Putchu Guinadji Equestrian Figure
Early 20th century

2 in / 5 cm tall
ex Ethan Rider
ex Louis Nierijnck

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"The casting of the Putchu Guinadji is forbidden by Islam, and it is dying out with only a few casters and marabouts left
still offering this service to heal madness. Islamic fundamentalism and Christian missions are destroying and have
destroyed many of the old beliefs in Africa.

Magana, the Kotoko caster, said that the horse and rider symbol originally came from the Peul warriors who fought and
enslaved many of the animistic tribes in the north. The Kotoko themselves were not a horse society. They were farmers
and fishermen living along the Logone and Chari rivers. According to Magana the word
Putchu means horse and Guinadji
means demon in the Kotoko language. The
Putchu Guinadji are the horse and the rider who fight the demons attacking
the mad person. The horsemen are usually worn on a string or leather band under the arm and under the clothing
concealed from other people. No one may touch a
Putchu Guinadji that is worn and active because the madness can be
passed on. The sick person wears the talisman all his life, and by its rubbing against the body the
Putchu Guinadji gets
the very smooth patina. After the person has died the piece may be sold or given back to the marabout who activated it.
Some people are buried with their
Putchu Guinadji."