The InDuna & witchdoctors of Bukalo (Zambezi Region, Namibia)
Written by Berrie Holtzhausen, 21st August 2014
I personally learned the following from our four days in the Zambezi Region:
- Dementia in Namibia (probably Africa) is caused mainly by HIV AIDS.
- The perception of the world that dementia is only found among the elderly, is proven wrong in Namibia.
- Everything in life, from draughts, the loss of cattle through wildlife and even the reason why some people succeed in life and others don’t, are blamed on bewitching.
- There are two kinds of witchdoctors. A) The traditional healer that heals through natural medicine. B) One that bewitches other people and controls the environment/nature.
- Witches are dangerous. Four witchdoctors are needed to confirm that someone is a witch.
- Every family has a witch(es) as all families have diseases, death and tragedies. And as you can only bewitch a family as a witch, you are a witch. This makes it possible to identify a witch in two ways: a) Someone in the family that has dementia or b) Someone in the family that is more successful than the rest.
- Almost everyone that we spoke to, belonged to some church or other but they all still believed in bewitching.
- The idea of bewitching inside and outside the church are basically the same, it is only the terminology that differs.
- My idea that ‘the success of bewitching lies in the brain of the one that believes in it’ is becoming truer to me.
I do hope to gather more information on all of the above in the Kavango Region as well, as in Namibia, the Kavango and Ovahimba Regions are considered the most powerful bewitching areas.