Bamako, Mali: and a tale of the witchdoctor's assistant

His father had named him Gauche, as in "Left" in French.  I wondered if Gauche was left-handed but didn't ask -- it was a commonly held belief that those left handed were bad luck.  But perhaps his father was able to turn Gauche's luck around.  You see his father was a Malian witch doctor and Gauche, himself, was a purveyor of magical goods.  It was all there -- the skins and bones and hooves and claws -- in his, ahem, pungent shop in Bamako. 

I asked Gauche if he had "the gift" -- if he knew the secrets.  He said that his father had told him a few things but not many.  Magic was powerful, after all and black magic, in particular, was dangerous -- it could hurt someone, or even kill them.  His father had said he would reveal more to Gauche later, when he was sure that his son would use the information responsibly and when Gauche became enlightened with the gift.  Until then, Guache was tucking the information away.  Away for one day, when he was the witch doctor, not his father....

And now...for some magic.....

If you want to make someone fall in love with you or listen to you, place your gris-gris (voodoo amulet) inside the head of a crocodile.


Cowrie shells have many magical purposes, including for divination.


Beware -- a monkey head can be used to make someone sick or....crazy.  Extract the brain of the hyena to ensure prosperity.  Put fur from a rabbit's head in hot water or tea and inhale the vapor to treat headaches.  Rabbit vapor is also helpful for treating children's bloody noses.


Use the teeth of bats to help children suffering during teething.
.   _MJM6605

if you want to ensure that your fields are fertile, place your gris-gris inside the head of a wild dog and bury it on your land. 


Turtle shells can be ground and used to "treat" adulterous women.

PS  Be wary of the leg bones of ostriches.  They can be used to make someone leave and never come back.....