WITCH-DOCTORS IN TANZANIA: WHO THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY DO
The term ‘Witch-Doctor’ is both broad and controversial, colloquially used to identify traditional African healers – of which there are over 75,000 in Tanzania alone. For starters, the term doesn’t originate from Swahili. Its roots are colonial and have historically enforced the stereotype of African exoticism in recent years.
The variety of individuals and rituals that are contained under this title, including professional herbalists, village ‘Babu’s’ (meaning ‘grandfather’ in Swahili) and soothsayers for the superstitious are often bypassed by Western media. Each individual will differ in what they claim to heal – whether it be the purely physical, spiritual, or both – and how they do so. They are by no means a united front, and some healers will look down on others who appeal to their patient’s desire for prosperity, or engage in what some might consider darker acts to bring about good fortune.
By Work the World