Some Notes on Binding Magic (maʾǝsärä ǝgr) in Ethiopia

  • Meley Mulugetta


Ethiopian magical texts abound in their inclusion of magical formulae for binding slaves (maʾǝsärä ǝgr, ‘the tying of feet’), used with the intention of preventing, usually a slave, from running away. This paper will embark on a description of binding magic, the context of their uses and highlight the role of the däbtära, whose ‘in betwixt’ status enables him to cross rigid boundaries of traditional power structures in Christian Ethiopian culture.
Published online
How to Cite
MULUGETTA, Meley. Some Notes on Binding Magic (maʾǝsärä ǝgr) in Ethiopia. Aethiopica, [S.l.], v. 18, p. 183-189, july 2016. ISSN 2194-4024. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 24 may 2018. doi:


ritual; blood; dabtara; däbtära