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Of all the races in OoT the most mysterious is the Sheikah. The Sheikah or "shadow folk" are nearly extinct when OoT takes place.



Ocarina of Time

Not much is known about the Sheikah. They are sometimes called the "shadow folk". The Sheikah are nothing more than a legend for most Hylians. They might be a dark version of Hylians, since they're called the shadows of Hylians. This Hylians' "dark side" seems to have different powers. They have red eyes and are extremely agile and fast, and seem to be always prepared for war. They can also disappear by blinding the enemy with a magic that may well be a normal Deku Nut or something else.

From what is told about them, Sheikah seem to be mainly warriors. They swore allegiance to the King of Hyrule, and disappeared slowly once the war was finished. As a Gossip Stone says, it is said that they have died out.

They were possibly the protectors of the Royal Family during the civil Hyrulean War, as their connection with the royal family is strong. They have also served as attendants for the royalty since ancient times.

They were the founders of Kakariko Village but since Impa opened it to common people, they haven't been seen there anymore (except for Impa). Why Impa opened the village to non-Sheikah people, is not known, but it might be because they had all died out.

Another Sheikah function is to protect the royal graveyard, to watch over the spirits. It's also possible that they keep the graveyard even after death.

Sheikah symbol.jpg
The Sheikah symbol is an eye with three triangles above it and a big tear. The meaning of this symbol is rather confusing, although it can be interpreted that the eye is a symbol of truth, a noun many times asociated to the shadow folk. The three triangles may symbolize the sacred Triforce, that they protect. It might also have a relationship with the triangle-shaped make-up Impa wears below her eyes. The meaning of the tear is much more obscure. Another possible interpretation is that the whole symbol is the Lens of Truth, since they resemble each other a lot.

It's also curious how quickly Hylians identify someone as a Sheikah, even though there are no objective differences (except for the red eyes). This happens when Zelda and Impa escape from the Hyrule Castle Town, some of the people identify the woman with Zelda as a Sheikah.

Majora's Mask

The Sheikah are only mentioned once in MM: when Link finds the Mask of Truth it is said that the Sheikah spoke of it.

Famous Sheikah

Not many Sheikah are known. In fact, strictly speaking, there's only one Sheikah in the game. This Sheikah is Zelda's nanny, Impa. Sheik can also be identified as a Sheikah, even though she's Zelda in disguise. It can also be speculated that the Composer Brothers, the Skulltula family and the man who could see truth were also Sheikahs.


Impa oot.jpg
Impa is Zelda's attendant, and is rumoured to be one of the Sheikah. This is confirmed by Impa herself, who always claims to be one of the Sheikah. One, not the only, implying there may be other Sheikah. As the Princess' attendant, she hides her somewhere (maybe in an unknown Sheikah community) and (presumably) teaches Zelda Sheikah magic.

As the leader of Kakariko Village and the Sage of Shadow, she is the person who protects the Sheikah village. Most of her deeds are related to the town. She is called "the great Impa" and is said to have had the village opened to common people. The uncommon people that lived before are almost certainly the Sheikah. The cause why they disappear, might be the long period of peace. She also opens houses to those homeless that have lived in Hyrule Castle Town.

She seals the evil spirit Bongo Bongo in the Bottom of the Well and, after it's released, she goes to the Shadow Temple where she awakens as the Sage of Shadow.


Although Zelda is not a real Sheikah, Sheik, as Zelda's disguise, can be considered a Sheikah. Even his name comes from the shadow folk. He claims to be "Survivor of the Sheikahs" from what it can be concluded that all the Sheikahs died in the past seven years.

He knows lots of Sheikah legends that come from the times of, at least, the Ancient Sages. Another thing that points to his relationship with the Sheikah people is his mastery of the magic of disappearance.

Composer Brothers

The Composer Brothers were born in Kakariko Village and served the King of Hyrule until Ganondorf wanted to steal their works. After that, they both died, keeping their research secret.

Although it's never stated in the game, it is possible that both composers were from the shadow folk. That's because both of them:

  • Claim to have been born in Kakariko Village and are buried in the Graveyard.
  • Were servants of the king.
  • Although they must have died really recently, since they know Ganondorf and Princess Zelda, they say that all the people of the village are born to serve the king, while no-one says it anymore in the present.
  • They protect their research after death.

