intelezi, noun

Origin:
Zulu, XhosaShow more Zulu and Xhosa.
Collectively, traditional African herbal medicines or charms which are believed to have protective properties, especially in battle. Also attributive. See also muti sense 2 a.
1870 H. Callaway Religious System of Amazulu 435He washes himself..with intelezi, that, though he should meet with danger whilst travelling, he may not be quickly injured.
1918 H. Moore Land of Good Hope 109Some of the same intelezi is put into waters, and stirred with a stick.
1925 D. Kidd Essential Kafir 14The chiefs..give their warriors special medicines, called Intelezi, with which to wash their bodies.
1966 A.T. Bryant Zulu Medicine 18He (sc. the ‘medicine man’) would stand aghast..if you were bold enough to ridicule his ability to confound the knavery of the umThakathi by plentifully sprinkling inTelezi-medicine about the kraal.
1989 Greater Dict. of Xhosa III. 255Gasteria spp.: traditionally warriors were treated with an infusion of intelezi to render them invulnerable; chiefs are washed with it to give them charisma; employees use it to ensure acceptance by their employers; [etc.].
Collectively, traditional African herbal medicines or charms which are believed to have protective properties, especially in battle. Also attributive.
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