135 (769): 93-99 
  • Fulahn (1931), "Small Game That Hunt the Hunter", Chambers's Journal (London: W. & R. Chambers): 90-9? 
  • Fulahn (1933), "From Strange Places", Blackwood's Magazine (Edinburgh: William Blackwood): 135-139 
  • Hichens, William (1933), "Opening Up Iramba", The Crown Colonist (London: Tothill Press) 3: 541-5?? 
  • Hichens, W. (1936), "Demon Dances in E. Africa", Discovery: The Popular Journal of Knowledge (London: Mercury House) 17 
  • Hichens, W. (December 1937), "African Mystery Beasts", Discovery: The Popular Journal of Knowledge (London: Mercury House) 18 (216): 369-373, 
  • Hichens, W. (1937), "The People of the Dawn: Life and Work of an East African Tribe (Iramba)", African World Annual 34 
  • Hichens, William (1938), "Lizard-Men of the Kidau", Chambers's Journal (London: W. & R. Chambers): 81-?? 
  • Hichens, William (1938), "Into the Kraal Cook-pot", Chambers's Journal (London: W. & R. Chambers): 843-8?? 
  • Hichens, W. (November 1938), "The Leopards of Mbwongo", Wide World Magazine (London: G. Newness) 82 (488): 126-13? 
  • Fulahn (1939), "The Wireless of the Wilds", Chambers's Journal (London: W. & R. Chambers): 667-6?? 
  • Hichens, W., "Kiswahili - The Esperanto of East Africa", Wide World Magazine (London: G. Newness) 
  • Hichens, W., "The Lion Men of Usure", Wide World Magazine (London: G. Newness) 


  • Werner, A.; Hichens, W., eds. (1934), Advice of Mwana Kupona upon Wifely Duty, Medstead, Hampshire: Azania Press 
  • bin Hamed al-Bakariy Al-Lamuy, Shaibu Faraji; Hichens, W. (March 1938), "Khabar al Lamu: a Chronicle of Lamu", Bantu Studies 12 (1) 

Further Reading



  2. "General Notice No. 1550, In the matter of William Hichens, deceased.", The Official Gazette of the Colony and Protectorate of Kenya (Nairobi) 46 (45): 360, 17 October 1944,, retrieved 2017-01-21  [Notification regarding the estate of the late Hichens, deceased "on the 2nd day of October, 1944"]
  3. SOAS - About - William Hichens Collection,,, retrieved 2017-01-21