Return to muti (thing)

Muti is the [Zulu] word meaning [medicine]. In brief it is any ingredient in a traditional cure. Sometimes it is described as "[African] [traditional] [herbal] medicine". Often administered by a [sangoma], but the word can apply to any real or imagined [active ingredient].

Muti, used in [South African English] or in [Afrikaans] as a [loanword] refers to any [remedy].

Muti has nastier meanings too. Some traditional muti is straightforward: a [herb] is made into a [potion] and drunk. Some is [magical] in its logic: Slaughter this animal, burn this offering. Some is real [Macbeth witches|eye-of-newt and wool-of-bat] stuff.

And some is appallingly worse. The [Torso in the Thames] case brought the appalling practice of [muti murder|muti murders] to a western audience: some spells are so dark that the only ingredients that will do are fresh, [human body parts], from a [ritual murder].