The Concepts of Ciwo, Cuta and Magani in Hausa Thought

Published in African Studies Review, a Journal of Institute of African Research and Studies, Cairo University, Cairo – Egypt, Vol. 39, January, 2016, page 31 – 54, ISSN: 1110 6018

The Concepts of Ciwo, Cuta and Magani in Hausa Thought

Dr. Bashir Aliyu Sallau
Department of Nigerian Languages
Umaru Musa Yar’adua University,
P.M.B. 2218, Katsina – Nigeria 


From the time of creating human beings up to this time all human beings are struggling for survival in all their endeavors. Parts of such struggle include that of living a healthy life in which people from diversified cultures (Hausa people inclusive) have their own ways of treating illness and disease. In Hausa thought, the concepts ciwo and cuta are synonymous, while magani is a treatment. The ways and manners the Hausa people perceive such concepts differ from the ways other people look at the English words “illness”, “disease” and “medicine”. To a typical Hausa man anything that torches his social, economic, political, psychological, moral, emotional as well as mental well-being of the body or mind is a cuta or ciwo. So also whatever he uses to solve such kind of problem either through the use of herbs, shrubs, plants/parts of tree, or through physiotherapy and advice and so on is magani or treatment to such illness or problem. The main focus of this paper is to explore the above concepts in order to understand the ways and manners Hausa people see ciwo and cuta and the magunguna of treating them.


1.0    Introduction

Results of researches conducted by historians, cultural anthropologists’, etc, reveals that before the creation of any living thing in this world, Allah, the Almighty, created magani “medicine”. These researchers also explained that Allah, the Almighty, is the source and provider of all magunguna “medicines”; the magani “medicine” we are using today is nothing but a course. According to Islamic jurists, when Prophet Moses (PBUH) was opportune to have a conversation with Allah, the Almighty, he asked Him the following questions:

          Who created cuta/ciwo “illness”?

          Allah, the Almighty, answered him. I!

          He also asked Him, who heals?

          Allah, the Almighty, answered him. I!

          He repeated the question and asked Him, who heals?

          Allah, the Almighty, again answered him. I!

          From then, Prophet Moses further asked Him,

What is the work of the healers?

Allah, the Almighty, answered him,

They are only following our instructions (Bunza, 2003:2).

 By assessing the above questions asked by Prophet Moses and the answers that followed, one can conclude that Allah, the Almighty, has provided each and every nation/community abundant natural resources that include herbs, shrubs, grasses, trees etc. for them to use in curing many cututtuka “illnesses/diseases”. Here we can understand that, it’s within the soil such natural resources are deposited for our usage in curing cututtuka “illnesses/diseases”. So also, within the surface that separate earth and the other universe, Allah, the Almighty, provided natural air, light and yearly climatic conditions upon which they contains diseases and their treatment. For this reason, one will further say, the world in which we and other living things dwell, Allah, the Almighty, has arranged it in such a way we can be able to get what to use in curing cututtuka “illness/diseases”. From this, we can boldly say, no nation or community in this world that can say they never use medicines in treating cututtuka “illness/diseases”, so also no nook or corner in this world that is free from the attack of cututtuka “illness/diseases”. What we can only say is that, the types of cututtuka “illness/diseases”, the method of identifying the disease, the ways and manners of collecting medicines and their usage differ from one community with the other.

If we can assess what we earlier discussed, we can understand that, the life of any living thing is associated with three main things that include; ‘cuta’ or ‘ciwo’ illness/disease, ‘magani’ treatment, and ‘lafiya’ health. It is for these reason nations/communities take preventive measures to curtail the spread of ‘cututtuka’ illness/diseases among themselves before their arrival, but when they arrive the only solution is to look for their treatment.

