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Table 3 Quotes illustrating perceived symptoms of witchcraft ( Buwaa ) attack

From: Foul wind, spirits and witchcraft: illness conceptions and health-seeking behaviour for malaria in the Gambia

Perceived symptoms Respondent
When you are being attacked by witchcraft, it gives you rib pain and eats all the organs that are in the stomach’ Young woman, housework; Fula, Boiram
For some people, if a Buwaa follows a person, it gives him a pain in the ribs. If that happens then they will start saying that Mr X has rib pain and let us do something about it because rib pain is mostly associated with the issue of these black forces. Young woman, housework; Mandinka, Niji
For the Buwaa, if they attack you, you keep on lying down and if God does not help, you will die. At times, if the person takes some herbs then he/she gets better. Old man, retired; Mandinka, Niji
Those sicknesses are there. If someone is being attacked by Buwaa, in most cases, the ribs will start paining. Those are the signs. We called them the ‘night people’. Middle-aged man, herder; Fula Sahre Gella
I: What are the symptoms of a person affected by a Buwaa? Middle-aged woman, farmer; Fula, Sahre Gella
R: For us here, so many children get affected and one of my children is among them. Once two toubabs (white people) came to this village and I took them to my house to show them my sick child but they asked me to take him to the hospital which I did. He got some medication but the treatment didn’t work so I decided to go to a marabout. And thanks to God he gained his health back.
I: What symptoms did he show?
R: He was always trembling and sometimes collapsed until we poured some water on him.