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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Plant induced 'spirit possession' in Malawi
Author:Hargreaves, B.J.
Periodical:The Society of Malawi Journal
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:spirit possession
drug use
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/29778551
Abstract:This paper examines the use of plants to induce 'spirit possession' in Malawi. The author's informant, Abigail Alufandika, from Alufandika Village in Nsanje District, becomes 'possessed' during sessions in which she heals others. According to Ms. Alufandika, a trance is induced by a mixture of the root of 'Securidaca longipedunculata', the leaves of 'Chenopodium ambrosioides' and 'Asparagus africanus', and the roots of 'Annona senegalensis'. The author attended a 'madzoka' or spirit possession ceremony performed by his informant in 1980. He gives a detailed description of this performance. Appendix 1 provides information on other uses of the plants used to induce trance at Alufandika Village. Appendix 2 includes field notes on the spirit possession observed at Alufandika Village. Appendix 3 contains recipes for plants used to cure spirit possession. Bibliogr.