1.1    Origin of Traditional Medicine

Traditional or native medicine or the method of treating illness/diseases through the use of unprocessed natural resources that include herbs, shrubs, trees, plants etc. has been in practice by different communities the world over from time immemorial. This is the reason why it is not universal, i.e. each nation/community has their own ways of identifying illness/disease and administers their own traditional medicine. For example, among the Hausa community in West Africa (the focus of this discussion), traditional medicine is a matter of inheritance. In other words, controlling, administration, projecting and safeguarding traditional medicine is done by certain families that inherited the art from their fathers as their fathers inherited it from their own fathers for a long generation. Before we go further into our discussion it is necessary for us to have a glance at the definitions of ‘cuta’ or ‘ciwo’ illness/disease, ‘maganin gargajiya’ traditional medicine from the point of view of the Hausa cultural anthropologists. It is equally important for us to note that, one cannot separate ‘cuta’ and ‘magani’. This is because they go hand-in-hand, and one cannot be important without the influence of the other. It has been understood that without the existence of ‘cuta’ human beings will never know the use of ‘magani’, so also it is with the use of ‘magani’ human beings are able to destroy ‘cuta’.

1.2 The Meaning of Ciwo or Cuta

Two Hausa words are generally used to describe conditions of morbidity: ciwo and cuta. Ciwo is the more commonly used of the two words and refer to any pathological condition in the body that causes pain. It is the word most commonly used to describe “pain,” “soreness,” “aching,” and the like. Usually, it is used to refer to pain or sickness in particular parts of the body, such as ciwon kai, “headache,” ciwon ciki “abdominal pain” or “stomach-pain,” ciwon kirji “chest pain,” and so on. Ciwo implies a painful disordering of that particular part of the body and impairment of its normal functioning. It may also mean “an offense,” “emotional pain,” “a drawback,” “a discouragement.” Cuta, is somewhat less commonly used, likewise it refers to disrupted function of or injury to some part of the body. It has the additional meaning of “an offensive act,” or “underhanded deed.” It exists as a verb form meaning “to do injury [either moral or physical] “to deceive,” or “to cheat.” The expression ya cuce ni, for example, may be translated as “he cheated me,” or “he did me wrong.” Neither ciwo nor cuta may be properly translated into English as “disease,” within the strict sense of that word as used in scientific medicine. These Hausa terms refer to the signs (objective, physical manifestations) or symptoms (subjective feelings) that occur in the course of an illness (Wall, 1988: 171-172). It is for this reason some Hausa cultural anthropologists forwarded some definitions of these words in such a way they will reflect Hausa traditional medicine point of view.

The first definition states that, “precisely, cuta means being in a state of physical and moral disturbance”, (Hamza, 1977:3).

Another definition states that, “cuta is something that is associated with well-being of an individual, as such, it is a situation that affects the well-being of an individual physically, socially and morally”, (Ahmad, 1984: 5).

One other definition states that, “cuta is a physical, social as well as moral disorder that affects the human body and mind and puts him in a state of discomfort or affects his prestige”, (Bunza, 1990: 132).

In my definition, I defined cuta, “as a situation that usually brought about discomfort as well as disturbance of the mind and soul, or physical injuries that affects the body or the brain and in some cases lead to death on the part of the affected person that enter such a situation”, (Sallau, 2000: 101).

 The Meaning of Magani

 It’s quite inappropriate to give the meaning of magani as “medicine” as translated in English. As per as the Hausa word magani is concern it’s translation into English does not contain what the English word “medicine” contains. For example, in English the word medicine is used to mean one or two things. It is seen as a substance used in curative treatment, or a branch of knowledge. If we go further and study the meaning of medicine forwarded by Oxford English Dictionary, it states that medicine is:

“that department of knowledge and practice which is concerned with the cure, alleviation, and prevention of disease in human beings, and with the restoration and preservation of health. Also, in a more restricted sense, applied to that branch of this department which is the province of the physician, in the modern application of the term: the art of restoring and preserving the health of human beings by the administration of remedial substances and the regulation of diet, habits and conditions of life; distinguished from Surgery and Obstetrics.

