The Leper

Origin: Hausa

Classification: Bori

Kuturu is the head of the fourth house of the Bori pantheon, the House of Lepers. Kuturu is an extremely important Bori spirit who exerts tremendous influence in the Bori court and palace. He is the senior counselor to Sarkin Aljan Suleimanu. However, Kuturu has an intimate relationship with Inna, Sarkin Aljan Suleimanu’s wife. The relationship between the two male spirits is tense and they should be kept apart. Kuturu, potentially a kind and very generous spirit, is likely to be found near the main gate of Suleimanu’s palace.

Favored people: Lepers; (Allegedly his priesthood successfully treats leprosy, especially in early stages. The cure may involve becoming a devotee of Kuturu.)

Manifestation: Kuturu can’t walk; he crawls (and manifests like this during ritual possession). He moves like a snake. Kuturu has a nasal voice. During ritual possession, the person embodying him tends to sweat profusely.

Attributes: A woven grass bag and a small gourd (to beg for alms); a horsehair switch (symbol of authority plus to shoo flies); a Dum Palm nut string serves as his weapon

Consort: Almajira is Kuturu’s only wife (but he has a long-running affair with Inna)

Affliction: Kuturu inflicts leprosy. His victims’ eyes turn red.

Animal: Snake

Sacred tree: Dundu (Dichrostachys nutans) a thorny acacia-like shrub and the Dum Palm (Hyphoene thebaica)

Offering: Kuturu will accept any offering given with sincerity and a good heart

See also: Bori; Inna; Kure; Sarkin Aljan Suleimanu