Ritual uses of Cissus quadrangularis (Vitaceae) among the Dghweɗe of the Gwoza Hills (NE Nigeria)


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This Cissus quadrangularis is only applied to guinea corn. It is owned by the Gaske and Gazhiwe, the rainmaker and corn blesser lineages of the Dghweɗe. It is given to ordinary Dghweɗe to plant near their houses. Before harvesting guinea corn, three corn stalks from the same root are tied with vavanz gharaghare in each single field. Gharaghare is the Dghweɗe word for a child who starts teething from the upper jaw first. If a child like this looks up at someone's guinea corn its fruit will not develop. Also guava trees and some other trees will not bear fruit. Such a child is not be allowed to enter the granary since she will cause the guinea corn to fly away (disappear).