By looking at the Hausa concept of magani, one will understand that it includes both of these senses, but as earlier indicated also includes much more. For us to have a more meaningful understanding of some of the more puzzling aspects of Hausa medical practice, this range of meanings must be explored.

The Hausa word lafiya is generally translated as “health”. However, lafiya combines a range of meanings that extends far beyond the English translation of “health”, as such it include the proper ordering, correct structuring, and general well-being of the social order and the individual’s relations within it, as well as the state of wellness in the human body. When an individual is ill he has no lafiya; so also, when the affairs in a village are in turmoil and times are bad one hears expressions like gari ya lalace, ba zaman lafiya a gari,  ba mu da lafiya, “the town has spoiled, no peace in the town, we have no lafiya etc.

If we look into the Hausa meaning of the word magani, we can understand it is a “remedy”, a “corrective”, an “active restorer of a disrupted state” or a “prophylactic against trouble. In a nutshell, magani can therefore be defined as “that which restores lafiya”, or “that which ensures lafiya. Furthermore, magani can refer to anything which corrects or prevents an undesirable condition.

Let’s look at the Hausa proverbs below:

 Dukiya maganin kankanci              “Wealth is the medicine for ill-treatment”.

Yunwa maganin muguwar dafuwa “Hunger is the medicine for bad cooking”.

Gida biyu maganin gobara                “Having two houses is the medicine for house   fires”.

Ajiya maganin wata rana                “Laying aside is the medicine for the future”.

Barin kashi ciki ba ya maganin yunwa “Refusing to defecate is not the medicine for hunger”.

Tafiya maganin gari mai nisa   “Walking is the medicine for a distant town”.

Maganin maki gudu ban kashi “The medicine for slackard is beating”.

Maganin kiyayya rabuwa          “The medicine for hatred is separation”

Hakuri maganin zaman duniya “Patience is the world’s medicine”.

Allah maganin kome                 “God is the medicine for everything”.

By assessing the above Hausa proverbs, we can understand that, magani in Hausa context, encompasses practically the whole range of human activities, since it can include any act which results in the restoration, maintenance, or creation of order and balance. In some cases, magani may refer to a substance administered as a drug or to an action performed for a therapeutic purpose.

For us to further understand the meaning of Hausa traditional medicine, we will now look into the etymology and meaning of the word magani as forwarded by some Hausa cultural anthropologists.

1.3.1      Etymology of The Word Magani

Researchers conducted by Hausa cultural anthropologist revealed that the word magani which is applied in the treatment of diseases and other problems by the Hausa people is not an independent word. It is a combination of two words that form what is now referred to as magani by the Hausa people. It was stated that the word came as a child of necessity when a Hausa man fell ill, in an attempt to get what to cure the illness or solve the problem, he combine herbs, leaves of trees, shrubs and other things to use and see if they can cure him. It was in such attempt he will say, mu hada wannan mu gani “lets combine this and that and see”. In Hausa word formation there are places where a word can be affixed either before the word “prefix” or after the word “suffix”. This is a morphological process of adding affixes to the base or root of a word to determine and limit its grammatical significance. The affixes do not therefore result in producing a new ‘word’, but rather signal the exercise of grammatical categories such as gender and number (Fagge, 2012: 29). It is as a result of this word formation the word magani was formed.  As earlier indicated the word was formed through a process of observing treatment which resulted in seeing the circumstances. Gradually, two words ma and gani “we” and “see” dominated the process in which ma which is a first person plural pronoun was affixed to gani “seeing” to give the word magani “we will see” which is now referred to as a way of curing illness and problems by the Hausa people.

1.3.2 Theories Related to the Beginning of Magani       

There are many theories formulated by cultural anthropologists that explained how human beings started the practice of magani or treating illness and other problems associated with their well-being.

The first theory states that human beings are able to know the ways and manners of treating illness and other health care problems through combining leaves of trees, herbs, shrubs, plants and other natural resources around to cure illness, either through drinking them as a medical gruel (salala) or tonic (tsimi), by washing with them, by taking them as powders in food, by inhaling them as vapors from a steaming mixture or smoke from a fire (turare) or by burying them in one’s house (kafi) or by wearing them around one’s neck in a leather pouch (laya) or around the waist in a belt called guru. In some cases such modes of administration are often combined.

