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Mumbo Jumbo

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Mumbo Jumbo, or simply known as Mumbo, is a skull-faced shaman and one of the main allies of Banjo and Kazooie. He is voiced by Grant Kirkhope.[1]


Mumbo generally likes helping people out and has a very strong loyalty streak - he's never stopped being Banjo's friend, while he's been equally permanent as Humba Wumba's rival. Humba and Mumbo seem to dislike each other, as when you go into her Wigwam as Mumbo she kicks you out.

English does not appear to be Mumbo Jumbo's first language; he always speaks in the third person and doesn't always refer to people by their name. For instance, he often refers to Banjo and Kazooie as "bear" and "bird" respectively.

Mumbo has strong pride in his magic abilities and frequently praises himself when his spells go right. He also seems to have some sense of humor, as he occasionally makes jokes about what he transforms Banjo into.


In Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Kazooie: Grunty's Revenge, Mumbo transforms the duo into various forms. While his spells must stay within a limited distance of the originating world, the transformations make Banjo completely incognito and allow him to explore otherwise inaccessible areas.

In Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo no longer performs the transformations but instead plays a more active role in the game. By giving Mumbo a Glowbo the player can take control of him. Mumbo is able to stand on a Mumbo Pad to perform a spell designed to make things easier for Banjo and Kazooie. While on foot, Mumbo can't do much but jump, swim, and attack with his Zap Stick, and he has one less health than Banjo. It is obvious he is extremely skilled in his magic, due to the fact that he is able to revive those who have died (as seen in Banjo-Tooie when he revived the Aliens) and even send a person back in time (as seen in Grunty's Revenge).

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, Mumbo builds all the odd vehicles that the duo dream up. He also plays parts in various other worlds.


In Banjo-Tooie.

Mumbo's past is largely a mystery, although he repeatedly states he was the best student at the Handsome Shaman Institute. What is known is that he was a magical instructor of Gruntilda's at some point in time. However, despite Mumbo's teachings, Grunty turned to dark magic and transformed Mumbo's head into a skull.

Mumbo first appears in Banjo-Kazooie as the "best shaman in all game". Found in multiple worlds starting in Mumbo's Mountain, the skull-faced one transformed Banjo and Kazooie into native animals (and a plant) in return for Mumbo Tokens, as Mumbo wanted to help the bear and bird beat Grunty to get his face back. Despite Grunty being buried under a large boulder, Mumbo's face remained intact. Mumbo remained a friend of Banjo, while he and Kazooie got into dust-ups.

Two months later, when Grunty went back in time to prevent Banjo and Kazooie from meeting, Mumbo sent Banjo back in time to fix what she had done. In this time period, Mumbo was less skilled as a transformer, but still allowed Banjo and Kazooie to fix the timeline.

In 2000, Mumbo was just about to get all of Banjo's cash in a poker game when Banjo's House started shaking. Being brave, the shaman ran outside to find out what was going on. He found that Grunty had been revived by her two sisters and ran to tell, but Grunty spotted him and destroyed the house and killed Bottles. On the following adventure, Mumbo did some adventuring himself, helping the bear and bird get around by magically altering the environment (such as re-railing a derailed train and making the water in Jolly Roger's Lagoon breathable). However, Mumbo earned a competitor in the transformation business, Humba Wumba. The two hated each other, each convinced that they were better than the other. In the end, Grunty was beaten once more, but Mumbo's skull face still didn't revert.

In the time after Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo's transformation skills went unused. He decided to try his hand at mechanics for a change after getting wind that the next game would be all about vehicles. Finally, in 2008, Banjo and Kazooie showed up at Mumbo's Motors in Showdown Town for the first time. Mumbo gladly helped build all of the crazy vehicles the pair dreamed up, although he didn't like playing Lord of Games' "parts" in the game worlds so much.

Nowadays, Mumbo is still the masked shaman everyone knows him as. He still holds out hope that Grunty will be defeated permanently some day so he can get his face back, although the skull-faced look may have grown on him.


In Banjo-Kazooie, Mumbo transforms Banjo, at the cost of Mumbo Tokens. These transformations include:

  • Mumbo's Mountain - A termite, which can't attack, but can sneak past other termites and can scale steep surfaces.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp - A crocodile which is resistant to (or at least scares away) the piranhas that infest the water, as well as being able to bite.
  • Freezeezy Peak - A walrus, resistant to the icy waters of the area.
  • Mad Monster Mansion - A pumpkin, which bounces around to move, can go into small spaces,and will not be hurt by the thorns on top of the hedges.
    • Grunty's Lair - Mumbo appears inside a small hut near the entrance to Mad Monster Mansion. Here, his purpose is to transform Banjo back to his normal form, which enables him to hit a switch in the room, before being re-transformed into a pumpkin in order to leave.
  • Click Clock Wood - During Spring, Mumbo will offer his services and transform the duo into a bee, which can fly very high altitudes, and can sneak into the Zubbas' hive.
    • During Summer, however, it's too hot to perform the spell.
    • During Autumn, however, he's too busy raking up leaves.
    • During Winter, he's gone on holiday and has gotten a Beehive to watch over his hut.