Because of this evidence, they must be classified as two of the last Sheikah in Hyrule. And as one can accept they were Sheikah, we also have to accept their results as a Sheikah invention, therefore the Sun's Song is Sheikah.

The Skulltula family

This strange family used to be fabulously rich.They were so rich that they were known even in Zora's Domain. But this family was cursed because of their greed, being converted into spiders. The only way to return them to original was to kill all 100 Golden Skulltulas.

Although there is no reason that suggests that this family was from the Sheikah tribe, from the context, it's very possible, since they lived in Kakariko Village ages ago, when it had not been opened to common people yet.

The man who could see truth

This man once lived in the place where the Kakariko's well is. He was said to be able to see the truth somehow, in a strange way. He didn't use the eye of mind, but magic. That magic was the Lens of Truth. Truth is continuosly asocciated with the Sheikah folk, and he lived in Kakariko Village before it was opened to common people. From this, it can be concluded that this mysterious man was a Sheikah.

Sheikah inventions

The shadow folk invented some of the items and songs in OoT. Two of them are clearly asocciated with truth, and one of them is even considered sacred.

Sun's Song

Sun's song.jpg
The Sun's Song is the only known song that has been created by a Sheikah (excluding the warp songs). This song was originally two different songs--one to summon the sun, the other to summon the moon--but both Royal Composers came to the same conclusion just before death (presumably ordered by Ganondorf). This was the latest Sheikah invention. As a signal of the loyalty of the Sheikahs to the Royal Family, the song was handwritten on the royal tombstone.

The power of this song doesn't seem to be from the Sheikah folk, but to come from the mystic powers of the Royal Family. Apart from its main function, changing the day into night and all the way round, it can also destroy the power of darkness, freezing the lurkers of the darkness, the ReDeads.

Lens of Truth

The truth is continuosly associated with the shadow folk, and the eye of truth, how the Lens of Truth is called many times, is a paradigm of this obsession. The feeling of Sheikahs is that the eyes don't tell the truth. For this cause they created this magical instrument, that can see all those things that are hidden. If it's assumed that the Shadow Temple was constructed by them, it can be concluded that they used the eye of truth and knew it. But this conclusion is not so straightforward, since the legend only speaks of a man being able to see truth. This obstacle can be avoided by thinking that this man may have been the last holder of this instrument.

It's very curious the extreme resmblance between the lens and the Sheikah symbol: they both have the eye, the three triangles and the tear.

Mask of Truth and Gossip Stones

MaskTruthArt OoT.jpg
The Mask of Truth is clearly asocciated with the shadow folk. Not only it repeats the topic of truth but bears a variant of the Sheikah symbol. It's said to be able to read the other's people minds, and some people have strange reactions with its sight. Although in OoT Link cannot use it to read the other's minds, in MM Link can use it to read animal's feelings.

But the main use of this mask is to read the one-eyed statues called Gossip Stones. This statues bear the symbol of the shadow folk, so it should be assumed that they are a Sheikah creation. This statue has a special power to pierce people's mind, and can remember things that it has overheard.

The Gossip Stones (as said in TWW) are a property of the Royal Family, as are the Sheikah folk. This statues repeat the topic of truth. It seems that they, Sheikahs, have only two objectives in life: truth and serve the king.

Hover Boots

Although it's never stated the Hover Boots are a Sheikah item, since they are found in the Shadow Temple, it can be assumed they are. This boots seem to use an strange kind of magic, and they are said to be "mysterious". But the most special thing of this boots is that they are labelled many times as "sacred feet". The meaning of this is uncertain.

Where does the Sheikah race come from?

This is a quite difficult question. Although it may seem that they were created by the Golden Goddesses, there some details that suggest they are a different thing:

  • Although there doesn't seem to be any physical difference them and the Hylians, Hylians can identify the shadow folk immediately.
  • Their main function is to serve and protect the royal family.
  • Although they certainly are very ancient, they are constantly asocciated with war, and disappear in times of peace.
  • They are called the "shadows of Hylians"
  • They're believed to be a legend by most people.
  • They have always been very few, since Kakariko Village was much smaller before Impa opened it to common people.

From this hints, it may be concluded that this race was created by the Royal Family, just to serve them. Although they are intelligent, think and act for themselves, they are extremely loyal to the crown. The fact that they tend to disappear after wars could mean that they are never needed during peace. Only Impa is needed, to look after the Princess. It's also significant that a person can transform into a Sheikah, as does Zelda. Another hint, this coming from TWW, is that Gossip Stones are considered a property of the Royal Family. If it's assumed that in OoT the Gossip Stones are a creation of the Sheikahs, the only possible answer for them to be a property of the king is that Sheikahs themselves belong to the Royal Family.

