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The Fagarier, also known by its scientific name, Fagara xanthoxyloides, is a species of the Rutaceae family and of the Fagara genus. Its name in Diola is Nissédiende. The fagarier is a small tree, 7 to 10m high, and is mostly a wild species. It can be found in the forests of Western Africa and can live among other species. It bears small fruit, the size of pepper seeds: they are a treat to birds, which in return ensure the dissemination of the seeds. Thorns abound on the trunk and on the leaves of the fagarier: the tree is therefore a shelter for small animals against their predators.
The fagarier plays a major role in traditional medicine. It is used as an antibacterial remedy against digestive problems, intestinal parasites and dental cavities. Its efficient use externally treats skin diseases and wounds. Tea made from its bark helps to cool down temporary fevers. The trunk of the tree is used to carve the kadiamdou, a local agricultural tool used to plough the soil.
During the Diola initiation dances small sticks are cut out of fagarier branches which only initiated men are allowed to carry.