Meaning of tagati in English:


Pronunciation /təˈɡɑːti/

nounplural noun tagati

  • 1(among some South African peoples) an evil witch or wizard.

    ‘Putting it very roughly, cross-cultural analysis of belief in magic comes up with two persistent roles, namely the socially benevolent magic worker (inyanga, cunning man, shaman) and the malevolent supernatural being that can pass for human (skinwalker, tagati, witch).’
    • ‘Analyzing specifically the social composition of the populations collected on some mission stations in Zululand and Natal, N. Etherington points out that "on mission stations the tagati [umthakathi] and his relatives found security".’
    • ‘He made this point again later: "Only on mission stations could the tagati and his relatives be fairly sure that they would be left in peace".’
    1. 1.1mass noun Witchcraft.
      • ‘Others viewed and feared it as ‘tagati’, an occult form of black magic based on the negative dare of devil worship.’


[no object]
  • 1(among some South African peoples) practise witchcraft.

    1. 1.1with object Bewitch (someone).
      • ‘He knew the consequence of the accusation and before being "tagatied", (branded as bewitched) and killed in cold-blood, he fled the kraal.’
      cast a spell on, put a spell on, enchant


From Xhosa and Zulu umthakathi ‘wizard’.