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Traditional Medicine in Zimbabwe

Keywords: "Apprenticeship , ethnomedicine , spirit medium , training , Africa , Zimbabwe , Rosicrucian Order AMORC , religion , spirits , medium , healer" he"

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Abstract:

This study was carried out to help demystify traditional medical practices in Zimbabwe and assist people in understanding Zimbabwean traditional medicine. The Zimbabwean traditional religion involves a hierarchy of spirit mediums differing in the way they practice traditional medicine, as well as the origin and power of the spirit(s) that possess(es) them. MaGombwe, mediums of angels of God, occupy the highest level on the hierarchy. The second level is that of maSadunhu, the spirit mediums of the original leaders of clans who look after the interests of members of their clans. The third level is that of maTateguru, the spirits who look after the interests of the families they left behind. These spirits of great grandparents are complimented by spirits of grandparents who possess their mediums only to get a specific thing done and then disappear. The fourth level is occupied by N’angas, the ‘real traditional medical practitioners.’ These mediums may be possessed by spirits from any of the above levels, and differ from mediums at the original level in that they charge clients and the powers of their spirits are lower. The spirits at any of the levels are complimented by maShave, spirits that were created to perform specific tasks. The role of the spirit mediums is to service spiritual and medicinal interests of people. Training at the different levels of spirit mediums involves rigorous and tedious apprenticeship systems, and the mediums are willing to cooperate with other service providers if certain conditions are met.

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