A moment in my life: Sangoma in the house

So many entertaining things happen in my life in Swaziland. These are the moments I will want to remember because they make me laugh, and they show insight into my daily routine. These moments are often hard to photograph and usually last only a minute or two. I will start sharing them with you in this occasional series. 

My bhuti who is a sangoma has finally come home! He is the last immediate family member for me to meet. He met my parents last week (he did not want to disturb me) when they were visiting. He has been in training in sangoma school.


The sangoma in my training village.

A sangoma is a medicine man. A sangoma uses trees and herbs to create medicines and he tells the future by reading bones (his bones also include dominos, shells, wood, and dice). He sings and dances to communicate with the ancestors. He can also cast spells, although he refuses to kill anyone.

He asked my permission before going into detail about his abilities, because he knows that some people do not believe in traditional medicine. I said he can talk all he wants because it does not matter if I believe, because Swazis continue to do so.

He made an example of a few of his abilities. For instance, he could arrange for all the men of Swaziland to notice me (I don’t need any help in that department, though). He could also be approached by a man who loves me and I have shunned. He could make it so that I change my mind about this man.

Tomorrow I will be learning a few sangoma dances and songs, and how to play his drum.

Anyone out there with sangoma questions, now is the time. My bhuti is happy to share what he knows! I asked for the difference between a sangoma and an inyanga, and he said the main difference is that an inyanga does not sing and dance, or communicate with the ancestors.

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5 Responses to A moment in my life: Sangoma in the house

  1. kuhnlm says:

    I literally lol’d at work about the “I don’t need help in that department.” Can so relate!

  2. Pingback: Embracing Swazi culture | travelin' the globe

  3. Nicole says:

    I’ve also seem women sangoma’s.

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