UNIVERSITY OF THE WITWATERSRAND, JOHANNESBURG

INDIGENOUS HEALING IN SOUTHERN AFRICA: AN OVERVIEW

The true African diviner is a person of incredible healing power, a servant of the suffering who uses his/her experience and insight into the human condition to treat and cure the afflicted.

Introduction.

It should be noted that a lot of the information on this website is derived from previous studies on traditional healing, and sometimes quite old work, which makes some ogf the information quite historical. As we know cultures change rapidly and new investigations are urgently needed to build on the traditional healing skeleton outlined here. No one healer is alike in the way he/she heals-and traditional healing practices vary enormously over short distances and time, so please excuse over simplifications and generalizations.

Firstly traditional medicine can be understood as the health care practices which are unique to a specific culture (culture bound) that existed before the arrival of western medical practices.



Traditional Kr l in South Africa
To begin to understand traditional medicine/healing in Southern Africa one needs to understand the worldview of the Southern Bantu-speaking people. This is because cultures vary in their explanatory models (how a culture makes sense of illness and misfortune and how they treat themselves). How do the Southern Bantu-speaking people make sense of illness and how does illness and misfortune fit into their worldview or view of reality? Who are the restorers of health and how do they achieve this?


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