Miscellaneous Notes

Sheikah, the Spanish

There's a strange mistake in the Spanish translation of MM. When Link gets the Mask of Truth, it says:

¡Es la misma máscara de la que
hablaba Sheikah!

This means: "It's the same mask Sheikah spoke of!", which is referring to a person named "Sheikah", as a opposed to the race of Sheikah.

The Sheikah symbol in TWW

Sheikah TWW.jpg
In Forsaken Fortress, at the door of the place where Ganondorf dwells, a version of the Sheikah symbol can be seen. Although the tear is bigger and the eye smaller, it's clearly the same symbol. What a Sheikah symbol is doing there is a mystery.

Relevant Quotes


  • Old man in blue, Hyrule Castle Town:
Have you heard the legend of the "Shadow Folk"?
They are the Sheikah...the shadows of the Hylians. 
They say they swore allegiance to the King of 
Hyrule and guarded the Royal Family.
But with the long peace, no on has seen a Sheikah 
around here for a long time.
I heard there is one Sheikah woman living in the 
The one riding on the white horse holding the 
little girl...
Wasn't that a legendary Sheikah?

  • Inscription on the largest tombstone in the Graveyard:
Here lies the souls of those who
swore fealty to the
Royal Family of Hyrule.
The Sheikah, guardians of the
Royal Family and founders of
Kakariko, watch over these spirits
in their eternal slumber.
  • One of the Composer Brothers:
All the people in this village are born to serve 
the Royal Family of Hyrule.
  • Sheik, the first time Link meets him:
This is the legend of the temples passed down by 
my people, the Sheikah.
I am Sheik.
Survivor of the Sheikahs...
  • Impa, when she awakens as a Sage:
I am Impa, one of the Sheikah. I am Princess 
Zelda's caretaker, and I am also the Sage who 
guards the Shadow Temple.
We Sheikah have served the royalty of Hyrule from 
generation to generation as attendants. 
  • Sheik, when Link meets him after having awakened the Six Sages:
I have been waiting for you, Link.
Link, the Hero of Time...
You have overcome many hardships and awakened six 
And now you have a final challenge, a showdown 
with Ganondorf, the King of Evil....
Before that... I have things I want to tell only 
to you. Please listen.
Another unknown legend of the Triforce passed down 
by the shadow folk, the Sheikahs....
If you would seek the sacred triangle, listen 
The resting place of the sacred triangle, the 
Sacred Realm, is a mirror that reflects what is in 
the heart...
the heart of one who enters it...
If an evil heart, the Realm will become full of  
evil; if pure, the Realm will become a paradise.
The Triforce...the sacred triangle...
it is a balance that weighs the three forces:
Power, Wisdom and Courage.
If the heart of the one who holds the sacred 
triangle has all three forces in balance, that one 
will gain the True Force to govern all.
But, if that one's heart is not in balance, the 
Triforce will separate into three parts:
Power, Wisdom and Courage.
Only one part will remain for the one who touched 
the Triforce...the part representing the force 
that one most believes in.
If that one seeks the True Force, that one must 
acquire the two lost parts.
Those two parts will be held within others chosen 
by destiny, who will bear the Triforce mark on the 
backs of their hands.
  • Zelda, after revealing her:
I passed myself off as a Sheikah and hoped that 
you would return. I waited for seven years...
  • Gossip Stone in Zora's River:
They say that Princess Zelda's nanny is actually 
one of the Sheikah, who many thought had died out.


  • Message when Link gets the Mask of Truth:
You got the Mask of Truth!
This is the same mask the Sheikah
spoke of!
This mask allows you to hear and
understand the wisdom of Gossip
Stones and the thoughts of


Country OoT MM
Japanese シーカー族('SHĪKĀ') シーカー族('SHĪKĀ')
English Sheikah Sheikah
French Sheikah Sheikah
German Shiekah Sheikah
Spanish - Sheikah

The only change here is in German, where Sheikah was changed to Shiekah, because of pronouncing matters ("ie" in German is pronounced "ei" in Sheikah). Strangely enough, this wasn't done in MM.


Entry submitted by Arturo

Edited by Lesoria

See also