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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Diagnostic practices of 'izangoma' in Durban, South Africa
Author:Ogana, WinifredISNI
Periodical:Indilinga: African Journal of Indigenous Knowledge Systems (ISSN 1683-0296)
Geographic term:South Africa
Abstract:This article interrogates the value of divination as a diagnostic tool of izangoma (diviners), who are at the apex of the hierarchy of African traditional healers in South Africa. While some of the divination methods used by 'izangoma' are dismissed as 'unscientific' by sceptics, the techniques cannot be wished away since they are still in demand. Referrals between African and conventional healers are requested on a regular basis, with each set of practitioners recognizing strengths and limitations in handling certain conditions. In the interest of patients who choose to frequent both health care systems, there is a need nevertheless, to understand what appears inexplicable in divination. To this end the article first situates African traditional medicine (ATM) in historical perspective concerning its low status pitted against the dominant conventional medicine. Next, the article delves into the intricacies of the various diagnostic methods applied by 'izangoma'. Third, the article highlights some of the challenges posed by the diagnostic methods under discussion. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]