igqwira, noun

Forms:
egeerha, egqwiraShow more Also egeerha, egqwira, igqira, igqwire, and with initial capital.
Plurals:
amagqwira, or (occasionally) amagqira.
Origin:
XhosaShow more Xhosa igqwira malevolent sorcerer (plural amagqwira).
Among the Xhosa: a malevolent wizard or sorcerer; also used as a title. Also attributive. See also witchdoctor.
Note:
Sometimes confused with igqira.
1836 A.F. Gardiner Journey to Zoolu Country 247Umyaki had dispatched two men to Faku, for the alleged purpose of procuring beads, but they were at the same time accompanied by an Egeerha or Bewitcher.
1860 W. Shaw Story of my Mission 452The Priest is expected to expose the bewitching matter, ubuti, and to declare who is the igqwire or wizard that has been exercising malevolent influence over the person or property of others.
1866 W.C. Holden Past & Future 308When all their arts are exhausted without success, they impute their failure to the amagqira, or sorcerers, by whose malicious influence the rain is prevented from falling.
1891 T.R. Beattie Pambaniso 42With him the word Igqwira not only meant wizard, sorcerer, or dealer in witchcraft, but it comprehended or applied to all those who boasted of efficiency in anything, or who were reputed to be adepts in any art, and who, when a trial of the skill was made, failed to maintain their reputation.
1978 A.P. Brink Rumours of Rain 37‘So you murdered him?’ ‘I went to see the witchdoctor, the igqira. And he spoke to the izinyanya, the spirits of the ancestors. And then my father died...
1980 E. Joubert Long Journey of Poppie Nongena 83A witch, or what you call an igqwira, is the one who does the wicked things, but she became an igqira, a doctor who helps people.
a malevolent wizard or sorcerer; also used as a title. Also attributive.
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18361980