Fetichism in West Africa | Annotated Tale

COMPLETE! Entered into SurLaLune Database in August 2018 with all known ATU Classifications. Only the Introduction and Folktales from this book have been included.



Abuna, abundance.

Aganlo, children of mixed mortal and fairy birth.

Akazya, a poisonous tree.

Amie, do not know.

Anlingo, water.

Antyâ (sing. intyâ), eyes.

Anyambe, the Divine Name.

Awěmě, yourself.

Ayěnwě, unseen.


Bâbâkâ, consent thou.

Behu, kitchen garden.

Benda, a kind of rat.

Biañ, medicine.

Bobâbu, soft.

Bohamba, a certain medicinal tree.

Boka, a certain medicinal tree.

Bokadi, a certain medicinal tree.

Bokuda, a certain medicinal tree.

Bolondo, a poisonous tree.

Bongâm, a certain medicinal tree.

Botombaka, passing away.

Buhwa, day.

Bwanga, medicine.


Dâgula, Mr., a title of respect.

Diba, marriage.

Diyâ, the hearth; a household.

Diyaka, to live.


Ebâbi, a male love philtre.

Egona, a small antelope horn.

Ehongo, a cornucopia.

Ekongi, a guardian-spirit fetich.

Ekope, a girdle.

Elâmbâ, a certain medicinal tree.

Elinga, a basket.

Etomba, tribe.

Evove, harlot.

Ewiria, words of hidden meaning.


Fufu, mashed, boiled ripe plantains.


Go, to, in, at.

Greegree (gris-gris), fetich amulet.

Gumbo, okra.

Gwandere, a medicine for worms.


Haye, will not do.

Hume, a certain fish.


Ibambo (pl. abambo), ghosts.

Ibâtâ, a blessing.

Iga, the forest.

Iguga, woe.

Ihěli, a gazelle.

Ijawe (pl. majawe), blood relative.

Ikaka (pl. makaka), family name.

Ilala, an arch; a stairway.

Ilina (pl. malina), soul.

Ina, my mother.

Ininla (pl. anlinla), soul.

Injěnji, a certain leaf; fault.

Isakiliya, kindling-wood.

Isiki (pl. asiki), a dwarf changeling.

Itaka, a kitchen hanging-shelf.

Itala, a view.

Ivaha, a wish.

Ivenda (pl. ampenda), glory.

Iyele, a female love philtre.


Ja, of.

Jaka, to beget.

Joba, the sun.

Jomba, meat cooked in a bundle of plantain leaves.

Juju, an amulet.


Kâ, and you.

Kasa, a lash.

Keva, to surpass.

Kilinga, a kind of bird.

Kimbwa-mbenje, native bark-cloth.

Kna, a kind of bird.

Knakna, a large kind of bird.

Koka, a large kind of bird.

Kombo, a superstitious ejaculation.

Konde, queen.

Kota, a certain tree.

Kulu, a kind of spirit.

Kumu, a stump.

Kwedi, time of mourning.


Lale, my father.


Mabili, an east-wind fetich.

Mba, not I.

Mbenda, ground-nut.

Mbi, I.

Mbinde, a wild goat.

Mbolo, gray hairs; a salutation.

Mbulu, a wild dog.

Mbumbu, rainbow.

Mbundu, poison ordeal.

Mbwa (pl. imbwa), dog.

Mbwaye, a poison test.

Mehole, ripe plantains.

Miba, water.

Miě, me.

Monda, witchcraft medicine.

Mondi (pl. myondi), a class of spirits.

Mpazya, skin disease.

Mulimate, a small horn for cupping.

Musimo, spirits of the dead.

Muskwa, a medicinal brush.

Mutira, a medicinal stick.

Mvia, a kind of bird.

Mwana, a child.

Mwanga, a plantation.


Na, with.

Ndabo, house.

Nděmbě, young.

Nduma, a kind of snake.

Ngalo, a guardian-spirit charm.

Ngâma, a water plant.

Ngândâ, gourd seeds.

Ngânde, moon.

Ngofu, an iron fetich bracelet.

Ngunye, a flying-squirrel.

Nguwu, hippopotamus.

Ngwe, mother.

Njabi, a wild oily fruit.

Njěgâ, leopard.

Nkâlâ, a large snail.

Nkânjâ, a marriage dance.

Nkendo, a magician's bell.

Nkinda (pl. sinkinda), a class of spirits.

Nsânâ, Sunday.

Nsinsim, a shadow.

Ntori, a large forest rat.

Ntyěgě, a monkey.

Nungwa, open thou.

Nunja, shut thou.

Nyamba, a scarf slung over the right shoulder, in which to carry a babe.

Nyemba, witchcraft.

Nyolo, body.


Odika, kernel of the wild mango.

Oganga, doctor.

Ogěndâ, a journey.

Ogwěrina, rear of a house.

Okove, a powerful fetich.

Okume, African mahogany tree.

Okundu, a kind of fetich for trading.

Olâgâ (pl. ilâgâ), a class of spirits.

Olako, a camping place.

Ombwiri (pl. awiri), a class of spirits.

Ompunga, wind.

Orala, a hanging shelf over a fireplace.

Oraniga, last-born.

Orâwo, insult.

Orěga, the Njěmbě secret society drum.

Orunda, a prohibition; taboo.

Osěngě, a cleared place in the forest.

Ovâvi (pl. ivâvi), messenger.

Owavi (pl. sijavi), a leaf.

Ozyâzi, a pestle.

Ozyoto, a cornucopia.


Paia, my father.

Pavo, a knife.

Pěkě, ever.


Rera, my father.


Saba, an oath.

Sabali, an oath.

Sale, hail!


Tamba, the womb.

Tubě, a certain leaf.

Tuwaka, bless; spit


Udinge, a great person.

Ukuku (pl. mekuku), spirit; secret society.

Ukwala, a machete.

Untyanya, a medicinal bark.

Unyongo, a medicinal tree.

Upuma, a period of six months.

Utodu, old.

Uvengwa, a phantom.


Veya, fire.


Yâginla, imperative, hear thou.

Yâkâ, a family fetich.

Bibliographic Information

Tale Title: Glossary
Tale Author/Editor: Nassau, Robert Hamill
Book Title: Fetichism in West Africa
Book Author/Editor: Nassau, Robert Hamill
Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons
Publication City: New York
Year of Publication: 1904
Country of Origin: West Africa
Classification: Glossary

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