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Amadou \Am"a*dou\, n. [F. amadou tinder, prop. lure, bait, fr. amadouer to allure, caress, perh. fr. Icel. mata to feed, which is akin to E. meat.] A spongy, combustible substance, prepared from fungus ( Boletus and Polyporus) which grows on old trees; German tinder; punk. It has been employed as a styptic by surgeons, but its common use is as tinder, for which purpose it is prepared by soaking it in a strong solution of niter.


n. A spongy, flammable substance prepared from bracket fungi, formerly used as a styptic and as tinder.


Amadou is a spongy, flammable substance prepared from bracket fungi. The species generally used is Fomes fomentarius (formerly Ungulina fomentaria or Polyporus fomentarius), which in English is also called "horse's hoof fungus" or "tinder fungus". The amadou layer can be found on top of the fungus just below the outer skin and above the pores. It is traditionally used as tinder, and also, when smouldering, as a portable firelighter.

Before such uses, amadou needs to be prepared by being pounded flat, and boiled or soaked in a solution of nitre. One method of preparation starts by soaking a slice in washing soda for a week, beating it gently from time to time. After that it has to be dried; when dry it is initially hard and has to be pounded with a blunt object to soften it up and flatten it out.

Amadou has great water-absorbing abilities. It is used in fly fishing for drying out dry flies that have become wet. Another use is for forming a felt-like fabric used in the making of hats and other items.

Amadou was a precious resource to ancient people, allowing them to start a fire by catching sparks from flint struck against iron pyrites. Remarkable evidence for this is provided by the discovery of the 5,000-year-old remains of " Ötzi the Iceman", who carried it on a cross-alpine excursion before his death and subsequent ice-entombment.

Amadou (name)

Amadou is the Francophonic-orthography variant of the Islamic name Ahmad, commonly used in West Africa. Amadou is interchangeable with the forms Ahmadu or Amadu in non-Francophone African countries.

Notable people with the name include:

  • Amadou Alassane (born 1983), French footballer
  • Amadou Ali (born 1943), Cameroonian politician
  • Amadou Ali Djibo, Nigerien politician
  • Amadou Bagayoko (born 1954), half of Mali singing duo Amadou & Mariam
  • Amadou Bakayoko (born 1996), Sierra Leonean-English professional footballer
  • Amadou Bamba (1853–1927), Muslim Sufi religious leader in Senegal
  • Amadou Cissé (born 1948), Nigerian politician
  • Amadou Cissé Dia (1915–2002), Senegalese politician and playwright
  • Amadou Cissé (footballer) (born 1985), French-Guinean footballer
  • Amadou Cheiffou (born 1942), Nigerian politician
  • Amadou Coulibaly (born 1984), Burkinabé footballer
  • Amadou Dia Ba (born 1958), Senegalese Olympic athlete
  • Amadou Diallo (1975–1999), Guinean immigrant killed in a New York police shooting
  • Amadou Diamouténé (born 1985), Malian footballer
  • Amadou Doucoure (1919–1971), Malian politician
  • Amadou Gakou (born 1940), Senegalese Olympic sprinter
  • Amadou Hampâté Bâ (1901–1991), Malian writer and ethnologist
  • Amadou Jawo (born 1984), Swedish-Gambian footballer
  • Amadou Karim Gaye (1913–2000), Senegalese veterinarian, physician and politician
  • Amadou Konare, Malian coup leader
  • Amadou Koné (born 1953), Burkinabé writer
  • Amadou Konte (born 1981), Malian-French footballer
  • Amadou Lamine Ba, Senegalese ambassador to the United States
  • Amadou Ly, Senegalese-American actor
  • Amadou Mahtar Ba, African media executive
  • Amadou-Mahtar M'Bow (born 1921), Senegalese educator
  • Amadou Meïté (1949–2014), Ivorian sprinter
  • Amadou Morou (born 1983), Togolese footballer
  • Amadou Moutari (born 1994), Nigerien footballer
  • Amadou Ouattara (born 1989), Ivorian footballer
  • Amadou Rabihou (born 1984), Cameroonian footballer
  • Amadou Salifou, Nigerien politician
  • Amadou Samb (born 1988), Senegalese footballer
  • Amadou Sanogo (born 1972), Malian military officer and coup leader
  • Amadou Sanokho (born 1979), French footballer
  • Amadou Sanyang (born 1991), Gambian footballer
  • Amadou Scattred Janneh (born 1963), Gambian-American politician
  • Amadou Séré (born 1987), Burkinabé footballer
  • Amadou Sidibé (born 1986), Malian footballer
  • Amadou Soukouna (born 1992), French footballer
  • Amadou Tidiane Tall (born 1975), Burkinabé footballer
  • Amadou Touré, Burkinabé footballer
  • Amadou Tidiane Tall, Burkinabé footballer
  • Amadou Toumani Touré (born 1948), President of Mali from 2002 to 2012
  • Anne-Lisa Amadou (1930–2002), Norwegian literary researcher
  • Hama Amadou (born 1950), Prime Minister of Niger from 1995 to 1996 and from 2000 to 2007
  • Ibrahim Amadou (born 1993), Cameroonian footballer
  • Kader Amadou (born 1989), Nigerien footballer
  • Moudachirou Amadou (born 1971), Beninese footballer

Usage examples of "amadou".

I had when I had made my original survey of the rooms, I lifted them from each drawer to see if there was not a steel, igniter, or syringe of amadou beneath them.

Matthieu Laensberg lay on the dusty mantelpiece amid gunflints, candle-ends, and bits of amadou.

Though as a styptic, it has now gone out of use, as tinder it is still an article of commerce and in Northern Europe has been much used by smokers, manufactured also into fusees, and used to be found here in tobacconists' shops under the name of Amadou or German tinder.