 The second theory was of the opinion that human beings are able to get medicine through birds, animals and insects both domesticated and those that live in the bush. This theory further stated that human beings observed that when birds, animals and insects are well there are certain grasses, leaves of trees, shrubs, herbs and their like they eat, so also when they are not well the kind of plants they eat differ from the one’s they eat while they are in good and healthy condition. It was said, from that observation human beings were able to understand the medicinal plants to use in curing illnesses (Musa, 1986: 8).

Another theory explained that human beings are able to know medicinal plants and their like through the assistance of jinns. They believed that when they fell ill, it was the jinns that guided them on the kinds of plants and their like to use in treating such illness. It was from this belief the practice of exorcism started (Bunza, 1988). 

One other theory states that human beings are able to acquire the method of treating illnesses and other health care and social problems through the knowledge given to them by Allah, the Almighty. This theory further clarified that at a time when human beings fell ill; in an attempt to cure the illness; through religious guidance they combine plants and their like to treat the illness and believe Allah, the Almighty will cure (Musa, 1986:8).

1.3.3 Definitions of Magani

For the fact that the Hausa people attached much importance on magani this made many Historians and Cultural Anthropologists studying Hausa culture to conduct intensive as well as extensive research on the area. Each and every researcher defined magani the way it suits him. We will now look at some of the definitions of magani from the point of view of the Hausa researchers.

One definition states that magani is “anything one can do or any method employed, or any trick performed to treat illness and any social, emotional and psychological problem that affects human body or soul” (Ahmad, 1984: 6).

Another definition explained that magani is “only a way of solving any social problem that disturbs human mind or an attempt to prevent the occurrence of any social problem that will bring misfortune” (Musa, 1986:6).

In another definition it was stated that magani “is anything performed by a human being to treat illness, bring joy and uphold his honor during his life time. This is because; the life of each and every human being is full of struggle to prevent and treat illnesses that affects his entire life both socially, emotionally, morally and psychologically. When he is physically healthy he will then start looking for anything that will uphold his honor and glory and excel above others. This is the way the life of all human beings is run, if you able to solve one problem another will follow it (Tukur, 1988: 14-15).

One other definition of magani states that “it is a way of treating all types of illnesses, or a preventive measure against any illness, or a way of excelling above others” (Ingawa, 1984: 25).

Magani is also defined as “a way of curing illness or reducing the strength of disease both internal and external. It is also a way of preventing the attack of diseases and the attack of the envious and enemy or of showing greatness possessed through the use of supernatural forces (Bunza, 1990: 134).

It is also defined as “an attempt to cure any type of cuta from the body of a human being or a way of reducing the strength of cuta, or a way of preventing the body from the attack of cuta and the attack of the envious and enemy or of showing greatness possessed through the use of supernatural forces in order to excel through displaying certain things that are beyond the imagination of common sense (Sallau, 2000:101).

2.0 Classification of Hausa Traditional Medicine Practitioners     

  As a result of the damages caused by cuta to human beings or in an effort to curtail the spread of cuta or when one wants excel above others and perform wonders, this forced people to know the secret of magani. Gradually, the art of treatment through the use of traditional medicine became a craft that some people practice it to be their source of income. In this regard the practitioners of Hausa Traditional Medicine are classified into two; those that inherit the art and those that did not inherit the art.



