Share this entry

Share this page

tagati

Line breaks: ta¦gati
Pronunciation: /təˈɡɑːti
 
/

Definition of tagati in English:

noun (plural same)

1(Among some South African peoples) an evil witch or wizard.
Example sentences
  • Putting it very roughly, cross-cultural analysis of belief in magic comes up with two persistent roles, namely the socially benevolent magic worker (inyanga, cunning man, shaman) and the malevolent supernatural being that can pass for human (skinwalker, tagati, witch).
  • Analyzing specifically the social composition of the populations collected on some mission stations in Zululand and Natal, N. Etherington points out that "on mission stations the tagati [umthakathi] and his relatives found security".
  • He made this point again later: "Only on mission stations could the tagati and his relatives be fairly sure that they would be left in peace".
1.1 [mass noun] Witchcraft.
Example sentences
  • Others viewed and feared it as ‘tagati’, an occult form of black magic based on the negative dare of devil worship.

verb

[no object] Back to top  
1(Among some South African peoples) practise witchcraft.
1.1 [with object] Bewitch (someone).
Example sentences
  • He knew the consequence of the accusation and before being "tagatied", (branded as bewitched) and killed in cold-blood, he fled the kraal.

Origin

from Xhosa and Zulu umthakathi 'wizard'.

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…