His hut is absent from Treasure Trove Cove, Clanker's Cavern, Gobi's Valley and Rusty Bucket Bay; as such, those levels don't have transformations.

Very rarely, he mistakenly turns Banjo into a washing machine, before going on to turn him into the correct transformation. Also he mentions he would turn Banjo into a T-Rex but changes his mind, saying that the transformation is too good for the game and leaving it to the next game.

During Banjo-Tooie, Mumbo performs spells for Banjo and Kazooie, as long as he has the magic of a Glowbo with him to perform it (otherwise he's incapable of doing so). His spells are:

Mumbo's Nicknames[edit]

There has been quite a few nicknames that Kazooie has called him. Here is a list of them

  • Mumbo Dumbo
  • Bone Brain
  • Bonehead
  • Skirt Boy
  • Hut Boy
  • Bone Face
  • Skull Boy
  • Mask Midget
  • Short Stuff

Relationships with other characters[edit]


Mumbo befriends Banjo and helps him on his quest because of their mutual hate for Gruntilda. Despite that he barely ever refers to him by name and often calls him "bear".


Mumbo is another target of Kazooie's impulsive judgments, being insulted for his appearance and being nicknamed "Mumbo Dumbo" and other things by her. He tends to ignore her. Similar to Humba, Mumbo always calls Kazooie "bird", with the exception of the Dragon Kazooie transformation.


Mumbo's ultimate goal is to bring the witch down, as it is the only way to break the curse on him. Mumbo has good reason to resent Gruntilda, since he taught her how to perform magic.

In Banjo-Kazooie, if the player loses their last life or simply quits the game before saving Tooty and the ending is shown wherein Gruntilda makes herself beautiful by uglifying Banjo's sister, Mumbo—apparently smitten with Grunty's new appearance—will suddenly appear and offer her a flower! This indicates that he has a weakness for a beautiful face—even when he knows full well that it's only skin deep... Mumbo also asks Grunty to come back to Mumbo's skull hut with him.

Humba Wumba[edit]

The two shamans are rivals at first, both believing that they are more powerful than the other. At the end of Banjo-Tooie, the two seemed to have buried the hatchet after Gruntilda's defeat, and they both agree that it's fun to play ball using Gruntilda's head.

In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, however, it seems as if Mumbo and Humba are rivals again. Mumbo tells Banjo not to buy things from Humba every so often, signifying that the two are indeed, business rivals.


Main article: Mumbo Jumbo/quotes


  • The phrase "mumbo jumbo" usually means gibberish or nonsense, a fact which is poked fun at in Grunty's Revenge when Bozzeye tells Banjo about the note he received from future Mumbo.
  • The main phrases he uses are spelled "Eekum Bokum" (seen on the Mumbo Pad in Banjo-Tooie) and "Oomenacka" (as revealed in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts).
    • Mumbo's speech is made up of cut-up samples of Grant Kirkhope's voice that would later be used on the soundtrack of the Mayahem Temple level in Banjo-Tooie', which Kirkhope revealed in an episode of the Internet comedy Let's Play series Game Grumps is actually him saying "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough", a famous English football chant.
    • According to Kirkhope, "Oomenacka" actually comes from something Kirkhope said in a doctor's surgery while having his groin examined, he originally said "Oh, me knacker.", knackers is a British slang word for testicles.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, if you wait long enough, Mumbo will take his eyeballs and juggle them, which of course he has a talent for juggling eyeballs.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, in the unused Rain Dance tune, he says "Mumbo Jumbo!", which is the first time he's vocally said his name (as in, not through text). The second time is in Banjo-Pilot as he is selected.
  • If the player is using the SUPERBANJO cheat and makes Mumbo walk lightly, Mumbo will look as if he is twitching rather than walking.
  • Mumbo is speculated to possibly be a pink Jinjo.
    • Interestingly, designer Ed Bryan has said that Mumbo's design originated from the Jinjo body with a skull and feathers stuck onto it. Despite this, Bryan still holds that Mumbo is "not actually a Jinjo." [2]
  • Mumbo is also speculated to be a Grublin, primarily due to the beta version of the Grublins being blue with feathered skull masks similar to Mumbo's skull head. Other similarities in the final product (such as the build, grass skirt, and red feathers on the head) also help support this. 
  • In Viva Piñata, there is an item called a "Dastardos Scarer", which is a statue of Mumbo Jumbo. A concept artwork from Ryan Stevenson reveals that Mumbo would have made a cameo.[3]
  • Mumbo must have a weak spot for beautiful women as seen in Banjo-Kazooie, when he offers a flower to the newly transformed Gruntilda. Also, during the end credits, if you do not have all 100 Jiggies, Mumbo will refuse to show the "secret pictures" and then says that he had to go because he has a "hot date" (referring to the Bikini Girl).
  • In Mad Monster Mansion's dining room, there is a painting of Mumbo Jumbo that makes him look somewhat demonic.


Main article: Mumbo Jumbo/gallery

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese マンボ・ジャンボ -
Spanish Mumbo Jumbo -