1.2    Those that Inherit the Art

This class of Hausa traditional medicine practitioners is those that inherit the art from their fathers as their fathers inherit the art from their own fathers. This category of practitioners includes the following:

v           Makera       “Blacksmiths”, treat illness that is associated with burns and the practice of sorcery that is related with the craft.

v           Masunta      “Fishermen”, treats illness that is associated with common colds, hooking of fish bone in the throat and the practice of sorcery that is related to the craft.

v           Manoma     “Farmers”, treat illness that affects the back ciwon baya, prepare concoction for endurance during farm work and the practice of sorcery related to the craft.

v           Mafauta      “Butcher men”, treat illness that affects blood, hooking of meat and bone in the throat and the practice of sorcery related to the craft.

v           Maharba     “Hunters”, treat illness that is associated with the attack of jinns, wizards, dread and the practice of sorcery related to the craft.

v           Masaka       “Weavers”, treat illness that affects the anus and give medicine for treating dan kanoma “severe rectal disease”.

v           Fatake         “Itinerant traders”, give preventive medicines to prevent them from the attack of armed robbers and jinns in the bush. They also performed sorcery related to their craft.

v           Madora       “Bone Setters”, treat minor and major fractures and they practice sorcery related to their craft.

v           Wanzamai   “Traditional Hausa Barbers”, they treat illness that affects the blood through applying cupping and giving other medicines for the treatment of diseases that affects the body of babies and children, body of male/female adults and those that affects both babies, children, male and female. They also give preventive medicines to prevent people from the attack of the envious and enemies, and they practice sorcery related to their craft. Some also seek the assistance of wanzamai in harming their rivals and enemies through the use of sorcery (Bunza, 2003:76-77).

v               Beside the above practitioners of crafts and traditional occupations that inherit the art of traditional medicine, there are others that include ‘yar maiganye, magori and some people that were able to get a medicine for the treatment of a certain illness and made it the medicine they inherit and administer to those affected by such a disease (Bunza, 2003:76-77).

1.3    Those That did not Inherit the Art

This category of practitioners did not inherit the art from their fathers, but they were able to learn the skill as a result of many reasons that includes, being attacked by a certain illness, by the time he gets the medicine to cure him and when he is cured, he will then start giving such medicine to other people that are affected with the similar illness. This category of people includes, bokaye “quark doctors” and ungozoma “traditional birth attendants”.


3.1 The Ways and Manners of Identifying Cututtuka “Illness” Diseases”  

There are various ways employed by Hausa traditional medicine practitioners in identifying the types of cututtuka “illnesses” or “diseases” that affects human body. This ways depends on the type of cuta “illness” or “disease” and the person affected. For example, some cututtuka “illnesses” or “diseases” are identified through looking at the affected part of the body such as coital problem in matured women, diseases affecting uvula and many others. In some cases, some are identified through torching the affected area of the body, while others are identified through the explanation of the patient or the person who lives with patient.

3.2 The Ways and Manners of Getting Magani “Hausa Traditional Medicine”  

Those that give magani “Hausa traditional medicine” follow different ways in getting various magunguna “traditional medicines” to treat people with health care problems. In some cases the practitioner collects ganyaye “leaves”, sassake “chip of wood”, sauyoyi “roots”, fure “blossom” of a tree to prepare the magani “medicine”. In other cases they collect plants, shrubs, herbs, grasses in preparing magunguna “medicines”. While there are cases that will make the practitioner to get parts or complete part of an animal, bird, insect and in some cases that of a human being in preparing magunguna “medicines that are associated with sorcery through the assistance supernatural beings.

In collecting magunguna “Hausa traditional medicine”, superstitious beliefs play an important role as there certain magunguna which the practitioner beliefs that before collecting them certain rites must be followed. For example, there are some magunguna when going to collect them one must go naked or turn his back and face the other side of the tree before collecting them.


3.3 The Administration of Magani “Hausa Traditional Medicine”   

In administering magani “Hausa traditional medicine” there is ways and manners to follow to make the magani effective. Such ways include; combining leaves of trees, herbs, shrubs, plants and other natural resources in our surroundings to cure illness, either through drinking them as a medical gruel (salala) or tonic (tsimi), by washing with them wanka, by taking them as powders in food garin magani, by inhaling them as vapors from a steaming mixture or smoke from a fire (turare) or by burying them in one’s house (kafi) or by wearing them around one’s neck in a leather pouch (laya) or around the waist in a belt called guru or kiri. In some cases such modes of administration are often combined in treating various cututtuka “illnesses” or “diseases”. In this regard we will look into some of the magunguna “Hausa traditional medicines” and the cututtuka “illnesses” or “diseases” they cure and the way they are applied.

