The Songoma


The Sangoma is a highly respected healer among the Zulu people. They are a practitioner of ngoma, a philosophy based on a belief in ancestral spirits. Sangomas have many different social and political roles in the community: divination, healing, directing rituals, finding lost cattle, protecting warriors, counteracting witches, and narrating the history, cosmology, and myths of traditions.

They are highly revered in their society where illness is thought to be caused by witchcraft, pollution from unsure objects or occurrences, or by the ancestors, or by themselves, either malevolently, or through neglect if they are not respected.

The main function of the Sangoma is to heal and protect the people of the community.

There is a primary distinction between the ancestrally designated diviner or mediator lsangoma, and the herbalist or doctor inyanga who works primarily with herbs.

They are the traditional healer or diviner who employs music, dance and the throwing of bones to discover evil and diagnose disease.

Trances play a pivotal role in the Sangomas repertoire. The purpose of the trance states is to communicate with the ancestors to achieve extrasensory perception and to develop paranormal abilities

The dress code of the Sangoma has deep meanings, as do the colour of the beads that are worn. The dress code highlights the importance of his/her relationship with the ancestors.

The importance of symbolic medicines are black (mnyama), red (bomvu), and white (mhlophe). Treatment with such coloured medicines is intended to establish a balance between the person and environment.

The harmony between the living and the dead is vital for a trouble-free life, the ancestors must be shown respect through ritual and animal sacrifices.

At mFulaWozi you can experience Sangoma ceremonies first hand – Healing and Initiation Ceremonies or private Sangoma visits.

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