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From: Peter Stephenson <pws@ibmth.df.unipi.it>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: "Isangoma" [Digest urth.v024.n014]
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 1999 15:09:19 +0100

John Bishop wrote:
> It may not be related, but "Isangoma" is a "diviner"
> in traditional Zulu medicine.  Is there a Robert and
> Marie in South Africa who would be the obvious referents?
> http://www.hst.org.za/update/37/policy4.htm

Looks like you're on to something here, since this document also contains
the sentence:

 The Thikoloshe is the familiar of the night sorcerer and sent by him.

which is presumably the same as what I remember as `tokoloshe'.  `Night
sorcerer' is a good description of a torturer in a fuligin cloak.

While I'm showing my incredible grasp of cutting and pasting, it might be
worth passing on the central description of `isangoma' from near the

 There are two principal types of Zulu Traditional practitioners. The
 "doctor" or Inyanga is usually male and has a comprehensive knowledge of
 Zulu medicines.  The skills of this individual are usually passed from
 father to son. The Isangoma, usually female is a diviner. She is said to
 be chosen by her ancestors who bestow upon her a clairvoyant diagnostic
 powers. In addition to these traditional healers there are also a growing
 number of faith healers who belong to one of the numerous religious
 sects. The rituals of such sects while nominally Christian are often
 heavily overlaid with non-Christian traditional features that are
 characteristic of a culture in transition.


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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