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Some Cultural Aspects of Traditional Medicine, Traditional Religion and Gender in Zimbabwe

Keywords: "Traditional medicine , traditional religion , spirit medium , training , herbalists , Zimbabwe , Africa , shamanism , medicine , mysticism , esoteric , health , healing"

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Abstract:

This paper documents the responsibilities of spirit mediums in Zimbabwe and highlights gender balance in the systems. It reveals that the spirit of the same Gombwe may be on men, women, or objects, at different places at the same time and the choice is made by the spirit. Hence, gender balance is not an issue. The study also seeks to find out the views of African traditional medical practitioners about the way traditional medicine should develop: i.e., independent development, or integration, or assimilation into the conventional system. N’angas and herbalists had mixed feelings about the course of action to follow, but all, including maGombwe, agreed that there is need to develop traditional medicine. The government of Zimbabwe, like other governments in the Southern African Development Community region, supports the development of traditional medicine.

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