3.3.1 Magungunan Cututtukan Jarirai da Yara Kanana

“Medicines for Treating Illnesses and Diseases Affecting Babies and Small Children

There are certain cututtuka “illnesses” and “diseases” that affect the body of babies and small children. This kind of cututtuka “illnesses” and “diseases” are not usually found in the body of adults, as such in treating them, the magani given to them is quite different with the one given to adults. Below are some of the cututtuka and the traditional way of treating them.

(i)               Maganin Tanadin Ciki “Pre-Natal Care”

In order to take care of the un-born babies there are magunguna prepared for pregnant women as a pre-natal care. The use of such magunguna depends on the period of the pregnancy. There is variation between those women that have never given birth with those that gave birth several times. For those women with first pregnancy will start taking the magani when their pregnancy is six to seven month the pregnant women will start taking magunguna for pre-natal care. The reasons for taking such medicines are to enable her deliver safely without having prolonged labor. The Hausa people also believe that, too much intake of sugar during pregnancy affects the pregnant woman; it makes her suffer during delivery. This made them to prepare a concoction that will make her pass out most of the sugar deposits in her stomach through urination.

One of such magunguna prepared for women with first pregnancy includes, get the roots of loda cissus “populnea”, and that of fidda sartse/fidda tartsa “remove splinter” euphorbia lateriflora. After collecting them they should be divided into three and tight each of them. The pregnant woman will take one out of the three and put it into a little water to ferment for a period of one day. The next day she will start drinking the magani of a period of three days after which she will discard the remaining and take another one did the same as she did with first one. This means she spent six days taking the magani, on the six day she will take the third and the last and ferment it and start taking it on the seventh day, which also take three days and discard it on the ninth day after drinking the magani. In other words, the pregnant women will drink the concoction every three days in an orderly manner up to a period of nine days consecutively.

(ii)             Maganin Tanadin Jarirai “Post-Natal Care”

After delivering a child there is post-natal care given to the new born baby which is called dauri “a remedy to increase physical strength given to newly born babies”. One out of the maganin dauri given to newly born babies includes, get the roots of kabar-giwa “West African Aloe” aloe buettneri, and that of dandana “schwenkia Americana” and that of kamborin shaho “acacia polyacantha ssp. Campylacantha and then add kajiji and tafarnuwa “garlic” with a little man shanu “cow milk butter”. After collecting them, put all of them in a small pot with little water and boil and the liquid content be given to the baby every day for at least one to two months.

(iii)          Sanyin Ciki na Jarirai “Common Colds in Babies”.

When a baby is caught with such cuta, you will find his nose running with mucus, snoring during sleeping, having fever and vomiting to mention but a few.

In treating this cuta, the traditional medicine practitioner will get the roots of dashi “African myrrh”, fidda sartse/fidda tartsa “remove splinter” euphorbia lateriflora, daddori “creeper plant”, farar kanwa “potash” and man shanu “cow milk butter”. Put them in a small pot and boil. Give the liquid content of the magani to the affected baby or child to drink as its water up to the time he recovers.

3.3.2 Magungunan Cututtukan Maza “Medicines for Treating Male Adults

This category of magunguna is only administered on the body of male adults only. This is because the types of diseases are only found in the body of male adults. Below are some of the diseases that affect the body of male adults and the Hausa traditional ways of treating them.

