ZuluShow more Probably adaptation of Zulu izimkhovu, obsolete plural form of umkhovu an exhumed corpse brought back to life as the familiar of a witch or wizard. (The plural is now usually imikhovu.)
(Usually plural) Among Zulu-speakers: the familiar of a witch or wizard, said to be a corpse brought back to life by magic.See also witchdoctor.
1875D. LeslieAmong Zulus 120‘What are Esemkofu?’ ‘An Esemkofu is a person who has been dead, and has been raised again by witches, who cut off his tongue, and so prevent him from talking and telling secrets; he can only utter a wailing noise — “Maieh! maieh!”’
1895H. Rider HaggardNada 184Many tales had been told to me of this Ghost Mountain, which all swore was haunted..said some, by the Esemkofu — that is, by men who have died and who have been brought back again by magic.
1925D. KiddEssential Kafir 128The Esimkovu are supposed to be people who have been dead and have been raised from the dead by witches.
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