|Baba Ngemo, Shakaland chief|
After a hearty breakfast the following morning we were invited to visit the iSangoma (diviner) who is in contact with the spiritual world and looks after psychological and spiritual matters.
Her badge of office, the tail of a wildebeest which she shakes and points in a menacing manner, is used to seek out mischief makers. Her hairdo, an elaborate concoction of black and white beaded braids decorated with inflated gall bladders, held me enthralled.
Also present was the Inyanga (medicine man) who is responsible for the health of the community. He prepares natural remedies from roots and bark, berries, tubers and animal fat.
When my husband James told him in all seriousness that he found it hard to get out of bed in the morning and did he have a cure, the wise old man came up with the answer immediately. “Haw Inkosi, it is because you are lazy.”
After our 'interview' we made our way to a dusty arena where young warriors challenged some of the more adventurous German tourists to a spear-throwing contest. Sitting on a boulder beside a fire, another warrior made the lethal looking weapons.
More to follow ...
Photo copyright Anne Gordon
Posted on Tuesday, 20th September, 2011