(i)                Maganin Karin Karfin Maza “Medicine for Treating Men Impotency”

Some men are weak in relation to marital affairs with their wives as such they face the problem of impotency; this made them to look for some magunguna to perform as normal men. Some of the magunguna use in solving the problem of impotency include; get the roots of gautan kura “garden egg”, “hyena’s garden egg” Solanum incanum and that of marga “Cassia arereh”, “Cassia sieberana” and that of gangamau “turmeric” Curcuma domestica and that of tsabre “Cymbopogon giganteus”, after collecting the roots put them together in a container ferment them with sour milk and start drinking the liquid content the following day up to a period of one week. When the liquid content is finished, add the sour milk and continue drinking the liquid content. This will made the penis of the affected person become enlarged, stronger and functional in such a way he can satisfy the desire of his sexual partner.


(ii)             Maganin Kurajen Aski “Medicine of After Shave Rashes”

Some men when they shave their hair few days after shaving small rushes with itching and paining follow. One out of the medicines to cure the rushes include; get citta mai ‘ya’ya “ginger”, “single tuber pepper” Zingiber officinale, grind it and with it with a little water and apply to on the rushes for a period of three to seven days the rushes will disappear.

(iii)          Maganin Amosani  “Medicine for Periostitis, Osteomyelitis

There are situations that made the testicle organs of men swell and if care is not taken they can develop to become gwaiwa “enlargement of testicles”. A person with such a problem will face the problem of social instability which he must address. One out of the medicines for curing the illness of amosani includes, get fidda sartse/fidda tartsa “remove splinter” euphorbia lateriflora, daddori “creeper plant”, jar kanwa “red potash”. Put them in a small pot and boil. Give the liquid content of the magani to the affected person to drink the liquid content for a period of three to seven days.

3.3.3 Magungunan Mata         “Medicines for Adult Women”

There are some magunguna that are only administered to women. Such magunguna are only meant for the body of women alone. Among such medicines include the following:

(i)               Maganin Tsankin Ciki na Mata              “Women Spasm Pain in the Abdomen

There are times when some women are in their menstrual period they face serious spasm pain in their abdomen, while others face such a problem during the first days of delivering a child. This is a serious problem that forced women to look for traditional medicine in overcoming the problem. One out of the medicines given to such women includes; get the roots of kabar-giwa “West African Aloe” aloe buettneri, put them in a pot and add water and jar kanwa “red potash” and boil them. It is the liquid content of the medicine the woman will drink for a period of three to seven days. When the liquid content has finished she can add water and jar kanwa and boil it again and continue drinking the liquid content. This will cure such kind of problem permanently.

(ii)             Maganin Tsayar da Jini  “Medicine to Stop Bleeding

Some women face the problem of uncontrolled bleeding during menstruation or after delivering a child, others face such a problem as a result of rivalry attack using supernatural forces. The medicine of any type of uncontrolled bleeding in women is to get chip of the wood of tawatsa and jar Kanwa, put them in a pot, add little water and boil them together. It is the liquid content of the medicine such women should drink for a period of three to seven days.

(iii)          Maganin Ciwon Nono “Medicine for Brest Cancer

There are some women when breast feeding their babies they face the problem of breast cancer that will make the breast to swell and in some cases it will develop small wound and gradually it will develop and became a big wound. This is also a serious problem that forced such women to look for treatment. One out the medicines in curing such an illness is to get chip of the wood of kamasagi “Ficus vallis-choudae and kodagon goriba bakwai “seven nuts dum palm” “hyphaene thebaica”. The entire seven nuts dum palm is to be burnt and put them together with the chip of the wood of kamasagi and grind them all together. From then the woman will add water to a small portion of the powder content of the medicine for a period of three to seven days. After drinking the liquid content of the medicine, she will apply the remaining solid content of the medicine on the affected breast.


From the above discussion, one will understand that ciwo or cuta and magani in Hausa culture covers what English translation of “disease” and “medicine” did not cover, as such maganin gargajiya na Hausawa “Hausa traditional medicine” treats illnesses and diseases that can be seen with naked eyes and even those that cannot be seen by the naked eyes. It can also cure the unseen diseases that affect the social being of an individual in such a way he want prevent himself from the attack of his enemies and other people. So also he needs medicines to excel among others or perform things that are beyond the expectations of common sense.


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